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The dogs are (still) alright

As we enjoy this holiday weekend, we thought it would be nice to bring you some good news. It’s the remarkable tale of what happened to the dogs at the center of the Michael Vick dog-fighting case. Not only is this story one of the most popular we’ve done on Need to Know, but this case has become a watershed moment for animal welfare in the U.S.

Most of the time, dogs that are seized from fighting rings are considered far too dangerous to be kept alive and they are euthanized. But in the case of the Michael Vick dogs, tens of thousands of people spoke out and asked that the dogs be given a second chance.

Inspired by Jim Gorant’s book “The Lost Dogs,” Need to Know’s William Brangham tells the story, first reported back in January.

As Jim Gorant notes in his book, the Michael Vick case was certainly unique — having a rich and famous celebrity at the center of the case meant there was enough attention – and enough money – to try something different with these dogs. In almost every other dog-fighting bust in the U.S., those resources just don’t exist, so it’s unclear whether the example set in this case will continue.

There have been some notable changes:

- “The Vick investigation had not only shed light on the disturbing game of dog fighting,” writes Jim Gorant in The Lost Dogs, “it had inspired action and begun to change the public view of pit bulls from perpetrators of violence to victims of it.” In several recent dog fighting busts, the successful approach used in the Vick case was applied to these new cases, and many dogs were spared as a result.

- The Humane Society of the U.S. has changed its position on how captured fighting dogs should be handled. The organization now supports individual evaluations of fighting dogs, and saving those that can be saved. (Peta, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, still believes that trained fighting dogs are too risky to try and rehabilitate.)

- Once he was released from prison, Michael Vick teamed up with The Humane Society to help them in its ongoing national campaign to educate kids around the country about the cruelty of dog fighting. Vick has repeatedly expressed remorse for his role in these crimes, and he was allowed to rejoin the National Football League in 2009 by Commissioner Roger Godell.  In the 2010 season, Vick was the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, and led them on a thrilling season and into the playoffs.  If the 2011 NFL season isn’t derailed because of labor negotiations, it’s expected that Vick will be offered a multi-million dollar contract.  Just this week, Nike announced that they have re-signed Vick for an endorsement deal, after having dropped him in 2007 when his crimes came to light.

- The Virginia property where Vick’s dog fighting ring operated is getting a second chance as well. A group known as “Dogs Deserve Better” has purchased Vick’s former property and plans on turning it into a sanctuary for abused dogs.

- The story about one of the Vick dogs featured in our program has been turned into a children’s book called “Saving Audie.”

- The young pit-bull named Jonny Justice and his owner Cris Cohen are no longer a part of the reading program for kids in Northern California. When one local library wouldn’t allow pit-bull breeds into its facility – even one who’s passed as many behavioral and temperament tests as Jonny has – Cris Cohen decided to leave the reading program in protest.

For more information on dog fighting in the U.S., and what’s being done to combat it, check out these organizations:

Bay Area Dog lovers responsible about pit bulls

ASPCA: Ten ways to help end dog fighting

Best Friends

Humane Society: Dog fighting

Pit Bull Rescue Central

(Originally aired January 21, 2011)


  • Jennifer Watson

    This is a great story, treated sensitively. It offers hope for this breed that is so maligned, and is being legislated out of existence across North America – but for the efforts of people like Donna and Tim at Bad Rap, and the good folks at Best Friends.

    But I need to correct one small point: PETA is not an animal welfare organization, it’s an animal rights organization and its stated position / recommended policy across the board is to destroy fighting dogs. So introducing their comment as “even” PETA [thought the dogs should be destroyed] is a misrepresentation of their stated policy. Of course PETA thought that, and they continue to think that. Further, Jim Gorant’s comment [which you've paraphrased - so I don't know whether this is his sentiment or yours] that: “if you’re a dog and even PETA says you ought to be killed, it’s not looking good for you.” That may be a fact, but only because people give PETA credit where it is not due, and enjoy a reputation that is belied by their true beliefs and activities.

    Bad Rap and Best Friends need to be given the full credit for having the vision and courage to do the right thing by these animals — for the 47 that were saved, and for the breed as a whole.

  • Danielle Piccirillo

    Wonderful story. Made me smile, broke my heart, brought a tear to my eye, and made my heart pound when I had to hear (again) what those dogs had to go through. I hope a lot of people share this story and tune in and educate themselves on this breed that is SO misjudged and so misunderstood. SHAME on ANYONE that thinks dog-fighting is cool.

  • Hisgracealone Johnson835

    I rescued two bit bulls that are totally awesome! They just want a warm place to sleep which is usually between my husband and I in bed…Love them and would love to rescue more.

  • Hisgracealone Johnson835

    I rescued two bit bulls that are totally awesome! They just want a warm place to sleep which is usually between my husband and I in bed…Love them and would love to rescue more.

  • rdro

    Jennifer, thank you for your very candid and correct assessment of PETA. God Bless those courageous people at Bad Rap and Best Friends for stepping up to the plate. Too bad Michael Vick remains in such favor with his fans. I believe in second chances but this is rediculous. Once again this sick Nation will worship and glorify his athletic skills and place him on a pedistal. Is he truely repentant and rehabilitated? I’ll wait and see but one thing is for sure he was shown far more compassion and forgiveness than he ever offered his dogs and becuase of his high profile and all the attention this wonderful breed will forever be suspect to the vicious and untrustworthy stigma that HSUS and PETA continues to propegate against them. Hopefully stories like this one will begin to help dispel that falsehood.

  • Thank You

    Thank you Need to Know for airing this segment. I’m ecstatic to see an animal story receive this much time. Makes me think that all of us working in animal protection are getting somewhere. I would second the comments above regarding PETA. Many are not aware that PETA’s positions are often inconsistent with those of the rest of the animal protection community.

  • Anna

    Thank you for this story!

  • Judy

    Though it WAS a good Show. Wish you would di more on the dogs and MICHAEL VICK.

  • Bobo Amerigo

    Two weeks ago, I picked up the skinniest pit bull I’d ever seen. I know nothing about his background. He was found on a street with no houses nearby. As he gets his health back, and I walk him around my neighborhood, he sometimes acts just like one of the frightened dogs in this segment. He just doesn’t know what to make of ordinary sites: a woman getting into a car, a man walking down the street, a little girl in her front yard. He stops walking, his hindquarters shake, he sits down and stares at the odd thing, and refuses to move. For long moments, I don’t think he can hear my voice. Some passes, he notices me, and then he’s ready to walk again. He’s a very sweet dog. This story gave me hope that he’ll be okay some day.

  • Forpetssake2

    Thanks for the follow-up story. As I posted on the BADRAP blog, this is the REAL 2nd chance story out of the Vick crime.

  • Sl

    God Bless, Bobo!!! I’m so glad that dog has you to care for it!

  • Janis

    we have rescued many pit bull crosses that need homes

  • Phil Ter

    I cried yesterday as I heard the story about a 10 year old boy in Arizona City who had been attacked by three pit bull, Rottweiler mixes when he got off the school bus as his kindergartener brother watched. It was reported that half his face was torn off by one dog. He was rescued by a neighbor who used a baseball bat to beat the dogs off. It took over a minute to drive the dogs away. The rescurer stated that the boy would have been killed in another couple minutes of attack, the boy told the man “I don’t want to die” as they waited for an ambulance.
    The dogs dug out of the yard of a person who is reportedly an animal control employee. Perhaps that person had them for “rehabilitation”.
    I don’t doubt that individual pit bulls can be “sweet” but just as a 9mm pistol is more lethal than a .22 caliber, these fighting dogs have the ability to cause much greater harm than a smaller dog. The Vick dogs could have been put down for a hundred dollars and they would not have suffered a bit. The funds spent on rehabilitation or sequestration could have been used to care for the innumerable abandoned pets in shelters or even for medical care for dog attack victims like the Arizona City boy who will require extensive reconstructive surgery and who will face a lifetime of emotional pain.
    I love my little shepard mix which I got from the Maricopa County Animal Shelter several years ago. But I don’t forget that she is not a human.

  • Jennifer

    So happy to see this story getting out through PBS. Very exciting news, indeed. Also really wonderful to see footage of some of the dogs and BAD RAP folks. Congratulations to all. You have done so much to help pit bulls in general. Thank you.

  • Dan

    Micheal Vick should be taken out in a field and SHOT then leave him fir the buzzards

  • Flypiper

    Vick has apologized only for the trouble….not for hurting dogs. He has never contributed for their rehab or bills. The HSUS stepped in only b/c it was high publicity, and he has done very little, in fact, with them. When he has given a talk, it was publicized so much that it seemed he gave ten talks.
    I question the soul of a man who can brutally beat, then hold animals under water until they are dead. He served no time for this. He was convicted of other charges. Plea bargaining.
    Pits are wonderful animals who are wrongly used and accused. Turn your eyes on the people who do this, not at the animals!

  • Cpilot

    (Flypiper) has said everything I would have said. I agree with you completely… I have nothing I can add.

  • sofl

    Perhaps you should research the environment these dogs were kept in before condemning them. Just because they were in the care of an ‘animal control employee’ does not mean they were in a good environment.
    In almost all cases it comes back to the care, treatment and socialization the animals are exposed to.
    The ignorance about Pit Bulls is astounding. People will not even take a moment to research the breed and educate themselves, especially before spouting off like you.
    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. Since you probably won’t bother to research the quote either, it’s Ghandi.

  • Sxm

    Vick does not have the right to continue to do what he loves and make millions doing it. Horrible how we excuse our athletes, they should be treated as all other citizens would be. Personally I cannot look at the man or watch him play.

  • CRSpilot

    Yes, Thank you Jennifer. Correct and candid. We spend money and time rehabilitating “aggressive” dogs but spend next to nothing rehabilitating people. People are bitten an attacked by dogs of ALL breeds everyday. Only “pit bull” or “aggressive” dog attacks ever make headlines. As a dog owner and a rescue pilot I see it often. People will part like the biblical sea when they see a dog that is “perceived” as a pit bull.

    I had my 7 month-old Ridgeback puppy at a local dog park for just moments before a lady on the other side of the small park scooped up her small dog. Making a point to walk by me as she was leaving, she said aloud that people should not bring pit bulls in here. My Ridgeback puppy had not even left my side, never mind even gone near her. People are so “pre-programmed” that they will make an assessment based on appearance alone.

