What I Wish Michael Vick Would Say

As much as it pains me, I will be cheering against the Steelers this football season.   There was a time when, impressed by the awareness & education Vick’s criminal story brought to the world, I felt that in spite of the unimaginably sadistic things he did to desperate, innocent dogs, he had served a purpose in this world.   I felt he’d brought a message that ultimately worked in favor of animal rights by making public the previously underestimated horrors of dogfighting.

And then I saw the Wall Street Journal interview.

Now I’m back to feeling that he has no right to be a role model any more.   Because he’s not sorry.   He feels no remorse.   As he states in his interview, the only thing he regrets is being in prison.   One wonders if he even remembers torturing & killing dogs with his own hands.

There are so many shallow individuals that think the 18 months he did signify that his debt is paid.   They don’t want to be troubled with the weight of what he did; they just want to dismiss it.   It’s much easier than actually thinking about it, & being horrified.   How can you not be horrified by even just imagining what it was like to be torn up & bleeding, all the while desperately trying to please your owner, & then to be taken by the ankles & slammed repeatedly into the concrete by said owner, your bones breaking, choking on your own blood while the world spins & darkens, joints pulling out of sockets, knowing that the hands gripping your ankles & swinging you are the hands of the one you loved, obeyed, fought for, whose praise you crave even still?   No, much easier to just forget about it.   It was just a dog.   Guilt free entertainment is more important.

I know people make mistakes.   Ignorance can cause terrible cruelty – even children do horribly sadistic things to bugs, lizards, weaker creatures – but they can still grow out of it; learn kindness, become whole people.   I think that Vick & his comrades were like big, grown children – retarded & ghetto & overprivileged, & prison helped widen his world view a bit. But apparently not enough.

So what would it take for me to forgive (re-forgive) Michael Vick?

1. I wish he would admit what he did.   I have yet to see a statement from him which states “I murdered” or “I tortured” or “I mutilated.”   He won’t even state what he did.   Saying he “let” these “things happen” isn’t admitting that he did it. He’s the boyfriend who says “I’m sorry that you’re mad” instead of “I’m sorry that I hit you.”   No thought process about the actual crime has occurred.   I want Michael Vick to own what he did on a personal level, not just for publicity.

2. I wish he would say he is sorry for what those dogs suffered.   It would mean that he bothered to think about it.

3. I wish he would admit that what he did was horrible & that people are entitled to be horrified.   I wish he would stop saying that people need to get over it.   We can’t.   He won’t let us.

I want Michael Vick to say that he is sorry.

Dogs are now “effects!”

ChloeI know… that title makes no sense, but those of you who have been following the numerous reports of police getting trigger happy with family pets who may or may not have been actually threatening may find this comforting.   Or at least a little comforting.

According to a post in Law Enforcement today, police are advised to try not to kill our dogs because they might get in trouble for it.   I’m saying this in the simplest of ways because the article itself is worded pretty carefully.   For example:

In the area of use of force, the rulings in the cases of Tennessee v Garner and Graham v Connor provide understanding when a person is seized as well as under what circumstances an officer is  to be found objectively reasonable based upon the totality of the circumstances at the time of the incident.

Yeah, I have no idea what he just said either.   The post seems to be a warning to all officers to hold back a little on the pet slaughter, make sure they document copiously, & be aware that people are sometimes really attached to their dogs & will take legal action, which is bad, & also seems to say that this is the ASPCA’s fault, & man, are things tough for cops.

That’s cool.   I don’t disagree.   But back to dogs being “effects.”

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The wisdom of Leon Rosby

Leon Rosby, idiotThe internet’s been abuzz with the viral video of Hawthorne police shooting Leon Rosby’s 2-yr-old Rottweiler, Max, who jumped out of Rosby’s car to defend his cuffed owner.   The cops are receiving death threats & Rosby is filing a lawsuit (not his first).

When I first saw the video, I was outraged at the PD’s triggerhappy behavior.   I couldn’t understand why they were arresting Rosby in the first place, even though he seemed to be aware as well as undisturbed that he was going to be arrested well before it happened.

I looked for other articles on the incident, & found one at dailybreeze.com which explained that the police were surrounding a house with a gunman inside, & that Rosby, who happened to be driving by from a dog park, pulled over with his stereo blasting, & refused to turn it down when asked.

A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said the officers asked him to turn the music down, but he refused. Rosby, she said, responded, “It’s my (expletive) radio!”

