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Tag: anti-dogfighting

Anti-dogfighting PSA gives voice to dogs

 

I’m all for giving dogs a voice, I just get a little creeped out when it’s a human one.

Talking dog movies, for example, strike me as another example of making them (dogs) more like us (humans), when they are perfect just as they are — and when they’re not, it’s usually because of something we humans imposed on them.

Nevertheless, this public service announcement from KnockOutDogFighting.org is so well done, and rings so true, and is for such a good cause, it’s worth a look.

The Knock Out Dog Fighting program is an award-winning anti-dogfighting campaign that makes use of professional athletes – professional boxers and fighters who partner with schools, juvenile detention facilities, community centers, community-based organizations, dog trainers, law enforcement agencies and gang prevention task forces with the goal of stopping cruelty and abuse.

The program identifies the underlying reasons kids and young adults are fighting dogs and provides resources and youth intervention programs to address those issues, working to help at-risk youth make better choices and develop empathy for animals.

Eagles launch animal kindness effort

The Philadelphia Eagles — as if to make amends for hiring a convicted dogfighter — have announced a half million dollar effort to reduce the abuse of animals, promote responsible adoption, encourage spaying and neutering and put an end to dog fighting through increased public education and awareness.

Eagles owner Christina Lurie and Eagles president Joe Banner announced the initiative yesterday. It was described as a half million dollar commitment to support animal welfare organizations. An Eagles press release on the campaign made no mention of Michael Vick, who the Eagles signed as quarterback after completion of his federal prison sentence for dogfighting.

As part of the new effort, the Eagles will donate $50,000 each to the Humane Society of the United States’ anti-dogfighting  program, a low cost spay and neuter facility operated by the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, and the Berks County Humane Society in support of its new mobile veterinary clinic.

The Eagles also announced they will coordinate a TAWK (Treating Animals With Kindness) series that brings animal experts to local schools, a public service announcement campaign involving Eagles players and a website with information and updates about the TAWK program, and information about animal welfare issues.

Vick takes to the pulpit in Washington

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick spoke from behind the pulpit of a Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. yesterday — the latest in a series of talks aimed at helping to stop dogfighting and earning himself redemption.

With a line of police standing against the back wall, Michael Vick clutched the sides of a pulpit and told the crowd at the Covenant Baptist Church the story of how as a young child he watched dogfights in his Newport News, Va., neighborhood and eventually fell into a dogfighting operation, leading to his arrest, a 23-month prison term and more than two-year suspension from professional football.

You can read the Washington Post story here.

Vick was in D.C. as part of an arrangement he has made with Wayne Pacelle, the president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), to make two public appearances a month to speak out against dogfighting.

The agreement played a role in NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to end Vick’s suspension last week, allowing him to play in the Eagles’ game last Sunday.

Vick has spoken at events held at schools in Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta.

ASPCA condemns Vicks return to NFL

Michael Vick’s “handlers” approached the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals about conducting anti-dogfighting work with the organization, but was turned down, according to an ASPCA press release issued Friday.

“This organization and I personally have seen the acts of cruelty committed by Mr. Vick first hand — acts so heinous that the public has never laid witness to them,” Ed Sayres, president and CEO of the ASPCA said in a prepared statement.

Noting that the ASPCA helped process evidence that led to Vick’s 18-month imprisonment, Sayres condemned Vick’s return to the NFL and his signing with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“Today, it is difficult to see him in the uniform of a Philadelphia Eagle because of the startling lack of judgment and moral character he has demonstrated over the past several years. It is questionable whether he will have any credibility as an educator on the dog fighting issue.”

Vick has teamed up with the Humane Society of the United States to campaign against dogfighting.

The ASPCA statement was prompted by Vick’s interview last week on 60 Minutes:

Here is the press release in its entirety.

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Vick makes first anti-dogfighting appearance

Michael Vick, in the first of what he hopes will be dozens of appearances around the country to urge low-income youths to avoid dogfighting, spoke to a small gathering  in Atlanta yesterday — but most press was banned from the event.

Vick’s visit to a suburban Atlanta community center was largely off limits — both to the news media and most members of the neighborhood it was supposed to be helping. Only 55 people and a crew from “60 Minutes” were allowed to attend, the Associated Press reported.

An Associated Press reporter, videographer and photographer were among the media banished from the property by police. Most people who live in the largely black neighborhood southeast of Atlanta were unaware of Vick’s appearance.

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, said the group wants to be open and reach as many people as possible with its anti-dogfighting message, but Vick’s handlers insisted on tight controls on the meeting.

“We don’t want this to be a flash in the pan,” Pacelle said. “We are committed to transparency over the long run and having Michael involved in many community-based events to speak about the issue. I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but he wants the opportunity in a controlled setting to make his first statement on the issue. But I’m sure he’s going to be speaking out more based on what he had to say today.”

“We’re giving him an opportunity to plug into our community-based forums,” Pacelle said. “But he obviously has his own set of individuals who are working with him and want to present things in the way they want.”

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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.

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