Dog fighting has been around for more than 200 years, but nothing has given it the headlines it received back in 2007 when former professional football player Michael Vick was arrested for owning and funding an inhumane dog-fighting ring in Virginia.
PETA and the Humane Society gave their professional opinions stating that the dogs involved in Vick’s dog-fighting ring would be beyond rehabilitation and recommended that they be euthanized to end the animal’s pain and suffering finally. However, Bad Rap, a nonprofit organization that supports the welfare of animals, especially pit bulls, graciously offered to evaluate all of the animals. Bad Rap is professionally qualified to determine the dogs that could be saved. This second-chance attitude made a huge difference in so many lives of these once tortured animals as nearly all have been saved and many rehabilitated to live a normal, happy and healthy life!
The amazing part of this story is that these dogs were given a second chance, and a few are providing valuable services to their communities as therapy dogs. One of the dogs serves self-conscious children, who need practice reading. This particular Vick dog is an active participant in the Paws for Tales program, which brings in dogs for children to read to as they gain more confidence with their reading skills. Another dog from Vick’s dog fighting ring spends time visiting cancer patients and at-risk teenagers. In fact, six of the 47 dogs that made the rehabilitation list have received a Canine Good Citizen certificate from the American Kennel Club. The certificate is awarded to dogs that pass a series of 10 tests that measure the dog’s sociability. The rest of the animals were split into three categories and were either placed with an animal welfare shelter, foster care or adopted!
Veterinarian and dog training collar expert, Susan Wright DMV has provided this article in an ongoing effort to educate and inform people on the proper care and training habits of their dog.