    Any dog can be aggressive, in fact I commonly see people with extremely aggressive tiny dogs – because the dog is small and they can easily be scooped up and restrained, they casually laugh it off and say my dog is just “protective”.

    The point of my comment, and rambling above, is this: A fair amount of our population has no idea how to properly train a dog, nor are they willing to commit the time and effort to learn and follow through. It’s blatantly obvious when you visit any local dog park. In these cases what seems to keep things in check is that these people have the strength to overpower their dog in an effort “appear” to maintain control. In cases where the dog is actually strong enough that the person cannot maintain this facade of control… the dog is labeled “Aggressive”.

    Dogs can be trained to be aggressive, and they can be re-taught.
    People are as easily “trained” (by media, rumor, etc.) however few are actually re-habilitated.
    HSUS and PeTA are no better, as proven in the story above.

    When I see stories about these courageous and caring people Like Bad Rap and Best Friends, I have faith that there are some people in this world who finally understand. They are the heros here. As for Mr Vick and others like him, Once you can believe that an animal (or a person, for that matter) has no value… no simple remorseful statement can prove to me that your perception has been “fixed”. You have far deeper problems that need to be addressed. Jeffery Dahmer’s career started with hurting animals.

  • Sdeets

    Michael Vick will always be a pig at heart…I cannot be fooled. May he go to Hell, nicely or, drowned, electrocuted, or simply slammed on the ground several times by a big man. Don’t care. Just please make it really scarey for him! Thank you God.

  • Jennifer Watson

    First, this is a tragic attack and in no way would I suggest that those particular dogs — who have shown human aggression, and also pack aggression, should be rehabilitated.

    But … any dog, when mishandled, has the potential to cause harm. Any large dog that has been abused into being violent has the potential to cause even more harm. Some — a very very small minority of dogs are human aggressive. Dog attacks on humans happen – but they are no more likely from a pit bull — in fact they are less likely from a pit bull– than from any other breed of dog.

    None of these facts logically extend to labelling an entire breed – pit bull, rottweiler, shepherd or other – as “violent” or “vicious” or “genetically predisposed to attack.” When that happens, and when it is perpetuated in the media and the general public consciousness, as evidenced here, it leads to ongoing ignorance and to breed-specific legislation that does absolutely nothing to reduce the frequency of dog attacks on humans.

    Be very careful of labelling dogs’ behaviour – which is individual – based on their breed. It’s like any other kind of stereotyping. It’s the individual differences that matter.

    Your bias against pit bulls stems from what you, and millions of others, have been led to believe by the media, and by other sources that don’t get their facts straight before spouting off about them. You say these dogs were pit-bull/Rottweiler mixes. Did you post this on a Rottweiler message board? Furthermore, if these dogs were mixes — it might surprise you to know that it is pretty nearly impossible to determine breed among mixes. But that doesn’t matter, if it’s an attack on a human, the media will highlight the fact that its a pit bull.

    Finally, you say that “The Vick dogs could have been put down for a hundred dollars and they would not have suffered a bit. ” That’s precisely why it was so important that Bad Rap did what they did. Had that happened, the public ignorance and fear of this breed would have been absolutely entrenched.

    In other words, everyone would believe the myths like you do. Do you at least see, now, what those myths are?

    I’d encourage you to subscribe to the Bad Rap blog: , where these and other myths about pit bulls — within the context of responsible training and management at all times of pit bulls — are explored and debunked regularly. I did, and I’ve learned a ton.

  • Cambridge Rat Mom

    I wish they had included information on the role of Rebecca Huss in all of this. She, too, was instrumental in getting these dogs out alive! Thanks, Rebecca.

  • bigdog

    I think he should be made to build a beautiful Pit Bull sancturay/shelter, fund it and have to work it. He can talk the talk, but he has never walked the walk! There’s a special place in hell for people who abuse kids and animals, the problem is it just takes so long for them to get there.

  • Mary

    Phil, you think the dogs should have been euthanized? Nice.
    Thanks for taking a feel good story and crapping on it.

  • Maleckygolf

    Phil, it is better to remain silent and let people believe you are ignorant than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. I bet you have a PETA bumper sticker on our car to support the organization that kills more animals annually than any group in the country. Lean the facts before you make such ridiculous generalizations.

  • Great2bLoriB

    I couldn’t agree more. He has done what was asked of him, to keep him out of jail. He should not only go above & beyond, but should feel sorrow from deep within his heart before getting any type of 2nd chance. :’(

  • Robert

    If you can believe it, NBC’s pet website,, recently included Vick on its list of 25 Pet People of 2010 with the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, Betty White, and Kevin Costner for “raising awareness” about dog fighting. Kind of like honoring the KKK for raising awareness about lynching. You can find the article at

  • Karen

    I have volunteered in dog rescue for over 15years. Pit bulls are so sweet, wonderful dogs (, known good family dogs/good with kids, loyal, etc. It’s the humans I’m not so sure about.

  • Great2blorib

    Are you uneducated or just simply stupid? Maybe both …
    For your information, Phil, my daughter was bitten in the face by a dalmatian when she was just 4 years old. You know, the cute little fire house dogs that everyone loves? It was her grandparents’ dog & the dog randomly attacked her when they were coming home one afternoon. That was a nice phone call to receive at work … “your daughter was bit by a dog & she is in with the plastic surgeon now” … AND when I was about 10, I was bitten in the leg by a shepherd mix as I was coming down a slide entering a pool. Did you know that shepherd & dalmatian breeds (as well as other dogs) have more of a ‘mean streak’ in them than a pit bull? Welp, now you do …
    A pit bull would not have randomly attacked a school boy simply walking along. The boy either repeatedly did something to the dog to aggravate him/her to the point that the dog felt it was in danger & had to protect itself OR the dog owner continually abused the dog to purposely make it aggressive & then rewarded the dog when it showed hostility. In the first case, of course the boy didn’t deserve the injuries & I hope he is ok & makes a full recovery. However, all parents should teach their children to (a) be kind to animals – there is no need not to be & (b) don’t go up to stray animals – you just don’t know their temperament or how the owner has raised them. In the second case, the owner should be totally be held accountable & (in my opinion) not only face involuntary manslaughter charges, but also cruelty to animals charges. It is owners like that that give pit bulls a bad reputation. If I had it my way, you would have to be interviewed & approved to be a dog owner in every case for every breed in hopes to avoid people like that. There are tons of dogs that need adopting, but no dog deserves to be adopted then turn around just be abused.
    So, Phil, how about next time you have an opinion, you check out the facts first. Here’s something for you to chew on – bad people are horrific owners to wonderful dogs, which strip them of their natural innocence & affectionate behavior & causes them to do dreadful things just to please their hideous owners.
    In no way do I discount any of the pain & suffering that the 10 year old boy & his family is feeling. Please do not take any of my comments in that way.

  • Great2blorib

    You are wonderful for taking in this animal & giving him a 2nd chance at life. He will reward you with life long love & affection. :)

  • Carl D’Agostino

    “The dogs are alright: The Vick dogs make a comeback.” Interesting title. Does this include the dogs the Michael Vick electrocuted, shot, and slung through the air and slammed on the ground multiple times until they died? Now Mr. Vick would like to own a dog again. Does anyone see the failed logic here?

  • Angelpupscrtns

    Are you kidding me? I think it’s horrendous what happened to that little boy…but it could have happened with any number of animals who’d been mistreated themselves, not to mention the millions of humans who abuse and attack children because they themselves were abused or worse yet, because they are just perverse and not right in the head.

    So, if a child has been abused should we just assume they’ll become a “fighting dog” in human form as an adult and just put them down?!?! Really???

    Those dogs are not “fighting dogs” until someone comes along and trains them to be….my friend’s young son was attacked at her cousin’s house at a family get-together by the household’s two “family pets” (not pitbulls or rottweilers) and their only concern was not admitting culpability so they wouldn’t have to take responsibility for the numerous reconstructive surgeries the little boy suffered. They weren’t “fighting dogs” or any other “dangerous” breed…until they attacked the little boy.

    Maybe you should put your shepherd mix down now before he hurts someone…you never know what kind of dog might attack or when….better to spend the money putting him down now then letting him live a full, loving, meaningful life just in case he might attack someone. And you should really pray he doesn’t because there are no hard and fast rules for which dog will suddenly attack or when.

  • Phil Ter

    WILLIAMS – At approximately 8 p.m. on Jan. 6, Cowboy Service Carriage Company’s 17-year old horse, Razz, crashed through the window of Rod’s Steak House while on a routine carriage ride.

    The horse became agitated when a loose American pit bull terrier chased the horse and carriage, carrying four people, down Route 66 snapping at its rear and front legs, still biting at the horse even after it crashed through the window.

    According to Williams Police Department (WPD) Lt. Darrell Hixson, the pit bull’s owner was exiting the Canyon Club when the dog saw the horse, broke loose from its collar, and proceeded to chase the horse into the window.

    “The operator of the carriage did a good job trying to control the horse until it eventually just got too spooked and too out of control that the horse and carriage hit the front side of Rod’s Steak House,” Hixson said.

    Fortunately, no one was injured during the incident. The horse sustained cuts and bruises to its nose and legs.

    Ken Henry, owner of the Carriage Company, attended to the horse while the driver was taken to Flagstaff Medical Center as a precaution.

    “They wrapped and treated the horse there and it was fine,” Hixson said. “The people in the carriage were all fine as well.”

    The WPD is citing the pit bull’s owner with what they say is customary for loose dogs.

    “We cited her for what anyone would cite a person for when their dog is running free, so there is no special citation or anything,” Hixson said.

    Hixson went on to mention the strange irony surrounding these two animals.

    “They told me that the horse several years ago was attacked by another pit bull in Phoenix when it was working, and the dog that attacked it this time has no front teeth because two years ago it was kicked by a horse, so these two were destined to meet,” Hixson said.

    Still, accounts made by eyewitnesses were not as lighthearted. One source, wishing to remain anonymous, said he still cannot get the image out of his mind.

    “People were kicking the dog to stop him biting after the horse had hit the window, but the dog kept it up and the guy was yelling ‘someone get that dog before he kills the horse’ while trying to keep the people in the carriage,” he said. “Finally another guy came along and picked up the dog. I never saw the female owner.”

