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September 15th, 2009 by Dr. Phil

One Last Word on Michael Vick

Mike VickBy the way, the controversy over Michael Vick’s reinstatement to the NFL is still raging. Following Wednesday’s Philadelphia show, in which we had what I think was an intelligent discussion about Vick’s reinstatement, I do think some people moved their positions, but I don’t think any widespread peace has broken out between the two sides.

If you’ve been reading this blog, then you know how much I love animals, dogs in particular. I’ve also made it clear just how outraged I am with anyone who engages in dogfighting. In my opinion, people who do this kind of thing are sick, and they are sick in such a way that it’s unlikely to expect any real change from them.

Nevertheless, I personally found the Philadelphia show to be very thought-provoking — so much so, I actually forgot we were doing a show because I was so engrossed in the discussion. I went into the discussion with an open mind, but in all honesty, I was skeptical about whether Vick was rehabilitated and whether he truly had earned the right to be back in the NFL. Still, I will say, I was impressed with what I heard from Eagles head coach Andy Reid, who I spoke with the day before we did the show. The coach believes Vick is sincere, is genuinely turning his life around and is determined to never go back to that place in his life where he thought it was perfectly fine to fight dogs.

I believe that Vick should be credited for serving his time in prison without complaint and publicly declaring that he has learned the error of his ways. I was also impressed with Governor Rendell’s logic that it sends a terribly negative message to other prisoners serving their time; that we still choose to deny them the right to earn a living after they have paid their debt to society.

If you watched the show, you know that the NAACP representative said he thought that a lot of what had happened to Michael Vick was about race. He believed Vick was being treated harshly simply because he is an African-American. White convicts who served their time, he went on to say, aren’t judged so harshly after they are released from prison. I’m curious what you think about that point of view. Personally, I just don’t see it, but of course, I could be missing something here. Maybe you’ll enlighten me.

I guess where I come down is that our opinions are after the fact. He has been re-signed, that’s the reality, but I believe the Eagles and the NFL should proceed with extreme caution. As I pointed out on the show, I’m not saying Vick is a sociopath (antisocial personality disorder). I can’t do that because I haven’t evaluated him or seen the results from anyone who has, but based on his conduct, he certainly could be. And if that’s the case, I’m not optimistic that he Eagles Vick Footballhas, or even can, get better. The fact is that the prognoses for people with these types of disorders, while varying from person to person, are generally, in my experience, not good.

Now let me be clear: I’m not saying he shouldn’t be given a second chance. But, what really bothers me is that there doesn’t seem to be much focus on whether or not he has really gotten any better. To really overcome this type of behavior and reasoning, it takes a lot of work with highly-trained professionals. Despite the progress that has been made in the prison environment in recent past, I’m guessing it is just not the therapeutic milieu Michael Vick is likely to flourish in.

In my opinion, giving him his NFL status back before he has done the work required of him is imprudent and untimely. I actually think it’s unfair to him: giving him too much too soon could very well be setting him up for failure. Just because his handlers and spin doctors have him saying the “right” things doesn’t mean he believes or means a word of it. Just because they have him interacting with students and animal advocates doesn’t mean he’s on his way to lasting change.

But as I said, at this point, we have to accept the facts: Vick is signed with the Eagles, and given starting quarterback Donovan McNabb’s rib injury, he may soon play. I sure hope he works as relentlessly with a professional therapist as he does practicing pass plays. As Pennsylvania Governor Rendell said on the show, the measure of his success or failure will not be on the field, but in his life off the field.

So, I’m going to watch all this unfold with an open mind. And I mean it when I say I’m going to be watching. We need to be very cautious about Michael Vick — very, very cautious. Time will tell as his behavior will speak much louder than the scripted words he is spewing.

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131 Responses to “One Last Word on Michael Vick”

  1. vince says:

    i know i promiced to keep my thoughts to myself a few weeks ago Dr Phil and im sorry to keep being a dang lier sir but all this crap about the football player getting his job back just pains my rear doc, hell the way i see it is the man paied in full for his mistakes he made, do he not play a good game? if not fire him lol if he do well then hes in the right place i think, no one should spend the rest of there lives paying for any mistakes made in life as we grow, if we cant be forgiven then we all just need to lay down and just give up on life its-self and die,if this is the guy that was fighting dogs i would say to never allow him to own ANY animals ever again, and shoot his ass if he is ever caught with animals in his posession or near any ever again, seems to be a fair thought to me any how,other than that i dont know why people cant just leave something alone,heack my dog would probley lick the guy to death lol, if the dogs are ok with the guy so am i doc.

  2. FosterBoys says:

    Dr. Phil,

    Do you want to be HAPPY or do you want to be RIGHT?

  3. Kelly Olgren says:

    I don’t believe for one second the he suddenly sees the error of his ways. I do believe he is sorry he got caught. I feel the danger of allowing him back into professional football is that others who do this will see that there have been no real consequences of his actions and that you can go back to your regular life as if no harm has been done. I am actually outraged over this. I think he should be made to donate a certain percentage of his millions to shelters around the country.

  4. Suze B. says:

    Dr. Phil,
    If I may paraphrase you in previous shows-”he isn’t sorry he did it.He’s sorry he got caught.”
    After watching your show regarding this debate I stand by what I had posted on my Facebook status-I think there is nothing worse than someone who would abuse/hurt/maim/kill an animal,and that I’d not shed a tear to see this man wearing a dress made of choice cuts,in a filthy cage with the (living) dogs he fought with having at him.

  5. Debbie Harris says:

    I feel that Mr. vicks should never be able to play football again. What he did to those animals was murder. If they had been human, would he not have gotten the death penalty? Dog fighting has been in the public eye for years and most everyone knows it is illegal not to mention the purest form of animal abuse. That is what is wrong in the USA today. No one takes the abuse of animals strongly enough. When people are caught for animal abuse they get the equivalent of a slap on the hand and a fine. The poor creatures must fight for their lives and even then may be killed. This tells you where humanity is headed – if one cannot love an animal who unconditionally loves you, yet you abuse and take advantage of it – God help humankind in the future. Maybe Mr. Vicks would like to be thrown in a pit and pitted against several trained pit bulls to see what it is like. I think that would be fair. But, to let him play–no, I do not think he should be allowed to play.

  6. Barbara says:

    I do not believe he is sorry for what he did to those dogs. I believe he is sorry he got caught, and the whole public remorse thing is window-dressing on the advice of his lawyer. I sincerely hope I’m wrong. When he starts volunteering at shelters without a press announcement, when he donates a portion of his salary automatically withoug a press announcement to animal cruelty investigation and education, when he says out loud what he did to those dogs and shows true remorse, then maybe I will believe it. Anyone who strangles, electrocutes, drowns, hangs, and slams dogs to death has a twisted, abusive mind, and that does not change in a couple of years without intensive therapy and a willing patient. This is not a race issue by any means, and anyone who believes that is making excuses. While I do not believe he should be denied the opportunity to make a living, I do not believe he should be in the NFL, ever, period.

  7. Tori says:

    Dr. Phil,

    I agree with what you are saying and I don’t like Vick whatsoever. The point I would like to throw out there is this…why do people like him get a second chance? I am a public school teacher and if I ever got charged with any sort of crime I would NEVER be hired as a teacher again. How is it fair that some of us can so easily get everything taken away from us, and then celebrity football stars get a slap on the wrist and hired back for millions of dollars and their “second chance”? I would never do anything to compromise my job, but I know that if I did, I would never be able to teach anywhere ever again.

  8. Robert says:

    I persoannly think there is way to much talk about this. I am not now nor have I ever been an Animal Lover.

    I don’t care if he fights or does not fight Dogs.

    I find it interesting that many people who oppose Dog Fighting seem to think Abortion is OK.

    I care more about seeing Abortion banned than I do Dog Fighting.

  9. Trudy says:

    I don’t agree that this evil guy has put in his time. What he did to those dogs is unforgivable. He knew what he was doing and you cannot tell me he thought it was okay and that’s how he was raised. Thats just plain bull. I think he should be locked up and the key thrown away. People like that don’t change. Oh they may acted like they are a changed person to everyone, but your true self will come out sooner or later.

