Michael Vick’s once again making headlines for something many of us were hoping never to hear: He has a dog.
Suspicions were raised after he unwittingly tweeted a photo of himself sitting at a table with his daughter where an open box of Milk Bone dog biscuits were spotted. He deleted the picture and posted another with the box miraculously cropped out and declined to comment when asked about it in an interview following the incident.
In a statement, he said,
I understand the strong emotions by some people about our familyís decision to care for a pet. As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals. I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of Godís creatures with kindness and respect. Our pet is well cared for and loved as a member of our family. This is an opportunity to break the cycle. To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change.
Vick announced his desire to get a dog last year, and now that the conditions of his probation, which prohibited him from getting one, are finished it looks like he’s gone and done just that.
Vick served 18 months in prison for bankrolling a dogfighting ring at Bad Newz Kennels in Virginia. Informants told investigators that Vick and others strangled poor-performing dogs by hanging them from trees, drowning them in buckets of water, shooting them and beating at least one to death by slamming it against the ground until it was dead. They used their dogs and pets as bait dogs and were reported to get an “adrenaline high when killing the dogs.”
Survivors showed signs of horrific physical and psychological abuse. One is unable to do anything but flatten in terror in hopes of being overlooked for whatever is coming beyond the kennel doors (video). Yet this man thinks he can teach anyone about treating animals with kindness.
After being released he worked with the HSUS and Wayne Pacelle stated that he believed Vick should one day be able to have a dog, but they’re not commenting on this one.
Second chances are wonderful. We’re all human and make mistakes, but we don’t all engage in repeated, intentional acts of horrific brutality against defenseless creatures for years on end and brazenly admit on planning to lawyer up, blatantly lie and buy our way out of it after getting caught. His acts were not mistakes, they were conscious choices and he has yet to take personal responsibility for them.
Second chances in this case should be reserved for the dogs who were fortunate enough to be saved from Vick’s house of horror.
Photo credit: ebwyse