Allan and I make a small annual donation to them, which I began because they helped me understand Buster, and which we continue in memory of our deeply troubled, deeply wonderful boy.
I was amazed to learn that BAD RAP has adopted and rehabilitated the dogs that survived torture and abuse by Michael Vick and his cohorts. There were 49 survivors in all. Twenty-two dogs will be housed in sanctuaries, and 25 were able to go to foster care, and eventually to adoption. ...
[Update: When I wrote this post, I thought this was old news, and I had been out of touch with BAD RAP goings-on for too long. But I've just learned that the organization was under a strict gag order; they had to be completely secretive about their deal with federal authorities to take the "V-dogs". The news only came out recently.
This post from BAD RAP's blog explains a bit, and links to some of the media around it. For the first time in anyone's memory, abused pit bulls were portrayed as the victims that they are, rather than the monsters they are usually made out to be.
I highly recommend watching all three videos linked here. The story of bringing the dogs cross-country in an RV is terrific.]
... You can read about them, and see videos of their evaluations and rehabilitation, and how they're doing now. A terrible story with a happy ending - something almost every dog can have.
In one sense, the Michael Vick dogs were lucky: they became celebrities. Thousands of abused animals never get that opportunity. Donna Reynolds, Executive Director of BAD RAP, explains:
The only difference between BAD RAP's 'Vick dogs' and the rest of the dogs in their foster care program is their celebrity. All are now living in volunteer foster homes with other pets and some, with children. Like other BAD RAP dogs, they're receiving basic obedience training and learning house manners. All are neutered and micro-chipped. All have different personalities. We can expect they will be well-mannered, good canine citizens that will blend right in with society. After escaping two certain deaths, they're now destined to be well loved family pets and they'll continue to help break down the stereotypes the breed has suffered.
After our odyssey with Buster, I don't know if Allan and I will ever have the heart (or resources) to adopt another abused pit bull. But then, we didn't adopt Buster. We found him on the street, near death, and rehabilitated him ourselves. It was tremendously hard work, wildly expensive, and ultimately came to control our lives. On the other hand, these dogs are the most wonderful animals you can imagine - intensely loving, extremely intelligent, strong and agile, and loyal to a fault.
My deepest thanks to BAD RAP for their work with the Michael Vick dogs, and on behalf of all the bully boys.