In April 2007, Michael Vick, a professional Quarterback was implicated in an extensive and unlawful interstate dogfighting ring that operated over a period of five years. In August 2007, he plead guilty to felony charges, and was indefinitely suspended from the NFL. He was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison, and began his incarceration in November 2007. With his loss of his NFL salary and product endorsement deals, combined with previous financial mismanagement, Vick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2008.
Vick was released from prison to home confinement on May 20, 2009. Falcons owner Arthur Blank stated that he did not want Vick on the Falcons, and after attempts to trade him failed, Vick was released. On July 27, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell conditionally reinstated Vick, and will consider him for full reinstatement by Week 6 of the 2009 season which is around October of 2009.
Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, has stepped forward publicly to support Michael Vick (See video) stating that he is remorseful and has "learned his lesson". But what does that mean?
In this video, Mr. Pacelle states that Michael Vick had been dogfighting since he was 8 years old. That he KNEW it was wrong, but didn't know how to stop it. But now, he knows it's wrong and has remorse. Yet, to date, Michael Vick has not made one public statement of his remorse. He has offered no money to any animal welfare organization, especially those breeds that were tortured, shot, hanged and drowned in his ring. The concern shouldn't be that Michael Vick will resume dogfighting or go into some barbaric form of animal torture again, but the mere fact that a high-profiled athlete is walking the streets who apparently doesn't know the difference between right and wrong, especially when something or someone is being mutulated.
Our society's leaders are allowing cruelty of this sorts to happen...because they are not changing laws to make it STOP! If in fact, what Michael Vick did was such a travesty to this great nation, I can assure you, we'd hear about through our legislation. But it's not.
When will our society and government begin to seriously act upon these types of crimes? When is killing, shooting, hanging, drowning, encouraging and training two dogs to fight viscously and gruesomely to their deaths be recognized as a barbarian act instead of a sport? And Is 23 months sufficient punishment for taking a life in this manner...for killing innocent living creatures? Jeffrey Dahmer got prison for life. Shouldn't Michael Vick?
Mr. Pacelle has yet to provide anything but lip service of Mr. Vick's remorse and there has not been any public act of reformity from Vick himself that I am aware of. And what is truly sad, is that those of us in animal welfare that clean up these messes; scrambling to make room in our shelters and foster homes, bringing in unknown entities endangering our families, our own pets, in hopes that we can rehabilitate a sacrifice being from human hatred, or worse, hold these precious lives while they struggle to die, because they only know the instinct to fight, even at death, are perceived as "activists" or "emotionally unstable" or "passionate".
Well so be it. Yes, I'm "actively" against Michael Vick being allowed to make MILLIONS of dollars carrying a pig skin down a field (and I love football by the way) while innocent dogs, who placed trust and loyalty into them, fight for their lives. Yes, I'm emotionally unstable with the idea that he could do it again...and yes, I'm passionate about continuing my fight to change the laws until finally dogfighting is considered enough of a crime, that it's punishment creates a lifetime of reform...not national television exposure!