September 22nd, 2010
12:47 PM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Jim Gorant

With Michael Vick starting for the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend, it appears the controversial quarterback’s NFL career has been rehabilitated. Another tale of rehabilitation appears in a book out this week about the 51 pit bulls recovered from Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels.

“The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Recovery and Redemption” is written by Sports Illustrated senior writer Jim Gorant. It chronicles the fate of the 49 remaining dogs. The professional athlete served nearly two years in prison on charges related to the dogfighting ring and mistreatment of the dogs.

Usually animals from illegal dogfighting operations are euthanized, according to Stephen Zawistowski, a psychologist and ASPCA animal behavior specialist who worked on the Vick case. In an interview this week with NPR, he said the $1 million Vick paid in restitution gave the ASPCA a unique opportunity to rehabilitate most of the dogs. In the end, only one was euthanized, while the rest were placed in dog sanctuaries or have been adopted.

Gorant argues that the Vick case may help rehabilitate the reputation of pit bulls as well. "As odd as it may seem, Michael Vick may be the best thing that ever happened to the pit bull,” he told NPR. “He gave the forum to discuss this and make it possible to get the message out there that these dogs are not what they've been made out to be in the headlines, that they really are just sort of dogs."

SI.com: What happened to Vick's dogs?

NPR: The road to recovery for Michael Vick's dogs

Bob Woodward

It’s not your imagination – the renowned Washington Post reporter and associate editor really does publish a book every couple of years containing some sort of bombshell about how a president has handled a crisis. What makes it intriguing is that Woodward does so with the cooperation of each administration he covers, whether the administration really wants him there or not.

Politico’s Mike Allen and John Harris wrote on Tuesday, “Early in President Barack Obama’s term, he and his aides faced a rite of passage familiar to every White House for the past 40 years: What to do about Woodward?”

Clearly the president gave Woodward his time — as did many administration officials. The first glimpse of details from “Obama’s War” made headlines Wednesday in The Washington Post.

When the book hits stores on September 27, readers will find out what an hour-long interview with the young commander in chief revealed about the current U.S. war strategies. The book will also feature standard Woodward elements: Eighteen months of reporting, classified memos, staff portraits, and the always-present inner-circle conflict.

Trying to get around Woodward is futile, Politico suggests. “At times during the reporting, according to administration officials and other sources familiar with the book, Woodward surprised top defense and intelligence officials by coming in for interviews armed with classified maps, in some cases labeled with code names for clandestine operations.”

Woodward has written 16 other books for publisher Simon & Schuster, starting with the legendary “All the President’s Men.”

CNN: Official defends Obama ahead of revelations in Woodward book

soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. Suzanne

    Vick Should of had to pay 20 million dollars to the ASPCA. And should have served 10 yrs in prision. There is a warm place in Hell for him.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dustin

      lol?

      September 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • CalmDown

      Relax. He didnt kill anyone. He served his time. Now he can move on with his life. I wish him the best.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rorogirl

      @Calmdown: You and Vick should both be euthanized.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • CalmDown

      Thanks RoroGirl. Shouldn't you be at your PETA meeting instead of commenting on CNN?

      September 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • flesruoy kcuf

      and you too...

      September 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      It is nice to see the people deserve redemption if people can make money or fantasy points off of them.

      He did kill, brutally, and ruined the lives of how many other creatures. The only thing he deserves is to return to the gutter from which he came.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • KLL

      CalmDown – you are very wrong. Animals are living, breathing beings, just like humans. Animals have a right to be on this planet even more than humans. Just think about it from the perspective of those of us that care about other beings, just try, please. It's not "just dogs." Animals don't make a choice to behave badly, only humans do. Vick knew exactly what he was doing, he has no remorse and will never be rehabilitated. That's his choice. The next time he lets you down as a football player will trouble you, I think. However, I think it should be that he's let many down by being inhumane and doing it with purposeful intent. Vick committed many crimes and he would continue to do so if he wasn't being watched so closely. I wouldn't be one bit surprised, yes, incensed, that he is involved in more of the same. Being a football player does not define one's character, humanity or anything that is truly important. One's character is what I look at in people. I'm not a sports fan, but, I'm glad people enjoy sports. As I stated in another comment, Vick agreed that he needed and wanted to be rehabilitated. He has done nothing that he agreed to do: PSA's for HSUS (who, by the way, wanted the dogs to be euthanized and they are wrong, so, wrong and I don't give them a cent), speaking to young people about how wrong dogfighting, abuse, etc., is. He never did that. So, to put his positon as QB above the rights of voiceless, defenseless victims is absurd. I also believe the same for children, the elderly, handicapped and ANYONE who is subject to abuse. Animal advocates also care about other beings.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • CalmDown

      @Karen. I dont care what he brutally did. He got me 27 fantasy points last week.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • SSS

      Shut up

      September 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jafst3

      You people need to get a life he did his time now leave him alone, are you this passionate when a person kills another human. Probably not.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      I wish people would stop the negative comments about Michael Vick. I wonder if you would feel the same way if he killed a child or an adult. It was a dog fighting ring and he served time which I don't think was fair. DOGS are not human and I wish people would stop putting more value on their lives than on human beings. Stop with all the negative comments and let it go! No one is saying anything about "Big Ben" and what he did so leave Michael Vick alone. Michael Vick.........I applaud you and love you!

