In Case You Missed It…

by Mary Haight on December 28, 2008

Holidays keep us all running, and I don’t know about you, but I felt it this year.  So while I was busy making home baked cookies for dogs and other friends and getting the house ready for Christmas, there was some news that slid under the radar. 

It’s been 20 months since Michael Vick was arrested and subsequently sentenced to 23 months incarceration at a Kansas Federal prison.  Erica Hill of CNN reported Christmas Day that of the 51 pit bull dogs taken from Vick, 47 have been saved.  Two died of disease, and two were euthanized.  Yuba, a 2-year-old black and white pit is becoming a loving family pet, but is afraid of outsiders.  12 of these dogs have been adopted, 17 are ready for adoption, and 5 dogs are in a therapy program helping people. 

Usually destroyed, these particular fighting dogs were the lucky recipients of the kind of media attention that follows sports figures and celebrities.  As the story unfolded, the public asked ‘”can’t some be saved?”  Jim Gorant of Sports Illustrated reports at length on this story making reference to the HSUS and PETA’s position:

“The Humane Society of the U.S., agreeing with PETA, took the position that Michael Vick’s pit bulls, like all dogs saved from fight rings, were beyond rehabilitation and that trying to save them was a misappropriation of time and money”

Despite the obvious successes in this case, these organizations hold fast to their position, as if the more than$900,000 Vick’s judge awarded to the care of the dogs should have been spent on other dogs, or that restitution, a very important legal precedent (making these dogs victims of a crime) should not have been made.  I don’t know how PETA and HSUS can reconcile their positions.  They are wrong.  Ethically and in fact.  Clearly, the majority of these dogs were rehabbed.  Is it ethical to kill a dog because it was abused, especially when it is not a danger to the general public? 

Money raised of passion or belief that something in the culture is wrong and must be put right comes from the heart for that cause and only that cause.  The assumption that this money is transferrable from cause to cause is in err.

It also cannot be assumed that if we just kill all the dogs and cats not already adoptable, money and time will never be in short supply again, and the problem of homeless pets will eventually disappear.  It will not.  There is no Utopia.  And if it took killing all the dogs and cats not already adoptable to get to Utopia, it’s no place I would ever want to go.  What’s your thinking?

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