Michael Vicks Wants A Dog?
"On August 24, 2007, Vick filed plea documents with the federal court. He pleaded guilty to "Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an animal Fighting Venture". He admitted to providing most of the financing for the operation and to participating directly in several dog fights in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina. He admitted to sharing in the proceeds from these dog fights. He further admitted that he knew his colleagues killed several dogs who did not perform well. He admitted to being involved in the destruction of 6–8 dogs, by hanging or drowning. The "victimization and killing of pit bulls" was considered as aggravating circumstances that led prosecutors to exceed the federal sentencing guidelines for the charge. He denied placing any side bets on the dogfights."
"On December 10, Vick appeared in U.S. District Court in Richmond for sentencing. Judge Hudson said he was "convinced that it was not a momentary lack of judgment" on Vick's part, and that Vick was a "full partner" in the dog fighting ring, and he was sentenced to serve 23 months in federal prison. Hudson noted that, despite Vick's claims that he accepted responsibility for his actions, his failure to cooperate fully with federal officials, coupled with a failed drug test and a failed polygraph, showed that Vick had not accepted full responsibility for "promoting, funding and facilitating this cruel and inhumane sporting activity". Vick was assigned to United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth, a federal prison facility in Leavenworth, Kansas to serve his sentence."
"Vick - who was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison last Dec.10 for his role in bankrolling a dogfighting operation called "Bad Newz Kennels" on his Surry County (Va.) property and for killing some of the underperforming dogs - placed family pet dogs in the fighting ring as trained pit bulls and "caused major injuries" to the pets, according to a 17-page Department of Agriculture report released Friday. (November 21st, 2008 - New York Daily News)"
"He was released on probation in July 2009 after serving 19 months in custody. Part of Vick’s probation terms are that he not associate with his co-defendants or anyone convicted of a felony unless granted permission by his probation officer. In addition, Vick is prohibited from committing any crime, possessing a firearm, and possessing or consuming alcohol or drugs. Vick is also not allowed "to own, possess or be involved with the sale of any dog."
What part of his terms of release does he or the American Public not understand? These are not negotiable terms. Anyone convicted of canine abuse, whether it be hoarding, cruelty, abuse, or neglect, is given the exact same sentence- no ability to own, possess or be involved with the sale of any dog. Period. It's the exact same terms for anyone. Why is it that a Quarterback should be given an exemption to what every other felon endures as a result of their bad prior acts?
Owning a dog is a privilege, not a right. Like a drunk driver losing their license on the three strikes policy, it is part of the consequences of your decisions and actions (driving also being a privilege, not a right). Michael Vick chose to do what he did. He considered it a sport. He knew what he was doing was illegal, and he personally killed dogs that did not live up to his kennel's standards.
I spit in disgust when I use the term "kennel" to describe the conditions of what went on behind his house. It's a disgrace to any and all who take good care of their dogs and treat them with the respect that they deserve.
Charlie Sheen was recently quoted as saying that the way he keeps his life together now is by "keeping the plug in the jug." As a well-known party boy, for him to admit that drinking was the cause of his problems is a big step but his statement is true- for him to continue his path, he can not drink.
In the case of Michael Vick, I ask you this, would you trust him with your dog when this man used "pet breeds" to teach his dogs how to kill? I emphasize kill. Take a Shih Tzu, toss it in a ring with a pit bill, and just pray that the outcome is over fast for the sake of the smaller dog.
That is this man, Michael Vick.
Another part of Michael Vick's conviction was that he had to put up $1 million dollars to help house and pay for the rehabilitation of his dogs. Ironically, it was discovered that parts of his "donation" were illegally obtained through a dubious organization that he and several friends were running.
We domesticated dogs (cats just kind of moved in with us). We are responsible for making sure that they are properly cared for since we were the ones who invited them into our homes.
You can read about Michael Vick and his dogs in the book, "The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tales of Redemption" by Jim Gorant (who is a writer for Sports Illustrated). The book not only outlines the hideousness of what Michael Vick did, but also the strength and perseverance that a breed like the American and English Staffordshire Terriers (i.e., Pit Bulls) in overcoming the obstacles of their lives. Or, just go back and read the coverage that Sports Illustrated gave this illustrious star when his crimes were discovered. I believe that they gave him a fair shake in their articles.
And after you read all the facts, ask yourself: Do you think that we should make an exception for this well-paid superstar Quarterback and allow him to own a dog because that dog may help him to recover, despite the fact that it is a blatant violation of his terms of release and he should not suffer the consequences of his actions like every other convicted animal abuser?