The Jacksonville Humane Society commends the Humane Society of the United States’s partnership with Michael Vick to combat dogfighting

The Humane Society of the United States to give convicted dogfighter opportunity to educate at-risk youths about the humane treatment of animals

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (August 17, 2009) – The Jacksonville Humane Society (JHS) is praising the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for working with NFL player and convicted dogfighter Michael Vick to discourage dogfighting.

Vick is visiting U.S. cities to speak to at-risk youths about dogfighting as part of HSUS’s End Dogfighting Campaign. Vick discusses his dogfighting experiences and his punishment for animal cruelty. He also urges the community to stand up against dogfighting. HSUS hopes the speaking engagements will educate children about the humane treatment of animals, discouraging them from getting involved in acts of animal cruelty.

“Although we are not affiliated with HSUS, we want to take this opportunity to commend the organization for opening a dialogue with children to discuss the gravity and inappropriateness of exploiting animals,” said Leona Sheddan, executive director of JHS. “As a professional athlete, Vick can connect with children and convey that it is not appropriate to mistreat animals, whether through dogfighting or any other form of cruelty.”

JHS is an independent organization but shares many of HSUS’s animal-advocacy goals. JHS is committed to humane education and believes HSUS’s program will help prevent dogfighting through awareness. JHS offers a variety of humane education programs in Northeast Florida, including school and group presentations, after-school clinics and a summer camp. More than 5,200 children participate in JHS’s humane education program each year.

About the Humane Society of the United States

For more than 50 years, The Humane Society of the United States has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. HSUS is the nation’s largest animal protection organization. More information about HSUS is available at

About the Jacksonville Humane Society

The Jacksonville Humane Society, founded in 1885, serves more than 4,000 animals each year. JHS is a non-profit center for animal welfare and education that serves as a resource for all companion-animal related issues. The organization is dedicated to finding loving, permanent homes for animals by matching people with the pet that is right for them.

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Media contact:

Michelle Gilliam
Jacksonville Humane Society
904.725.8766 (office)
904.859.8606 (cell)