Local Veterinarian and Dog Lover Weigh in on Vick Case - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/20/07

Local Veterinarian and Dog Lover Weigh in on Vick Case

Dr. JoEllen Hassan loves her dogs. Dr. JoEllen Hassan loves her dogs.

News of Michael Vick's plea agreement on dogfighting charges is making headlines all across the country. But how do some of your neighbors feel about it?

Dr. JoEllen Hassan loves her dogs.

"I've dedicated my whole life to taking care of animals. It's what I enjoy doing, it's not a job to me," said the Georgetown Veterinarian Hospital doctor.

Hassan also loves football. And even though her favorite team is the New York Jets, she's knows who Michael Vick is.

"Excellent player, excellent player," she said. "He's a great athlete, how he could get out of the pocket and move around."

Vick could shake tacklers, making them look like they were moving in slow motion, but his recent legal trouble is one defender he can't avoid.

Back in late April, investigators searched a house that Vick built in Surry County, Virginia. His cousin lived there. They found 66 dogs that showed signs of dog fighting. Vick first stated he knew nothing about the operation. Then three of Vick's co-defendants pleaded guilty, agreeing to testify against him.

"I knew he was guilty all the way, especially when his friends turned against him and the more that just came out about it," said Hassan.

Dr. Hassan says she wishes Michael Vick had pleaded guilty from the beginning, while dog lover Rene Cole says she's happy Michael Vick has taken responsibility for his actions.

"I look at him as a better person because he did own up to it and is willing to serve the term, and it makes me believe that he wants to turn his life around and do some good with it," said Cole.

What is unknown right now is how Vick's guilty plea will affect his playing career. That's if he has one when it's all said and done.

Vick will enter his plea next Monday.

Reported by:  David Hall, dhall@wtoc.com

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