In 2007, authorities rescued 51 Pit Bulls from the Virginia home of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. These animals suffered horrendous abuse. They had been beaten, electrocuted, hung, drowned, and forced to fight.
Sadly, three of the dogs died, but 48 brave Pitties survived. Several rescue organizations and their forever families showed love and patience to these terrified, formerly abused dogs.
One of the survivors, Frodo, lived to be 15 years old. He died on December 18th, 2021. He spent the next 14 years being “pampered like a prince” after spending a year in hell at Vick’s compound.
Rest in peace, “Sweet” Frodo.
BAD RAP, an Oakland-based nonprofit animal protection group, announced the dog’s death on Facebook. This organization was invaluable in advocating for and rehabilitating the dogs.
The following is the BAD RAP entry on Frodo’s death:
“To Frodo – We all adored him. He was one of the most valiant survivors we’d ever met.”
Frodo lived a happy life with his adoring family and died in love. BAD RAP described the dog’s final moments as follows:
“While his mother, Kim Ramirez, and her daughter Dominique were crying, Frodo ate that enormous bag of steak.” Thank you for attending to his medical needs all the way to the end, Dr. Williams. He put his trust in you, and you exceeded his expectations.”
The Recovering of Frodo
Throughout his life, Frodo was the face of the effort to dispel the negative stereotype of Pit Bulls. He also demonstrated the value of patience and kindness in a dog’s life.
BAD RAP, who has extensive experience working with dogs captured in fights, had faith in these puppies from the beginning. BAD RAP previously stated that dogs with difficult backgrounds deserve a second chance:
“Frodo demonstrated that younger dogs rescued from cruelty incidents require early socialization in order to grow up strong and fearless.” In his case, he was probably 3-6 months old when he was apprehended by police, and he then spent six long and destructive months in solitary confinement before being rescued.”
When he was rescued from his terrible environment, Frodo was unusually timid and scared. Kim Ramirez, Frodo’s adoptee, explained in a 2009 interview with The Mercury News:
“The sound of anything mechanical irritates him. Our house had ceiling fans, and he would become fixated on them, fearfully staring up at them. If I opened a closet, he’d escape. Microwave popcorn is another option. I’m not sure, but I’m guessing the popcorn resembles gunfire to him. I don’t think he saw any of the fights. But I’m sure he heard them.”
Frodo was blessed to have the Ramirez family, who lavished him with love and sympathy. When the cute dog’s legs failed him, his family transported him in a stroller.
A true survivor has passed away.
The 48 Surviving “Vick” Dogs’ Heroes
Thirteen canines who had been liberated from Vick’s ring were still alive in 2019. Jonny Justice died two days before Frodo, joined by his family, and Uba crossed the rainbow bridge in October 2021.
These dogs were given the opportunities they deserved, and despite their backgrounds, they all lived happy lives.
Amazing things can happen when animal rights activists band together. These 48 “Vick” dogs are living proof.
Vick was sentenced to 19 months in federal prison for funding dogfighting while confessing to murdering dogs. Despite this injustice, the high-profile case influenced public perception of Pit Bulls and how abused canines may be rehabilitated.