  10. Jennifer says:

    My husband pointed out to me that Michael Vicks did serve his sentence. Yet I still have a problem with him being signed into a Football Team and the NFL. I think that he is more likely to return to this lifestyle because he will have more money and now he knows ways of not getting caught. If he worked at McDonald’s or a lower income job he wouldn’t have the money or the means to continue that lifestyle. Come on people. look at the dogs that were taken. If those scars were on your children you would freak out and I have animals and children and I would freak out if any of those scars were on my animals or my children. Animals have feelings, a heart, a brain, nerve endings and they feel pain just the same way as you and I do. They just can’t talk because God didn’t give them vocal chords. Imagine if he did, what heart wrenching stories they could tell everyone of us. My father was a animal abuser, child molester, wife and child beater, doctor and pillar of the community. I grew up in that environment but let me tell you one thing-the only thing that I can never get out of my mind is hearing out dog yelping and screaming in pain as my father was beating it with his fists and throwing it against the walls. This was a small dog maybe 8-10lbs being beaten my a big man. The dog peed on my father’s slipper because he was so scared and he beat it again. This was all over the dog eaten the cat’s food. My father after he was done just told me to go clean up the mess and he went and sat down in his easy chair and watched TV like it was nothing. I think my father and Michael Vicks have no empathy. I say just put him in a cage with some pit bulls and let them attack him as he had them do with each other. Eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Shame on the Eagles, the NFL and Michael Vicks. Let’s pray to God Michael Vicks doesn’t do it again. What a joy animals bring in people’s lives. If you own a dog think of it this way-who is there to greet you at the door when you come home from work? Who gives you kisses even in the morning when you have morning breath? Who comes and sits or lies by you when your watching TV? Who never tells you that you stink or that your feet stink? Who loves you even with all of your flaws? Who gives you unconditional love and the only thing they want is a pat on their head, a good back rub, walk around the block, and food and water in their bowls? What a gift I consider it to be a animal owner and I love my animals as a part of the family. Thank you for letting me give my opinion and sharing my story. A Loyal Fan!!!

  11. Carol Hart says:

    You know, what Michael did was BAD! I love dogs and find it hard to believe people fight them like that. He did serve his time and he should be forgiven and be able to move on with his life. I have to believe he learned his lesson. I cannot see him doing anything like that again. If he does, hang him. LOL (LOL to me means I am laughing when I am saying something. In this case when I said Hang him, I was laughing)….

  12. Stef says:

    Wow, such a tough subject. I do agree that anyone coming out of prison should be given a job and a chance at life. But given the nature of his crime I don’t believe he has “the right” to be a role model anymore, he gave up that right. And the NAACP guy saying that he should be able to be in his “chosen profession”, hey I haven’t even committed a crime, shouldn’t I be able to have a “chosen profession” where I can get paid millions too? Do I believe he has changed or is capable of true change? No. But on the other hand, just maybe, with him being in the spotlight and giving his “I’ve seen the error of my Ways” speaches, he might truely do some good. As long as the kids believe what he says it could turn out to be a possitive. I’ve had some up close dealings with a diagnosed sociopath, if Vick is one he’s just saying what he knows we want to hear and he’ll never be changed on the inside. It takes a sick person to do what he did. I think you handled the subject very well Dr. Phil and I agreed with the stance you took.

  13. Kimberly Ohmacht says:

    My husband and I were in the audience for Wednesday’s show in Philadelphia and heard the comment about Vick’s situation being about race. We don’t get it either. How can it be?
    We agree with he earlier comment from Trudy — my husand and I believe that Michael Vick should still be in jail. We’ve believed that from day 1. He’s not going to change this quick. What happens if he does it again? What are people going to say then?
    It’s far from a racial issue and personally we don’t believe he should be in the NFL — no matter what team.

  14. Jill Johnson says:

    I have been in the Animal care and control field for 10 yrs. I do not believe Mr. Vick should have been reinstated. I do not believe he has been rehabilitated. I do not believe he has repented for his crime.

    I have the devastation dog-fighting has on the animals, and the hardened and ignorant people who commit these horrific crimes. Unfortunately, the animals usually die and the criminal gets a slap on the wrist, even those without Mr. Vicks money and connections.

