We reached out to the Humane Society of the United States earlier today for a comment on Michael Vick’s recent statement that he’s now a dog owner. The Philadelphia Eagles’ QB has been actively involved with the organization in speaking out against dogfighting ever since his release from prison in 2009. This is what we received back from Rachel Querry, Director of Communications for the HSUS.
“We received confirmation from the media that Michael Vick’s family did acquire a dog,” she writes. “That happened without The HSUS’s knowledge or participation. Vick expressed an interest in getting a dog two years ago for his children once his probation ended — five years after his terrible crimes came to light. We knew he’d be legally allowed to acquire an animal after his period of probation elapsed, and if they were going to bring an animal into their family, we urged him and his wife to go to a shelter or rescue group to save a dog and give an animal a second chance. We expect that Vick will continue to be in the media glare, and there will be a focus on his family’s proper care for the dog.
“We are paying attention to this too, but it’s not a major animal welfare issue. Instead, when it comes to the protection of dogs, we are focusing on further strengthening the legal framework against dogfighting, building community-based programs that instill respect for animals and deter young people from going down the dead-end road of dogfighting, promoting adoption and driving down euthanasia rates, and cracking down on puppy mills. Those are the urgent battles that need the full attention of animal advocates.”
As Michael Vick said in his statement, he understands the strong emotions surrounding his decision, but made the choice to bring a dog into his life for the sake of his children.
“I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of God’s creatures with kindness and respect,” he said. “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.”
To learn more about the Humane Society of the United States work against dogfighting, jump here.