If this doesn’t make you cry with joy, I don’t know what will… bring tissues with you…
Six of the 22 dogs taken in by Best Friends Animal Society … Mel, Cherry Garcia, Little Red, Handsome Dan, Oscar, and Halle had a ball at their 2013 five year reunion. About 150 to 200 people came to the event’s meet and greet to celebrate with the families and dogs. All the dogs were very well behaved and enjoyed being with one another.
Cherry Garcia and his dad on CNN
Years ago at Bad Newz Kennels, Michael Vick and his cohorts terrorized, traumatized and abused these dogs, made them fight or used them as bait and left them unsocialized and afraid on chains. Their loving caretakers at Best Friends and adopted families have helped them recover and heal with lots of TLC and the difference between how the criminals and humans treated them shows and speaks volumes. The dogs were NEVER the problem. The dogs were NEVER mean nor vicious nor aggressive. The dogs were NEVER violent.
Group shot from left to right: : Mel, Halle, Cherry, Handsome Dan and Little
Red (Oscar is in the back!). Photo by Molly Wald
“47 dogs, according to the federal grand master’s count, were taken in the 2007 raid, from which the 22 toughest cases were brought to the Best Friends sanctuary. Best Friends proposed that the dogs could be rehabilitated or, at the least, deserved care and feeding for life… this was the first time the courts ever allowed dogs confiscated from a fight ring to not only be individually evaluated and rehabilitated, but also to be eligible for adoption. Until then, the protocol for fighting dogs seized was destruction, it was considered that you couldn’t take the fight out of the dog once it was bred or instilled.”
“Five years ago … these same six dogs were brought together in a very different circumstance,” Hunter said, “they were brought together by criminals who had very bad intentions for them – the same dogs, but a different set of people. Today … these same exact six dogs are brought here together by six loving families who want the best for them, and the circumstances are very very different. The dogs are exactly the same and as you look around you can see the results.”
Little gets held like a baby by McKenzie Garcia who helped to rescue her and bring her to safety at Best Friends.
It was also announced that Little’s mom Susan is adopting one of the Handsome Dan foster dogs Jewels, who got along famously with Little at the reunion. Jewels and Little are now sisters!
During the presentation at the meet and greet, the adopters shared about how magical their experiences with the dogs has been helping the dogs heal on a day to day basis… how the dogs have learned how to live life as part of a loving family.
At the same time, their former owner was going to do book signings at Barnes and Noble but they were canceled due to protests by animal lovers.
Love, light and hope prevail.
“Their photos could be from any pet-loving family’s album. They show dogs doing what dogs do: helping toddlers learn to stand, flopping out on the couch next to the cat, enjoying time with the family in front of a Christmas tree, running on the beach, stretching out in the grass on a sunny day, and sleeping in their person’s bed under the covers. To look at their lives now, it’s unimaginable that five years ago these dogs were the topic of national news and debate. Many thought they were dangerous fighting pit bulls that should be put to death for everyone’s safety. Others looked at them and saw hope. Luckily for the dogs and the many lives they have touched, hope won.”