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I thought I had previously reached the highest level of disgust with Michael Vick’s animal cruelty that I could (my previous posts), but after reading an AP story and one on ESPN, detailing portions of a 17-page USDA report released on Friday under the Freedom of Information Act, I’m even more disgusted and sickened than I ever imagined possible. And that’s saying a lot.
Here are some extremely disturbing details:
- A person identified as confidential witness No. 1 said Vick placed pets in the ring against pit bulls owned by “Bad Newz Kennels” at least twice and watched as the pit bulls “caused major injuries.”
- The witness said Vick and co-defendants Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips “thought it was funny to watch the pit bull dogs belonging to Bad Newz Kennels injure or kill the other dogs.”
- Vick was administered a polygraph test by the FBI in October 2007 and denied taking part in the killing of dogs in mid-April. When told he had failed that part of the test, Vick recanted his story and admitted to helping hang six to eight underperforming dogs.
- The dogs were killed by shooting, hanging, electrocution and drowning, and in at least one instance, according to one of the witnesses, when Vick and Phillips killed a red pit bull by “slamming it to the ground several times before it died, breaking the dog’s back or neck.”
- According to the report, the three men hung the dogs “by placing a nylon cord over a 2 X 4 that was nailed to two trees located next to the big shed. They also drowned approximately three dogs by putting the dogs’ heads in a five gallon bucket of water.”
You need help, Michael Vick, serious help. I only wish all you were ever allowed to lay your hands on again are the pots and pans you’re washing in jail for 12 cents an hour, and never, ever again on any innocent animals. Sick and twisted, you are, mentally sick and twisted.
I’m beginning to think that in addition to my Must See/Must Read/Must Listen categories, I need to add a “WTF” category after the other day’s Senate resolution to, yet again, nix our free speech rights (by way of their condemnation of the MoveOn.org Petraeus ad), and now with the absurdity of the grand jury for the State of Virginia passing on animal cruelty charges against Michael Vick and the three other co-defendants. How on EARTH can they bypass what is at the bottom of all of this mess: the cruelty inflicted upon countless dogs?!?! The CNN story says a charge of one count of killing dogs WAS brought against Michael Vick, but according to the AP story there could have been 8 counts of animal cruelty leveled. A little confusing for this layperson, especially since MANY more dogs than that were killed as part of his heinous dogfighting ring. The story is just breaking as of 11AM PST, so perhaps it will become a bit clearer over the course of the day. (***UPDATE 9/26/07: Vick tests positive for marijuana***)
Oh, and a little PS for those who sadly insisted on bringing race into this whole disaster, per CNN the composition of the State of Virginia grand jury that handed down today’s indictment: 2 black males, 2 black females, 2 white females.
- Vick indicted on state dogfighting charges-AP via Fox Sports
- “The grand jury passed on indicting the Atlanta Falcons quarterback and two co-defendants on eight counts of animal cruelty, which would have exposed them to as many as 40 years in prison if convicted.Any animal cruelty charge in Virginia is punishable by up to five years in prison. And in a written plea for the federal case, Vick admitted helping kill six to eight dogs at the Surry County property. Similarly, the three co-defendants in the case have admitted their involvement and detailed what they claim was Vick’s role.”
- Vick indicted by state grand jury on dogfighting charges-CNN
- “The grand jury brought two charges against Vick: one count of killing dogs and one of promoting dogfights. In a plea agreement on federal charges, the quarterback has admitted to bankrolling a dogfighting operation from his home in Surry County, Virginia.”
- Surry grand jury hits Vick with 2 new charges-DailyPress.com
- “Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Poindexter had maintained that he wanted to prosecute Vick in Surry County, but said earlier that charges might not come this month because he did not have access to evidence that federal prosecutors had taken to pursue their case, including some witnesses. Today, however, he said that while federal investigators still had a great deal of the evidence in the case, he now had on hand the witnesses he needed to move forward.”