    The source added that even though the viciousness of the attack was startling, the driver of the carriage handled the situation the best he could.

    “For one, I would assume that the police will take action against the dog’s owner before it causes a fatality and two, the driver of the carriage should get an award for saving those people. It was just a horrible, horrible thing,” the source went on to say. “The horse couldn’t defend itself because he couldn’t see, and this dog just wouldn’t let up, it was brutal to watch.”

    Owners of Rod’s Steak House, Stella and Lawrence Sanchez, were stunned when they first saw their building after the episode.

    “When I first saw the damage I was blown away,” Stella Sanchez said. “When we parked the car and looked in the restaurant the damage just looked awful. I went to look at the horse and his shins were pretty bloody. I think he probably ran into the planter out front and then hit the window. I can’t even imagine how it happened.”

    Sanchez went on to remark on how seeing the aftermath of the incident was unsettling for her.

    “I didn’t see any of it, but it was very nerve-racking to see all the damage,” Sanchez said. “Glass everywhere. Cops everywhere. When we tried to get near the restaurant they wouldn’t let us, because they said it was as crime scene. It was an icky feeling.

    “I would hope that there would be no one in the street seeing this crazy dog attacking this horse. It would have looked creepy to people.”

    Employees at Wild West Junction helped Rod’s get back on their feet as quickly as possible, supplying the restaurant with plywood and screwdrivers to board the windows.

    “It was so kind of them to come and help,” Sanchez added.

    According to Sanchez, the estimated damage to Rod’s Steak House is approximately $3,500. Luckily, the restaurant was closed for renovations at the time of the incident, and the owners are grateful there were no patrons in the building during the crash, which could have made the situation much worse.

    On the other side of those affected, Henry is not happy with what their 17-year-old horse had to experience that evening.

    “The only redeeming factor in this whole mess is that the dog didn’t have any teeth,” Henry said. “The horse is going to be okay. It really only suffered minor physical damage because the dog had no teeth.”

    Henry does not blame the dog for causing the chaos.

    “The dog has a reason to hate horses if this has happened before. This horse has a reason to not like dogs because he was attacked in Phoenix. The dog jumped up and bit the horse in the scrotum and that one had teeth. My hard feelings are with the fact that the dog was loose in town and that the dog came out of that bar. That is what I am upset with,” Henry said.

    Henry went on to say that attacks like this should never happen in the first place.

    “We have had dogs running at our horses before, but never like this. It could have been much worse. I just picked up the police report and apparently this dog has been cited before for being vicious dog at large,” Henry said. “As long as I don’t see that dog on the street and hear about it coming after my animals again, fine. If this happens again, the dog needs to be going away, that is all there is to it.”

    Henry estimates the carriage’s damage is approximately $1,000. The Carriage Company offered a replacement ride to the family who were victims of the incident, and they rode the route again with the same driver after their visit to the Grand Canyon the next day.

    WPD Animal Control Officer Leah Payne was unable to comment on the dog owner’s citation.

  • Simplyfed up

    there are many really good points made here. i was thrilled to see the piece done. being involved in dog rescue we see way too many pits go without homes, without food, without reasonable treatment. we could solve the whole pit bull issue and just put all the people down. because really, there isn’t ever going to be a solution that makes everyone happy because we are a society that debases and crushes in order to feel better about ourselves. my vote is that we stop worrying about it and just start human euthanasia. but i’m sure that my opinion won’t go over well for those who would rather judge “lower life forms” that are actually smarter than most of the human population.

    whenever there’s a dog attack, the story is published as a pit attack. how often are the retractions made public when it is brought to the attention that the dog wasn’t actually a pit?

    think i’m wrong…go to and play the find the pittie game.

  • sofl

    As expected “Phil Ter” you’ve spent your afternoon NOT trying to educate yourself but rather scouring the web for the most sensational media crap you can find.
    I’m sure you’re sitting there hunched over your keyboard typing in a frenzy so you can prove your ‘point’.
    Thank God there are people with intelligence and COMPASSION toward animals like Bad Rap, Best Friends and the many many other organizations who are working tirelessly to save and change the skewered perception of these dogs.
    You are obviously one of the sheep who hang on every negative word the media spews about this subject.

  • Simplyfed up

    @ Phil…
    i’ve had more than 20 rescues stay in my home as fosters…all breeds. pit bulls, pit mixes, little dogs, big dogs…ya know who i’ve gotten bitten by? the little ones. the rescue organization i work with is the most likely to bring in pits. i was nervous the first time…watched her like a hawk. she was the best foster we ever had. when it came time for me to adopt…off to the kill shelter for pit. society says i’m a miscreant for owning one. really? i don’t do drugs. i’m just a working class citizen who loves dogs.

    personal points aside, cuz i could tell you how our beagle is the most likely to eat the neighbor’s dog (once he finds it cuz he’s blind) or how our german shep is the one that keeps creepy ppl from coming in…but that’s not the point. the point is that any dog can bite. but it only sells papers and increases news ratings right now when it’s a pit. go spend some time with one. i can’t tell you how many events ppl have fallen in love with one of the rescues in foster care and then asked what kind of dog it was…a pit? really?

    get a grip. not all pits are bad. not all pits are safe. not all little chihuahua pups will bite but many will. not all people are bad. but not all are good, either. that was the whole point of the story.

    what they didn’t cover was that many are still working on their canine good citizen certification, many adopters had to spend weeks with the dogs and clearing background checks and had home visits done. many adopters were turned down. the whole freakin’ point of the story,,,mr,phil…is that these dogs were saved and are doing well because someone somewhere decided that it COULD be done. someone (thank you bad rap) decided that it was worth the EFFORT to fix someone else’s soulless outcome. someone else thought that it was possible to change the perception. wow…did you ever miss the point of the piece…but go on hating if that’s what you feel good doing. you’re the one missing out.

    when was the last time you changed something that everyone said couldn’t happen??

  • Slmjfred

    It is MOST unfortunate when a whole breed is judged by the actions of one. Just as humans, when an animal is abused its actions can have serious consequence. I would judge the person who hurt this poor animal before I judge an entire breed. I think I have met more aggressive Chihuahuas!!!

  • Slmjfred

    Well put!

  • Great2blorib

    Do you want to know why that was such a ‘big story’ … because it was a freak accident. You could continue to use your efforts searching the internet for any fluke situation involving a pit bull on your quest to have people believe the nonsense you find as law & to convince them to unnecessarily hate a breed of animal. With all of the narrow minded people there are, that task should not be too difficult for you. OR maybe you could open your mind just a touch, enough to absorb a different opinion than yours- maybe one that is actually educated on the subject. Then realize that it’s not the breed you despise, it is the people that are training them; it’s not the breed that is monstrous, it’s the owners. Then maybe, just maybe, you’d see this breed of dog for what it really is, a loving, playful dog that just wants to be your best friend.
    A mind is a terrible thing to waste, Phil. You should try opening yours.

  • Great2blorib

    Ugh!! I wasn’t going to reply to him again because it obviously falls on deaf ears, but I couldn’t help it. I’m sure he is as you’ve described. All I can say is that I hope ‘Phil’ isn’t registered to vote – narrow minded people should not be making decisions for the rest of us.

  • lovebullies

    You make me sick Phil! you are an ignorant moron who believes the BSL bull! It’s people like you who hold pit bulls down with your discrimination! you know how many loose dogs I have encountered who have run up to my dog and tried to attack us? alot! The pit bulls I encountered were all nice or timid it was the little ones and several labs who have tried to bite me and my leashed dogs while walking.At the dog park little dogs constantly attack my dog and myself I have gotten bit several times by so called harmless dogs.Any breed can bite you can not say one breed bites all the time.There are millions of pit bulls living in loving homes with children and other pets the dogs you hear about who attack live in backyards mistreated by no love or socialization they are fearful of people or they have just plain been beaten and abused or trained to fight! Don’t get me wrong what happened to this child is horrific and I have zero tolerance for people who let their dogs run loose and it makes me angry when they are kept in the backyard constantly this is how those dogs dug out mine is leashed at all times and lives in the house as a family member but you cannot say this breed is all like that you have no idea of how that dog was handled in his life and furthermore several children have antagonized my dogs by actually growling,barking,throwing things at my windows,running at them etc,I have absolutely no tolerance for ignorant people who cannot properly teach their kids manners and keep them in line! they have no right to go around antagonizing people’s dogs! then the parents point the finger! I know how kids act to make dogs angry People are as responsible for watching their children as pet owners are responsible for watching their dogs! How dare you say they should have been put down!!!! Micheal Vick needs to be put down he is the one who taught them to do these things to rip each other apart,he is the one who had the females raped by multiple dogs for breeding,he pulled their teeth out so the females could not fight back,he drowned them,electrocuted them,shot them,hung them let me guess your one of his supporters you ignorant lowlife? you believe he is sorry right? he admitted he would still be doing it if not caught! he is sick! who gets entertainment out of doing those things? who enjoys it? he is just an animal abuser who plays football he is not a decent man! The dogs were only doing that because they had no choice they had to or be punished! dogs do what makes their owners happy.They did not attack Micheal Vick and the others who forced them to do these things what does that tell you? They did not attack him as he was torturing them!!! Go educate yourself before you go off spewing your ignorance! Did you even watch the show??? I suggest you look up one of the survivors who was actually in the show Hector the pit bull he lives in a loving home now with many other dogs including another pit bull.How dare you say they did not deserve a chance to have love and happiness after all they have suffered you heartless troll!!!!! By the way what the hell does you not forgetting your dog is human have to do with anything? you are ignorant and make no damn sense!

  • joe

    it takes time to drown or electrocute a dog to death. it takes time to beat a dog to death. ppl don’t do such things unless they are enjoying themselves. shooting a dog in the head is a lot faster, cleaner, and quite frankly, humane versus the above methods. vick and his thugs obviously enjoyed the torture since it was their preferred method of “disposal.” so really…let’s figure out who the real animals are.

  • Angelpupscrtns

    Phil~You’re an idiot.

