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Whatever happened to Michael Vick's dogs?

July 11, 2008 | 11:57 am

One_of_the_dogs_rescued_from_michaeAtlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was indicted last year by a federal grand jury in relation to the dogfighting investigation that took place at his Virginia residence.

When Vick's home was first raided in the spring of 2007, dozens of malnourished animals were discovered; later raids turned up buried remains of several pit bulls. It was suggested that dogs that wouldn't fight -- or lost their fights -- were shot, drowned, electrocuted, strangled or hanged.

So what happened to the dogs that didn't die? A federal judge involved in the case ordered each dog (that's one of them pictured) to be evaluated individually. And he "ordered Vick to pony up close to $1 million to pay for the lifelong care of those that could be saved." The Washington Post reports:

Of the 49 pit bulls animal behavior experts evaluated in the fall, only one was deemed too vicious to warrant saving and was euthanized. (Another was euthanized because it was sick and in pain.)

...Of the 47 surviving dogs, 25 were placed directly in foster homes, and a handful have been or are being adopted. Twenty-two were deemed potentially aggressive toward other dogs and were sent to an animal sanctuary in Utah. Some, after intensive retraining, are expected to move on to foster care and eventual adoption.

Pit bulls seem to end up in a great many headlines that involve animal attacks, so how can it be that some experts believe some of these animals can eventually be placed with people, possibly people with families? Post writer Brigid Schulte has some of the answers.

-- Alice Short

Photo: Douglas C. Pizac / Associated Press

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