by Allyson Koerner
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .

NFL football player Michael Vick has officially announced he does indeed own a dog.

Last week, we reported that Vick tweeted a photo implying he is now a proud dog owner, but had yet to comment. The photo showed a box of dog biscuits, which jump-started speculation.

Well, he finally released a statement saying, “I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family’s decision to care for a pet. As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals.

“I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of God’s creatures with kindness and respect. Our pet is well cared for and loved as a member of our family. This is an opportunity to break the cycle. To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change.”

As heartfelt as that sounds, some might have a hard time forgetting Vick’s actions regarding dog fighting and the killing of innocent creatures.

On the other hand, some might question if it should be held over his head for the rest of his life and that forgiveness is the answer, especially since he already served time in prison.

Let us know what you think.

About Allyson Koerner

Allyson Koerner first found her love of writing while attending Westminster College in Pennsylvania, and that passion evolved while she was earning her Master's in Print & Multimedia Journalism at Boston's Emerson College. She's an experienced writer dabbling in all things vegan, green, entertainment and TV-related. Feel free to keep tabs on her over at Twitter: @AllysonKoerner.

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  • MacKenzie Serpe

    While I agree with the forgive and forget situation in SOME cases NOT all. This is definitely one time when I can’t see that happening. Anybody who can “conveniently” forget needs to be gently remixed by seeing those pictures. I’m giving to understand that no actions have consequences anymore. No accountability either. It seems like the guilty (Michael Vick) go free while the innocent (Pit Bull breed and mix) are guilty simply because of how they look and the fear being used by the media and others ignorant of the pure joy and love they have and is unjustly used to dissuade against being adopted thanks to BSL laws and discrimination around the world. Michael Vick should NEVER be forgiven, much less own another dog again!

  • Anna

    I am passionate about animal welfare and had a hard time forgiving Michael Vick myself but there are a few reasons why I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt. First, unlike the perception of the comment by MacKenzie, the guilty did have consequences and accountability, the man served time in jail as guided by the legal system we all operate within in the United States, he actually spent three years in jail, which must have been an adjustment for a person that’s been used to living a life of an NFL quarterback. Second, he was raised in a urban environment where this was the status quo, dog fighting, much like cock fighting is just ‘how it is,’ there are a lot of barbaric practices that we as people have exhibited toward animals in our history, for example the Romans would pay a good amount of money just to watch animals be brutalized in front of their eyes. But as we evolved so has our relationship with animals. Though group thinking is no excuse, its also hard for someone who has seen dog fighting as common place to see how horrific it really is… In my opinion falling from star QB to inmate has given Vick a shock of reality. I am sure that he won’t want to give up this life to return to jail for anything, especially dog fighting, which he now knows is wrong. So I am willing to forgive him but that doesn’t mean I’ll forget what he has done to all those poor puppies.

    • http://www.facebook.com/maryann.jacob.50 Mary Ann Jacob

      Your the one that needs a shock of reality. Fallen star to inmate for 23 months not 3 years and a back to star again making millions, Nike spokesperson for millions. Where is the punishment for fighting, torturing, and killing dogs? You think he didn’t know dog fighting was wrong? He lied and lied when it came out. If he thought he did nothing wrong he wouldn’t have lied. So now we excuse people who fight and kill dogs because of the enviroment they were raised in. So let’s just make that excuse for armed robbery and murder. Really your willing to forgive but not forgot…….some of his dogs that survived are willing to forgive humans but are still not able to forget either,

    • http://www.facebook.com/harry.burton.583 Harry Burton

      No lady, I grew up in such an environment and so did my friends, many of whom are active in animal rights!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=638566954 Nathan Waidelich

        “he was raised in a urban environment where this was the status quo”

        Vick grew up in the Hampton Roads area (VA Beach) in Virginia where this is the status quo. Anna wasn’t making a broad sweeping generalization but localizing it to this one particular individual and the environment he was brought up in. Do some research and take things into context before you lash out with harsh comments.

  • Ciarrai

    I give him no respite from the memory of his treatment of the dogs he was involved with in his dog fighting days. I hope he is hit hard every time he handles the ball in a game. Btw, what a slander against all people raised in an “urban environment.” Anna, not everyone raised there is involved in the brutal treatment of dogs that Vick was. What an insult! Insofar as Vick goes, I am willing to bet that he hasn’t changed his stripes deep down. Please stop the naive blather on this issue. Read the accounts of what he did. He is a monster in my opinion. I am not alone in this, either.

