by Ali Berman
Categories: Animals
Tags: , .
Photo: PR Photos

Convicted animal cruelty offender Michael Vick thinks he is ready to get a dog. The NFL quarterback who was behind a dog fighting ring and responsible for the death, physical and mental harm of countless dogs believes he is ready to be a caring companion animal guardian.

In a recent interview with TheGrio, Vick said:

“I would love to get another dog in the future. I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process. I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love, and my passion for animals.”

Personally, I’ve always wondered if Vick’s public service and change of heart have all been a PR ploy to secure his multi-million dollar NFL contracts. Saying things like how much he wants to “show people” that he genuinely cares as a reason for getting a dog only make me more suspicious. But Wayne Pacelle, president of animal protection powerhouse HSUS, also believes he is ready. Pacelle said, “I have been around him a lot, and feel confident that he would do a good job as a pet owner.”

Vick has been working with HSUS to educate youth about the horrors of dog fighting. In the interview he said, “I hate to use our culture as an excuse, but it is what it is and that’s what happened and that’s the way I thought about it growing up. This is just the way we were brought up.” Now, he is trying to show kids who might have grown up with the same impressions that animal cruelty is not okay.

No one has to worry quite yet about Vick getting a dog. There is a court ordered rule that won’t allow him to have a canine companion of his very own.


About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

View all posts by Ali Berman →
  • R. Jones

    I cannot imagine the courts EVER ALLOWING Vick to get a dog. That just boggles my mind. He is a cruel low-life who says he has changed, but there is no way he should ever be allowed to own another dog. My God!

    • herwin

      you know, when i look at the photo of the guy..what the f***CK he smiles ?? If he REALLY realises the lowlife and cowardly cruelties he did to these poor dogs, he would feel so ashamed and never ever would show any of these stupid fake smiles. Now all he does is smile and plays the role of bad-guy-gone-good, he’s so smurky and unreal and he just loves his new role without any remorse for his victims.
      HSUS dump the MF bastard, this joke’s gone too far.

  • Donna

    never never never is how I feel. Would we allow someone to adopt children if they had been convicted of horrendous acts of violence and cruelty (to say nothing of actually killing!) to children ? Only Michael Vicks knows whether he has really changed – and perhaps he has – but why chance it?

  • georgina

    My thoughts…

    If this is a joke it is in very bad taste, still, i would prefer it was a joke. Otherwise, what i really think about Vick is that he is nothing but a PR hog (sorry piggies!). He found Jesus in jail (how many convicted people don’t find Him in jail?), he is doing work with the HSUS to show his human side, and now he is ready…to adopt…i have my doubts.

    The decision is ultimately up to whatever pet he approaches because somehow they DO KNOW what we really are about. My dogs will growl at people who dislike animals, but will melt at someone who loves animals. They have a sense of the people around them.

    If Vick ever gets one pet he better be monitored.

    Also, WHAT IS UP with sports commentators calling him “Mike Vick”? Are they like trying to make gullible sportspeople forget that he is The Michael Vick?

    • herwin

      Hello Georgina.
      urm, sometimes dogs on the street growl at me. :-(
      you know, dogs are only human, they can make a misstake and misjudge a caracter, okay ? ;-)

      To adopt, it must be a stunt and GOD forbid that its whispered in his ears by HSUS.
      Its like a convicted pedophile who adopts a child, eh. You just dont take that change, just for “proving” something.
      Grr, so angry.

      • georgina

        I once tried to rescue a dog that was wandering aimlessly down my street, but as soon as i got within touching range he barked at me. It was not a “stay away woman or i will take a chunk of your thigh” bark though, it was more like an “i am nervous and i do not know you woman; you make me uncomfortable” type of bark.

        Still, i believe that animals have a special sense that allows them to see through us humans.

  • Maria Romano Trampe’

    I live in Philly and it is just killing me how the kids are idolizing this idiot because he can throw a freakin football! Are you kidding me… a pet… what does he miss holding them under water while they struggle for their last breath? And I am really starting to question Pacelle on some of the things he is doing with HSUS, lately he seems out of touch.

    • georgina

      Answer: a soul.

      About Wayne Pacelle, this is what he said: “If at some point in the future—after his probation ends, with his counseling continuing, and with him having demonstrated an ability to interact in a positive way with animals in a supervised setting—then it would be time to confront the question of Vick being allowed to bring a dog back to his family. It’s too soon now, and that’s the way I’ve felt all along, even though my position in one news story posted online yesterday was boiled down to the simple “yes-no” question about whether he should have a dog.”

      He does agree though that if counseling and everything else that is now part of Vick’s life goes well and after his probation period ends, that he could get a dog for his daughters. My question is, what will he teach his daughters about having a companion animal? It would be utterly stupid of him to revert to his old ways because everybody is watching, so, in the end he will do the right thing, at least in public. What happens behind closed doors is what makes me nervous.

      • herwin

        About Wayne Pacelle,thats a very questionable attitude for a person who should defend animals welfare.

        Changing his past extreme behaviour cant be changed easily, my guess is that mr Vick changed one extreme behaviour (animal cruelty) with another wacky idea (he is being “used” by GOD, as he now says) so he SEEMS balanced now but is just as wacky as before.

        I wouldnt be surprised if HSUS secretly is making a doc about Vick, how he changed into this good guy guided by the HSUS culminating in that Vick has another dog.
        Sorry but i lost my trust in the motives of the HSUS, when they really even consider aproving of Sicky Vicky having another dog.

  • herwin

    OMG, its one thing to give him another change after his serving prison time, and “believe” him when he says he regrest the horrible things he did.
    But HE SHOULD NEVER EVER get come close near ANY animal in his whole life. The idea that Michael “I-Think-GOD-Uses-Me” Vick ever would have a dog again, is a very disturbing idea. The guy is just extremely sick in his head. If he really understood his disturbing behaviour and really cared for dogs he would truly understand its better not to be around dogs anymore.

  • herwin

    “No one has to worry quite yet about Vick getting a dog. There is a court ordered rule that won’t allow him to have a canine companion of his very own.”
    oh, okay, i didnt read it the first time but now i read it. GOOD !(^_^)

    • georgina

      The court ruled that during a period of three years he could not have a dog…he should have been banned forever from ever being in close contact with any animal.

      He must be close to finishing that three-year period :(

  • BanTheFurTrade

    Read Jim Grogan’s book The Lost Dogs for details on how brutally those dogs were treated. Vick is a real sicko. Only a 3 year ban on owning a pet? He should be banned from owning ANY animal, for LIFE.

    • georgina

      AND entered into an animal abuser database so that he can never have access to any kind of animal.