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My Questions for Michael Vick. . .

They’re the ones he’s still never answered

By Michael Mountain

So here we go again. Another load of softball questions for footballer Michael Vick. In the latest interview, with Mara Schiavocampo of theGrio, Vick tells us that he’d like to have a dog, that his daughter wants a dog and that he’s ready to have a dog – which he’s banned from doing by court order.

“I love animals,” he says to her. “I love dogs. I love birds. I love all types of animals ... I would love to have a dog in the future.

“You know, I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process.

“I think, you know, just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care and my love and my passion for animals, I think it’d be outstanding.”

This is just the latest in a series of carefully orchestrated interviews in what Vick calls “the rehabilitation process.” While Vick was still in prison, his PR people started reaching out to major humane groups to start rebuilding his image. At that time, I was president of Best Friends Animal Society, and we’d been given charge of 22 of the dogs who’d been rescued from Vick’s dog-fighting kennels – the ones who were most traumatized and needed the greatest care.

As his release date approached, Vick’s PR people called to see if we’d like to invite him to the sanctuary as part of his rehabilitation. We turned them down, explaining that it would not be good for the dogs to be visited by their tormentor.

Apart from that, we also wanted to see, at very least, some true remorse on his part – not just a public relations campaign.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), however, took him on and has been working with him ever since. Asked yesterday about Vick’s remark that he’d like to have a dog, Wayne Pacelle, president of the HSUS, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution: “I have been around him a lot, and feel confident that he would do a good job as a pet owner.”

Lisa Lange, vice-president of PETA, strongly disagreed. “Just as convicted pedophiles aren’t allowed free access to children, anyone who is responsible for hanging, electrocuting, or shooting dogs and who causes them to suffer in other unimaginable ways should never again be allowed access to dogs.”

The first major interview Vick did after coming out of prison was with NFL Todayanchor James Brown. It was billed as “asking the hard-hitting questions.” Here’s an excerpt:

JAMES BROWN: And the operation, Michael, that you pleaded guilty to bankrolling, to being a part of, engaged in barbarous treatment of the animals — beating them, shooting them, electrocuting them, drowning them. Horrific things, Michael.

MICHAEL VICK: It’s wrong, man. I don’t know how many times I gotta tell, I gotta say it. I mean, it was wrong. I feel, you know, I feel, you know, tremendous hurt behind what happened. And, you know, I should’ve took the initiative to stop it all. You know, and I didn’t. And I feel so bad about that now. And I know, you know, that I didn’t I didn’t step up. I wasn’t a leader.

In other words, other people had been doing all these terrible things, and Vick simply didn’t intervene to stop them. But that’s not what had actually happened. The fact is, Vick had been right in the middle of it all, right there in his own backyard, torturing and killing dogs himself. Yet Brown never picked up on this in the interview. He simply swallowed the line about how “I wasn’t a leader” and went on to ask how Michael felt about it – as if that’s what mattered. And Vick got away with a carefully scripted response that appeared to take responsibility – but for something else altogether that evaded the real issue.

And so it has gone ever since in his interviews and other appearances.

Rehabilitation starts with acknowledging what you did. So here are some of the questions someone still needs to ask and that Vick needs to answer. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever asked Vick any of these in a formal, public interview. And if the HSUS is so close to Vick, and they really believe he’s a changed man and that he should have a dog, then they need to start by sitting their protégé down in front of a camera and doing the interview that needs to be done, once and for all.

Here are a few of the questions to get started with:

“Michael, describe to us some of the things that took place at your kennels. Let’s start with the dogs who had no teeth when they were rescued. Who pulled them out and why?”

“Many of the dogs were so terrified of people, when they were rescued, that they wouldn’t even walk on a leash for months? What had you done to them to make them so afraid?”

“Tell us exactly what you did with water to the dogs. Did you drown them? Explain how and why.”

“And what were the electric cables for? Did you electrocute them? Again, explain how and why.”

“Please describe what a rape stand is and what you used those for?”

“Tell us, in detail, some of the things you personally did to the dogs yourself. Tell us what, in retrospect, was the worst thing you ever did.”

Only when someone asks questions like these and gets some real answers – or, better yet, Vick steps up himself and tells us the truth without having to be prompted – can any true rehabilitation begin. Until then, we don’t want to hear any more apologetic drivel about how he’s a changed man.

104 comments
mike R
mike R

I agree with the person who who said the president supports Vick.That is just wrong for him to do so. What kind of message does that send. If you go on Facebook or any other govenment website to ask about this it will be deleted within minutes.Vick is scum and should never own a dog.I love dogs but can't have one because I am on the road a lot. It wouldn't be fair to the dog.Were the dogfights fair to the dogs? Hell No. Should Vick be allowed to own a pet. Hell NO.Vick is no saint. Don't treat him like one. Until he comes clean in public about his envolement then he has NOT taken responsibilty for his actions and will never be rehabilitated.What does Vick get for this, a big fat contract and support from your President.

mike R
mike R

I agree with the person who who said the president supports Vick.That is just wrong for him to do so. What kind of message does that send. If you go on Facebook or any other govenment website to ask about this it will be deleted within minutes.Vick is scum and should never own a dog.I love dogs but can't have one because I am on the road a lot. It wouldn't be fair to the dog.Were the dogfights fair to the dogs? Hell No. Should Vick be allowed to own a pet. Hell NO.Vick is no saint. Don't treat him like one. Until he comes clean in public about his envolement then he has NOT taken responsibilty for his actions and will never be rehabilitated.What does Vick get for this, a big fat contract and support from your President.

Lori
Lori

Thank you so much for this article. I agree with your every word. I am ashamed of our president for his actions on this. And Michael Vick, he should still be in jail.

Lori
Lori

Thank you so much for this article. I agree with your every word. I am ashamed of our president for his actions on this. And Michael Vick, he should still be in jail.

steve
steve

What is worse, being cruel to a dog or indifference to the thousands who are hurting and dieing each day when you sitting reading this could be pro-active in your daily lives in saving a human life. Does this justify Vick's actions? Absolutely not. Your (The writers who preach hate towards Vick) action (judging another when you are no better)causes you to have no validity in what you are saying.

steve
steve

What is worse, being cruel to a dog or indifference to the thousands who are hurting and dieing each day when you sitting reading this could be pro-active in your daily lives in saving a human life. Does this justify Vick's actions? Absolutely not. Your (The writers who preach hate towards Vick) action (judging another when you are no better)causes you to have no validity in what you are saying.

Suan Johnson
Suan Johnson

Michael, I truly hope that you have somehow sent this article you wrote to President Obama. I am sad that our president is among so many others who is happy to see Vicks get a second chance at playing football. I totally agree with your view on this whole subject. It is like he is now a star once again and being praised for saying he made wrong decisions.
Love your article. Totally agree with your view about this.

Suan Johnson
Suan Johnson

Michael, I truly hope that you have somehow sent this article you wrote to President Obama. I am sad that our president is among so many others who is happy to see Vicks get a second chance at playing football. I totally agree with your view on this whole subject. It is like he is now a star once again and being praised for saying he made wrong decisions. Love your article. Totally agree with your view about this.

Bailey
Bailey

Michael Vick was a monster when he did those things, and he's a monster now. He even admitted in that very interview, that he'd still be doing those things now if he hadn't been caught. PETA has only recently jumped on the bandwagon of this opinion. I wonder how many others remember PETA's stance when Vick was released from prison. They were the first to applaud efforts to get him back around animals again. How many times to they have to flip-flop where they stand for the public to realize the entire organization is a bunch of hypocrites?

Bailey
Bailey

Michael Vick was a monster when he did those things, and he's a monster now. He even admitted in that very interview, that he'd still be doing those things now if he hadn't been caught. PETA has only recently jumped on the bandwagon of this opinion. I wonder how many others remember PETA's stance when Vick was released from prison. They were the first to applaud efforts to get him back around animals again. How many times to they have to flip-flop where they stand for the public to realize the entire organization is a bunch of hypocrites?

