Category Archives: best friends animal sanctuary

Top 3 Dog daddies

This Sunday is Father’s Day. A good dad is one who truly loves his kids, furry ones, too. And he spends time with them, taking care of them, training and having fun. We are inspired by these three dog dads.

 

Here are our top 3 picks for awesome dog daddies.

 

  1. Roo Yori

Running to the rescue, Andrew Yori made man’s best friend proud! ‪#‎K9Ninja‬ ‪#‎AmericanNinjaWarrior‬  Cici and I were very excited to see Roo on the show. Dog dad to Wallace, world champion frisbee dog and Hector, former Vick dog (both dogs are now over the Rainbow Bridge), Angus, Mindy and founder of a pit bull rescue foundation named after Wallace, Roo just appeared on the TV show American Ninja Warrior and qualified for the next round. He encourages people to adopt dogs from shelters. Wallace was an unwanted shelter dog once upon a time and Roo and Clara took a chance on him and it worked out great.

 

https://www.facebook.com/NBCNinjaWarrior/?fref=nf

 

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2.  Paul: Cherry Garcia’s dog dad

Cherry, another former Vick dog, was quite traumatized when he was adopted by his parents. And he has absolutely blossomed in their loving care.

 

What has surprised you most about him?

One of the most surprising things to us is we really thought Cherry would get to a certain point in his rehabilitation and settle in and not change much after that. What we have found is Cherry continuously grows and overcomes the next obstacle in his way. It will be a lifelong journey for him, and he has days where he regresses, but eventually he moves forward. It has been an incredible journey watching him go from a dog who slept with his eyes open to a dog that we can call “normal.” We know that isn’t the most exciting term, but that’s all he wants to be, a normal dog.

The other thing we have found really surprising about Cherry is that stress helps him learn and move forward. We all saw Cherry on “DogTown” and how shutdown he was. We didn’t have a plan of how to handle his fame, but we weren’t going to put him through public events if they didn’t help him. The first event we took him to was a small, kids-only event. He was stressed to the max, and we stayed a couple of hours b

When we got home that night, Cherry took to his normal routine with much more confidence than we had ever seen. He was so full of himself. We thought, “Hmm … maybe this is a tool we can use to help him progress.” We were right!”

 

HECherrySnuggling

 

http://bestfriends.org/stories-blog-videos/latest-news/cherry-vicktory-dog

 

3. Jon Stewart

Long time pit bull advocate, he even adopted a three-legged dog named Champ. When he did The Daily Show, the office was dog friendly. When he retired from the show, he and his wife Tracey bought a 13 acre farm in New Jersey. They provide homes for formally abused farm animals.

 

http://moomah.com/themagazine/virtual-adoption

 

Happy Father’s Day !!!!

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Filed under adoption, Adventure, Best Friends, best friends animal sanctuary, big dogs welcome, dog friendly, dog movies/TV, dogs, farm animals, pit bull, Uncategorized

Nine years: the good, bad and ugly

Nine years ago today 51 terrified, traumatized, and unsocialized dogs, who had been forced to fight or were used as bait dogs, were rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels in Surrey Virginia. Normally, these dogs would be held as evidence and eventually humanely euthanized. But in this groundbreaking case, it was decided, due to the request of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, BADRAP, and other loud animal loving voices and the agreement of the judge, that these dogs would be individually evaluated to see if any of them could be saved and rehabilitated.

From Jacqueline Bedsaul Johnson (she and Kevin Johnson adopted Ray)

“Each dog was to be tested for dog aggression as well as human aggression. It was hoped that two or three of the 49 surviving dogs (two died while in care) would be deemed salvageable. Imagine everyone’s surprise when all but one of the dogs showed at least some degree of ability to be rehabilitated.

“One dog, who had been bred and fought repeatedly, was just too emotionally and physically damaged to try and save. She was humanely euthanized. The remaining 48 dogs were dispersed to 8 different rescue groups for adoption, rehabilitation or sanctuary. 22 of the most damaged dogs were sent to a sanctuary to begin working towards recovery and eventual adoption.

