Sorry Philadelphians, I’m not an Eagles fan. I couldn’t wait for them to be eliminated and I cheered last night when I heard they lost to the Packers. And it was for one reason alone – Michael Vick. Since September I have had to endure the endless pictures of his face or seeing him interviewed on the news day-after-day. Blogs and articles were written with opinions on why we should forgive him for his beyond-heinous treatment of the dogs at his Bad Newz Kennels.  The most self-righteous among us preached that Vick deserved a second chance like anyone else. Even President Obama called the Eagles’ owner to congratulate him on giving Vick the opportunity to redeem himself. I could not get away from the media coverage of this man.

Okay, everyone deserves forgiveness and a second chance. But my reason for being glad that the season is simple: I can’t stand to see Vick’s face. The sight of him makes me physically ill because I can’t forget the faces of the dogs he tortured. I see Vick’s face and I get flashes of bloody dogs with parts of their faces ripped off. I can’t help it. In my profession, on a weekly basis I see animals coming into shelters who have suffered abuses caused by dog fighting, intentional burns and other signs of intentional trauma. We look upon the people who did these things to the animals as morally corrupt individuals.  And they are.  But 99.99999% of them do not have multi-million dollar careers and will not be made into media heroes. Thank goodness. 

Let’s imagine that a star football player abuses a child, serves his time and wants to return to the NFL. Would he be welcomed back and even voted as MVP? Could parents stand to look at HIM?  Highly unlikely.  Why does it have to be different for someone who tortured and killed dogs?  The way someone treats an animal is a direct reflection of their character. My love for animals is as deep as a parent’s love for their child. You can argue forever that an animal is not a child – but no amount of persuasion will change what’s in my heart.  I was born with a passion to help animals.

Let’s face it; money and prestige are more important in our society than moral character. When will we learn to start making stars out of people who achieve greatness for their compassion and lives of good works?