He is also a well-known dog lover, and, as The Washington Post noted, spoke out forcefully about animal cruelty in the wake of the appaling case of scumbag Michael Vick:
In biblical terms, Byrd -- wearing a navy-blue tie spotted with dog images -- attacked animal cruelty in ways that only he can.
"It is a brutal, sadistic event motivated by barbarism of the worst sort and cruelty of the worst, worst, worst, sadistic kind," Byrd said in a 24-minute address on the matter. "One is left wondering: Who are the real animals? Who are the real animals, who are the real animals -- the creatures inside the ring or the creatures outside the ring?"
Byrd attacked the nature of Vick's alleged crime in soaring rhetoric usually reserved for war speeches or Supreme Court confirmation battles: "The training of these poor creatures -- weigh those words -- the training of these poor creatures -- weigh them -- the training of these poor creatures to turn themselves into fighting machines is simply barbaric. Barbaric! Barbaric! Barbaric! Let that word resound from hill to hill and from mountain to mountain, from valley to valley across this broad land. Barbaric, barbaric!"
"The Book of Proverbs in the Holy Bible, the King James Bible, tells us a righteous man regardeth the life of his beast but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel," Byrd said. "The immortal Dante tells us the divine justice reserves special places in Hell for certain categories of sinners. Madam president, I am confident -- madam president, I am confident that the hottest places in Hell are reserved for the souls of sick and brutal people who hold God's creatures in such brutal and cruel contempt! I yield the floor."