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Michael Vick says he wants to have another dog

Football star and former dogfighter Michael Vick's statements that he would like to own a dog as a pet have incited intense debate among animal lovers, football fans and water-cooler gossipers.

Vick told TheGrio.com that he "would love to get another dog in the future. I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process."

That comment didn't surprise us much, since Vick said pretty much the same thing -- that he wished he could have a dog again "more than anything in the world" -- at one of his anti-dogfighting speaking engagements more than a year ago. What did surprise us was the wording of a comment he made later in the same interview with TheGrio:

"I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love and my passion for animals; I think it would be outstanding. If I ever have the opportunity again I will never take it for granted. I miss having a dog right now. I wish I could. My daughters miss having one, and that's the hardest thing: telling them that we can’t have one because of my actions."

Wait, what? Did Vick really refer to himself as having "love and ... passion for animals"? We're pretty sure we weren't dreaming. He explains the comment in the video above -- saying he's a big fan of animals including birds and, ahem, dogs -- and mentions that his experience getting caught for dogfighting has helped him grow, both as a regular-old person and as a football player.

Vick is legally prohibited from owning a dog at least until his probation is over. But he's worked since with the Humane Society of the United States, which arranges speaking engagements at which Vick urges young people to avoid dogfighting and make good choices. He has said he considers himself "an animal rights advocate," but his speeches don't typically include many references to the dogs he abused.

But he insisted his change of heart is real in an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday. "I really mean what I say. I don't have a problem. I'm not a psychopath. I'm not crazy. I'm a human being," he told the AP. "What happened in my past and what I did in the culture I grew up in doesn't shape and mold me as the person I am now. I said it before that I wish I can own a dog and I'll continue to say it. I'm not allowed to, but I'm just saying I wish I could because my kids ask me every day. It's more so for them than for me."

Writing on his blog Thursday, Humane Society president and chief executive Wayne Pacelle said it is "too soon for Michael Vick to have a dog. Pet-keeping is a privilege and he lost that privilege when he committed atrocious acts of cruelty in the months and years before his arrest in 2007. ... I do think that if his rehabilitation progresses and he handles the probation period flawlessly, it could be a good thing for Michael Vick's family to have a pet at the end of that process. To adopt a pet is the most cherished desire of countless millions of children everywhere, including Michael Vick's two little girls, London and Jada. It's the most natural thing in the world for a parent to want to grant that wish."

Another prominent animal-protection group announced, unsurprisingly, that it objected to Vick ever having a companion dog again. "PETA believes that no one who abuses dogs as Vick did should ever be allowed to have access to vulnerable animals again," Lindsay Pollard-Post wrote on the group's blog. "And really, being prohibited from experiencing the unconditional love of a dog is a tiny price to pay -- much smaller than the ultimate price paid by the dogs Vick abused and killed at Bad Newz Kennels."

Meanwhile, some of Vick's former dogs are finding their place in the sun: A well-received book, "The Lost Dogs," released earlier this year, tells the stories of the dogs who survived Vick's Bad Newz Kennels. (Learn more about "The Lost Dogs" in The Times' Books section.)


-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: TheGrio.com

Comments () | Archives (13)

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I think it's great that Michael Vick loves dogs -- can you IMAGINE what he'd do to them if he didn't love them? He might pick them up by the hind legs and stick their heads in a five gallon bucket of water and hold them there until they drowned. He might string them up and watch them strangle to death. If one of those dogs didn't die fast enough for Michael Vick, football hero, he might cut her down and proceed to drown her in the bucket. If Michael Vick didn't love dogs so much, he might pick up one dog and, because she wasn't vicious enough, he might slam her repeatedly into the ground until she died. If Michael Vick didn't love dogs so much he might have paid people to wet them down and electrocute them to death.

Oh wait, that's exactly what dog-loving Michael Vick did.

