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Thomas Dock, CVJ, Vet. Technician  
Male, 49
Indianapolis, IN

Interests: animals, Reading (sci-fi and fantasy)
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Does Everyone Deserve a Second Chance?  Even Michael Vick?

Aug 17, 2009 - 36 comments
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michael vick

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dog fighting



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As you have no doubt seen, the sports world is "abuzz" with the news that the Philadelphia Eagles have signed Michael Vick for the upcoming season.  His return is conditional and he is going to be mentored by Tony Dungy during this rehabilitation and reassessment time.

As you recall, Vick was found guilty for his involvement with a large dog fighting ring run from his property in Virginia (Bad Newz Kennels).   He has spent 18 months behind bars and was released earlier this year.

In the meantime, he has negotiated with the Humane Society of the United States to function as a spokesperson against dog fighting.  In fact, he and Wayne Pacelle (CEO of the HSUS) have already made two anti-dogfighting presentations in Atlanta and Chicago.

His return to the NFL is certainly causing a lot of controversy.  Dog lovers from across the US are denouncing him, the Eagles, and the NFL.  There are calls to boycott the Eagles season.

What do you think?  For me, its been tough trying to come up with a good defendable position on this issue.   I firmly believe that everyone deserves a second chance (heaven knows that I have had plenty!!) so from that aspect, Michael should be afforded that opportunity.   As long as he is keeping to the straight and narrow, I suppose that it is only fair that we let him do his job (play football) and leave it at that.  With a mentor like Tony Dungy, I think Michael has a better than average chance of staying true to his word and working to help resolve some of the damage he has done.   For those of you who don't know Coach Dungy, he was here in Indianapolis for many seasons coaching the Colts.   During that time, there were very few cases of any kind of criminal or deviant behavior by any Colts player.   Compare that to the Pacers (our NBA team) who routinely have 3 or 4 players arrested each year!

But, what about the dogs?  Shouldn't someone speak up for them?   Shouldn't Michael be forced to live a life of regret of what could have been?

My empathy for all of the dogs involved in this horrendous sport is great, but I think we do have to look beyond the past and look towards what we can do to eliminate this crime in the future.  Maybe Wayne Pacelle has the right idea..turn adversaries into allies (I hate to admit that I agree with Humane Wayne...).  How would a continued punishment of Michael Vick stop dog fighting?  How would keeping Michael from doing a job that he is qualified for and (in some people's eyes) good at, stop the murder of other dogs?

I firmly believe that education is the key to stopping so many of our cruel acts against our furry friends.  It's really one of the top reasons that I am so excited to get out of bed each and every morning. log on to sites like this and start sharing knowledge with people.  If Michael can get out there and change the minds of young men (and women) across the nation who think that it's ok to fight dogs, then I think that we need to give him the chance.

Ok..now it's your turn...let me hear your thoughts.

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by dominosarah, Aug 17, 2009
If he is really and i mean really sincere in his stand against dog fighting then fine but if this is just another ploy for him to get back into the big bucks of playing football to cover all his debts then NO he doesnt deserve another chance.

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by margypops, Aug 17, 2009
No second chance .NO

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by margypops, Aug 17, 2009
I havent dared even read too much about the cruelty, animals do matter , as much as we do ...

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by jollyman069, Aug 17, 2009
I loved to watch Vick play football....amazing athlete no doubt about it...but when you do the henious act that he did, I believe his privlage to play professional football should be taken away...yes he deserves to e ble to work in society and live his life...butto play a professional sport where you make millions upon millions is a privlage. many of these stars feel they are above the law and they are just as acountable as the rest of us.

I feel anyone that does the things Vick has done, or kill a human, or many other horriable acts these privilages should be taken away

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by BRIBRI4951, Aug 17, 2009
I believe that everyone deserves a second chance no matter what; with age and mental growth comes wisdom and knowledge. You can never be certain if a person is different unless you give them a chance to find out. God does it everyday with us.

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by Purduefan63, Aug 17, 2009
I agree that he should be given a second chance BUT I think that at least 3/4 of his salary should go to the Humane Society (locally in Philadelphia and nationally) so that the many rings of dog fighters can be found and punished as he was.Yes, he is a talented athlete but he doesn't deserve millions when he caused pain to defenseless animals. Part of his punishment should be to work in a veterinary hospital during the off season so that he can witness first hand how poor defenseless animals suffer when subjected to the whims of fools!

