On the homepage of yesterday’s SFGate.com, web site of the San Francisco Chronicle, the article I’d been waiting for finally appeared: Michael Vick’s Unpaid Dues: Why Dog Advocates Aren’t Moving on. Christie Keith’s brilliant piece beautifully articulates the reasons.
It’s hard to believe, but Americans have become hardened to Vick’s cruelty: Words like drowning and electrocuting have been stripped of their shock value. We’re no longer horrified, just saddened. But Keith was not afraid to recount the details of Vick’s actions–details that most of us have thus far been spared–revealed in official court documents.
You will learn, for example, in reading her article that jumper cables were clipped to the dogs’ ears. The cables were then connected to car batteries before the animals were plunged into a swimming pool. As if one form of torture were not entertaining enough, the resulting show was a bloody, watery, terrifying death in which the dogs “clawed at the pool liner” in futile attempts to escape.
And you will be horrified all over again, remembering that Vick did not serve a single day for animal cruelty.
Brett Rogers, true role model
Still, people continue to make excuses for Vick, urging me personally to move on and insisting football’s culture of violence is partially to blame for such tragedy. If that’s you, please read the statements of Brett Rogers, a professional fighter. Surely there’s no sport as violent as his, and yet here’s his response to Vick’s actions:
“I’m one of those guys who loves animals. Anything I can do to help, a positive thing for animals, is something that I want to do. Real men don’t let the dogs do their fighting for them.”
Rogers is currently teaming with knockoutdogfighting.org in an effort to eliminate the barbaric activity.
Perhaps Christie Keith’s most poignant remarks appear at the end of her article. She reminds us that it’s important to honor those Vick dogs who have been rehabilitated, breaking the stereotype that Pit Bulls are born vicious or implacable. Many of the former victims are now therapy dogs, and even part of households with young children.
But it’s just as essential to remember those who never got the chance. For the dogs whose entire lives were spent in unthinkable mental and physical agony, for those who died cold, alone, chained, maimed, bludgeoned, and tortured, there is no moving on.
– Leslie Smith
To hear more from Christie Keith, tune in Wednesday, November 4, 2009, to green960.com, 6:40 PST.