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Jim Crosby on the Lennox Tragedy

Earlier I mentioned a travesty in Northern Ireland; Belfast, to be exact.   For those who haven’t heard, a Labrador-American Bulldog mix was seized by Belfast officials from his home simply for having measurements that made him look like a pit bull.   Lennox had no history of aggression & his owners had had him neutered, microchipped, insured, registered, & even DNA certified from puppyhood.

Lennox’s family petitioned for an exemption, naturally.   After several postponements, they were denied.   They appealed.   They were denied again.   Lennox was incarcerated for over two years, & photos showed health issues & inhumane living conditions.   The family was not allowed to see him.

He was officially euthanized on July 11 in spite of expert testimony that he was not vicious, offers to rehome him outside of Northern Ireland all expenses paid, a petition of over 170,000 signatures, & a plea from the First Minister to show clemency.   The family was not even allowed to collect his corpse, in my opinion probably due to a need to cover up Lennox’s physical state at the time of death.   Or perhaps Lennox had already died.

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Ridley cops: show Austin how it’s done

A few days ago, Ridley police answered an assault call & ended up tasering a pit bull, which, at the time of being tasered, was in the act of charging at them.   Why am I applauding cops for tasering a dog?

If you’ve followed the disturbing story of Cisco in Austin, where an officer went to the wrong house, surprised the homeowner & his dog, & then shot the dog, or if you’ve read the other countless stories of police indiscriminately killing homeowners’ dogs in their own homes, you would too.   In the discussion under Incidents of Cops Shooting Dogs, Jennie said, “Our dogs aren’t allowed in the yard without supervision because I don’t trust an officer of the law ever. Not with my kids, not with my friends, not with my dogs.”   Since Cisco, reading about the frequency with which officers of the law murder family pets & call it collateral damage has had me living in fear.   I can’t call 911 for anything because I have dogs.   I often worry about being away from home because someone else might call 911 for something in my area, & cops might need to climb into my yard or something.   I fear for my dogs.

The Ridley incident is the first I’ve read that involves police officers treating a dog as we have all assumed protectors of the peace would – with reasonable, non-lethal force.   They also treated the owner, who not only sicced his dog on someone & assaulted her but also refused to cooperate once police arrived, with proper respect & reasonable force.   I’d like to compare what happened in Ridley to what happened in Austin:

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Guess I’ll Never Be Visiting Northern Ireland

A Labrador/American Bulldog mix who had never shown any aggression, who was also microchipped, insured, neutered, registered & even DNA tested due to Northern Ireland’s Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) against pit bulls was confiscated from his home because of the size of his muzzle & hind legs.

Since then, the Belfast City Council have incarcerated Lennox in an unknown location under seemingly inhumane conditions, not allowing any family contact, for 2 years.

Two years.

He’s sleeping in sawdust, surrounded by his own feces, with no visible source of water.   In isolation, which is torture for any dog.   Recent pictures show him with extensive skin damage as well as untreated injuries.   The Belfast dog wardens probably knew they were going to kill him in the end so didn’t bother being humane.

Today, in spite of petitions & expert behaviorist accounts, a Belfast judge ruled what the Belfast wardens must have been counting on all this time: Lennox is to be put to death.   I don’t even want to know how they plan to do it.   Based on their treatment of him so far, I can only hope that it’s quick but frankly, it might not be.   The judge would not even agree to let Lennox be deported.   I wonder if they will even let Lennox’s family see him again when they kill him, or if he’ll have to die somewhere surrounded by assholes.

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Chaining: Apparently Not A Good Idea

Lately I’ve been worried about my friend’s dog, who, for the last few months, has been living tethered in a garage every day for several months.   Originally he lived in a house with her & her boyfriend, but when they split up, her living situation changed & no fenced yard or enclosure is available any time soon.

In the old living situation, he was at ease with people, & although he did have a few canine rivalry-type run-ins with other dogs, overall he was a happy, obedient dog.   Since being tethered all the time, he’s become vicious to the point of biting a child who snuck into the garage to play with him.

There are a bunch of other factors to his change of behavior; the entire loss of stability must be overwhelming.   He must feel overly protective of  his gentle female owner now that they are without her boyfriend who not only spent most of his time with the dogs but was also extremely strict & structured.   He must miss the other dogs, & he must hate being alone all day until she comes home from work.

Recently I came randomly across an article stating that chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite.   The idea of tethering being psychologically damaging to a dog is corroborated in several more articles:

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