Written by PETA
They were hung from trees in the woods behind Michael Vick's house, eight dogs left there to die, kicking and screaming.The pit bulls had made the mistake of failing the test. They weren't mean enough, quick enough, strong enough in the ring, so they were of no more use to Vick's Bad Newz dogfighting operation.Imagine, killing a dog because it's just too nice.Five of the dogs finally kicked their last breaths away as the ropes cut deeper and deeper into their throats. Three somehow clung to life. Vick and two of his henchmen, growing impatient, cut those three down and one by one shoved their heads into five-gallon buckets filled with water, drowning them to finish them off.Try keeping your breakfast down after hearing that report on ESPN.The inhumanity, the callousness, the abuse of these innocent, helpless animals is almost beyond comprehension.
Three dogfighters knocked out of the ring (or should that be pit) early! Two more of Michael Vick's alleged accomplices entered guilty pleas in Richmond today, and there is no doubt that Michael Vick is huddled with his attorneys, deciding whether or not he will follow suit early next week.
According to The Houston Chronicle, "A statement of facts signed by Taylor as part of his plea agreement placed Vick at the scene of several dogfights and linked him to betting. Taylor said Vick financed virtually all the "Bad Newz Kennels" operation on Vick's property in Surry County."
If Vick is ultimately tied to betting on these dogfights, it is likely to trigger a lifetime ban from the NFL under the league's personal conduct policy, which does not look kindly on illegal gambling. Does anyone else think it might be a good idea for the policy to include a similar stance against charges of electrocution and drowning?
PETA was present at the hearing, and I've posted some images for you below.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
… but first, here’s a comic from the wonderful Dan Piraro that I think just about sums it up:
One of Michael Vick’s codefendants, Tony Taylor, changed his plea to guilty today. Taylor admitted to the court that he helped buy pit bulls and puppies and executed animals who didn’t do well in performance tests by shooting and electrocution.
PETA is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone suspected of dogfighting.
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.
All day today, PETA protesters and hundreds of members of the public stood outside the U.S. District Court in Richmond, Virginia, to call for vigorous prosecution of Michael Vick and the three other men charged in this horrific dogfighting case. Although this story is the first glimpse for many people of exactly what dogfighting is all about, the real tragedy here is that the kind of abuse detailed in Vick's indictment is as widespread as it is horrific. In the last year alone, PETA has responded to more than 14,000 calls and e-mails regarding other dogfighting and individual cruelty-to-animals cases. It's great that there has been so much outrage over this case, and we're certainly going to keep pushing to make sure that it is treated with the utmost seriousness by the courts—as well as by Vick's sponsors and the NFL—but the next step is going to be getting policymakers and law enforcement officers to treat all cases of dogfighting and animal cruelty the same way that they have been prosecuting this case, which happens to be under scrutiny from the media.
The good news is that this is already beginning to happen on the federal level. According to a press release from Senator John Kerry's office today, the senator has announced that he is "introducing legislation to finally eliminate dogfighting, which has been targeted by federal and state laws but by all accounts is more popular than ever." A copy of the proposed bill can be found here, and you can read our thank you letter to Senator Kerry and expression of support for the bill here.
Falcons Owner Arthur Blank gave a press conference this afternoon to present the Falcons’ official position on the Vick case. Here’s what PETA told the media about our reaction:
PETA commends Arthur Blank and the Falcons for not being satisfied with a voluntary leave of absence for Michael Vick. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, truckloads of illegal dogfighting equipment and 66 dogs—many of whom had injuries associated with dogfighting—were seized from Vick’s property. Based on those facts alone, a voluntary leave of absence would clearly not be satisfactory.PETA also commends the Falcons for drafting the paperwork for a four-week suspension, mentioned by Blank as a “first step” in disciplining Vick. We continue to call on the NFL to suspend Vick immediately and to permanently bar him from the league if convicted of the charges detailed in the indictment.PETA appreciates Arthur Blank’s statement, “How anyone could participate in dogfighting is incomprehensible to me,” which echoed the feelings of many millions of Americans and football fans.Because of the Falcons’ willingness to suspend Vick, PETA is canceling plans to protest outside the Falcons’ training camp on Thursday. Instead, PETA will demonstrate outside NikeTown stores nationwide, demanding that Nike—which has stated that it will continue to sell Michael Vick merchandise—drop its corporate partnership with Vick.