Put this one in the “karma will get you Vick” category:
- Bank sues Vick for more than $2M-DailyPress.com
- “The contract has a clause that says if Vick experiences an employment change that might affect his ability to repay the loan, that constitutes a default. Vick still owes the bank $2.3 million, plus $499 of interest per day, according to the complaint. The bank is also asking District Judge Henry C. Morgan Jr. to order Vick to pay the bank’s legal fees.”
Take action HERE by sending a note to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, asking the NFL to add all forms of animal cruelty to its personal conduct policy. Thanks!
Looks like Michael Vick will be pleading guilty to a felony conspiracy charge at 10:30 a.m. next Monday, August 27th. This will apparently keep him from facing more serious charges, but I am hope, hope, HOPING that the judge (who has the final say on sentencing terms, despite plea agreements) surprises the heck out of Vick and throws more than just a one-year prison sentence at him, along with some serious financial penalties. I’ll definitely have more to say on the matter once the actual sentence is handed down, but until then here is the first online source (Virginia Pilot) to break the story, and here are previous posts on the subject.
UPDATE: To read the latest from the Humane Society of the United States, CLICK HERE. Please take the time to add your name to their thank you card for the U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted the Michael Vick dogfighting case.
Just home for a quick lunch break and had to post a couple of links with more information which points to what most of us already believed: Vick was/is guilty as charged. Let’s see if he “suddenly” opts to accept the plea bargain offered to him earlier this week.
- Falcons’ Vick Accused of Executing Dogs-chron.com
- Two Co-Defendants Enter Guilty Pleas; No Word From Vick-chicagotribune.com
- NFL Star Faces 5 Years On Dogfight Charges-GuardianUK.com
- previous posts on the topic
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.
- Toobin: Vick Case Plea Deal Could Lead To More Charges-cnn.com
- “According to the summary of facts filed with the court on Monday, Taylor said that he and the other three co-defendants, including Vick, decided to start a dogfighting venture in early 2001 and that Vick paid for the property in Smithfield, Virginia, used for the operations.”
- C0-defendant In Vick Case Pleads Guilty-sportsnetwork.com
- Vick Dogfighting Case Co-defendant Pleads Guilty-cbs4denver.com
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.
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
No 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!
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
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!
Thanks for being on PETA’s Activist Network and for everything you do to help animals!
Lindsey Twombly, Outreach Programs Supervisor
Links to send messages to Nike and the Atlanta Falcons
- “Vick Pleads Not Guilty”-cnn.com
- “Vick Pleads Not Guilty in Dogfighting Case”-nytimes.com
- “Michael Vick Pleads Not Guilty in Dogfighting Case”-USAtoday.com
- “Activists Ready to Swarm Court for Vick’s Appearance”-USAtoday.com
- HSUS response to NFL keeping Vick from training camp
- Wayne Pacelle (HSUS) on NFL Following Through
- “Vick a ‘Person of Interest’ regarding pit bull fighting in AZ“-azcentral.com
- “Nike Is Urged to Drop Vick”-latimes.com
- Pit Bull Gear (t-shirt in picture I used above can be purchased at this link!)
- “Dogfighters Are Cowardly Scum” t-shirts at PETA Store at Cafe Press
- “Real Men Love Their Pit Bulls/Ban Mike Vick from the NFL” at Cafe Press
- “conVICKt 7” at moeschwag.com
- “sack Vick” at moeschwag.com
- Michael Vick Chew Toy (article and link)
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.