AJay
AJay

Vick should never own another animal in his life. I volunteer for a Pit Rescue and I see some very horrible things that are done to these animals. In today's society our four legged friends are now considered our family. How could anyone do this to your own family??? I love my my dogs and will do anything for their wellbeing. As I read more about this issue it makes me sick... once a thief always a thief!!!!! Same with Vick if he is a Sadistic person he will eventually get back into the same scene. Money says everything; so lets dunk his head in a bucket of water and see what he thinks of it?!!! We are the protectors of our furry friends and we are the voices of all of them!!!!!! Don't let him have a pet !!! Tell the youngsters that he speaks to the truth and show them what he did... even though he is a so called celebrity.

AJay
AJay

Vick should never own another animal in his life. I volunteer for a Pit Rescue and I see some very horrible things that are done to these animals. In today's society our four legged friends are now considered our family. How could anyone do this to your own family??? I love my my dogs and will do anything for their wellbeing. As I read more about this issue it makes me sick... once a thief always a thief!!!!! Same with Vick if he is a Sadistic person he will eventually get back into the same scene. Money says everything; so lets dunk his head in a bucket of water and see what he thinks of it?!!! We are the protectors of our furry friends and we are the voices of all of them!!!!!! Don't let him have a pet !!! Tell the youngsters that he speaks to the truth and show them what he did... even though he is a so called celebrity.

Barbara L
Barbara L

I am a football fan and animal lover have not watched the Eagles since M Vick has been back playing. It makes me sick to think of those suffering dogs. They have feelings just like humans. He will pay with pain somehow, somewhere, sometime!

Barbara L
Barbara L

I am a football fan and animal lover have not watched the Eagles since M Vick has been back playing. It makes me sick to think of those suffering dogs. They have feelings just like humans. He will pay with pain somehow, somewhere, sometime!

Paul
Paul

All of you people out there complaining about MV and the dog situation need to take a good look at this country! It sounds like you all are for an eye for an eye, but when it comes right down to it, you all are just standing on ceremony for "YOUR" interests and not those of the world. Why don't you people take a stand at some of the "real world" issues and the garbage going on in this country with our Government and the way that "They" are destroying our future and our children's future instead of worrying about a guy who hurt a few dogs. Show me that you care about other issues instead of this one famous guy tat you wouldn't know anything about if he wasn't a NFL QB. GEEZ! Get a grip people!

Paul
Paul

All of you people out there complaining about MV and the dog situation need to take a good look at this country! It sounds like you all are for an eye for an eye, but when it comes right down to it, you all are just standing on ceremony for "YOUR" interests and not those of the world. Why don't you people take a stand at some of the "real world" issues and the garbage going on in this country with our Government and the way that "They" are destroying our future and our children's future instead of worrying about a guy who hurt a few dogs. Show me that you care about other issues instead of this one famous guy tat you wouldn't know anything about if he wasn't a NFL QB. GEEZ! Get a grip people!

Blake S
Blake S

Why are you all still talking about this? The man committed a crime and served his time. GET OVER IT! There are much worse problems occurring in the world presently, to actual PEOPLE! All you cry babies are discussing whether or not he should be able to own a dog again? Give me a break...

Blake S
Blake S

Why are you all still talking about this? The man committed a crime and served his time. GET OVER IT! There are much worse problems occurring in the world presently, to actual PEOPLE! All you cry babies are discussing whether or not he should be able to own a dog again? Give me a break...

Marisa
Marisa

This saddens me deeply. There is no way that Vick should even have another chance at owning such a gift that a dog is to a person. Someone who could do such cruel and senseless acts to any living individual does not deserve a second chance.

Now in regards to "casey's" comment. I agree with you to a point. I am a black female, and yes, dogfighting is one of those that is accepted in the "black community", but I do not consider myself to be in the black community. But if you are saying that black people should be sent out on a boat and sunk in the Atlantic because this is accepted, then those words should apply to everyone. Therefore, white people should be rounded up on a boat, sent to the Atlantic and sunk for all of the injustices that they have done to Native Americans, and black people when it came to slavery. I am not trying to start an argument, but your words should be applied both ways.

