Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick joined the Humane Society of the United States today to push legislation cracking down on animal fighting.
The bill would make it a federal felony to bring a child to a dogfighting or cockfighting event, and make it a misdemeanor to be a spectator at an animal fight. The President of The Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, said right now the federal law is silent on both issues. He said just a few states have laws making it a crime to bring a child to an animal fight, so this will be an important step,”Animal fighting venues involve not just animal cruelty, but often narcotics traffic, violence against people,” said Pacelle. “It is a whole arena of criminality and it can dull the empathy and senses of a young child and send them in a wrong direction. And if we don’t allow our kids to go to strip clubs or casinos, we certainly shouldn’t allow them to go to this most barbaric of bloodsports.”Pacelle said passing this legislation could help law enforcement shutdown inter-state operations. He said having Michael Vick talk about how he was exposed to dogfighting as a child provides a high-profile example of why lawmakers should try to shield children from animal fighting.
Vick admitted he made bad choices in the past.
“I deeply regret my previous involvement in dogfighting,” said Vick. “I’m sorry for what I did to the animals. Doing my time in prison, I told myself I wanted to be a part of the solution and not the problem. I been speaking to kids and urging them to be responsible and to be good to animals. And today I’m here to send a similar message.”