I haven't been keeping up "officially" with the Michael Vick case beyond updates I see on the news/internet or flipping by ESPN. I do not know all the details. My opinion is torn; I've talked to some guys around here and they are angry about the case for a number of reasons:
1) They believe what's happening to Vick is sparked, in no small part, by racism.
2) They see the situation as proof that "white people care more about their damn dogs than they do other people." Relatedly, I also hear, "They don't care about us when our asses are getting banged up playing football and boxing in front of them."
3) They can't believe Vick is on the verge of going to jail for something they see as a non-serious offense.
4) They believe the men who led the police to Vick are snitches who should've protected the one who "made it out."
On the other hand, as a rural southerner, I have seen the effects of dogfighting--the dogs who are scarred, with ribs showing, who are simultaneously deathly afraid and menacing. I hate it, hate it, hate it. We were raised to love dogs, to take in strays, to treat them with respect. After seeing one man's dogs in my hometown, I was so sickened, I contemplated calling the police. In the end, I didn't--not because I was particularly worried about being labeled a snitch, but because I was afraid he'd go to jail, lose his job, and that would plummet his wife and son into a bad situation.
When he and some other people I know were finally caught, they were at a dogfight at which they were tossing animals that were killed or badly injured into a pit and moving on to the next fight. Vivian (formerly know as best friend Louisiana), was particularly sickened by the fact that the dog owners were having a barbecue at the same time. I remember her saying something to the effect of, "Girl, they were grilling meat while dogs were being thrown around and dying right next to them." The guys that I knew received a slap on the wrist.
So yeah, dogfighting is one of those things for which I have little toleration. While it may be part of some rural (not necessarily black as I've heard some people say) cultures, I don't think it's defensible. No one should get away with such cruel, horrific behavior. The adjectives I hear bandied about--abhorrent, reprehensible, disgusting are all, in my opinion, valid.
But the last I heard, Vick might face state charges as well as federal. I don't know about that.
And I am more than a little disturbed that people can at once dismiss racism while watching white women (as I've seen on news coverage) hold up signs that say "Neuter Michael Vick." (You should read Kym Platt here on this.) Apparently, there are whole t-shirt/bumper sticker/mug enterprises devoted to this slogan--a fact that I find abhorrent, reprehensible, and disgusting as well.