I know this happened back in 2007, but I believe it's relevant to today given Michael Vick's wishes to get a dog, and the position taken by the Humane Society of the United States.
The HSUS auctioned notes from Vick's first big press conference.
This is from AP story from September 6, 2007:
Bids topped $10,000 Thursday on an Internet
auction site for what an animal rights group says are notes from
football star Michael Vick's speech apologizing for a dogfighting
The Humane Society of the United States is
selling on eBay the single-page, six-point outline of the speech Vick
gave at an Aug. 27 news conference in Richmond after pleading guilty in
his dogfighting case.
."Our motive is only to help animals and it would
be something if we can do that through taking the conduct of Michael
Vick and turning it into something positive," said Wayne Pacelle,
president of the Humane Society of the United States.
Today Mr. Pacelle says, "I don't believe he should be forever banned from adopting a dog for his two daughters." I concede I am taking Pacelle out of context, so check out Pacelle's Humane Nation blog post and read it all in his words, so no one can question my interpretation.
In Pacelle's defense, he says the money raised in the auction in 2007, and other dollars directly raised related to Vick does go to programs to help combat dogfighting. Who would argue that? Vick did say at that press conference in '07, "Dog fighting is a terrible thing and I do reject it." And on TV recently Vick suggested getting a family dog would help in his rehabilitation, and that his daughter is asking for a dog.
In his blog Pacelle points outs that Vick has been undergoing weekly psychological counseling for the last
18 months. He's also been speaking out against dogfighting, and in his
public appearances alone he's reaching thousands of young people with a
cautionary tale about dogfighting and animal cruelty. And the young people Vick speaks to do, after all, idolize him (rightly or not). I can talk about issues related to dog fighting, but I obviously would not have any impact, or Pacelle wouldn't compared to Vick.
Then, why doesn't Vick deserve to own a dog?
Well, as many comments on a previous blog post I
wrote on Vick noted, and in private emails and comments to my
Facebook Fan page, a pedophile wouldn't be allowed to go anywhere near
children. Is this a fair comparison?
Many judges must think so since frequently dog fighters who are convicted - but don't happen to be star QB's - are never allowed to again have a dog (a position I understood the HSUS to once endorsed, perhaps I am mistaken).
Moreover, is it relevant that Vick only
"confessed," when he had no choice? For a long time, he denied.
What about what poster Caveat Emptor said on a previous blog post I authored on Vick with this comment? "I don't
agree with HSUS using Vick as a spokesperson for anti-dogfighting. It's
like the ACLU hiring an ex-Gestapo Nazi officer to go around and speak
about tolerance, it's just wrong."
are some additional facts - just for your consideration - Vick did not
receive the maximum time. But he could have gotten less time. What he personally
did or didn't do to animals remains in question to this day. He denies some concerning personal 'hands-on' involvement, and says others did much of the real dogfighting so so called training, which is horrific.
Also in question, the exposure of children
(he denies his own children were exposed, he may be telling the truth,
but he hasn't always been honest), and what about the children of others
who participated in dogfighting at Bad Newz Kennels? This remains unknown. In my view, as
reprehensible, cruel and barbaric as dogfighting is - there may be one
thing worse, and that is involving children.
Also, it was the court's
idea to do "community service," according to all accounts, and not
Vick's. And those community service appearances are carefully
orchestrated; after all he is a star quarterback. Call me cynical,
but while I'm sure Vick's daughter may want a dog, getting a dog would
prove to potential sponsors (with big dollars for Vick - and maybe big
dollars for certain non-profits Vick may give money to) that Vick is a new man.
As usual, tell me what you think.
Tags: animal abuse, animal cruelty, Bad Newz Kennel, dog abuse, dog adoption, dogfighting, Gestapo, HSUS, Humane Nation, Humane Society of the United States, Michael Vick, pedophile, Steve Dale archives, Vick adopting a dog, Wayne Pacelle