The real question, the one I doubt any reporter has the guts to ask Vick is: do his daughters, who he clearly has no problem exploiting in his relentless drive for perceived martydom over actually being held to account for his crimes, have any idea what their daddy actually DID to dogs? Because I'll bet a buck they have no clue. If they knew what their father had done to dogs they'd be terrified of him. They'd have nightmares. If Michael Vick's daughters, who HE has brought into this, knew what he did, they would realize what legions of adult football fans refuse to admit: Michael Vick is a monster.

And let's be clear -- contrary to what Mr. Vick, in his endless wallow in self-pity, asserts, psychopaths ARE human beings. Psychopaths commit cruel acts with no remorse, and no empathy for their victims. Psychopaths deliberately cause and enjoy pain, and feel sorry for no one but themselves. Psychopaths, instead of feeling shame and remorse for the pain they cause, attempt to deflect blame -- like, say, implying that those who seek to protect dogs from a man who kills them, are in fact victimizing his innocent daughters...

Michael Vick is a classic narcissist and psychopath. A man who had "made mistakes" of the sort Vick has, who had somehow miraculously seen the error of his ways, would spend their life atoning for their cruelty. A person who understood the true viciousness of their own crimes would never think they deserved to have dog near them, much less to be able to have one in their home again. But not Vick. Michael Vick keeps jumping back into the spotlight and trying to make others feel bad about what he not only did to himself and his family, but the stomach-turning violence he perpetrated, happily and repeatedly, over a period of years, until he was caught at the age of 29.

He also wouldn't be seeking to deflect responsibility by insisting that having grown up, in the 1980s, in Newport News, VA is somehow responsible for his crimes. What Michael Vick did was a personal decision and pathology, not a cultural ideal. He should also apologize to every person living in Newport News who lives a decent, moral life, without the advantages of being a millionaire whose talent was discovered early on. He had so many choices, and he chose to kill dogs.

Read Jim Gorant's book, "The Lost Dogs," mentioned in this blog post. It's a good book, and helps you begin to understand the powerlessness of these dogs, as well as the degree of trauma they suffered, just because they were unlucky enough to fall into Vick's hands.

And seriously, Wayne Pacelle, you need to resign. Your devil's bargain with Michael Vick has irremediably damaged (or revealed) your lack of compassion for animals you are being paid, as of 2008, $228,981 a year to protect. For you to join Vick in exploiting two little girls, and advocating that such a monster should ever be able to lay hands on a dog again, is absolute proof that you are no longer a voice for protecting animals -- or children, for that matter.

He lost the privilege of owning any sort of pet

He should be required to have a Pomeranian and walk it everywhere on a pink leash.

My high school sweetheart was killed by a guy who'd killed two other women, and had been convicted for those killing. It was during California's era when it was felt that murders could be rehabilitated. I guarantee you that during his parole hearing, he was not ordered to staff away from women.
Vick was a punk for treating those dogs in that manner, probably didn't pay enough of a debt to society. That said, I think he should be allowed to own a dog again, and maybe have the ownership supervised for a while. Dogs are wonderful pets, but murders are still let out, this guy deserves a chance to be a compassionate pet owner.

If Vick really wants to show he has had a true change of heart, he needs to do more than simply doing some talks for the Humane Society and other "this is obviously part of my parole obligations" stuff.
I'm amazed to watch him play, but it doesn't change the fact he is scum as a human being.
Maybe if I see him tithing 50% of his salary to Animal Welfare or something, I'll start to believe he regrets his past, but as of now, he is all talk.

Shame on the NFL for letting Vick a convicted felon back on the field. There are a lot of other sport people who have been banned for alot less. Also you don't pay millions to a felon. You don't let your kids look up to a felon the NFL doesn't get it. Neither does Sports Illustrated. Vick should have to give 90% of his money up.
Shame on Phiiadilphia and shame on the coaches there is more to life than money take some pride because you have none now.

vick has no right to any animal and has no right to be out of jail

America is full of hypocrites: When Martha Stewart was convicted, she showed no emotion and maintained she did nothing wrong. Noone in America demanded that merchants remove her products from their shelves; in fact, her business did quite well while she was doing time as a convicted felon (4 counts). She was welcomed with open arms when she was released from prison and has a TV show. Bret Farve has been a darling of sports enthusiasts for his entire career, even though he abused prescription drugs (as did Elvis Presley) and noone said a thing, but Michael Irvin's name could never be spoken without mentioning marijuana in the same sentence. Marion Jones is still begging for forgiveness, and gets none, for her dishonesty to a congressional panel. Michael Vick will forever have this dog on his tail as good ole racist America continues to fall off the moral high ground.

