It’s hard to believe that nearly nine years ago, authorities raided the home of fallen football star Michael Vick with a search warrant for drugs. And instead they came upon a house of horrors, one of the most elaborate dog fighting rings ever discovered. Fifty-one pit bulls were discovered on the property, and a multitude of dog-fighting paraphernalia, including a blood stained “pit”, a “rape stand”, training equipment, performance enhancing drugs and dogs chained with heavy log chains in the woods.
Sadly, Vick only served 21 months in prison and two months house arrest for committing these atrocities.
Of those tens of dogs that were rescued, two died immediately after the raid, and one was euthanized after being deemed too damaged for placement. But for the remaining 48 canines, life would be different.
You see, people were angry (myself included) about what these dogs went through at the hands of Vick and his accomplices. And several rescue groups stepped up, offering to take in these dogs to try and rehabilitate them and give them a second chance at life.
Before this case, dogs were routinely held as evidence until the trial ended, and then killed. But not this time. These dogs found their happily ever afters in private homes or sanctuaries. Therapy dogs were created, loving family pets were made, and lives were saved.
And now almost a decade after this history-making bust, filmmaker Darcy Dennett has put together a documentary on the remaining Vicktory dogs called The Champions. Profiling several of the dogs and the tireless work of Best Friends Animal Society in rehabilitating them, this film shows where these pups are now, and the lives they always deserved to lead, free from pain and torture, and full of love.
You can learn more about these amazing dogs and watch The Champions here.