Eagles to host meeting with Philly animal welfare groups

The Philadelphia Eagles have called for a meeting with area animal welfare groups Monday to discuss dogfighting in the wake of their signing Michael Vick.

When asked about the format, the Eagles said they would “just listen,” said Gail Luciani, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania SPCA.

She said the Eagles were going to invite a lot of animal welfare groups, seeking to be inclusive, including the Chester County SPCA, Delaware County SPCA and Main Line Animal Rescue.

Michael Vick will not attend the meeting, Luciani said.

The Humane Society of the United States - with whom Vick is working to combat fighting across the country - also is participating in the meeting.

"It's really the Eagles' meeting and not HSUS's," said president Wayne Pacelle. "It's really the Eagles meeting and not HSUS's. Our trajectory is clear. We want to get Vick in front of at-risk kids, and do so in Philadelphia and in other urban centers around the country."

Tom Hickey, founder of DogPac political advocacy group and a member of the state Dog Law Advisory Board, said he hopes the meeting will produce "an action plan" to help victims of dog fighting.

"We need a plan to address the issue in Philadelphia and surrounding area," he said. "I hope the Eagles get involved and help dogs caught up in this horrible enterprise."

The meeting is set for 5 p.m. at the NovaCare complex.