Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday: Rant

Tuesdays are busy for me so I need to make this quick.  I was extremely disappointed watching the Redskins/Eagles game last night. No it's not because my home team got annihilated (59-28). In case you don't know, Michael Vick is the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. The NFL announcers were saying he might be up for MVP this year. This is also the man who ran a full on concentration camp/battlefield for dogs. He drown them, hung them, electrocuted them, starved them, murdered them, and made them fight.

Listen: abuse is abuse. If a man did this to children, women, or other men he would be labeled as one of the sickest men to commit a crime on American soil.
Do you have a dog? Look at him or her. How far would you go in punishing your dog? Would you kill your dog? Think about what it takes to systemically kill and torture a dog over and over. Think about how your dog cries if you leave the house or accidentally step on his or her paw versus what these dogs went through. Imagine.

My point is that it takes A LOT of mental pain and problems to ever commit such a heinous act on a dog. Think about what kind of mind frame you have to be in to do those things. They are domesticated animals, their only intention is to love and adore you, sleep, play, and exercise.
These dogs didn't deserve this.
I feel that if you are capable of torturing dogs, you are capable of much worse.
Michael Vick has not payed his dues. He never fully payed the 1 million that he was ordered to in order to provide for the rescued dogs' care. He did drugs on probation and the most laughable: he served majority of his sentence at home. He could have been sentenced to five years in jail. In Surry County Virginia, you would not believe the hoops that the local animal rescuers had to go through because the police in that town protected Michael Vick.
Martha Stewart got the same treatment for lying to a federal officer (that's what she was charged with and went to jail for).
The punishment did NOT fit the crime, and he did not pay his dues. He got rewarded with a million dollar contract. I will always be bewildered the NFL allowed him to take a contract with the Eagles. It will always blow my mind people can write this guy off and say he payed his dues. What do you think he actually DID to "pay his dues"? Serve time? The victims have no voice to say "yes, Michael Vick payed his dues." They don't have the opportunity to go before the judge and talk about their scars, how they had to give birth over and over in rotten conditions, how their friends were hung from trees or drowned to death. How they were frightened, how they were tired, how they were hungry. They have no voice, so don't tell me about some guy paying his dues to tortured animals. I don't want to hear it.

Here is a great book written by Jim Gorant called "The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and their Tale of Rescue and Redemption." This is a story about what happened to the dogs that were tortured by Michael Vick. Also, Jim Gorant wrote a great article for SI about the abuse. What Happened to Michael Vick's Dogs? 

I read this book and I held my two dogs after it. I felt so horrible that dogs are trusting and there are people who abuse that trust. I felt outraged that someone gets rewarded with an NFL contract and fame and fortune for committing such a disgusting crime. There were 51 dogs taken from Michael Vick's farm. The dogs weren't aggressive towards people, and were rescued. 47 were given homes. They were ALL facing death and they have done so well. Some of them are therapy dogs!
One dog, Frodo, still gets scared. His rescuer said - "I've never seen a dog in my life try so hard to be brave". That makes my heart stop. Dogs are amazing.

Here's my Sophie and Winston. Best friends for life! They are a brother and sister rescue. An old neighbor kept them in a rabbit cage, feeding them only bread crumbs and milk. They were the tiniest puppies ever. I bought them puppy food and toys and eventually had myself two new dogs. I intervened in a situation that most people would ignore.  I'm always thankful that I did.

Weren't they the CUTEST puppies?
Okay last one to make you smile.

Winston getting ready to party on the 4th of July! 

So back to the point.
Michael Vick. You played a great football game last night. But until the day you die, you will be associated with the most horrific dog abuse story this country has seen. That is your legacy.