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Joel Pett ~ MICHAEL-VICK-DOG-YEARS-HYDRANT-BAR-CAI-072307

Here’s hoping Tony Taylor’s guilty plea might be the nail in the coffin needed to put Vick away. Hey, a gal can dream, right? Of course the flip side would be if his other co-defendants follow suit and plead guilty, somehow hoping this might make it look like Vick had no awareness of what was taking place on his property. I think we’ve all seen such deviousness take place in the legal system before, so who really knows how it will turn out. Here’s hoping the truth prevails and there is some (belated) justice for the innocent dogs involved in all of this disgusting mess.

And how disappointing to read about the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s stance on the issue.

SCLC President Charles Steele Jr. said his organization prefers to focus on Vick’s redemption and plans to honor him for his community contributions at its convention next month in Atlanta. “We need to support him no matter what the evidence reveals,” Steele said.

I have had nothing but respect for the work the SCLC has done on the civil rights front over the past decades, and respect the right of folks to support the good that Vick has done in the past, but to give so little regard to the possible outcome of the dogfighting charges is something I don’t get, never mind it sends a message to others who condone dogfighting that it’s okay to do so. Yes, people make mistakes in life and should be given a second chance, but be honest about what you’ve done. When Vick admits his wrongdoing and makes redemption, then we’ll talk about support. (***8/7/07 UPDATE: SCLC backtracks regarding “support” of Vick.***)

And this train of thought just blows me away:

“We Support Vick a Human Being Over Dogs,” was the message of one placard to honking passing cars on Northside Drive.”

Say what?!?! You mean to tell me folks will ACTUALLY blindly support someone involved in dog fighting just because that person is a “human being” (a term I’d use very loosely for dog fighters), and TOTALLY disregard the actions of that “human being” because the victims are dogs?? Then again, these are the same folks in the article who think the NFL should be supporting Vick and attacking PETA and the HSUS. Ah, the mentality of some folks is such a continuous disappointment.

As I’ve said before, if Vick is shown to be innocent of the vile crimes the federal grand jury indictment states he took part in, then I will admit to being wrong. But until that time I am going with the evidence put forth, and the common sense notion (especially in light of Tony Taylor’s guilty plea) that there is virtually no way possible that Vick had NO CLUE, let alone no voluntary action in, the barbaric treatment of animals on his property. Guess we’ll have to wait for the trial on November 26th to find out, unless Vick and his cohorts decided to come clean and tell the truth before then–won’t hold my breath.

Your voices are being heard regarding Michael Vick, fellow animal lovers, and NIKE and Reebok have most definitely taken notice, as has trading card company, Donruss. (Previous related posts.)

From PETA:

Following PETA protests outside Niketown stores and countless calls and emails to the company asking that they cut ties with Michael Vick in light of horrific allegations of his involvement with dogfighting rings, Nike has released the following statement:

“Nike has suspended Michael Vick’s contract without pay, and will not sell any more Michael Vick product at Nike-owned retail at this time.”

As a result, we have called off our planned protests outside Nike stores around the country. Thanks to everyone who wrote to the company about this issue or attended the demonstrations, and thanks to Nike for doing the right thing by ending its association with someone accused of torture.

Reebok has also made the decision to stop sales of Michael Vick apparel, stating:

“While we respect the legal process we find the allegations against Mr. Vick too disturbing to ignore, therefore, we have decided to immediately suspend selling Vick NFL product, both at retail and online through the Reebok website.”

This is great news for anyone who is concerned about cruelty to animals, and we hope that it sends a strong message to the NFL that they need to do the same thing and suspend Michael Vick immediately, pending the outcome of this case. To send a message to the NFL asking them to get on with that, please click here.

