All the veterinarians I’ve talked to are appalled that Michael Vick (of football and animal cruelty fame, alike) was granted a national audience on CBS’s 60 Minutes. 

But as disgusted as veterinarians are about that one, we’re even more appalled that he’s out of jail, managed to get himself reinstated into the NFL, and has now been picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles ... all for another try at freedom and fortune. 

Isn’t it enough that he’s confessed to serial animal torture? I guess not. Not given our culture’s interest in celebrity second chances in the face of certain kinds of crimes. Animal crimes clearly take a back seat to any other kind of violent crime. This, despite the fact that we know human-on-animal violence is a harbinger of deeper character abnormalities. 

Even if you do argue that Vick deserves a second chance, I’d counter he’s already had about seventeen in his short life. 

He’s a gambler and a racketeer. The former transgression has expelled others from the same game he’s being allowed to play now, while the latter charge was the one for which he was ultimately convicted. He lied to a judge. He interfered with an investigation. He was caught smoking marijuana after being indicted. 

Second chance? Puh-lease. 

In case any of you are feeling any pity for Mr. Vick in light of his pathetic 60 Minutes display, consider this: He’s received far more chances than he ever granted any of his dogs. And remember, this wasn’t just dog fighting we’re talking about, this was systematic, sadistic abuse. 

Compassion is one thing. I can grant him that. But an opportunity to prove that our society tolerates animal abuse on a large scale? I don’t think so. And I don’t believe you have to be a veterinarian to agree with me. 

Dr. Patty Khuly