  • juliette98989

    I’m physically ill

  • Dog Person

    Perhaps as un-p..c as it would seem in today’s society, Michael Vick’s children need to suffer the consequences of their father’s misdeeds and not be allowed to own a dog. That would be a lesson learned by many – now wouldn’t it? This maybe would allow the children to learn how NOT to behave in their future. Life is not always fair, and with celebrity comes responsiblity for your actions – even if it affects your children’s wants and desires. I am sorry that he is their father. What an unfortunate legacy.

  • don miguelo

    Those dogs’ lives are never coming back. If he murdered your pet(s), would you ever forgive him, jail-time served or not? I hope this plagues him until the end of his days, not because I am vengeful and unfair, but because that is how it should be. All I see are these howls for Mr. Vick: “oh he’s a father,” “he needs a chance at redemption” or “he’s such a great athlete”- but what about the howls of the dogs that were killed or put thru this cruelty? I can only hope he hears them too and knows that he can NEVER make up for it. And I’m sorry I don’t believe for 1 second his fall from famed QB to jailbird (for 1 year, 9 mo, BTW) was enough of a shock to cause sympathy. Especially since he just signed back up with another team without missing a beat.

  • http://www.bluevolcanomedia.com/ Marjorie R. Asturias

    It’s not that he’s paid the debt he owes to society (per the judicial decision) but that he’s providing an opportunity for his kids to see what it means to be responsible, loving pet owners. I expect that Vick will have a million animal welfare activists’ eyes on him for the rest of his life, so I’d be shocked if he were to do anything that would give them/us reason to vilify him again. As a passionate and devoted animal rescuer that cries at those damn Subaru commercials featuring rescue dogs, I still can’t bring myself to read “Lost Dogs” (the critically acclaimed book about the Michael Vick case), but I believe that he’s sincere in his attempts to rehabilitate himself.

    More importantly, I know that the kids who look up to Vick as a football hero are far, far more likely to listen to him during his time as a spokesperson on behalf of HSUS, so I applaud the latter for their strategic decision to put a different, possibly more effective face to the tragic issue of dogfighting. Like it or not, animal rescue tends to be heavily dominated by white, middle-class women, and as much as we try, that is not a demographic that will be as successful reaching poor, inner-city kids with the message about dogfighting as someone like Vick.

    • http://www.facebook.com/harry.burton.583 Harry Burton

      Would you be saying all this if the victims had been children?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dylanmeli Dylan Meli

    Karma has it coming for sick. The leeches he calls family will bleed him dry, AGAIN, and all his “homies” will divy up whats left. He will be financially broke AGAIN, and that, to me, is hysterical and fitting that one dummy can blow so much money and have shit to show for it! All types of failed business ventures, this sub human has all the business acumen of a rock. If he gets broken on the football field, that would be just fine too. Once he loses his scampering ability, perhaps a well placed hit will end that scamper for good. I mean, if he isn’t performing well, he is better off dead, right? Electrocution, drowning, maybe just a few slams to the ground? That is the compassion he showed for living things. Why should he be spared from the same justice he so cruelly doled out when he is supposed to be distinguished from the animal kingdom by a sense of right and wrong. It is missing in vick, so let him feel the same horror. Life goes on, right?

    He is not intelligent enough to do anything OTHER then throw a football, and hopefully no network will touch him. They would have to write every word, because off the cuff he shows what his time at VT was worth…”just get him on the field”. This guy was a menace who was allowed to get away with piss poor citizenship BEFORE he was caught fighting innocent animals. His defenders are the same ones who claim to be wronged by the justice system, yet they perceive some type of “victory” when the justice system is skewed “the other way”, all of a sudden it is fair and equal. This is NOT a race issue, stop running out of argument and clinging to a race/social issue, you sound extremely un intelligent doing so. That very mindset prevents humanity from evolving. It is a travesty that we punish crimes of far less consequence with harsher and stiffer sentencing. Have these sick vick defenders actually read what he did? Have they looked at the viciousness of these crimes? There are many proverbs, in every culture, that teach us a human society can be measured by the way they treat their animals. We have a long way to go when we can defend someone who has committed such atrocities against companion animals such as dogs.

