WASHINGTON — A dog that was one of many rescued from a dogfighting operation associated with former NFL quarterback Michael Vick died. He was the last of 22 dogs saved in 2007.
Meryl died on Monday after another "Vicktory Dog" named Cherry died last week, according to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, which was the place these dogs lived out the rest of their lives after being rescued.
"We dubbed the 22 Vick dogs in our care the Vicktory dogs, and for Meryl, a new life was about to unfold," said Best Friend Animal Society CEO Julie Castle in a blog post. "She transformed from frightened and distrusting to a Dogtown mainstay — Mama Meryl — a loving companion to her caregivers, a friend to volunteers and a security blanket for other dogs learning to trust. Meryl’s complete turnaround is not only a testimony to the loving care that she received, but to her resilience and character — and that of all the Vicktory dogs. Their example literally changed the world for the canine survivors of dogfighting rings, along with the public’s perception of pit-bull-type dogs everywhere."
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary received the 22 dogs from the Bad Newz Kennels after an April 2007 raid that took place in Surry County, Virginia. Vick owned the property where the dogs were found.
The 22 dogs sent to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary were recommended to receive long-term or forever care at a sanctuary, according to Castle's blog post.
In all, 70 dogs were rescud from the Bad Newz Kennels.
By July 2007, Vick and three other men faced federal charges for the dogfighting investigation. Vick served 18 months behind bars for the crimes he committed.