<a href=”https://community.hsus.org/campaign/US_2007_dogfighting_nfl2?source=gaba7m” target=”_blank”><img src=”https://wadmin3.getactive.com/preview!www.hsus.org/web-files/Banners/180x150_vick_nfl.gif” border=”0″ alt=”The Humane Society of the United States”></a><br><a href=”http://www.myspace.com/thehumanesociety” target=”_blank”>HSUS MySpace Page</a> | <a href=”http://www.hsus.org/about_us/faqs/humane_index_banners.html” target=”_blank”>Get Web Badges</a><br><br>
<a href=”https://community.hsus.org/campaign/US_2007_dogfighting_nike?source=gaba7l” target=”_blank”><img src=”https://wadmin3.getactive.com/preview!www.hsus.org/web-files/Banners/180x150_vick_nike.gif” border=”0″ alt=”The Humane Society of the United States”></a><br><a href=”http://www.myspace.com/thehumanesociety” target=”_blank”>HSUS MySpace Page</a> | <a href=”http://www.hsus.org/about_us/faqs/humane_index_banners.html” target=”_blank”>Get Web Badges</a><br><br>
At long last it looks as though those who condone and perpetuate the horrendous, vicious, and cruel practice of illegal dogfighting may finally be held accountable for their actions. Today Michael Vick (Atlanta Falcons) and three counterparts (Purnell A. Peace, Quanis L. Phillips, Tony Taylor) were indicted by a federal grand jury and will hopefully have the book thrown at them. This news goes directly against this news article stating it was unlikely Vick would face any charges. (***Update 7/26/07.***)
The “training facility” for over 50 pit bulls seized by officials back in April included drugs, an electronic treadmill, and a rape stand used for forced breeding.
“Fights would end when one dog died or with the surrender of the losing dog, which was sometimes put to death by drowning, strangulation, hanging, gun shot, electrocution or some other method, according to the documents.”–CBS News
Disgusting! How people can live with themselves while committing such atrocities, I will never know. And those who take part in watching these bloody, “to the death” dog fights; well, in my opinion they should be held as accomplices. I’m thinking that the rape stand Michael and his cohorts had no problem putting to use ought to come into play when decisions are being made about how restitution for their reviling crimes might be met. I mean they can adjust that stand to fit someone of Michael’s size, right?
Here are some links to various stories regarding today’s indictment:
- Here’s the response from the Humane Society of the United States
- AP report
- A very brief Reuters story
- Sports Network coverage
- Pilot Online has the story, along with a link to a PDF file of the grand jury’s indictment.
- My previous blog entry relating to the case (includes video and pictures):5/22/07:Hey Clinton Portis, your ignorance is showing (Yours too, Chris Samuels)
- 7/26/07:Vick and three coconspirators plead NOT GUILTY/Links to what YOU can do to express your outrage over it all
- 7/27/07:Nike suspends Vick’s contract/Reebok stops selling Vick jerseys/PETA protests canceled
- 7/30/07:Vick co-defendant (Tony Taylor) pleads guilty/SCLC supports Vick
- 8/17/07:“Vick participated in executions” says co-defendant
- 8/20/07:Breaking News: Michael Vick ACCEPTS plea deal
WTF, John Mayer?!?!
While searching for a Michael Vick photo for this blog entry I found the “red slash through Michael’s face” picture on Photobucket. I saw the MySpace address at the bottom of it and went to check it out. While there I read “Dog Fighting Idiots List” which had a John Mayer video embedded, and I have to say I was totally shocked and surprised that John would have such an enormous lapse in common sense, judgment, and humor. Did he really think the video was the least bit amusing?! Did he assume everyone would get that he was trying to poke fun at Vick? (Which is the ONLY excuse I can think of for even thinking of making the video, let alone actually following through with it!) Did he think there was even one shred of humor in anything related to dog fighting? Shame on you, John Mayer, shame on you. What a total and complete disappointment.
Sometimes people need to just keep their mouth shut, and from what I’ve seen and read of Clinton Portis today (and Chris Samuels wasn’t much better), he is one who would be wise to think before speaking.
When told that dog fighting is a felony, Portis replied, “It can’t be too bad of a crime.”
Sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Portis, but it IS a crime, and it IS a bad one. Perhaps you’d like to trade places with any of the dogs used in dog fighting? We’ll see how you feel about how “bad of a crime” it is after that, okay?
Portis, Samuels defend Vick, ridicule dog fighting as a crime-AP-DailyPress.com
In an interview with WAVY-TV, Portis said that if the Atlanta Falcons quarterback is charged and convicted of being involved in a dog fighting operation, then authorities would be “putting him behind bars for no reason.”
Um, no reason? If Michael Vick is charged and convicted then that means he broke the law. Sounds like a reason to me.
For more information on animal fighting and the recent legislation aimed at penalizing those who take part in it, click here. For the Humane Society of the United States response to the situation, click here.