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Michael Vick Wants a Dog
To help with his “rehabilitation”

The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback who went to prison for his involvement in dog fighting and animal cruelty said in an interview that he and his children miss having a dog and that bringing one into his home would be a good thing for his rehabilitation. Unfortunately for Vick, his sentence includes on ban on his ever owning a dog.

Ever since Vick was charged we’ve been following his story, and since he left prison, blogging about his many “second chances”—returning to the NFL, starring in a reality show, working with the Humane Society of the United States. We’ve also followed the fate of the “Vick dogs,” many of whom have miraculously and through the intervention of committed people, such as Donna Reynolds and Tim Racer at BAD RAP, landed on their paws.
But this bit of news makes me queasy. On the one hand, I believe in second chances. I believe that if you serve your time, you should be given the opportunity to reenter fully into your life. And I believe that the loving and compassionate example of a dog is a force for good in most lives. But I can’t shake my concerns about what could happen to another Vick dog when no one is looking. I suspect Vick’s reformation has more to do with endorsements and pro contracts. This is the place to hold the line. This is the price he pays for brutally torturing and killing dogs—never again.


Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com
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Submitted by Karen London | December 16 2010 |

I do not like the idea of Michael Vick having a dog. I have been very outspoken about my belief that he served his time and should be allowed to play football and otherwise get on with his life. However, I do not think that includes being allowed to have a dog since part of his sentence was a prohibition on that. I would worry about that dog's safety and well being. It's unfortunate for his kids, though, that they must do without a dog, and i do feel sorry for them.

Submitted by Anonymous | December 16 2010 |

Actually, he didn't serve any time for animal cruelty. He served only for racketeering.

Vick should no more be allowed to adopt a dog as a pedophile should be allowed to adopt a child.

Submitted by JurisGal | December 18 2010 |

I agree. I too believe Vick should be allowed to play football and get on with his life. That being said, I can not root for Vick on or off the field.

It is unfortunate that Vick's children will not be able to share the love and companionship that dogs bring but this is all due to Vick's actions. I do hope the children's disappointment will make Vick evermore aware of the horrific acts he committed. In a way this is a continued but different kind of sentence for Vick but again, he brought this on himself.

Submitted by Ann | December 16 2010 |

I read the article you mention this morning. I believe his sentence should remain as is....no dogs, ever! If he had even slightly appreciated the presence of a dog he would not have been capable of the violent acts he engaged in. In fact, he merely saw them as a tool to conduct in the illegal fighting of dogs and nothing more. The problem I have is not just that he supported the activity of fighting dogs, but how he chose to dispose of the dogs he saw as failures by brutally torturing those dogs that did not perform or didn't want to fight. This goes beyond his so called "I hung around the wrong people" crap that he continues to fall back on rather than admitting to the fact that what he did was his choice, no one else's. He had the option to give away the non-fighting dogs but he alone, chose to engage in the violent and horrendous acts against these more gentle examples of the pitbull breed. It is for this reason that he does not deserve to have the company of another dog. I can not get past the violence. My heart breaks every time I see his face and think of how he treated those helpless dogs and the fear they must have had in the last moments of their lives. We would never allow a child molester back around children so why would we believe that a person capable of inflicting such violence is now suddenly changed without psychiatric therapy. We do have the ability to rise above difficult or negative conditions in life to do good and there are many examples of people who have risen above far worse conditions than Michaels Vicks so called "hanging around the wrong people" defense. Vick had the opportunity to do great things when became a rising star in the NFL. He could have taken his wealth and celebrity to do good. He chose not to. No one made this choice for him.

Submitted by Julia Kamysz Lane | December 16 2010 |

I agree with Karen and Ann that Michael Vick had a choice, made a poor decision, and must now live with the consequences. Although that means his children will be deprived of the experience of growing up with a dog, perhaps this is what it takes to stop the vicious cycle of dog fighting from one generation to the next. Should Vick's children choose to get dogs once they are adults, they will hopefully treat them with much more care and respect than their father did.

Submitted by Kathi | December 16 2010 |

If Vick was so concerned about his children having pets, perhaps he would have thought twice before he, on two different occasions, threw his children's small pets into the fighting ring and laughed while their dogs were shredded.
That to me is a prime example of a sick sociopath who shouldn't even be allowed a hamster.

