The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption
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The bestselling story of survival and our powerful bond with man's best friend, in the aftermath of the nation's most notorious animal cruelty case. Featuring a new Afterword with updates on the Vick dogs.
Animal lovers and sports fans were shocked when the story broke about NFL player Michael Vick's brutal dog-fighting operation. But what became of the fifty-one dogs who survived? As acclaimed writer Jim Gorant reveals, their story is the truly newsworthy aspect of this case. The Lost Dogs traces the effort to bring Vick to justice and turns the spotlight on these infamous pit bulls, which were saved from euthanasia by an outpouring of public appeals coupled with a court order that Vick pay nearly a million dollars in "restitution" to the dogs.
As an ASPCA-led team evaluated each one, they found a few hardened fighters, but most were lovable, friendly creatures desperate for compassion. In The Lost Dogs, we meet these amazing animals, many of whom now live in loving homes and work in therapy programs. The Lost Dogs exposes the terrible practice of dog fighting and shows us that even after being subjected to heartbreaking abuse, above all, a dog still wants to be man's best friend.
worked at odd jobs to make money and had run into some trouble, getting convicted of possession of stolen property in 1997 and pleading guilty to misdemeanor possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in 1999. In 2000 he was convicted of violating drug control laws and contempt of court, and in 2001 he was again convicted of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. But whatever struggles he went through, they were eased by the pleasure of watching his best buddy become a national
Their necks are thick and hold up rectangular heads. Some are bigger, as big as seventy pounds, while another group is more compact, reaching maybe twenty-five pounds. These smaller ones are actually Staffordshire bull terriers, a close relative of the American pit bull terrier. The brown dog has a soft face, with searching eyes and an expressive brow that furls into deep ridges and undulating rolls when she’s scared or nervous or trying to figure out whether she needs to be either. Her
instantly and permanently identifiable. As far as the actual evaluations, the team had hammered out the series of temperament tests they would perform on the dogs to determine which ones had the potential to become family pets. It was not always a comfortable discussion. The ASPCA team members took more of an academic-scientific approach that was based on years of study and supplemented by field work. They proposed a bank of ten tests. First was a simple observation of the dog’s overall
They’d heard the horror stories and yet they’d also heard much more positive things from the evaluation team. Not wanting to take any chances, they secured the pens throughout the RV with bungee cords and put cardboard barriers in between so the dogs would not be able to see one another. The trip’s start provided hope. The dogs had been so happy to get out of the shelters that they offered little resistance when it came to loading onto the RV. Some of them didn’t quite know how to do it, but
and Donna Reynolds, who were attempting to broker the arrangement. Eventually, Our Pack’s application was approved and the intensity of those negotiations picked up. Huss, Reynolds, and Racer hoped she could take more than one dog, but McClay didn’t have any foster homes available other than her own. She could take only one dog, but she couldn’t decide which. She received videos of six or seven dogs. She asked endless questions. Somehow, though, she kept coming back to that big jumping bean.