Thursday, July 30, 2009


As the NFL decides what to do with Michael Vick, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the organization that played a pivotal role in his fall from grace and his temporary exile from the NFL, has made a bold play and agreed to work with Vick on their anti-dog fighting campaign. The HSUS was Vick’s worst enemy when the charges came to light and they used the notoriety he brought to dog fighting to have 21 new and stiffer laws passed. Throughout his trial and incarceration they were able to keep a very unpleasant topic in the headlines and now, with his release and claimed rehabilitation, they will be able to keep it there for many more months. The true Touchdown for the HSUS is that they can get past their anger and disgust and see what using Vick can bring to their crusade. Because of his background, NFL status and jail time, he can reach an audience the HSUS never could – he can reach those individuals who would be drawn into the ‘sport’ of dog fighting. Vick’s Touchdown is one scored off the field, one that represents his attempt to regain some of his former status and to repair his name. Vick, or his people, have realized that an apology is not good enough and that he needs to go above and beyond by offering to become part of the solution. Whether he is sincere or not, it is too early to tell and he could very well turn this potential Touchdown into a very public Fumble as the HSUS will be keeping an eye out and will be only too willing to turn on their spokesperson if he fails to deliver on his promise. The HSUS aren’t blind to the fact that he may be using them but they recognize that by using him he will help advance their overall goal - protection of animals, by helping encourage individual people and institutions to change for the better in all of their dealings with animals. Let’s hope this turns out to be a Touchdown for both players and that in the end, the dogs come out on top.

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