Submitted by EmiyS | December 16 2010 |

I think Donna of BadRap really expresses the outrage:


especially her eyeopening comment: "Let us remember that since Vick has been in Philly - both playing ball and doing speaking presentations - the number of horrible crimes committed against pit bulls has skyrocketed. I'm sure some of our friends here in Philly can speak to that mind-boggling phenomena.

If Vick's soulless presentations were the panacea for this rash of copy-cat style crimes, we'd be signing him up as our best boy, too. Far from it. He's making things WORSE."

Submitted by Maria | December 16 2010 |

I have read that Vick admitted to fronting and running a dog-fighting operation for which he got sentensed to prison. He did not, however, admit to the torturous murder of the bait dogs or even of having tossed the 'family pet' into the pit which his partners admitted Vick did. There isn't a dog in the world that could find compassion in Vick's heart...or whatever is it is that lays where the heart should be.

Submitted by Anonymous | December 16 2010 |

I'm not against second chances and I believe if someone really has changed their life they should be allowed to move on. BUT, sometimes there does need to be on-going "policing" shall we say. Just like you wouldn't let a convicted child molester go work in a day care upon release, dog torturers (since he did wa-a-a-ay more than just "fight" the dogs) should never be allowed to own a dog. EVER! NEVER, EVER!

I'm sorry that his kids can't have a dog, but maybe having to explain to his kids that they can't have a dog because he brutally tortured them will be a better punishment for him than anything else. We know he was probably the star of the cellblock and probably got preferential treatment and didn't learn a thing while in prison.

So far, everyone has caved to Michael Vick. He got his job back, I haven't seen him actually do any anti-dog fighting campaigns with HSUS that he was supposed to do, AND he also somehow got his own reality show! Everyone needs to put their foot down on this request!

Submitted by Anonymous | December 16 2010 |

There is a reason why the Judge included this term as part of his sentence. There should be no reversal of that. From a legal standpoint I see no grounds to warrant a change to his sentence. As a dog lover and activist, I see this as a slippery slope. We do not make exceptions for pedophiles to move closer to schools because their children want to; there should not be an exception made here.

Submitted by Craig Smith | December 16 2010 |

Should Josef Mengele run a hospital? Would we let Ted Bundy run a girls school? John Wayne Gasey adopt little boys?
Like all of these egotistical sports figures, it's about them, their public image, their endorsements, their money.
Vick is desparate to become a bigger celebrity, and make more money. Have his children seen the pictures, the court records of what this most despicable of criminals has done? He ran a death camp for dogs for cryin out loud! What, we are going to forgive Hitler and Stalin for mass murder??
Am I living in the bizarro world?
He should never been allowed back into the NFL. He should still be in prison. He is the sickest of villians.
He takes pleasure in tortureing animals, finds entertainment in their suffering, and put thought and effort into making more elaborate systems to perptrate his evil. I do not believe that the mental processes that produced this behavior are switched off, spening a few years with more of the same ilk. 90% of child abusers abuse again. If htere is an animal on the face of the earth worthy of euthanasia, it's Micheal Vick. He doesn't deserve the classification of human.

Submitted by Shelby | December 16 2010 |

I agree with you. I am a christian and believe in forgivness however, to what degree can / should someone be forgive, I would guess that if he was involved in that ONE TIME ONLY and was remorsefull rightn then I would think he was genuine. This monster did this many many times watching with delight the cruelty with his in eyes. I cant believe hes allowed back into football. Yup, hes the best player and all that BUT, shouldnt football be a sport that kids look up to? And maybe this is a good thing that is coming up. Now he may have to explain to his daughter the truth of what he did to those animals over years and years of pure torture. I feel sorry for his daughter to the point that he should not even have any right to her too. He is a monster and there is a special pace for him, called HELL. I wonder if God can forgive him. Im kinda thinking NO!!

Submitted by Dianne | December 16 2010 |

IMHO Vick should never ever EVER be able to share his life with any animal, particularly a dog, again. But it is my understanding, from this article (http://fb.me/xkVHFULr), that he is only required to serve 3 years probation during which time he may not buy, sell, or own dogs. Not sure when that ruling was made, so not sure when his 3 years of probation are up. Even when the probationary period is up, I am praying the judge involved has the sense to ban Vick from owning a dog FOREVER.

