Animal Advocates: Vick Case Increases Awareness Of Dog Fighting


Since Michael Vick has pleaded guilty to dog fighting conspiracy charges, some animal rights groups are hoping the NFL will take action to fight against animal cruelty and dog fighting.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling on the NFL to add cruelty to animals “in all its forms” to the list of offenses in their code of personal conduct.

PETA’s website refers to three previous cases of animal cruelty involving NFL players: Falcons tackle Jonathan Babineaux accused in February of inflicting blunt trauma on his girlfriend’s dog, Kilo, which later died; ex-Packers/Cardinals/Giants running back LeShon Johnson found guilty in 2004 of involvement in a massive dogfighting ring; and former Eagles running back Thomas Hamnerwas convicted twice of beating his dog and animal cruelty.

PETA is also offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in dogfighting.

“Since the Vick case ripped the lid off dogfighting, law enforcement and PETA are getting tips and leads on other cases across the country,” said PETA spokesman David Perle. “PETA is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in dogfighting, and we are working with law enforcement in a number of different jurisdictions.”

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (APSCA), also sees Vick’s plea as a way to spread awareness about this horrible crime. ASPCA President Ed Sayres said the agency salutes the US Attorney’s Office and USDA in pursuing the case. This sends a message to those involved in animal cruelty that what they are doing is cruel and unacceptable.

Despite Vick pleading guilty, the American Kennel Club is concerned that Vick’s punishment will not fit the heinous nature of his crimes.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) said the situation is sad, and it is unfortunate that Vick has inflicted this on himself and others.

“The resolution of this federal case is no cause for celebration - many dogs suffered terribly and a gifted athlete and his bright career have been perhaps irreparably damaged,” Wayne Pacelle, president of HSUS, said. “The only good that can come from this case is that the American people dedicate themselves to the task of rooting out dogfighting in every infected area where it thrives.”

Source: USA Today, Sports Illustrated

Photo: Associated Press

13 Responses to “Animal Advocates: Vick Case Increases Awareness Of Dog Fighting”

  1. Bane says:

    Please, please PLEASE stop reporting what those hypocrites PETA, HSUS and ASPCA have to say. They are the biggest opponents of the no-kill movement. Please visit to get the full story on these three hypocritical “animal welfare” groups. PETA wants those dogs dead…they won’t even hear of giving the poor things a second chance. There is no doubt in my mind that at least a few if not most of the dogs are not too far gone to be rehabilitated. PETA is a fraud, and uses donations for media publicity while killing 90% of the animals who are unfortunate enough to end up in their hands. No-kill groups have actually had to rescue animals from PETA! These groups are especially insidious because people listen to what they have to say, thinking they have the animals’ best interests at heart. They don’t.

  2. straybaby says:

    Bane says:
    August 25th, 2007 at 8:05 am

    Bane, the ASPCA is completely different than PETA and HSUS. They are not hypocrites. They do a lot of good work here in NYC and around the country. They have a shelter and a behavior dept where they rehab abused dogs. They are an animal welfare agency, not animal rights.

  3. 2CatMom says:

    I agree with straybaby - the ASPCA is (pardon the expression) a horse of a different color. They are an excellent organization.

    What’s sad is that both PETA and HSUS have done some good work in other areas. I know PETA changed the way I feel about fur (though I never like their tactics) and HSUS has done a good job on getting the slaughter of horses for the European food market banned. They’ve also made substantial grants to help rebuild animal shelters that were detroyed by Huriccane Katrina.

    But on pit bulls - they are truly clueless. Their extreme position on pet ownership/guardianship really is out of control.

  4. Pit Bull Lover says:

    Ugh…PETA. And in light of the HSUS’s premature and prejudicial “assessment” of Vick’s dogs, a cynical decree that would put them all to death without even an attempt to conscientiously rehabilitate a few of the 50+ animals…


  5. Kevin says:

    No way I believe PETA has an animals best interest at heart.

