There was an understandable outcry in 2009 when, following Vick’s release from prison on convictions related to dogfighting, he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. There was considerable concern when the Humane Society of the United States agreed to partner with Vick and rehab his public image. And there was even more consternation when Humane Society of the United CEO Wayne Pacelle told the press in 2010—after HSUS received $50,000 from the Eagles—that Vick “would do a good job as a pet owner.”
Did Wayne Pacelle just endorse Michael Vick yet again?
The New York Post reports that Jets fans are upset following the team’s decision to sign Michael Vick last week. But the Jets had sought out Pacelle before signing Vick:
A Jets spokesman said the team “performed its due diligence” prior to signing Vick, noting that team president Neil Glat called Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society, before a decision was made.
Sounds to us like Pacelle once again gave an endorsement of Vick. But how has the Michael Vick Apology Tour, sponsored by HSUS, turned out for animals?
According to the Pennsylvania SPCA, dogfighting investigations in Philadelphia went up after Vick signed with the Eagles. In 2008, there were 245 investigations, and in 2009, there were 903. The director of law enforcement for the Pennsylvania SPCA stated that there had been an increase in actual dogfighting, not just reports. In 2012, PSPCA had over 1,000 dogfighting investigations, and the group said last year that dogfighting cases had doubled since 2008-09.
Does Wayne Pacelle feel any remorse for this failed record? Perhaps not, since HSUS got a $50,000 grant and Pacelle is now apparently the go-to guy for people looking for a reference for Vick. Maybe Pacelle’s admission that “I don’t love animals or think they are cute” should include an addition: “But I do love money.”
Jets fans who love animals may not have to put up with Vick for too long. The Jets don’t have the greatest record of picking quarterbacks, and Vick may butt-fumble his way out of town sooner than later. But the situation is still troubling.
The Post asked of Michael Vick, “Who let the dog in?” Maybe that’s what HSUS members should ask about the HSUS board’s decision to keep Wayne Pacelle on as CEO.