Submitted by The Dog Lover | December 16 2010 |

He murdered and brutalized dogs for a living. He messed up his chance the first time. He should NEVER have another one.

Submitted by Tiffani | December 16 2010 |

This poor excuse for a human being is a monster. He shouldn't even be allowed to have his own children. Someday he will screw up again. That is a given. It would be an awful thing to see him with any animal.

Submitted by Anonymous | December 17 2010 |

NO, no, no dog for Michael Vick ! ! !

Submitted by Anonymous | December 17 2010 |

Never...no animals, ever.

Submitted by Amy | December 17 2010 |

I'm all for second chances as well. However, there's been cruelty involved. It's not as if he's being discriminated against and can't get a job (and therefore needs a 2nd chance). His children can grow up and have their own dogs when they move out, that can be his 2nd chance. How about volunteering at a shelter...that could be a second chance. But to put another animal at risk...that doesn't need to happen.

Submitted by Denise | December 17 2010 |

Vick was clearly comfortable with seeing dogs abused, murdered & tortured for YEARS...and it never dawned on him that animal abuse was wrong until AFTER HE GOT CAUGHT & now he's suddenly "rehabilitated" now?? YEAH RIGHT. This scum bag should NEVER be allowed to own another dog for the rest of his life. If he could sit back & watch all of those poor dogs suffer, and he did NOTHING to stop the abuse or help them, he's clearly in no position to ever own an animal again in his life. It is too bad that his daughters can't have a dog, but it's not worth the risk of their animal abusing father to go back to his old ways with another innocent animal.

Submitted by Pucci | December 20 2010 |

Just as pedophiles cannot be reformed, I believe that animal abusers as extreme as Vick cannot be reformed. The monstrous acts he perpetrated and witnessed show a callousness toward any humane interaction with dogs. It's appalling that since he plays football well, and is idolized by some, the authorities may consider his request to own another dog "for rehabilitation." I pity any dog forced to live with this sociopath and truly hope the lifetime ban will be enforced.

Submitted by Lisa | December 19 2010 |

I'm heartened to read the comments, as I thought it was only I and my dog friends who felt similarly.

I read a previous post stating that the pit bull crimes have "skyrocketed" since Mr. Vicks Philly contract. I had no idea of that, as I continue to become sickened at the thought of his crimes and other animals that are innocently subjected to their guardian's mental illness.

While Mr. Vick is a masterful football player, he is, unfortunately a sadist. The crimes he committed against those beautiful, defenseless animals should never be dismissed. While he paid a mandatory criminal sentence for his behavior, a greater debt remains. Those of us who've seen images of the pain, starvation, dehydration and suffering his dogs endured. The children who revered him and the dogs who wanted only to please him - quite a legacy indeed. Mr. Vick's dogs paid the ulitimate price to satisfy his pathological affliction and that should never, ever happen again and two years in prison just wasn't enough.

He is what he is, and what he is is a terrifying sadist.

Submitted by NP | December 21 2010 |

Unfortunately, Humane Society of the United States president Wayne Pacelle has stated he thinks Vick would be a good pet owner (read it here:http://www.ajc.com/news/dog-advocates-disagree-about-778151.html?cxntlid...) Of course, he has has made Vick a bit of a celebrity spokesman for HSUS too. Even after he and his organization petitioned for all of the Vick dogs to be killed when they were first impounded. He also stated that Vick should be given a second chance because "We are all "ex-offenders" at some level when it comes to animals." (read it here:http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-10-16/opinion/17184574_1_humane-society-...).
Despite this, HSUS continues to fool people (sadly, including the people at Bark magazine)into believing they are really out for the good of animals. HSUS spends the bulk of their money on salaries, advertising, fundraising expenses and in pursuit of anti-pet legislation. According to their tax return, less than 2 percent of the budget of the Humane Society of the U.S. Despite popular belief, HSUS has nothing to do with your local shelters. They are a national political organization, similar in their political views to PETA, although not as extreme in their "marketing".

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