The Waiting Room

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Voice for the Dogs

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I am reading The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption. Although the focus is on the rescue and rehabilitation of the dogs that suffered the horrors of dog fighting, it is quite a tough read. I am two-thirds through the book and I have a tough time holding back tears and hugging the Boy.

There are parts that are quite disturbing, particularly the torture that these poor dogs endured. Dog fighting is a human creation. It is completely counter to the evolution of the dog. Dogs only fight to establish pack order. Once a dog submits to its role in the pack, that is the end of it. There is not fight to the death.

The physical damage to these dogs was just astonishing. These dogs had injuries that were disturbing. Scaring, jaw that were broken and did not heal correctly are tame compared to some of the injuries these dogs endured during the fight. Female dogs were forcibly bred. Females had their teeth yanked out so that they could not defend themselves from the males that were forced upon them.

And those that lost the fight? Well, electrocution, drowning or repeatedly slamming the dog to the ground were some of the methods of choice.

But that is nothing compared to the emotional damage. Some dogs had no idea what it was like to just be a dog. Those that were killed suffered a horrible death that no one, human or animal, should ever endure.

I know there are a lot of people who think that Vick did his time and deserves a second chance. There are plenty of people who think that Vick was treated harshly, whereas other NFL players and other athletes have received less punishment for engaging in illegal and, in some cases, horrific acts against humans.

Let me put it to you this way.

It is true that there are those professional athletes who have engaged in illegal and horrible acts against humans and received a lesser punishment than Vick. What those athletes did was wrong, no doubt. Were those punishments fair? No. But, if you want "punishment to fit the crime, your beef is with the legislators who create the law and the punishment, the lawyers who prosecute and defend and the judges who sentence. If someone can only receive a slap on the wrist for vehicular manslaughter as the result of DWI, then do something to change the law. Vick was punished properly under current law. So, don't get on your high horse about animals being treated differently than humans.

As far as Vick getting a second chance, well, good luck convincing me of that. I have defended many criminals in my lawyer days who did not get the kind of second chance the Vick got. The criminals I defended did not receive a multi-million dollar NFL contract waiting for them when they were released. They did not have a PR firm to help rehab their image. And, they certainly did not have a money waiting for them when they got out. No, the criminals I defended were treated like social pariah, unable to find anyone to take a chance on them becuase of their "background". So, unless society wants to give the released, "rehabilitated" individual the same treatment as Vick, you will have to excuse me if I don't clap and cheer.

See, I get it. The guy served his time. Fine. But, lets not just forgive and forget. Because there are a lot of dogs out there who will never forget. And if you have any sort of a conscious, you won't either.


Anonymous said...

Makes me sick to think about it. Beau has bone scarring (spine and ribs) that is consistent with injuries sustained by bait dogs in fighting. If it's true, that's also why he's aggressive toward any dog when we're walking (and he's on a leash).

He's gotten better but it's something we'll need to work on for a long time.

You never know where rescue dogs have been in life before they come to us. Honestly, I'd rather not think about what they're lives were like before us.

But we've seen enough signs over the years with our three rescue dogs to know that we're lucky they were rescued and we got them! We just do the best we can and have a lot of patience.