Vick was set to tour during the off-season to promote his autobiography Finally Free.
But online threats, made on bookstore websites and on Facebook, led the publisher to reconsider.
“While we stand by Michael Vick’s right to free speech and the retailers’ right to free commerce, we cannot knowingly put anyone in harm’s way, and therefore we must announce the cancellation of Mr. Vick’s book-signing appearances,” Byron Williamson, president of Worthy Publishing, said in a statement.
“We’ve been assured these threats of violence, which have been reported to the police, are being taken very seriously by local authorities,” Williamson added.
The publisher canceled planned signings in Atlanta, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Vick was convicted in 2007 and served 19 months in prison for his involvement in a dog-fighting ring
According to Philly mag.com, recent threats against him includes these remarks:
“I would go there to slit your throat knowing how you treat animals.”
“Hope your kids don’t fall in a pool with a battery.”
“I would snap your neck if I met you, your [sic] a piece of trash.”
PhillyMag.com reports Vick has received an increasing number of threats since acknowledging he and his family had brought a dog into their home.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 14th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, autobiography, book, book tour, bookstores, canceled, cancels, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, facebook, finally free, football, internet, michael vick, nfl, online, pets, philadelphia eagles, publisher, publishing, quarterback, threats, vick, worthy publishing
Philadelphia sports website Crossing Broad posted several photos this week of Vick and his Beligian Malinois, Angel, enrolled in training classes at a New Jersey PetSmart.
It was Crossing Broad that first broke the story — or at least raised the possibility — that Vick’s family had gotten a dog, after a member of its staff noted a box of Milk Bones on the quarterback’s breakfast table in a photo Vick Tweeted.
Several days later, Vick admitted his family had gotten a dog, something that he was legally allowed to do after the probationary period for his dogfighting sentence expired last summer.
“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.
“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,” added Vick, who has been working with the Humane Society of the United States in an anti-dogfighting campaign.
Crossing Broad reported this week that a tipster supplied the photographs of Vick at PetSmart and confirmed that Vick had signed up for a total of six training classes on Monday evenings.
(Photos: Crossing Broad)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: angel, animals, belgian malinois, classes, dog, dog training, dogfighting, dogs, michael vick, new dog, new jersey, pets, petsmart, philadelphia eagles, prison, probation, quarterback, training
A day after declining to respond to rising speculation that he had gotten a dog — prompted by a box of Milk Bones appearing in a family photo he tweeted — Vick released a statement through his publicist:
“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.”
Vick posted a photo on Twitter last week of his daughter and him seated at a table. A box of Milk Bone dog biscuits could be seen on the right side of the photo, next to a book or folder with puppies on the cover. The photo was later deleted and replaced with a similar photo in which the Milk Bones box didn’t appear.
Last Wednesday, he initially evaded questions about it, according to Philly.com, and seemed to say his personal life — even if he Tweets about it — is private.
“I’m here to strictly talk about football,” Vick said. “What goes on in my personal life is not to be talked about. What’s most important right now is the Philadelphia Eagles and getting the win Sunday.”
Vick was barred from owning a dog during a three-year probationary period after his release from prison, where he served 19 months for owning and operating a dogfighting ring. He served an additional two months of house arrest after his release in May.
In July, as the probationary period drew to a close, he told CNN’s Piers Morgan that he did not want to deprive his daughters from having a pet.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, biscuits, box, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, michael vick, michael vicks new dog, milk bones, new, pets, philadelphia eagles, photo, prison, probation, quarterback, table, terms, treats, tweet, twitter
A photo Vick posted on Twitter shows a box of Milk Bones at the edge of the frame, indicating he might have gotten the family a pet, as he has recently mentioned he was considering.
Then again, they could be part of his diet. Or maybe they just keep them on hand for visiting pets, though I’d doubt there’d be too many of those.
In the photo, Vick is shown studying a game film on an iPad, while his daughter appears to be doing homework. At the edge of the picture, there’s an opened box of Milk Bones.
“It’s not hard to connect the dots from there,” Chris Chase wrote in his USA Today blog
The picture was quickly deleted and replaced by a similar, biscuit-less one, Chase wrote.