    I feel we have to educate children to change this behavior/mentality.

    Jill Johnson

  15. Amber says:

    I agree with Robert! People care more about animals than the life of an unborn baby and that sucks!!!
    I like animals and I think that its wrong to harm them but there are far more important things our society needs to focus on.
    When did an animal become more important than a human fetus?
    I just dont get it! Where is the worlds morals went?

  16. lisaooooh says:

    I belive we all deserve a second chance in life. is he sorry?? maybe.. maybe not. I think what he did was terrible, But he did not commit an offence against the NFL so he should be allowed to go back to his job. If you bet against your team or commit a crime against the organizagion, You should be banned for LIFE. If you endager the life of a child.. you should be banned from any thing that envolves kids.
    i hope those that are so passionate about this realize that HUMANS get abused too..Kids, the elderly, women.. I hope you speak out as loudly

  17. maria says:

    Vick should have been banned from football for life! Why should he get a second chance when all the animals he slaughtered didn’t even get a chance to live. He should be put down just like all of the animals he killed for fun!!!!!! I am a true blue EAGLES fan but will not watch them as long as he plays for them. Take that to the bank!

  18. Shawna says:

    I dont’ think he should be “rewarded” with going back to his occupation of choice after what he has done. Let him flip burgers for minimum wage.

    Someone doing what he has done to an innocent animal….he is a time bomb. I wonder if he has hurt any people yet. I will never forget seeing that 37% of death row inmates admit to abusing animals before they escalated to people (I think that was on Montel -I make it a point to watch things like this)

    I dont’ want to add the ugly things that I think he deserves for what he has done…I cant’ see him being truly reformed in this short amount of time. I’m FUMING just thinking about him.

    I SINCERELY hope he is being watched closely for the rest of his days. I’m expecting to hear about him again.

    Shame on the Eagles and NFL!

  19. metak8 says:

    Careful examination of Vick’s 60 Minutes interview confirms that he is only sorry he was caught, but not sorry for what he did (”It didn’t really hit me until the cell door shut.”) Over 10+ years ago, the OJ Simpson trial showed us that justice is dispensed differently for athletes, and Vick’s re-employment by the NFL simply rehashes that lesson. Few convicted felons ever regain their former levels of employment or income, but because athletes enjoy separate privileges, Vick is right back where he was before incarceration. None of this is surprising, considering the NFL’s focus on profits coupled with its disdain & disregard for its customers. When was the last time you heard anyone rave about their NFL experience in terms of customer satisfaction, value for prices paid, cleanliness/enjoyment of the facilities, ease of getting to and leaving the game, examples of role models/exemplary behavior, or providing a profanity-free, family-friendly environment?? With the likes of Vick playing and the outrageous fan participation costs, no wonder the NFL is seeking expansion in China.

  20. Lola says:

    Dr. Phil, at first just as you and many people was outraged at him for his actions and believed as I told my husband for him to pay for what he did. I also believe a person should be given a second chance and I believe he has rehabilitated himself and well only time will tell.
    I live here in Puerto Rico and am one of your biggest fans, ha ha ha. I try not to miss one show.
    Keep up the good work and my regards to your wife Robin.
    Sincerely:
    Lola

  21. Lory D. hughes says:

    What he did to the dogs I can’t get past it! it was not just the dog fights
    he would shoot them , hang them etc…. Football is a man game and dogs are mans best friends He has no right to play , why do we have to watch him?
    its not fair! He murder dogs! He has no shame! Go get a job with Burger King
    Thanks for your time Canadian Lory

  22. technodoll says:

    IMHO… The time Vicks spent in jail is a joke – the lives of our fellow animals are greatly undervalued, their rights still mostly unprotected and most people who commit crimes against them either get away with a slap on the wrist or are never punished for their actions.

    Those dogs got murdered, Vicks got the wrist slap.

    Why is he again in the spotlight, earning millions and a place in the hall of fame?