      September 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      Vick shouldn't have to pay anything and he shouldn't have spent a day in jail. He got punished beause he did not identify the real big dog-fighting rings in Virginia.You people make me sick. Children are dying every day and you get all pushed out of shake because of some dam dogs. Why don't you put as much hatred into protecting children as you have for Vick Give me a break!!

      September 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      You are an idiot...too bad we can't put you in a ring.

      September 22, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnsonj3

      He has done his e what else do you want? get a life and leave this man alone.

      September 22, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      he should rot in hell

      September 26, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      how many people could do what he did and still make millions?

      September 26, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • cindy q

      i dont think vick should be rewarded for what he did to those dogs. i would like to do to him what he did to them. he can go on with his sorry life but the dogs are dead or the ones still alive will never be just normal dogs they suffered and i will never forgive vick or forget. he got caught or he would still be doing it. i hope the eagles go nowhere and kolb should want to be traded. wait til vick sucks then what eagles fans.

      September 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. M. Bryant

    Michael Vick didn't have anything to do with "getting the word out" on pitbulls. The dogs that survived their horrific life and found loving homes and sanctuaries speak for themselves.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cathy

    I think I would appreicate Vick more if he would do more then what was asked of him. Yes he did what they told him to do, but when you really do something this horriable, think out side the box and come up with some way of helping animals himself. And stay with it.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Duane W

    A lot of his dogs ended up here in Utah and are doing great. I am not a pitbull lover by any means but it was nice to see people turning these dogs lives around. Too bad Vick didn't pay more money to get these dogs a better life.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Angie

    I hope he rots in hell for what he did. He's not sorry for the way he treated those innocent dogs, he's only sorry he got caught.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joanne

      Angie...you nailed it! I have said the EXACT same words...he's only sorry he got caught!

      September 22, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      I have no big desire to see him 'rot in Hell', but I do agree that he's only sorry he got caught! Not that it's hurt him much in the long run...... back to making his millions. Want to bet he's back in some kind of trouble with the law within 5 years? jmho

      September 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • SillyPeople

      Everyone is always sorry they got caught. Cheating wives/husbands, thieves, etc. I would rather he did that to dogs than humans. So he served his jail time, now he should be able to do what he wants in life...and thats be a starting QB for the eagles.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kat

      'So he served his jail time, now he should be able to do what he wants in life...and thats be a starting QB for the eagles.'

      So since he is a sports player, his past deeds should be wiped clean? He is an embarrassment, as is the whole Eagles team and fan base.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • EagleFan

      Angie, I believe he is sincerely and genuinely sorry for what he did. He faced some big consequences for his transgressions, and has paid his debt to society. And, I'm glad we snapped him up when that was over!

      September 22, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • SillyPeople

      Woah Kat, Woah. That Eagle talk is fighting words. You must be a Giants fan.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse in WI

      Well I do believe ANYONE is capable of redemption. What he did was an atrocity yes. Did he "pay his debt?" He paid the debt he was assigned. I don't believe 2 years in jail is ANYWHERE near long enough. If any other Joe Schmoe got hit with the same charges, it would be 5-10 years EASILY. However, this is my personal opinion. And as for the Eagles vs the Giants dilemna...they both have no chance... GO PACK!

      September 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnsonj3

      Most people are sorry when they get caught. so you said this to say what?

      September 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Facundo

    Only a seriously sick and demented person would mistreat an animal.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC-VA

      I agree... but he might pay later in life... there is something about life that gets you sooner than later.... Some call it Karma...

      September 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • saboth

      If I were a football player in the NFL, I would make it my #1 priority in any game against the Eagles to try my best to end his career, be it a broken knee, whatever I could get.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Andy

    As a pit bull owner, it is fantastic to see how much good has finally been made out of this horrible, horrible situation. Here's hoping that Gorant is right about rehabilitating the reputation of pits, who are dogs just like any other- it is the bad owners/caretakers whose reputation should remain tarnished forever.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pippi L.

