Opinion: Owning a dog would not aid Vick's rehabilitation
December 15th, 2010
03:37 PM ET

Opinion: Owning a dog would not aid Vick's rehabilitation

Let me begin with a disclaimer: I am a Dallas Cowboys fan and an opponent of drowning and electrocuting dogs, so I have two reasons to be skeptical of Michael Vick, especially after he shredded the ’Boys’ secondary Sunday.

So when I read this morning that the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback (seen above leaving a Virginia courthouse after his 2008 guilty plea) would one day like to own a dog again – well, I was more than a little gobsmacked.

Surely, I thought, he was making a passing quip. Of all the hell that rained down on him after his conviction – the prison sentence, the NFL suspension, the checkbook full of fines and retribution – the lifetime ban on owning a canine was the only provision that seemed a strong enough rebuke for his crimes.

Alas, it was no quip. Not only was Vick serious when he made the remark to thegrio.com, but he went into detail on how owning a dog could help him in his rehabilitation.

“I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process. I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love, and my passion for animals,” he said.

Um, what? Love? Passion? Really?

I am all for redemption stories. I am doubly for second chances. I am as impressed as anyone with how the reportedly lackadaisical run-first Atlanta Falcons quarterback transformed into a potent and well-rounded gunslinger for the City of Brotherly Love.

I also admire that he is voluntarily speaking to children on behalf of the Humane Society to warn kids that dogfighting isn’t cool.

But I’m not buying love and passion.

When asked by a child in the audience at a Newark, New Jersey, school why he took part in such an abominable pastime, he said he didn’t know, according to NBC New York.

But when thegrio.com asked him how a purported animal lover could commit the crimes of which he was convicted, he blamed his upbringing and said no one ever told him it was wrong.

“I hate to use our culture as an excuse,” he began before doing exactly that, “but it is what it is, and that’s what happened, and that’s the way I thought about it growing up. ... I love animals. I love dogs. I love birds. I love all types of animals, but this was just the way we was brought up.”

Are we to believe that as he blossomed into one of the most dazzling quarterbacks to ever chuck a pigskin, no friends, no family members, no neighbors, no teachers, no one at Homer L. Ferguson or Warwick high schools, no one at Virginia Tech or in the Atlanta Falcons clubhouse ever told him that training dogs to fight to the death – and slaying them if they faltered – was a no-no?

I know the Humane Society and many Pro Bowl voters might disagree with me, but I’m not moved by the culture victim argument. Nor am I swayed by his claim that his young daughters miss having dogs.

“That’s the hardest thing: telling them that we can’t have one because of my actions,” he said.

With all due respect to the puppy-cuddling aspirations of young London and Jada, how about a nice guinea pig?

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Filed under: Animals • Dogs • Michael Vick • Pennsylvania • Pro football
soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. Bost Productions

    Are you sure that this dog (found at WalMarts) couldn't turn Vick around? http://bit.ly/h4ZJ6L

    December 17, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gloria

    This message is to Suzanne and Michael Vick: MICHAEL VICK–DEAD MAN WALKING–BEWARE ONE OF US WILL DISPOSE OF YOU IN OUR OWN TIME AND WAY. Human being assume we are more important than animals. Do a littler research–we are ALL earthlings inhabiting this planet–if there is a GOD–no one and I mean no one has spoke with him yet–human superiority is a myth promulagated by humans and for humans. Don't assume that some fictional Diety is on your side! Common sense should tell you that there is one great equalizer on earth–PAIN– IT IS NOT A QUESTION OF EQUALITY–THE QUESTION IS CAN THEY SUFFER–MICHAEL VICK YOU ARE JUST A DEAD MAN WALKING!

    December 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. beckie

    suzanne, Why are you so dead set on defending his "honor". I've never heard him or seen him take full responsibility for what he did. No–dogs are not children –does that give him the right to torture and kill them because they are not children? Read the literature- the common denominator in anti-social personalities is animal abuse. The reason why michael vick has not taken responsibility is because he is anti-social– people like that are not capable of feeling remorse or to be able to be sympathetic for anyone or anything- they simply do not have in them what makes people human– the ability to feel. You really only have to look at his eyes -it is all there- they are cold, hard -devoid of emotion– It is really quite scary. He can be the best football player that he can possibly be and give thousands to charities–it still won't take away the fact that he lacks what makes people human.

    December 19, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Molly

    Suzanne, Do you know how stupid you sound? My dogs ARE my children and I would defend them just as hard as people (well, most people) would their two legged children. Vick should still be in prison and should NEVER own another animal of any kind. Yes, it is scary that he has children!

    December 27, 2010 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
    • patty

      so true..i don't know what suzanne thinking with..starting to think she might be on vick's payroll..

      December 27, 2010 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. gasface

    ...like any one, animals are, in some measure, a comfort for a few. it does, at times, appear many love dogs/cats/wild life and keep such animal types as possesion. For me, a dog owner should not only clean up his/her dog's poop, but also, not allow their animal to urinate on another's property. As for Mr.Vick, the weight of the world resys on his shoulders because of this [dog thing]. Are we left to imagine he and only he was the main entire animal fight coordinator, on the planet. I was watching a western the other day starring one of the Bridges boys. He played "Wild Bill' something. The opening scene had the actor seated in a chair with his back to a dog that had a liquior glass placed on it's snout. Wild Bill, looking into a mirror, fired over his shoulder while looking into the mirror at the dog. He shot the glass off of the dog. The people, other actors, complained to Wikld Bill that he almost kill their best fighting dog. Naturally, there were know other such on-goings in the old wild west. Naturally, know Europeons or Asisians would dare bring such an action over the Atlantic, and crossing into the old west. No, naturally not. I remembered ol'e Chicken George and his exploits and how he saved money from his winnings in order to but his wife and son. Hey, didn't he tell the Rifleman he'd have killied him and would if ever"...he bothered me or mine again!" All this over a bunch of fowl. I believe with all my heart that the person who developed the Bull Dog through DNA alteration, deserves to be HUNG by his toes. Hang is the legal term. Many surviving whites remember them ol'e days when black were strung up and HUNG. Some are still alive today. What became of all those NAZI's in hiding. Didn't we recently learn how the United State went about supplying those criminal with new ID's. Anther true act of fiction stars Kelly Magginnis, The House On Hester St. That was about how the FBI or CIA or some government agency helped NAZI's enter the U>S> Fiction Huh, Not really, if recent reports are true. And you people want to hound (opps) Mr. Vick. Listen dog lovers, don't permit you dog to poop on my lawn. And don't let [it] urinate on my lawn either. Go Eagles

    January 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. shelley

    the way i look at u have no right to own a animal u sould have been treated like u treated thoses dogs ur a sick person and deserve what u got puke

    January 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MArtha

    Allowing Michael Vick to own a puppy is like letting Adolf Hitler adopt a Jewish orphan.

    May 23, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
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