Recently, the HSUS released two PSAs featuring controversial Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and convicted dog fighter Michael Vick.
One thirty second video shows Vick urging people to use their toll-free tip line to report any animal cruelty or fighting they witness. “If you see animal cruelty in your neighborhood, speak up,” Vick says. “Make the call.”
A second video, a two minute educational piece, features Vick speaking directly with young people, encouraging them to treat animals kindly. In it, Vick vows to help more animals than he hurt. He tells the group “Pets have feelings, they have emotions, we gotta give them the same type of lifestyle that we wanna have.”
This is not the first time Vick and the HSUS have worked together. In 2009, toward the end of his 18 month prison sentence, Vick met with HSUS president Wayne Pacelle to discuss working together on a campaign. Many animal advocates find their collaboration contestable, but Pacelle feels Vick is a changed man. Regardless, Pacelle says “There is a utility for the animal protection cause in having him out there speaking, especially in communities where we have not had a very strong voice.”
In 2009, the Eagles launched a campaign, “Treating Animals With Kindness,” which provided grant assistance to animal welfare organizations, including HSUS. Last year, Vick backed congressional anti-dogfighting legislation. Both Vick and Pacelle deny receiving any money for their collaboration on the ads or their campaign.
Watch the videos below: