Vick Dogs: Case History & Media Coverage


Little History Makers

“Although dogs don’t tell stories, they have stories, and the stories help us understand.” – Susan McCarthy for the BARk Magazine. Below. Three ‘vintage’ videos explaining the evaluation process of the Vick dogs, their transport home and what we saw when they first arrived in CA.

tmExcerpt chapter from ‘The Lost Dogs
Courtesy of Time Magazine and book author Jim Gorant.

In April 2007, police raided a dogfighting operation in Smithville, Va., operated by then-NFL quarterback Michael Vick. Fifty-one pit bulls were rescued–but many others had been killed by Vick and his associates. Vick served 21 months in prison and then resumed his football career, reformed if never fully redeemed. The greater redemption, however, may have been that of the dozens of blameless dogs themselves.’

More at LINK

Documents Submitted to the Courts Regarding the Dogs’ Status

USDA Investigation Report   ///   Report from USDOG (Mike Gil)   ///   Guardian’s Report

wapoNo 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 to save them, and by doing so, they were able to tell the world who they were. Most of the dogs streamlined into normal homes and became cherished family members. Even those individuals who could not find homes have shown us their exquisite people-soft nature thanks to the work of Best Friends Animal Society. 

We’re so very honored 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 humans.

BELOW. Select news links, 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.

From 2019: Jonny Justice & Ginger at Home. Inside Edition

From 2019, from Washington Post lists the 48 survivors

The AKC Family Magazine. A Vick dog Agility Star

AKC 12 Years Later.  ‘Vick Dogs Continue Their Remarkable Success’

From 2017 People Magazine. ‘Vick Dog Fighting Survivors: Where Are They Now?’

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

Parade Magazine ran this dog-update article in 2010.

Below: And a really fun video of the photographer’s attempts to get a group photo during a Year 5 Anniversary party at BADRAP’s Rescue Barn.

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. Saving Audie Lesson Plans for teachers.

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


The CBS Morning Show reports on ‘The Lost Dogs’

Jonny Justice on the Rachael Ray Show

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

Print and Online Coverage:

peopleFirst 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

People Magazine (right). Remaining online article in link.

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

Video Re-Cap of the Evaluations, Transport Home and First Weeks in CA

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