Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Animal lover Will Witherspoon says it's time to forgive Vick

From USA Today

George Walker, The Tennessean

Tennessee Titans linebacker Will Witherspoon is perhaps as dedicated an animal lover as you'll find in the NFL, short of whichever vegan punter you can come up with.
The former Panthers, Rams, Eagles and current Titans linebacker says he owns 180 cattle, 90 chicken, 24 sheep, 13 dogs, eight goats, eight horses, six cats "and the occasional random dog or two who add themselves into the mix."

Later this month the owner of two dog daycares and a 500-acre, grass-fed cattle farm in Missouri will lobby Congress in support of a bill that would phase out the use of antibiotics on healthy livestock.
In a phone interview with USA TODAY, Witherspoon discussed his opposition to the practice that the organization Animal Welfare Approved says makes up 80% of antibiotic use in the U.S. "That totally goes against the way I operate my farm," he says.
He also took the opportunity to remind us that he's been a Michael Vick guy since Jump Street. The two played together in Philadelphia following Vick's 21-month prison sentence for dogfighting, and while Witherspoon doesn't condone Vick's crimes, he questions the punishment and those who think it was too lenient.
"One thing that I have to say is that he's definitely made a change for the better," says Witherspoon, who is working on an MBA at George Washington University and plans to graduate next June. "He's got a clear understanding of putting the right people around him. I have two doggy day cares. You think I don't care about dogs? I argued for Mike."
Vick's new autobiography, Finally Free, comes out Sept. 4. Vick told USA TODAY Sports last week that he has helped more dogs than he's hurt through work with the Humane Society.
Witherspoon says it's time to forgive Michael Vick.
"The crime didn't fit the punishment for Michael. What Mike did is no worse than I've seen happen to dogs that come into my daycare," Witherspoon says. "And the people responsible get a 30-day sentence, a $2,500 fine. Mike went to federal prison, lost everything he had and start life over. He's doing a great job of it and doing the right things."

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