Tuesday, August 18, 2009


If anything positive can possibly result from Michael Vick’s murderous behavior with animals, it may be that the national discussion about humane treatment of animals has been amped up. As soon as Vick was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles all hell broke loose from coast to coast. You could not turn on a talk radio show without hearing from those who feel he should not be re-instated in the NFL, and from those who feel he has paid his debt to society and now should be allowed to live his life.

In fact, Vick will live his life, and at age 29 in a society that lionizes professional athletes, he will probably do quite well. Nobody said life is fair, right? Vick’s two-year deal is reportedly for $1.6 million with the second-year option worth $5.2 million. Still, I have faith in the social consciousness of the American citizenry, and I believe that for the rest of his life, Vick will be known as the football player who maimed, tortured and murdered dogs, and who bankrolled an illegal, barbaric dog fighting operation on his own property. And I believe that is how he should be remembered. On Sunday, Vick appeared on “60 Minutes.” Here is part of what he had to say:

Vick says that the first time he understood the magnitude of the decisions he had made was when the prison door was slammed behind him. I can’t help wondering why the same realization did not hit him when he watched dogs being beaten to death, asphyxiated and methodically murdered. What I am hearing here is that the first time he felt any level of remorse was when it directly affected his comfort, his public image and his financial status. Is it just me, or do you hear that, as well? When he speaks of crying all alone in his cell, he lists off all of the things that he was crying about and never mentions the dogs.

“Bad News Kennels,”(right) as the dog fighting operation on Vick’s property was called, was an obscene endeavor that offered no comfort or respect for innocent animals. Dogs were routinely shot, electrocuted and drowned. This went on for six years, until he was caught. Now he says that he knows he could have halted the operation for the sake of his “career and family.” Again, no mention of the dogs. Now, after losing a $130 million NFL contract and being shunned by many within the league, Vick says he “was wrong” to do what he did. I’m not buying it. And many others are not buying it. Vick is not an ignorant man. He knows right from wrong. He made a decision to hurt and kill dogs. Period.

The bigger issue is dog fighting nationwide. In a CNN report published this week, there was this: "At the height of attention on the Vick case, things quieted down across the country with some of these dogfighters getting out of the business," veteran animal abuse investigator Tim Rickey said. "But then, the headlines went away, and people thought the attention was off. It just started right back up, almost stronger than before. Every Saturday night in every county in Missouri, there is a dogfight going on.”

Something tells me Mr. Vick could direct law enforcement to many dog fighting rings. It is inconceivable that Vick could have murdered animals for six years and not become closely tied in with the dog fighting underground. So it begs three questions: First, why didn’t the judicial system maneuver this case into a revelatory moment when harsh light would shine on dog fighters coast to coast, courtesy of prisoner number 33765-183, Michael Vick? Second, why didn’t the judge impose fines on Vick based on any possible future income he would derive from professional sports? Would it not have been a great idea to put a lien on his future earnings and earmark the money for animal protection and investigations that would lead to arrests of dog fighters? Third, why didn’t the courts ban Vick from ever owning, fostering or caring for a dog? And why does it take a blogger to come up with something so obvious?

We are a nation of dog lovers. I have often said I would rather spend my time with dogs than humans. I know others who feel the same way. The Vick horrors have directed a much-needed spotlight on dog fighting in the U.S. If you suspect or know of dog fighting operations, here is what you can do. Please do it:
• Call the local branch of the Humane Society
• Call your local “Crime Stoppers.” Check the national crime stoppers web site for the community organization nearest to you.

Or...Just call 911. Just do it.

1 comment:

Information said...

Does Vick care about the dogs he tortured? Does he now surround himself with fine upstanding citizens?:


Another interesting article:
I know, many think that he has paid his debt to society. He did time. He speaks out against dog fighting. He paid money towards the support of his surviving dogs. But the fact is, had he actually been tried according to the animal cruelty laws in the state of Virginia, he would have been charged with twenty dogfights and the cruel deaths of nine dogs. He would have faced up to sixty-five years in prison. Instead, he was able to plea bargain to one count of dog fighting got a three year suspended sentence for time served on the federal charges of one count of Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fight Venture. He served 18 months of that 23 month sentence. And now, he's making millions, and being held up as a role model.

How many of you think that he would have gotten the same sentence if he weren't a famous football player?