“I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love and my passion for animals; I think it would be outstanding. If I ever have the opportunity again I will never take it for granted. I miss having a dog right now. I wish I could. My daughters miss having one, and that’s the hardest thing: telling them that we can’t have one because of my actions.”
I don't think anyone can condone what Vick did, but does the government have the right to ban someone from getting a pet for life? Shortly after his arrest Whoopi Goldberg caused a firestorm when she talked about how dog fighting is very acceptable within certain cultures. Everyone jumped all over her thinking that she was saying what Vick did was OK. She was rightly saying there is a market for it, not unlike cock fighting and street boxing and if you grow up in that culture you don't see it as brutal as most other people do. That is not an excuse or a justification, rather an explanation.
I personally think that Vick was an idiot not only for getting involved with a dog fighting ring but also for continuing his relationship with childhood friends who have long histories of criminal behavior. He made it out of the ghetto through the NFL and he should have kept right on going. He had a great deal to lose by associating with people who didn't. The reality is he got caught because he was turned in by someone who was in trouble for something else and used him as a way to save himself. Something that was totally expected. Vick spent almost two years in prison, lost a great deal of money, had to explain this to his children and was incredibly lucky to have not lost his career permantely. There are many that feel he never should have been allowed back in the NFL.
Tony Dungy, a former coach in the NFL and a man of faith and of great integrity has been mentoring Vick, that was a condition of his return to the NFL. Dungy was more than just a tad conflicted about the relationship, but Dungy has grown to have a great deal of respect for the transformation that Vick has made in his life. Vick had issues even before his animal abuse arrest became public. He was a troubled kid and much of that followed him throughout most of his adult life. In all appearances he really has turned his life around and is now on a more straight and narrow path. Which deserves to be commended.
I personally believe that if he were to get a dog, it would be very well treated, maybe better than most other pets in the world. I also really question the right of the government to keep someone from getting a pet. I do think that Vick has learned his lesson and will never hurt another animal again. I believe in redemption and I think that Vick has found his. Let his kids get a dog. He has gotten his finances back in order, he can afford to pay the costs to have an animal protection officer to come to his home once a week to check on the dog until they are comfortable that the dog is well cared for.