NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t AIR

In July 2007, Michael Vick and three other men were arrested and charged with operating an interstate dogfighting ring. When the authorities arrived, they seized 51 pit bulls from Vick’s Virginia fighting compound, which he’d nicknamed the “Bad Newz Kennels.” The pit bulls showed clear signs of being abused and tortured. Much attention has been paid to Vick and whether he should have been eligible to return to the NFL when he was released from prison. It turns out there was also an extremely successful effort to rehabilitate the pit bulls rescued from his compound. Many found new lives as pets, and others live peacefully with other dogs in animal sanctuaries. Jim Gorant, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, has been following the 49 surviving pit bulls the past three years. He’s written a book about their story called The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption. Gorant joins Dave Davies for a conversation about the rehabilitation of the dogs. He’s joined by Hector, a pit bull rescued from Vick’s compound; dog trainer Andrew Yori, who adopted Hector, and Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, a psychologist and ASPCA animal behavior specialist who worked extensively with the Vick dogs.

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