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Published on Jan 25, 2011
When I first heard the news of the Michael Vick dogs, and Michael Vick getting busted for dogfighting, I was in California and I was watching the news, and we started hearing more and more about it, and then, you know, our directors are saying, “Hey, let’s get a team together to go assess some of these dogs and see if we can help out with the situation.
So in January of 2008, we rescued 22 of the most difficult dogs from the Michael Vick dogfighting case, and I knew right then and there that these dogs would make a difference.
The guys that we brought back from the Michael Vick dogfighting bust have been saving so many lives because, for one, they stand for something. They’re the first ones that have come out of a fighting bust, and have been able to go into placement with an organization, other foster groups, and other great people. Just by them doing that, that is saving lives, that is setting a new trend that is showing people that these guys at least need a chance, give them a chance. If they get that second chance, odds are they are going to make everybody else in their lives happier.
To learn about how the Vicktory dogs are helped and rehabilitated at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, see the video “Rescued dogs from Michael Vick dogfighting ring make progress with socialization”: https://youtu.be/LZDWRoNPDdg
I learned so much – so much -- in the last three years just from these guys. Just a dog like Curly here. He lives in my office with me. He’s a small guy for his breed, but at the same time, he’s full of himself; he’s quite the character, and he presents his own challenges. All of these things, we learned patience from the dogs; we learned empathy for the dogs, and we have learned how to be better people by working with animals.
When we first got Little Red, you could tell that she had been through a very, very hard life, especially with other dogs. Her entire muzzle was covered in scars. She had very, very low confidence with humans and other animals, and it took us a little while to get her to the point where she actually liked the companionship of other dogs. Now she lives with another dog. She has had a couple of boyfriends over the past three years, but it is just cool to see how much progress she’s made and where she is today. It is just an amazing journey that she has made.
I have to say one of my favorite guys that I am so glad got a home was Handsome Dan. Oh man, I love that dog. When I first met Handsome, he literally had a callous on his forehead from putting his head in the wall to ignore humans. He was extremely shy with humans, pretty good with other dogs, but at the same time had no affiliation with any human contact whatsoever before coming here. He’s now in a home where he is just flourishing; he’s doing so well.
So when Handsome Dan went to his home, he was placed in very close proximity to his buddy Cherry, and it’s really cool that to this day the families still get together; they do playdates with the two of them. I mean Cherry rescued a kitty, which I thought was great. We have great updates from their people.
To be able to help dogs like Curly, Little Red, Georgia, and all the other Vick dogs that came to Best Friends and to really help educate and fight that good fight for all the dogs out there, and hopefully very soon bring about a time where there are no more homeless pets.
Best Friends Animal Society is a national animal welfare organization focused on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. An authority and leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country.