Under terms of his probation, Vick was ordered not to own a dog for three years. That period expired several months ago. In July, Vick, in an interview with Piers Morgan, said he’d like to get a dog for his children.
“I can’t take that dream away from them,” he said.
While his ownership of a dog would be legal now, it’s bound to be a source of contention among those dog lovers who still harbor a great deal of resentment toward the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback who admitted to drowning, electrocuting and beating to death dogs that did not perform in the dogfighting ring.
Vick, as part of his rehabilitation, has been working with the Humane Society of the United States, speaking to young people about the importance of treating dogs humanely.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, biscuits, court, daughter, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, eagles, expired, family, michael vick, milk bones, order, ownership, pets, philadelphia, photo, prison, probation, quarterback, terms, treats, twitter, vick
That sound you hear is the collective bile rising in the throats of hundreds of thousands of Michael Vick-haters, who — if his new clothing line and new book aren’t distressing enough — will surely blow their tops, or lunch, upon hearing this news.
Michael Vick says maybe he’ll get a dog.
And, worse yet, at the end of this month — when the no-dog clause of his sentence for dogfighting expires — he legally can.
Vick makes the comment tonight, during an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN.
Above is a segment of what will be airing (with apologies for the 30 second commercial).
In the interview, we’re told, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback “speaks candidly about his fall from grace in 2007 when he was implicated and convicted of participating in the operation an illegal dog fighting ring.”
In his new book “Michael Vick: Finally Free, An Autobiography,” Vick expresses his love for dogs, despite taking part in training them, killing them and watching them fight to the death.
As part of his sentence, Vick was banned from owning a dog for three years, but this month the ban expires.
During the interview, Morgan asks Vick if he will get a new dog.
He says he would — for his children:
“I can’t take that dream away from them. That’s selfish on my behalf. You know, so, gotta find a way to make it right and, you know, I put everything in God’s hands to make it right.”
When Morgan asks Vick what kind of dog he would adopt, Vick replies “I would let them pick it out. Certainly wouldn’t be a pit bull.”
The interview airs at 9 p.m.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, autobiography, book, children, cnn, conviction, dog, dogfighting, dogs, finally free, getting a dog, interview, michael vick, michael vick getting a dog, ownership, pet, philadelphia eagles, piers morgan, pit bulls, pitbulls, prison, quarterback, vick
Examiner.com is reporting what it’s calling a “national outrage” — that Michael Vick has gotten a dog.
” …the latest cosmic injustice in the up-and-down saga of Michael Vick takes the cake … Judge Herman Wilton, who presided over Vick’s 2007 trial, has rescinded his order that Vick never again be permitted to own a dog. Vick is now the proud owner of a Beagle named HutHut.”
“The judge’s reasoning, if it can be called that, is (1) that Vick has been thrilling football fans with his play, (2) that he has won over the hearts and minds of the people of Philadelphia, and (3) that his young daughters really wanted a dog.”
The source for the Examiner report? The Weekly World News. The same people, or at least the latest incarnation of the publication, that brought us Bat Boy, Elvis sightings and predictions of an apocalypse at least every month.
Apparently, the Weekly World News and its playful reputation are fading from public memory — at least enough that a blogger for Examiner.com saw this report and took it at face value.
Even with such clearly doctored photos as this one, many people bought it — judging from the comments both on the Weekly World News piece and the Examiner’s. (The Examiner piece has since been taken offline.)
This proves three things. One, there is no limit to how gullible some people are. Two, legitimate newspapers had their place (bring them back). Three, this Internet thing, all this cutting and pasting and regurgitating what other people have said — at least when the original source is not one to be trusted, when the facts are not checked – is giving truth a beating.
In its paper version, on the grocery store checkout line, it was always clear to most people that the Weekly World News was a purveyor of hoaxes, sometimes mean spirited, sometime delightful.
I once went to its Florida offices to do a story on the collection of characters that put it out, in a backroom of the National Enquirer. They were a fun and creative group — from the grizzled editor to the artist who came up with Bat Boy, and insisted of course, like a professional wrestler, that the monster was real.