    I don't really like pitbulls and they hold no special place in my heart. Vick did his time, paid his debt to society. I wish you all would just let it go.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anna

      Since many of his victims are still paying for his crimes, they will not be 'letting it go'.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mizal

    I'm from a city where people dogfight so to us its a sport u let people go out and shoot deer and all kinds of animals so lets not continue to punish Mike Vick he paid his dues and should'nt to anything more punish these hunters goin out shooting deer I still got ur back Micheal Vick

    September 22, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      What a crock! Hunting an animal is not torturing an animal. Folks eat deer meat – do you eat dogs? I agree he has paid his debt to society according to the courts, but to continue to defend what he did is ludicrous.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dogs

      Hey Sheppard...it was only dogs. not humans. calm down.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      dogs – no one here needs to calm down... if you think my post sounded angry, that says something about you. I'll express any opinion I want... work for you?

      September 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dogs

      People eat dogs too Sheppard. Disgusting, but it happens. Try living outside your bubble.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • SheWoman

      Gee dogface – your bubble is between your ears.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • PureCandor

      ummm dogs are actually pretty tasty, fyi...

      September 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dogs

      Correction. Dogs are tasty according to PureCandor.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • TJ

      Hunting and dog fighting are two completely different things. First, there ARE laws for hunters that if they do not comply with can get in to a lot of trouble. There is a big difference between turning 2 animals on one another to harm or kill each other and shooting a deer. You might want to look up "hunting" before you post a comment like that.

      September 22, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deena

      ...and your unintelligible post confirms everything I believe about people who don't see what is wrong with dogfighting.

      September 22, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mark

    I can't help but find the timing of this article highly inappropriate and serving only as a distraction from Vick's upcoming start for the Eagles. It's been a long road for him and by bringing up the victims of his crimes now, we are only diminishing his achievements since being released from prison and his return to form as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. What he did was inexcusable, but the timing of this article could not be worse.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      So since he's this big football player his crime should be forgotten? Inappropriate? Don't make me laugh. If you can't do the time don't do the crime.... what he did isn't magically erased because he's such a great NFL quarterback. Too bad we can't ask the dogs he tortured about 'timing'...

      September 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • FinallySomeSanity

      You are the smartest commenter on here Mark. Kudos.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I disagree, the timing of this story makes my heart sing as does the positive press surrounding the rescue/rehab of these dogs. Vick should always be reminded of the horrible abuse and torture he inflicted on the dogs, day after day, until some day he actually feels remorse. I only wish everyone involved in dog fighting/animal abuse could be caught and "punished"... and although I agree that we must forgive (as the pit bulls are trying to teach us), I hope people never forget what that man did to these dogs. Jonny Justice, Uba, Hector, etc.... ROCK ON PIBBLES!! Kudos to Bad Rap and all the people involved in all pit bull rescues. I love that these fight-bust dogs are finally being given a second chance at life. RIP to all the dogs that were tortured and/or killed.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • KLL

      Dear Mark – you are wrong....the timing of Vick's QB issue came AFTER the book was publicized. The preview of this book came much earlier than the stupid announcement of yesterday. For any of you, including "Calm Down," think that Vick's football is more important than living, breathing, voiceless victims, well, then I can say with great confidence that you are also inhumane with less of a soul than you should have. Vick can go to hell and stay there and fight just like he made these innocent victims be subjected to. Vick was also supposed to do some PSA's for HSUS and that never happened! We heard over and over and over again that Vick was going to speak to young people and do PSA's and while I saw a "preview" of a PSA, one time, that was it. Vick is NOT rehabilitated, will never be rehabilitated and does not want to be rehabilitated. So in lies Karma and one day VIck will face what he's done with whatever consequences are awaiting him.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hannah

      Diminishing his achievements? Honestly, who cares???

      He is making money off his notoriety, and his victims are not going to be silenced because some want to sweep it under the rug.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • lorne

      whether or not he has returned to form in the NFL is so irrelevant . what is far more important is whether or not he understands that training dogs to attack each other for his enjoyment is simply cruel and immoral. then when a dog was badly injured he just drowned, electrocuted(!), or shot the dogs.
      He has a huge whole hole in the middle of his conscience, if he has one.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Sheppard...why are you so angry...Jealousy???? Dude, what he did was wrong...had paid his dept, even the dogs would forgive him now...HOW ABOUT YOU? It is only the Christian thing to do...but of course your not a christian, based on your judgement and hatered of another person.

      September 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      The only anger I see is coming from you Larry – I never get angry on a forum... if that is what you see you need to stop projecting. I don't 'hate' anyone – if you see that in my post – again stop projecting. As for you saying I am not a Christian – only a non-Christian would be so judgmental as to call another person (particularly someone you have never met) a non-Christian. Sorry dude – that's on you also.