  • Phil Ter

    Let me respond to some of the ad hominem attacks that have been directed at me.
    One, I do not scan the internet for pit bull stories. The story about the attack on the little boy was on the local Phoenix TV news this past week. The attack on the horse occured within a couple hundred yards of my house in Williams, AZ and I copied the story verbatim from the website of the Williams paper which I subscribe to. I purposely did not add any comments.
    Two, I do not hate pit bulls as a breed but I definately do not like large, vicious acting, junk-yard type dogs that are restrained by a flimsy leash or low fence. How or why they became vicious is immaterial to me.
    Three, pit bulls tend to be somewhat large and are well known like some other breeds for powerful jaws and biting ability. They can do more damage than smaller dogs. I have never heard of anyone being killed by a pack of Chihuahuas.
    Four, your dog is gentle and sweet, so is my 22 pound shepherd mix. But any animal can be set off by unusual circumstances. My dog goes crazy when the MetLife blimp flies overhead and I’m sure she would like to tear it to pieces if she could just get a hold of it.
    Five, if you suggest euthanasia for any person instead of a dog, you have seriously misplaced values in my opinion. Anthropomorphising your dog is wrong. It is still an animal.
    Six, when your dog does attack someone, another dog or a horse, accept responsibility. You can’t say a loaded gun just went off by itself.

  • Simplyfed up

    it’s because how or why they became vicious is immaterial for you that you’re being hammered. frankly, most animals are kinder than most humans. doesn’t mean i am confused about who the human is. it means that our society has become so used to throwing away, tossing aside, and closing our eyes to the REAL problem (such as why or how they became vicious) that it just makes sense to do away with societal norms. let’s just get rid of it…and since my dogs have never been vicious…well. guess i can take responsibility for the fact that they are NOT…’ve missed the point. ignorance exists. hence..really…i’m gonna go have a happy night with my dogs. my only wish for you is that someday you have a life changing experience that makes you a little more in touch with coexistence. or not. whatever.

  • Honeybearlady

    Phil you are quite correct – not popular opinion but would have made more sense.

  • DogsHaveSoul

    1) any dog knowledable person knows that canines DO NOT just “Set Off” that is a dangerous and unfair remark. haven’t you heard about reading a dog’s body langage? THey give off warning signs b/4 being allowed to escalate to aggression.
    2) All canis lupes familiares (dogs) react & communicate thru energy because they can’t talk like humans. You give them nagative abusive energy they will most likely avoid you. Instread of not liking the large,vicious…why not vent this dislike to the ignorant owners who restrain their dogs on ‘flimsy leashes. Why dogs become vicious should be paramount to you and any other person with this misgquided notion. If ppl cared enough all this would be prevented & by u not caring you are just as guilty as the abusers who make dogs into walking ghost shadows masking a true doggy personality.
    I am not a speciesist. I do not beleive that human beings are morally superior to non-human creatures. in fact i think the total opposite. As a compassionate vegan/ dog-trainer my values are to give respect to ALL sentient creatures. Humans can speak for themselves dogs are completely dependant on humans.
    Pitbulls are not the demons u think they are. They are heroes.Why? Because despite the torture, neglect,abuse and dog-fighting, THEY LOVE PEOPLE. Could it be that we are unwilling to face the awful truth, that humanity is willing to take a great family dog & turn it into a vicious & deadly animal Through means so inhumane only a human could be capable of committing them?

  • Dogs Have Soul

    The fact is that Horses dislike being tortured by pulling people around in a stupid carriage. This is abuse and is the bases for the initial stress & severe axiety this horse was being made to endure. The reaction by the horse and the dog were completely INITIATED BY THE ACTIONS OF HUMANS. These animals are innocent victims and if you knew anything about animal psychology you would have figured it out. Although your opinions are inthe majority THEY ARE DANGEROUSLY MISGUIDED & FALSE For the sake of all suffering animals out there. Please get educated in dog culture.PLEASE.

  • dogshavesoul

    All responsible pet owners know that dogs are not humans – but they deserve to have their non-human traits respected.!!! You are a speciest sir you think humans are better than animals. Many people who think this way do so,so that they don’t have to feel guilty or even bad when they torture and murder dogs..

  • Liz G

    “…I definately [sic] do not like large, vicious acting, junk-yard type dogs…”
    Is that an official AKC breed, or are you just making it up out of every stereotype you can think of? Do you suppose the pups were born the way you describe, or could HUMAN behavior and inhumane treatment be the root cause? Would a dog such as you describe weave its own “flimsy leash” and erect its own “low fence,” or would their human owners be to culpable for both? A dog’s personality and actions are shaped by its human handlers. A dog’s natural canine behaviors can be reinforced through training to make it either a model companion or a menace. Much like children, frankly. Please educate yourself about canine behavior. And human behavior, for that matter.

  • Stltennisguy

    Glad they are rehabilitated! Pit bulls are great dogs!!

  • Bj

    I am so happy for the dogs!! I love pit bulls, I volunteer for a shelter that is 90% pit bull intake and they are great, people loving dogs. The dog fighters take their best quality and use it against them.
    Pit Bulls are no different than any other breed of dog. Loyal and loving!! Wish people were as loyal and forgiving as dogs, this would be a better place.

  • sealaughing

    Personally, I think you’re making good sense. I worked for the Humane Society for 7 yrs in 2 states; many so called animal lovers are nutcases! Most people don’t realize there are different types of pit bulls: some are bred for show & some for fighting. Many of those specifically bred for fighting have aggression problems & simply can’t be trusted, especially around children & other animals, even if they’ve never been abused. The undesirable traits are bred in & can’t be removed. Many of the people who are drawn to dogs of that sort have personality problems of their own, which compounds the problem. My mother-in-law had a well bred pit bull who was a wonderful dog, but too many times these dogs are owned by people who won’t get them fixed & don’t know how to train them. Nobody should get an animal unless the do extensive research on the breed & are certain the animal is the right match. One friend of mine saw a min pin, decided they were so cute she just had to have one, bought an alpha male that she didn’t know how to train properly & now is going nuts because the dog barks constantly & has other bad habits because it just wasn’t the right type of dog for her & she’s too soft to control it.. I saw so many animals abandoned because the owner’s decided they wanted a cute dog like the one they saw on t.v. or in a movie. Just adopted a Maine Coon cat that was abandoned cos the owner didn’t research the breed & couldn’t deal with traits like high energy, need to climb & noisiness. People need to get over the idea that animals are like characters in a Disney cartoon!

  • pitsrock

    any generalization is dangerous. some people should never own a pit. others are excellent pit owners. some people shouldn’t own a dog at all. some people shouldn’t own guns while others have them without incident. you can’t make a broad sweep and say absolutely about anything or anyone. i own a rescue pit and she’s fantastic but i also don’t take unnecessary chances. my neighbor also owns one, bought it as a puppy, and that dog has received little to no training and is becoming increasingly problematic. should my dog have to suffer because they don’t know what they are doing with the breed? should i? no. i work with a rescue group and i was well informed about the kind of dog i was bringing home. there are no trips to the puppy park. in fact, even in the cold and the rain she doesn’t go outside by herself. that’s the choice i made when i brought her home from the kill shelter.

    generalizing is dangerous on many levels but it’s especially dangerous here because when you opt to say “it’s the dog” you are excusing some of the worst behavior from the humans involved. frankly, we need tougher sentences for animal abuse, cuz it’s just one step from other forms of abuse.

    i do believe that if your dog causes physical harm or injury that you should be held just as culpable as though you had fired a weapon in your home and the bullet hit someone on the street. if you can’t be bothered to take your dog to an obedience class, get it some socialization, and learn the proper diet and treatment (which includes what NOT to do) then you should be held responsible for that behavior. if you have a dog and leave it tied outside all the time, then you’re the one developing the ticking time bomb. that’s abusive. if you train it to fight, then frankly you should lose everything including your freedom.

    but really…@sealaughing…the humane society? the same one that just decided to endorse vick in exchange for $50,000. rescue group volunteers are not insane…we work against the useless euthanasia of perfectly adoptable dogs that need medical care, high quality food, and a little training. a great dog can change your life, add to your family dynamics, and be much more than an object.

  • Naw1363

    “Many of the people who are drawn to dogs of that sort have personality problems of their own, which compounds the problem.”

    umm. everyone has “personality problems” whether they get a dog of any sort or they don’t. and quite frankly, from my experience working with the shelter, the majority of people who get these dogs are interested in doing right by them. there are some who want them to beef up their manly facade or whatever, but most pit owners are responsible. this is a dog that has become so popular that the numbers are unbalanced and there’s no way of knowing exactly how many there are. but that’s a significant judgment against people who are just trying to do the right thing, have training, and are well educated about what they are doing. maybe a look in the mirror would be beneficial before you worry about other people’s “personality problems?”

    in general pits are great dogs. the story highlighted many good aspects of humanity. it also showed that while most of us would have said fighting dogs can’t be changed we were wrong. even me. i didn’t think they stood a chance. i’m happy to see how wrong i was.