On the Internet, though, which is the only place where a semblance of it still exists, the Weekly World News pops up in searches just like any other publication, with no indication that it’s dispatches are meant in fun — and a slogan that even reads “The World’s Only Reliable News.”
The Weekly World News report quotes William Tacatoo (no such person), president of the Humane Society of the Pennsylvania (no such organization), as saying he has been around Vick a good deal over the last two years and feels confident Vick would be a great pet owner: “He loves dogs, he really does.”
It quotes West Virginia Judge Herman Wilton (no such judge) as saying he lifted the order banning Vick from owning dogs in the interest of the quarterback’s daughters: ”Ah, come on, we can’t deny the girls a dog.”
It reports that, as soon as the judge announced his decision, “Vick immediately went out and bought a cute, little beagle.”
Vick, though he has expressed a desire to have a dog, doesn’t have one.
The world is not coming to an end next week.
Elvis is still dead.
Bat Boy, though? I’m still not sure he’s not real.
(Photos: Weekly World News)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bat boy, beagle, bloggers, dog, dogfighting, examiner.com, hoax, humane society, huthut, joke, judge, michael vick, new dog, news, philadelphia eagles, quarterback, report, tabloids, vick, weekly world news
They both killed dogs, then went on to even greater achievement, fame and fortune in their respective professions — Vick as an NFL quarterback, Otterness as an artist.
But both are still dogged by their pasts, and both seem to imply that’s wrong — that those who keep bringing up the dogs they killed should forgive and forget and let them get on with their lives.
Boo. Freakin’. Hoo.
Otterness, a Brooklyn artist who once shot and killed a dog and called it art, has just landed a $750,000 city art contract for the Central Subway in San Francisco, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
Vick, meanwhile, will have to subsist under the terms of the $100 million contract he recently signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.
In June, the board of directors of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency approved a contract with Otterness for 59 bronze sculptures for the proposed subway’s Moscone station. (The board was unaware of the incident in Otterness’ past — even though it has reared its ugly head several times before.)
“Tom Otterness is a world-renowned sculptor who has been commissioned by government agencies around the world to create major permanent public art projects,” Susan Pontious, who pilots the San Francisco Arts Commission’s public art program, said in a statement. “The Central Subway Artist Selection Panel chose Otterness based on the strength of his proposal and his impressive portfolio of past sculptural work.”
We can only guess Otterness doesn’t list his dog-shooting movie on the resume.
Otterness has repeatedly apologized for the 1977 film project. He was 25 when he bought a small black and white dog from an animal shelter, chained it to a fence and then shot it. He filmed it for a work entitled, “Shot Dog Film.”
But the artist, like the football player, has learned that — no matter how much remorse is expressed or, in Vick’s case, time is served — some people aren’t willing to let bygones be bygones when it comes to slaying dogs.
“You do not let an animal shooter put up 59 sculptures in your subway system,” said Anita Carswell, director of the Guardian Campaign for In Defense of Animals. “This is a slap in the face of the city. It’s going to be offensive to everybody that rides the subway, a reminder: ‘People who shoot dogs for stupid reasons get rewarded.’”
As Carswell noted, San Francisco is named after St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
In a recent New York Observer article, here’s how Otterness responded when the dog killing was brought up:
“What the f— do I do with this? Certainly the scene it was part of, it was in the context of the times and the scene I was in … It is something I’ve grown to understand that nothing really excuses that kind of action. I had a very convoluted logic as to what effect I meant to have with that video. Whatever I had in mind, it was really inexcusable to take a life in service of that.”
Posted by jwoestendiek September 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, apologies, art, artist, contract, criticism, dogs, killed, killing, memory, michael vick, moscone station, past, pets, quarterback, remorse, san francisco, shelter, shot dog film, subway, tom otterness
Michael Vick bares a bit of himself — literally and figuratively — in the new (September, 2011) issue of GQ, now available at a newstand near you.
In an article written by Will Leitch, Vick makes some revealing comments that seem to come from a little deeper place than his public relations team (it consists of seven members, according to the article) normally allows.
