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. katie

    No dogs for Michael Vick, not ever!

    December 16, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. Vick's new pet hamster


    December 16, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    Part of his sentence is that he is barred from owning a canine for life. Period. Therefore, any attempt to own a dog is in direct violation of that sentence. Period. His excuses for what he did does not change the sentence. He is not to own a dog, ever. PERIOD!!

    December 16, 2010 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. txgal

    When serial killers are handed weapons, when child molesters can adopt babies, when hell freezes over, vick – that's when you'll legally get your hands on another innocent animal. YOU STILL DON'T GET IT – YOU WERE NOT THE VICTIM! I do agree that your cultural upbringing probably encouraged the torture of animals, and I hope (but doubt) that you have gained some small empathy for other living things. But entrust an animal to you? No way. EVER.

    December 16, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. Pat Fitzgerald

    He's a DOG-KILLER plan and simple. He and his buddy Phillips held one of his dogs by her feet, up over their heads, and repeatedly slammed her to the ground until her body gave way and she died, a horrible death. This because she WOULD NOT FIGHT. He does not deserve the unconditional love of a dog, he deserves to burn in h*ll's fires for all eternity.

    December 16, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  6. carol

    why in the world would he ever ever want a dog. he mistreated them one time why wouldnt he do it again. I know it says forgive but this is crazy. I didnt like vick with atlanta and i dont like him with philly and talking with school kids about dogfighting is a joke

    December 16, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      no pets of any kind for him. imagine how many cats and other animals died at his hands during dog "training" sessions!there is only one reason that he wants a dog. it is for his daughters, who have been asking for one and he is not manly enough to tell them the truth about what he did. he wants to be rehabilitated in the eyes of others, especially his kids. he wouldn't be the caregiver for any pets in his house. he is a multimillionare; others will be in charge of the animals. let's remember, he killed animals with his own hands and feet in the most sadistic ways possible. did he cry while doing it? or were there jokes flying and laughter when the "Vicktims" cried out for mercy. this is a narcissistic man and that will never change

      December 16, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. LOSER!!!

    So, I guess this POS lived in a box, coming out only to eat, go to school and talk only to his family, no television, no media, no outside influences, friendless, lived in a box in college, because of that he thought beating and killing animals was perfectly acceptable...oh, and lying to the police was acceptable....and on the stand, in front a a judge, with a jury, to your boss,....you get a FREE PASS...but now that he knows it's NOT okay (FINALLY!!!!) he wants to play with them? I woudn't give up your day job, LOSER – because you SUCK at playing the victim.

    December 16, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |

    IF you truly support this mans plea to own a dog....... You really are a person of low morel/ethical values.....I pity you and those around you.

    He should be banned from participating in all sports. All the youth have learned to date is.......if you can play ball well....your able to get away with almost anything....even the act of murdering and torturing animals. So quickly and easily, does todays sporting society trade away its morals and ethics ....for a game.

    December 16, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. CarlaR

    Another Dog? Michael Vick? How would he kill this one?

    December 16, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. Disgusted

    Let him have a dog, and I hope that dog turns on him and gives him a taste of his own medicine. How pathetic to use his culture as an excuse for dog fighting! Guess he is just another dumb athlete. He is a worthless human being.

    December 16, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • The Wolf

      Yea, give him a dog, a large rabid one.

      December 16, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ken

    First off he should give a good percentage of his forthcoming NFL contract to animal shelters to show his really means what he says. Then give the man a dog, not a whole pit bull kennel, just one family dog he keeps in the house, not a stall in the back yard.

    December 16, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Actually he has been donating a lot of money and time to help teach people about why he screwed up, and say why he wont do it again. Let it go. I am a happy loving owner of a dog, and its still just a dog. Its my dog, but still just a dog. There are plenty of dogs to go around.

      December 16, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Nick- I assumed he was giving something, but he should make it a big public thing to get people off his back. I am not a dog person, but it is his public image (a little too fresh a wound for some) that sill follows him. He did his time and should be given another chance. Just stay away form the pit bulls- a nice golden retriever should do the trick.

      December 16, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Guest

    You Dog obsessed people are a joke, you have nothing to say about folks shooting (alas hunting season is here), beating to death (Mrs. Palin sure knows how to club the hell out of Halibut), trapping (gots to have those fur and leather coats) or eating (Man!! that Ribeye was on point last night!!) other animals but want to cut down Vick,

    Please if you want to be even handed, stop all hunting, fishing, clubing and spearing of ALL animals and quit making Dogs sacrosanct. Vick paid his dues, is rehabilitating himself and making inroads, I forgot this America, not the land of a 2nd Chance.... Once your down stay there, its makes the idiots on this post feel better about themselves...

    December 16, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • The Wolf

      Last time I checked, folks in the West don't eat dogs. If you kill something for meat it is not the same as torturing and killing a dog for underperforming in a fight. If we were going to follow that logic, we should have Vick put down the next time he throws a couple of interceptions.

      December 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. WVlady63

    What? Did he run out of clay pigeons to shoot? He wants another dog???? Give me a break! I'll wager he still has friends who are killing animals. He should NEVER be allowed to own another dog.

    December 16, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  14. Nick

    The same people here who argue against dog fighting (and I mean Vick owning a dog) argue for the free choice of abortion. So which is it, life or death? Stupid hippies....

    December 16, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • The Wolf

      NIck, you have some growing up to do. Abortion is about a woman's right to her own body. Someday, if you ever get close to a woman, you might learn that they don't like having their reproductive rights equated with murder.

      December 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. For Real

    For the most part, the media has stopped talking about Vick's crimes.. and the conversation started again after Vick decided to tell the world he wants to get a dog.

    I'm just wondering if his season was not going so well that people would still be defending him?

    IMHO, he's having a good season, votes for the pro bowl, most of the city of Philly loves him- he thinks because he's playing well people are starting to forgive, so he drops the "I want to get another dog" in an interview thinking it will be glossed over cause people love him again right? Instead he re-opened the giant can of worms.

    I don't think he's changed, other than the fact that he realized he's not invincible and immune to the law. But it's not up to me to judge him. I can have an opinion on him- but that's it.

    December 16, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
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