Michael Vick's 23-month prison sentence and $5,000 fine are harsher penalties than those given in three recent animal-cruelty cases in the Philadelphia area.

In November, Barry White, of Kensington, pleaded guilty to animal-cruelty charges and was sentenced to 6 to 23 months in jail, a $1,000 fine and 50 hours of community service.

The man's stepfather, Joseph Roberts, involved in the same incident, was sentenced to 2 years' probation and a $1,000 fine after a Common Pleas judge found him guilty of animal-cruelty and conspiracy charges.

In March, Henry J. Brotnitsky, of Winslow, N.J., was sentenced to 364 days' jail time and 5 years' probation after pleading guilty to staging dogfighting on his property. *

- Krista Hutz