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by Thomas Dock, CVJ, Vet. TechnicianBlank, Aug 17, 2009
Purduefan63...you and I are thinking along the same lines.   Obviously his talents and skill set lies in playing professional sports, but he should not be rewarded with a large salary.   Let him take home a salary commensurate with someone of his age and level of education (I don't know what his degree is in) and everything above and beyond that goes toward the eradication of this awful crime (I don't even want to call it a sport anymore!)

If he did that, I could truly believe that he is showing regret and remorse for his actions.

And yes, the proceeds of his salary should go to local shelters (maybe even of his choice) but not the Humane Society of the United States.

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by zodiacqueen, Aug 17, 2009
I believe that Michael Vick is ONLY sincerely sorry that he was caught.  He has no remorse and does NOT deserve a second chance.  What about the poor animals that he helped to kill with his own bare hands.....do those dogs get a second chance???????  

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by PrettyKitty1, Aug 17, 2009
Everyone deserves a second chance.

But his second chance was given he came out of all of this ordeal alive and not dead like the dogs he killed. THAT is his second chance. Now, getting his  xxx million dollar job back is just unfair to those who suffered in silence in his horror house while he made the big bucks. I'd say no more second chances. He already had a chance in life, which is more than what I would wish for a killer, a murderer. I know killing an animal is not as big as killing a human, technically speaking, but he killed many animals, although those dogs were already dead inside: No chance to go to the park and play, no chance to walk beside their owner, no chance to be happy, no chance to be pets. I'm sorry, but Vick got his second chance, which is the fact that he can still enjoy life and  can actually redeem himself for what he did by becoming a spokesperson against animal cruelty.

Allowing him to play just shows how little people really care about those who cannot speak for themselves. It is all about the money.

I'd say this, now that he will be back in the field, he should donate at least 35% of his earnings to the Humane Society and Rescue Groups. AND....he should never again be allowed to own ANY kind of animal...at all! That right there would be close to fair.

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by boldsojah4christ, Aug 17, 2009
2nd chance as a christian i believe that he deserves a 2nd chance! God knows that ive done wrong 2 many people in my life time etc! People kill people in life & they go 2 jail & then get out & have a 2nd chance @ life! So why not vick or anyone as long as they are sincere about it!! God bless bs4c:

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by ChitChatNine, Aug 17, 2009
Wtih all due respect. I ask what about the children and the role model he portrays by doing so wrong and it's ok to go back and play ball?  We need to have limits enforced and to play pro football is more than just playing ball --- these players are heros in the eyes of our young ones.  I suppose it is similar to the swimmer and photos of his illegal  doings with marijuana .. if you look at it in comparison to that, then I guess it's ok to do wrong, get caught, apolgoize and play your sport again .. technically go back to his job again -- but it's the kids -- I think it sets a poor example.

C~

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by peggy64, Aug 17, 2009
How can we cast the first stone? I may not have done the deeds that he did, but I have done wrong in my lifetime. I want people to give me 2nd chances, as it were. And who am I to judge. He has paid his debt to society, let it go, say I.

It upsets me that more people are upset over how the dogs were treated and could care less about all the horrible abortions that are killing human beings. Poor little innocent human babies...being ripped apart and murdered. Now thats what gets me upset, that people care more for animals than they do for humans.

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by Thomas Dock, CVJ, Vet. TechnicianBlank, Aug 17, 2009
ChitChatNine...you are absolutely right about how this is seen in the eyes of kids who look up to these athletes.  To me, when multiple offenses are overlooked or trivialized, it seems to say "go ahead and do wrong and you can always apologize later".   Chris Henry of the Bengals, is a good example.   I think he has been arrested 5 times, yet the owner of the Bengals resigned him after he was cut last year!   I am reminded of the old saying "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me".   I think Chris Henry has fooled Mike Brown of the Bengals multiple times!!   There is a time when we should all say enough is enough and throw the book at career felons.


