BAD RAP finds good homes for Vick pit bulls
Since 1999, BAD RAP has been working to rehabilitate pit bulls and their image — including some of those seized from Michael Vick’s Virginia estate/dogfighting ring.
While Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah took in the toughest cases — including the vicious beast pictured above — BAD RAP took in 13 of the Vick dogs, and so far homes have been found for ten of them, according to a profile of the group in last week’s Los Angeles Times.
The Vick dogs are among more than 400 pit bulls BAD RAP founders Tim Racer and Donna Reynolds have rescued since they started picking up strays in Chicago on winter nights.
After relocating to Oakland, the two commercial artists focused their rescue efforts on pits and formed Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit Bulls, or BAD RAP, to help reverse the dogs’ undeserved image.
“I give BAD RAP a lot of credit for what was accomplished with the Vick dogs,” said Rebecca Huss, a Valparaiso University law professor who was appointed by federal prosecutors to be guardian of the Vick dogs. “They were there at the forefront.”
Racer and Reynolds point out that a few generations ago pit bulls were considered America’s dog: The dogs helped sell bonds during World War I, were used to advertise RCA record players, and one, Petie, served as the mascot of “The Little Rascals,” the popular children’s TV show.
Now, thanks to misguided breeding and training, the animals are often raised to fight. They are by far the most commonly found breed in shelters nationwide, and hundreds of thousands are euthanized each year.
Only one of the Vick dogs was put down because of its temperament. Twenty-two, deemed either unsocialized or dog-aggressive, were sent to the Best Friends. The rest were placed with other groups, including Baltimore’s Recycled Love.
For a look at some of the other Vick dogs, click here.
(Photo: One of the Vick dogs at Best Friends, courtesy of Best Friends)