  • Carl D’Agostino

    Once again Phil, lots of words, nothing substantial. Are you a television reporter, because you sure act like one. With the horse and carriage story, I read what is printed, and think this:
    The horse is 17 years old. That’s longer than pit bulls live. So in 17 years the horse’s owner has not taught this horse how to react when confronted with potentially life threatening event, especially while attached to a carriage? This is a good reason to blame the dog? Really? REALLY? Yes the dog incited the horse. Yes, the dog’s owner needed to teach socialization to the dog better than she did. No, the dog should not have reacted like it did. All the facts of this case lead to one thing: Irresponsible owners.
    Now that we have addressed all the facts of the story, now lets look at the reporters embellishment.
    “People were kicking the dog to stop him biting after the horse had hit the window, but the dog kept it up and the guy was yelling ‘someone get that dog before he kills the horse’ while trying to keep the people in the carriage,” he said. “Finally another guy came along and picked up the dog. I never saw the female owner.” Oh, I get it. It’s one of them lock jaw, no matter what happens to it, the dog will stay focused on killing what it’s after pit bull stories? Here is a “news” flash for you. That isn’t how the animal kingdom works. Dogs will attack in order to protect their alpha. Period. When dogs are attacked, like the kick fest mentioned above, a dog will respond one of two ways: they will fight, or they will leave. (Fight or Flight) This is hardwired into all animals. Pitbulls have that same gene coding, and all the other gene codings, of any and every other Canus Lupus Familiaris. Pitbulls react just like every other dog. If you kick a pitbull, it will run away and cry, or it will defend itself against the kicker. If you believe anything else, you are sorely mistaken. It will stay there and not react to the aggression being wielded by the kickers, nor would any animal, including you. It is interesting to note that another man came over and picked up the dog. This is probably the only statement that’s truthful in the whole quote. It’s also interesting that a “guy” is screaming to get the dog away from the horse before it kills it while trying to keep the people in the carriage. Was he stupid? When a house is burning do you scream at the firefighters to put out the fire while telling everyone in the burning building it will be “okay.” I think most prudent first responders, whether trained or not, would naturally seek to assist people out of harm’s way. The other disturbing part is that this “guy” thought the dog was going to kill the horse, but the horse was wrapped with some bandages at the scene, and was not vetted any other way. Kill seems a bit dramatic. “The source added that even though the viciousness of the attack was startling, the driver of the carriage handled the situation the best he could.” “For one, I would assume that the police will take action against the dog’s owner before it causes a fatality and two, the driver of the carriage should get an award for saving those people. It was just a horrible, horrible thing,” the source went on to say. “The horse couldn’t defend itself because he couldn’t see, and this dog just wouldn’t let up, it was brutal to watch.” I suggest that if the driver had jumped off the carriage, he would have handled the situation as well or better than he did staying aloft.
    “The WPD is citing the pit bull’s owner with what they say is customary for loose dogs.” Finally a glimpse into reality. Officer Hixson speaks of the consequences for the dog owner; a citation. Had this been as vicious an attack as is portrayed in the article, I declare that the normal next steps would be to have animal control remove the dog form the scene, and evaluate it against a standardized battery of tests to ascertain how aggressive the animal is and determine it’s fate.
    “They told me that the horse several years ago was attacked by another pit bull in Phoenix when it was working, and the dog that attacked it this time has no front teeth because two years ago it was kicked by a horse, so these two were destined to meet.” Is it just me, or is there some kind of blip in the universe that magnetically attracts under socialized horses, and pitbulls to each other in Arizona?
    The rest of the article is fluff. The whole piece is a sophmoric effort to capitalize on the media’s favorite buzz words, pitbull, vicious, heinous, shocking and, oh yea, “icky” and “creepy”.
    I feel much more challenged when I have to respond to defamitory pieces written by real journalists, in more sophisticated metropolitan areas. So Phil, I guess the little tear jerking story; the other one that you attempted to endear insurmountable sadness from the people on the discussion wasn’t real? I appreciate the open candor of everyone on this discussion that logically determine that the hype about pitbulls is just that, and that they are dogs, albeit very special dogs to us who own and advocate for them in response to so much persecution. Peace!

  • Carl D’Agostino

    Rebecca is rarely mentioned and was key to the operation’s success. Yes, thank you Rebecca, and Cambridge Rat Mom!

  • Kwys10478

    Im no lover of dogs, there just another animal to me, but, here too in Britain we have people who breed fighting dogs purely for profit which is disgusting .
    I believe the government here should give and ultimatum to its populace, that, they who wish to own dogs have one year in which to register their dogs, be issued with a collar with a number on it to put on their dog. Be issued with a license, (the owner) with all the relevent details of the dog on it for the owner to keep, just like having a car license. In that one year lull , those not wishing to pay for their dogs upkeep this way should have a place to take thier dog , to leave there and it be funded by the government. The dogs could then be distrubuted free or for a small fee to those who wish to own one. This dog would have been then registered, have collar etc upon being given to its new keepers. This would make it much much easier for any dog causing harm to anyone to have its owners traced and taken to court, for damages etc and the dog, if it caused a death put down. Any dogs and its owner could be pulled up by police and if they have no license etc be fined , as one would without car insurance etc on the roads and the dog taken off them forever.
    Heavy fines and or jail sentences for constant offenders , especially those breeding dogs for profit, which to of course require a special license, would deter many. If one needs special permission to keep a shotgun , why not for a fighting type dog, they can both inflict very bad injuries and even kill. No doubt they who make vast profits will wail at such curtails, their profits would likely go down, after all , money is more important than your ordinary citazen walking the streets.
    Ken of Sheffield England

  • Helpapitbull

    Many of the people who are drawn to dogs of that sort have personality problems of their own, which compounds the problem.”

    Whoever made this statement is apparently not informed of the lovers of Pit Bulls, the people that have personality problems are the ones that SHOULD not have these dogs, cause they are the ignorant ones that do bad things to the dogs, so I would challenge you to look up some of the above organizations and see who pittie lovers are, for real!

  • J_Fitz

    I don’t think you have to be a lover of dogs, or of any other animal for that matter, to recognize that making a willful decision to torture another living creature for no other reason than you can and you feel like it is wrong. Quite frankly it’s evil. The link between animal cruelty and the escalation to acts of violence against humans is well established and beyond arguement. Does every person who beats a kitty become Ted Bundy? No. But almost without exception, people who become violent sociopaths – child/spousal abusers, rapists, killers, both the serial and garden varieties, etc – begin as animal abusers.

    Legal retribution for animal abusers should be punitive enough to deter the random hot-heads, and to put serial abusers on the social radar for careful scrutiny, just as we do with sex offenders. People like Michael Vick are predators, and should not be allowed to simply brush their former misdeeds under the rug. One NY county is instituting an “animal abuser registry” ala the Megan’s Law sex offenders registry. I think that’s a wonderful start. Now if the NFL would just man up and say “We are not going to reward bad behavior by pretending it doesn’t exist. You have been given a golden opportunity to use your God given athletic talent to bring you fame and fortune. But if you engage in ellegal activity, be it killing a man while driving drunk, rape a young girl in a bar bathroom, or torture animals to death for your personal amusement, you will not be allowed to be in aposition to be viewed as an idol and a role model to our children.”

  • orlando dog rescue

    I believe people like Phil are much more dangerous to society than any Pit. Having cared for 50 pits at one time during Katrina, I can honestly say that the most dangerous dog i’ve ever come across is a chihuahua. If Phil believes that dogs cannot be rehabilitated, and they have no soul, that they are merely animals, then accordingly, murderers and rapists also cannot be rehabilitated. For surely they have a soul and are so-called human. So Phil, who would you rather live next to… a pitbull who has never attacked anyone, or someone like Jared Loughner, mass murderer?

  • Bossw2006

    OMG get a hobby dude, seriously what is your damage ??? and why do people feel the need to compare a pitbull to a gun WHAT ??? OMG I owned a beautifull pit and he truely enriched my life more than any human is possible of and there is nothing worse than hearing people telling a tragic story and then ending it by saying oh guess what it was a pitbull Get a Bloody Life !!! It craps me big time. Please give it a rest with the stories, its heartbreaking to hear you trying to run down these lovely animals that unfortunately are targeted in the headlines and often mistreated. Im not trying to be a do gooder as such I am just sticking up for what I know and that is something only a good responsible Pit owner or carer will ever know, fortunatley there are a few of us around. You got to wonder why we get so passionate about them, well its simple they are totally worth our voice when they dont have one.

  • Emily

    Thank you for PBS for giving us another reason why public television and radio are the best. It is heart warming to see these dogs, some of whom I have met, shed in a positive and fair light. Thank you BADRAP, all the volunteers, foster parents and forever homes who have cared for and loved these amazing animals. You make me feel like there might be hope for our breed.
    -Emily the human, Mia and Dickie the Pit Bulls

    oh, and Phil Ter, you’re a dick.

  • Julie Robbs

    It is good to know that Michael Vick’s VICTIMS,his dogs,are on the road to recovery but not ALL of the dogs were that lucky. Some DID NOT get the second chance that Michael Vick got,because they lost their lives. Im am SO HAPPY to know that those that were saved are doing better,but lets not FORGET the dogs that NEVER got the chance to be SAVED !!

  • NHLfla44

    Phil Ter… You are a major idiot. Go suck on a car tailpipe and do everyone a favor.

  • KarenT1024

    What a beautiful story. And it goes to show that these loving animals were frightened and fought to stay alive. Thank you, PBS, for doing this story with the author.

  • sick of corruption

    Vick has done nothing willingly, including the cessation of torturing and killing helpless animals. Everything he has done was because he was ordered to do it by the courts or his PR machine that is working overtime to make him palatable to society. His bankruptcy included a $90,000 car for his girlfriend that his creditors had to eat. Now, he is back making millions for playing a game. You are impressed that he has apologized to his team, etc. He has never apologized to his victims – those that survived his cruelty and sadism and are alive today, crippled, traumatized and living with the physical and emotional scars he inflicted.

    One of the collateral tragedies of this issue is that the horrors this evil man inflicted are all referred to as “dog fighting” which does not begin to address the atrocities. There were the dogs he used as jump ropes – and the females that had their teeth filed down to nubs or yanked out so they could not possibly fight back when being restrained in the rape holders for forced breeding. This way, Vick and his pals could have a ready supply of more and more pups to raise in cruelty and eventually to cheer over as those dogs had their throats ripped out and the blood sprayed around them.

    Those of you who care to should feel free to forgive, forget, kiss the feet of, idolize, elevate to hero status and cheer on this degenerate sociopath. There are many, many of us for whom his crimes will always remain a nightmare and they will never, ever be forgotten.

  • Naomi Blue

    A lot of people think Vick should be forgiven for his atrocities. I have a different opinion. Forgiveness should be restricted to those who are reformed and have accepted responsibility for their actions. I believe Vick has not changed and is only sorry that he got caught. I base my belief on the fact that he is still not taking responsibility for his atrocious deeds. Instead of blaming himself, he is blaming his “culture.” He excuses his evil and cruel actions by saying, “Nobody ever told me that it was the wrong thing to do.” Well, guess what? No one ever had to tell me that it was wrong to electrocute dogs, beat dogs to death, or drown dogs.

    I understand that Vick now wants to be able to own a dog again. It is my opinion that Vick should never be allowed to be around any vulnerable sentient creature unsupervised in his lifetime.

  • Anonymous

    what a wonderful story from such tragedy. pitbulls are like any other dog, when you give them the chance. it lies far beyond my understanding how anyone could ever treat such amazing creatures in such a horrific manner.

  • Grace McCarter

    This is such a wonderful piece! I am so happy to hear so many of the dogs are doing so well, even through one of them was euthanized.

  • Lynnequus

    This is a great story. It’s amazing that creatures that have been treated so horribly can make a come back, learning to trust again and to enjoy life.