But most of them — like the tired old argument that dogfighting is part of black culture and thus OK – seem aimed at rationalizing, if not excusing, what he did to dogs. Leitch quotes Vick as saying:
“[The media] are writing as if everyone feels that way and has the same opinions they do. But when I go out in public, it’s all positive, so that’s obviously not true … You got the family dog and the white picket fence, and you just think that’s all there is. Some of us had to grow up in poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods, and we just had to adapt to our environment. I know that it’s wrong. But people act like it’s some crazy thing they never heard of. They don’t know.”
Vick didn’t make the cover of GQ — that honor went to another quarterback, the New York Jets Mark Sanchez, who was decked out for his photo shoot in a $185 sweater, a $895 pair of pants, a $590 belt and a $8,850 watch.
Vick — wait a minute, a $590 belt??? — Vick is featured in three photos accompanying the online version of the article about him. He’s clad, or at least partially so, in what appears to be underwear/protective gear from his new sponsor, Nike.
We don’t know if that was a condition of him doing the interview, or just business as usual at GQ, taking a perfectly good story and turning it into something that doubles as advertising — not to mention also serves to make us covet unnecessary things we can’t afford, such as $590 belts.
The article itself, though, is well done. It manages to partially penetrate the facade built around Vick by his public relations team, and get beyond the canned and rehearsed remarks he normally emits while suppressing his real self and following the dictates of the image-makers. At one point, Leitch recounts one of Vick’s first appearances before students, which, in conjuntion with the Humane Society of the United States, he does from time to time, impressing upon them the evils of dogfighting.
Vick is fielding questions from students at Philadelphia’s Camelot School when one asks, in connection with Vick’s prison sentence: “Are you mad about what happened to you?”
Fifteen feet away, halfheartedly taking notes alongside a cluster of reporters, I snap to attention. What a strange question. Certainly to many, framing the past four years of Michael Vick’s life in terms of something that happened to him suggests a gross misunderstanding of how he wound up behind bars. But this is not the way the Camelot students see it at all. The kid’s question is met with head nods and shouts of “You better believe it!” and “That’s right!”
Vick, who has barely changed his expression throughout the thirty-minute session with the students, smiles wide and looks over his left shoulder, directly toward the hallway of reporters. He glances left and right, cartoonishly grinning, all mock-conspiratorial. “Where the media at?” he says, and everyone laughs.
The article, to its credit, doesn’t totally gloss over what happened to Vick’s dogs:
In April 2007 … Vick, who had been taking great pains not to be seen at the kennels, “helped out” in the killing of seven dogs—the ones who had lost in the fighting sessions. He then assisted in burying the dogs, too. A week later, police raided the compound. Vick said at the time, “I’m never at the house…. I left the house with my family members and my cousin…. They just haven’t been doing the right thing…. It’s unfortunate I have to take the heat behind it. If I’m not there, I don’t know what’s going on.” He tells me today: “I was walking away, just totally refocused on something else…. I just happened to get caught out in the yard trying to help out.”
Vick also told Leitch that he wants a dog: “I miss dogs, man. I always had a family pet, always had a dog growing up. It was almost equivalent to the prison sentence, having something taken away from me for three years. I want a dog just for the sake of my kids, but also me. I miss my companions.”
In addition to making public appearances with the Humane Society, Vick recently spoke out against the Android app called Dog Wars and appeared on Capitol Hill to back an anti-dogfighting bill.
Since his release from prison in July 2009, Michael Vick has had a team of “at least seven” PR professionals working for him, the article says. Together, they formulated a plan to redeem, if not the man, at least his image.
Rightly or wrongly, as Leitch notes, what may be working most in Vick’s favor — when it comes to the whole “redemption” thing, and putting dogfighting behind him – is his stellar performance on the field last season. Leitch concludes:
We can be repulsed by his past, we can choose not to root for him, but we can’t drown out the cheers from Eagles fans. In the $9 billion juggernaut of the NFL, Michael Vick’s transgressions just don’t matter anymore, and maybe they never did.
