For anyone interested in animal welfare, the story of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels is both sobering and encouraging. Their rescue and the legal cases that followed were thoroughly documented in the New York Times bestseller, The Lost Dogs, by Jim Gorant.
In 2017, to mark the 10th anniversary of the bust which rescued the dogs, Gorant came back with this slim volume to update us on the stories of the dogs and people involved in the case.
Told simply and straightforwardly, the book opens on the property at 1915 Moonlight Road which is now the Good News Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs. In 2016, a ceremony at the property reunited many of the people involved in the case and the adopters with the dogs who had been saved. 51 dogwood trees were planted along with 51 plaques depicting the names of each of the dogs found at the property. In some cases, the adopters were planting the trees for their dogs in memory, because by then many had already passed away.
Part II of the book is the longest part of the book; it’s an alphabetical list of each of the dogs by name and their story since being rescued. Some are heartbreakingly short. Other parts of the book update us on the key people involved in the bust and the legal case, and a discussion about what has changed in the last 10 years.
Much like the documentary film The Champions, the book couldn’t have been published too soon. Many of the Vick dogs have passed, including cover girl Little Red whose story opened and closed The Champions.
Definitely worth reading and, if you are like me, adding to your ‘real’ dog book collection. (I’m talking physical books, not Kindle files!)
And the last words go to Jim Gorant: “As the dogs showed us – and continue to prove – accepting the state of things as they actually are and forging on in the face of those realities is the only way to make progress and create a new, better reality.”
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand