Famous Frodo, the last of Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring, dies

I guess the world has heard about Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring. Vick earned the largest pay check of any NFL player in his time. Apparently, he blames others for taking that paycheck from him. He says that others “didn’t have my best interests at heart”. He appears not to have accepted the fact that he traumatised 47 dogs which he used in his fighting ring before he was caught, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned. He was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison after pleading guilty. He lost his employment too.

Frodo a dog rehabilitated from the Michael Vick dog fighting ring
Frodo a dog rehabilitated from the Michael Vick dog fighting ring. Here he is shown in his home with Kim Ramirez. Photo: Nathan Winograd email to me and others.

And the news this week has been focusing on the dogs that he abused so terribly. They were rescued by a range of rescue organisations around America. The 22 dogs that were considered to be the most challenging went to Best Friends Animal Society in Utah. Ten dogs went to BADRAP while the rest went to smaller organisations.

From there they went on to new homes where they were rehabilitated for the rest of their lives. And they managed to live good lives thanks to these wonderful people. One of those individuals is Kim Ramirez in California. She took in Frodo, a black Pitbull with long ears. He was one of the younger dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s property.

He recently died of old age but his life was good with Ramirez. She tells his story. She said that: “When I got Frodo, the world was a scary place”. She said that he was completely shut down.

And early on in her caregiving Frodo had nightmares and he would cry out. When he did that Ramirez got up from her bed to console him. And she learnt to keep the TV on a music channel or a fan running in order to create white noise to help drown out any sounds outside which might have scared him.

She said that she had to rearrange her life to a certain extent for Frodo. But it was definitely worth it. “And he’s worth it, believe me.”

I’m sure that her experiences are similar to those experienced by other caregivers who took in these abused dogs.

Ramirez worked with Frodo to allow him to become more familiar with everyday objects. Eventually he became comfortable living in her home and in using her backyard. She said that the outside world sometimes frightened him.

He lived to be 15. He was rescued by BADRAP who said:

“THIS is the important part — the last 14 years of his life were spent being pampered like a prince with the Ramirez family and dogs. Sweet Frodo — How we loved him. He was one of the bravest survivors we’ve ever met.”

In his final moments he ate steak and he was surrounded by his family members.

At one time there was talk of euthanising the dogs after they were rescued. But I guess they quickly decided to rehabilitate and made the right decision. We need to remember them all. The Washington Post does just that. They’ve written an excellent summary of how these dogs found a good life in a good home with good people. They deserved it. Click this link to read it if you wish.

Best Friends wrote in a social media post this Monday:

“After an astonishing legacy, from coast to coast, from warm homes to state capitals, these beloved dogs have been the living embodiment of resiliency.”

That sums it up nicely.

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