    It boggles my mind, breaks my heart and in no way stirs any compassion for that animal abuser :(

  23. vince says:

    lol i spoke out a bit too loudly a few weeks back hahaha it landed me in a damn rehab 2 times and central state hospital 1 time each of the 3 times i went i spent 7 days, in rehab it took them only 1 week to convince me that i was a drug addict lol, hell im good with that too hehehe, i still dont like drugs tho, it took me 3 days at central state to remember who the hell i was lol, i was arrested and taken to the houston county hospital and at the hosp i was given something that knocked my ass out, you know i bet thats why they thought i was a drug addict lol, i was releved to find out that was all i was lol hell i was convinced i was the anti christ, and still wish i could be hahaha, i would save my mom – my son and my own ass and damn all the rest lol.i would make God proud that day im sure lol.

  24. Jane Moulds says:

    Too much too soon! I do not believe that someone can turn their life around that totally and that quickly. Either you are an animal lover or you aren’t. If you mistreat an animal I have to think you don’t care about them. How would he like to be put in a fighting ring, with no way out? I do not think someone should have to pay for their mistakes for the rest of their lives, but I do think that they need to learn their lesson and be sorry for what they have done. How many people get out of prison and walk back into their jobs? Most people would have a very tough time trying to get their lives back on track, nothing would be handed to them. I do not think that race had a thing to do with this, other than maybe preferred treatment.

  25. Tracy S says:

    In truth I believe its just a matter of time before he does it again.

  26. Annonymous says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,

    I always say second chances are the best thing handed to a person; but in Michael Vicks case I believe he hasn’t proven he deserves a second chance. I don’t believe he should get the chance to play football again. This teaches kids that bad behavior is rewarded; and it most certainly is not! I am in school right now to become a teacher and if I am caught from now all the way until I decide to retire doing anything that is “wrong” to society I could loose my teaching license forever; and there will be no second chances for me. I would never even think to do anything that could potential jeopardize my future job! I dont understand how somebody can do something so horrific and just be let off the leash so easily. It astounds me! I guess it is all about WHO YOU ARE and not WHAT YOU ARE these days. In the end, Michael Vicks was signed by the Eagles and there is nothing left to debate. But in my opinion he is in the wrong and does not deserve another shot in the NFL. He should be spending his time right now finding another job and joining a volunteer group towards helping abused animals; not practicing on the football field making millions. Thanks for allowing me to express my opinion.

    Sincerely,
    Kaitlin

  27. Paul says:

    DR. Phil,
    And Listeners.

    What amazes me is the narrowness of people who decide to forgive.
    They can forgive someone who engaged in the bloodsport of fighting and killing dogs. BUT let someone have a different opinion, either Conservative or Progressive, Liberterian or Liberal, and there is no forgiveness or understanding.

    MAN is more cruel to another MAN, over lesser issues,
    than this animal cruelty with Vick.
    Want to show compassion, make nice to people you currently hate
    just because they have a different opinion then you have.

    Why do schools hire liberals, more often than conservatives?
    Where is that vaunted freedom of educational ideas, comparative education and exploration of conflicting ideas.
    Has School become INDOCTRINTION?

    I have not committed any crime as vile as Vick.. Give me a second chance also. Set aside your prejudices. Let me teach.

    Paul
    Wilmington, Delaware

  28. vince says:

    Jane Moulds, you would be supprised just how fast JAIL will indeed turn a man around. i only find it funny that we only hear about this man and not all the rest involved in the same crime he was charged with and did time over, i bet he wernt all alone when he got caught, i would love to hear all the other names involved and see if any of them lived near my house. i would use that info as a early warning system for the animals in my neighborhood. at least we know he is out on the feild where some big ass guys can pound him to pure dust if they so chouse to try lol. look at it as a just reward for him i do, a poor dog aint got a chance against him, he probley was very intemadating in jail too lol did all the other inmates a favor by allowing him to go on with his own life, and to be honest about it i never even knew who he was or what he was or did for a living till all this crap happened into my livingroom through the evening news, info i could easely live with out! hell Sara Pallen was killing all the wolves in alaska and all these americans forgave her and tried to put her in the damn white house for all her forgiven sins! now shes killing off all the polar bears and still running for office or away from office as i see it lol, just think about all those poor critters who already died invaine for no reason other than for just being a damn critter, we neem to remember before we judge, maybe we should try to walk a mile in his shoues first, just bypass the doggie part tho.

