Michael Vick Has A New Dog

I don’t quite no what to say.  Michael Vick confirmed he is again a dog owner.  I find it unreal he is allowed to have any pets.  He was banned from having dogs only while he was on probation.  I always want to be sure I know what I’m talking about, so I read over the Summary of Facts from the plea bargains of Michael Vick and his co-defendants, Purnell A. PeaceQuanis L. Phillips, and Tony Taylor.  That made for some pretty sickening reading.  Gut-wrenching.

I also came across the USDA Inspector General’s Office report on their investigation.  This is what would have come out in court if these men hadn’t plead guilty and I don’t remember ever seeing this in the news coverage.  It’s particularly applicable to his suitability for having a pet dog.  This section describing his use of to known family pets as bait dogs is particularly chilling:

Unfamiliar with the horrors of bait dogs?  Do a google image search on “bait dog”. Warning, it’s graphic .  Imagine the worst wounds possible—the reality is even worse.

The report goes on to detail dogs being killed by hanging, shooting, drowning, electrocuting, and slamming on the ground until the dog’s neck & spine were broken.

This barbaric shit went on for 5 years.  And now he has another dog.  I don’t care how much speaking he does on animal welfare, someone who does these sorts of things, hears the sounds these poor dogs made, is broken.

New Book On Michael Vick’s Dogs

Jim Gorant from Sports Illustrated has a new book that follows 49 surviving dogs seized from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennel. (You can read about the history of this case on the Michael Vick archive page.)  Gorant says:

As odd as it may seem, Michael Vick may be the best thing that ever happened to the pit bull. He gave the forum to discuss this and make it possible to get the message out there that these dogs are not what they’ve been made out to be in the headlines, that they really are just sort of dogs. And a lot varies from each one to another and then how they’re raised and socialized and all of these issues that go around them. You can find the sweetest, most loving pitbulls in the world and you can find other dogs that are as mean as you want.

Listen to the interview with the author. It was first thought that most of the dogs seized would be euthanized, happily this hasn’t been the case.  Four dogs have even become therapy dogs.

The Michigan State University College of Law has a very informative page on dog fighting that covers the history, the training, the culture, the societal cost, the criminal links, laws and legal issues, and evidence, including less obvious things such as the drugs/vitamins/medical supplies used. You can also find out about the signs of dog fighting. And the Humane Society of the United States has a FAQ on dog fighting. (Note: None of the these pages have gruesome photos of dogs showing the barbarism of dog fighting. They do have a wealth of information.)

Stanley’s Most Recent Update

What an amazing journey.  It all started with Cathy at CampCocker quietly going about the hard work of rescuing Cocker Spaniels when she saw a dog in desperate need like so many dogs, except this wasn’t a Cocker, it was a pitt bull.  Cathy stepped up, made an amazing video, and Stanley’s rescue started.  It’s so inspiring to see how far he’s come in this latest video and the other dogs who have been saved as a result.

But, I think we have to remember he is just one dog.  There are thousands out there every day who are also desperately in need of medical care, kindness, and a home.  Stanley really isn’t any more special than all those other dogs.  Every dog needing rescue has a story, a will to live, a personality, a spirit, and a mind.  Please consider adopting a dog instead of purchasing a dog.  They’re all special.  And your journey with them will be so rewarding.

Lastly, I want to say I do not understand how people can demonize a breed of dog.  Stanley has been through hell, but just look at the tail wagging when he gets out of his crate at the airport.

Stanley’s story wouldn’t be possible without these groups and they all need donations including LA Animal Services:

  • Los Angeles Animal Services—they have programs to improve the welfare of animals in their shelters, to provide foster homes, for spay/neuter campaigns in low income areas, & to provide medical treatment for “severely injured, abused, and neglected animals rescued by Animal Services”
  • CampCocker
  • Respect-A-Bull

Stanley, From “Just One Dog” Adopted!

Remember this powerful video of a sickly & dejected dog in a California shelter?

The video of Stanley inspired so many people to act.  Working together they rescued him and eventually brought him to a foster family in British Columbia.  He had surgery to fix his eyes, has been putting on weight, and is recovering from mange.  And the best thing of all—Stanley won’t have to move again because he’s being adopted by his foster family! What a lucky boy.

Sadly, the first part of Stanley’s story is all too common.  Shelters are filled with dogs & cats who need just one person to step up and change their life.  I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, but please consider adopting before you ever buy a cat or dog.  Pure bred or mixed breed, juvenile or adult, spotted striped or solid, short hair or long, big or small, any possible color or temperament—whatever you’re looking for is out there, but most of them don’t have a lot of time.  And don’t forget there are rescue groups for all sorts of animals: reptiles, ferrets, pocket pet, exotics, horses, goats.  Please adopt!

Stanley today & his new brother Taylor

Michael Vick’s Dogs Today

pitpuppyengland-copy.jpgSports Illustrated has a good article on several of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s dog fighting operation, Bad Newz Kennels.  Many of these dogs have really blossomed in foster homes, while others still have a lot to overcome.  Jasmine, in particular, is a dog absolutely gripped by fear, but she is making progress thanks to a dedicated foster mom.

Our dog, Saffron, had big fear issues when we adopted her.  I know how much work it takes to build a dog’s confidence and I know how wonderful it is when that dog reaches each new milestone.

Maybe Michael Vick’s dogs will help change the image of the pit bull and society will stop blaming the breed.  Check out the great gallery of these dogs living the happy lives they deserve.

Michael Vick could be released to a halfway house as early as January 2009 and is also filing for bankruptcy. You can read more about the history of the Vick case.