With the news this morning that the Pennsylvania SPCA conducted raids to bust up what officials called “the largest dogfighting ring they’ve ever seen” in Philadelphia, it’s worth asking once again: Has Michael Vick’s return to the NFL as the Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback made dogfighting “cool” in the City of Brotherly Love?
Evidence points to “yes.” Animal fighting investigations tripled in 2009, the year Vick signed with the Eagles, compared with 2008. Most of these cases were in Philadelphia, and most were dogfighting-related.
To whatever extent Michael Vick’s post-prison image rehab is responsible, none of it would have been possible without the Humane Society of the United States and its CEO Wayne Pacelle. HSUS sent Vick on a speaking tour to criticize dogfighting after receiving a $50,000 grant from the Eagles.
Pacelle’s advocacy for Vick even led him to claim in December that the felon "would do a good job as a pet owner.”
Now, with the release of his first book (The Bond), Pacelle justifies mending Vick’s image. On Saturday he told NPR: “There is a utility for the animal protection cause in having him out there speaking.”
HSUS released a pair of video “trailers” for The Bond, which explores Pacelle’s view of the bond between humans and animals. But this fanfare and self-promotion—and the book itself—may have missed the real Bond. The one between Wayne Pacelle and Michael Vick.
So we’ve made our own video trailer. Unlike Pacelle’s 448-page tome, it cuts right to the chase.
Enjoy, and be sure to share!