NFL star speaks out on dog fighting

August 12, 2009 8:50:13 PM PDT
Former NFL star Michael Vick was in Chicago on Wednesday.It's not part of his plan to get back in the NFL. His visit was actually part of his court ordered community service on his convictions for running a dog fighting ring.

Dogs and dog owners pick up tips on Wednesday night from men who know the pain of dog fighting first hand.

Now, those men are with the End Dog Fighting Campaign, a program of The Humane Society of the United States.

"If you have a heart, it hurts. That's why I turned myself around. It's not something I enjoyed doing. It wasn't about the money. It was just about the peer pressure. You walk around the neighborhood, you get challenged. And, you know, men, they don't turn down a challenge," said Anthony Pickett, Anti Dog Fighting Advocate.

Former football star Michael Vick visited the Liberation Christian Center in Englewood Wednesday to talk to children, teens and adults about his personal experience with dog fighting and the turmoil that followed like spending time in jail and ruining his NFL career.

"I'm not a psychologist or nothing, but I feel sincerely, being an ex-dog fighter myself, he's sincere about this program and helping the community and he felt real remorseful," said Sean Moore, Anti Dog Fighting Advocate.

Vick, who arrived at O'Hare Airport on Tuesday night, did not make any public comments about his visit or his partnership with the Humane Society.

He spent 18 months in jail and told the crowd that he started fighting dogs at a young age.

"He said he wish he had someone at seven years old to tell him that it wasn't no good, there was something better for him. So now we're reaching out to the kids, the youth, the community - letting them know that there is something else for them to do," said Michael Nash, Anti Dog Fighting Advocate, Humane Society of the United States.

Something else like taking classes, making sure young people know there are alternatives to fighting.

"We try to get these kids to realize that these dogs don't have a voice. We are their voice to let them know it hurts, it's not right," said Anthony Pickett, Anti Dog Fighting Advocate Humane Society of the United States.

"Killing is senseless. Killing kids is senseless. Killing dogs is senseless. Go to school. Get a job. Do the right things out here," said Moore.

That's a lesson they hope young people in Chicago will hear and learn whether it involves Michael Vick or not.


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