Thank you for all you do for animals,

Lindsey Twombly, Outreach Programs Supervisor
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
LindseyT@peta.org

pitgear-005-3t.jpgNo big surprise that Michael Vick and his three cruelty-driven cohorts, Purnell A. Peace, Quanis L. Phillips, and Tony Taylor (***UPDATE on Tony Taylor: guilty***), pleaded not guilty in a Richmond, VA., courtroom to federal dogfighting charges today. (Trial date set for November 26th.) Did anyone REALLY think any of these four miserable excuses for human beings would have enough cajones to admit to the atrocities they have committed? Of course not! Here’s my previous blog entry on the subject, which includes a link to a copy of the 18 page indictment. (And yes, defendants should be considered innocent until proven guilty, but can you honestly read that indictment and NOT believe they are guilty? If I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it, but until then I’m going against what I usually believe-innocent until proven guilty- and WILL consider these four guilty as hell…so sue me.)

While none of us can bring back the dogs Vick, Peace, Phillips, or Taylor, killed by their own hands on the property or via the incredibly vicious fighting they subjected dogs to, nor undo the damage done mentally and physically to those dogs who survived, we CAN let big business know that we will NOT tolerate such abuses, nor will we give money to companies who continue to support athletes (or anyone guilty of these crimes) with lucrative contracts. (Namely the Atlanta Falcons and Nike). You can follow the links I’m providing below to voice your displeasure OR you can take part in various demonstrations around the country, or start your own. This Monday, July 30th, I’ll be joining what will hopefully be MANY other outraged animal lovers, in a PETA demonstration outside Niketown in Los Angeles. (***Protests canceled. Read more here.***) If you are in the area (and I’m really not since I’ll be driving about 1 1/2 hours to get there), please consider joining us. But if you are not, here’s some information in an email today from Ingrid Newkirk of PETA:

“On Monday, July 30, PETA will hold demonstrations in front of every Niketown store from New York to Los Angeles to call on Nike—which employs Vick as a promotional spokesperson—to sack him.

Already, the pressure is working. Both the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons have taken important “first steps” to discipline Vick by keeping him away from the Falcons’ training camp pending their own investigation of the case. In my view, this is the beginning of the end for Vick’s career.”

So come on folks, let’s get active, get vocal, and NOT let this situation be swept under the carpet and forgotten. Thanks!

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PETA's Action Center Alert
Dove icon Donate Now | Check icon Join Our Activist Network
Dear *****,

NFL quarterback Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons was recently indicted on charges of sponsoring a large dogfighting operation. The indictment alleges that dogs were housed, trained, and fought at a property owned by Vick and that those who did not perform well were executed by “hanging, drowning, and slamming at least one dog’s body to the ground.” PETA will be at Niketown in Los Angeles on Monday, July 30, to demand that the company immediately break all ties with Michael Vick.

Please join PETA campaigner Matt Rice for a demonstration outside Niketown in Los Angeles. All materials will be provided, and we need activists to hold posters. Please contact me at LindseyT@peta.org if you can help or if you have any questions.

What: Michael Vick dogfighting demonstration
When: Monday, July 30, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.
Where: Niketown, at the corner of Wilshire and Rodeo, Beverly Hills

The professional sports world is plagued with players who have been accused, charged, or convicted of cruelty to animals, abusing pit bulls, and dogfighting. We need to send a clear message to players and Nike that being a celebrity is not a sufficient excuse for breaking the law and that animal abuse should never be tolerated under any circumstances. Please forward this e-mail to everyone you know!

Be sure to tell people to visit PETA.org to learn more about the cruelty of dogfighting and to tell Nike to drop Vick now!

Thanks for being on PETA’s Activist Network and for everything you do to help animals!

Warm regards,

Lindsey Twombly, Outreach Programs Supervisor
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
LindseyT@peta.org| 757-213-8746

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Links to send messages to Nike and the Atlanta Falcons

Related articles

Anti-Vick gear

YouTube videos

Here is the code (just copy it all, then paste in your own site) for each of the Humane Society of the United States web badges you can place on your own web site or blog to help spread the word.

