Friday, December 31, 2010
Guest post - Dear Mr. President
Animal welfare advocates are often accused of not being able to "move on" after the infamous Michael Vick cruelty case. It's hard enough knowing of his crimes and seeing him climb back on his pedestal as a sports hero, but our morale took an extra dive when we heard that the US President publicly supporter his "second chance". We like what Emily on Vancouver Island, pit adopter and advocate, had to say.
I have to say first off that when you were elected President, I was over the moon excited. After 8 years of worrying about your country based on their ability to vote a dumb, ignorant guy into the White House (and not just once), I believed there was hope when you came in.
You believe in many amazing core values that I think would make your country better, like health care. Great! I've seriously been a big fan, I even bought and wore an Obama shirt! I was super happy when you decided to get a rescue dog also, although that Portuguese Water Dog isn't really a "rescue", and I would have liked to see you follow through an adopt a shelter dog, but at least you tried.
However, I have to admit, I'm pissed off at you. I heard about the phone call you made to give praise for the Philadelphia Eagles giving Michael Vick a second chance. If you can imagine the sound of screeching tires as my love for you comes to a sudden halt, insert that noise *here*. Obama, you are the PRESIDENT of the United States. You are the first non-white President. You are a symbol of CHANGE for your country and the world. Because of that, people look up to you. Kids look up to you! My son, a 6 year old Canadian kid, LOVES you and thinks you are awesome.
Lets review what Michael Vick did, just to be clear. I'm not going to candy coat it, either. Michael Vick fought dogs brutally for pleasure and money. He raised dogs specifically for this purpose. He is an adult and knew that what he was doing was wrong. We know that aside from fighting dogs, he was restraining female dogs on a "rape stand" and forcing them to breed. We know that he killed AT LEAST 13 dogs. These dogs were either sick or not "good enough" for him, so he killed them. And not even like "I'm going to take her to the vet and have her put to sleep". He murdered them. We know for a fact that he beat them, shot them and in at least one case, he killed a dog by slamming it into the ground until it was dead. We know that he watered dogs down and then used electricity to kill them. These are nasty, insane things that in my opinion, healthy, normal people could never do.
He would take regular family pets and throw them into the ring with the trained fighting dogs because he thought it was "funny" to watch them die. He ripped out the teeth of some of his more passive dogs so that they couldn't fight back when he was training dogs to fight for him. And, here's a news flash, he'd most likely STILL be doing it if he wasn't busted.
Michael Vick didn't wake up one day and say "what I am doing is wrong and I should pay for my mistakes". He was BUSTED and forced to go to jail. He served a bit of jail time and got out...heading straight back into the limelight and right back to making millions. This is not the kind of man who I would ever let my son idolize or respect. So why, Obama, did you congratulate them for giving this sort of person a "second chance"?
There are plenty of people in your country who deserve a phone call from you. There are people who helped clean up after 9/11 and got sick from breathing in hazardous dust who could use your support. There are teachers in the inner city fighting to help educate kids surrounded by guns and gangs. There are single moms raising their families on food stamps, people feeding your homeless, nurses caring for your sick. GOOD people. And yet Michael Vick, killer of dogs, deserves your time? I try to teach my son to stick up for those who are being bullied, not support the bullier. I urge you to do the same, and publicly recant your support for Vick. As the President, you have the obligation to do the right thing and be a role model for those who look up to you.
If you are going to make a phone call, call the people who worked on the front lines at Bad Newz Kennels when they raided the compound. Ask about the brutal details of what Vick did there to those dogs. At least then, you will know every ounce of what you endorse when you support a man like Vick. I'm living with a dog covered in scars, and I would hope that if there would be an outpouring of support around that, that it would go to the people involved in her rescue and not to the people responsible for allowing it to happen.
Shame on you Obama. Not only do I not allow my son to look up to people who do the kinds of things that Vick did, but I don't allow him to look up to people who support them either.
Your ex-number 1 fan,