"PETA wanted Jasmine dead. Not just Jasmine, and not just PETA. The Humane Society of the U.S., agreeing with PETA, took the position that Michael Vick's pit bulls, like all dogs saved from fight rings, were beyond rehabilitation and that trying to save them was a misappropriation of time and money. "The cruelty they've suffered is such that they can't lead what anyone who loves dogs would consider a normal life," says PETA spokesman Dan Shannon. "We feel it's better that they have their suffering ended once and for all." If you're a dog and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals suggests you be put down, you've got problems. Jasmine has problems."
We also learn of Zippy, another Vick dog, who has been adopted by a family here in Northern California. A typical interaction with the family’s two young girls:
“…over the next 15 minutes the two girls do everything possible to provoke an abused and neglected pit bull who's been rescued from a dogfighting ring. They grab Zippy's face, yank her tail, roll on top of her, roll under her, pick her up, swing her around, stick their hands in her mouth. Eliana and Zippy end up nose to nose. The girl kisses the dog. The dog licks the girl's entire face.
Zippy is proof that pit bulls have an image problem. In truth these dogs are among the most people-friendly on the planet. It has to be. In an organized dogfight three or four people are in the ring, and the dogs are often pulled apart to rest before resuming combat. (The fight usually ends when one of the dogs refuses to reengage.) When separating two angry, adrenaline-filled animals, the handlers have to be sure the dogs won't turn on them, so over the years dogfighters have either killed or not bred dogs that showed signs of aggression toward humans. "Of all dogs," says Dr. Frank McMillan, the director of well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society, a 33,000-acre sanctuary in southern Utah, "pit bulls possess the single greatest ability to bond with people."
We then go on to learn about Vick dogs Jonny Justice and cover girl Jasmine, and the heroic efforts of Northern California’s BAD RAP.
PETA's position is unchanged. "Some [of the dogs] will end up with something resembling a normal life," Shannon says, "but the chances are very slim, and it's not a good risk to take."
At the end of the article they list the web addresses of all the “good” organizations listed in the article like Best Friends, the ASPCA, and BAD RAP, while omitting the HSUS and PETA. Please feel free to let the hypocrites at PETA and the HSUS know what you think of them.
The issue of Sports Illustrated cited in this post is the Dec. 29, 2008 edition currently on newsstands. The full article can also be found at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/magazine/12/22/vick.dogs/index.html