  29. michelle says:

    I think Vick should have had to finish his sentence, and be done with all of that before returning to football. I do not think this is right at all. I am not saying that down the road he could play but his sentence and all of it should have been done before they let him return to play football.

  30. Janet Davies says:

    Only God knows the heart of Michael Vick and he will account to him one day. I truely hope he understands how wrong his behavior was and is not just pretending to be sorry to advance his career.

    I don’t know about you guys but I am fed up to the teeth of NAACP and other prominent black leaders screaming race discrimination every time a famous black person is publicly rebuked. This is an animal abuse issue and has nothing to do with race. Playing the race card is a way to keep people of colour down by portraying them as victims of the evil white man. Times are a-changing and more and more I am seeing people scoff at the notion of race discrimination. Oh I understand the discrimination and horrors of the past but isn’t it high time we move on? King Solomon said: “All this I have seen, and there was an applying of my heart to every work that has been done under the sun, during the time that man has dominated man to his injury.”—Ecclesiastes 8:9

    We have laws in place to give all people recourse if they feel they have been discriminated against because of race, age, sex, or religion. I do not feel the NAACP advances the lives of people of colour but rather keeps them in victim mode and advances that, in turn, to their children and their children’s children. Its time to break the cycle folks!

  31. Lisa says:

    I have not watched most of the stories linked to this man because he turns my stomach, I become enraged and my blood pressure rises. I think M.V. should have to do public service announcements about Dog-fighting and pay back every last dime of money that it cost to rehabilitate those dogs that were once his. He should have to pay all costs incurred associated with the the removal, euthanasia etc. of the other dogs also. As for him having a job, I believe he should of been ordered by a judge, a mandatory 5 years counceling and rehabilitaiton. He should have to do community service with animals. If he really wants changes, he will be seeking out the biggest and best in mental care. Dr. Phil, have you offered your services to this man? I don’t know how you’d stomach working with him, but I think in the greater picture, if he is able to be “helped”, then I would do whatever it takes to insure another animal isn’t put through the torture of the previous ones he owned. I’d be REALLY interested to see what he has to say to YOU doing a full mental screening. If he wouldn’t allow it, I’d be very skeptical as to how serious this man is for getting better.
    ~Lisa

  32. Paul says:

    hell Sara Pallen was killing all the wolves in alaska and all these americans forgave her and tried to put her in the damn white house for all her forgiven sins! now shes killing off all the polar bears and still running for office or away from office as i see it lol
    ===
    The above is not the same as the viscious crime of dog fighting.

    Animals in wild life, some hunted for historical and legal reasons, some for food, IS not the same as the bloodsport and betting done in Vicks back yard ABU GRAIB Kennel.
    .

  33. Michael Vick is a jock with a super-sized ego. I am betting that he will go right back to his old ways as soon as he can get away with it.

    Speaking of betting….what is the point of dog fighting if gambling and making A LOT of money is not involved? Don’t ya think this man might have a gambling problem?

    I am sad to see Michael Vick getting so much publicity. I would like to see you do a show that features the people who fostered and adopted the dogs that were confiscated from Vick’s farm. These are the real heroes.

  34. FosterBoys says:

    If I were a multi-millionaire, I’d buy the biggest piece of land I could manage and bring home every abused, neglected, and unwanted dog I could get my hands on. And I’d hire my sister-in-law to bring in all those cats she’s so crazy about. I think I’d like that life very much.

  35. Shawn says:

    I think Dog fighting is wrong. I love dogs to. People who let their dog’s fight other dog’s should know it’s wrong.

  36. Lisa says:

    Dr. Phil, I do believe that some people deserve second chances. I too am an animal lover, as I brought home my cat from the local SPCA. But to put someone who has done the things that Michael Vick has done, and put them back in the lime light and in a position that greatly influences children is wrong. Maybe after a couple years of rehabilitation of some sort and the “now all for animals” it should be considered then, not just after release. And personally, I feel that what he is doing now in schools is just to “prove” himself in a way so that he can be accepted. It is just sad.

  37. vince says:

    Paul tell that to all them wolves who already died, i dont think they were eating those wolves nether, a wolf is of the dog family after all. and i love dogs no matter what name there called.

