Vick Dogs: Case History & Media Coverage

Little History Makers

Jonny dog and kids"Although dogs don't tell stories, they have stories, and the stories help us understand." - Susan McCarthy for the BARk Magazine. 

Susan met the dogs who survived NFL player Michael Vick's dog fighting operation and wrote a piece for BARk shortly after the gag order was lifted. She reminds us how beneficial it is to tell - and retell - important stories. Storytelling shapes who we are as a culture, and more specifically, who we are as a culture of animal stewards. 

No group of dogs has made an impact quite like 'the Vick dogs' have. All odds were against them, but the right combination of people came together from many different backgrounds to save them, and by doing so, they were able to tell the world who they were. Hardly the cold blooded monsters they were once made out to be, most of the dogs streamlined into normal homes and have become cherished family members. Even those individuals who had been too conditioned to fighting to find new homes have shown us their exquisite people-soft nature thanks to the work of Best Friends Animal Society. 

We are so very proud to have been given the opportunity to participate in the evaluation, disposition, rescue and placement of these marvelous animals. As they changed the landscape for other dogs, they certainly helped change us into better human beings. 

Listed below are a variety of news links, government documents, print articles and photo essays about the dogs then and now. We offer these in hopes that the dogs' stories will be retold again and again ... All the better to help us shape a new understanding and reality for pit bulls and other beings plagued by abuse and misunderstanding. Above right: Former Vick dog Jonny Justice helping kids to read. Credit: Laura Moss for the Unexpected Pit Bull Calendar.

Updates on the dogs post-adoption

Ten years later, from People Magazine.

Ten years later. Updates on our Hall of Fame page.

From October 2012: The Five Year Reunion! A lovely news piece from ABC News.

Below: And a really fun video of the photographer's attempts to get a group photo.

The Montreal Gazette ran this well-researched piece on the October 2012 reunion.

Parade Magazine ran this dog-update article in 2010.

From the Adopters

The Vick Dog Blog is no longer updated but the archived posts, written by the dogs' foster homes and adopters, give us a glimpse into what life was like in those beginning days and weeks. Fun stuff!

Lost DogsBooks:

Saving Audie - A children's book. Why it's important to kids. Interview from: Best Friends Animal Society

The Lost Dogs - The book that first brought the dogs to America's living rooms, and the 10 year follow up book: The Found Dogs.

Photographer Melissa McDaniel's chronicled the Vick dogs for her now out-of-print book from The Photo Book Project .This special PDF from the book covers Jonny, Uba, Hector and Teddles: The Vick Dogs


On PBS: 'The Dogs Are Alright' 

The CBS Morning Show reports on 'The Lost Dogs'

Jonny Justice on the Rachael Ray Show

Tim Racer on CNN when we first introduced the dogs to the world.

Photo Essays of the Dogs

Washington Post photo essay by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Carol Guzy

The world's very first peek of the ten dogs that came home to CA - AP PHOTO GALLERY

Documents Submitted to the Courts Regarding the Dogs' Status

USDA Investigation Report   ///   Evaluation Report   ///   Guardian's Report

Print and Online Coverage:

First published story of the dogs. This AP story was picked up by hundreds of papers and websites around the world.

The now famous story from Sports Illustrated

Jonny Justice on the cover of Parade Magazine

Jonny Justice in the US News and World Report

Letter to BR from Hector's therapy dog (TDI) evaluator: Letter 

SFgate. Vick's unpaid dues

East Bay Monthly covers Uba at Home

A lovely article from Bark Magazine

Local News: and The Los Angeles Times Vick Dog follow up

News Brief of the rescue, Contra Costa Times


NPR: A 3 minute story from NPR