On April 26th, 2007, law enforcement officials descended on a sprawling white-brick house at 1915 Moonlight Road in Smithfield, Virginia. The home belonged to Michael Vick, who was the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons and one of the highest paid players in the NFL. Although the police were there on a drug search, they quickly found evidence of what appeared to be a large, well-financed dog fighting operation.

Fifty-one pit bulls were seized from the property and they sat in local shelters for six months as the ensuing investigation played out, leading to guilty pleas from Vick and his partners in an operation known as Bad Newz Kennels. In most cases, that would have been it for the dogs. Considered a public hazard, they would have been euthanized. But a tidal wave of public outcry inspired government officials to at least consider the possibility of saving some dogs. 

The startling string of events that followed included a landmark legal decision, a never-before assembled team of expert evaluators, a leap of faith and a selection of rescuers who were willing to do whatever it took to help. At the heart of it all was a group of dogs that wanted desperately to overcome what had until then been a life of violence and deprivation. 

Taken together, these tales showcase a resilience, dedication and commitment that have the power to alter the way society views pit bulls and to reinforce the essential nature of the human-animal bond. The Lost Dogs, for the first time, tells the behind-the-scenes story from the day of that initial raid until today.    

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Hail Cesar

The Dog Whisperer has weighed in. Check out this four-page article about The Lost Dogs from the Sept. issue of Cesar’s Way Magazine.

Reader Comments (4)

Bless you Jim for all of your hard work! You're awesome, and I wish you all the success in the world!

Many dogs have had their bad rap: German Shepherds, Rotties, Dobermans, etc. People need to remember to punish the deed, not the breed! Thanks again!

Christine B.

September 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

Thank you Jim for telling the story of these dogs and their suffering as well as their resilience and recovery.. I applaud the efforts of all the individuals involved who decided to give each and every one of these dogs a chance to be heard. You have changed the future for Pitbulls and as someone who lives with 2 rescued Pitties I am forever grateful to you.

October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren B

Looking foreard to reading the stories. Happy someone has taken the time to further demonsntrate that animals are always innocent and that we can learn to be more compassionate and caring and responsible. Everybody can; some do; others still look the other way and miss the chance.

October 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill

I finished this book in one day. The first few chapters were quite difficult to get through. I had to put it down several times between tears. I am truly inspired by this story and thank you for bringing the plight of pitbulls to light. Reading this has given me a greater appreciation for our own pitbull that we rescued a year ago. I don't think I will ever want another breed in my home~these dogs are amazingly resilient and loving.

October 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa

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