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Archive for Thursday, December 23, 2010

Should Michael Vick ever own a dog?

December 23, 2010

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— My dog is dumb as a stick, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a bad person. He’s just gifted in other areas — such as chewing himself raw or hurling himself across the dinner table in pursuit of scraps. Trust me, the guy would Fosbury Flop across the Panama Canal to acquire the dead end of a stale french fry.

I love him still, in that way you love things that need you a little more than you need them — bosses, hamsters, street mimes.

Michael Vick, former resident of the federal penal system and now a contributing member of the Philadelphia Eagles, one of those win-at-all-costs football organizations that Nietzsche could have coached, knows the value of a dog as well.

Vick wants one in his stocking come Christmas. Not this Christmas, for the courts won’t let that happen. But when those pesky probation terms end ... yeah, he wants a dog again.

“I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process,” he said.

Thing is, a lot of people don’t really care about Vick, for he can take care of himself. No, what people are concerned about is this poor potential dog.

It’s easy to see why Vick would like a pet. A dog offers unconditional love in a very conditional world. A dog waits up nights for you, shares his bed, let’s you sit under him on the couch.

So it seems obvious why Vick would want a puppy, for the same reason we all want puppies. For our kids, for our cold and clammy hearts.

Things got messy this week, not on the field, where Vick can hurdle messes quite deftly (see Giants-Eagles highlights).

This mess is off the field, when Vick said he’d like to have a dog, then the head of the Humane Society of the U.S. seemed to say he wouldn’t mind that happening — a thunder statement that shook the pet world, though the Humane Society director now says he was misquoted.

In protest, an outfit called HumaneWatch.org took out an ad in The New York Times on Sunday. They say a $50,000 check from the Eagles this year essentially bought off the Humane Society honcho.

Basically, the question still comes down to this: “Should Michael Vick ever have a dog?”

He will, probably, no matter what we think. The courts have banned him from owning a dog through May 2012, but after that he is free to do what he likes. When that happens, the little pup will be like royalty born, his every move scrutinized.

In defense of Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle, who has been painted as a scoundrel but is nothing like that at all, Vick can do a lot to help dogs. Currently, Vick turns out twice a month with Pacelle to campaign against street fighting.

It is this growing phenomenon of street fighting that leaves the Humane Society feeling the most powerless. And it is in street fighting where Pacelle sensed some teachable moments.

“At the end of his prison term, (Vick) wanted to talk,” Pacelle says by phone from Washington. “I was skeptical, but I thought his story would be a great cautionary tale.

“I’m not promoting him having a dog. ... We’re definitely not advocating that he have a dog.”

Turns out this issue is not as cut and dried as you’d hope. There is nuance and gray areas, which always require more thought than we’d like to muster.

But still, the question will linger for the next 17 months: Should Michael Vick ever have a dog?

You shouldn’t pay for a dog with mere money. You should pay for him out of the kindness of your soul.

Comments

lmharr3 3 years, 4 months ago

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=munson_lester&id=2993310

He admitted that in April, shortly before the first raid on his compound, he "agreed to the killing of approximately 6-8 dogs that did not perform well in 'testing' sessions." He acknowledged in his plea agreement that these dogs were killed by drowning and hanging and other methods, and that they died "as a result of the collective efforts" of Vick and two others.

This man should never have a dog. Ever. While I appreciate his efforts with the Humane Society, it will never change my opinion on this. He tortured dogs - he doesn't deserve another one.

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deec 3 years, 4 months ago

Would you care to share your source that Vick was merely the hapless property owner who was duped by his friends?

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DGL 3 years, 4 months ago

You all might want to get your facts straight first. Michael Vick owned the property where the dog fighting was going on--he neither participated, condoned, or knew what happened there. He is very humble and has been nothing but apologetic for events in which he neither knew about nor participated in. As for the others who use this story as a jumping-off point for other political agendas: I just feel bad for you--your agenda is so weak, it needs a link from some other sensationalized story. Sad.

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deec 3 years, 4 months ago

Those of you who are rightly concerned about the abuse of dogs might want to research the inhumane treatment of food animals as well.

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rockchalk1977 3 years, 4 months ago

That's like asking if Obama should own a credit card. America's credit card?

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Kris_H 3 years, 4 months ago

He should be somebody's dog, and not in a good way.

Let him finish his probation first. He's still paying for what he did, as it should be.

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meggers 3 years, 4 months ago

The fact that Vick has the audacity to even inquire about getting a dog after what he's done shows that he's an unapologetic narcissist who believes he's entitled to anything his heart desires. I think the last line of the article sums it up nicely: "You shouldn’t pay for a dog with mere money. You should pay for him out of the kindness of your soul."

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Haiku 3 years, 4 months ago

I used to think that there are no stupid questions. Way to prove me wrong.

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Pitt_Mackeson 3 years, 4 months ago

rando, when humans do it it's for sport and goes til first K.O. Animals fight to the death.

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Randall Barnes 3 years, 4 months ago

come on. humans box roosters and dogs what is the difference ? it is ok for 2 humans to do the same thing in a square ring so why shouldn't animals be able to ? no it is the same principle.

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Liberty275 3 years, 4 months ago

He has done his time and paid his debt for his despicable crimes. America doesn't need more scarlet letters. He should be able to own anything any other felon can own.

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beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Vick can throw a football really well, so of course he should get what he wants!

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Deb Engstrom 3 years, 4 months ago

Once his probation is over there will be no oversight, so the point is moot. Then he can own as many dogs as he wants.

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Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

He should be able to own as many dogs as he wants.

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Paula Kissinger 3 years, 4 months ago

Hmmm....what I meant to say above was that the court should have ruled that he never be allowed to own another animal but I don't think I said that. See how upset he makes me...

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Paula Kissinger 3 years, 4 months ago

Fact : Michael Vick PERSONALLY was involved in the hanging, drowning, beating and oversaw the shooting of dogs that did not perform to HIS satisfaction. Read it for yourself :

http://assets.espn.go.com/media/pdf/070717/vick_indictment.pdf

I am shocked that a stipulation in his sentence was that he NEVER own another animal. Felons convicted of certain crimes are prohibited from certain things like owning handguns, etc. This jackass has not one ounce of compassion, sat his disgusting self in a bed and breakfast penal facility for way too short a sentence, shows no remorse for his atrocities, and wants everyone to give him another chance. I wouldn't allow him to clean out a dog's kennel. He needs to just be glad that someone gave him a second chance at playing football and leave the animals to the rest of us who know what we are doing and actually have good intentions. The sight of him sickens me. Read "The Lost Dogs" which is a FACTUAL account of his dog-fighting operation and if you still can have some sympathy for him after that then run, don't walk, to get some mental health assistance.

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Amy Heeter 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't think he should be allowed to get a dog.

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imastinker 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't think our legal system was meant to be used like this. Even molesters are allowed to return to a normal life after their probation is up. I don't have any sympathy for Vick, but if they can do this for dog fighting, what else can carry a lifetime penalty?

And - NO - Michael Vick shouldn't own a dog. But he should be allowed to.

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grammaddy 3 years, 4 months ago

Would you let a convicted molester work with kids?

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