Should Michael Vick have a dog?

I was appalled when NFL quarterback Michael Vick was arrested in 2007 for running a dogfighting operation. What a terrible role model for kids! (Read more about the Michael Vick case and the Pit Bulls rescued from his dogfighting operation here.) And now Vick is making headlines again — this time because he’s thinking of getting a dog.

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Vick claims that, even if he does get a dog, it won’t be a Pit Bull (like Beauty Bella, above).

In a CNN interview, Vick says, “I still deal with my kids each and every day. And for the last three years — not being able to have a dog because of my acts — I just don’t think that’s fair. You know, there’s maybe something that’s therapeutic in that for [my kids]. And I can’t take that dream away from them. That’s selfish on my behalf.” Vick’s declaration has caused a cry from many animal welfare advocates, including a Petside.com op-ed article.

When asked what kind of dog he’d want to get, Vick said he’d let his kids pick out the dog, but he added, “it certainly wouldn’t be a Pit Bull.”

In response to this news, we reached out to Roo Yori, Pit Bull advocate and dad to one of the “former Vick dogs.”

Find out what Roo said after the jump:


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Hector (pictured) still has scars on his chest from his days before Roo. (Photo credit: Joshua Grenell)

After Vick’s arrest and trial, the rescued dogs from the case were
turned over to shelters and rescue organizations, and Hector — a Pit
Bull — was subsequently adopted by Roo Yori of Rochester, MN. (Read about how Roo adopted his other Pit Bull, Wallace, and they became
world-champions in discing.)

When first adopted, Hector liked to sit on top of the dining room table.
“He figured it was a really cool lookout,” says Yori. “He had to learn how to be in a house.”

The yard-dog behavior, now mostly overcome, and scars that line
his chest are the only reminders that he was one of the Pit Bulls
rescued during the raid. Hector’s affable personality makes it hard to
reconcile what he has been through.

Yori is one of those who believes Vick isn’t ready to
get a dog, even if it isn’t fair to his children. “I didn’t have a dog
when I was growing up, and I turned out fine. Often, the kids don’t end
up being the ones to take care of it either. It’s a family
responsibility.”

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Hector and Roo share a moment. (Photo credit: Joshua Grenell)

He adds, “I still think [Vick is] just sorry for getting caught
and hasn’t shown that he’s sorry for what he did to the dogs.” Yori
referred to Vick’s statement in the CNN interview that if he gets a dog,
it won’t be a Pit Bull. “If he really felt sorry for what he did,” Yori
says, “it would have to be a Pit Bull.” That would at least be some
evidence to Yori that Vick has made restitution.

What do you think? Should Michael Vick be allowed to get a dog?

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