There is a great deal of evidence tying Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick to a very large dog-fighting business (5/30, Sports, “Vick search warrant issued”). Clinton Portis, a Washington running back, stated that if Vick wanted to participate in dog fighting, he should do it, that it’s nobody’s business.
This situation is a perfect example of sports figures who are overglorified and regarded as above the law because they are stars.
Dog fighting is a felony and an extremely violent, cruel sport. Dogs routinely fight to the death in bloodbaths. Some are used as bait, mouths taped shut. Dogs that lose are thrown out, wounded, to suffer and die alone. Some are chained so tightly they can’t lay their heads down. Others are set on fire.
Illegal firearms, drugs and violence are commonly present during fights, and this sport poses a serious danger to all communities.
We must teach our children that being a star, rich and famous, does not make someone glamorous. Anyone who condones dog fighting is not a decent role model. And anyone who participates in crimes such as dog fighting belongs in prison, not the NFL.
If Michael Vick is found to be guilty of having sought profit from the training and fighting of dogs, it seems only fair that he should spend his jail time tethered on a heavy choke chain to a filthy doghouse.
Cruel and unusual? Yes — not that he wouldn’t deserve it. But this is a land of laws.
Unfortunately, the rights of good people are being violated because of irresponsible animal owners. Families are being forced to part with beloved, well-trained pets that threaten no one.
Any dog can be made to be dangerous, or be taught to love and be well-behaved. Laws making it impossible for good people to keep good dogs are cruel.
People involved in activities like those Vick is accused of contribute to conditions used as an excuse by legislators to violate the rights of good people with breed bans and impossible breed-specific hurdles.
Punish animal abusers, not good persons and good dogs.