Animal lovers 'welcome' Eagles quarterback Michael Vick - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Animal lovers 'welcome' Eagles quarterback Michael Vick

Badges For Bullies, Friends of the City of Cleveland Kennel, Nitro Foundation and other local animal advocates staged an anti-Michael Vick/dog fighting rally before the Cleveland Browns game today against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Eagles quarterback Vick was sentenced in December 2007 to 23 months in federal prison, but actually did 19 months for running the Bad Newz Kennels dog fighting operation. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson stated at his sentencing. "You were instrumental in promoting, funding and facilitating this cruel and inhumane sporting activity."

The ASPCA's recent response to Vick's desire to own a dog is as follows:

"Michael Vick's journey toward rehabilitation and redemption has not reflected any direct concern for the well-being of animals, and we've never heard him express a shred of empathy toward the dogs he brutalized and killed. What Vick participated in were multi-year, premeditated patterns of violent behavior that inflicted terrible suffering and death on innocent victims. And rather than talk about the horrors and brutalities of dog fighting, Vick has instead chosen to focus on the consequences of getting caught. This approach is especially troublesome because it circumvents the most important point of all, that animals deserve to be treated with compassion and respect. This leads the ASPCA to believe that Vick's actions have been simply self-serving and not remotely expressing remorse."

Badges For Bullies was started in 2012 by Cleveland Police Officers with the assistance of Friends of the Cleveland Kennel. The volunteer organization is dedicated to ridding the community of animal cruelty and underground dog fighting operations.

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