The Washington Times-Herald


September 9, 2012

Thank you Michael Vick

WASHINGTON — I want to thank Michael Vick. Those are words I never thought I would say.

As an animal lover, especially a dog lover, I am predisposed to carry a healthy disdain for the polarizing Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, but I didn’t always feel that way. When Vick was a star athlete for the Virginia Tech Hokies football team in the early 2000s I was a big Vick fan. However, that all changed in August 2007. In that August five years ago Vick pled guilty to federal felony dog fighting charges stemming from his Bad Newz Kennels dog fighting operation in Virginia.

I, and the rest of the sports world, was stunned and appalled as the information came out day by day. There was one positive that came out of this dreadful situation. Pitbull awareness has increased a great deal and that brought me my new best friend, Toby. Prior to 2007, I, like a lot of people, thought that pitbulls were inherently mean spirited, but I have realized that nothing was further from the truth. With the help of my wife, Monika, who I met in August 2008, I have become quite knowlegable on what a great addition a pitbull terrier can be to any household.

Over the last two years I have had many discussions with Monika about the next pet we get being a pitbull. We already had two dogs, Maximus and Roxy which were dogs Monika had wanted for a long time. After we moved into our home here in Washington, I began to look into finding a pitbull puppy. I was able to find a pure bred pitbull terrier breeder in Indianapolis and on the evening of Aug.18, I picked up 8-week-old Toby.

While I have experienced unbridled joy during the last two weeks, not everyone has been happy to see Toby. I have run into countless people on walks with Toby that initially think he is very cute until I reveal that he is a pitbull and they inform me that, “he is going to get mean.” This myth of pitbulls being inherently mean is just misguided. Pitbull terriers, like any other puppy isn’t born with a mean streak. That mean streak that people have experienced or read about in newspapers is formed from years of abuse from cruel people who take advantage of the dog’s breed and the strength that they form as adults.

Since his release from prison, Vick has adhered to requirements of his parole to engage in outreach work in the community aimed at stopping animal cruelty. I can’t go as far as some to say Vick is a role model, because he committed these crimes in the first place, but his notoriety through his exploits on the football field and his presence in the community is a step towards quelling dog fighting in our communities.

Dog fighting is a cancer in this country and it is largely ignored by law enforcement. Vick’s operation killed and abused countless pitbulls and other dogs, but he only received a 21-month prison sentence. People often say well they are just dogs and that sentiment makes me cringe.

Dogs are some of the most selfless animals a person can come into contact with, and they display happiness at all times. To abuse this happiness is a flaw in our society. Gandhi said it best when speaking about what animal cruelty says about us as a people.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”


When not writing sports for the Times Herald, Dennis Glade is taking care of his three dogs. E-mail him at

Text Only
  • Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.Sometimes it could be as simple as a C-note handshake or a little cash slipped into a player’s socks outside his locker with a note telling him to

    July 25, 2014

  • Letter: Sex is clearly defined Sex is clearly definedEditor:I say “Amen” to Pastor Showers’ letter to the editor. Sex in its pureness is only between one man and woman in the bonds of marriage, till death do they part. No others on the side.Man lying with man, woman lying with wom

    July 18, 2014

  • Hobby Lobby court ruling a right one for religious freedom The Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that marked an important development in the ongoing national debate on religious freedom.In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the contraception coverage mandate, imposed by the Obama Administration under

    July 17, 2014

  • Good work DCH for helping vets Good work DCH for helping vetsEditor:On behalf of the veteran organizations of Daviess County, we wish to take this opportunity to recognize Daviess Community Hospital’s CEO David Bixler for the representation of our community hospital and the servic

    July 17, 2014

  • I am proud to fight against the 'War on Coal I recently signed on as an original cosponsor to a bipartisan bill led by one of my Democrat colleagues from West Virginia that would stop the newly released Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on existing coal-generated power plants.He

    July 16, 2014

  • EPA regulations are very bad for District 63 The coal industry has played an integral role in our nation’s history, and District 63 is very close to the heart of it all. Information on the Institute of Energy Research’s website reveals that from a global standpoint, the United States has the la

    July 16, 2014

  • Update from Veale Creek Players Update from Veale Creek PlayersEditor:Veale Creek Players just finished the second week of the children’s summer camp with a pizza cast party. All parents and friends of our future actors/actresses were invited and enjoyed being part of the Veale Cre

    July 16, 2014

  • James bears the weight of Cleveland's championship dreams LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician.In returning to his home

    July 16, 2014

  • Say yes to the dress (at least at some point) Next month, the beloved boyfriend and I will celebrate two years of togetherness. For me, this is a huge milestone and for him, well, I guess this illustrates how patient and tolerant of my quirks he is (or maybe that’s the other way around. Remember

    July 12, 2014

  • Moving towards a better tomorrow This past week a federal judge ruled Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but in Daviess County there were no wedding bells ringing for same-sex couples. Despite receiving an email from the Indiana Attorney General’s office advising coun

    July 5, 2014