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The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption
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The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption

4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  3,782 ratings  ·  639 reviews
An inspiring story of survival and our powerful bond with man's best friend, in the aftermath of the nation's most notorious case of animal cruelty.

Animal lovers and sports fans were shocked when the story broke about NFL player Michael Vick's brutal dog fighting operation. But what became of the dozens of dogs who survived? As acclaimed writer Jim Gorant discovered, the
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Hardcover, 279 pages
Published September 16th 2010 by Gotham (first published September 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jennifer (aka EM)
Mar 19, 2011 Jennifer (aka EM) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: football fans
UPDATED: 03/19/11 Read. Cried. Read some more. Got seriously pissed off. Read some more and finished on a bittersweet note.

The Lost Dogs tells the tale of a landmark dog-fighting case, the swirl of celebrity politics surrounding it, and the precedent-setting processes and activities that were developed to rescue and rehabilitate the dogs - for the first time viewed as victims, not evidence; saved, not destroyed. The facts it reveals about pit bulls were and still are critical to advancing the a
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Marieke
Mar 25, 2014 Marieke rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Michael Vick, Andy Reid, Howie Roseman, Vick supporters who think it's about race, supporters of BSL
Recommended to Marieke by: Kaliki's updates
**ETA (December 2011) sad update: Tribute to Leo

***ETA add NY JETS to those who should read this book.

If i am in tears at the end of a book, it gets five stars. I would advise anyone who is out in public, on transit or whatever, reading this book (which i hope you do--the more people seen reading this book, the more people might read it), stop if you get to Chapter 38 (the last chapter), close the book, and don't continue reading until you are home.

This is an incredibly important book, in my est
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Jennifer Peas
EDIT:
I couldn't get even 20 pages in. It wasn't horribly graphic (thankfully) but it *was* really sad and I just had to abandon ship in order to save my own heart. I'm so glad those dogs found homes and did well and I should rest in knowing that....

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As I've gotten older, my threshold to read about the abuse of animals, or kids or people....has absolutely dissolved. Hell, even reading about the death of dogs. I can't do it, it seizes-up my heart and the sorrow of it just paralyzes me
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Ym
An even-handed and well-written account of Michael Vick's professional dogfighting practices, as well as the fates of the nearly 50 dogs that were recovered from his property in 2007. The first third of the book chronicles the brutality and egregious violence Vick and his associates inflicted on these poor animals. I knew about the cruelty and maulings that occurred in actual dogfights (whose descriptions were still hard to stomach), but I had little conception of the absolutely unnecessary sava ...more
Karen
This book is about the Michael Vick case and the dogs that were seized from his property. I was amazed that only one dog out 51 had to be euthanized because it was too aggressive. As an animal lover I found it extremely difficult to read at times as it includes graphic details of what was done to these dogs. But it renewed my faith in those in law enforcement that protect animals and go after people who dogfight. I also found myself questioning why Vick and his partners did not face harsher pena ...more
David Agranoff
As a militant vegan, and a total NFL dork I was over do for reading this book. Lost dogs is not the story of Michael Vick and dog fighting, but the story of the dogs who survived his dog fighting operation. For animal lovers this book will enrage, and enrich.

It gives the background on the case, which I feel I should have so I am more justified when I clap for every bone jarring sack Vick behind the piss O-line in Philly.

Some things I didn’t know. Vick wasn’t very good at breeding and fighting d
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Pam
As I was nose deep into Gorant’s harrowing tale of many a bloody and brutal murder at the cruel hands of dog fighters, I was feeling October’s spookiness creep around me. My husband was out, the baby was asleep and all I could think of was the horrible acts of insane killing that went on only a few states above the one I now call home. Only slightly less chilling than the actual telling, was the fact that only months before the awful truth came out to the media about the Vick property, we had be ...more
Molly
Oct 12, 2010 Molly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all animal lovers
Recommended to Molly by: TLC Book Tours
Jim Gorant's work is outstanding! He took a major, major issue from the state of Virginia ( I grew up in Virginia Beach so this definitely piqued my interest!) and put it into a book. He wrote in a way that explained the details of the investigation and trial, as well as the childhood and teenage years of Michael Vick. I don't read a lot of non-fiction books but when I do, I want them all to be as nicely written and explained as Jim Gorant's The Lost Dogs!

I've always had a love for 4 legged furr
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Simone

I've definitely read about the bad rap that pit bulls get. Even the people I'm house sitting for, who have two boxers, told me a story about how they had adopted one dog and when the vet told them it was a pit bull and not a boxer they returned it. Couldn't have a pit bull. I've also read The Dogs Who Found Me where he talks a lot about pit bulls.

Personally, I think the opinion should change. I think it's an opinion born of fear and ignorance. (As are most opinions that are near impossible to c
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Elizabeth
Dogs of any kind warm my heart. I have five at home - one that is seventeen and still going strong. So the first twenty pages or so found me flinching and questioning whether I should go on reading this one. I am glad I stuck with it.

