Thursday, August 9, 2007

Michael Vick Chew Toy

First Coast News is reporting the appearance of a website that is causing some shockwaves after offering a chew toy for dogs that looks like NFL quarterback Michael Vick. The toys came out following the star quarterback's federal indictment on dog-fighting charges. The website offering the toys says it's for charity, but the Jacksonville Humane Society is saying "no thanks."

When the Humane Society found out they'd be getting the donations, they said they're sticking to toys they can trust. Chere Garrard, with the Humane Society, can understand why a dog lover would want to give their dog that chew toy. "Oh, oh, boy, let me give my dog this chew toy to chew on, a way to kind of, 'take that, Michael Vick,' said Garrard. That's especially true when a portion of the money made from the toy is promised to go to the Jacksonville Humane Society. But Garrard says the website selling the toy may not be all it seems. "We're skeptical as to whether that organization is on the up and up," said Garrard.

The first she'd heard of the donations came from the media, not the company selling the toy. "Normally, when people do fundraisers for you, quite often they'll contact you first and say, 'we'd love to do this, are we on the same page.' We never got that phone call," said Garrard. She says that's not all that seemed fishy. "It's interesting that the original press release that seemed to go out nationally had a Jacksonville dateline on it, and referenced the Jacksonville Humane Society, but no reference of our fire," said Garrard.

Another problem is that it's practically impossible finding the company, which claims to be based here in Jacksonville. All our searches for the company were unsuccessful. A Google search only turned up news stories of the toy. The Humane Society had the same problem. "Can't find them. Can't find them anywhere. Can not track down the business," said Garrard.

Garrard says if anyone does figure out the mystery donors, she says they've got to know. "If you can find out who's behind it, give us a call!" said Garrard. Shipping of the product, according to the website, begins Tuesday, August 7th, and would be received within 2-3 weeks. Garrard says, buyer beware.

Since the donations offer from the website was made. it's been taken back, saying: "Due to unforeseeable circumstances and squabbling over charitable donations, our statement claiming we will donate proceeds from the "Vick dog chew toy" has been removed. We will now do so anonymously," said the website.

The Jacksonville Humane Society says they wouldn't accept the offer anyway, since Vick hasn't yet been convicted of anything.