He should have to give a percentage of his ridiculous salary to the Humame Society. How about 10% for each dog that suffered at his hands. He doesnt deserve the love of a dog or any trusting, loyal companion. Its appauling that the NFL is making this guy out to be a hero, let alone MVP. Morally Void Person perhaps, but no where near "valuable."
I'm sure there are alot of dog lovers/owners in the NFL. Especially the 350 lb. defensive players whose job is to crush that creep! GO FOR IT!

To RELangford:

I highly recommend that you read Sports Illustrated reporter Jim Gorant's book "The Lost Dogs" and you will learn that, far from being prosecuted because he was black, Michael Vick nearly escaped punishment because Virginia Commonwealth Atorney Gerald Poindexter did not want to prosecute a high-profile black man, especially a well-known football player. Poindexter was essentially forced to prosecute because of the massive amount of evidence against Vick, as well as the extreme brutality of his crimes. He was also forced to prosecute because, as the facts of the case became known, public outcry was undeniable. Do you think only white people love dogs? I know lots of black people who love dogs, and who are appalled by what Vick did.

And the fact is, whether one likes Martha Stewart or not, all she did was lie about money. She didn't personally drown dogs. She didn't, with another man, pick up and slam a dog repeatedly to the ground until the poor dog died. She didn't hang dogs. She didn't pay her friends to shoot dogs, and wet them down then electrocute them. Michael Vick did all these things and more -- and he wasn't a poor, misguided kid -- he was a millionaire who had a lot of options. He could have chosen to do drugs, or have sex with strippers, or whatever -- and no one would have much cared. But what he chose to do, over and over again, was to torture and kill dogs. Like it or not, in America people who torture and kill dogs are justly reviled, regardless of race. What Michael Vick did wasn't just wrong, it was evil. Have you ever looked into the face of a dog? All they want to do is please you -- Pit Bulls even more than many other dogs. And he and his friends/employees looked into the faces of those innocent dogs and deliberately devised the most painful, prolonged and terrifying ways to kill them.

Why would you ever defend such a man, no matter what color he is? Is it okay if he's black but bad if he's white? Is it just okay in your mind to torture and kill dogs no matter who you are? Should no one ever be punished for any crime?

Bottom line, if torturing and killing dogs is a crime, it's a crime no matter what color you are. Vick killed dogs -- that makes him a dog-killer. No one forced him to kill dogs. He was 29, a millionaire, and he killed dogs, over a period of many years, because that's what he wanted to do. That's the kind of person he is. For Vick, or anyone, to whine about his being treated like a dog-killer when that's what he chose to be is pathetic.

AMEN L.A. Voter! I could not be more impressed by your choice of words, we need more people like you and we need to stop idolizing people like Vick. He is a disgusting excuse for a human being. Black, white, purple, or blue what he did to those poor animals was absolutely deplorable and he should never ever have the right to have so much as a goldfish. HOPEFULLY his daughters find out exactly what kind of a monster their father is as they grow older, so that they don't repeat his inexcusable behavior.

QUOTE: Most of the dogs who showed no promise to fight at the vick estate were shot, drowned, hung, or electrocuted. except one "Quannis Phillips” grabbed her front legs and Michael Vick grabbed her hind legs. They swung her over their head like a jump rope and slammed it to the ground first impact didn't kill her. They alternated back and forth pounding her into the ground till the little red dog was finally dead.


What dog would volunteer to be the "pet" of Vick? No dog would.
Would you want to be the wife of a man who had tortured and killed his other
wives and girlfriends?


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