Last Sunday I stumbled upon an ultimately disturbing story on Twitter.
Michael Vick got a dog. The words led to a report, which has not been disproven, that the CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, aided this endeavor. I read on, mouth completely open, to see statements made on an anonymous blog that the HSUS had also received a 50k dollar donation relating to this issue. I was unequivocally blown away. My mind ran through a play by play of previous Vick ventures headlining the media in July of 2007. My heart was racing, but soon my attention vaulted back to the present and I was able to pick up my jaw from the floor and begin the stew.
I first had to throw away my initial thoughts about Mike Vick, how he should never have a dog, no matter what time he spent incarcerated or on probation, not allowing him to have an animal. I simply thought, this is WRONG with a capital VICK! At this moment, I planted three seeds within my galloping thoughts of what I had to research in order to evaluate this rotten agitation.
Michael Vick was arrested and then charged with involvement with dog fighting, later to be sentenced to 23 months in prison. Statistics show that 52 percent of crimes are repeated, thus producing repeat offenders.
Vick’s crimes were a far cry from “white collar”, the notion that his offenses were only financial are completely invalid. He admitted, in court, that he killed under achieving dogs by hanging, electrocution, beating, dismemberment, drowning, etc. with his own hands. An individual with a mentality to think of, and carry through with, these acts is pure evil and I am certain that more than a few Americans feel the same. During an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, Wayne Pacelle, CEO of HSUS, quoted Michael Vick as saying, “No one ever told me it was wrong”. Piers recited from Vick’s book, FINALLY FREE, declaring, “I knew it was wrong, seemed mean, even cruel”. Am I the only one who finds these statements contradictory? Did Michael Vick rehabilitate his own demons while imprisoned? I find that incredibly inhuman, bringing me to this. If he did those things before, who can say what he will do with a new dog in the house? For anyone who has ever had a dog, I don’t need to explain certain frustrations one will encounter with their furry friend. I can only imagine how Mike Vick would handle these situations. What’s to say little Fido fiddles on the furniture and Vick, out of reflex and past actions, strikes the dog in a manner unsuitable to positive dog corrections? This could open a very dangerous door for the dog to become aggressive, combative, or simply a fear ridden biter. This seed rapidly grew into a vine of possible outcomes such as attacks to his children, family, friends, or even himself. Depending on the breed, obviously, a small dog may lead one to a band-aid or even a few stitches. A power or larger breed, which rumor says he has, could result in many stitches, staples, bone fractures, disfigurement, and even death. TRUTH.
The second seed I planted was one of addiction and compulsion. Dog fighting heavily revolves around gambling, which is considered to be an addition with a lifetime of recovery, much like alcoholism. Facts show that individuals with personalities susceptible to these tragic afflictions must constantly battle to isolate the aggravating factor. When speaking of the first dogfight Michael saw at the age of eight years old, he replied to Piers Morgan of CNN using the phrases, “I always had a passion for…” and “my fascination with dog fighting began…” Piers then asked if it “seemed exciting”. Vick responded quickly, “umm, yea” and did not disagree with remarks about it being an obsession or addiction. OK. Mike Vick has now expressed that fighting dogs was fascinating, intriguing, addictive, and even an obsession. As defined by Webster’s Dictionary, the word addiction can be summed up in one word. Habituate. This seed grew when only I turned my head for a moment.
The third seed is that of hope. Scenario: An individual molests a child and does his/her time in prison. If the sentence allows release, the person is required to register him/herself as a sex offender with no allowance to be privy to children for life. They are not given a “probation period” prohibiting themselves from having the company of children until the time allotted passes. It is indefinite.
Animals have rights too. Yes, I understand they are not human beings who are birthed by another human being, go to school, attend university, gain employment, or pay taxes. But countless Americans do, in fact, consider their pets as family. The pet industry clears an estimated 52 billion dollars a year (according to the American Pet Products Association), proving nothing less than their care, compassion, aid of disabilities, law enforcement, military maneuvers, and numerous means of therapy is a value to society. There are people who cannot live without their loyal four legged assistant. Seeing Eye dogs enable countless people to live independently. A dog named “Stubby” was the most decorated war dog and was promoted to Sergeant while serving his time through combat in WWI.
If animals have the capability to contribute such deeds, why can they not receive the protection they so well deserve?
The third seed is underground awaiting nourishment. People should be held accountable for these unmentionable and heinous crimes against animals. If for no other reason we should honor and protect our animals because God created them for His pleasure and to display His glory.
As this seed of hope has not surfaced, it is my wish to bring awareness to a lawful proposal making individuals convicted of animal abuse or cruelty required to list themselves in a city-state-national database with no allowance for possession of any animal for the remainder of their life.
Please use your voice. Spread awareness. What we allow is what will continue.
Jaime Elizabeth Daughtridge Original Post: 10 12 2012 (Xanga)