Marisa
Marisa

This saddens me deeply. There is no way that Vick should even have another chance at owning such a gift that a dog is to a person. Someone who could do such cruel and senseless acts to any living individual does not deserve a second chance. Now in regards to "casey's" comment. I agree with you to a point. I am a black female, and yes, dogfighting is one of those that is accepted in the "black community", but I do not consider myself to be in the black community. But if you are saying that black people should be sent out on a boat and sunk in the Atlantic because this is accepted, then those words should apply to everyone. Therefore, white people should be rounded up on a boat, sent to the Atlantic and sunk for all of the injustices that they have done to Native Americans, and black people when it came to slavery. I am not trying to start an argument, but your words should be applied both ways.

Michael Mountain
Michael Mountain

Beth says "I thought that in the process of becoming rehabilitated, you had to admit your problem."
Hwylo notes that"his committment toward his own remains suspect"
And Sandra adda that Vick is "nothing but a walking propoganda machine, primed by his publicity team."
So what we have is a carefully scripted series of non-apology "apologies", all serving the interests of the football business and the Michael Vick business. And now we even have the President of the United States weighing in on his behalf. (See my latest column on this!)
Thanks so much for all the comments so far.

Michael Mountain
Michael Mountain

Beth says "I thought that in the process of becoming rehabilitated, you had to admit your problem." Hwylo notes that"his committment toward his own remains suspect" And Sandra adda that Vick is "nothing but a walking propoganda machine, primed by his publicity team." So what we have is a carefully scripted series of non-apology "apologies", all serving the interests of the football business and the Michael Vick business. And now we even have the President of the United States weighing in on his behalf. (See my latest column on this!) Thanks so much for all the comments so far.

steve
steve

How about spending more energy writing out against the 30,000+ kids who die each day, or the number of crack dealers in our streets, or our terrible education system, or anything that has value. Let it go, he did more time in Fed Prison then Drug dealers do on a first offense.

steve
steve

How about spending more energy writing out against the 30,000+ kids who die each day, or the number of crack dealers in our streets, or our terrible education system, or anything that has value. Let it go, he did more time in Fed Prison then Drug dealers do on a first offense.

Beth
Beth

I thought that in the process of becoming rehabilitated, you had to admit your problem. All I've heard from Vick is how he should have 'led' others not to do those awful things. He's not actually admitting to his part in any of it. People may say he's 'better' and he may be doing some sort of awareness tour, but the fact remains that he is a human being who has the capacity to this to helpless animals that had no choice in the matter. The things he did to those poor dogs were atrocious. I hate to say it, but I don't think a person who is capable of this type of heartless torture of animals can EVER be considered 'better'

Beth
Beth

I thought that in the process of becoming rehabilitated, you had to admit your problem. All I've heard from Vick is how he should have 'led' others not to do those awful things. He's not actually admitting to his part in any of it. People may say he's 'better' and he may be doing some sort of awareness tour, but the fact remains that he is a human being who has the capacity to this to helpless animals that had no choice in the matter. The things he did to those poor dogs were atrocious. I hate to say it, but I don't think a person who is capable of this type of heartless torture of animals can EVER be considered 'better'

Julie LeRoy
Julie LeRoy

As an animal control officer you are just a big name who got busted to me. I deal with this every day. With your "comeback kid" luck you have validated every one of those people I deal with. The only difference between you and them is your paycheck. You are just a street trash lowlife who is laughing in every animal lovers face while increasing ticket prices for your ignorant fans.

Julie LeRoy
Julie LeRoy

As an animal control officer you are just a big name who got busted to me. I deal with this every day. With your "comeback kid" luck you have validated every one of those people I deal with. The only difference between you and them is your paycheck. You are just a street trash lowlife who is laughing in every animal lovers face while increasing ticket prices for your ignorant fans.

Cammie
Cammie

I never knew of Vick until hearing about the horrible things he did to these precious animals. It saddens me and brings tears to my eyes to know that these lovable loyal dogs went through so much pain and torture from the hands of him. How can any human be so cruel to do this to innocent dogs? NO, VICK DOES NOT DESERVE TO HAVE A DOG EVER! Dogs are God's gift to us, and we are here to protect them, care for them, and love them. Vick is incapable of loving an animal.

