Michael Vick’s Dec. 10 sentencing produced a mixed reaction from readers. Among the comments we received:
I’ll be the first to admit that I wanted Michael Vick to serve the maximum of 5 years. I also wish he could’ve been charged for each dog like he would’ve been had these crimes been against humans. With that said, I do believe much good has come from the case. It’s a shame that so many dogs had to suffer at the expense of these individuals’ entertainment; however, imposing a harsh sentence on a well-known celebrity athlete will most likely make the rest of the world view this as a highly punishable crime. Even if people don’t have compassion for the dogs, their fear of imprisonment will lead to fewer and fewer animals being abused in this disgusting "sport." —Laura Perrier
This is a great day indeed! NOT because Vick is in prison, but because someone has been prosecuted for crimes against animals. Like you said, dogfighting has been brought into the public eye and if there was ever a silver lining in a cruelty case, this is it. Thank you for all the hard work you did, but most of all for keeping The HSUS looking like a sober participant in the process. —Lisa J.
Congratulations to the Humane Society [of the United States] for its ongoing role in bringing criminals to justice and bringing some peace of mind to the poor, battered dogs. There is no doubt that this fight has not ended but huge progress has been made today. —Vijaya Ramachandran
I am glad to see Vick got more than the 12 months that was originally discussed, although I wish it was a lot more. Please start a petition to the NFL that he should receive additional punishment after serving his time, specifically that the NFL has no place for convicted felons like Michael Vick. —Thomas Klem
I think the Atlanta Falcons should let The HSUS run an ad at no charge on any HSUS issue in every game program for the next two football seasons. —Andrea Rohrbacher
I am grateful that the public is now aware of the facts of the terrible cruelty inflicted on the dogs, and the animals used as bait in training dogs to fight, that the Michael Vick case has brought to the forefront of our nation’s conscience. However, let us not think the battle is over. This is about stopping all dogfighting, not just bringing a sports figure down. We need to be just as vigilant about all people, from whatever walk of life, who engage in or support as a spectator any form of animal fighting. —Rhonda Lanier
He says he is sorry. I’ll believe him when I see him sit down on the ground and hug and pet those dogs he kept for fighting. They’re the real victims, not him, not his family, not the fans, but the dogs—all the dogs that he fought, those he forced to breed, those he put in the ring with the pit bulls and those he tortured and killed. All for nothing. Mr. Vick, if you are sorry, get down to their level and let them know that you are not the same person. —Debbie