More on the strange bedfellows of Mike Vick, HSUS and Rush

Posted on 05/26/2009



Vick and HSUS

Here’s a serious topic today. Michael Vick has been released from 
federal prison. Vick has spent the last 19 months in prison for his 
role in a dogfighting ring.

ESPN reports: Vick has said he wants to work with the Humane Society 
on a program aimed at eradicating dogfighting among urban teens, 
society president Wayne Pacelle said Tuesday. Pacelle said he 
recently met with Vick at the federal prison in Leavenworth. Vick 
requested the meeting, one of his attorneys, said.

The former Atlanta Falcon was charged in 2007 with dogfighting 
conspiracy. The court case revealed gruesome details of how Vick’s 
Virginia-based operation treated pitbulls. Authorities found dogs, 
some injured and scarred, chained to buried car axles. Forensic 
experts discovered remains of dogs that had been shot with a .22- 
caliber pistol, electrocuted, drowned, hanged or slammed to the 
ground for lacking a desire to fight.

Now as repulsive as Mr. Vick’s actions were I’m afraid that I find 
the Humane Society of the United States’ actions pretty disgusting 
right now. It may be cynical, but I think we can all guess that Mr. 
Vick is probably trying to salvage his career. He lost a contract 
with the Falcons worth $130 million plus untold endorsement 
possibilities. If ever there was someone in need of some positive 
publicity, it’s Michael Vick. Has he learned his lesson? There’s no 
way to know. Has he had a change of heart where dogs are concerned? 
We just don’t know. But I don’t think that anyone who cares about 
animals should ever trust him with one again for the foreseeable future.

But for HSUS to latch on to Vick as a way to raise more money is 
about as low as you can go. It makes you wonder if there’s anything 
that they won’t do to raise money.

For context you have to remember that HSUS is the organization that 
went to work raising money to care for the Michael Vick dogs as soon 
as the dogs were seized in 2007 — only it was soon revealed by the 
New York Times that HSUS did not actually have custody of the dogs. 
They weren’t caring for the dogs at all or paying for their care. 
They had simply been using the sympathy for those poor animals as a 
way to raise money for their organization. They quickly adjusted 
their pitch and started raising money to fight dogfighting instead.

At the same time HSUS was trying to raise money for caring for dogs 
they didn’t have, they were telling the media and the court that the 
dogs could not be rehabilitated. They urged the court deciding the 
fate of the dogs to euthanize them. Wayne Pacelle told the New York 
Times in July 2007:

“The fate of these dogs will be up to the government, but we have 
recommended to them, and believe, they will be eventually put down.”

Pacelle said the Humane Society normally advocated that fighting dogs 
be put down shortly after being seized.

Thankfully, real dog experts convinced the court that the dogs could 
be rehabbed and the dogs were dispersed to people with the experience 
to work with them. Many of the dogs have since gone on to live very 
happy lives since that time.

So, now HSUS wants to go back to Vick again to try to raise more 
money from this tragedy? I call that morally reprehensible. 
Regardless of what HSUS claims they would do with the money, the 
false pretenses involved in raising the funds are just too damning.

The Humane Society of the United States was recently investigated by 
WSB-TV (ABC) in Atlanta. You can read a transcript of that report, 
which was highly critical of HSUS, at

– CNN’s reporting is available online at 

– HSUS’s false fundraising claim is preserved online at http://

For more information about the Humane Society of the United States, 

Posted in: HSUS