This past weekend there was an article in Parade Magazine about a new book coming out about the Michael Vick dogs - and it gave a selection about where the Vick Dogs are now - and it made me wonder - where are ALL the Vick dogs? There were originally 52 dogs that were seized, and then ultimately 47 that were placed, and we hear about the Bad Rap dogs and the Best Friends dogs - but we don't hear about all the dogs - and it got me to wondering about all the dogs - what happened to all of them.
So I spent a bit of time researching, and below is what I came out with - and it turns out that the majority of them HAVE been adopted! Isn't that fabulous? Who would have thought that in 2007 - what the country believed were fighting dogs - would have made house pets?
I have to say that this topic is one of my bug-aboo's - because even people in the pit bull community don't believe that what DID happen, should have happened.
People like Diane Jessup - who for some reason is revered inside the pit bull community - believed that the dogs that went to Best Friends would have been better off dead than "warehoused" for the rest of their lives.
As it turned out - they are NOT being warehoused - and a lot of them have actually been rehabilitated and adopted out - and the ones that have not made it out into homes yet aren't living in cages - they're going to work everyday with staff at Best Friends - being around people, getting used to sights and sounds of everyday life - doing whatever THEY can handle - being treated as individuals - which is the biggest thing that this whole process has taught the humane community and pit bull community - that pit bulls are just like every other dog - they are individuals and have to be treated that way. There is no "breed type" - so there should be no "breed prejudice".
In an article in "Bark Magazine" - Randall Lockwood, who works for the ASPCA says he's changed his mind about killing dogs that come from fight busts - "I’ve changed my own position,” I helped draft the HSUS policy [when I worked there] of
not placing animals rescued from known dog-fighting operations. I’ve changed my tune.” - that to me shows a huge shift.
There were various ways I found out about the dogs - there's a section on the Best Friends website about the "Victory Dogs", "Bad Rap" has a website, and even some of the Vick dogs have a blog - I of course have been following the story since it first broke back in 2007, so I've been collecting files since then and a couple of them were really helpful - one of which was the Summary Report from their Original Guardian - Rebecca J. Huss - where I got that file, only Dog knows. It laid out exactly which rescue got how many dogs and from there I went and filled in the blanks.
Only 2 dogs have died since they were divvied out - Bonita - who died duriing dental surgery - and a dog named "Seven" - who was originally given to the Georgia SPCA and then was given to the Atlanta based "All or Nothing Pit Bull Rescue" - she was run over by a car after escaping from a fenced in yard. And that's all I've got say about that - I do have more to say about that, but that's all I'm going to say.
So below is a listing of the 47 dogs and what I found out about each - if you watch the National Geographic Channel and watched the Dogtown show's episode about the Vick dogs - you'll recognize a lot of the faces there - and late breaking news - the dog Cherry who would walk flattened to the ground and seemed to have some blood disease on that episode - just late in August 2010 - is going to her adoptive home!
I'd like to thank Stacy for letting me know that unfortunately - Sweet Jasmine - who was the cover dog for the Sports Illustrated story about the Michael Vick dogs - died in 2009 after being hit by a car, and Red, who was one of the dogs adopted out by the SPCA of Monterey - died a few months ago from cancer.
At this point that I'm writing this - over 25 of the dogs have been adopted out. And I'd say they all have pretty fabulous lives. In 2008 I wrote a post called "Could Michael Vick be the best thing that's ever happend to pit bulls?"
In 2009 we learned he wasn't - because 145 pit bulls died in Wilkesboro - but hopefully as each fighting ring is busted, they don't have to reinvent the wheel, and more and more dogs are saved instead of killed - because someone will speak up and realize that the dogs should be treated as dogs and not machines.
I think these 47 animals have proven that case succinctly.
Note - you can click on the photo to bring up a larger size version, and then click back to come back to this post -
A video from Best Friends from August 5, 2010 updating the Victory dogs -