One of Michael Vick’s former dogs dies of cancer

Red, a former victim within Michael Vick’s immoral dog-fighting ring, died Monday (April 5)  due to cancer.

The 8-year-old had been adopted by Monterey (Calif.) SPCA pet behavior specialist Amanda Mouisset. In the story posted on, Red is described as being great around children, other dogs and cats – and he became a calming influence over emotionally troubled dogs at the shelter.

He was one of 47 dogs rescued from Vick’s home in April of 2007. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, but after surgery and chemo treatments, he went into remission. Only recently did the cancer return.

I hope his rescuers take comfort in knowing they gave Red three compassion-filled years that he certainly would not have experienced otherwise. And they gave him an opportunity to use his eventual good fortune to help others.

Rest in peace Red. You offered the world another shining example that animals can be more human – or should I add the “e” for humane – than some people.

Some believe animals should not have the legal rights or protections afforded to humans. But in this example, when we compare Red to people who engage in dog fighting and other similar forms of animal cruelty, who can say Red should have fewer rights?

I think the rights applied to the accused under our legal system are extremely important, but at the same time I think it’s time for our society and legal system to better-recognize the rights of the innocent. And certainly children and animals are among the most innocent of all.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Marina on April 9, 2010 at 5:42 am

    I have to comment on this “Some believe animals should not have the legal rights or protections afforded to humans. ” I’m always stunned and utterly amazed that CRIMINALS will have more rights than is often afforded to the law abiding citizen!
    ALL animals should be afforded rights and protections that are given to humans, after all, they will often be employed to do the work of some humans, are as intelligent as some humans – if not more…., they breathe, see, feel the same as humans and so when harm comes to them, the perpetrator should be given far far harsher sentences/penalties and not a slap on the wrist.
    The likes of Vick are parasites to the world.
    RIP RED….no more suffering xx


  2. Posted by Tom Grady on April 9, 2010 at 7:30 am

    I like what the Stroud District Council did in Great Britain, as i noted in the blog post from April 6. The council established five basic freedoms for animals.

    – Freedom from fear and distress

    – Freedom from hunger or thirst

    – Freedom from pain, injury or disease

    – Freedom to express normal behaviour

    – And freedom from discomfort

    I believe if we establish these ideals as freedoms, it is not a leap to suggest each one is a “right.”
    We know that in so many cases, those who engage in animal cruelty will or have engaged in abuse against against children or others.
    So you are absolutely right. it’s time to severely increase the penalties against those who torture or abuse animals, to level of mandatory prison time – to a level that will serve as punishment befitting the act.
    And you are certainly correct in noting animals “feel.” Again, my ongoing theme in this blog will include my views on state of consciousness in animals. Any being with self awareness should be protected in our society from harm – and certainly from criminal acts of abuse or neglect.
    Thank you for your comments.


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