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NFL player Michael Vick’s abused pit bulls have been granted a new lease on life — as beloved family pets.
Of the 70 or so abused animals seized from Vick’s horrific Bad Newz Kennels in Virginia in 2007, when the quarterback was exposed as an active participant in a dog-fighting ring, about 50 were pit bulls, and their fate was anything but certain.
At first they were treated as a group, assigned numbers while they awaited their fates in depressing government shelters with little social contact. Most people expected them to be put down, as dogs trained to fight so often are. But thanks to the extraordinary efforts of a team of special agents, lawmakers and animal advocates, the dogs have — like the man arrested for their mistreatment — been given a second chance at life.

Amado Garcia with Jonny Justice, a rescue from Vick’s dog-fighting ring.




They are no longer just the “Vick dogs” — they are Leo and Uba and Jonny Justice and Lucas. Iggy and Frodo and Sweet Pea.
The dogs’ extraordinary paths — saved first from Vick’s fight ring, then euthanasia, and placed with new owners or animal sanctuaries across the US — are documented in the new book “The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption” by Sports Illustrated senior editor Jim Gorant. The book, along with other media coverage, has helped spread the word about how far the dogs have come.
“All of these dogs came out of [Vick’s] yard as very different individuals,” says Kathleen Pierce, who took in Jhumpa Jones after she had come to a rescue group in upstate New York. “Jhumpa was shy and pretty overwhelmed by the world around her. She was one of the dogs they call ‘pancake dogs.’ ” Jhumpa was called that because a lifetime of constant fear caused her to flatten out on the ground when she got scared — which was often. Her adjustment to life in a house with a family, four other dogs, cats and the unpredictable world outside was slow but steady: “Her nickname, which is on a tag on her collar, is The Little Engine That Could,” says Pierce.
Fellow rescue Hector, on the other hand, seemed unfazed by his ordeal at Bad Newz. Despite the sad trail of scars down the pit bull’s chest, Roo Yori, who already had a rescued pit and three other dogs at home, saw potential.
“He was outgoing,” says Yori, who flew from his then-home in Minnesota to California to meet Hector where he was being fostered. “He knew who he was.”
When Yori took Hector home, the biggest challenge was simply teaching the dog some manners.
“I didn’t need to teach him not to be aggressive at all,” says Yori, who now lives in Dutchess County and works at a local animal rescue organization. “But he needed to learn that the arm of the chair is not a chew toy.”
Hector not only quickly settled into life as a pet, he passed his AKC Canine Good Citizen test — an exam for general obedience skills administered by the American Kennel Club — and became a certified therapy dog who visits hospitals, nursing homes and schools with Yori and his wife. He is popular with his neighbors, and at home his best friend is Yori’s 18-pound rat terrier mix named Scooby. Both are bossed around by a 12-pound toy terrier named Mindy Lou.
It’s hard for the Yoris to imagine Hector’s dark past. “He was in a daunting situation with no choices,” says Yori. “And it’s amazing that he could walk out of that and be like, ‘All right, what’s next?’ He’s moving forward with his life. I try to match that attitude.”
Pierce has also learned life lessons from Jhumpa. “The thing that surprised me most about her was her resilience,” she says. “To see her think, ‘I can’t walk over that threshold,’ but the next day she would do it. Every day she pushes a little harder.”
And she doesn’t get upset when thinking about her adopted pup’s troubled past, either: “Not at all,” she says. “One of the coolest things about dogs is that they live in the moment. Jhumpa taught me that.”
Jhumpa is now training for her own therapy-dog certification, and tentatively exploring more of her new world. “For us, it’s not about where she came from — it’s now all about where we’re going,” says Pierce. “She’s my hero.”
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    pretty
    10/05/2010 7:19 AM
    Vick served his time and has the right to play football. But if I were an Eagles fan I would never ever support the team again.

















Read more: Fighting the past - NYPOST.com
 

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I read an article about his dogs recently too. I'm so happy for those sweet dogs, but I still despise Vick! THe thought of that guy makes me SICK!
 

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The whole Michael Vick situation makes me so angry, I could scream. I went to the same school he did (Virginia Tech) so pretty much everyone I know is a huge Vick fan. I have gotten in countless HEATED arguments about the cruelty of what he did...it baffles me how ignorant people are. It's sad to think many people out there don't think what he did was a big deal...almost everyone I know thinks his punishment was extreme and unjust. I get the "oh it was part of his culture" and "they're just dogs" comments a lot. I usually start shaking in frustration, I get THAT angry.