  38. Samantha says:

    i think it’s sick and wrong that anyone could treat an animal in the way Michael Vick has treated the dogs that were in his care. i also don’t buy his statement that he has seen the error of his ways. in my opinion, putting him back in a position to have an extreme amount of disposable income is a mistake and it will only lead him back to his life of animal abuse. to quote Dr. Phil, “past behavior predicts future behavior.”

    it has been proven time and time again that people who abuse animals will eventually go on to treat humans in the same fashion. unfortunately, i have personal experience with this situation. one of my 3 dogs was rescued from an abusive owner who also beat his wife and attempted to smother his young children to death on several occasions.

    people like Michael Vick and the former owner of my dog cannot be rehabilitated and they should not be allowed to be in a situation where they can readily abuse other living things ever again.

  39. Kristina says:

    Hi-I really don’t have a comment on this issue itself, but was wondering about your Twitter page. I have recently become a follower of you on Twitter, though I have been following you on TV long before this. I see you corrosponding to some on your page, and was wondering how I would be able to comment on your twitter page. Thanks!

  40. Heidi Lahteine says:

    Hi Dr. Phil! I just wanted to write and say that I thought you had a great discussion about Michael Vick and the issue of dog fighting. I live in an area where owning a pitbull is some sort of status symbol. I have seen ,first hand, what these animals are capable of. I think it is an extremely sick individual who would use these dogs for financial gain. I am a dog owner and dog lover who, by choice, has chosen breeds that are never known to be violent. There is something wrong with the individual that chooses this breed in the first place. Why put yourself in that position? I am a strong believer in the insurance argument. People who choose this breed should be forced to take out an expensive insurance policy on these dogs. The people I see in my neighborhood who own these dogs, I believe, would have a very hard time affording that, and may think twice before purchasing one. As far as the race argument, I am so tired of people using that in every situation involving Caucasians and African-Americans!! It is getting old! White men or women have just as hard a time finding a job after prison as black people do. Most don’t have a million dollar career to fall back on!!! If he couldn’t go back to playing ,I’m sure he could get a job commentating and still make more money than the average American. Give me a break!!!

  41. kristin kaminski says:

    That “race issue” is so unfounded! How can anyone say that? I do NOT recall a time in my life (38 yrs) where a famous white man EVER got caught doing the things Vic did.

    I think it’s disgusting that he’s back on the team. Not because people don’t deserve second chances. THEY DO! But because he’s right back where he started, in an aggressive, competitive environment, that can only fuel that behavior. It’s like, aside from just going to prison, he hasn’t actually shown any repentance. Like, I dunno, volunteering for the ASPCA for a few years? SOMETHING.

    Besides, given the nature and the vastness of what he did, he DOES need to prove himself to society more. Serving time means nothing towards rehabilitation. You can send a guy to prison for a DUI. Doesn’t mean he’ll come out sober.

    I hope NO ONE watches the Eagles games.

  42. Heidi Lahteine says:

    Ok Dr. Phil I got way off track. I do believe that Michael Vick should find a new career, that he is not sorry and he deserves to rot for what he did.

  43. kristin kaminski says:

    Oh..Last thing! Also, as I see it, convicted felons, especially for violence, have a TERRIBLE time finding a job. IF EVER. They don’t just get handed “second chances.” They have to EARN their way back up the ladder.

    Okay. I’m done. For Now :)

  44. Well, as you said Dr. Phil, what’s done is done. Vick was signed and that’s how it is. I only wish there had been an alternative to signing him so quickly after his release. Of course he and everyone who does their time and is released deserves a chance to get another start and live as a law-abiding, social contributing citizen and in order to do that, such people need to be gainfully employed. I don’t think they necessarily need to return to being high-profile celebrities. (BTW I can’t help but think of sex offenders and how little a second chance many are1005 given, and rightfully so I think, to enter regular society again with children.)

    Its a genuine conundrum.

    I should also say, I don’t think the dogs involved can ever really be trusted to live among other dogs and small animals, children. There may be some dedicated humans who are responsible and knowledgable enough to manage them for their lives, but, I don’t happen to believe such dogs can ever be 100% relied on as rehabilitated and safe. I also don’t think people involved in such a callous brutal crime as dog fighting can be 100% reliably rehabilitated either, but, have to be managed for life.