    Just my 2 cents.

  6. Velvet's Dad says:

    Let’s refrain from calling it dog “fighting.” It is–pure and simple–dog cruelty, torture, and murder. And yes, PETA is completely out of touch with reality. Unfortunately they seem unable to grasp that responsible and compassionate human stewardship can be a wonderful thing for both pets and humans in so many, many ways. Sad.

  7. EmilyS says:

    Yeah, PETA offers a reward for turning in dogfighters.. so THEY can advocate for killing more pit bulls. What sicko-s.

    As for ASPCA, I have mixed feelings. They’re not as obviously pit bull-unfriendly as HSUS and PETA but if you go to their webpage and read the material on dogfighting, they ALSO advocate that most seized dogs be killed, just as HSUS does.

    They are apparently the lead org. in evaluating the Vick dogs… they have a big press hoopla scheduled on Monday

  8. nora says:

    Getting back to the matter of busting each and everyone of those cold blooded jocks who think it is OK to beat and abuse or kill dogs or cats (any animal) or participate in Dog fighting in ANY capacity. DO IT. PROSCECUTE those ignorant low lifes and destroy the networking they have accomplished through the generations that protect them. DO IT!!!!!! Squeeze them until they squeal on each other just like Vic and his “friends and family.”

  9. Lynn says:

    AMEN, Nora!

  10. Moony says:

    Vick is still young enough that he’s basically operating as a teenager…he hasn’t finished ‘growing up’ yet. Can anyone who’s over 30 realistically look back and say that they themselves were fully mature before they got around 28-30? He’s basically a kid with a lot of money and a lot of physical and PR power. But he’s still just a kid.

    And it makes me sad to wonder how it was he came to value life in general so little.

  11. Moony says:

    Unfortunately the editor for some reason wouldn’t let me append my last comment, so I’m sorry for the double post.

    When I was in the DC area I volunteered as a foster home for a MD shelter, and visited several shelters to give treats, including one in VA and the main municipal one in DC. I asked about pits, and why they were often labelled as American Staffordshires. It was because of the local and state laws - in DC proper pits were to be put to death ASAP unless they had a court case pending…and then only as long as the case was pending. However, this didn’t apply to Staffies, so if the dog was a nice one, he’d be listed as a Staffy to save his life and let him be adopted. The laws were different in MD and VA, and the shelters there complied with those laws. In fact, I almost got to foster a nice Fila Brasilero from the MD shelter, also a known fighting breed (she had a prolapsed uterus and died on the operating table, tho).

    Basically what I’m trying to say is that the ASPCA may only be complying with local laws regarding pits and other fighting breeds if they’re the shelter contracted with a municipality. I don’t know about the HSUS, but the same may be true of them. Obviously PETA is a different animal entirely, tho.

  12. Danielle says:

    I worked for two years at a “no-kill” shelter in my area. I have been around pitbulls that were throw over fences, covered with wounds and scars, and we had one that was used as a bait dog - muzzle taped shut so she couldn’t defend herself. The sad truth is that although these were incredibly loving dogs- that would sit in your lap and give you kisses etc. They all had triggers that would set them off- a certain type of person, or another animal. I believe they should all be given a chance, but in reality very few people will step up to the plate and adopt these dogs. When you have dogs seized from a suspected dogfighting ring- it’s usually close to 30 or more dogs taken at one time. Most shelters don’t have the capacity to take on that many dogs, and certainly not rehabilitate them. It’s very sad- alot of the people williong to adopt these dogs aren’t able to b/c they aren’t allowed to have pitbulls due to home owners insurance or because they aren’t allowed to have the dogs where they live. For these poor dogs it’s a lose/lose situation. I love my APBT with all my heart, and they will always be my favorite breed, yet everyday I live in fear of having my dog taken away from me- either stolen or by BSL. It’s a sick world we live in.

  13. annoyed says:

    who could torcher animals

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