A Philadelphia-based animal welfare group is asking the Eagles to put their money where their mouth is.
DogPac, a political action committee and advocacy group, sent a letter to Eagles owner Jeff Lurie today asking him to match every dollar he pays Michael Vick with a donation to area animal shelters.
That means a total of $6.6 million over two years.
"The Philadelphia Eagles have repeatedly stated that they believe in giving second chances," said Tom Hickey Sr., chairman of DogPAC and a member of the state Dog Law Advisory Board. "I believe this is a way for the Eagles to clearly demonstrate that they are willing to invest equally in giving a second chance to the dogs that are the victims of this brutal illegal activity."
In addition to the letter to Lurie, Hickey sent an email to the 23,000 people on the DogPAC list urging them to send emails to the Eagles and show their support for the donation request. As of noon 925 letters had been sent to Lurie, Hickey said.
Hickey said the Eagles contribution should go toward enforcing animal cruelty laws and helping care for and rehabilitate fighting dogs.
"With this matching contribution dogs that have been brutalized will be able to receive the necessary medical and behaviorial care that is necessary to give them that second chance of being adopted into a loving and caring home," he said.
There has been no word from the Eagles on exactly what will be expected from Vick as far as his anti-dog fighting activities are concerned or what, if anything, the team plans to do to help the area's animals in the months and years ahead.
Here is the letter DogPac sent to its email list:
Are you as outraged as I am that the Philadelphia Eagles have signed Michael Vick? I'm sure that you are, and you have every right to be. Vick has admitted doing barbaric things to dogs, and the Eagles have shown horrible judgement by making him a member of their team.
The Eagles say that Vick will use his position to help save dogs and show kids that animal abuse is wrong. That simply is not good enough.
However, I believe that by working together we can make the Eagles put their money where their mouth is and do something very positive for dogs in Philadelphia.
That's why I've sent a letter to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie urging him to prove his team's commitment to stopping dog abuse by donating AT LEAST the equivalent of Michael Vick's salary to dog shelters and rescues every year that Vick is an Eagle. That would mean donations of $1.6 million this year and $5 million next year, if Vick is still on the team.
Now I need your help to put public pressure on the Eagles organization to make this happen. Please join me by sending an email to Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie telling him to prove his commitment to protecting dogs by agreeing to make these donations.
Click here to send an email to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie telling him to put his money where his mouth is to protect dogs.
The Eagles have said that they are giving Michael Vick a "second chance" by putting him on the team. By making these substantial donations to rescues and shelters the Eagles could give a second chance to thousands of dogs that have been abused, maimed and tortured by dog fighting rings just like the one that Michael Vick ran.
If they believe that Vick's second chance is worth $1.6 million this year, then we believe it's worth at least that much to give second chances to thousands of innocent dogs who otherwise would be destroyed.
Please help me convince the Eagles and Jeffrey Lurie that this is the right thing to do by sending him an email right now.
Please forward this email to your friends, relatives and neighbors who love dogs and ask them to join you by emailing Jeffrey Lurie too.
Thank you for your continuing support and for everything you do to help protect dogs in Pennsylvania.
Tom Hickey, Sr.