Chewed-up Michael Vick cards rack up big bucks on eBay

Monday, August 27, 2007

Two days after putting her chewed up Michael Vick trading cards back on eBay, Cape Girardeau artist Rochelle Steffen has garnered international attention, sparked a trend of chewed up merchandise sales and earned $5,900 for "very good" things, according to the auction details.

"I was hoping for 100 bucks to be honest with you," Steffen said. "This is just out of control."

The lot of 22 Michael Vick cards were chewed on primarily by Steffen's Weimaraner Monte. Roxie, her Great Dane puppy helped as well. They were removed from the site Friday by eBay because they violated the company's rules for charity auctions, which require the person to choose from a list of site-approved charities to donate to.

Steffen corrected the problems and reposted the cards Friday, changing the wording to say, "I will do 'very good' things with the winning bid ... hint hint ..."

The bidding built with $5, $50 and $100 increases. The largest jump came Saturday afternoon with a $1,000 increase, bringing the total from $2,000 to $3,000.

The auction has two days left and at 9 p.m. Sunday was at $5,900.

"There's been 45,000 people that have looked at it and well over 2,000 watchers," Steffen said.

One of her friends started a petition site against taking the second auction down, and more than 200 people from Argentina, the United States, Germany and other places have signed it.

"I am absolutely in love with this worldwide response," Steffen said. She has been an advocate against animal abuse for years, she said.

People have sent her messages saying that, though they couldn't afford to bid, they were donating money or supplies to their local shelters. Steffen said she still has to figure out the logistics of the donation, but intends on giving the money to the buyer's pick or Safe Harbor and the Humane Society in Cape Girardeau.

She has had people ask her to design shirts for the cause and even created a MySpace account for Monte, the 6-year-old Weimaraner who has become the "poster boy for animal abuse," she said.

Several other auctions are now posted to eBay with drooled-on Michael Vick paraphernalia.

335-6611, extension 246

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