The Latest from HSUS Ambassador Michael Vick

Update: For those of you inclined to lean in the "He's paid his dues" direction, we're reminded of this blog article (well worth reading) from last week.

Update 2: It's good to see that Richard Hunter's video is generating discussion from sports columnists and in the mainstream press.

If this is the first you’ve heard that convicted dog fighting kingpin Michael Vick is a spokesperson for the Humane Society of the United States, you should visit the following links and get up to speed. [ one | two | three | four | five | six | seven ]

Go ahead. We’ll wait right here until you get back.

Now that you’re up to speed, you’ll fully appreciate this video, shot on Saturday by broadcasting personality Richard Hunter.

Hunter, a long-time Dallas radio icon, adopted one of the dogs that Michael Vick savagely abused.

Let’s talk about this.

First of all, what possessed the Mayor Pro Tem of Dallas—on a weekend when his city had the world’s media focused on it—to honor a convicted felon like this? We’re not going to dive too deeply into this, but the question is out there. "In the eyes of many people, [Vick]'s a hero," he said. 

But more to our point, how much longer does Michael Vick think he can keep up the masquerade of being a reformed animal lover? And how long is the Humane Society of the United States going to continue its own charade?

From our perspective, the whole Michael Vick–Wayne Pacelle “marriage” always seemed to be one of convenience. Pacelle needed Vick as a campaign prop, and he wanted the Philadelphia Eagles’ $50,000. Vick needed a pretext for his return to the NFL, and a useful idiot to promote him.

Once Vick’s Eagles flamed out in the NFL playoffs (losing to the eventual Super Bowl champs), we stopped seeing him in front of the HSUS logo. Pacelle went as far as saying publicly that Vick “would do a good job as a pet owner.” But the public (correctly) judged that this was one shill-job too far. Reaction on HSUS's own Facebook page was vicious and memorable.

Will the future see Michael Vick continuing to front for HSUS, and HSUS for Vick? (Will we see another NFL season in the fall, for that matter?) These are questions for another day, but they will both depend on money. Because like in professional football, dollars make the HSUS go ‘round.

As for Michael Vick, the Richard Hunter video tells a gripping and disappointing story. This was the perfect opportunity for Vick to demonstrate his claims of remorse, it could have been the ideal impromptu photo op, tears and all. But instead of contrition, all he showed was the same cold heart that dog lovers have come to expect from the sadistic animal abuser.

It’s too bad the leadership of the Humane Society of the United States didn’t recognize it as quickly as the rest of us.

Maybe, just like the NFL, they're stil too blinded by dollar signs to care.