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Now that a motion filed in U.S. District Court claims the overwhelming majority of pit bull terriers seized from a dogfighting operation bankrolled by Michael Vick need not be euthanized, animal welfare advocates are hoping for the best outcomes for the dogs.
But they are warning that future placement of the animals must be carried out thoughtfully.
"I wouldn't say I'm necessarily surprised," said John Goodwin, deputy manager of the Humane Society of the United States' campaign against animal cruelty. "This has been a case where there's been a pretty big spotlight on it. I think there is a lot of public sentiment that wanted the dogs to do well."
"They've been through a terrible situation. We hope there is a ray of sunshine for them," Goodwin said. "We just hope people exercise caution and proceed with great care so they don't end up hurting another animal or [end up] living a lonely life in a kennel run."
Shonali Burke, a spokeswoman for the ASPCA, said the organization "will go to great lengths to make sure the dogs are going to be placed in the right situations to provide the best quality of life for them."
"There have been a lot of steps so far to make sure these dogs have been treated well and humanely," she said.
-- ESPN.com senior writer Elizabeth Merrill