Eagles meet again with animal welfare groups

Members of the Philadelphia Eagles front office met for the second time with animal welfare groups.

At a meeting last night, the group discussed a number of ways the Eagles could help promote animal welfare and curb dog fighting, among them setting up a spay/neuter clinic, building a sanctuary for ex-fighting dogs and distributing grants to shelters and rescues. 

"People gave us ideas and ways that we could be impactful and I think the biggest thing that came out of it, the biggest message we heard loud and clear was around spaying/neuter issues and how the Philadelphia Eagles could be very helpful," said spokesperson Pamela Browner-Crawley told 6ABC Action news.

Tom Hickey, founder of DogPac, said he thought the meeting was productive, even if no concrete plans emerged.

'I think the Eagles are sincere," he said.

The Eagles pledged to find ways to curb dog fighting and support other animal welfare efforts after signing convicted dog killer Michael Vick last month. Vick, who spent 18 months in prison for his lead role in an inter-state dog fighting ring, has teamed up with the Humane Society of the United States to deliver an anti-dog fighting message to inner city communities. Since his release from house arrest in July, Vick has made appearances with youth groups in Chicago and Atlanta.

Among the groups invited to last night's meeting were the Pennsylvania SPCA, Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), SPCAs from Bucks, Delaware, Chester and Montgomery counties, the Humane Society of Berks County, the Humane Society of the United States and Camden County Animal Shelter.

The idea of the Eagles organization - which has taken heat from animal lovers across the country for signing Vick - doling out grants to shelters angers Main Line Animal Rescue's Bill Smith.

"They're buying them off," said Smith.

He said Main Line Animal Rescue of Chester Springs was not invited to participate in the meeting despite its active role in saving Philadelphia's pit bulls from euthanasia.