Best Friends Blog

Michael Vick’s dog adoption app

Pro football star Michael Vick has written a book that will be out in September, and he is promoting it on the talk and sports show circuits.

True to form, Vick and his handlers continue to offend and incense animal lovers and anyone else, for that matter, who is concerned about the sports/entertainment industry turning a blind eye to criminal brutality by players and other celebrities.

Apologists say that Mr. Vick has paid his debt to society by serving time in federal prison and that he should be allowed to get on with his life and his profession.

In truth, Vick served time for the federal charges of “Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture.” And, while his participation in dog fighting and the death by hanging of some of his dogs was a sentencing consideration, he did not serve time for animal cruelty, which may be the reason he routinely avoids expressing regret for what he did to his dogs.

This apparent lack of remorse and lack of expressed concern for the suffering he caused — whether because of lawyerly advice to avoid self-incrimination or due to a big void in his moral make-up — is what infuriates those of us who believe that Vick has not only not paid his debt to society for torturing and killing animals, but hasn’t even expressed remorse about it.

Rather, he talks about letting people down and making mistakes, and so on. He apologizes to the kids who looked up to him and to his family, but never approaches anything close to being truly sorry for what he did and allowed to occur at Bad Newz Kennels.

By court order, Vick is barred from owning a dog for three years after his release from prison. With the three years about to expire, one of the points covered on a recent national TV talk show was his apparent desire to get another dog. He says his kids really want a dog and, therefore, he should be able to have one. Considering how well he cared for his previous dogs, you can imagine the response that this statement draws from the animal-loving public.

Best Friends is often asked if we think Vick should be allowed to own another dog. While his eligibility for dog ownership is a matter of law, imagine, if you would, what it would be like reading through a potential dog adoption application from Michael Vick:

  • Have you had a dog before? Yes
  • If yes, how many? Lots
  • Do you still have a dog(s)? No
  • If you have had dogs in the past, please let us know their current disposition. Dead or confiscated by federal authorities.
  • If you no longer have other dogs, please let us know what happened to them. Some I sold to dog fighters, some I had my cousin electrocute or shoot, some I personally strangled, drowned or body-slammed to death.
  • Why do you want to get a dog at this time? Because I served my time and kids want a dog.

OK, thank you, Michael. We’ll get back to you on your application.

On a more serious note, the dogs who were rescued from Vick’s dog-fighting operation continue to suffer the consequences of his intentional cruelty. Many of the 22 Vicktory dogs who came to Best Friends for rehabilitation arrived with a hidden killer circulating through their blood – babesia gibsoni, a fatal blood-born protozoan parasite that destroys red blood cells and ultimately causes death. It is virtually impossible to cure and treatment of symptoms involves long-term steroid therapy, which is itself debilitating.

It is a terrible, wasting disease that is spread primarily through blood-to-blood exchanges during dog-fighting matches. Lucas (pictured above), who once was Vick’s grand champion fighter, has B. gibsoni. He is a wonderful dog who, for years has spent his days visiting with different staff as an occasional office dog. Lucas loves people and everyone loves him, his heavily scarred face and head notwithstanding.

Lucas survived the fighting ring and the “tender mercies” of Vick and his cohorts, but he is struggling with babesia. It is painful to watch his decline and just another reminder of the actions of an unrepentant dog killer. Please keep Lucas in your thoughts and prayers.


Francis Battista


  • Shawnsfurkidz

    @Yaiyai50, I seriously doubt he is working with the ASPCA, since they DO NOT believe he should have another dog, however he has the President of The Humane Society of the US in the same pocket he keeps his wallet in!!!

  • Missubear2000

     I didn’t know Subway was a sponser of Vick’s. Nike, that is a different matter. Everyone should seriously consider boycotting Nike, not only for supporting Vick, but for exploiting the children and poor people in South America, Mexico, and wherever else they can find dirt cheap labor – then charge $100 or $200 for a pair of shoes that probably cost them about $15 or $20 to make!!  Sweat shops & child labor were outlawed in America for a good reason!!  So here is Nike thumbing their noses at the animal rights groups that saved those poor babies from a horrible fate, the surviving dogs themselves, and the concept of human rights as it applies to their “employees”.  Until Nike acknowledges that people have a right to earn a living wage, pays their workers a living wage, puts the children back in school where they belong, and sever all ties with Michael Vick, and bring their factories back to the USA where they belong, their shoes will never be on my feet or the feet of my family!!  I refuse to contribute a penny of my money to greedy sharks such as Nike!  Greed and selfishness of the human race is what will bring about our demise, and sadly the demise of as many living creatures as we can manage to take with us!!  I’m sure that God is very, very disappointed in us as well he should be. BOYCOTT NIKE!!

  • LovesNoKillShelters

    Oh, why not just find another dog fighting ring, and toss Vick in, while handcuffed, muzzled, and blindfolded! Justice served by those who have suffered! As for Vick in his “job”, he should be banned. Hell, he should be stoned by sports fans. If he needs to provide for his family, who really should leave his murdering ass, he should get a nice low level job. Maybe cleaning out a horse stable or cleaning up pig manure. He’s just a monster, and monsters like him have no place in our society, let alone as a potential role model.

  • Melissa Helmer

    Wonderful, Join us at Amnesty for Animals on FB to discuss this

  • Melissa Helmer

    where are the sponsors listed, they should be boycotted!

  • Roxie

    Hell No… that man should NEVER EVER be allowed to own a dog!! If other  people can be prohibited by law to own one because of abuse and neglect, then he should never be allowed to own one. He obviously has no love for dogs . If he did, there is no way he could have done such a horriffic thing. SPEAK OUT PEOPLE!!  PLEASE… let us be their voice!!!

