Sunday, August 23, 2009

Seeing red results in bloody posting

Trixie the pit bull begs for a home at the Richmond Animal Protection Society in British Columbia.

After two decades of toiling in the trenches of animal rescue, I’ve finally learned that it’s wise to keep my cool if humanly possible. And not just for the sake of my own personal safety—it’s a more effective way to present my message.

Whenever I feel the heat of rage rising, I chant a mantra to myself: “Remember the mission.”

Well, most of the time.

This week, when dog fighting felon Michael Vick was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles for a two-year contract worth nearly $7 million, my cool rose to red-hot in a matter of moments. And the boiler was cranked up even higher when I talked to members of the general public about the issue, particularly sports fans. Most said he deserved a second chance. That he had served his time, paid his debt to society, and now it was time to let him play.

I was mad. So I uploaded a photo of one of Vick’s victims as my Facebook profile photo. And I put the photo on this blog, too. My rationale was this: if we can’t even bear to look at just one of the survivors of his Bad Newz Kennels compound, how could we endorse allowing him to play?

The picture was gory. In retrospect, the posting might not have been the best course of action. The animal lovers were supportive, but they didn’t deny the photo was upsetting. I ended up feeling conflicted about making them look at something they’d rather not see.


Anonymous said...

Most of us would rather not look at the picture of Michael Vick's dog. For most of us, we cannot even begin to imagine what kind of creep could inflict such pain on a defenceless animal. But that may be the very reason it was necessary to post it, so that we can see him and his ilk for the heartless and cruel pieces of humanity that they are. And remember that picture when this man is dancing around the football field getting millions of dollars, very much alive and in no pain at all. Yes, we needed to see that picture as a reminder of what he is. Sorry, no sympathy or second chances here. He should have shown some for the animals who couldn't flee from him.

Astrid Bray said...

Yes, it's true, I would rather not have seen such a cruel picture of the dog, however, if I had not seen that particular picture, I would never have truly known how bad the situation was. People can tell you how bad and you may cringe during the conversation but you still have no idea how really bad, then you see the picture. Nothing is left to the imagination and you are immediately educated. If posting these sad pictures is the only way to draw attention to this despicable cruelty then post them you must. Good for you Carreen.

Carreen Maloney said...

Thanks for your support. I can always depend on the animal lovers to come through if it means helping more innocent creatures.

Sandra Dalessandro said...

I am not afraid to look at the pictures--it is a reminder of how utterly cruel humans can become. The pictures of Vick's abused dogs make me cry. I look in the eyes of Elwood, my chocolate lab and wonder how can anyone do those things to a dog or any other animal. I raised Elwood using positive reinforcement and with love and respect. The result of his upbringing is a wholly supportive, empathic and compassionate dog who abhores violence. He is far more loving than any human I have ever known. I would apply the exact same care in raising a pit bull, with expectations of the same results. I HATE that Vick is now allowed to play football and wish more people in our society had an ounce of ethics.