Michael Vick's former dogfighting pups will have you believing in miracles

It's the stuff that legends are made of. The Michael Vick dogs have proved that there's no such thing as "too damaged." That there's no such thing as "beyond hope." And that no dog is inherently vicious, no matter her breed or background.

Michael Vick case

These are the dogs who were rescued from the property of NFL star Michael Vick, from his Bad Newz Kennels. They'd been used and abused - some as fighters, some as bait. And when they were confiscated, they were in danger of being killed. Even some animal welfare groups argued that these dogs were too traumatized and had been made too vicious to live.

Saving former fighting dogs

But Best Friends was among those who fought for these dogs' lives. And in the end, their lives were spared, and 22 of the most traumatized came here, to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, where the quest to rehabilitate them began.

Helping abused dogs

It wasn't easy. Some of these dogs would flatten themselves like pancakes to avoid being noticed by people. Some would threaten. And some needed medical attention. But like all of the 1,700 or so homeless pets who take refuge here at the Sanctuary on any given day, they received every bit of training, veterinary care, compassion, and in-depth emotional healing that they were so desperately in need of.

Michael Vick dogs become Vicktory dogs

Today, they are called the Vicktory dogs, and with good reason. Many are now in loving homes, starting new lives as beloved family members. Some have been on TV, wowing audiences with their excellent behavior and kind, loving eyes. And a few were court-ordered to remain at Best Friends for life. But they too are healing and blossoming, and will enjoy a life of spacious beauty among the red rock canyons, their painful ordeals forever behind them. They are all Vicktorious.

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