by Jennifer Mishler
Categories: Animals, Sports
Tags: .
Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons

PETA is tackling an NFL player for his treatment of animals, but it’s not Michael Vick this time.

Darnell Dockett, defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals, has become the focus of PETA protest after he purchased a baby alligator to keep as a pet. The alligator, which Dockett has named Nino, will not do well as a house pet according to the animal rights organization. PETA president Michelle Cho said, “Alligators in the wild roam freely with members of their own kind, travel long distances, and thrive in the rivers and lakes that they call home…When confined, wild animals will exhibit neurotic and self-destructive behaviors because of extreme boredom, stress, and frustration at being unable to engage in natural behaviors. Keeping an alligator as a pet is simply unfair to the animal.”

And the well-being of the alligator is not all PETA has warned about. They have also emphasized the dangers to humans when keeping an animal meant to live in the wild in their home. “By their very nature, these animals are unpredictable and can inflict serious harm,” Cho wrote. “You would be held liable for any damage, injuries, or illnesses caused by the alligator.” There has been no response from NFL or Dockett as of yet.

Hmm. Maybe Darnell should have adopted a shelter dog or cat instead…?


About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

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  • Jacqueline

    This doesn’t sound a practical pet at all. Poor thing, I can see why PETA became involved.

  • Sonia

    I read about this somewhere. Not a very smart man. Someone else I read about recently is Chad Ochocinco, who owns a pet tiger and was in a recent PETA ad. I admire what PETA does, but they can be a bit hypocritical:/

  • Steve

    As a reptile keeper myself, I will admit that an alligator is not a pet. However, if Darnell Dockett, has the resources to provide a spacious enclosure, proper food and conditions and provide security for those wanting to see it, then I see no problem. Maybe Peta should actually view how the animal is kept before resorting to their usual appeals to emotion instead of hard facts. Alligators, when given the proper captive conditions do exhibit natural behaviors. Reptiles don’t get bored like higher mammals. They spend most of their time, when not hunting for food, hiding in a confined space.
    Petards are ignorant of biology, zoology and animal husbandry and are completely devoid of logic. They are also shameless killers of unwanted pets. They take in about 30 million bucks a year. Does that money go to a state of the art adoption facility with a full veterinary staff? Noooo, it is spent on advertising.
    In 20010, Peta took in 2,345 unwanted dogs and cats and found homes for 44. 44! That’s a disgrace. Local animal shelters do better that that on a shoestring budget. I guess it’s better to be dead than a “slave”. That’s right all you PETA supporters, Peta would rather gass your dog or kitty than have it be in your home.
    All of this info is easily view at the Virginia Dept of Agriculture.