Forty of these dogs have been adopted and are now living in loving homes with kids cats, and other dogs. Dogs like Cherry Garcia, who just had one leg amputated, Handsome Dan, Little Red, Mel, Layla, Curly, Jhumpa Jones, Jonny, Oscar, Uba, Iggy, Audie, Zippy, Stella and Ginger. I was lucky to have met Red, Stella and Ginger and their guardians a few years ago at the Monterey SPCA.

https://celiasue.com/2009/08/22/survivor-dogs/

Some of the dogs have become therapy dogs, agility champions and emotional support animals. Others have gone to the Rainbow Bridge including Red, Lucas, Leo, Jasmine, Georgia, Hector (and his brother Wallace, who was not a Victory dog but an unwanted shelter dog who became a world champion disc dog), Ray and others.

“These dogs were victims, not criminals. And because of their bravery and loving nature they have taught us all so much. If dogs like these – dogs who were trained, fought and abused – can become loving family members, how can anyone say that Pit Bull-type dogs are inherently dangerous? It just doesn’t make sense.

“Dogs that are seized are now routinely assessed for rehabilitation. There is no longer a belief that these dogs are somehow responsible for the life that was forced on them. That they are damaged goods, better off dead.”

“In the coming days, many of the adoptive families of the dogs rescued from Bad Newz Kennels will be traveling to Virginia to what is now known as Good Newz Rehab Center. In the field where once our dogs were chained, trees will be planted to memorialize each of the dogs. Each tree will have a plaque listing the dog’s name and their family’s name.

“This is not a media event, but a private ceremony and pilgrimage for the people who have loved these incredible dogs. Vicktory Dog Oscar‘s mom Rachel and artist/writer Levity Tomkinson of the Re51lient Project have designed a t-shirt to commemorate the event, and to help raise money for the families traveling to honor their dogs.

http://barkpost.com/good/michael-vick-most-infamous-dogfighting-anniversary/

A movie about the dogs called The Champions” premiered in 2015 and has been screened at festivals and events around the country. It’s also available for purchase online. Directed by Darcy Dennett, the film follows six dogs from unlikely survival to adoption. The film has won awards, including People’s Choice for Best Documentary at the Denver Film Festival. Pit bulls are banned in Denver.

https://celiasue.com/2015/10/15/victory-dogs-film-the-champions/

A word about The Re51lient Project: 51 Paintings of the Dogs Rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels. The Re51lient Project is an art advocacy project that combines Levity’s signature style pop-art painting and positive, emotionally driven writing.

She aims to promote a highly positive image for pit bull and pit bull type dogs, dogs rescued from fighting rings and to show others that if these dogs can triumph, love, forgive, continue forward and just simply be happy, then we as humans have the ability to wake up every morning and do the same. These dogs shows us the potential that we all have and provide a palpable inspiration and hope that we can change our lives.

Levity is the proud momma to a pit mix, Rinlee, (who incidentally is the reason that she began painting dogs in 2010). She has followed the stories of the dogs rescued from Bad Newz Kennels. Rinlee is the reason that she began painting “Dog Pawps” which twas the artistic foundation to create The Re51lient Project.

“Dogs are as close as we can get to perfection here on Earth,” says Levity. “They are these little hearts and beings and spirits that every day, they do their best. That’s all they know how to do. They love infallibly  I feel like with these dogs in particular, all of the feelings and traits are magnified even more because they have been exposed to more than any living being ever should, but look at them. They are beautiful, they are happy, they’re forgiving, they love. They’re re51lient. That have changed the world and have the ability to cause more change, simply by being them. They have certainly changed my life.

“These dogs will be remembered with love, with reverence, appreciation. They’ll be remembered with tears, both happy and sad. They will be remembered in every dog rescued from a fighting ring that has been given, is being given or will be given a chance to be evaluated and seen as an individual. They will be remembered by not only their lives, but by the lives of the other dogs that they saved.

“These dogs deserved a chance at life. People finally had the chance to see that dogs rescued from fighting rings have every right, just as any other dog, to be seen as individuals. Because of these dogs, other dogs rescued from fighting rings, both large and small, have been given the chance to be seen simply as dogs and therefore, given a chance at the lives they always should have had.

“These dogs absolutely have set a precedent in how dogs from fighting rings are evaluated. They truly changed the landscape and I am so grateful to the people who so deeply believed and worked towards helping others see that these dogs must be treated as individuals,”  Levity concluded.

 

The dogs in their own woofs… words …

Ginger 

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“Today marks nine years since I was rescued from Bad Newz Kennels. Today I woke up snuggled under a pile of covers with a sweet kiss on my nose from mom…life is good.

 

Uba

For my dog (Uba), on this day he went from being a puppy waiting to be a victim of unimaginable cruelty to a puppy actually being mentally and emotionally tortured. This was the day that his emotional well being was sacrificed. The Vick dogs changed the conversation and so, so many dogs are alive today because of them, so I don’t begrudge the world his emotional challenges. Nine years ago today was not the first day my dog felt love. It was probably the first day he was truly terrified.”

 

BADRAP

“The time period between their seizure (April 2007) and release to rescue (October 2007) did damage to many of the dogs from the case. The now-timid Ginger scampered back and forth like a scared feral cat in the back of her kennel, Frodo pressed himself to the ground when the shelter clatter finally got to him (he’s still noise sensitive), and the energetic Uba paced in neurotic figure eights to relieve his tedium. Our stomachs were in knots during the months that this set of dogs was in lock down. While we waited anxiously for the courts to allow us to evaluate, and then, okay their release, we knew the damage done by their impossible conditions could be irreparable in some or all of the dogs.

“…We’ve learned so much from the Vick dogs, and their lessons have changed us forever. One of their biggest lessons though tends to be forgotten in the excitement of their adoption success. We’d love it if every time readers hear of a new batch of victims rounded up from a cruelty case, you would consider the Vick dogs’ long and difficult post-seizure experience and ask, “What’s being done to keep this latest set of dogs comfortable, vetted and sane while we wait for help to arrive?” The answer to that question could make all the difference in whether the cruelty they suffer ends for good the moment they’re seized by authorities — not several months later, after they’re finally released to rescue.

“NOTE: With all due respect to the incredible people who came together to seize the “Vick dogs” in April 2007, we will be celebrating the five year anniversary ‘happy style’ in October — on the date that the federal courts finally waved them out of the shelters and onto freedom. What a HAPPY day that was!”

http://badrap-blog.blogspot.com/2012/04/vick-dogs-five-years-post-seizure-has.html

 

Little Red enjoying the sunshine

 

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Handsome Dan

“Because so many people worked to save us, went to bat for us, took a chance on us, and gave us the tools to learn how to live in the human world, the climate has now changed for dogs like me rescued from the horrific world of dogfighting. They are no longer victims, now they can be survivors. Until dogfighting is no more, we will continue to fight for the survivors.

“I owe so much to my special friends Nicole Rattay (the first person I learned to trust on the other side), Rebecca Huss (my court appointed guardian), Donna Reynolds and Tim Racer (for your hard work and granting me my name), John Garcia (for so much, including advocating for my move to Best Friends and all the one-on-one time), Betsy Kidder (my first mama), Kristi Littrell (for finding my family), Crissa and Damien and all of my other caregivers, Cherry Garcia (my first playmate), Little Red (my first roommate and girlfriend), Ann Allums (for bringing me home) and countless others who helped me find my way. Thank you from the bottom of my big pittie heart, from me and my mama!”

 

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Handsome Before when he was known as Hanover 22

 

 

After with his dear friend Cherry Garcia and mama Heather who operates an animal rescue organization named after Handsome

 

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Cherry Garcia now

 

Cherry-leg-7

Cherry’s brother Novi when he saw CHERRY, first thing he did was count his legs ‘1, 2, 3; Cherry has 3 legs now and he is awesome!’

To watch Cherry’s recovery and all of his adventures that will follow, you can ‘like’ his Facebook page.

http://barkpost.com/cherry-vicktory-dog-amputation-champion/

 

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Filed under adoption, animal rescue, animal stars, badrap, best friends animal sanctuary, pit bull, Uncategorized, Vicktory dogs

The problem with Time Magazine

The problem with Time Magazine and Charlotte Alter

http://time.com/2891180/kfc-and-the-pit-bull-attack-of-a-little-girl/

l. if you know ANYTHING about dogs and specifically about the history of American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and the other dog BREEDS lumped together and called “pit bulls,” you know that these dogs were bred to be SUPER/EXTRA people friendly so that the handlers would be able to work with them. ALL people aggression was bred OUT of these dogs.  So the first paragraph in this article begins with a lie AKA a MYTH not a FACT.  Apparently, the writer of this article had NO TIME to do any REAL Research nor to interview REAL DOG experts such as James Crosby and Victoria Stilwell.

Screen shot 2014-06-21 at 5.27.53 AM

Pit Bulls are not an aggressive breed of dog.

*According to the American Temperament Testing Association, APBTs have an 85.3% passing rate, compared to a passing rate of 81.9% for all breeds on average.

http://canineaggression.blogspot.com/

This is FANTASTIC, point by point, she tells it like it IS…

http://www.swaylove.org/the-many-problems-with-charlotte-alters-time-article-about-pit-bulls

2. Then this article goes on to quote DISCREDITED time and time and time again pit bull haters and fantasy dwellers such as Colleen Lynn, Merritt Clifton and PETA.  Yes, scratch the surface of these three together and you get nonsensical stats based upon media overreporting of so-called pit bull attacks (if it looks like a dog, call it a pit bull and there you have a headline and ridiculous stats to use to ban pit bulls), fear/paranoia and a call to KILL all the dogs (disguised as more logical sounding breed discrimination aka breed specific euthanization)… of course, they leave OUT that in places like Denver, CO where BSL has been implemented, dog bites have GONE UP because the REAL PROBLEM has NOT been dealt with. Breed is NEVER the problem. Ignorance about Dogs IS the problem.

Oh by the way, PETA kills healthy adoptable dogs and cats and has for years. And their founder, Ingrid Newkirk, was killing animals at a shelter, a job she relished. PETA thinks killing companion animals is a gift to them.

http://www.petakillsanimals.com/proof

http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?category_name=the-truth-about-peta

3. oh yes, and speaking about the Michael Vick dogs. 51 dogs who are doing JUST FINE. Eight became therapy dogs, and many are living in homes with children, cats, other dogs, in FAMILIES and shown NO signs of aggression. Not ONE.  These dogs were tortured, traumatized, terrified of humans, unsocialized, kept chained up 24/7 and made to fight tor their LIVES. Yet, once taken away from Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels and given tons of TLC and taught how to be dogs at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, BADRAP, the Monterey SPCA and other places, they’ve thrived.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/10/michael-vick-dogs-vicktory_n_5119150.html

http://parade.condenast.com/48473/jimgorant/15-vicks-dogs/

4. Here is the REAL SCOOP on what causes DOG BITES and ATTACKS according to REAL DOG experts.

http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/opinion-everyone-in-the-community-is-concerned-about-agressive-dogs-and-stopping-dog-bites

Instead of blaming the dogs, how about holding PEOPLE accountable. People are the ones responsible for the abuse, torture, neglect and abandonment of dogs. Humans are the violent ones. Toxic macho masculinity culture teaches young men that they must be TOUGH and FIGHT, MAIM and KILL animals and other creatures. All of the serial killers have a history of hurting and killing animals then move on to human beings.

A few stats:

Every year, more than 2,000 children in the U.S. are killed by their parents or guardians either through abuse or neglect. A child is more than 800 times more likely to be killed by their caretaker than by a Pit Bull.

From 2001 through 2012, 6,410 women were murdered in the United States by an intimate partner using a gun—more than the total number of U.S. troops killed in action during the entirety of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.

…Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than are women in other high income countries… http://americanprogress.org/issues/guns-crime/report/2014/06/18/91998/women-under-the-gun/

pit-bull-facts-myths

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Filed under animal abuse, badrap, best friends animal sanctuary, breed specific laws, breeds, children and dogs, dog training, dogs, end dog racism, end dogfighting, legislation against dogs, lost dogs book, Michael Vick dogs, nanny dogs, pet care, pit bull, politics, Uncategorized

Do NOT kill these dogs!

Please share, lend your voice and tell Santa Ana supervisors in Orange County, California not to destroy ANY dog fighting dogs. They are having a meeting in a few days, January 28, and want to just kill all the dogs that have been seized from dog fighting rings. Write them off as dangerous, vicious and be done with the dogs. THIS IS NOT OK.

All of the former Michael Vick dogs are living role models and testimony to the idea that ALL of these dogs deserve a Second Chance at LIFE. It is not the dogs fault that they have been forced to fight other dogs. Penalize the dog fighters not the dogs.

Eight of the former MV dogs are therapy dogs. Many are living in happy, loving homes with kids, other dogs and cats, too thanks to BadRap, Best Friends, Monterey SPCA and all the others that saved their lives and gave them a second chance.
Dog fighting is a CRIME. Punish the dog fighters not their victims…

 from Best Friends:

http://blogs.bestfriends.org/index.php/2014/01/21/a-matter-of-fairness-and-justice/

from BadRap: 

 

ACTION ALERT:

Dear Friends of Jonny Justice, Audie, Hector, Handsome Dan & Company. Remember when you helped us send hundreds of copies of ‘The Lost Dogs’ to the Obamas in 2011 to help educate our President about the plight of pit bulls? You can bet you helped seed the anti-BSL statement that came out of the White House during Obama’s second term, and we LOVE you for that. Creative, positive, political action WORKS.

Now we need you again. Do you have eight dollars to spare? The Orange County (CA) Board of Supervisors would like to destroy dogs that come from cruelty (dog fighting) cases in their county. We don’t know why. It could be that they aren’t aware that all dogs are individuals and survivors of terrible backgrounds defy the odds every single day. Please consider sending one or more of the board members a softcover copy of ‘Saving Audie’ – as a way to demonstrate what may be lost if they move forward with their no-mercy policy. If you order from Amazon today or tomorrow, they will get rec’v it in time for their meeting & vote on Jan 28. If you live in Orange County – please speak up. The dogs need you now! Thank you!

http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Audie-Puppy-Second-Chance/dp/080273457X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Hall of Administration

333 W. Santa Ana Blvd.

Santa Ana, CA 92701

Chairman Shawn Nelson (Fourth District)

Supervisor Janet Nguyen (First District)

Supervisor John Moorlach (Second District)

Supervisor Todd Spitzer (Third District)

Supervisor Pat Bates (Fifth District)

http://www.buzzfeed.com/meganm15/the-incredible-story-of-wallace-and-hector-pit-bull-brothers

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Filed under All you need is love, animal abuse, animal rescue, animal stars, badrap, best friends animal sanctuary, dog fights, dog rescue, dogs, Dogs Deserve Better, end dog racism, end dogfighting, keep pets safe, Michael Vick dogs, pit bull, politics

Sweet Doggie Reunion

boy, the dogs are having a Grand Reunion in Heaven… Sweet Georgia, Wallace, Frankie, Viva, are just a few of the doggies who have passed on recently…

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I Imagine Georgia greeted by Lucas, Wallace, Leo, Red, and a long line of humans and canines who knew her…

She was a Vicktory dog, Handsome Dan’s mama and he got to visit with her one more time before she left this earth.

