Our first official "Snarl" -- no big surprise here -- goes to Michael Vick, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback who has been indicted in connection with a dogfighting ring that operated on his property in Virginia.
What's a "Snarl?" Part of our new recurring feature, "Wags and Snarls" (see previous entry for details) aimed at giving paws up to those people, places and programs that benefit dogs and other pets, and paws down to those who acts and attitudes serve to their detriment. (Your nominations are welcome.)
In addition to our first Snarlie going to Vick, we bestow two more prolonged, teeth-baring growls as well -- one to Nike for not immediately terminating Vick's contract as a celebrity endorser, and one to the Falcons for not immediately suspending him, considering the seriousness of the charges.
I am a firm believer that people are innocent until proven guilty. I'm even a believer that a lot of people are innocent even AFTER they've been proven guilty. So I won't go into proposing some creative punishments that fit the alleged crime for Vick -- not just yet.
For now Vick, shown here in a photo by Sun photographer Kenneth K. Lam, is just accused -- but accused of a heinous enough crime in my view that the proper course would be to suspend him from football, drop him as an endorser, and even keep him in a cage until trial, even though we usually only do that with humans that don't have a lot of money.
You can read the entire indictment -- the details are pretty horrendous -- at thesmokinggun.com
A lot of dog-lovers have been making their feelings known about the Vick case, some of them as a result of an email campaign that encourages them to write to Nike (Nike World Headquarters, One Bowerton Drive, Beaverton, OR 97005-6453) and the Falcons (Atlanta Falcons, 4400 Falcon Parkway, Flowery Branch, GA 30542.)