The opening chapters describe the horrific violence these dogs have to endure at the hands of their tormentors and it just breaks your heart. But the real story is about how the dogs prevail and heal. Their spirits aren't broken and they show humans that you can mov
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kari
I picked this book up with some trepidation, not sure if I could make it through reading about what happened to these dogs. If you're like me, have no fear, there aren't many details about the dog fighting or the things that happened to them. Yes, it is part of the story, but the author doesn't dwell on those things. THe story is more about the saving of the dogs and what happened after they were saved.
Having said that, the story did get to me, bringing on tears several times. If you're a dog lo
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Mom
Incredible...Appalling...Disgusting...Heartbreaking...Tastefully written. I had to force myself to continue reading this book after the first few pages (I did so only because of good reviews). It is a well-written, sensitive chronicle of the true victims in the Michael Vick dog-fighting operation. Without belaboring the horrendous aspects of the crimes, Gorant proceeds to tell the story of rehabilitating the emotionally and sometimes physically injured dogs resulting from this felony. Many of th ...more
Lilly Baird
Very difficult beginning; very.

I would recommend that anyone skip the first few chapters of this book. The details of abuse and neglect and the reports of autopsy results are absolutely horrifying. If there is still anyone out there who believes that Vick wasn't involved in the day to day details of this operation, he or she should check out the way he personally killed one of his dogs by playing jump rope with it.
This book made me furious, but in the end the triumph of human and dog spirits m
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Melissa (ladybug)
Mike Vick is trying to get the courts to allow him to own a dog "for his kids". After reading this book, I hope that the courts stick up for the dogs and NEVER allow this "person" to own another dog again. He says he has learned his lesson, but he is a slick and accomplished liar!

This book was so sad and horrifying. The way these dogs were treated and even killed was horrendous to read and several times I wanted to quit reading this book. This book proves that animals have a voice and if we are
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Amanda
I almost stopped reading this book before I even really got started just because I was afraid of the terrible, gruesome things that I was going to be forced to read. The author does a great job of giving only enough info to make you understand how difficult things were for the dogs and the people in charge of rehabilitating them...but not so many details that any animal lover will want to curl up and die.
Jim Gorant approached the book with a lot of compassion and understanding for animals. Ther
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Robin
One of my favorite events in American legal history is the prosecution of Michael Vick for his involvement in dog fighting. The case brought attention to the gruesome underground sport and also helped begin to revise the tarnished reputation of pit bulls.

I remember being surprised that the judge ordered a reprieve for Vick's 50+ dogs. Until that point, dogs were treated as evidence during dog fighting investigations and routinely euthanized at the conclusion. Conventional wisdom was that they we
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Bailey
Nov 20, 2010 Bailey rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
Reading this book made me want to go back into dog training. Gorant gets so much right about the nature of dogs, and of pit bulls in particular-- I saw in his descriptions echoes of many of the dogs I've worked with. Best of all, he illustrates how an outpouring of abject and depraved cruelty from just a few men brought out the best in so many people across the country, people who gave everything they could of themselves to help.

Having worked at Best Friends, I was eager to hear about the 22 Vi
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Ryan Schumacher
Hmm... Well, I read this book at the recommendation of a friend. I'll start by saying that while I've always loved my pets and have a respect and appreciation for our four legged furry friends and believe very strongly that animals should be protected by the law, I wouldn't call myself a hardcore Animal Lover by any means. Now before you condemn me and do the awful things to me that the Vick crew did to these dogs, let me just explain that that does not mean that I attend dogfights with $100 bil ...more
Amanda
What an emotional rollercoaster! I cried, I laughed (some of these dogs are such big goofballs!), and I got angry. Very angry that such a despicable human can so easily return to his glorified athlete status and live a life of luxury after what he did to so many dogs, so many living beings. The silver lining is this story - the rescue and rehabilitation of these dogs and the education on pitbulls in general. To learn that they are some of the most people-friendly, loving, eager-to-please dogs; n ...more
Barb
This book should be read by all dog lovers and anyone who thinks pit-bulls are so mean. The pit-bulls I've seen have so much love to give and are good around children. This book is a must read for all the close minded people that don't want to give pit-bulls a chance. Pit-bulls are NOT the terrible dogs some people think they are. It's not bad dogs, but bad owners as you can see in this book. Despite all that those poor dogs had endored they still wanted someone to just love them and treat them ...more
Ashley
If you love sports, if you love dogs. Truly. You don't have to love both to respect and admire this story and how Jim Gorant eloquently tells it. I do, in fact, love both, which made parts of it difficult to get through, and many tears were shed. A lot of reviews said they had to stop reading because it was too difficult - isn't difficult sometimes good, though? Shouldn't we, every now and then, read something so moving that it makes us look at ourselves and society differently?

