Talk Back: Vick’s Script

By on September 6, 2007 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

Readers reacted to the news that a Humane Society of the United States employee discovered talking points discarded at the podium following Michael Vick’s public apology on August 27. The note, with six bulleted points and "dogs have suffered" scrawled in the corner, is now up for auction on eBay, with proceeds to benefit The HSUS’s Animal Cruelty Response and Reward Fund. As of this posting, the memento has garnered 77 bids, with a current high bid of $10,100.

Among the comments we received:

Oh my, how ironic. Excellent story and even better idea. I hope this brings lot of money for The HSUS. Best of luck! —Michelle

Indeed, Mr. Pacelle, there is no better use than to put Michael Vick’s scribbled "Dogs have suffered" afterthought up for auction. Those three words speak volumes—and say more than the entire sum of his public statement. My wish is for two things. First, that those words, whether penned by Mr. Vick or by one of his own handlers, will be a constant reminder to all of what truly lies at the heart of this case. And second, that the eBay auction rakes in an unbelievable amount of money that can be used to further eradicate this sickening treatment of animals. I am thrilled to see that it is off to a fantastic start!  —J. Griffith, Raleigh, N.C.

I am so pleased and somewhat relieved that someone has finally written about the fact that Vick never mentioned the real victims of his crimes. I thought I was the only one that noticed that when he apologized, he apologized to everyone except the dogs; and I believe he did it in the third person. If money can be made from this slip of paper and used to help more defenseless animals this is indeed a good thing. One other point I would like to make is that I do not believe that Vick deserves any sympathy. He did what he wanted to do and is totally responsible for his actions. He alone is responsible for the situation he is in and he alone must be held accountable. Those of us who truly care for animals can only hope that others will learn from this that animal abuse in any form is not acceptable and will be punished. —Kathryn Thomson

I, too, noticed that Vick failed to mention the dogs in his public statement. I also noticed that he never really apologized for anything having to do with the dogs. He used the expressions "bad judgment" and "bad decisions" when referring to what he had done. I would have rather heard him actually say, "What I did to those dogs was wrong… I am sorry." I don’t expect to ever hear those words from him because I believe the only thing Vick is truly sorry about is that he got caught. —Sherry Eaton

What a serendipitous find and profound commentary by Wayne. Brilliant use of Vick’s crib sheet. Hope it raises many tens of thousands to stop dogfighting. —Holland

I got goose bumps when I read this article. What a great way to turn such a negative, horrid thing into a positive! —Danielle

I think you all should let Michael Vick be; you got a guilty plea and he will be going to prison. What else do you all want from him? —Richardo Pryor

He NEVER apologized to the dogs that he hurt. Never even said much about them at all. While I know he realizes what he did was cruel, I don’t think he cares. He got caught; that is the only reason he apologized in the first place. When he spoke, on August 27, I realized right then and there that he didn’t then, nor does he today, care about any of the dogs that suffered under his hands. —Dana

There’s something about this piece of paper that makes it look like Vick’s situation is reversible. Maybe, just maybe, he can become a changed man after all this. Maybe it’s something about the scrawling writing that makes him seem immature, maybe it’s the mother in me wanting to comfort a child, but seeing this brings a whole new perspective into my heart. I hope those last three words stick with him—I hope those are the words that he mulls over in his mind for a long time and realizes that he was the cause of that suffering. He can prevent that suffering in the future. With this horrible crime, the anti-dogfighting campaign gained an incredible spokesperson. I hope he uses his knowledge and remorse for the good of animals so no more dogs will suffer needlessly. —Lisa Jenkins

Part of me wanted to be sympathetic for Vick while he was making his speech but when he neglected to mention the fact that he hurt and killed those dogs and was sorry for that my sympathy went out the door. It is even less after seeing how those three words “dogs have suffered” are written in as if that’s the least important part of what he has done. —Stephanie

Profiting from dogfighting is wrong. To profit is to participate in the act. The end does not justify the means. Would you auction off the bloodied collars of the executed dogs to profit for the cases to come? This is blood money. Also, while The HSUS stands at the forefront of legislation have you nursed back the broken body of the bait dogs, or the fighters who eluded execution whose spirit is strong and true? I have and yet I would not seek money or assistance that was in anyway connected to this practice. —On the Front Lines

WOW. You did the right thing for putting it on eBay. First, more money will go to help animals; second, it brings more attention to just how bogus his contrition probably was. Your blog is always articulate and written with such feeling. It’s good to know that there are many of us who love animals deeply and put their compassion into action, and The HSUS is a powerful channel for those of us who want to fight against the monstrous cruelty in this world. Thank you so much. —L.

What would you do if you were caught doing something wrong that possibly could ruin your career? Some people probably would have done the same thing, make up a story to hopefully pacify people and say they were sorry. The only thing he was sorry about is that he got caught. An apology from someone like that is empty. As an animal lover I would not believe anything I heard from him. Our dog had a rare disease. We lost her to it three months ago. We spent $5,250 dollars in 1 1/2 years trying to save her. I wish he would have put as much energy into something good, not bad, as we did trying to save our dog, while Vick was wasting precious lives. —Bonnie Chernich


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