Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Michael Vick Dubbed New Humane Society Advocate

The HSUS' Animal Cruelty and Fighting campaign - Protecting animals from abuse and neglect
So this weekend I was in Philly for my usual weekend getaway and there was endless news about Michael Vick's return to the NFL making Philly his new home. Coincidently, I received an email blast from the Washington Humane Society today and as you may know, Michael Vick is now their new spokesperson to end dogfighting. Catch the skinny below.

Dear Jade,

On a chilly evening last fall, a raid on a dogfight in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood on the south side turned up more than 50 people, including a pregnant woman and a few juveniles, in a basement watching dogs fight a bloody battle.

This summer, young men and their pit bulls gather on hot evenings in that same neighborhood to compete much more constructively (watch the video). The owners learn positive training methods and new ways of thinking about their dogs. The pit bulls, some of whom start the classes wildly aggressive, learn to run an agility course and show off their new obedience skills. Participants shower their dogs with praise and treats and start to see their canine companions as friends instead of fighters.

The HSUS' End Dogfighting program makes the difference in Englewood and other troubled neighborhoods where dogfighting is all too common. People from the community spread the word about our "Pit Bull Training Team" and invite dogs and their owners to attend free classes.

The healthy competition in our classes has turned around many dangerous situations. Greg and his 95-pound bruiser Bolo struggled at first when Bolo tried to attack other dogs. Greg took Bolo out of the room sometimes because of his barking and lunging. Working with Bolo alongside more advanced dogs got him to settle down and make progress. Eventually, Bolo could sit calmly while other dogs wrestled in front of him -- unthinkable at the start of the session.

One famous face symbolized the dangers of dogfighting last week: quarterback Michael Vick. To a rapt young audience in Chicago, he described his downfall by dogfighting and urged them to care for animals, not fight them.

Vick also gave his first interview since prison on last night's edition of 60 Minutes. He says he has a new attitude toward animals and that he's committed to helping boys and young men in inner cities break away from the horrors of dogfighting. On the show, I explained that we need to tackle this larger problem, and that Vick might even be able to help with it. (See my blog for more of my thoughts.)

A few years ago, Michael Vick thought he was on top of the world, while in fact he teetered on the brink of losing everything. Our End Dogfighting program brings solutions to others who may not even know they need one.


Wayne PacelleWayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

P.S. You can be part of the solution too, with a special gift to help our End Dogfighting

1 comment:

Paul said...

Well at least Vick is trying to redeem himself.