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<a href=”https://community.hsus.org/campaign/US_2007_dogfighting_nfl2?source=gaba7m&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”https://wadmin3.getactive.com/preview!www.hsus.org/web-files/Banners/180x150_vick_nfl.gif&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”The Humane Society of the United States”></a><br><a href=”http://www.myspace.com/thehumanesociety&#8221; target=”_blank”>HSUS MySpace Page</a> | <a href=”http://www.hsus.org/about_us/faqs/humane_index_banners.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>Get Web Badges</a><br><br>

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<a href=”https://community.hsus.org/campaign/US_2007_dogfighting_nike?source=gaba7l&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”https://wadmin3.getactive.com/preview!www.hsus.org/web-files/Banners/180x150_vick_nike.gif&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”The Humane Society of the United States”></a><br><a href=”http://www.myspace.com/thehumanesociety&#8221; target=”_blank”>HSUS MySpace Page</a> | <a href=”http://www.hsus.org/about_us/faqs/humane_index_banners.html&#8221; target=”_blank”>Get Web Badges</a><br><br>

Who would have thought this exasperating pet food contamination situation would STILL be dragging along TEN WEEKS later?! Here are some interesting articles covering: Menu Foods bullying of those filing claims against them, Seattle owners filing lawsuits, the response of web sites and blogs to the recall madness, the possibility of subpoenas being issued to the FDA, and the far reaching concern of the quality of exports from China.

Hope everyone had a safe Memorial Day!

Court: Menu Foods Harassed Pet Owners– USA Today-News10.net

“The pet food company that recalled 60 million cans of contaminated dog and cat food repeatedly made harassing phone calls to pet owners who had lawyers and said they didn’t want to talk, even after a judge ordered the firm to leave them alone, court records show.”

Seattle Pet Owners Part Of Class-Action Suit Over Tainted Food– SeattlePI.nwsource.com

“About 75 class-action lawsuits have been filed against Menu Foods around the country, said Tom Baisch, an attorney with the Seattle law firm Myers and Co. Baisch said his firm, along with Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, has consulted with more than 500 people — many from the Seattle area — who believe they’re owed reparations.”

Pet Food Scandal Unleashes Once-Obscure Web Sites-BaltimoreSun.com

“The Internet has changed all the rules here in terms of mobilizing public opinion on important issues, and this pet-food contamination is a clear illustration,” Durbin said in a telephone interview from his Chicago office.”

House: FDA Unresponsive To Information About Pet Food Recall-NorthCountryGazette.org

“A Congressional committee has given the U.S. Food and Drug Administration until June 1 to produce requested records concerning drug and food safety in the United States or they will subpoena them.”

Menu Foods: Tainted Pet Food Raises A Bigger Concern-LawyersAndSettlements.com

“Now comes news on Friday that officials in Canada have intercepted a shipment of corn gluten contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid.”

Please note that there HAS BEEN ANOTHER RECALL, this one (SmartPak’s LiveSmart Weight Management Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food) is mentioned at the bottom of the “Hogs Ate Pet Food Tainted with Chemical” story linked below. Here is the link for SmartPak, but I see no notice of the recall at this point (6:35 PM PST). My time will be limited for the next eight weeks, so posts will more than likely be news links. Then again, when I get on a rant there’s no stopping me. Guess we’ll just see. 😉

Peril At the Table: U.S. Lawmakers Explore “Serious Flaws” in Food-Chain Oversight-MarketWatch.com

“”What has the FDA done to prevent food-borne illnesses? It appears the FDA has decided to centralize food safety decision making in Washington D.C., cut back on inspections, and hope that food producers and manufacturers will self-police their industry based on voluntary guidelines,” said Stupak, chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

U.S. Food Supply at High Risk of Terrorist or Profit-Driven Tampering: House Hears Testimony on Pet Food Poisonings; FDA’s Lack of Authority Cited-ConsumerAffairs.com

“The suspicion of international contamination is eerily similar to past incidents in China,” Barton said. “A dozen years ago, 89 children in Haiti died after taking cough medicine made with, believe it or not, poisonous antifreeze that was traced back to China. The world never got an answer from the Chinese on how this crime occurred.”

Tainted pet food found in hogs in several states-Forbes.com

“Ten pet food manufacturers sent unusable dog and cat food containing the toxic chemical melamine to hog producers in California, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and possibly Ohio, FDA officials announced during a late afternoon press conference. Contaminated pet food was also sent to one chicken farm in Missouri, the officials added.”

