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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Reader Comments (1)

The Bible being the greatest, "Lost Dogs" coming a close second to a recollection of emotions, courage in the face of horrid circumstamces, redemption, and unconditional love. Mr. Gorant's descriptions of the events on Moonlight Rd. and the shelters thereafter from the dogs point of view were riveting, touching deep chords causing the reader to want to reach through the pages of the book and pull the little souls from the conditions and treatment they endured. Conversly the dog's point of view of their reactions to kindness, patience, quietness, love, and the world around them brought tears of hurt and joy as they faced their new beginnings. I strongly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, dog lover or not. If the public really knew what #7 did to the dogs with his own hands and how it was callously carried out, I dare say that one would not be drawing an NFL paycheck today. There was redemption for these dogs through grace that was extended to them. I sincerely hope that #7 realizes there is grace and redemption for him, too, as long as there is true repentence. Only he knows for sure. As you read the book, keep the Kleenx close at hand and the realization in mind these and other dogs like them are not the criminals they are the victims, but they can and due pay the ultimate price without being given the chance to plea bargin or be under house arrest.

December 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSheila McGee

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