    As for Vick, I sincerely hope you go away. I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to hear about you. I don’t care what happens to you. I’ll never watch you play football. I don’t want to watch your pathetic interviews on how you’ve changed. Go away . . . PLEASE.

  • Anonymous

    I recently learned the details of the heinous ways in which Vick personally killed these dogs. His behavior is sadistic and monstrous. Thank you for this article. The resilience of these dogs is nothing short of inspiring. They are the true MVPs.

  • sick of corruption

    Thank you DogsHaveSoul for an enlightened post. People that exploit horses by making them pull heavy carriages filled with ignorant human beings are as worthy of scorn as are those souless human beings that force animals to participate in rodeos and circuses. The abuse of helpless animals in our country is pervasive and intense. God save the animals from the two-legged monsters and morons that surround us.

  • ang

    Thanks PBS for airing this segment. It is wonderful to see how well the dogs are doing.

  • Sabrina

    Thank you for airing a beautiful segment. It’s amazing to see how far these dogs have come.

  • Hannah deSoto Tostensen

    Kudos to PBS for the most excellent coverage of the Vick dogs I have seen. I hope it will go a long way toward proving to folks that dogs, no matter the breed, can reach their full potential in the right setting with the right guardians. My husband and I have 9 dogs and 3 cats, all rescues, and our one little Staffie is by far the calmest, most obedient and most eager-to-please dog in our pack. We never envisioned ourselves taking in a bully breed; never intended to keep here after finding her in the woods nearly dead one year ago; but the bond that has formed will be difficult, if not impossible, to break. I’ve lived with dogs for three scores plus and have never known her brand of affection.

  • Chicko549

    Well said, Carl. Here are two people, (Carl and the reporter), who fully understand the power of ….for good or bad….., WORDS. It’s an admitted fact that bad news sells newspapers; while good news appears to be of little interest to a dumbed-down public. This reporter is obviously familiar with this and, in order to improve his ratings, is not averse to using extreme superlatives to do so. Perhaps too he dislikes dogs? And knows that pitties are a prime target for instilling fear? Who knows? But I take heart from the general tone of the comments of this column that there are a lot of good, honest, fair-minded people “out there”. Oh, and Vick? In my opinion he should never again be allowed to “own” any animal…..the man is a disgrace to my species…, I believe, is any human who thinks there is any credit at all in causing harm and pain to another sentient, living creature.

  • Chicko549

    Kudos indeed. Bravo to ALL of the people who were involved in the discovery, dog rescues, (how fitting that this ring of sick people should have been uncovered indirectly by a dog), and prosecution of Vick and his evil companions. Well done to PBS for covering this story with compassion and class. How much we all owe to those who believed in, saved, and rehabilitated these unfortunate dogs; unlike the detractors who have written here, and act out their sad lives believing that they are superior to other animals, you make me proud to belong to the same homo erectus species as you.

  • Cfs234

    Yes, we all agree! Well done, PBS! Thank you for bringing this on and showing us what happened. Let us hope this will inspire more good news about animal cruelty.

  • Mayhemmad

    Very heartwarming to hear that the dogs are doing well now. Thank you for showing this story, I hope people will learn to treat all creatures with compassion.

  • Fifivixen

    What a fabulous story. Thank god for people with compassion. This is amazing. Please keep up stories like this.

  • thedamom

    A beautiful story – once again I am amazed at the diversity of behaviors within a single species – some are depraved killers and others are pure goodness. Of course I’m talking about people here, not pit bulls…

  • tracey erway

    Thank you Need to Know. This story is so valuable in showing how even some experts don’t know the amazing depth of personality and goodness all dogs can possess. Makes you realize it’s not the breed now, is it?

  • Anonymous

    Yes I agree a beautiful stroy, once again I`m amazed at the diversity of behaviours within a single species, how these wonderful beings can face life again after abuse by depraved killers. Of course I`m talking about pit bulls not people.

  • Guest

    Phil and other ignorant people read this: “True ignorance is not the lack of knowledge but the refusal to acquire it” – Karl Popper—What else are you truly ignorant about? People who are intellectually lazy lead to apathy toward the worst crimes in history.Why not prevent tragedy, educate yourself. Personally, as a Christian i read atheist magazines because i was secure in my beliefs and knew that i would never find something that would hurt my faith. Are you willing to be secure in your superstitious beliefs regaurding large breed dogs?

  • Troopers123

    Dear PBS,
    thank you for again contributing such a thoughtful article to our global consciousness. Able bodied human beings are the most powerful force on Earth and all those who are more vulnerable are entitled to our protection and stewardship. We must remember the true definition of Power and use it well.

  • Quinliskd

    I totally agree. it takes a sick person to not only watch but take part in the horrific torture and cruelty these animals endured. the sickness and evil that lies within him makes me question whether he”s a danger to society. at the very least hes no more fit to be in public then our inmates on death row. So as stated, for those people who can look the other way or call him a football “hero” maybe u should ask yourself if this is a person you’d trust around ur kids. if you know anything about “abusers” most studies say that abusers abuse. Seldom is it specific to just animals or humans most always its both. This goes far beyond abuse, as such, This was torture at its best and yet they called it a “sport” Its highly unlikely that a person can be so inhumane to animals and then walk out a door and be “MVP”. I’m not convinced that a little jail time and being made to pay a fine is enough to “rehabilitate” someone of this mind. His only regret is being busted. I hardly call that remorse. his only lesson was how not to get busted. Sick is sick and if you can’t understand that then maybe you should question your own morals.

  • break

    settle down grandma

  • xSKOLx

    What Michael Vick did is horrendous and I believe that he got off waaaay too easy for what he did. I also think it’s disgusting that he is allowed to play football for millions of dollars, despite the fact that he has equal rights now that he finished his sentence (if you could even call it that – I prefer to think slap on the wrist but whatever). However I don’t feel the need to continually think hatred toward someone. I don’t believe he is that sorry, or take his excuse of culture shaping him very seriously. But I do believe in forgiveness. Does that mean I’m a bad person because I refuse to sink to that kind of level? Quite the opposite. Do I not love dogs, especially pitbulls? Of course, I own one. I know the extent of cruelty he used towards these dogs, and that it wasn’t just “fighting”. But it’s not my place to judge him, or anyone who murders an innocent soul. In response to Phil, I think you would benefit from more research on Pitbulls, since they are actually not large breeds but are defined as medium sized dogs (and are much smaller than some so called family dogs) and actually rate in the top 5 for most docile dogs, beating out such beloved breeds as German Shepherds, golden Retrievers and Beagles. And there is little to zero proof that a pitbull’s jaw is stronger or more deadly than any other dog of their size or larger. Those are all false facts used in a scare tactic to ban a very kind breed of dogs. I am so happy for these dogs that were able to survive thanks to the educated experts who fought on their behalf, and the compassionate people who adopted them. :)

  • Barb

    Regardless how an animal is genetically bred, there is the variable of nurture as well. An animal from a gene pool of aggressive dogs can be nurtured into a gentle baby of a dog. A dog from a lineage not know for aggression can be conditioned to be dangerous. Breed and breeding is a significant influence, but so is nurturing, conditioning. And, yes, I have volunteered for our Humane Society (which has constant educational classes for volunteers) and other rescues.

  • Tina 67

    So glad to hear that most of these dogs were saved. I have had pitbulls all my life and I can say that these animals are wonderful. I guess if you have never had the experience to be close up and personal with one the media will form an opinion for you. When I was 13 I was attacked by a labrador , grabbed my ski jacket sleeve and dragged me to the gound, owner ran out commanded the dog to stop and the dog stopped . this dog did not like kids at all, barked and growled and tried to jump the property fence everytime someone would walk by, am I to assume all labradors are dangerous? of course not, they are great family dogs. the pitbull has high tolerance of pain and is very in tune with its owner, they are desperate to please the owner, so if the owner is telling them to fight , that is what they will do and again not of all of them. Pitbulls are agile and strong and they can take alot pain, the endurance these beautiful dogs have is amazing.
    Very happy no one listened to PETA, something we should all do more often.

  • tina67

    Dog attacks ( of any breed) happen, the pitbull gets a bad rap because it is so strong. Why do people want to punish these dogs? I don’t understand? If you have lived with one then you know what I’m talking about. People are so ignorant. Of course it is a scary and tragic thing to hear a child was attacked by a dog but you can’t single out pitbulls, if we were to really take this further, many breeds big and small would be in big trouble today. Pitbulls are loving family pets.

  • tina67

    Well have you ever heard of a child having 2 fingers ripped off by a dachund? Painful? oh yes!
    Dog was put down, what should we do now, go on a mission to punish every dachund out there? This is total stereo typing here.

  • Maggie

    Pit bulls r so loyal and in general any dog that they’re willing to please their owners just for a little affection. They will bite, protect and even kill for us, so for u to stereotype the breed and any large breed is so ignorant of your part. For u info, chihuahuas (the smallest breed) can also attack and draw blood. Obviously their mouth and teeth r much smaller, so they do less damage, but they can b more aggressive than a pit bull, when not educated and socialized properly. So is not da breed or da size, is da owners responsability and fault. Please do us all a favor and either dont write your stupid comments or educate yourself before posting your ignorance here. U should b embarrased. And didnt u say u had a sheperd mix? U know thats a large breed? U r so pathethic u make no sense.

    Around where a friend lives, I always found stray pitbulls and u know what? My sister and I always have aproach them and even had put them in our car, while we take them to a shelter or anywhere where they can spend da night and not even once have we’ve biten or showed aggression towards us. And lets not forget theyre stray dogs, fearful, scared and stressed, that might have lashed out on us, but never did that happened.

    Now u say that vicks dogs could have been put down? R u a fricken psycho? Does it matter to u on da funds they spent? R u paying them? Every month I donate to da ASPCA and I dont mind where da money goes, if its either for abandoned dogs, mistreated pets, on food, medicine, or REHAB, U IDIOT!!! As long as they protect, take care and save them. What if your shepard mix was in that position? What would u feel? Dogs (pitbulls) are not born that way, they r made and trained that way. The only thing u need to do is either get a life or educate yourself before loging in and posting your stupid brain.

    Sincerely Maggie.

  • I Milos

    Carl you hit the nail right on the head!! You are awesome. people like phil should not even be allowed to speak. I would’nt own any other breed in this world , all though I do feel sorry for Phil’s

  • Jack

    Phenomenally great piece. I shed tears for the dogs who didn’t make it and joy for those who did.
    Excellent reporting on a story that grabbed the attention of all animal lovers. Like me.


