Happy ending for most of Vick’s dogs
Michael Vick spent 21 months in federal prison, lost a $100 million contract and became a national pariah for his role in a vicious interstate dogfighting ring.
Vick paid his debt to society, he’d no doubt gets a second chance by starting yet again this week.
But what of Michael Vick’s dogs?
It turns out there’s a redemption story there as well. A writer for Sports Illustrated details this story in the just-released book “The Lost Dogs”.
Of the 51 dogs authorities recovered on Vick’s property in rural Virginia, 22 of which went to Best Friends animal sanctuary in Utah.
It’s a book that’s equal parts horrifying and hopeful. And while every person and dog involved would’ve been better served if Bad Newz Kennels never existed, there are plenty of positives coming out of a story that at first seemed to contain only misery.
Forty-seven of the 51 dogs survived. While not all have fully rehabbed, a good number of them live with families; four even work in therapy roles.
If it wasn’t for the high-profile nature of the Vick case and the quarterback’s ability to pay for their postrescue care (Vick reportedly spent a court-mandated $1 million on it), each of the dogs would’ve been destroyed. Dogs which came from fighting busts had previously been considered so far gone that trying to retrain them would take a disproportionate amount of already limited resources.
Ninety percent of the time, they would’ve been put down. Even PETA and the Humane Society recommended it.
The public outcry over the Vick dogs helped change that. An attempt was made to retrain them, and the success rate was so high that the Humane Society changed its official policy.