Cammie
Cammie

I never knew of Vick until hearing about the horrible things he did to these precious animals. It saddens me and brings tears to my eyes to know that these lovable loyal dogs went through so much pain and torture from the hands of him. How can any human be so cruel to do this to innocent dogs? NO, VICK DOES NOT DESERVE TO HAVE A DOG EVER! Dogs are God's gift to us, and we are here to protect them, care for them, and love them. Vick is incapable of loving an animal.

casey
casey

i hate to say this because it does sound racial but if i was a black man i would be pretty upset at vick....he has basically hung all his guilt on his race...that this was accepted in his community growing up....i have many black co workers and friends and not one has ever said that due to their race dog fighting is tolerated....im sorry but when you hold an animal down that is squirming in pain and use pliers to rip their teeth out....well honestly if that is an activity that is accepted by the black community then they should never have been freed....they should be rounded up put on a boat sent out into the middle of the atlantic and sunk....i have read this pathetic excuse many places and really have a hard time with all his supporters that are black and call us racist for feeling that someone that could do such horrific things to a living creature does not ever deserve another chance.....i would be looking for his head if he blamed his activity on my race....he is a loser and i am sure there is a place for him in hell....he should enjoy his time on earth....i have a feeling his soul isnt headed for a good place

casey
casey

i hate to say this because it does sound racial but if i was a black man i would be pretty upset at vick....he has basically hung all his guilt on his race...that this was accepted in his community growing up....i have many black co workers and friends and not one has ever said that due to their race dog fighting is tolerated....im sorry but when you hold an animal down that is squirming in pain and use pliers to rip their teeth out....well honestly if that is an activity that is accepted by the black community then they should never have been freed....they should be rounded up put on a boat sent out into the middle of the atlantic and sunk....i have read this pathetic excuse many places and really have a hard time with all his supporters that are black and call us racist for feeling that someone that could do such horrific things to a living creature does not ever deserve another chance.....i would be looking for his head if he blamed his activity on my race....he is a loser and i am sure there is a place for him in hell....he should enjoy his time on earth....i have a feeling his soul isnt headed for a good place

Elsa
Elsa

Never never never should Michael Vick be allowed
to have a dog let alone any other animal.
He shouldn't even be allowed to have a child.
I've followed what happened with all the dogs
some were saved but some were not. It's awfully
sad to know that another human being could be
so savage to another being.

Elsa
Elsa

Never never never should Michael Vick be allowed to have a dog let alone any other animal. He shouldn't even be allowed to have a child. I've followed what happened with all the dogs some were saved but some were not. It's awfully sad to know that another human being could be so savage to another being.

Suan Johnson
Suan Johnson

Steve, what do you mean by judging another when you are no better??? Speaking for myself. I will stand up for abused children and abused animals. I have never raised a hand to hand to abuse a child or an animal. I think most of us who are commenting are not so much judging Vicks but are questioning why he should be praised when he is a criminal. What reason is there to praise a man who tortures and kills innocent beings. What makes you think that people who want justice for animals don't also want justice for humans who are wronged in such ways. I am so tired of the old argument you bring up of why do you want justice for animals ? Why not put your efforts into people who are abused. Who says you have to pick one over the other to defend?? What is wrong about carring about???

Suan Johnson
Suan Johnson

Steve, what do you mean by judging another when you are no better??? Speaking for myself. I will stand up for abused children and abused animals. I have never raised a hand to hand to abuse a child or an animal. I think most of us who are commenting are not so much judging Vicks but are questioning why he should be praised when he is a criminal. What reason is there to praise a man who tortures and kills innocent beings. What makes you think that people who want justice for animals don't also want justice for humans who are wronged in such ways. I am so tired of the old argument you bring up of why do you want justice for animals ? Why not put your efforts into people who are abused. Who says you have to pick one over the other to defend?? What is wrong about carring about???

Linda
Linda

I agree with you, Marisa. This is not a black/white, north/south issue at all. It's happening everywhere. And to those who say--get over it, people/kids are dying, other issues--that is not what this site is about which is why we are talking about the dogs.