    I am on my third Pit and I couldn’t be happier. All she wants to do is play. Play with every animal she sees and everybody. I even take her to car shows with thousands of people. Her only problem is she is a klutz and can knock a child down just out of excitement. Kids love her and she doesn’t even bark at other dogs. My first was almost 18 when I had to put her down.

  • L Mooney

    I loved the story,PBS, thank you :) I am supporter of Bad Rap and other rescue organizations. I know enough about football to be dangerous and I am not a fan of Micheal Vick. What I do know is this story and the book “The Lost Dogs” brings attention to the “sport” of dogfighting and the horrible things that happen there. As proud owners of three rescues (one of which was a stray pit bull mix) my husband and I only have to look into their eyes and see the love and trust to know that change needs to happen. With the spreading of knowledge and education and big ol’ doggy kisses, this can happen.

  • Dan

    Great work. People should read The Pit Bull Placebo – a GREAT read which essentially dissects the media’s very large role in advancing the Pit Bull bias. Quick case in point: an 8 year old gets mauled to death in Alaska by a Husky. Story gets 3 column inches in the local paper; that same day a elderly woman is killed by a Pit Bull type in Florida; the story is carried by more than 200 papers and goes international. That’s the problem.

  • Anonymous

    The text of Pit Bull Placebo is available for free download here.

  • Maggy313

    This was a heck of a story , just glad that most of the dogs made it !!! I’m on my 4th and 5th. pit and love them to death , and they are a great dog.Thanks to people like this …

  • Anonymous

    What an excellent video! I just wish the average person and the media could believe what they see and not get hysterical over any breed and call it vicious. I sure hope the saving of the Michael Vick dogs is the beginning of a bright future for pit bulls. You just have to figure it was some kind of miracle that they were saved considering how many people had to come together to even consider giving these dogs a chance at life. Tougher laws to punish those in the dog fighting business and education about kindness to animals and education about the pit bulls are all key in helping the future look brighter for these dogs.

  • Anthoney mahateva

    There is no excuse for this kind of cruelty. Severe determent punishment is in order. I fully agree with your comments.

  • Rachel S.

    Of all the pieces done by mainstream media on the Michael Vick dogs, this is by far the best I’ve seen. As a proud pit bull owner since 1996, I thought I knew everything there was to know about pit bulls; however, a few months ago, I met some folks who breed, work, and show APBTs from papered bloodlines with the ADBA and was humbled to realize how much I still had to learn. For example, the term “pit bull” applies to many breeds, not just the APBT. Also, dog aggression and human aggression are completely different things and should be treated accordingly. Dog aggression can be managed, but it can never be trained or socialized out completely. I currently have a dog, most likely a pit bull, I found on the street in South Central Los Angeles. I have trained him to be friendly to my four rescue cats, and he has many dog friends; but I NEVER take him to an off-leash dog park or leave him around other dogs unsupervised. Furthermore, I loathe dog fighting, but I know that no one would have to force my dog to fight. He wants to fight. It is my duty to protect him from doing so. After years of training, it is still an urge of his that I manage, not something that has disappeared. After sustaining a scar in my leg from breaking up a fight when we were jumped by an off-leash dog, I made a break stick to carry with me, should that happen again. Many rescue people and members of a misinformed public feel possession of a break stick means you’re a dog fighter. NOT SO! Most of us have much to learn. There are actions that pit bull owners can take to help fight BSL, and they do not, contrary to popular belief propagated by many rescue organizations and trainers, revolve around the “it’s all in how you raise them” argument. That is dangerous. We have dog fighters on one extreme, and well-meaning but clueless rescue folks on the other end of the spectrum, and both are unfortunately contributing to the problems faced by pit bulls, today. There are actions that pit bull owners can take to help fight BSL, and they do not, contrary to popular belief propagated by many rescue organizations and trainers, revolve around the “it’s all in how you raise them” argument. That is dangerous. We have dog fighters on one extreme, and well-meaning but clueless rescue folks on the other end of the spectrum, and both are unfortunately contributing to the problems faced by pit bulls, today. 

  • Rachel S.

    Oops. Not sure why my last three sentences repeated themselves. My apologies, y’all! 

  • Michelle

    Thank you for sharing this story ,Although it made me cry for the ones who lost their lives and for the ones who could not be adopted it also made me happy to see the ones who were able to go to caring ,loving homes .I also feel that we need stricter laws against people like Michael Vick or those who just abuse any animal ,In my opinion Michael Vick wasn’t punished enough nor has he himself been rehabilitated but made to “give back” to those who did survive.

  • Bridget

    I don’t necessarily think that the horse was being abused simply for
    pulling a carriage. Horses are strong, sturdy animals after all, and were bred for this kind of work. The only time I would consider this cruel is if the carriage was indeed to large for the horse. Anyway, the horse reacted as any flight animal would with a predator chasing them, whether it be hooked up to a carriage or roaming free. But I’m not blaming the dog either. Assuming this dog is indeed a pit, it’s a terrier and will have a high prey drive. That it chased the horse was no fault of it’s own, it’s instinct. From the sound of it, it wasn’t very well socialized either. This dog should’ve been properly contained, but it wasn’t. At the root of it all, people are to blame.

  • Seahorse1943

    Check out Hector the Pit Bull on facebook. He is an awesome survivor of Vick.

  • Laura Nueske Weil

    My pit foster is a love. My boxer, pit, something, mix is a gentle giant. Staffordshire terrier mixes and bully breeds are beautiful dogs. 

  • Guest

    What is superstitious about our beliefs? Our beliefs are based on first hand knowledge as most of us posting here have owned large breeds, including bully breeds. My most recent dog was a Pit/Shep/Rott mix and was the most gentle, kind, loving dog you could imagine. Prior to that I owned Shep mixes. The only dogs in my life I have experienced any sort of aggression with were the two small dogs I owned – both of which bit me and one of which bit other people. My Pit mix loved cats, children and other dogs. My sister currently has three pits, several cats and a young boy.

    So where is the superstition?

    I am very educated about dogs, train all the dogs I own, and am educated personally (having several degrees including one from an Ivy League college), so I am not intellectually lazy. And so I challenge you: you claim to be Christian. How do you justify the torture and execution of these creatures of God in the name of gambling?

  • Patti

    I am glad the case has helped the reputation of pit bulls.  However, I find the article much too forgiving for a second chance for Sick Vick….The man is now a convicted felon–yes he served his time–and is now being re=rewarded as a hero because he was sentenced to help those he abused……Would not like to see what this hero would do if a fellow sportsperson crossed him!!!!!

  • Wendy Buell

    Like any other person who has done the time (enough or not) given to them I don’t care if Vick is allowed to continue to earn his living with the skills he has, provided they don’t involve the criminal activity previously committed.

    What I don’t understand is the need to constantly hold him up as some kind of survivor. Unlike many people involved in criminal activity Vick HAD the opportunity NOT to participate. He was making a fortune, had an incredible career ahead of him and he still opted to finance dog fighting. This was a man with options who pleaded “that’s how I was raised” type logic when he FINALLY admitted his direct involvement with dog fighting and torture.

    It doesn’t matter if you are not a dog lover, or even if you believe all the garbage about pitbulls. Torture and abuse and violating laws shouldn’t be condoned. People who abuse animals very often have also been found to abuse people. Don’t love dogs.. fine.. do you think this twit really stops at torturing animals? Your concern for the animals may be mild to none, but remember where it leads.

    Our fervor as a nation to forgive AND REWARD this man so that we can once again cheer his games is disturbing.

  • Anklenipr

    As an owner of pits, I am relieved every time I see a positive article on these wonderful animals. I live just outside Detroit and all I ever hear are the horror stories. Fact in point, I’m not allowed to own anymore ” bully” breed type dogs, they are banned in my city. To add more insult to responsible folks, there is a bill proposed in the state legislature to ban these dogs completely state wide. I feel that regardless of the breed, it comes down to responsible dog ownership. People who endorse, fight, or allow a dog to be aggressive should face harsher penalties than are currently in place. My dachshund is meaner than any pit I’ve ever met.

  • Anklenipr

    As an owner of pits, I am relieved every time I see a positive article on these wonderful animals. I live just outside Detroit and all I ever hear are the horror stories. Fact in point, I’m not allowed to own anymore ” bully” breed type dogs, they are banned in my city. To add more insult to responsible folks, there is a bill proposed in the state legislature to ban these dogs completely state wide. I feel that regardless of the breed, it comes down to responsible dog ownership. People who endorse, fight, or allow a dog to be aggressive should face harsher penalties than are currently in place. My dachshund is meaner than any pit I’ve ever met.

  • Yowser

    I am happy that these dogs have been saved, rehabilitated and adopted into good households.  I am glad to see their lives saved, and it was the right thing to do.  Their owners will treasure the love and companionship these dogs will give them.  These dogs will probably be filled with nothing but ongoing appreciation for their second chance at a normal life.  I am proud that our criminal justice system recognized the terrible crime that was committed and saw fit to levy significant sanctions against the perpetrators.  This is as it should be, even if the victims don’t happen to be of the same species that we are.  While I fully support the humane saving, rehabilitation and adopting out of these dogs, I am not altogether comfortable with the direction the show took near its end.  The final points seemed to reach the conclusion that the pit bull breed offers no greater danger than any other breed of dog one might choose at random, and that its reputation has somehow descended upon it unfairly, with no evidence to back up that reputation whatsoever.  Given the large number of posts here that defend the breed without qualification, and given that I see the same public championing of pit bulls after every every pit bull attack that’s reported in the media, I wondered why that is so.  I offer this as a possible answer:  There could be a poorly understood characteristic in a portion of the pit bull population that amounts to a canine version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  It may well be that for a given pit bull who spends his or her lifetime in the company of a loving and reasonably disciplined human family, no bad behavior will ever occur.  The dog will be just as described in many of these posts.  However, under the following scenario, count me as one of the skeptics:  the scenario is when the dog is completely freed of the physical and behavioral restraint of its home property and its human family, respectively.  Having, let’s say, “escaped” onto the street, traveled a ways from home on its own and freed itself from the “alpha” effect of its human family, what will it do?  Will its “niceness’ extend to strangers its never seen, either people, including children, or other animals?  If it goes on the offensive, will that behavior be intensified if it allies itself with another pit bull?  The possibility of this hidden dual personality may be so impossible to detect, that when presented with only the daily affections the dog displays to its family many, if not most, owners would regard the idea as rubbish.  Your next show about these dogs, if there is one, might be improved by including some neutral, unbiased statistics on dog bites publicly reported for this breed versus other popular breeds.  

