In 2007, authorities rescued 51 Pit Bulls from a Virginia compound belonging to Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. These dogs endured horrible torture. They were electrocuted, beaten, hanged, drowned, and forced to fight.
Sadly, three of the dogs did not survive, but 48 brave Pitties did. These frightened, formerly abused dogs were given love and patience by several rescue organizations and their forever families.
One of these survivors, Frodo, lived to be 15 years old. He died on December 18th, 2021. After one year of hell at Vick’s compound, he spent the last 14 years being “pampered like a prince.”
R.I.P. “Sweet” Frodo
BAD RAP, an Oakland-based nonprofit animal welfare organization, announced the dog’s passing on Facebook. This organization helped immensely in advocating for the dogs and rehabilitating them.
The post from BAD RAP mourning Frodo’s loss states:
“Sweet Frodo – How we loved him. He was one of the bravest survivors we’ve ever met.”
Frodo had a good life with his loving family, and he also went out surrounded by love. BAD RAP described the dog’s final moments:
“Frodo gobbled that big bag of steak under the tears of his mama, Kim Ramirez and her daughter Dominique. Thank you Dr. Williams for tending to his medical needs up until the end. He trusted you and you made this moment so perfect.”
The Story Of Frodo’s Recovery
Throughout his life, Frodo served as a face of the movement to eliminate the negative stereotype against Pit Bulls. He also proved the value of patience and kindness in a dog’s life.
BAD RAP, who have plenty of experience working with dogs seized from fighting situations, believed in these dogs from the start. In a previous post, BAD RAP wrote that dogs with difficult pasts deserve a chance:
“Frodo showed us that younger dogs pulled from cruelty cases need socialization from Day one so they can grow up strong and brave. In his case, he was approx. 3-6mos old when seized by authorities, and then waited six long and damaging months in solitary confinement for rescue help.”
Poor Frodo was especially shy and fearful when rescued from his horrible situation. In a 2009 interview with The Mercury News, Kim Ramirez, Frodo’s adopter, explained:
“Anything mechanical, the sound bothers him. We have ceiling fans at our house and he would become fixated on them, looking up at them with apprehension. If I opened a cabinet, he would shy away. Or popcorn in the microwave. I don’t know, maybe the popcorn equates to gunshots for him. I don’t think he witnessed any of the fights. But I’m sure he heard them.”
Luckily, Frodo had the Ramirez family, who showed him so much love and patience. The sweet dog’s family even pushed him around in a stroller when his legs started to fail him.
R.I.P. to a true survivor.
The 48 Surviving “Vick” Dogs And Their Heroes
In 2019, 13 dogs freed from Vick’s ring were still alive, 12 years later. Just two days before Frodo passed, Jonny Justice died surrounded by his family, and Uba crossed the rainbow bridge in October 2021.
These dogs were given the chances they deserved, and they all lived happy lives despite their pasts.
BAD RAP also acknowledged how hard several rescue groups worked to change these dogs’ lives for the better. While BAD RAP and Best Friends received most of the public appreciation, these organizations helped rehabilitate the Pitties too:
- The Richmond Animal League
- Georgia SPCA
- SPCA of Monterey County
- Out of the Pits
- Our Pack
- Recycled Love
- Animal Rescue of Tidewater
- Animal Farm Foundation
When animal advocates come together, great things can happen. These 48 “Vick” dogs prove that.
Vick served just 19 months in federal prison for bankrolling the dogfighting, even after admitting to killing dogs. Despite this injustice, the high-profile case helped change the way the world sees Pit Bulls and how abused dogs can be rehabilitated.