On a more positive note, I am so happy to hear that some of "his" dogs got a second chance at life and now know what love and happiness is.
 

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Yeah me too,some people will still defend him,believe it or not. There's a show on Discovery called the Micheal Vick project,they chronicle Vicks dogs. Also another show,Dog Farm or Dog Ranch rehabs dogs,they've rehabed some of Vicks dogs.
He should have been banned from Football and forced to find a job like real criminals face.
Just goes to show football..sports will mean more to people than the suffering of animals...
 

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We can all agree on him. If it makes you feel any better, he injured his rib cage during last Sunday's game. What goes around comes around, I always say.

These precious ones have a second lease on life and are thriving on love and attention they should have had all along. To me, this is such a happy ending.
xoxoxoxooxox
 

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We can all agree on him. If it makes you feel any better, he injured his rib cage during last Sunday's game. What goes around comes around, I always say.

These precious ones have a second lease on life and are thriving on love and attention they should have had all along. To me, this is such a happy ending.
xoxoxoxooxox

Kerry, thanks so much for sharing that these babies are coming around and well cared for.

You have no idea how sick this makes hubby and I. We are right in Eagles territory and route against them everytime and yup, saw him go down and got injured.

My nehpew went to the came, and said Aunt Chris will never forgive me if I buy a Vick jersey (he is 13), bless his heart, he bought a different players jersey.:wub:

We will never forget what was done to those poor dogs, nothing can erase it.

Thanks again for sharing.
 

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Iam not to sure who micheal vicks is , a sad story with a happy ending for his dogs ,what goes around comes around comes to mind .
 

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I've been reading abotu this too and watching shows on Animal Planet showing how sweet pits can actually be and I've been thinking if I didn't have Aolani I woud sure like to rescue one. I don't think they are naturally aggressive and I found out firsthand - or at least maybe I was just having a lucky day. This Saturday on our way back from our walk we were approached by this huge pitbull mix (or at least that is what it looked like to me) that came running towards us. Aolani went crazy, but it was so weird, although I was scared out of my life - the first thing I said, ahem yelled, when I saw it running towards us was "Oh my gosh No!" and it stopped. Somehow, I don't know what came over me, but I was able to remain calm and slowly but steady walked the rest of the way home with this huge dog following behind us. He kept on looking at barking mad Aolani as if to say "what's your deal little guy?" and each time I felt it was too close to me I would turn around and say "No! Stop!" and it would stop and give me space to walk. I really wish I had carried more treats with me as I was only left with one and it was an Aolani bite size treat - smaller than that big dog's tooth I bet, so it wouldn't have distracted him at all. I'm starting to consider walking around with a tenderloin in case this happens again LOL. Oh boy, by the time I got home I felt my heart pounding again. I waited until my BF got home so that we can go look for him together (I was still too scared to go find him myself) but by that time he was gone. He is a good dog and I guess just wanted to play and I hope that he found his way home.
 

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We can all agree on him. If it makes you feel any better, he injured his rib cage during last Sunday's game. What goes around comes around, I always say.

These precious ones have a second lease on life and are thriving on love and attention they should have had all along. To me, this is such a happy ending.
xoxoxoxooxox
I resent that he is still on any team. But, as long as people will pay big bucks to see him he will be there.

But, I am happy for the dogs having a second chance in life.

As for Vick ... Instead of an injured rib cage ... I'd love to see a Lorena Bobbit done on him. As you can see, I don't like him.

 

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I resent that he is still on any team. But, as long as people will pay big bucks to see him he will be there.

But, I am happy for the dogs having a second chance in life.

As for Vick ... Instead of an injured rib cage ... I'd love to see a Lorena Bobbit done on him. As you can see, I don't like him.
I'm with you, Marie. I can't stand that SOB. In loving memory of all those precious Pits, I still wear my "Piss On Vick" T-Shirt. I'd like just one minute alone with Vick the Prick.

Good post Kerry. Great news for the little ones. Brings tears to my eyes.
 

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Take heart ladies...given enough time he'll blow his "second chance" and we can all rejoice when he's in front of another judge because he's a screw up!

The pups are a whole different thing - glad most have been spared the life they were forced into, and they too have been given a "second chance" - but they won't blow theirs. :)
 
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