A rising star of American football has been charged with breeding dozens of pitbull terriers for often fatal dogfights in a case that exposes an underworld of cruelty to animals.
Michael Vick, a celebrated quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons, is accused of raising dogs at his Bad Newz Kennels in Virginia to take part in fights with purses as high as $26,000 (£13,000).
Eight dogs that underperformed in test bouts were killed “by various methods, including hanging, drowning and slamming at least one dog’s body to the ground”, the indictment says.
A raid on one of his properties specifically bought for dogfighting was part of an apparent network of dogfighting kennels. Police searched the property and found 54 pitbulls with chains attached to car axles in the ground.
Also on the property were an electronic treadmill to exercise the dogs, a “break” stick to pry open their jaws during fights and a “rape stand” in which a bitch is strapped for breeding when she is too aggressive
After one fight, it is alleged that the losing female pitbull was executed by wetting her down with water and electrocuting her.
Mr Vick is obviously not a nice person. The animal cruelty indictment is the most dramatic charge against him but he has in been involved in drug and sex cases. But that is not the point. How can anybody treat dogs this way? Dogs entrust their lives in our hands. They depend on us and give us their unconditional trust and love. I do hope maximum penalty and imprisonment is imposed in cases such as this one. Such behaviour is unacceptable, brutal and unforgivable. Furthermore seeing the commotion David Beckman’s arrival in America has caused, how are adolescents or anybody enjoying fooball going to react to this sort of behaviour from this rising star who has become a role model to some?
I read a comment which said: “ Put him in jail and throw away the key.”