Phoenix is a German shepherd that was rescued two weeks ago in Southern California when he was found wandering the streets. His ears were crudely cut off, there were fresh bite marks on his body, deep scars covered his face and duct tape circled around his mouth.
Despite his shocking condition, the German shepherd’s temperament was gentle and friendly. The veterinarian that examined him guessed that he had once been someone’s pet that was probably stolen and used as bait to train fighting dogs.
Coastal German Shepherd Rescue came to the aid of the dog and hundreds of people came forward to adopt him. On September 26 Phoenix once again became a family pet when he was adopted.
If the people that committed this horrific act of cruelty to Phoenix were arrested and sentenced to time in prison, would you be willing to welcome them back into the community after their release?
That’s the question I have been struggling with after reading all of the glowing stories about another dogfighting animal abuser – Michael Vick.
In 2007 Michael Vick’s name was poison to football fans and most other people because of his heinous abuse to the dogs in his illegal dogfighting operation.
Now fans are clamoring for his No. 7 football jersey and a new book credits him with raising awareness about pit bull dogs.
The news is full of positive accounts about Michael Vick, but is it too soon to forgive him?
It’s true that Vick paid his debt to society by spending 19-months of a 23-month sentence in prison, but it’s surprising how the public seems so ready to forget that he and his partners tortured and killed innocent dogs that didn’t fight well at dogfights.
What happened to make public opinion shift in favor of Vick? Is he being invited back into the fold because of playing a good game of football?
Michael Vick is now the starting Quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles and he is playing better than ever. His rating is the highest in his entire career. Because of this it appears that he is being invited back into the community.
Even retail stores that dropped the sale of his merchandise are re-stocking their shelves with No. 7 jerseys. According to a story from Yahoo Sports, Vick’s jersey is expected to be in the top 15 by December.
Or could the success of his former dogs be what is helping Vick become mainstream? A new book written by Sports Illustrated senior editor Jim Gorant, The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption, tells how well many of the dogs are doing.
The book primarily follows the lives of the 47 out of 51 dogs that survived after being rescued from Vick’s Bad Newz kennels. It tells about their rehabilitation and how many have become family pets and even therapy dogs.
But, The Lost Dogs apparently also credits Michael Vick with bringing dogfighting to the attention of the public and changing the way the dogs rescued from this industry are treated.
The widespread publicity surrounding the case led to the first major rehabilitation project for dogs in a dogfighting operation.
Or is Michael Vick becoming popular because of his role as an advocate? Vick has continued to speak out against dogfighting to at-risk youth groups since his release from prison. His latest speech was at a school today.
There are many positive qualities about the post-prison Michael Vick, but do you think it is too soon to forgive him for what he did to the dogs?
Coastal German Shepherd Rescue
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