It’s been an interesting week for animal lovers in the area. First we have the litter of puppies saved from a horrifying death being trapped inside a sealed rubbermaid container, and now word is that the Philadelphia Eagles have signed everybody’s favorite dog-lover, Michael Vick.
The puppies, by the way, are doing just fine. They’ve been in the vet clinic I work for a couple times now,and seem to be well on their way to finding good homes. I’d have a hard time imagining any animals more deserving of a life of leisure, luxury and all the treats they can eat than these puppies. Still, I am somewhat surprised by the amount of media attention the almost-baked litter has received. We’ve had two different Baltimore TV news stations in the clinic interviewing Ruff Life Rescue head Brie Masenoir and my boss, Dr. Lisa Twardus. Unfortunately, I understand I was left out of last evening’s Channel 2 news piece. They had a really nice image of my hands holding a puppy while the Doc drew some blood, but it ended upon the cutting room floor. I guess I’m just not a hand model.
Anyway, not to downplay my absolute disgust with whoever perpetrated this act, but dogs get abandoned every day in this country, most not fortunate enough to be rescued. While it’s a great thing that the press has jumped on this, and the attention will definitely help these poor puppies, and help Ruff Life, as well, it’s a shame that it takes something this vile to attract any attention to the problems of unwanted and abused pets.
Which brings me to Michael Vick. It is very easy to condemn someone like Vick who has commited acts of unspeakable cruelty, but the number of animals who died in his little dog-fighting operation would make up a slow month for a significant number of animal shelters out there. And if a similar box of pure-bred pitbull puppies were to show up on the doorstep of many rescues in this country, it’s a better than even money bet that they’d be euthanized by the end of the week, not turned into darling little news celebrities. To many, Vick is a mass animal-murdering felon, but the shelters and animal control facilities are doing good work for us all, frequently paid for by our taxes. Just a bit hypocritical, I think. Either we respect the right of all animals to live or we don’t. We can’t have it both ways. To do so devalues the lives of these animals,and it’s the reason why so many people have said about Vick,”well, it’s not like he killed a person or anything.”
These are real problems that never go away and deserve far more attention than they get. Animal control operations everywhere need to be seriously looked at. I commend the news operations for following the plight of these dogs, but come back more often, not just when we have a litter with a back story that’ll look cute on TV.