Animal lovers are protesting Michael Vick with tailgate parties that draw attention to pit bull-type dogs who need homes.
Members of Best Friends Animal Society are teaming with local shelters and rescue groups to throw Wagging Tailgate Parties during every Philadelphia Eagles game throughout the NFL season.
The rallies spotlight adoptable pit bull-type dogs to defy stereotypes and encourage people to support animal shelters. BFAS and the Pennsylvania SPCA had the first rally in late August on the day of the Eagles vs. Jacksonville Jaguars game. The event showed PSPCA pit bull-type dogs to the public and some dogs found homes that day.
BFAS will release a guide on how to organize a Wagging Tailgate Parties at animal shelters, according to the group’s Web site.
“What we’re trying to do is take the conversation away from Vick and shine the light on dogs,” said BFAS Ed Fritz on the sanctuary Web site. Fritz is the specialist for the BFAS campaign, “Saving Pit Bulls: Saving America’s Dog.”
Vick sparked outrage in Philadelphia and elsewhere in August when he signed a one-year $1 million contract with the Eagles. Animal lovers argued the ex-Atlanta Falcons quarterback shouldn’t return to the NFL after he completed an 18-month federal sentence this year for operating a dog-fighting ring that included torturing and killing dogs.
Some Eagles fans literally wore their feelings to the stadium. Kori Martin said she was booted from a home game in late September for wearing a shirt that read “Losers Fight Pit Bulls” on the front and had Vick’s name and number crossed out. The back of the shirt listed the crimes against dogs with the phrases “We Will Never Forget” and “You don’t deserve a second chance,” on the back.
Some fans booed Vick during his first home game in late August, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. But cheers soon drowned out the dissenters. Dog lovers picketed that game while others showed support for Vick.
For more information on Wagging Tailgate Parties, and to find out how you can get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.