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No group of pit bulls has received as much media attention as the dogs from former NFL player Michael Vick's yard. While it's certain nobody would've known about these victimized dogs had they not been part of a fallen sports figure's dog fighting venture, they earned celebrity in their own right by surviving two certain deaths, thanks to a large scale rescue effort led, in part, by the federal government - a first of its kind.
Public opinion fell strongly in favor of helping the dogs. In this landmark animal welfare case, federal prosecuting attorneys, federal agents, the USDA, six Virginia animal shelters, a court appointed animal law expert and several rescue organizations including BAD RAP all teamed together to reach the goal of evaluating 49 fight bust victims and then sending them to new and better lives with rescue organizations around the country.
In the past, shelters have been encouraged to put all fight bust dogs to their deaths because it was assumed that
they were each going to be dangerous, uncontrollable animals. Theyâ€™ve been called â€˜Kennel Trashâ€™ and accused of taking up space normally reserved for other dogs. Evaluating them as individuals revealed new information about dogs from fight busts and helped shatter old myths previously used to condemn them.