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by boldsojah4christ, Aug 17, 2009
How can we expect Jesus 2 forgive us 4 our sins! If we don't forgive our sisters n brothers 4 theirs!

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by April2, Aug 17, 2009
Yes, we need to always forgive but don't forget, often times we still need to be held accountable for our actions and still have to pay for the wrongs we have committed.



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by Piparskeggr, Aug 18, 2009
Michael Vick paid the panalty that the system of jurisprudence set in place by we as voters and citizens of the US.  Everything I have seen of him is a man who has taken full responsibility for what he did.

However, I am of the opinion that any person who does what he did ought be labeled as badly as we do sex offenders, for the rest of his life.

As for what work he does, football of whatever, it matters not, so long as he keeps his word about turning his back on his past actions.

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by boldsojah4christ, Aug 18, 2009
Amen bro! I truely agree! We can forgive & NFL player 4 vehicle man slaughter! & only serve 23 days n jail 4 killing a  human! But we can't forgive a man who served 2yrs for killing a dog! Hmmmm America I wonder sometimes!!!

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by dominosarah, Aug 18, 2009
You make a good point Bold......

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by boldsojah4christ, Aug 18, 2009
Domino u see the big pic God bless!!

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by Melissa0116, Aug 18, 2009
I feel that everyone deserves a second chance.  We all have done something in our lives that needed fogiveness for.  Just remember sin is sin is sin no matter what the sin is.  I totally agree with bold and his point about forgiving a person killing a person but not a man killing an animal.  

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by April2, Aug 18, 2009
You guys made a good point. Kinda ironic that America (and other countries) seem to care more about their pets than human life.

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by boldsojah4christ, Aug 18, 2009
Love u guys! April,Melisa,Domino! My fair ladies!! Lol!

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by ChitChatNine, Aug 18, 2009
I suppose, all things being equal, Michale V. SHOULD be allowed back to play ball according to what's noted above with another NFL player, BUT .. even if allowed to play ball again, does Forgiveness make it right?   It's a rhetorical question -- no answer needed.

C~

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by AireScottie, Aug 18, 2009
I watched the 60 Minutes interview of Michael Vicks Sunday night, and it really didn't seem that he understands the enormity of what he did.  I agree that he seems sorry to have been caught, and he maybe understands that his behavior was not socially acceptable, but I don't think it has sunk in WHY his behavior has led to such public outrage.  Although, I think he had a good point that dog fighting was normal in his upbringing.  I live in a major city, and sadly, I can see that it is the norm in some neighborhoods.  I'm willing to see what he does from this point and whether it ever sinks in.  More than just his salary, I would like to see him out there working to rescue fighting and other abused dogs.  There's nothing like up-close experience to teach him the terror of what he was promoting.

On the other hand, the non-rational side of me that sees rescued terriers wants to chain him to a pole in the middle of a pit and sic five experienced Staffordshires on him!  Then he would truly understand the utter horror.  I'm even willing to let someone drop a cage over him at the last second, so long as he doesn't know it's coming!

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by opus88, Aug 18, 2009
I'm not sure if witnessing the horror of the aftermaths would sink in when its been acceptable all your life, obviously there is and never has been any regard for animals!
At first hearing of this news I too was sick that they would even consider signing him.
After reading all the posts I may have changed my mind somewhat, I do see the advantages of turning adversaries into allies.....BUT should he not have to earn his way back by proof not just talk...earn his way back into the life of the privileged otherwise if he doesn't hold up to his words what repercussions are there? He may not walk the walk and hope public opinion will forget as time lapses.
For now lets give this guy the benefit of the doubt and hope some good will come out of all this disgusting behaviour(I too will not refer to this as sport)  

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by santafesasquatch, Aug 18, 2009
I feel that a second chance constitutes getting out of jail.  Whether he should get a chance to be a role model for young people is another thing altogether.  Athletes are not paid just because they are good at kicking a ball around, they are paid because people admire them and want to be JUST like them.  His crime was especially heinous because it wasn't just a moment's mistake, it took years to perform and perfect, just like a serial killer of any other kind.  Do we want our kids to look up to a serial killer of any kind?  Usually serial killers start out by killing little animals and then move up to something more challenging, like a human.  We have come to accept violence so much that even obvious psychopaths are given a slap on the hand and told to go on their own way and try not to harm anyone again.  I don't believe giving his earnings to the Animal Shelter would be the answer.  It truly is not JUST ABOUT THE MONEY as many people have been taught.  I think he should be able to work, just not as a public figure or representative in sports.  Frankly, I don't want to see him again.  Let him hide in the shadows.  He can be an investment banker or something, but not someone that young kids will emulate.  We have enough of that going on already.  Let us pick our heroes carefully.  PA


