ASPCA Speaks Out

by Mary Haight on August 22, 2009

ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Division patch
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Quite a statement was made by the ASPCA yesterday, speaking out after Michael Vick’s 60 Minutes interview.  It was unexpected in its thoughtfulness, revealing as to the facts and makes obvious the need for a national conversation on the subject of dog fighting and why it even exists anywhere in this country. 


“After careful consideration, we have decided to speak out now about Michael Vick because of the special circumstances involving the ASPCA. Several months ago, Mr. Vick’s PR representatives approached the ASPCA to help educate America about the heinous act of dog fighting following his release from prison. We were the first animal welfare organization given the opportunity to work with Mr. Vick but immediately turned him down due to the unique knowledge we had of his indescribable and barbaric acts of animal cruelty where he and his associates savagely electrocuted and beat dogs to death after they lost their brutal fights.

The ASPCA’s general consultation and our specific role in processing the forensic evidence in this case were key elements that resulted in Mr. Vick and the three other defendants all pleading guilty to felony crimes. As such, this organization and I personally have seen the acts of cruelty committed by Mr. Vick first hand — acts so heinous that the public has never laid witness to them. And now that Mr. Vick has spoken out for the first time since his release from prison, the ASPCA wants to make clear why this organization chose not to partner with him in his supposed rehabilitation efforts. We are simply not convinced that Mr. Vick has demonstrated compassion toward animals as living beings or the necessary remorse for his criminal actions against them…

…Today, it is difficult to see him in the uniform of a Philadelphia Eagle because of the startling lack of judgment and moral character he has demonstrated over the past several years. It is questionable whether he will have any credibility as an educator on the dog fighting issue. The ASPCA welcomes a national conversation on animal cruelty and especially dog fighting, but questions Mr. Vick’s ability to lead it. The ASPCA will heighten its efforts to bring this national travesty to the surface through meaningful education and discussion that brings the hard, cold sickening reality of a fight into stark relief for those who might wonder why all the fuss about a dog fight. A true national discussion would focus not on one man and his crimes, but on a nation that allows dog fighting to happen every day without a national outcry. This is where the ASPCA will focus its energies in the coming months.”

They hit the notes exactly right, IMO–it is time to wash away the lack of knowledge and understanding revealed by responses that minimize the true nature of this crime.  There should be no doubt in the public mind as to the graphic and breathtaking violence that seethes from those who inflict the many tortures involved in dog fighting.  Read the rest here…


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