  • Rob

    Hi Yowser, point well taken. However, when talking about bias it is clear that media bias elevates this breed. (ASPC study) media repeats the story with pit-bull up to 220 times while other breeds are only printed 1 to 2 times. Pit bull is a generic term that can include up to 10 or more breeds. Also it is well documented that all dogs when running loose are dangerous. That is why we have no dogs at large laws. Dogs of all breeds pack up when let to run at large, then go home when there master gets there. I see your point on unsupervised dogs, however bad pack behavior is documented in all breeds, not just pit bulls

  • Rebawsmith

    Remember that “pit bull” is not a breed.  

  • Rebawsmith

    Pit Bull is a combination of traits. Like in all mixes, the fittest will
    survive. I believe that the “pit bull’ is the crux of human nature,
    epitomized by our attempts to recreate into our own image what God has made. Is it the loving or the brutal nature that will win out
    ??????????  Humans also have the herd instinct, we call them” gangs”. Everything you hypothized about the dog in the last part of your comment could just as easily apply to humans.

  • Leslee Vandernick

    Many of us are very unhappy at the fact that Michael Vick was just honored with the BET Sportsman of the Year Award.  My issue with it is that anyone who is going to get an award for being a Sportsman should be someone of great moral character that I would have no problem with my children looking up to and wanting to be like.  I would never want my children to idolize this man.  I cannot even explain to my children what this man has done without getting sick and would not even know how to begin without damaging them, and they are 11 and 13.  How many other children look up to this man and idolize him?  We have a few facebook pages going to boycott the companies that supported this award (Subway, BET) and now Nike for signing him back up for another shoe deal.  It bothers me that he really has shown little remorse for what he did.  In a video of him going back to where they kept the dogs he states that maybe they could have found homes for the dogs instead of torturing them and killing them, not that they never should have done the dog fighting….sigh.
    Come check us out if you like and join us on getting BET to rescind that award.  I am sure there are many more well deserving athletes out there than Vick that truly are Sportsmen of the Year that our children can look up to and we not have to worry about what they learn from them.!/Boycott_BET!/notonikeandvick

  • Carol Rohr

    Ryan Newman and his foundation would have been a better choice and I told them so on their FB page!!! Obviously MV still has a large following and so I wish someone would challange him to sponser their rescue group! 

  • Andie Burris

    I enjoyed the video and took some heart  in knowing the outcome of the victim’s lives.
    I think the remarks about the 2 that escaped their pen should be provided with
    some context. I have a Samoyed therapy dog. Sammies are known for their
    gentility. However, my trainer couldn’t hammer it home more clearly then to
    remind us to never assert that our dogs don’t bite. All dogs are capable of
    biting, charging, and attacking. Even the most tested and certified of them. A
    dog’s behavior more times than not does come down to who’s at the other end of
    the leash. Any dog off a leash, away from home, etc. is unpredictable. It has
    nothing whatsoever to do with breed. A dog is a dog.

    These bullies have been in the American culture for generations
    without having a bad rap. The bad reputation came to them via their human
    handlers who exploited their natural breed tendencies. My dog’s natural breed
    tendency is to pull things. And, even though I don’t exploit it, and he doesn’t
    mean to harm me, in the winter it can get pretty dicey taking him out for a
    walk when he wants to pull me as if I were a sled! What if I were to exploit
    that natural tendency and have him drag people or other animals I didn’t like
    or care about? Would that be my dog’s fault or mine? Who is the one with free
    choice, a conscience and the gift of language? And, before you say dogs can
    communicate, please understand the distinction. While my dog can emote, he
    cannot, actually speak to me to tell me I’m being cruel or stupid.

    But, of greater interest to me is a comment made in the text on
    this page. This sentence, “Vick has repeatedly expressed remorse for his
    role in these crimes, and he was allowed to rejoin the National Football League
    in 2009 by Commissioner Roger Godell.”

    I have always heard he hasn’t expressed remorse. And that he has
    said he wouldn’t change a thing about his life, etc. Why the disparity? What is
    the truth? I don’t see the remorse in him. But, maybe I’ve missed it. I’m not
    impressed with his pairing with the HSUS either if that’s to be called remorse.
    I just don’t trust a Hen House that allows the wolf inside.

    Sadly, the Michael Vick’s among us are broken. He should have been
    charged and convicted on an animal cruelty charge. He should have served much
    more time than he did for the extreme circumstances of his crime. His parole
    should require lifelong therapy for his brokenness and sociopathic tendencies.
    He should never be allowed to serve as a role model or spokesperson for any
    commercial product. I believe he should be on a national registry for animal
    cruelty convicts. I believe that he should never be allowed to own, handle, breed,
    or be near domesticated animals. I’m sorry, if that offends but, I believe
    wholeheartedly that a person who is cruel to animals will be cruel to humans if
    he is not monitored and controlled. He’s just too high risk for me.

    I support the boycott of corporations elevating him to a position
    of emulation or role model. I support the boycott of products he endorses. I
    believe that if he is to win awards role models should win or is allowed to
    enter multi-million dollar endorsement deals, that each of them should come
    with a requirement that a certain percentage goes to the organizations (other
    than HSUS) who are trying to end dogfighting or are rehabilitating, caring for
    or supporting the canine victims of dogfighting regardless of their breed or

  • Yvonne Canchola

    The Pain was so deep

    You took me in from the time I was a pup
    You taught me to fight so I wouldn’t get eat up.

    When I didn’t win you beat me, kicked me and hung me to a tree,
    Or chained me to the fence; oh how I longed to be free.

    If money was your motive for being that cruel,
    Karma will be calling with the tenfold rule.

    All I wanted was to please you, be loyal, and be your friend,
    But instead I got brutalized, cut, and shot with an agonizing end.

    As I lay in the dirt brutally bleeding and screaming from the pain,
    You looked down, grabbed my leg and drug me to my grave.

    Now you want mercy when you gave me none,
    So I say to you from Heaven, “I’m not Jesus the Son”.

    Show me you mean it that you really have changed,
    Give all your Nike earnings to the ones still caged.

    I can never run in a field of flowers or play in the rain,
    Or love a new master because you took it all away.

    If justice now a days was an eye for an eye,
    Than you wouldn’t survive cause you’re a puss of a guy.

    Sleepless nights and restless days,
    Is what you will get if you haven’t changed your ways!

    Author: Yvonne Oliveira
    “This work has been
    registered with the Writers’ Copyright Association (
    Copyright 2011
    Registration # C102690

  • Silvia

    PitBulls are awesome dogs!! I’m an old alone woman and my PitBull (APBT) Charlie is the light of my life; he’s my beloved son…

  • Kathleen Grube

    I applaud the story, but the statement that Vick “has repeatedly expressed remorse” is bull-oney.  Because to express remorse would be to take responsibility and his handlers won’t allow that kind of PR.  Vick started with “I didn’t do it” and that moved to “I didn’t know better” and “I was handing out with the wrong people”.  He has never owned up to the fact that only mentally and emotionally disturbed people are capable of the extended repeated and creative torture of dogs that the orchestrated and participated in for an extended period for persona satisfaction despite the fact that it was against the law and that it would ruin his career.  In that sentence are so many disturbing facts alone.  But that’s not where it stopped.  Our officials, in their infinite (lack) of wisdom, elected NOT to prosecute Vick for the 30+ cases of animal torture – instead he was prosecuted for gambling.  And for that he did not even serve the minimum recommended sentence.

    Children, listen up.  It’s now official.  Laws (ethical, moral, physical) don’t apply to all people equally.  If you are an athlete, you can commit the most heinous of crimes and be treated differently than other people.  You can actually get your job back and receive “sportsmanship” awards.  Vick may have officially ‘done his time’ or ‘paid his deb to society’.  But he is and never will be a sportsman or a celebrity that our children should emulate.

  • Gail LaFrance

    You are absolutely correct. Vick has never truly shown remorse. The only remorse he has is that fighting the dogs led to his incarceration. The Eagles had to change his image, so they paid the AHS a lot of money to use this crap of “remorse” to do it.  Many of us see the AHS as selling out. Furthermore, dog fighting has gone up since Vick was hired by the Eagles. And shame on Nike. I won’t buy their shoes–that’s for sure.

  • Forum | Bye Video

     If I were a representative for Michael Vick, I would be extremely upset
    about some of the comments that you supposedly attributed to him –
    especially when you only put the disclaimer after the article.  This
    seems like very poor journalism.

    I suppose it would be OK if the
    article actually had some humor so the reader could recognize it as
    satire – but the entire thing is remarkably un-funny.

    I wonder what award this “award winning writer” could have won.

    This is brutal…

  • Rache Vonb

    Well Vick never served jail time for his crimes against these defenseless animals. He waa never charged or tried. He himself has claimed we “are sheep. The people will forget. We obviously has forgotten due to the sorry fact that he is a good football player. We have forgotten our values as humans to remain humane towards our faithful companions who do the worst sometimes just to please those who take advantage of just that.

  • ASDF

    vick is a murderer, you stupid diseased nigger. you are trash just like vick. i hope you lose your children right before your eyes fucking nigger. VICK IS A TORTURER AND MURDERER AND SHOULD BE FORCED TO FIGHT IN A CAGE…. UNTIL DEATH. 

  • dru

    BIG PROBLEM~~~”working with” vick!!!!! THAT IS WRONG. vick is sorry for ONLY 1 thing!!! hegot caught!!!! he NEVER served ANY jail time for his crimes yet he’s being treated like a star…..he thinks ” The people will forget.” vick~u’re just a PUNK………………….I WILL NEVER FORGET WHAT YOU DID~EVER!!!!

  • doglover/vickhater

    Vick has not expressed remorse and he should have given away the property

  • Erich

    PETA operates a single animal shelter in Virginia, and each year they kill 95%+ of the cats and dogs collected by the shelter. So, they do not only want abused dogs to be killed.
    Journalists should know their sources.

  • Carol Batten