http://www.examiner.com/x-1779-LA-Pet-R ... id-to-dogs
Michael Vick released; time to remember what Vick actually did to dogs
May 19, 10:14 Kate Woodviolet
Vick will spend the remaining weeks of his prison term safely in his own home
UPDATED The L.A. Times reports that Michael Vick has been released from prison, the rest of his sentence to be served at his 3,538-square-foot home in Hampton, Va., with the expectation that he will be officially released from Federal custody on July 20th.
There has been widespread speculation as to whether Vick will return to his lucrative football career, and which teams would be willing to take the PR hit involved in hiring him. Although NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell characterized Vick's actions as "not only illegal, but also cruel and reprehensible,” he has declined to make a decision on whether Vick could be reinstated as an NFL player until his sentence is officially over.
Some commentators have argued that Vick should be allowed to play because he “made a mistake” and has now “paid his debt.” Perhaps these people are under the mistaken impression that all Michael Vick did was fight some Pit Bulls. But dog fighting, as cruel a crime as it is, is the least of what Michael Vick did.
Purnell Peace conspired with Vick, Phillips and Tony Taylor to kill dogs
According to the prosecutor's statement of facts in the case, between 2002 and 2007 Michael Vick and his co-conspirators Purnell Peace, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor killed thirteen dogs by various methods including wetting one dog down and electrocuting her, hanging, drowning and shooting others and, in at least one case, by slamming a dog’s body to the ground.
Michael Vick didn't make a mistake. He didn't "make a bad choice." Over a period of five years he forced dogs into deadly fights, and he personally killed, or conspired to kill, thirteen dogs. He didn't pick a quick, painless method of killing, but instead chose a variety of means that qualify as torture. Pit Bulls are powerful dogs. Imagine how hard you would have to work to kill a Pit Bull by forcibly drowning him.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also reports, "Sometimes [the dogs] were starved to make them more vicious in the pit."
And Michael Vick didn’t confine the abuse and killing to his own Pit Bulls.
Quanis Phillips, like Vick and Peace, "thought it was funny" to place family pets in the ring with trained fighting dogs
According to a November 2008 ESPN.com news story, a report prepared by the USDA's inspector general-investigations division revealed that Vick, Purnell Peace, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor also put family pet dogs into the ring with trained pit bulls.
The report, dated Aug. 28, 2008, says, "Vick, Peace and Phillips thought it was funny to watch the pit bull dogs belonging to [Vick’s] Bad Newz Kennels injure or kill the other dogs."
Supporters say Vick apologized for his actions. But in his famous press conference apology, Vick admitted only to fighting dogs, despite the fact that he pled guilty to all charges, including the killings. He admitted to “making mistakes” and “immature acts.” But deliberately and repeatedly planning dog fights and repeated premeditated violent killings of dogs are not “mistakes.” They are not the acts of someone who’s merely immature. They are the acts of a sociopath and a predator.
If we can't admit that the crimes to which Michael Vick pled guilty make one a bad person, then we have no definition of morality anymore.
Vick supporters who want to see him play football again should, if they’re being honest, say “We don’t care what Vick did to dogs, we just want to watch him play football.” But please don’t say he apologized, nor that he paid his debt. You can’t pay a debt you’ve never admitted you owe.
[Former Vick fighting dog Leo now acts as a therapy dog, comforting cancer patients Photo: MSNBC.com]
During the period when Michael Vick was in prison, two of the Vick dogs are became certified therapy dogs. They comfort the sick, children and the elderly. These dogs, who were never criminals, who never chose to hurt or kill others, are truly rehabilitated.
A man who can look a dog in the face and deliberately pick the most brutal and prolonged way of killing that dog, for nothing more than being insufficiently vicious – I think most people could reasonably wonder if such a man could ever genuinely be rehabilitated.