Linda
Linda

I agree with you, Marisa. This is not a black/white, north/south issue at all. It's happening everywhere. And to those who say--get over it, people/kids are dying, other issues--that is not what this site is about which is why we are talking about the dogs.

grrrlgeek
grrrlgeek

Supporting animal welfare does not preclude supporting human welfare.

grrrlgeek
grrrlgeek

Supporting animal welfare does not preclude supporting human welfare.

Suan Johnson
Suan Johnson

What is wrong in carring about both is what I meant to say .

Suan Johnson
Suan Johnson

What is wrong in carring about both is what I meant to say .

steve
steve

No but energy spent defending animals could be spent defending human lives. As could money. Things like human trafficing, drugs, gangs, bad educational system, etc... I vote for house hold animals to be eradicated and the money spent on animals from animal loves go towards feeding kids who are dieing. Obviously sarcasm, however, something like 70% of american dog owners have dogs who are over weight. This is radically wrong when people die from no food.

Paul
Paul

Thank you! I so agree! We ned to spend as much energy figuring out how to help ourselves before we can help others or animals! You know that in some countries they eat dog just like we eat Cow! Do you think they care if a few dogs were abused? or how about rodeos? should we ban them too because of the mistreatment of those ugly animals?

steve
steve

No but energy spent defending animals could be spent defending human lives. As could money. Things like human trafficing, drugs, gangs, bad educational system, etc... I vote for house hold animals to be eradicated and the money spent on animals from animal loves go towards feeding kids who are dieing. Obviously sarcasm, however, something like 70% of american dog owners have dogs who are over weight. This is radically wrong when people die from no food.

Paul
Paul

Thank you! I so agree! We ned to spend as much energy figuring out how to help ourselves before we can help others or animals! You know that in some countries they eat dog just like we eat Cow! Do you think they care if a few dogs were abused? or how about rodeos? should we ban them too because of the mistreatment of those ugly animals?

saraya
saraya

To those who sit there and chastise the commenters here regarding human issues and poverty,homelessness,hunger etc., THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE OF DISCUSSION. There are plenty of discussions and action regarding those issues, but his is not one of them. This happens to be one on the treatment of animals and the inhumane way one person chose to do so.
So get off your soapbox,march your intolerance to public opinion butt right back over to your side of the fence and stay off this side. Us grown ups are having a discussion about a very horrific person that we choose to take action against.
With over zealous and oh so righteous people like yourself in that corner,I'm sure we can spare a few people to make a stand for animals dontcha think?????

I don't care if he's Joe Blow next door, pro football player or Pres of the US....he does NOT need another nimal. He was wrong no matter WHO he is.

steve
steve

Right on. Indifference is terrible. Picking on Vick and taking a stand for an animal who can't love or hate you is easy. Taking a stand for those who are victims is more difficult. Taking a stand for those who don't appreciate it even more so. Strive die to yourself like Jesus Christ, Ghandi, or MLKJr. in your service to others and spending time judging Vick will be inconsequential. Hating Vick and standing up for dogs is a cop out and allows people to hide from the reality real service takes real effort and the attempt to die to yourself.

saraya
saraya

To those who sit there and chastise the commenters here regarding human issues and poverty,homelessness,hunger etc., THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE OF DISCUSSION. There are plenty of discussions and action regarding those issues, but his is not one of them. This happens to be one on the treatment of animals and the inhumane way one person chose to do so. So get off your soapbox,march your intolerance to public opinion butt right back over to your side of the fence and stay off this side. Us grown ups are having a discussion about a very horrific person that we choose to take action against. With over zealous and oh so righteous people like yourself in that corner,I'm sure we can spare a few people to make a stand for animals dontcha think????? I don't care if he's Joe Blow next door, pro football player or Pres of the US....he does NOT need another nimal. He was wrong no matter WHO he is.

steve
steve

Right on. Indifference is terrible. Picking on Vick and taking a stand for an animal who can't love or hate you is easy. Taking a stand for those who are victims is more difficult. Taking a stand for those who don't appreciate it even more so. Strive die to yourself like Jesus Christ, Ghandi, or MLKJr. in your service to others and spending time judging Vick will be inconsequential. Hating Vick and standing up for dogs is a cop out and allows people to hide from the reality real service takes real effort and the attempt to die to yourself.