A county judge has ordered the return of a pit bull to Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown after the animal was seized as part of suspected dog fighting operation in Wisconsin.
The dog, along with seven of her puppies, was removed May 21 from Northland Pits, a breeding kennel near Eau Claire, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The owner of the kennel was arrested and charged with the mistreatment of animals and running a breeding kennel without a license.
Nineteen other dogs remain in the custody of the Eau Claire County Humane Association. Humane officer BeKah Weitz told the court that the dogs were scarred, were being kept in substandard conditions, and that she believed they had been involved in dog fighting.
Brown purchased the pit bull, named Eilis, as a pet in 2010 according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Brown then sent Eilis to Northland Pits for breeding, and then later for the whelping and weaning of the puppies.
Sheila Kessler, an attorney representing Brown and his wife, Morgan, says that her client is a victim, and the value of the puppies decrease the longer they are held.
The seizure comes almost four years after the Philadelphia Eagles signed quarterback Michael Vick after his release from prison on federal charges involving the dog fighting ring to which he was connected.