As recently paroled quarterback Michael Vick works to rebuild his shattered reputation and secure a spot on an NFL roster, it was revealed today that one of the victim's of Vick's dogfighting ring was beloved Hanna-Barbera character Scooby-Doo.
Sheriff's deputies found the remains of the Great Dane in May 2007, buried in shallow grave on the Surry County, Va. property that Vick once owned. A dog collar with a blue and gold medallion sporting the letters 'SD' confirmed the identity of the crime solving pooch, admired by children around the world.
Investigators decided to announce the death of Scooby-Doo after The Mystery of the Spooky Space Kook was solved by a team of FBI agents instead of the meddling kids of Scooby-Doo's gang. How Scooby died was not revealed.
How the aging animal found his way to Vick's underground dogfighting circle is also a mystery.
Sources close to the investigation claim Scooby was brought to Virginia by friend and close companion Fred "Freddie" Jones who had several run ins with the law after numerous failed attempts to start his own detective agency.
It's alleged Jones owed more than $50,000 in gambling debts and was looking to cash in by putting Scooby in to the ring with raging, half-starved pitbulls sometime in late 2006.
"It probably wasn't the smartest thing to do," says one investigator who asked to remain anonymous. "As we all know, Scooby-Doo was a coward. He wouldn't have been able to hold his own against a pitbull."
The investigator says a Scooby Snack might have resulted in a different outcome but it's unknown if any were supplied to dog before getting in to the ring.
Attempts to reach Jones were unsuccessful. It's believed he fled to Mexico with Norville "Shaggy" Rogers, wanted by authorities for breaking his parole on a drug charge.
Word of Scooby-Doo's death shocked the animated community.
"You know what? That makes me mad," said Droopy Dog in his trademark jowly monotone.
Daphne Blake, another of Scooby's former companions, has agreed to cover the cost of a proper funeral for the animal.
When approached about the death of Scooby Doo, Vick deferred to his agent Joel Segal who offered no comment.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted this does hinder Vick's chances of having his suspension lifted, thereby hindering his attempts to find an NFL team to sign him on.
"Everybody loved Scooby-Doo," said Goodell, "it's hard to imagine he's gone."
Vick was drafted first overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 2001, leading the team to the playoffs twice including the conference championship game in January 2005.
Vick was identified in April 2007 as "the key figure" of an extensive unlawful interstate dogfighting ring operating for nearly five years. He was sentenced to 23 months but served only 19.
Investigators says Scooby's newphew, Scrappy, was also killed in Vick's dogfighting ring but few seemed disturbed by the revelation.