Friday, July 27, 2007

The rub for Vick

Michael Vick is in a fighting mood. He plead not guilty to multiple charges related to his pit bull fighting operation called Bad Newz Kennels. If the charges are true, Michael Vick has company: according to some estimates 40,000 people attend, organize, or breed for dog fighting.

Pit bulls are the dog of choice, with good reason. According to a study by Merritt Clifton, pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Presa Canarios are responsible for 74% of dog attacks. Here’s the scary part: Over two-thirds of the time, life-threatening or fatal attacks were the dog’s first known dangerous behavior.

Michael Vick knows that dogs can be dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, otherwise know as the CDC, said that each year dogs bite nearly 2% of the U.S. population – that’s 4.7 million people. Of those, nearly 800,000 require medical treatment, with over a thousand people a day visiting emergency rooms, dog bites being the second most common cause of emergency room visits by children. The annual cost to dog attack victims is estimated at over one billion dollars.

You might be surprised who else owns pit bulls. Among the estimated ten million pit bull owners in the US are Jessica Alba, Michael J. Fox, Alicia Silverstone, Jessica Biel (she has three), Rachel Ray, and Jon Stewart.

Michael Vick must have known this venture would make the news eventually. Can you imagine going on vacation and leaving your dog with Bad Newz Kennels? Well, let me give Vick the benefit of the doubt: maybe the name means they teach the dogs how to read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, or 18-count indictments.

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