23 months in prison camp (not maximum security) for having provided the financial means and real estate to enable absolutely vicious acts toward innocent living creatures, with atrocities that included death by electrocution, slamming, setting on fire; cruel fighting, starvation and rape boxes. Does this sentence even remotely approach the realm of justice? If these acts were perpetrated toward people, multiple life sentences in maximum security prison and/or death penalty would be in the legal discussion, not a matter of months or even years in prison camp, less with good behavior. Are the pain and suffering of dogs and other animals worth so much less than that of people, that punishment for inhumane crimes against people vs dogs should be a difference of life in max security prison or death penalty vs 23 months in prison camp??
Strictly from a veterinary standpoint, I can tell you from a physiological point of view, that dogs and people are virtually identical, complete with the same complement of nerves, sensory perception, and organs. They are also complex emotional social creatures. This means that they feel pain, hunger, neglect, and isolation no differently than we do. Despite this, however, vicious and sadistic crimes against them carry a mere fraction of the penalty when compared to crimes against people.
The saddest comment on this how this whole ordeal reflects us as a society, was evident from what I witnessed on prime time television during Monday Night Football, when the Atlanta Falcons were playing. The owner of the Atlanta Falcons and founder of Home Depot, Arthur Blank, expressed how sorry he felt for Michael Vick and where his poor choices had led him. When asked whether the Falcons would ever allow Vick to play for the Atlanta Falcons again if allowed back in the league, Blank even did not completely dismiss the possibility. The stands were full of fans that wore Michaels Vicks Jersey in support him, and teammates garnished t-shirts that said “Free Mike Vick.” These athletes and thousands of fans actually felt that what he did does not deserve any jail time at all!
This tells me that people care more for their fallen hero than for the hundreds of innocent animals that were tortured, tormented, and killed in a venue that he provided, in a despicable sport that he helped finance. At a time when Arthur blank, Falcons fans, and Falcons team members should have set an example and rallied behind animal rights supporters to make the cruel, sadistic, and illegal sport of dog fighting the primary issue, they instead tried to turn the ring leader into a martyr. It is truly sickening and disheartening to know that there are so many that share my American nationality, that have such little compassion and care for the suffering of innocent lives and crimes committed against them.
Michael Vick and any other people that are capable of treating animals in the dreaded manner that those dogs were treated, are sociopaths of the worst kind. They are vicious and sadistic, posing a grave danger to society. They should be regarded and treated as such!
Roger L. Welton, DVM