Forgiving and Forgetting

   All beings tremble before violence. 
All fear death, all love life. See 
yourself in others. Then whom can 
you hurt? What harm can you do?
 – Buddha

3-25-14(1)

On April 25, 2007, one of the most high-profile animal abuse cases became public knowledge.  Michael Vick’s property in Surry County, Virginia, was found to be operating a dog fighting ring.  Vick was formally charged in July 2007 and served less than two years in prison.

Now he’s been picked up by the Jets.  This isn’t sitting well with quite a few of us, including some of the more….enthusiastic football fans.  The Jets’ Facebook page is telling a very interesting story.

“JETS fan for 28 years. My father almost 60 years. We will not watch or support the team in any way this season,” wrote Amanda Sozio Bajek .

“He electrocuted dogs in a bathtub for fun. I’m supposed to root for this guy?” posted Ryan Breslin. “As ashamed as I’ve ever been to be a Jets fan and that’s saying something.”

It appears that fans aren’t quite ready to forgive and forget.  How could they?  Anyone who has read any information about the actual activities Vick engaged with can not support him without shedding their own humanity.  Most people know he was engaged in “dog fighting”.  For the majority of individuals, that conjures up images of two dogs, of similar size and strength, duking it out to the death while spectators watch and place wagers.  Revolting, but …possibly forgivable?  Maybe.  But what really happens is so gruesome, I wonder at anyone’s capacity for forgiveness, let alone thrusting said perpetrator into the lime lite of fortune and fame.

Dog fighting is gruesome at best.  Vick facilitated the worst.  He would hang, drown, shoot, bash their brains repeatedly into the ground until dead, and, perhaps most heinously, electrocute dogs in his swimming pool by attaching jumper cables to their ears prior to tossing them in (his pool had claw marks all around it from dogs desperately trying to escape their torturous death).  He repeatedly threw family pets into the pit to watch them get savaged by his fighting dogs.  He took a dog as loving and docile as a pit bull, and through pain and torture, deprivation and isolation, convinced them that fighting was their only option.

A small dog that made it out of Vick's torture-inflicting Bad Newz Kennels. He has since been adopted after being seized during the raid.

A small dog that made it out of Vick’s torture-inflicting Bad Newz Kennels. He has since been adopted after being seized during the raid.

Recently a story came into the news about a woman who had neglected her Boxer to the point it was found wandering the streets, just skin and bones, with frostbite on its nose.  This poor dog has since succumbed to her injuries.  Outrage at the treatment of this wretched animal was immediate and tidal.  The owner was found, and rally’s are being planned around her first court date.  She will serve jail time (thankfully the case is too high-profile to allow anything less).  She most likely will have a very difficult time getting a job after jail, as she will probably be blacklisted from most jobs based upon what she did.

Michael Vick tortured dogs in the most sick, sadistic ways possible, over a span of many, many years.  Hundreds of dogs.  He has now signed a contract with a major NFL team.  I think that’s more of a reflection upon the NFL.

No.  I won’t be able to forgive.  The sad things is, most of the dogs he tortured, if they are still living, probably would.  I’m only human.

 

Kerry Stack
Darwin Dogs LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio

5 thoughts on “Forgiving and Forgetting

  1. I totally agree with Kate. Luckily, I’m not a Steelers fan. I don’t think the NFL should have ever let him play again. Kids look up to pro ball players. This man is no one that anyone should ever look up to.

  2. I will not be watching a game AT ALL this season, Steelers have been my team since I was 3 years old. Just can’t do it. Vick is clearly inhuman. My mind struggles to comprehend how any person could inflict such harm, such torture. It amazes me that so many can not see the utter lack of emotion, of empathy . . .and the lack of any reaction that is even remotely human and not contrived for the media in order to get back into making millions . I don’t care to share the planet with him, never mind my team.

    These aren’t just accusations, or unfounded charges! He admitted to the systematic torture and execution of living creatures. He was charged and convicted. Worse yet, was he forced against his will to do such heinous things? Nope, he did it for pleasure. Vick tortures, abuses, inflicts grave bodily harm on living creatures for pleasure. Please understand this “man” slept soundly in his bed after torturing man’s best friend, leaving them wounded and suffering, or dead, not far from where he rested peacefully. If you really think it is within the scope of our judcial system to rehabilitate him, I think you need your brain examined.

    He should not be allowed to play in the NFL, AT ALL, EVER! Any convicted felon should not be playing in such a privileged position, and a position of great influence over the countries youth.

    • My husband is from Pittsburgh and a Steelers fan through and through. When I told him that I won’t be watching any Steelers games with him this season, he didn’t really take me seriously. So I asked my husband if he could support Vick if Vick had tortured OUR dog that way. I have a feeling my husband won’t be watching much either. I think instead we will walk our beautiful, sweet dog together.

  3. I will not be watching a game AT ALL this season, Steelers have been my team since I was 3 years old. Just can’t do it. Vick is clearly inhuman. My mind struggles to comprehend how any person could inflict such harm, such torture. It amazes me that so many can not see the utter lack of emotion, of empathy . . .and the lack of any reaction that is even remotely human and not contrived for the media in order to get back into making millions . I don’t care to share the planet with him, never mind my team.

    These aren’t just accusations, or unfounded charges! He admitted to the systematic torture and execution of living creatures. He was charged and convicted. Worse yet! Was he forcednagainst his will to do such heinous things? Nope, he did it for pleasure. Vick tortures, abuses, inflicts grave bodily harm on living creatures for pleasure. Please understand this “man” slept soundly in his bed after torturing man’s best friend, leaving them wounded and suffering, or dead, not far from where he rested peacefully. If you really think it is within the scope of our judcial system to rehabilitate him, I think you need your brain examined.

    He should not be allowed to play in the NFL, AT ALL, EVER! Any convicted felon should not be playing in such a privileged position, and a position of great influence over the countries youth.

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