Animal lover or not, it would take someone with a heart of stone to read the details of the crimes Michael Vick committed against the pit bull dogs in his “care” and not feel sick. While the media talk about how much “time he’ll do” and whether or not he’ll ever play in the NFL again, there is one vital piece of information missing from the equation…this isn’t about Michael Vick, it’s about the dogs.
Michael Vick is not the only dog fighter in the United States, not the only man who has made money off the dog' backs while feeding his own warped ego. Not the only one who has tortured and killed innocent dogs on a regular basis. Michael Vick is just symptom, a blip on the radar screen, of a cancer in desperate need of a cure. While the Pundits debate and the NFL Public Relations Machine wrings its hands, thousands of other "Michael Vicks," black and white, rich and poor, in neighborhoods urban and rural, are committing the same crimes against pit bull dogs that Vick did. The question remains, will the Feds come for them too or will the presently very public fight against the crime of dog fighting end with Vick? And if they do continue, who will speak for victims who can not speak for themselves, the dogs? What will become of them? Will their lives be better for our intervening on their behalf or will it be more of the same. Death, not death in the pit, but death on the end of a snare pole perhaps, death without compassion, death just the same. Will all of the dogs continue to be victimized twice? Killed by their masters because they wouldn't fight, killed by those who rescued them because they might? The dogs are left with nowhere to stand, pawns in a cruel game of guilt by association.
So I ask you, when does the dog in the fight, the innocent pit bull dog who has not asked for any of this, when does he finally get to win? When does he get the same care and compassion as any other pet? When does the pit bull dog, get be to be viewed as simply what he is, a dog, who like all canines, desires a warm hearth, plenty of food and a person to call his own?
Michael Vick’s story and the tragic story of his dogs will reach its not-so-fairy tale ending in due course. But what of the stories of all of the nameless, faceless victims of the crime of dog fighting whose masters don’t play in the NFL? What of those dogs? Who will say this doesn’t end here? Who will ensure that their stories have a happier ending than that of the Vick dogs?
I look at both of my pit bull dogs, but particularly my dog Isaac who was left to die in a dumpster, and think there but for the grace of god go they. It occurs to me that the only difference between their lives and the thousands of pet pit bulls like them and the lives of all of the pit bulls suffering in dire circumstances, is the hands into which they fell. A cruel twist of fate or a blessing from above, depending on in whose yard the dog sits.
Animal Farm Foundation