(Photo: From GQ, by Peter Hapak)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: article, comments, culture, dogfighting, gq, humane society of the united states, image, magazine, michael vick, nike, philadelphia eagles, public relations, quarterback, redemption, will leitch
An animal rescue group says it has been able to raise enough money to make the down payment on Michael Vick’s former home in Virginia, which they plan to turn into a center for rescued dogs.
It will be called Good Newz (a play on Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels) Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs.
The group Dogs Deserve Better announced on its website it had received an approval for a loan and hopes to close on the Surry County property that served as headquarter’s for Vick’s dogfighting operation in mid-May.
The group, which has already raised a third of the sale price, is still raising money to pay off the remaining two-thirds — the amount the loan was approved for. They hope to build a fence around the property and start accepting dogs while they raise the money to build the facility, WVEC reported.
Members have previously said say they’d need an estimated $3 million to create the dog center, which would also serve as the new headquarters for the Pennsylvania-based rescue group.
After the forfeit of Vick’s five-bedroom, 15-acre property, potential buyers were few — in part because of a down real estate economy, maybe too, though real estate agents played it down, because of the horrors that occured there. Assessed at more than $700,000, the house is being purchased by Dogs Deserve Better for $595,000.
In an interview with Care2, DDB’s Tamira Thayne said, “I felt when I was there that the dogs who lost their lives and suffered there welcomed us and were grateful to us for both preserving their memories, continuing the fight against dog abuse, and bringing happiness to a place of such sadness.”
DDB announced in February that it had obtained an option to purchase the property, located at 1915 Moonlight Road.
Vick served 21 months of a 23 month sentence in federal prison for bankrolling the dog fighting operation at the property.
DDB plans to build a state of the art dog facility there, with help from volunteers and donations.
Thayne said the group hopes to house, train, and sent to adoptive homes about 500 dogs a year at first, moving up to 1,000 dogs a year. The group will be rehabilitating primarily dogs that been abused and neglected, penned and chained.
“For us, having a standard shelter is not the answer, because we have to be teaching these dogs how to live within the home and family,” Thayne told Care 2. “So we want to design a center where they will be trained in a house setting every day, working one on one or in small groups with a human to assess and deal with issues and teach housetraining and people skills.”
For information on how to donate, visit the Dogs Deserve Better website.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 3rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, bad newz, center, chained, ddb, dogs, dogs deserve better, former home, good newz, headquarters, home, kennels, michael vick, neglected, penned, philadelphia eagles, property, quarterback, rehabilitate, rehabilitation, rescue, shelter, surry county, tamira thayne, vick, virginia
A Pennsylvania-based dog rescue organization and advocacy group has reportedly signed a contract to buy the former estate of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick — headquarters of Bad Newz Kennels, a dogfighting operation.
The group, Dogs Deserve Better, says it hopes to turn the 4,600-square foot house and 15 acres of property in Surry into an animal sanctuary, where rescued dogs could be trained and rehabilitated.
The organization, which has been at the forefront of the movement towards banning the tethering and chaining of dogs, has 45 days to raise enough money to cover the asking price of $595,000, according to the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk.
Monica Severy, the group’s local representative, said it has raised more than $50,000.
“The dogs will live in the house, and we’ll use it for training and for meetings,” Severy said. “There will be somebody there all the time, living there.”
The house has been empty for three years. When Ace and I visited in August, the sign posted out front listed it as both for sale and for rent.
The white brick home has five bedrooms, four and a half baths, a pool and a basketball court.
Severy said the group chose the property for the symbolism of turning a place where dogs were made to suffer into a place of refuge for similar dogs. Fifty one dogs were seized from Bad Newz Kennels, and investigators discovered eight murdered dogs on the property once owned by Vick, who this past weekend was given the key to the city by Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bad newz kennels, chaining, dogfighting, dogs, dogs deserve better, estate, home, house, mansion, michael vick, nfl, organization, pets, philadelphia eagles, pit bulls, pitbulls, quarterback, rehabilitation, rescue, sanctuary, shelter, surry, tethering, training, vick, vick estate, vick house, virginia