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by PlateletGal, Aug 18, 2009
"I watched the 60 Minutes interview of Michael Vicks Sunday night, and it really didn't seem that he understands the enormity of what he did."

AireScottie,

I agree with you, as I also watched the interview and felt the same way. I actually thought that 60 Minutes should have brought some dogs with them and see how the dogs respond to Michael Vick.... I think that would answer all of our questions as to whether or not Michael Vick was sincere and honest. ; ^)

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by gizzy32, Aug 19, 2009
I guess I am biased here as I am an enormous animal lover. For those real friends that know me, I am a very forgiving person, but I think it's disgusting allowing Micheal Vick back in the league. He is NOT truly sorry for what he did. It takes a special person to get their jollies watching animals kill each other and that is something deep inside of them, it's evil, sorry. Now he gets to come back and make millions. Hope your sacked 500 times this year Mr. Vick. Donate your salary to animal shelters and be sincere about being sorry, and stop lying and pretending, then you will be forgiven. I have NO respect for this man whatsoever. Shame on you Eagles.

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by dominosarah, Aug 19, 2009
After watching bits and pieces of him lately i think the only thing that is first and foremost in his mind is dollar signs.  He was used to being a high roller......He will just go thru the motions with the animal part.  Let him walk into my back yard and see the beagle and my cat.....the only throwing arm he will have will be permanently embedded in his anu$..........sara

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by teko, Aug 19, 2009
I am split on this one!  If, and I say if, he has learned anything, of course he deserves a second chance, but, I do not think he should be allowed to play on a team until after he has proven that he learned something.  I dont have a problem with him making money but do have a problem with our young people looking up to him as a role model at this time.  I think he needs to thank his lucky stars that he has a second chance and I do agree it is only because everybody stands to make a lot of money off it.

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by peekawho, Aug 21, 2009
People who engage in dog fighting are soul-less.  There is something mentally wrong with them.  Seriously mentally wrong.  I don't care if it was "the norm" growing up or not.  Its wrong, he knew it was wrong, and every person who has a soul and is able to experience empathy, knows its a deranged act of sadistic torture.  

So he might fit right back in to professional ball playing just fine.  

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by mami1323, Aug 21, 2009
What if he murdered countless humans?  Why is it that animal cruelty isn't on the same equal playing field as human cruelty?  They have feelings just as we do, they understand emotions and feel pain.  So does a murderer who has killed humans deserve to walk freely and get a second chance as well?  What he did was disgusting, cruel and unnecessary.  For that he should be punished, if I had it my way, he would still be in jail.

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by tatorbug40, Aug 21, 2009
I think he was punished for a crime, and just like anyone who has committed a crime in this country, he was convicted, he served his time, and I do not think it is right of us to tell him he is not allowed to reenter society and continue doing his job-  he lost freedom for a set time, and he lost a VERY VERY large retirement agreement with his former team-  he lost a lot because of his actions-  I do not think it is right for us to not allow him the opportunity to rebuild his career-  he is starting at the bottom again...  and if he chooses to give money to the humane society,  I think that would be great...  but he should be treated as any other rehabilitated criminal--  we do not make murderers reenter society and give money to any organization-- he should be allowed to now continue his life.  I do not think he will ever make those mistakes again...  this is not to say that I agree with his actions-  I think it is awful!

there are people who kill people in this country and don't spend more then a year in jail-  I do not think our justice system is the best out there-  but it is what it is- and he should have all the opportunities that other convicted and rehabilitated criminals are given...   just my 2 cents.


