Winter 2010 Newsletter
Accept Apology or Not?
Two years ago Michael Vick was convicted of running the BadNewz Kennels and dog fighting ring in Virginia. He was charged with killing dogs with his bare hands and in excruciating ways from drowning to electrocution. The Atlanta Falcons quarterback was sentenced to two years in prison and a significant financial loss. Now he is out of jail and has been signed by the Philadelphia Eagles to a two-year contract.
Animal groups are divided over Vick's offer to try to rehabilitate his image by talking about the ills of dog fighting. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is working with Vick to do neighborhood campaigns in Chicago and Atlanta talking to kids about the horrors of dog fighting and the life style that fosters it. HSUS hopes to turn kids away from dog fighting into trying agility training instead.
Most of the other animal groups have not taken Vick up on his offer. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, which took 22 of Vick's dogs for rehabilitation, issued the following statement:
"Through our 'Pit Bulls: Saving America's Dog' campaign, we are in a very real way committing time and resources to making sure that the horrible practice of dog fighting becomes a thing of the past. Our work on this campaign is the single best statement we can make about the Vick case and dog fighting in general.
Our focus is clearly on helping the animals and educating the public. We have and will continue to let the courts and law enforcement deal with people accused of dog fighting, with the hope that this horrible practice can be eliminated."
PETA, which originally considered doing an anti-dogfighting campaign with Vick changed their mind when they learned he'd put his family dogs in the ring with fighting pit bulls. They also requested the NFL Commissioner to require that Vick undergo a brain scan and full psychological evaluation before any decisions were made about his future in football. As far as I know, these tests were never done.
The American Humane Association also weighed in on Vick's signing with the Eagles. They said: "Now that he has a contract to resume a very visible career in the public eye - a lucrative career that few people ever have the chance to experience even once, let alone a second time after committing a horrible and inhumane crime - it's time for Michael Vick to demonstrate he can change and be a force for good. In particular, we hope he can become a positive role model for young people, and that, in light of the incredible second chance he has been given, he now proves himself truly worthy and humane."
PETroglyphs would like to know what you think about this.
- Do you believe Michael Vick is repentant for the heinous crimes he committed against other sentient beings for money and pleasure and should be forgiven?
- Do you believe he should do some form of public service involving donations of time and money to animal organizations who rescue dogs in order to show the world he is trying to make amends for his crimes?
- He has served his time for his crimes. Now should he be allowed to rejoin the human community with no further recriminations or protests?
- Should he be allowed to profit once again from his athletic talent as long as he stays away from dog fighting or any other form of animal abuse?
- Should he be talking to youngsters from his experiences and trying to convince them that dog fighting and animal abuse is wrong?
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: "Michael Vick" and let us know your thoughts. We will publish your comments on our website.
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