Michael Vick’s Dogs

Good news for some of Michael Vick’s dogs. Ten of the dogs have been taken in by a dog rescue group in San Francisco called Bad Rap. All ten dogs on well on their way to transitioning from a short brutal lives as warriors under a brutal and sadistic man to lives as happy family dogs.

His back resting comfortably against her chest, Hector nestles his massive canine head into Leslie Nuccio’s shoulder, high-fiving pit bull paws against human hands.

The big dog — 52 pounds — is social, people-focused, happy now, it seems, wearing a rhinestone collar in his new home in sunny California.

But as Hector sits up, deep scars stand out on his chest, and his eyes are imploring.

Hector ought to be dead, Nuccio knows — killed in a staged fight, executed for not winning or euthanized by those who see pit bulls seized in busts as “kennel trash,” unsuited to any kind of normal life.

Instead, Hector is learning how to be a pet.[…]

The animals barrel around the house, with 4-year-old Hector leading the puppy-like antics — stealth underwear grabs from the laundry basket, dashes across the living room, food heists from the coffee table — until it’s “love time” and he decelerates and engulfs the women in a hug.

Here is a video of the dogs at Bad Rap,

Each dog was evaluated as an individual. Huss recalled the good-natured-but-quiet Rose, whose overbreeding had led to mammary tumors. In the end, needing surgery but unable to tolerate anesthesia, Rose was mercifully put down, just days after being transferred to a foster home.


Weekly “canine good citizen” classes are correcting his social ineptitude. And he’s taking cues on good manners from patient Pandora, a female pit bull mix who’s queen of the household’s dogs. Once Hector graduates, he’ll take classes to become a certified therapy dog, helping at nursing homes and the like.

From the sounds of it, these dogs would have all died rather quickly as none of them sound like ideal fighting material. An American Pit Bull Terrier that is dog friendly isn’t going to make a good fighter, and will either be put down during testing, after losing a fight or worst of all used as bait dogs, and we know how sadistic Vick’s methods of disposing of “undesirable” dogs were.

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Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Bithead says:


    It really depends on what kind of family they ended up with.

    I’ve taken in such a dog myself, 14 years back. Ours was being trained for fighting, but was never involved in one, best I can tell. On the basis of the training, she has always been other dog aggressive, but never to humans. That other dog aggressiveness has been an issue all her life, even to the advanced age she is nowdays. Scared to death; Her inter-dog skills having been twisted as a part of the training process.

    I wish the adoptors well. It takes a special kind of person AND a person with a very good intuitive understanding of normal dog behavior to take on such an animal at all, much less as a family pet. If that’s the situation here, these dogs are very lucky indeed.

  2. Triumph says:

    As our next president, Mitt Romney, says: “Who let the dogs out?”