PETA commends Arthur Blank and the Falcons for not being satisfied with a voluntary leave of absence for Michael Vick. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, truckloads of illegal dogfighting equipment and 66 dogs—many of whom had injuries associated with dogfighting—were seized from Vick’s property. Based on those facts alone, a voluntary leave of absence would clearly not be satisfactory.
PETA also commends the Falcons for drafting the paperwork for a four-week suspension, mentioned by Blank as a “first step” in disciplining Vick. We continue to call on the NFL to suspend Vick immediately and to permanently bar him from the league if convicted of the charges detailed in the indictment.
PETA appreciates Arthur Blank’s statement, “How anyone could participate in dogfighting is incomprehensible to me,” which echoed the feelings of many millions of Americans and football fans.
Because of the Falcons’ willingness to suspend Vick, PETA is canceling plans to protest outside the Falcons’ training camp on Thursday. Instead, PETA will demonstrate outside NikeTown stores nationwide, demanding that Nike—which has stated that it will continue to sell Michael Vick merchandise—drop its corporate partnership with Vick.
Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Gerald G. Poindexter, whose job entails dealing with a certain dogfighting case that you may have heard of involving Falcons Quarterback (for the time being) Michael Vick has apparently decided to sit around and do nothing instead. A full eight days after the indictment, Mr. Poindexter has yet to file any state charges against Vick. As PETA Director Daphna Nachminovich puts it,
"Short of an engraved invitation, what else will get Poindexter to file charges against Vick? He should be ashamed that it took the federal government to come down here to do his job for him. This case needs to go before a grand jury lickety-split. Vick's name will forever be associated with cruelty to dogs and so will Poindexter's unless he takes immediate action to see that justice is served."
Right on, Daphna. And Poindexter, what the hell are you up to? You can read our letter to the attorney here.
OK, so essentially everyone in the developed world has at least heard of PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign. At least everyone with access to a TV, computer, radio or newspaper. And, to be honest, we’re quite proud of the campaign’s success.
It’s pretty clear we’re all about getting naked for a good cause, so I was thrilled to hear about UK-based Lush Cosmetics’ new “naked” marketing campaign. And since the company is as animal-friendly as they come, I love it even more.
The outcry over Michael Vick's indictment has been enormous, bringing national attention to the horrors inherent in the vicious blood sport he's accused of participating in, and inspiring countless people to speak out against cruelty to animals. Following demonstrations outside the NFL's offices in New York and Falcons HQ in Atlanta, an impassioned letter from Senator John Kerry, and a powerful speech by Senator Robert Byrd in D.C., Commissioner Goodell has finally responded and told Vick not to come to training camp while the NFL reviews his case. This is a step in the direction, but we do need to keep the pressure on the NFL right now to suspend Michael Vick from the team. Given the evidence—rape racks, treadmills, piles of dead animals—no reasonable person would doubt that illegal dogfighting and horrific cruelty to animals have taken place on Michael Vick's property, and that alone—even for those who still believe that Vick was completely oblivious to the major operation that was going on under his nose—is reason enough for Goodell to take strong disciplinary action. You can write to the NFL here.
Now we need to persuade the companies that have yet to address the glaring fact that they are still touting Michael Vick as a poster boy. PETA's letter to Nike, Vick's most prominent sponsor, is available here, and you can contact the company through the form here to ask that they immediately sever ties with Vick in light of these horrific allegations.
PETA will be keeping pressure on the NFL and Nike this week, and we'll keep working to ensure that this issue is treated with the seriousness that it deserves by anyone who continues to try and make money from an association with an alleged torturer.
We are also making certain that everyone has information about exactly what the blood sport of dogfighting means for the animals involved. This PETA PSA, starring heavyweight boxing champion Lamon Brewster has been going out to TV stations around the country all week. If there is a silver lining in this case, it is that the public is now very aware that dogfighting is an issue that needs to be addressed urgently and that strong measures need to be taken to stamp it out forever.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.