Recently news has broke that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is now a dog owner. Vick spent 21 months in prison and two under home confinement as punishment for running a dog-fighting ring. The fact that Vick is again a dog owner has alarmed many.
Those people need to realize that Vick bringing a dog into his home as a pet is the best outcome of this entire ordeal. Vick grew up in a culture where pets and dogs were not valued. They were simply viewed as property. While many view their pets as members of the family, where Vick great up they were viewed as nothing more than a piece of furniture.
When your television breaks you throw it out and find a new one. When a dog you owned would not fight, you got rid of it and bought a new one. That is a way of life in that culture.
The fact that Vick has brought a dog into his home in order to teach his children the proper ways to treat animals, proves that a change has occurred in the way he views pets. What better way is there for Vick to recognize the value a dog can add to one’s life, than for him to see it in his own home?
The vast majority of people convicted of dog-fighting never see the inside of a jail. They receive probation, pay a fine and go on with their lives. Vick was singled out because he was a famous professional athlete. He paid his debt to society, one that is greater than many pay for violent crimes against humans, and should be allowed to move on with his life.
Vick is not an evil person. He grew up in an environment and a culture that had flawed values. He is a product of that environment. The fact that he now believes a dog can add value to his home shows that some of his core beliefs have changed. Everyone should support the fact that Vick is bringing a dog into his home. Perhaps spending all that time working with animals through the SPCA showed Vick how important a dog can be to a healthy household.
The alleged goal of prisons is to reform the offender. It appears that through Vick’s prison term and probation, he has changed his views on dogs. This change should be celebrated, not criticized. He should be encouraged to have a dog in his home.