    Perhaps his defenders should be reminded that he admitted to using his OWN pet dog in the ring. Yes, his own “pet”, exactly what he called his new “pet”. He sacrificed his “family” pet, for his sick pleasure, because he is a coward who can’t even stand up to a tackle, immediately runs, and would rather have an innocent animal provoked into fighting his battles. If the football field were a dog ring, sick vick would be “curr” and quickly eliminated. How you people defend a man who has done this to innocent animals is beyond me!

    The argument that his children should not be affected by his punishment is also baseless. Reality is that children ARE affected by the decisions of their parents. That is why as parents we should make good decisions. The vick children are not immune from this. “Why can’t I have a dog” “Well, because I made some horrible decisions in my life, and that is a part of my punishment” I doubt the vick kids are hurting for anything, unless he is late on one of his baby momma support payments, again. In fact, if sick REALLY cared for dogs he would do the right thing and CHOOSE not to own own out of compassion and respect. He is certainly not deserving of animal companionship. He gave that up when he murdered them in cold blood. I would trust a convicted animal abuser like vick around a dog as much as I would trust a convicted child molester as a babysitter.

    No, he is a self serving egotist and those defending him are probably dream chasers and sideliners who never made the cut themselves, so they live vicariously through his notoriety. They want to be like him, as they live their miserable, dreary existence refusing to get ahead because there are just oh so many obstacles and things “stacked against them” Pathetic. I challenge each of you to READ about the types of individuals who torture and abuse animals, and then ask yourself if you would really want vick as a neighbor, a friend, or worse, as a ROLE MODEL for you and your children. His behavior was text book sociopath, and any defense of it may mean you, yourself, may have some issues to work out. Or you are just ignorant. Both of those problems can be fixed, but it will take effort on your part…

    The lack of action taken by the NFL on not only this, but other incidents of reckless criminal behavior is disturbing. Can you honestly say someone like vick, who commited these cowardly acts and also financed and gambled on these acts, should be allowed in the NFL? The NFL should be ashamed. If someone like Pete Rose, who put up superior numbers in his sport and reached a level that vick can only dream of attaining, received a ban from his sport for his crimes, then it simply does not make sense that someone like vick is allowed to be associated with a “professional” sports organization. Although, with all the scientific and medical evidence beginning to surface, I suspect the NFL will implode in the near future. Good riddance.

    Really, the defense for his act is there IS no defense. Greater people of ALL races have risen from much crueler and more impoverished environments then the coddled athlete that is sick vick. It is a slap in the face to them to laud vick as a “victim” and product of his environment. These are your heroes? No, he will never live the act of cowardice down, he will be a villain in the majority of the public’s eyes forever. Deal with it. OJ showed his true colors, and karma caught up with him, it will catch hold of vick, and he will remembered as a cruel bastard sub human for much longer then he is remembered for his inability to hold onto a football. #truth

    • http://www.facebook.com/harry.burton.583 Harry Burton

      I love the deliberate typo “if sick REALLY cared for dogs”… from now on he shall be known as Sick Mick Vick.
      Thanks for the excellent comments, it says all we need to know about SMV and the dingbats who support him.

  • lotusdragonfly

    I have never believed for a moment that he has ever taken responsibility for what he did, he got caught, he lost a huge amount of fans and he has said whatever he thinks people want to hear ever since. What he did wasn’t a momentary lapse in judgement, it went on for years, he was heavily involved and it was something he didn’t have any problems with until the world found out what he was doing. He should no more be a dog owner than a pedophile should be running a child care center. The fact that he thinks it is okay to own a dog now shows that he has no remorse and no conscience about what he did.

  • Arleen

    i hope there is someone from animal services making regular visits to his home to see that the dog is being cared for. i dont know why he was not forbidden to become a dog owner as part of his probation. i am sure his kids have everything they want in life……I think they could have manavged without a dog. I also hope they are aware of what their wonderful father did to innocent creatures. He sickens me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/harry.burton.583 Harry Burton

    He had plenty of time to think about what he was doing when he was doing it; people like that don’t change because they are incapable of feeling empathy. I don’t know why this creep has acquired a dog – maybe he thinks it will improve his image, but it sure is not for any reasons of remorse for those dogs he tortured and killed. I’d say Michael Vick should be watched very carefully, because his previous behaviour brands him a psychopath and that’s something he has no control over. He should have been banned from ever owning or even being near an animal for the rest of his life, include children in that one and any life-form unable to defend itself from this vile POS. He’s a danger to society and kicking a ball around doesn’t change that.