It seems like only last week that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was raising money to “care for the dogs seized in the Michael Vick [dogfighting] case.” And it seems like just yesterday that HSUS told The New York Times that (a) it wasn’t actually caring for the animals, and (b) every last one of them should be put to death for their own good. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) agreed that destroying the dogs “may be the best thing to do for everyone concerned.”
Fast-forward eight months. Twenty-two of these dogs are being rehabilitated at a Utah animal shelter. All but one will eventually find adoptive homes, no thanks to PETA or HSUS.
ABC News reports:
Nearly all dogs rescued from fighting operations are euthanized. Even the Humane Society argued that Vick’s dogs should be destroyed.
But Michelle Besmehn, the manager of the dog compound at Best Friends [Animal Society], believes any dog can be rehabilitated.
“I’ve heard a lot of comments, ‘Oh my gosh, you’ve taken in maneaters,’” she said. “Once you meet them, you realize that’s not actually true. It’s definitely a misconception that these dogs — because they’re aggressive towards each other — would be aggressive towards people.”
The court has ordered that Lucas, Vick’s personal fighting dog, may never be adopted. But the trainers at Best Friends hope the rest will be. “They’ll need some work before they’re ready to go out in homes,” Besmehn said. “But I’m very hopeful that every one will have an opportunity to find their home.”
As for Lucas, he’ll have a comfortable retirement at Best Friends.