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Shelley Nicole Vaughn, 46, of Clearwater Beach, was arrested last Monday and now faces charges of aggravated animal cruelty against a dog, criminal mischief, and domestic battery according to Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.
According to Adeson, the couple got into an argument before Vaughn threw his 3-year-old pug, Bucky, off the balcony. Vaughn also tossed Adeson’s keys and cellphone from the balcony and struck him, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The dog was soon found dead below on the pavement.
Katherine Neal, an attorney representing Adeson, filed a civil complaint against Vaughn on Monday in the Pinellas County Clerk of Court office, seeking $30,000 in damages. Vaughn was released after posting $20,000 bail, according to online booking records.
While this action is heinous in nature, when thinking of animal cruelty, it’s rare to think of anyone other than Michael Vick, who served 18 months (three times the amount most people receive) in federal prison after admitting in 2007 that he participated in illegal dog fighting, the killing of dogs, and operating a business enterprise that involved illegal gambling. He also agreed to pay for the care of the surviving dogs.
A Change.org petition named “NFL: Stop Michael Vick from being Pro Bowl Captain,” which got more than 435,000 signatures, said this in its bio: “Mike Vick does not deserve the honor of being Pro Bowl Captain. He is a convicted felon and a known animal abuser, is this who we want our children to look up to?”
PETA launched countless protests and character-smearing attacks on Vick. CNBC pushed for Nike to drop him, and after losing millions of NFL dollars while incarcerated, once released he was still protested and viewed as public enemy No. 1.
Mike Vick was the face of dogfighting, and in a complete 180-degree turn became the face of animal rights after months and months of giving shirt-tucked-in impassioned speeches about his unique experience and upbringing that influenced his dogfighting. Yet, for some reason many dog lovers haven’t and never will forgive Vick.
While Michael Vick’s admitted crimes were cruel and he inarguably provided an infrastructure for dogfighting and murder to occur, Vaughn’s ability to have her Karen-moment and play a get-out-of-jail card highlights the massive imbalance of justice in America.
During Women’s History Month, much like Black History Month, conversations are had around the subject of equality as society strives to become our collective best self. If this White woman were equal to that Black man, perhaps Vaughn would be in prison right now, too.