Kinship Circle: UPDATE/ Vick’s Dogs: Clemency For All But One

October 7th, 2007 5:15 pm by Kelly Garbato

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From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Oct 5, 2007 12:51 PM
Subject: UPDATE/ Vick’s Dogs: Clemency For All But One

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UPDATE:

1. Vick’s Dogs: Clemency For All But One

DATE: 10/2/07
FROM: Wayne Johnson, seiku [at] tmail.com
SOURCE: Wayne Johnson, The Coalition to Save Vick’s Dogs

At the end of August, Kinship Circle issued a letter-writing campaign, Salvation For Vick’s Dogs, asking you to plead with the U.S. Attorney’s Office (Eastern District of Virginia) for mercy for pit bulls seized from Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound. We now receive news that all but ONE of these dogs will likely be spared. While this is a victory for 48 previously doomed pit bulls, we cannot help but grieve for the one who will die.

The team of behavioral experts assembled by the ASPCA filed a motion in Federal Court on Tuesday saying that only one of the remaining 49 pit bulls seized from Michael Vick should be euthanized. According to the motion the dogs fall into five categories that include adoption and specialized training for law enforcement.

The motion requests that the court appoint a guardian to oversee the disposition and possible placement of the 48 remaining dogs. The judge hearing the case, Henry Hudson can either grant the motion or deny it.

I want to thank all of you who made this tremendous news possible. Let us hope and pray that the judge accepts the motion and may God bless dog 2621, who will be euthanized.

These dogs were judged by some in the humane community to be beyond redemption, but the facts assessed by the evaluators proved otherwise. The stereotyping of pits must come to an end and perhaps this outcome will be a first step. Special thanks to Mariahas Promise, Best Friends, and The Animal Care Foundation of Hawaii who stepped up to the plate on behalf of these beautiful loving creatures. Video on Yahoo News. Wayne Johnson, The Coalition to Save Vick’s Dogs –seiku

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ASPCA-Led Team Recommends 48 Out of 49 Vick Dogs Can Be Placed

SOURCE

…The [ASPCA] evaluations were conducted between September 4-6, and the team recently provided its recommendation to the United States Department of Agriculture — that 48 of the 49 dogs have potential for some sort of placement. Recommended placement options for the dogs include:

* Possible re-homing into appropriate foster homes for further observation and evaluation
* Rehabilitation as law enforcement dogs
* Placement in sanctuaries, which will need to meet USDA facility standards

Only one of the 49 dogs was deemed unfit for rehabilitation and recommended for euthanasia, which was ordered on Monday, October 1, by Judge Henry E. Hudson. A federal judge will determine the final disposition of the 48 dogs recommended for potential placement…

To read the complete press release, get further details on the ASPCA’s role in the Michael Vick case, and for important information on dogfighting, visit the ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Resource Center at ASPCA.org: http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=cruelty_home

KINSHIP CIRCLE REFERENCES:
8/28/07: Salvation For Vick’s Dogs?
http://www.kinshipcircle.org/letter_library/letter.asp?LetterID=1676&seriesfirst=true
[RELIEF GLOBAL] Sick Vick Updates & Feedback
http://www.kinshipcircle.org/disasters/relief/07-08-21.html#7
8/19/07: No Deal For Sick Vick’s Dogfighting Crimes
http://www.kinshipcircle.org/letter_library/letter.asp?LetterID=1672&seriesfirst=true
8/2/07: Michael Vick Dogfighting Files: Action & Updates
http://www.kinshipcircle.org/letter_library/letter.asp?LetterID=1668&seriesfirst=true

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2. Vick Takes PETA Course in Respect for Animals

SOURCE: http://www.peta.org/feat_AP101.asp

In August 2007, NFL quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges. The 18-page indictment gave gruesome details of the operation, which shocked the nation.

Vick Meets With PETA President

On September 7, 2007, Vick made an arranged visit to PETA’s headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, for a private meeting with PETA president Ingrid Newkirk. Newkirk told Vick PETA advocates an end to all exploitation and needless violence based on prejudice, including prejudice against other species, and that PETA believed arming himself with information/materials would allow Vick to better live up to his responsibility to counsel children not to engage in cruelty to animals. Newkirk also explained that although PETA realizes it is in his legal interests to take PETA’s course in basic animal empathy, our position that he deserves jail time and a lifetime ban on animal contact remains firm. During their meeting, he expressed willingness to learn and his belief everything in life happens for a reason, and he offered an apology to PETA and to “everyone” for “what I have done to dogs.”

Initial Lessons in Empathy

Vick left PETA with some initial reading materials for empathy development, including Animals, Nature & Albert Schweitzer, edited by Ann Cottrell Free, which contains a particularly moving passage from the kind doctor:

I must interpret the life about me as I interpret the life that is my own. My life is full of meaning to me. The life around me must be full of significance to itself. If I am to expect others to respect my life, then I must respect the other life I see, however strange it may be to mind. And not only other human life, but all kinds of life: life above mine, if there be such life; life below mine, as I know it to exist. Ethics in our Western world has hitherto been largely limited to the relations of man to man. But that is a limited ethics. We need a boundless ethics which will include the animals also.

Vick Returns to PETA for Basic Course

On September 18, 2007, Vick returned to PETA to take the “Developing Empathy for Animals” course, a one-day seminar including who animals are, alternatives to cruelty, animal protection philosophy, and humane lesson plans. PETA has now made the course available online, in the hope that it will be adopted by the NFL for all players and used as a means to teach children across the nation empathy, compassion, and nonviolence.

Continuing to Stop Violence

Although the Vick story served as the first glimpse for many people into the gory details of dogfighting, the abuses detailed in Vick’s indictment are as widespread as they are horrific. In the last year alone, PETA has responded to more than 14,000 calls and emails regarding other dogfighting and individual cruelty-to-animals cases. The crucial step now is to urge policymakers and law enforcement officers to treat all cases of dogfighting and cruelty to animals the same way that they prosecuted Vick’s high-profile case. To that end, please join PETA and ask the NFL to require all its players, some of whom have been involved in a series of cruelty-to-animals cases, to attend PETA’s “Developing Empathy for Animals” course**

**Ask the NFL to Make Class on Empathy for Animals Mandatory
[ONLINE PREPARED LETTER] http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/vick_nfl_empathy

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