Stories about the Dogs

Best Friends was among the first national animal welfare organizations to advocate for the dogs rescued from the property of NFL quarterback Michael Vick. In 2008, 22 of the most traumatized dogs came to Best Friends, where the quest to rehabilitate them began. Here are their stories. 

Lucas the Vicktory dog with Ethan

The Vicktory dogs: Nine years later

January 2, 2008, was the day that changed everything for the 22 dogs known as the Vicktory dogs. That day — nine years ago now — they arrived at Best Friends Animal Society’s Utah sanctuary.

Good Newz for Vicktory Dogs like Little Red

Good Newz

Since arriving at Best Friends in January of 2008, the 22 dogs from Michael Vick's Bad Newz Kennels (dubbed the Vicktory dogs) have come a long way. Read an update on the dogs who inspired a nation.

Handsome Dan, a dog rescued from Michael Vick

Handsome Dan the Vicktory dog

 Dan will always be a fearful guy, but he tries so hard to do what we ask of him, even when he is struggling.

Lance, a former Mike Vick dog, will be forever loved

Forever loved

Vicktory dog Lance is gone but will never be forgotten.

Georgia, a Vick dog, couldn't have been any sweeter to me, trying to give me kisses up until the very end.

Vicktory dog Georgia says goodbye

The much-loved pit bull terrier passes away, leaving a legacy of love and hope.

A Vicktory for Layla, an ex-fighting dog

A victory for Layla

Former Vick dog becomes a Canine Good Citizen.

Lance, a pitbull mix from the Mike Vick dogfighting case

The real thing.

Vicktory dog shows what happens when you never stop believing.

Cherry, a dog from Michael Vick's Bad Newz Kennels, was adopted.

Cherry the Vicktory dog Goes Home

When Paul and his fiancé Melissa saw Cherry the Vicktory dog on the National Geographic show "DogTown," they fell head over heels in love. Of course they weren't the only ones.

Bonita was a very special girl rescued from Michael Vick

A Very Special Life

Bonita the Vicktory dog passes on, but not without leaving her legacy.

Another legend leaves, Ray, a Vicktory dog

Ray's Legacy

Vicktory dog Ray leaves behind the many people who loved him.

Handsome Dan, who once was part of Vick's dogfighting ring

Rhode Island House Bill 5671

Bill passes that outlaws breed-discriminatory legislation and embraces community safety.

Oscar from the Vick dogfighting case

Another Vicktory for Oscar

Oscar the Vicktory dog passes his Canine Good Citizen test.

Dan, a former Vick dog, is so very handsome

More Handsome than ever

Former Vicktory dog blossoms under the love and caring of his wonderful family.

Willie, also an ex-Vick dog, loves the jolly ball

From horses with love.

Best Friends horses make a donation to the Vicktory dogs!

Vicktory dog Handsome Dan's favorite treat

Handsome Dan's favorite treat

You won't believe what it is!

Changing the perception of America's dog, the pitbull

Pit Bull Terrier Initiatives

Changing the perception of America's dog

From dog fighting to dog snuggling

From dog fighting to dog snuggling

Two Vicktory dogs become best friends.

The Lost Dogs: Michael's Vick's Dogs and their Tale of Rescue and Redemption

The Lost Dogs

Book follows journeys of Vicktory dogs, includes chapters about Best Friends. September 21, 2010

Two Vicktory dogs

Never mind, Santa, I’m good

Vicktory dog Little Red got her Christmas present early and she doesn’t need anything else. 

Life, a bowl of cherries for Cherry, a dog who once belonged to Michael Vick

Life, a bowl of cherries for Cherry

Happiness: A year after his adoption, Vicktory dog Cherry has a loving family, a Facebook page, and thousands of fans.

Major the Vicktory dog wins for pitbull terriers

Major wins for pit bull terriers in 2014

This year, “America’s dog” made headlines for all the right reasons.

Meryl the Vicktory dog

From Vick to Vicktory

How Best Friends acquired 22 of the most challenging dogs from Michael Vick's dog-fighting operation.

Mama Mya

Mama Mya

Far from her former life, Vicktory dog Mya turns out to be a real 'house mother.'

Pitbulls: Everything you need to know

Pitbulls: Everything you need to know

Pitbulls, American Staffordshire terriers, pit bull terriers, bully breeds: No matter what you call them, here’s everything you need to know about these controversial dogs.

Vick dog Layla’s love at first sight

Layla’s love at first sight

Vicktory dog Layla goes home.

Bright lights, big pittie

Bright lights, big pittie

Vicktory dog Georgia shines brightly during her appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and gets a new bed to take back home to Dogtown.

Good Citizens in the making. Little Red, a Vick dog, learns to accept and return lots of love.

Good Citizens in the making

Vicktory girls Georgia and Little Red make the grade and wow Dogtown staff by passing their obedience test with flying colors.

Layla, a dog from the Vick dogfighting ring bust

Lucky number three

Layla the Vicktory dog is ready to follow in the footsteps of two lucky dogs before her.

A warm welcome back for Lucas the Vicktory dog

A warm welcome back

Lucas the Vicktory dog has many friends and fans that are thrilled to see him after his stint at the Best Friends clinic for exploratory surgery.

Lucas, a pitbull mix from the Michael Vick bust


In the three years he's been at Best Friends, Vicktory dog Lucas has become a happy-go-lucky guy. 

Squeaker and Oscar, to former Vick dogs

Squeaker and Oscar

These Vicktory dogs have formed a strong bond since coming to the Sanctuary - a bond they never had in their former life.