Vick’s former pit bulls making progress in rehabilitation at Utah animal sanctuary

Two months ago, Shadow was one uncooperative pit bull.

He had no interest in toys placed in his kennel and would firmly anchor his paws in the middle of walks, refusing to continue.

The dog wasn’t being stubborn. He was frightened, adjusting to getting lavished with affection and attention after having survived the bloodthirsty world of dogfighting. Shadow and 21 other pit bulls are living at a southern Utah animal sanctuary where handlers hope to undo the mental damage done at Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels.

So far, the ragtag bunch of leftovers that other rescue groups passed over has shown encouraging progress.

“These are the 22 that they thought were the most hopeless – the least likely to ever be rehabilitated,” said Dr. Frank McMillan, a veterinarian at the Best Friends Animal Society’s sanctuary...

…Vick’s pit bulls are getting a chance most fighting dogs don’t. And surprisingly, animal rights groups don’t think they should. Groups such as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals believe that euthanasia, the fate of most fighting dogs, would still be the most humane option, rather than keeping them in a shelter indefinitely or in some cases permanently.

Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA vice president for cruelty investigations, said as touching as it seems to give these dogs a taste of happiness after enduring such misery, nobody can be certain how they will behave if they are ever released.

…McMillan said PETA has a point. If a dog’s disposition and behavior are misread and the animal is sent to the wrong environment, the results could be tragic. So the evaluation process will be extensive and stringent for at least six months, longer in some cases…

Click here for the full article.

For more animal-esque music, news, and issues, tune in to Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo online at www.thecapstone.ua.edu, Sunday nights 8-10 central.

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