Now she is :

Running Free

Evolving

Playing

12.2.13_Georgia-VicktoryDog-7

Goodbyes from those who knew her well:

http://blogs.bestfriends.org/index.php/2013/12/02/georgia-until-we-meet-again/

 

 

Dearest Georgia,

I am forever grateful to the one who brought Dan to me. I love you old girl. You have endured so much, more than I can imagine. Through rape stands, the fighting pit and having your teeth barbarically removed, you never tried to harm the humans who tortured you. You have made more of an impact than any other dog and saved thousands of victims with your strength and stoic beauty. You are a hero, a martyr, a mother and best friend. I am humbled in your presence.

Please know that I will always take care of your son, that he means the world to me. There is an entire team of people working to bring other victims to safety in his name. Your legacy will live on through every victim of dog fighting who finds their happy ending.

GG, your body is hurting and it is time to leave this world. You will never understand the impact you have made. If I could trade some of the pain your body is feeling right now I would in a heartbeat. Please go softly, wrapped in love and warmth. You are home, you are loved, you are my hero.

With all my heart,

Dan’s Second Mama

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Filed under Adventure, beach parties for dogs, Best Friends, best friends animal sanctuary, dogs, Georgia, Imagine, lost dogs book, love, Michael Vick dogs, pit bull

Interviews with the Vick dogs

You will definitely need tissues to listen to these wonderful interviews with the guardians of the former Vick dogs, Hector, Cherry Garcia and Little Red… more to come soon.

Chris and Cherry Garcia

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pit-bulletin-legal-news/2013/06/12/vicktory-dog-cherry-garcia–from-sanctuary-to-home

Roo Yori and Wallace and Hector

http://radio.pblnn.com/shows/interviews/310-roo-yori-and-vicktory-dog-hector-june-25-2013

http://radio.pblnn.com/shows/interviews/311-roo-yori-discusses-wallace-and-holistic-cancer-treatment-june-25-2013

Susan and Little Red

http://radio.pblnn.com/shows/interviews/316-susan-weidel-and-vicktory-dog-little-red

 

Little’s First Christmas
I don’t get the lights and I don’t get the tree.
I look at the mess and it’s frightening to me.
I wonder what happened to my very safe place.
Now it feels like a nightmare from which I must race.
But my Mom gives me treats and makes it alright.
I forget about all of the those bright scary lights.
I’m curled in my bed with my blanket and toys and my Mom sits beside me and pets my soft head.
The tree seems OK and I guess I love lights.
‘Cause my Mom keeps me safe through the long winter nights.
I’m just a small pit bull who had a bad start
but now I have love in a home with a heart.
So Merry Christmas to those who have helped me survive.
My greatest joy is my home and in being alive.

http://blog.timesunion.com/dogs/vick-dog-holidays-little-reds-first-christmas-in-a-home/1835/

My interview with Stacy and Ginger

https://celiasue.com/2009/08/22/survivor-dogs/

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Filed under adoption, badrap, best friends animal sanctuary, dogs, K9 approved, keep pets safe, lost dogs book, Michael Vick dogs, pet care, Uncategorized

RIP sweet Lucas

An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that who ever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: “UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?”

‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: “I am because we are”

***

The Vicktory dogs family, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Badrap, Our Pack exemplify this kind of attitude towards the dogs and people… imagine the world we live in today especially in America being this way… a dream… a hope… a wish…this is how life is… when we ALL thrive…life is at it should be…

Sweet Lucas was one of the dogs who was court ordered to stay at Best Friends for life and so he did not experience having a family home of his own… but from all reports, he was MUCH LOVED by all the caregivers he had…visitors to Best Friends, all who met and knew him… all the people who’s lives he touched…

From Best Friends:

