Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bought my first Sports Illustrated today...

And for good reason: the December 29th issue has a wonderful article on several of Michael Vick's dogs and where they are now. They even put one of them on the cover. What a gorgeous girl!

The article was beautifully written, discussing the horrendous experiences of the dogs, how great pit bulls are and the bad press they get (even pointing a finger at an article SI did in 1987 as detrimental to their reputation), the diligent training that organizations and foster homes have performed to rehabilitate the dogs, and even touches on the debate whether it's fair to put so much time and money into saving 47 dogs, when there's so many other homeless and abused animals out there. Instead of information on the author at the end of the article, it listed the websites of three non-profits discussed in the text.

I'm so thrilled that SI did this article. The Michael Vick story is nearly two years old, and he's scheduled to be getting out this year-- this story could fade into the past so easily. And yet, these dogs and their owners will have to deal with what he did for many years to come-- perhaps the dogs' whole lives. I also love that by addressing the dog's side of the story in such a visible forum, Vick is still being held accountable for his actions in the public eye. I don't know what compels someone to think dogfighting and animal abuse is acceptable in the first place (let alone be involved with it), but by continuing to focus on what he did and the impact of it, I feel that it helps remind people that dogfighting is a wholly unacceptable practice, and that this is one public figure that cannot be a hero.

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