Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Grace Under Fire
These dogs have a big job to do. They have to show America that they’re not monsters. We need to let America see that they’ve been lied to when they’ve been told that pit bulls are vicious and dangerous animals. They need to see that they’re sentient beings, that they’re just dogs and they deserve comfort, care, and compassion. They remind us that everyone needs to be treated as an individual.
– Donna Reynolds, Co-Founder, Bad Rap, speaking about the pit bulls seized from Michael Vick's property.
* * *
Now that Michael Vick has been sentenced, the court-ordered gag on the fate of the 49 dogs seized from his property has been lifted. All of them, all 49, are currently awaiting forever homes under the guidance of various animal rescue groups across the United States, including Best Friends animal sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Ten of the dogs are with Bad Rap. Those are three of them in the above photo.
Those of us involved in animal advocacy cannot even begin to relay just how mind-blowingly landmark this decision was by a Federal Court to allow independent assessment of these dogs. Dogs which are traditionally labeled "kennel trash" and thoughtlessly killed by the tens of thousands at so-called "shelters" each year just because they were born the wrong breed.
But in this case, they got a fair shake. In this case, federal prosecutor Mike Gil bravely bucked the trend and deemed these pit bulls victims, not criminals. And, as victims, worthy of individual assessment and possibly life as companion animals.
You know what these pit bulls all have in common? They're awesome. Social. Happy. Kid-friendly. Media slutty.
Read about them here. And here. Oh, and here's a, get this, fair and balanced AP article.