    Didn’t Mr. Vick violate his parole shortly after his release by being publicly drunk? Isn’t THAT an indication that he has no intention of changing his life, living as a person who doesn’t believe he’s above the law?

    As for the race card, put it away. He would be getting the same response regardless of race.

    I don’t agree with the action many of my rescue friends are taking, withdrawing their support of the HSUS for not coming out in opposition to Vick’s reinstatement. The agency shouldn’t be made to suffer for Vick’s actions.

  45. Ashley says:

    I agree with you Dr. Phil, I don’t think someone that can do something as extreme as what he’s done, will ever fully change. There was some part of him that enjoyed doing what he did, why else would he do it? I believe on your recent visit with Oprah you mentioned that one red flag to a sociopath is, harming or wanting to harm animals. I don’t believe he is a sociopath, however; I do feel like his issues go deeper than he’s letting people believe. I don’t believe his change is genuine and I don’t think he deserves to be back in the NFL. personally.

  46. Jamie in PA says:

    I’m still having a really hard time understanding why the NFL allowed this man back in the game. I did not get to see the debate last week and I wish I had. I have a problem with the fact that anyone who plays professional sports and runs into trouble with the law, is still permitted to play the game. I don’t care what sport is played. Playing professional sports should be a privilege. I truely believe this. I don’t believe that when someone commits a crime and they served their time that they could then get back in the game. There are many talented people in this world that have worked very hard at becoming excellent athletes and never get the chance to play professional. When someone achieves the status of a professional athlete they should have to maintain that status. These adults are supposed to be setting good examples for our youth today. When something like this happens (Vick being able to play again) it shows our children that its ok to mess up and you can get another chance. Its bull s**t! We need to put a stop to this and set better examples for our children. They are our future and I sure as hell don’t want my son to think that he can get into trouble and that all will be forgiven. This is not what we should be teaching.

  47. TStevens9801 says:

    My concern is the fact that you are taking a man who enjoyed violence, suposedly rehabing him and then putting him back into a volatile sitution. The nfl has a violence side to it and if he enjoys violence you are putting him back into a potentially bad situation.
    I have a family member in prison for white collar crime. You can not get rehabilitation in the prison system. Once this person gets out they are not going to be able to handle money. So how can you take someone who went to prison for violence with animals, let them out and then put them into a rough sport. I just don’t see it being a good situation.

  48. Anna says:

    I think he should never be able to play football again what does that show are kid you can do wrong Hurt and Kill Animals and still get paid Million of doller Tell Vick to get a real job like the rest of us. he make me sick anyone who would Kill and hurt Animals like he did would do that to a human. he should have rot in jail. no amount of money will undo his wrong. so everyone should boycott the team when the play in your state I know i will. and i live in the washington, dc Area. i will not watch the skins play that team. what was that coach thing putting him on that team. very very sad day. I love Dog and all kind of Animals. Hell i stop on the side of the road to get turtles out of the road.I like to get a Vick shirt and put a big X thought it.and by the way Race has nothing to do with this. I hate when that throw into it. OMG he pulled that one dogs teeth out What the Hell. again he make me Sick.

  49. I will not even get into the whole dog fighting scene. Its obvious that anyone with any amount of intelligence or empathy towards any other living being, KNOWS that dog fighting is wrong! Black, white, green, yellow, whatever….
    But as far as the racial card being played in the employment arena?? BULLCRAP!!
    I am your typical blonde hair, blue eye, attractive, white female, with a tiny little misdermeanor police record from more than 20 years ago, never even served jail time, in the Washington DC area, none the less, who has been turned down for more than 300 job positions that I have been more than qualified for. Anyone with a past has very little chance of being employed thru much more than your typical Mom and Pop shop in this day and age! Sorry…
    (I did send an email in to Dr. Phil, asking him to shed some light on this subject)

  50. Jenni says:

    I think Michael Vick is a lying moron. There is no way, imho, that somebody can be so callous and then “reform” so quickly. It takes somebody that is heartless, to begin with, to even think of treating an animal that way. I hope he goes straight to ****.

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