As football fans swoon with the news that the NY Jets have signed Michael Vick and he may be a starting quarterback next season instead of a backup, I thought I’d just take a moment to remind the internet that Michael Vick tortured and killed dogs, was never charged with animal cruelty for those crimes and never served a day in jail for them. Vick pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture in 2008. The animal cruelty charge was dropped in the plea agreement. Do not peddle your “He’s paid for his crimes” excuse here.
At the time, the Humane Society of the United States had harsh words regarding Vick’s slap on the wrist from the state of VA which added no time to his 23 month federal sentence:
The Humane Society of the United States said it wished that Vick’s sentence was stiffer.
“We had hoped that the Commonwealth of Virginia would send a stronger message that dogfighting crimes are cruel and unacceptable,” Michael Markarian, the executive vice president of the Humane Society, said in a statement. “Nevertheless, Michael Vick is already paying his debt to society with a federal prison sentence, and his example has demonstrated to people across the country that dogfighting is a dead-end activity that can jeopardize your freedom and your future.”
Of course that was before HSUS saw dollar signs and partnered with Vick to whitewash his image.
Some of us were never fooled and still remember.
An excerpt from Jim Gorant’s book The Lost Dogs:
Vick and friends had not simply eliminated these [failed fighting] dogs with a cold efficiency, they’d beaten them first. The revelation added another layer of brutality to the already nasty case.
And then there was one last body that stood out from the rest. It had signs of bruising on all four ankles and all along one side. Its skull was fractured in two places and it had four broken vertebrae. Brownie had said that all of the dogs that didn’t die from being hanged were drowned, except one.
As that dog lay on the ground fighting for air, Quanis Phillips grabbed its front legs and Michael Vick grabbed its hind legs. They swung the dog over their head like a jump rope then slammed it to the ground. The first impact didn’t kill it. So Phillips and Vick slammed it again. The two men kept at it, alternating back and forth, pounding the creature against the ground, until at last, the little red dog was dead.
Number of days in prison Michael Vick served for torturing and killing “underperforming” dogs? Zero. Number of animal cruelty convictions on his record? Zero. The value of Vick’s one year contract with the Eagles last year? 10 million dollars.