Last week, we brought you the story of Hector, one of Michael Vick’s dogs. He is leading a new life with his foster mom in California.
All of the dogs that were seized from Vick’s property have a touching and moving story of the trauma they endured and the hope that lies ahead for them.
For Georgia, a pit bull mix who is now at Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuary, it has been a long and hard road to where she is now.
Her face, legs, and torso have numerous scars, and her tongue juts from the left side of her mouth because her jaw, once broken, healed at an awkward angle.
But the most obvious sign that Georgia may have gone through the most abuse at Vick’s property is that she has no teeth. All 42 of her teeth were pried from her mouth, probably to ensure that she could not harm male dogs during forced breeding.
The workers at Best Friends observe and wonder why Georgia barks at her doghouse constantly and rolls her toys so much that her nose is rubbed raw. Although they will never know what happened to her in the past, all they can try and find out is how to bring happiness and love to her now.
Here is more from the New York Times about Vick’s dogs starting over again at Best Friends:
Life at Best Friends is nothing like it was at Mr. Vickâ€™s property on Moonlight Road in Smithfield, Va., where many of the dogs were found chained to buried car axles. They slept on concrete. Their water, if any, was kept in algae-covered bowls. Most were underfed. Some showed recent lacerations.
Here, they live in a 3,700-acre sanctuary that is covered by juniper trees and sagebrush, and surrounded by canyons and red-rock formations. They have food called Canine Caviar, squeaky toys, fluffy beds and four full-time caregivers. The caregiver on the night shift curls up with the dogs for naps.
They are assigned to an area of the sanctuary called Dogtown Heights, what Best Friends calls a gated community. Vickâ€™s dogs have their own building with heated floors, sound-absorbing barriers and skylights. Each has an individual dog run because, for now, the dogs must remain isolated, for safetyâ€™s sake.
Caregivers walk the dogs several times a day and spend time in their kennels, praising and caressing them. It is progress when a dog like Cherry does not need to be carried, because he is afraid to walk on a leash. It is monumental when Shadow approaches them instead of retreating.
â€œWe want to get them to understand that being around people isnâ€™t necessarily a bad thing; that we wonâ€™t hurt them,â€ Mr. Garcia [the assistant dog care manager of Dogtown] said. â€œThe worst thing we could do is push them too hard, too fast.â€
For Georgia, even though she has endured such trauma, she still has room in her heart to love and trust human beings.
Garcia said, “These dogs have been beaten and starved and tortured, and they have every reason not to trust us. But deep down, they love us and still want to be with us. It is amazing how resilient they are.”
Source: New York Times
(Thanks Nancy G.)