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Should Michael Vick be Forgiven?

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Should Michael Vick be Forgiven?

By Lisa Spector, Juilliard Graduate, Canine Music Expert and co-founder of Through a Dogs Ear.

Michael Vick has been in the news a lot lately, and it hasn’t been for throwing touchdown passes.

From 2001 to 2007, Michael Vick had been operating a dog fighting operation in Virginia, out of his 4,600 square foot home (one of many he owned). He had been breeding, training, and fighting Pit Bulls, which also meant he was responsible for inhumanely killing dogs that didn’t win (often they were hung, electrocuted, or their heads were smashed with a shovel before being buried alive), forcing female dogs into rape stands for breeding, starving dogs, injecting them with drugs harmful to their health, all while being seen as a superstar athlete that teenagers and adults idolized.

He was stripped of all of his endorsements in 2007, when he was arrested for running a dog fighting operation. Nike dropped him like a hot potato. He served a year and a half in prison followed by two months sentenced to home confinement in his Virginia mansion. 47 dogs involved in dog fighting at this Bad Newz Kennels learned to trust again. Many took painstakingly slow steps to get there. But, the rehabilitation of these loving, forgiving dogs was astounding. Several of them even went on to become therapy dogs.

If dogs can learn to forgive, why can’t humans? Has Michael Vick done anything to earn our forgiveness? Does he need to? Is he really sorry for the horrendous acts he committed against so many sweet, innocent dogs? Well, he did serve time in prison. But, prison is not known for rehabilitating criminals. Nike seems to think that he served his time and he’s earned their endorsement again. Subway too, as they awarded him sportsman of the year recently. And his most lucrative endorsement yet may be a $1.55 million dollar deal with MusclePharm. According to the Washington Post, Joseph Lawanson, director of team development for MusclePharm, confirmed that Vick is under consideration. “We don’t have any problem considering him at all,” Lawanson said. “And for us to consider him, we’re confident that he has rehabilitated himself.”

Next: What has Michael Vick done to redeem himself?

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


+ add your own
4:26AM PDT on Sep 26, 2013

No way !

3:05AM PDT on Mar 10, 2013

I believe he should be forgiven for his sins by the grace of God, but should never be allowed to own a dog again! He should be put on a register of animal abusers. We all have things in our life we could blame our parents for if we wanted to, like he is doing to explain away his animal cruelty,but there comes a time in our lives when we learn and know right from wrong, then, only we are to blame for our sins and wrong doings,not our parents. He should grow up and take responsibility for his own actions. He knew what he was doing was wrong or he wouldn't have been hiding it. Nobody this cruel should ever own a dog!!!

3:44PM PST on Mar 9, 2013

Animals have a strong sense of knowing who is a phony. I feel sorry for the dog as he probably lives in fear when Mr. Vick is around. He is a convicted animal abuser and should never be allowed to own a pet of any kind. As the saying goes "A leopard cannot change its spots".

8:52AM PST on Mar 9, 2013


8:52AM PST on Mar 9, 2013


11:02PM PST on Nov 12, 2012

Thanks for posting.

5:29PM PST on Nov 11, 2012

Forgiven? Not in this lifetime. Don't really care what his upbringing entailed, there is no excuse for animal abuse. He has already been rewarded by getting his multi-million dollar job back. Only in America!

1:36PM PST on Nov 11, 2012

Michael Vick had an extremely rough childhood. At 8 years of age he would engage in dog fights. It's easy to call him a psychopath and rip him to shreds verbally, but really, he seems to have been rehabilitated, which is more than we can say for a lot cruelty cases and otherwise despicable behavior. He's in a no win situation when it comes to wanting to right his wrongs. He's taking steps now with a family dog to teach his children to love and respect dogs - something he never got. And for all you who want to judge him, that is up to God, who from what I hear is far more forgiving than we are.

And by the way, are all of you vegetarian? The brutality and carnage in factory farming would be a good place for you to focus your unforgivable anger, AND, this is where you personally can make compassionate change.

Whether you express forgiveness or not towards Michael Vick is irrelevant. Get on with making positive choices and changes of your own.

11:06AM PST on Nov 10, 2012

MMMM very sad, I wouldn't want this mans karma for the next few lifetimes, though great he's attempting to do good now.

3:11AM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

This sick poor excuse for a man should not be forgiven and should never have anything to do with animals EVER. Someone please remove this poor dog from him and his family. once an animal abuser always an animal abuser. Sick BASTARD,

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