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by tatorbug40, Aug 21, 2009
people might not agree with this statement either-  but I don't think Vick needs to prove himself as an outright animal lover either---  I understand he is a role model and everything-  but all he has to do is speak against animal fighting-  convince young people that it is wrong-  and go about his life NOT torturing and killing innocent animals (or humans) as long as he lives-  there are lots of people out there who are not animal lovers- there is no crime in that-  they just don't kill them-  Vick needs to join this rank of human (in the least)...  in my opinion...  



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by peekawho, Aug 21, 2009
Tator, that's the best thing he could do.  Learn about dogfighting, truly understand why it is unthinkable for normal people....but it doesn't sound like he will "get" it.  

To me, its as bad to kill an animal as it is a human.  Perhaps worse.  Animals love wholeheartedly, give 100%, and depend totally on us for all their needs.  To abuse them for profit and fun is abhorrent to any sentient being.  

I can barely bring myself to kill a spider.  I try to take them outside if I can.  We have a huge wasp's nest right now in our garage, and have spent a lot of time watching them build it.  I don't feel terribly sentimental about the wasps...but neither will I kill them unless they plot against me eventually.  


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by Weeziebear, Sep 01, 2009
As a former Eagles Fan because I don't think I can watch another Eagles game this may be the last straw for me.  A couple of weeks ago we had to have euthanized our beautiful Rusty.  She was on outstanding dog with an amazing vocabulary.  I think she could read minds at time.  I was listening to a local talk show at which the host asked if we have a moral obligation to forgive Michael Vick and are we hypocrites if we eat meat, well I could not listen to this show and turned the channel.  I feel that forgiveness is a process in many cases both for ourselves and other people.  How can I forgive Michael Vick when I am having trouble forgiving myself for not only having to euthanize our dog but the fact that while she was sick and dying I was ranting and raving at everyone from God to the dog what kind of Human Dog Mommy yells at her poor dog when she is sick.  Yes, I was getting sick and exhausted and discouraged as was my husband because these vets that we had shelled out thousands of dollars for, had no answers,  they could only surmise that she may have had cancer.  Yes I got little sleep, yes, I being disabled was having trouble getting up and down stairs by myself and not to mention the dog.  There is no excuse for losing patience with a old sick dog or any animal especially humans.  The big mistake I made was to start her on the Prednisone after the ultrasound, suspecting that she might have cancer I should have said NO do the aspirations then get back to me and after I gave them permission to aspirate any area that was accessible.  I even told them that she had been on the overnight fast the night before so they could sedate her if needed.  All I got were exscuses for not doing this or that.   No I think what the BM wanted to do was create yet another charge.  It didn't matter that I pleaded with them to please help me out a bit.   But the Business Manager seemed to delight in giving me (in my opinion) the over-inflated estimates for the next series of ultra-sounds, blood tests etc.  Not to mention if I brought her there for a euthanasia and cremation charge.  I ended up taking her back to her original vets for the last series of tests, antibiotics and so forth.   If the dog has a visible lump on her rectum wouldn't one want to find out what that was before giving her prednisone which just made the swelling, the diahrrea the peeing the drinking and not the appetite due to her possible bladder cancer worse.  So you see folks I blame myself for not bringing her to a specialist in Philly along time ago.  I am missing my furry daughter.  I miss tucking her in at night and feeling a sigh of relief when all humans and dog were happily asleep.  I miss brush, brush time, back scratch-time (hers), rabbit and squirrel chase, the game she played with the mailman at the door, her love of the UPS man and the way she loved babies and toddlers.  I only hope that she greets me when we cross the rainbow bridge and wouldn't blame her if she didn't because I was the one who had to give her terrible tasting pills Rimadyl and Meloxicam to Chloramphenicol,  I was the one who had to clean her from ears to butt and no matter how gentle I thought I was she still cried and then I would cry.  She would show her pain to me but rarely to anyone else.  So folks please excuse me if I don't run to accept Mr. Vick at the moment.  Will I someday watch another Eagles Game?, Who knows. Will I forgive Michael Vick? I don't know.  I certainly don't trust him with any living thing including plants but most especially kids and animals.  Will I forgive myself?  Eventually.  I know this. That Rusty was a good dog and she may be the last dog I will ever have and If the Good Lord sends another furry friend my way, I will not make the same mistakes.

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