To the people who
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Michelle Sawyer
Anyone thinking that Michael Vick has "done his time" should read this book, particularly the sequence describing the method Vick chose in punishing a dog that performed poorly in the ring. Still, this book is brimming with hope and redemption, not so much for Michael Vick himself, but for the majority of the surviving dogs seized from Vick's property.
From examples like a shy hopeful new to family life, to a shot at a career as a professional therapy dog, the pitbulls detailed in Jim Gorant's Th
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Dimas
Such an original angle to take on this subject. What was the fate of these dogs that were put thru so much pain and agony? Unfortunately the execution wasn't as strong as the angle. Jim Gorant is a strong reporter, however, he isn't a strong writer. The prose's were so primitive that I wondered if I was reading a children's book. I also felt like the chapters were too short, and it messed with the flow of the story.

You can tell Gorant has a real passion for dogs, and it is something that is dis
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Katherine
When my sister adopted a pit bull I have to admit I was not looking forward to meeting him. I was leery and didn't think I'd ever be able to warm up to him. The first time I visited her I was hesitant around him although he greeted me like a big clown and beat me with his tail and tried to lick the nose off my face. I love dogs but her other dog, a lab-shepard mix,was my baby and she was getting on in years. Wasn't terribly sure poor Jake should have to deal with a young animal that probably was ...more
Amanda
I went to Virginia Tech at the same time Michael Vick did (1999) and I am also from his hometown. Obviously I heard a lot of the news surrounding his dogfighting ring. I also have to hear constantly how excited people are when they meet him while he is home visiting. I will never understand why.

It infuriated me to no end when I heard Whoopi Goldberg say on national television that you have to understand where he comes from and there are certain things that are acceptable where he's from that ar
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Peacegal
The Lost Dogs is a spectacular book for anyone wishing to understand the infamous Vick dog fighting case. Gorant takes us behind the sensational headlines to the surprising political maneuvering that went on behind the scenes, as well as the stories of the canines themselves. The result is what will come to be seen as the definitive account of the crime.

The Vick case was unique in many ways. Long the scourge of humane groups and animal rescuers, dog fighting was finally exposed to the harsh glar
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Tara
Part true crime and part inspiration story, I was moved by the efforts of so many people featured in the story. The story highlighted the notorious bust of the Vick estate and the subsequent efforts to rehabilitate the dogs. The dogs themselves are inspirations and each of the dogs has a story of their own. It was truly amazing how resilient the dogs were.
I had to keep the tissues close, but it is a book I will not soon forget.
Tasha
Simply wonderful. A heart wrenching yet hopeful book. Aside from the good this book has done for helping dogs from fighting rings, this is a must-read for those who fear or believe pit bulls to be a bad breed. I cried, laughed and felt many emotions throughout. This is a top read for me in 2013.
Tina
Read on recommendation from friends who are also animal lovers. Hard first few chapters, but necessary to understand the horror these innocent creatures went through, but most importantly to understand their resilience, ability to forgive and rehabilitate, and their never ending seeking for love and acceptance! This book has reinforced my belief of what I have always known in my heart - it is much easier and probable to rehabilitate dogs than humans. Also loved learning more about the breed and ...more
Rhonda
When I first began reading The Lost Dogs, I was a little put off by the author's anthropomorphism in the first few chapters. He ascribes thoughts and emotions to dogs, which in and of itself doesn't bother me if the person is actually observing the dog, but these descriptions were given about dogs that Vick & his goons killed during their dog fighting operation.

Aside from that, the book is both disturbing and endearing. In my 31 years, I and/or my parents have taken in 7 unwanted pets: 3 dog
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Michael Vick 17 46 Dec 31, 2012 05:18PM  
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Shortly after his birth in Brooklyn, New York, Jim's family decamped for the greener pastures of northern New Jersey. Other than the four years when he escaped to college in the distant metropolis of Philadelphia, he’s spent his entire life in the Garden State, where he still lives with his wife and two children.

Jim Gorant's career in magazine publishing began in 1990 with a job at Good Housekeepi
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Wallace: The Underdog Who Conquered a Sport, Saved a Marriage, and Championed Pit Bulls--One Flying Disc at a Time Fanatic: Ten Things All Sports Fans Should Do Before They Die Little Boy Blue: A Puppy's Rescue from Death Row and His Owner's Journey for Truth Fit for Golf: How a Personalized Conditioning Routine Can Help You Improve Your Score, Hit the Ball Further, and Enjoy the Game More

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“Last, I would like to thank the dogs, not just the Vick pack, but all of them, simply for being dogs, which is to say, tolerant and perseverant; willing to connect with a world that does not always return their affection; and for proving, time and again, that life, while messy, difficult, and imperfect, has the capacity to exceed our expectations and feed our undying hope.” 13 likes
“Some of those reported legitimate pit bull attacks—the price of so many unsocialized, abused, and aggressively trained dogs popping up around the country—but many were the result of pit bull hysteria, in which almost any incident involving a dog was falsely reported as a pit bull attack. The breed, which had existed in some form for hundreds of years, didn’t suddenly lose control. The dogs simply fell into the hands of many more people who had no interest in control.” 1 likes
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