“If you want a friend in this world, get a dog.” -- Harry S. Truman, President of the United States (1945-1952)
Don't you just love Spot, the family dog? It doesn't matter how crappy your day was; when you get home from work, there Spot is with his tail wagging, showing all kinds of love and wanting your undivided attention. Spot's love is unconditional. How lucky we are to have man's best friend.
Now for a disturbing picture: What if someone threw Spot in a ring with another dog trained to mutilate and kill your best friend in the world? And what if Spot were still alive after the fight and electrocuted, drowned, bludgeoned, hanged, or shot to death for not being tough enough?
Spot's fate is horrifying not just because you're a dog lover, but also because you're a moral person.
OK, with that said, I'm going to quickly diverge from running to just get something off of my chest. It seems today a lot of people have forgotten what Michael Vick, the imminently talented quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, did that ultimately landed him in a Virginia state prison only a few years ago. He's playing great football this year and I guess a lot of folks have forgiven him for running an evil dog-fighting ring in Virginia and for personally taking part in the murder--yes murder--of dogs. I've heard people make all kinds of excuses for Vick, like, "Well, we all break the law now and then...." Or, "He paid his debt to society and should be allowed to return to work." Or, "Aren't we a forgiving nation?"
Look, yes, he paid his debt to society. Yes, he should be allowed to work. And, yes, as a person of faith, I do forgive Vick since he asked for forgiveness--even as this is a struggle for me since I love dogs. But no, he shouldn't be allowed to play in the National Football League, where he's going to make millions of dollars once his "probationary," "wait-and-see" contract runs out and he renews, becoming the highest-paid player in the NFL. No one in the real world would be allowed to return to their old job after going to jail for a felony.
For those who think killing dogs is no different than running a red light or double parking, I'll end with the following narrative as told in an LA Examiner column by Kate Woodviolet:
According to the prosecutor's statement of facts in the case, between 2002 and 2007 Michael Vick and his co-conspirators Purnell Peace, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor killed thirteen dogs by various methods including wetting one dog down and electrocuting her, hanging, drowning and shooting others and, in at least one case, by slamming a dog’s body to the ground.
Michael Vick didn't make a mistake. He didn't "make a bad choice." Over a period of five years he forced dogs into deadly fights, and he personally killed, or conspired to kill, thirteen dogs. He didn't pick a quick, painless method of killing, but instead chose a variety of means that qualify as torture. Pit Bulls are powerful dogs. Imagine how hard you would have to work to kill a Pit Bull by forcibly drowning him.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also reports, "Sometimes [the dogs] were starved to make them more vicious in the pit."
And Michael Vick didn’t confine the abuse and killing to his own Pit Bulls.
Quanis Phillips, like Vick and Peace, "thought it was funny" to place family pets in the ring with trained fighting dogs
According to a November 2008 ESPN.com news story, a report prepared by the USDA's inspector general-investigations division revealed that Vick, Purnell Peace, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor also put family pet dogs into the ring with trained pit bulls.
The report, dated Aug. 28, 2008, says, "Vick, Peace and Phillips thought it was funny to watch the pit bull dogs belonging to [Vick’s] Bad Newz Kennels injure or kill the other dogs."And just think--today Michael Vick is making a hefty living and getting tons of accolades as QB of the Philadelphia Eagles. He's the talk of ESPN and sports-talk radio nationwide. He's the toast of "Eagles Nation." He's said to personify the great American story of redemption.
You can read more about Michael Vick's crimes against man's best friend by clicking here.