Friday, July 20, 2007

Thoughts on the Michael Vick Case

Today, while out driving, I was listening to a sports talk show discussing the Michael Vick case. Vick, a quarterback for the Falcons was recently indicted, along with three others, for actions involving cruelty to animals and other crimes relating to staging dogfights.

The 18 page indictment summarizes the charges thusly: "In or about April of 2007, Peace, Phillips and Vick executed approximately eight dogs that did not perform well in 'testing' sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road by various methods, including hanging, drowning and slamming at least one dog's body to the ground." One female dog, after losing a fight was executed by being wetted down with water and then electrocuted.

Those who promote dog fights test pups to see if they'll make good fighting dogs. The dogs are put in an enclosed area to see how they react. Then, they incite the dogs, attempting to anger them. If a dog acts aggressively toward another dog, they are then used for fighting in the future. But if a dog is timid, it is useless. Some fighters give away pups unsuitable for fighting. Others simply kill the peaceful dogs.

"If you want to kill a dog, why exert the energy to slam him into the ground or drown him? Why not just shoot him, which is the most common method?" said John Goodwin, dogfighting expert for the Humane Society of the United States. "That is insane. These guys, if they did that, have serious problems."

Amazingly enough, one guy on the radio show was trying to rationalize these heinous actions. He attempted to excuse the killings by speculating that such dogs might have been too badly injured after a fight and that they simply "felt sorry" for the dogs and were simply putting them out of their misery.

Give me a fucking break! If they "felt sorry" for the dogs and cared about them not suffering, then they'd not be engaging in dog fighting in the first place! Secondly, as John Goodwin mentioned above, you don't humanely put a suffering dog down by torturing it to death.

There is nothing that can excuse the behavior of the ones who tortured these helpless animals. If Vick and his cohorts are found guilty, they need to be thrown into prison to rot for a very long time -- it's just too bad that the penalty for these sickos won't be anything close to what it would be if they'd done this to human beings.

The dogfighting charges carry a possible sentence of only one year in prison, a $100,000 fine or both. I would hope that the NFL will also put a lifetime ban on him and that he will never again be allowed to play professional football.

As far as I'm concerned, that's not enough, but it's the best we can expect.


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