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Vick heads home, may work with HSUS

Michael Vick left prison and is headed home today — and he hopes to team up with the Humane Society of the United States in a program aimed at eradicating dogfighting among urban teens.

HSUS President Wayne Pacelle said Tuesday that he recently met with Vick at the federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan., and that Vick, who requested the meeting, wants to work with the group once he’s out of federal custody, according to Sports Illustrated.

Vick is returning to Hampton, Virginia, where he will serve the final two months of his 23-month prison sentence for dogfighting under home confinement. Vick is expected to be released to supervised probation July 20 after receiving two months off his term for good behavior.

“He indicated that he’s tremendously remorseful about this, and now he wants to be an agent of change, to work to end dogfighting and to specifically get young kids to cease any involvement in these activities,” Pacelle said.

“Sometimes folks who are reformed can be particularly strong advocates,” Pacelle said, adding the Vick would be expected to do more than simply record anti-dogfighting public service announcements. “We agree that he’s got to put boots on the ground and hit the issue hard and do it over a long time.”

Pacelle elaborates on the unlikely alliance today on his blog, Humane Nation.

“I sat with the man, but I still don’t know what’s in his heart. He told me he did terrible things to dogs. He said he grew up with dogfighting as a boy, and that he never sufficiently questioned it as he grew into manhood.”

The HSUS gig could go far in helping Vick prove that he is remorseful and rehabilitated, which NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said is what will determine if the suspended quarterback plays professionally in the NFL again.

“Michael’s going to have to demonstrate to myself and the general public and to a lot of people, did he learn anything from this experience? Does he regret what happened? Does he feel that he can be a positive influence going forward? Those are questions that I would like to see when I sit with him,” Goodell said Tuesday.

Pacelle agreed that Vick’s actions — not just his words — will be critical as Vick returns to society and attempts to repair his image.

“He’s got to help himself. We can give him an opportunity to do the right thing, but it’s ultimately going to be his level of intensity and sincerity that is going to convince the American public,” Pacelle said. “He still has to prove himself over time.”


Comment from Baltimoregal
Time May 20, 2009 at 3:14 pm

I still wouldn’t trust him around dogs. If he’s gonna go speak to kids maybe that would work. Wayne Pacelle has not always been a friend to pit bulls either, so we’ll see about this whole thing…

Comment from feefifoto
Time May 20, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Michael Vick ought to give up on his hope to rejoin the NFL and spend the rest of his life working with abused animals and helping to prevent further abuse. Either that, or he needs to rejoin professional football and devote 90% of his future earnings, and all of his free time, to helping abused animals. The Humane Society “gig” needs to become a way of life for him, not just a gig.

Comment from Mary Haight
Time May 20, 2009 at 7:21 pm

I heard the interview with Pacelle on NPR this afternoon, and it will be really interesting to watch if Vick actually gets involved with the “boots on the ground” End Dogfighting campaign that began here in Chicago a couple of years ago and has since gone to other cities. HSUS underwrites $100K of the costs per year, so it’s fairly shoestring–Vick could do some good raising funds…but then with the allegations against HSUS of misleading the public on fundraising that came out of Atlanta the other day, people may not trust the process.

Although I have blasted HSUS for their friend of the court briefs that suggest killing all fighting Pit Bulls, including the puppies, this is one thing they are involved with that works to benefit Pit Bulls. People from the communities affected by dog fighting are the boots on the ground that interrupt fights, and offer another way to have pride in a dog’s abilities through agility training.

If Vick’s heart has actually changed, he’d make one heck of a poster child for ending dog fighting.

Comment from Jason
Time May 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I think people need to lay off the HSUS bashing. They definitely think for themselves, and do things not everyone likes, but it’s pretty obvious they are willing to take criticism to do things they think will help end dogfighting. I respect that.

Comment from Dr. Rosset
Time May 22, 2009 at 9:40 am

You want Vick to work with HSUS who has been caught soliciting money deceptively.
This is an animal right radical organization who killed 127 pit bulls in North Carolina from a supposed rescue operation. 67 of these dogs killed were puppies. They had people begging to take them, but HSUS Goodwin a former ALF insisted upon killing all of these dogs. Giving Michael Vick over to the HSUS is insane as they have killed more dogs than he has. These people raise money under false pretenses.

Attention dog lovers!


The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom has learned that the office of Louisiana Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell is considering whether to re-open an investigation into the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The investigation concerns whether HSUS improperly spent some of the $34 million it raised for the benefit of pets displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Apparently, Caldwell’s office received a deluge of phone calls beginning last week on the day after Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB-TV aired an exposé of HSUS’s fundraising activities. In that report, WSB called HSUS “an organization actively misleading donors to get money.” The TV station also explored just how little of HSUS’s “Katrina” fundraising appears to have been spent on genuine Katrina-related disaster relief.

This was a fabulous piece of journalism on a subject many news outlets have been too intimidated or biased to cover. (WSB-TV is working on a follow-up story, but we’ll all just have to wait patiently for that.)

— Note that there’s no way to know if HSUS will be successful at continually censoring this video. (At least one previous version was pulled from YouTube this week after being viewed more than 50,000 times.)

Here’s what you can do to help:
(1) CALL the Consumer Protection Section of the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office during regular business hours. The toll-free number is 800-351-4889. If you live in Louisiana, please call the local number at 225-326-6465, or the general office number at 225-326-6200.

Tell whoever answers that you would like the Attorney General to re-open his investigation of the Humane Society of the United States. Remind him/her that there’s no official accounting of how HSUS spent most of the $34 million it raised after Hurricane Katrina.

(2) Please follow-up with a polite e-mail to ConsumerInfo@…, and let the A.G.’s office read your request in your own words. Drop me an e-mail at Martosko@… and let me know how everything went. (Or just “BCC” me on your follow-up e-mail)

(3) Share the video of WSB-TV’s exposé with your friends, colleagues, family, and neighbors. It remains available (for now) at http://is.gd/BQGu — If this video should disappear, feel free to e-mail me and ask if another version has popped up anywhere.

(4) If you are able, please consider making a donation to the Center for Consumer Freedom so we can keep up the pressure on the Humane Society of the United States. We’ve got some exciting plans for the months ahead, but we need additional resources to make it all work.

Donations can be made at http://www.consumerfreedom.com/donations.cfm and they are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. The Center for Consumer Freedom is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Thanks for all you do to provide for animals. Remember: You are the real animal advocates. And we’re on your side.

David Martosko
Director of Research

The Center for Consumer Freedom