Hogs Ate Pet Food Tainted with Chemical-AP-PawtucketTimes.com

“However, the Food and Drug Administration said the urine of some hogs tested positive for the chemical, melamine, in North Carolina and South Carolina as well as California.

Also Tuesday, the FDA said another pet food company, SmartPak, had recalled products made with tainted rice protein concentrate. The company said the recall covered a single production run of its LiveSmart Weight Management Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Food.

Canada to review need for pet-food regulation-DVMNewsMagazine.com

“It doesn’t mean Canada should or will impose regulations, he says, adding that regulations didn’t keep pets from dying in the United States.

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POSTS for 3/17-8/22:

  • 3/18/07: Science Diet has added some of their foods to the voluntary recall list. Pets HAVE died and others are suffering severe health problems, so PLEASE check this new list AND the ones I listed above. Thank you! Science Diet Recall (On 3/30/07 Science Diet recalled feline m/d)
  • 3/18/07 10:15PM PST: The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is even posting information which shows just how far-reaching this has become. They even have a web page with information on how to register adverse reactions/consumer complaints. I appreciate that so many of you are reading as much as you can about this and staying on top of the situation. What wonderful owners your pets have! 🙂 And PLEASE continue to spread the information to AS MANY folks as you can, and have THEM stay on top of it as well. I’ll definitely continue to add information as I find out about it.
  • 3/19/07 11:10 AM PST: Looks like Menu Foods has another press release, which interestingly enough says it’s not for US newswire services, whatever THAT really means. It’s in PDF format and can be accessed from their main recall page.
  • 3/20/07 11:20 AM PST: It is disconcerting to hear that in February, Menu Foods apparently was notified of the problems with pets eating certain Menu Foods produced food, did their own testing in which approximately 17% of the tested pets died, yet it wasn’t until March 16th that the recall was announced?!?! I am obviously no expert on how these things work, but it sure seems to me that the motto of “better safe than sorry” should have been in place LONG BEFORE March 16th! Menu Foods recall notice states:

“We take these complaints very seriously and, while we are still looking for a specific cause, we are acting to err on the side of caution” said Paul K. Henderson, President and CEO, Menu Foods. “We will do whatever is necessary to ensure that our products maintain the very highest quality standards.”

Seems to me that “acting to err on the side of caution” would have meant alerting consumers about the problems MUCH sooner than they did. According to news reports, Menu Foods was alerted by pet owners about deaths and renal failure on February 20th, Menu Foods began their own tests February 27th where between 15%-20% of the pets they tested died, yet the recall was not announced until March 16th, THREE WEEKS AFTER they were first alerted of the deaths and health issues?!?!

I certainly hope to hear SOME type of logical explanation SOON from Menu Foods, but until then all I can assume is that $$$$ (especially since in their initial press release on 3/16/07 they repeatedly mention how much the recall could cost their company) and probable financial loss is what had Menu Foods dragging their feet, while their consumers were unknowingly feeding their beloved pets food which could possibly kill them, if not leave them with painful health issues and enormous veterinary bills which many owners cannot truly afford. I worked in the veterinary field for nearly 7 years and know the high cost of health care for pets, along with having had expensive medical situations with my own pets. But that is what pet owners do, they care for their pets as if they were members of their family, which they are (just four-legged instead of two-legged), and will put themselves into debt just to make sure their pets get the best care possible. Unfortunately there will be pets whose health care costs related to the issues from the tainted food will be too high for some owners to absorb, and they will then have to make the heartbreaking choice to have their beloved pet euthanized.

Come on Menu Foods, let’s get cracking on finding some solutions here. I think everyone understands that “accidents” and “mistakes” do happen in life, which might possibly explain how the food became tainted in the first place, but the part I’m having the hardest time understanding right now is why the recall took so long to be announced to consumers. What do you have to say Menu Foods? You have countless pet owners looking to you for answers.

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Sniffin’ out the info

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