We’re deeply saddened to announce that our dear Lucas crossed over the Rainbow Bridge earlier this evening, ending his suffering from a host of health complications. We knew those of you who love him most would want to know. Please keep Lucas and those closest to him in your thoughts. We’ll have more details to share later.

more from Best Friends

 

http://blogs.bestfriends.org/

 

Lucas wore the Michael Vick dog fighting scars of his past on his face, but his heart and soul exuded nothing but happiness, excitement, love, and forgiveness up to the end. -jessie

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In Memory of Lucas 

“Garcia doesn’t seem to mind the interruption, and we’re ushered through the door. The first dog we see is a large, dirty blond Pit Bull with a huge head and knowing, resigned eyes. His face, torso, and legs bear the unmistakable scars of fierce battle. Clearly, this dog hasn’t been in just a scrape or two, he’s had to fight for his life. Yet, as we step closer, his whole body wiggles and wags.

“This is Lucas,” says Garcia. “He’s a grand champion. He’s probably been fought more than 25 times.”

Lucas nuzzles his head into the crook of my elbow. He darts over to greet my husband, all kisses and play bows. It’s hard to imagine a dog being any friendlier, and we fall all over him in return. He’s irresistible.”

“To Judah Battista, Lucas is Exhibit A in the argument that all dogs are good dogs if they’re treated well.”

“Of all the pit bulls in Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels, Lucas was the baddest of them all — Mike Tyson, Hulk Hogan and a little Ray Lewis rolled into one, the grand champion, the most vicious of the vicious Vick dogs.

“When his dog-fighting operation was busted, Vick was sent to prison and so, in a sense, was Lucas. The court shipped him and 21 of his fighting mates from Virginia to this sprawling, 3,800-acre animal sanctuary outside Kanab, with the stipulation that Lucas spend the rest of his days here. It was your basic life sentence.

“That was in January 2008.

“Nearly four years later, or 28 by his reckoning, Lucas is running the place.

“Open the door to the executive offices, and there he is, a smile on his face, a lick on his lips, and eager anticipation of either a pet or a treat written all over his eyes.

“Only the fading scars on his neck and face suggest that he was once the toughest, scariest and most-abused dog in Virginia.

“…we knew that meanness wasn’t the summary of their nature,” he continues. “Using stereotypes doesn’t help anyone. They can all be rehabilitated. It just takes time and affection and attention.

“What we needed to prove was that man could be dog’s best friend as much as dogs could be man’s best friend.”

“After that speech, Judah gave Lucas a treat.

“And Lucas? He jumped in Judah’s lap and gobbled it down.”

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700201165/Michael-Vicks-meanest-dog-doing-great-in-Kanab.html?pg=all

“When some visitors come
into the office and sit down,
he welcomes them by
jumping onto their laps and
lavishing kisses on them,”
Brenda says. “That tells
me that he’s not the menacing,
dangerous dog that far too
many people feel his breed
might be. He only wants to
be loved. We all are better
people for having had the
experience of having him in our lives.”

“For Dr. Patti, his easy nature is also what has
touched her: “The thing that stands out most
to me about Lucas is his overflowing love of
people. He is so kind and gentle despite what
humans in the past have put him through. It
really teaches a lesson in forgiveness and
understanding that we humans should strive to equal.”

“Michelle agrees: “We can learn a lot from him.
He has been a very happy dog despite his
background and despite all of the ups and
downs he has had medically.”

“…The gentle side of Lucas, despite his past, continues
to inspire those who know and love him. “His joy
for life and a can-do attitude are something we
can all strive for,” says John. “Lucas really
does symbolize the American dog Despite a
very difficult past, he is affectionate and forgiving.
We are all pulling for him to get better.”

http://lifewithsatchmo.blogspot.com/2011/04/vicktory-dog-lucas-update.html

May ALL dogs experience the love, understanding, a home of their own, lots of food and treats and belly rubs that Lucas did… may he run free over the Rainbow Bridge… RIP …

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