Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was convicted of financing a dog fighting ring at his home in Atlanta in 2007. In 2001 Vick and three friends started the “Bad Newz Kennels”, shortly after Vick, the number one draft pick, signed with the Falcons. There were 51 pit bulls taken from the property.
In most states, pit bulls seized from dog fighting rings are euthanized because they are too dangerous to be adopted as pets. All the dogs taken from Bad Newz Kennels were traumatized, mistreated, neglected and abused. There were also dead dogs on the property. A judge decided to spare these dogs immediate death and allowed for them to be placed in different facilities for evaluation. Of the 51 dogs taken from Vick’s kennel, 2 died while at a shelter, 1 was put down because it was to violent and one was too sick and injured and was euthanized. Many experts feel that fighting dogs can never be safely made into family pets, but the people working with Michael Vick’s pit bulls have no doubt some of these dogs can be saved.
For many of these dogs, the problem has not be the dog’s aggression, but the fearfulness, and nervousness of the dogs. There was no positive socialization, the only way the dogs related to other dogs was as opponents meant to fight to the death. The foster care givers and adoptive families have found that these former fighting dogs have no idea how to relate as a family member.
Pit bulls or American Pit Bull Terriers, were actually a favorite family pet for many years. They were known as the “nanny dog” because of the way they were with the children in the family. They were extremely trustworthy and safe around children.
Pit bulls have recently gained popularity with street gangs. The dogs are a kind of status symbol. Gangs use the dogs as a way to threaten and intimidate people. It may be illegal to walk around with a gun or knife, but it is not illegal to walk around with a dog. Gangs also use the dogs to protect their turf and their property. It became more important to have the biggest, meanest, most vicious dog on the street. Breeding was done to produce this result, making pit bulls a dangerous, no longer a family friendly breed. Dog fighting became a way for street gangs to make more money, so it turned into a gambling operation which is big business. This was no doubt the reason Michael Vick and his friends got involved.
After hearing the graphic details of what was done to Michael Vick’s dogs, the way they were beaten and killed. Many people felt strongly that he should do serious jail time and never be allowed to play professional football again. Michael Vick did 18 months of a 23 month sentence in prison and was required to pay over $900,000.00 for the care and rehabilitation of the dogs seized from his property.
This past week, it was announced that Michael Vick signed a two year contract to play for the Philadelphia Eagles. The buzz word around the decision has been “second chance”. Many fans feel like Vick did his time and paid for his crime so he should be allowed to play football again. Just as many fans say Vick should never be allowed to play again, and have even stated that they will no longer be Eagles fans. There is a huge uproar in the city about the decision. It is obviously an emotional subject. What do you think? Should Michael Vick be allowed to have his NFL career back?
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joseph_M_Sabol