  • Carol Darby

    Do you think he told his kids the truth about what he did to his dogs ?!?

  • Cgw522

    There is no way in Hell that Mr. Vick deserves any kind of dog.  If his children want a dog, then they will have to wait until they are grown up enough to own their own.  He does not even have the decency to have any type of remorse for the pain he has caused on many, many dogs.  If he does end up getting another dog, it SHOULD BE A RESCUE THAT IS FROM A DOG FIGHTING WRING, SO HE CAN SEE, ON A DAILY BASIS, THE SORT OF HELL THAT THE DOG HAS TO LIVE GO THROUGH FROM THE DAMAGE THAT THE FIGHTING HAS CAUSED.  and I TRULY BELIEVE HE SHOULD BE CONTRIBUTING ON A MONTHLY BASIS, A CONTRIBUTION AMOUNT TO AN ANIMAL SHELTER, IN NEED. 

  • Sophie Jo

    No dog for Vick. Period.

  • Sophie Jo

    Vick may have good intentions, but the likelihood of him being able to
    EVER have genuine feelings of guilt, remorse, or empathy are slim to
    none.  Anybody who behaves the way he did is heavily damaged underneath
    and should be dealt with accordingly.  No dog for Vick, or anyone
    closely associated with him.

  • Dogbakery14

    Thank you for continuing to educate others and give love and care for Lucas. We will band together stop Vick from ever having a dog.

  • SUER

    I commend you Mr. Battista for writing this story. We all must be more vigulant in keeping these sort of pitiful actions, by what we call “humans”, in the public view, as a reminder of what is being done continually to abuse animals. This must be stopped and one way is NOT to promote Vick in his sport, book promotion, nothing that makes him money. Shame on him, his football team and those that do support him. But hopefully, one day he will have to answer to a higher one and I would like to be first in line to help with his sentencing.

  • Anonymous

    I have expressed my disgust, anger towards Michael Vick; expressed my sadness, heartbreak and hope towards all the pit bulls who survived, were rehabilitated, rehomed and those that will stay at the sanctuary.  Vick will forever live w/ what he has done to these helpless canines.  Some would say Vick has paid his dues and he must be allowed to move on. Oh yes, Vick has moved on w/ his life, his football career, make money.  However,  not once have I seen his name/funding in support of animal rescue esp. towards pit bulls nor have I seen or heard Vick address the public in regards to his animal cruelty.  Shame on you Michael Vick.  The bully breed remains to be stigmatized, abused, tortured, killed ‘just because’ they are pit bulls. To the abusers (and ignorant people) pit bulls are vicious, killer animals.  Animal advocates/Rescue groups are fighting to ban Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) focused to eradicate the bully breed.  It is a long fight ahead.  Dogfighting continues to maim and kill fighting and bait dogs.   Michael Vick it is not too late to show your support.  By speaking out against dogfighting you can help raise awareness to the ugliness of dogfighting.  By not showing remorse your message is ‘I just got caught’.  Your 3 yrs is about to expire, do something humane, advocate for the bully breed.  Be a role model for young people, for your children.
    My thoughts and prayers to Lucas.  Sad to read of his struggle with an illness.    It is heartwarming that  Lucas felt love and tender care after his Vick nightmares. Many thanks Best Friends.  Hugs Lucas from our home and our canines.  

  • Leeprendergast13

    I was horrified about what Vick did to those dogs.  For him to want another one for his kids<<<ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!   No way in hell should he ever get another pet of any kind….
       Yea you may have went to jail but in no way have you learned anything.  My heart broke when I found out what he did to those poor dogs.  How could you even think you could get another one?  To whom ever lets him or gives him another dog should be held accountable as well….Anyone with a brain, will not let him have any animals of any kind.  You don't deserve one, your kids want one, they can do that when they move out on there own and away from u.

  • Mammab

    I can never Forgive Vick for the atrocities he inflicted on innocent animals. I still believe he will never change who he is. He will repeat his crimes. He ego will “allow” this. He will be able to justify the need for another dog. I foresee another tragedy.

  • Lynylooper

    Pity that vick’s children have to suffer the sins of their father, but so be it. If they truly crave the company of dogs, let them volunteer at a shelter where they can learn from committed volunteers how to care for and nurture an animal, rather than be exposed to their father’s example.  

  • Atracy9

    I think Francis Battista that you need to learn to forgive.  Your hatred is killing the dogs………..not any mysterious disease.  You so want to hate and comdemn others that you will sacrifice animals in that need.  Give up the hate and love the animals, get on with love.

  • sandra blum

    Vick should tell his children what him and his nasty abusers did to these dogs!!!!! They might have a different opinion about him having any animals! I’m surprised that his wife allows him around her children! He should be treated like he did to those beautiful dogs! He will have a place in hell!!!!!!!!!

  • Amesocool

    Oh my goodness. I think he shoul have to answer is children honestly about why he can NEVER own a dog. I wouldn’t want to be the agency that approved his application.

  • Donna

    ShawnsFurKidz, I agree with everything you’ve said in your post except for one thing-Vick working in a pet facility. Do we really want Vick around animals-really? I don’t want him anywhere near an animal, he is heartless and wouldn’t have any compassion for any homeless animal. Like one poster said, he had wonderful dogs and look how he treated them. Let him clean toilets at rest areas but stay the hell away from animals!!!

  • Linda LARNERD

    Hopefully, he will NEVER get to own a dog, or any other animal, again…..put me down as definitely opposed to this idea…

  • coolcancun

    ok this thug should NEVER EVER Have any animal not even a fish. How someone can do this to any animal and then get to profit off of it sorry but its just WRONG Frankly if I were his judge he would’ve been a lifer sitting on death row waiting for his execution date