      September 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Suze

    The day Vick is hung upside down and beaten to death is the day he will be rehabilitated.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • People are Strange

      Wow Suze, you sound just as civilized as Vick. Grow up.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      Wow! Little over the top there, "sweetie"! Do you eat with that mouth?

      September 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • jackybb94

      Sounds like Mr. Vick must have had you and dumped you early in his career. Move on

      September 22, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • flesruoy kcuf

      Thats ignorant...

      September 22, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jen

    The difference between hunting and dog fighting is that dog fighting involves using the pain and suffering of another animal as a means of entertainment and financial gain. Hunting, simply for sport or for the trophy(as in not for the meat), is distasteful to me, but those animals suffering is short lived. Whether you like Vick or not, or whether you believed he paid his debt or not, it still remains that he received some sort of sick enjoyment and made money out of another living animal's suffering. I'll say it again, he ENJOYED it.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • achit

      how is that different from Boxing, Ultimate Fighting or what ever martial sport you like?
      If you love dogs let them be. Don;t breed them to suit your pleasure.
      It is cruel to breed dogs so selctively that they have genetic disorders!!
      It is cruel to keep dogs (pets) for your own selfish reason.

      September 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GottaSeeIToBelieveIt

    C'mon guys they are just dogs, not people...the guys who said 10 yrs. in prison and $20 mil, get real. There are some people that kill people and don't get that much time, are you sayin dogs are worth more prison time than people are? Listen what he did was wrong, but he paid his debt to society, so leave the guy alone. I really wonder sometimes what kind of dent we could put in child poverty, hunger and abuse with the effort and financial resources that goes into protecting animals...where is the reasoning at? Childern or dogs? People or animals? abused kids or abused horses? Why don't we try and spend our time and money where it counts?

    September 22, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      You are talking apples & oranges. No one here (but you) has compared children to dogs.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Protecting animals is just like protecting children. Neither have a voice and are forced to deal with the consequences of their caretakers actions. Don't compare the two because there is a serious discrepancy between the amount of money that goes into shelters and animal protection than the amount spent on abused children. How many foster homes do you know that have to euthanize children up to the rate of 20 a month because a lack of room and resources? Apples and oranges, two different situations.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • GottaSeeIToBelieveIt

      I'm not comparing them, I'm simply saying the punishment he served fits the crime he commited, and we as Americans concentrate too much on protecting animals when instead we can be helping other human beings...So basically I'm saying stop wasting time on this and other small issues and concentrate on the things that matter much much more.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • SheWoman

      so gottaseeit – a lot of folks don't consider torturing animals and all its ramifications 'small', but to each his. If you think we need to move on, what are you doing wasting your time on this forum? Now tell us what you do about those 'things' that are much much more important?

      September 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • GottaSeeIToBelieveIt

      I'm a state child social worker in California, does that answer your question "SheWoman"? I like to read interesting articles just like the next person, this is an interesting article that I just so happened to read while on my lawful break. Listen most of you say that I'm comparing apples to oranges...I believe that's a way for most of you who don't like what I said to cope with your idiotic devotion to animals and their protection as opposed to helping HUMAN beings. Again devote your time, thoughts and financial resources to help people first, that's all. Don't hate me, I'm just stating the obvious.

      September 22, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. keith

    its people like Vick and others who do nothing but breed these dogs for fighting that give the breed a bad rep. Pit Bulls are NOT the vicious dogs that people make them out to be. ANY dog....again I say ANY DOG can be vicious if their owner treats them like crap rather than treating them with love and affection. I've seen poodles go and tear into another dog no differently than people have seen a pit bull do it....so to single out a pit bull based on those negative stories that media runs is unfair to the dog. You never see the stories about the poodles, labs and other breeds that attack people, you just see the stories about them being loving and so on towards humans. My girlfriend has a pit and while it was leary of me initially (its protective of his momma and her son) it just sat there licking my face to show me affection. Too many times we blame the breed where the is absolutely no scientific fact that pit bulls are genetically a vicious dog.....society needs to begin throwing blame on the owner of the dog and those who care for the dogs that are bred for fighting.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Debbie

    I am not a fan of hunting but I see a very clear difference between hunting deer for food, or culling a herd, and the deliberate torture and killing of a pit bull. I despise the sub-humane individuals who abuse, torture and kill dogs for the incredibly sick blood sport of dog fighting. I would love to see the laws changed so that every dime a convicted dog fighter earns be taken from them and used for the exposure, prosecution and conviction of other dog fighters, including those who have any involvement in it – betting, observing and participating. Let the criminals fund the movement to end dog fighting once and for all.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
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