Darnell Dockett's been a darling of sports bloggers during the last few football-starved weeks.
Not only did he live-tweet getting pulled over by the police, but he recently went out and purchased a baby alligator named "NINO."
This went over spectacularly with those of us desperate for interesting NFL stories. But it didn't go over too well with the wonderful folks at animal-rights group PETA.
And they wrote Dockett a letter.
Dear Mr. Dockett,PETA does stuff like this pretty much any time a famous person gets near an animal; they're always looking for free publicity, and they usually pull off publicity stunts that are whacked out enough to warrant writing about. (Like the time they tried to get Phish to change their name to "Sea Kittens" in order to avoid harming actual fish, sigh.)
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was alerted this week to media reports indicating that you recently purchased a baby American alligator from the Florida Everglades and that you intend to keep him as a captive pet. Please know that Florida heavily regulates the keeping of alligators and that it's unlawful to keep an alligator as a pet anywhere in the state of Arizona without a special permit. These prohibitive laws and regulations exist because, in addition to posing a threat to public safety, wild animals suffer greatly in captivity.
Alligators in the wild roam freely with members of their own kind, travel long distances, and thrive in the rivers and lakes that they call home. When confined, wild animals will exhibit neurotic and self-destructive behaviors because of extreme boredom, stress, and frustration at being unable to engage in natural behaviors. Keeping an alligator as a pet is simply unfair to the animal. It also poses grave dangers to you and others. By their very nature, these animals are unpredictable and can inflict serious harm. Reptiles are also common carriers of salmonella. You would be held liable for any damage, injuries, or illnesses caused by the alligator.
Respectfully, we ask that you carefully consider this information. Please know that we stand ready to help find a suitable habitat for this animal. May we please hear that you will do the right thing?
And they might have a point here, because alligators are wild animals and don't deserve to be all cooped up in a fancy house or be fed really nice food -- Dockett already said no snakes, only "Ruth Chris and Bob Evans pancakes!" -- or cared for by a personal "alligator butler" that Docket will probably hire.
No one deserves that terrible fate.
Gracias to Doug Farrar of Shutdown Corner for forwarding the letter.