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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  ·  Rating Details ·  4,901 Ratings  ·  725 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
Hardcover, 279 pages
Published September 16th 2010 by Gotham (first published September 16th 2009)
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Keith Lytton reading it right is heartbreaking ...but showing how dogs...even when treated with hate and ultimate cruelty...still have that need to…morereading it right is heartbreaking ...but showing how dogs...even when treated with hate and ultimate cruelty...still have that need to love...and give love ...not finished yet...about half done...but is a hard read...but knowing It gets better...and Michael Vick...words can never express my disgust for a man given everything and having no respect for anything...(less)
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Community Reviews

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Jennifer (aka EM)
Mar 19, 2011 Jennifer (aka EM) rated it really liked it
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
Mar 25, 2014 Marieke rated it it was amazing
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
Jennifer Peas
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....


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
Jan 31, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it
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
Nov 01, 2010 Pam rated it really liked it
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
Aug 14, 2014 Robin rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Jul 11, 2011 Simone rated it liked it
Shelves: dog-books, 2011-read

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
Feb 22, 2011 kari rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 5-star, 2011
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
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
Ryan Schumacher
Jan 12, 2012 Ryan Schumacher rated it it was ok
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
Jul 22, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
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
Molly (Cafinated Reads)
Oct 12, 2010 Molly (Cafinated Reads) rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all animal lovers
Recommended to Molly (Cafinated Reads) 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
Sep 21, 2010 Peacegal rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 11, 2011 Mom rated it really liked it
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
Feb 20, 2012 Lilly Baird rated it really liked it
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
Jana Kaplan
Aug 01, 2015 Jana Kaplan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished-reading
Excellent testament to the amazing people who brought the hideous thing that is dogfighting into the public eye, and the magic that animal welfare groups work day in and day out. The author is wonderfully neutral in telling the truth, and I don't know how he managed to remain so even in telling the story. I believe this neutrality gave the book the tone it needed to tell the story the way it needs to be told: without placing blame and without blinking an eye, the author brings you with him as he ...more
Sep 26, 2010 Kim rated it it was amazing
I read this book today... it was one of the hardest books I've ever read, and rewarding at the same time.
Many of you know that Rosie is my rescue girl who I've put a lot of time and energy into and some have asked "why, when there are so many other dogs out there without issues?" This is why! These dogs did not choose the life they were brought into, and unlike people, they had no chance to change it for themselves. Many are fearful but most are ready to love with just a little work and I belie
Nov 17, 2010 Tara rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 10, 2013 Tasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dogs, favorites-2013
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.
Aug 03, 2016 SUSAN rated it it was amazing
Review to come.
Feb 09, 2013 Katherine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
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
Mar 31, 2011 Amanda rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 19, 2011 Ashley rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 18, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it
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
Apr 12, 2011 Dimas rated it it was ok
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
Nov 20, 2010 Bailey rated it liked it
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
Michelle Sawyer
Mar 28, 2013 Michelle Sawyer rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 15, 2014 Tina rated it it was amazing
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
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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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“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.” 17 likes
“But no one names a thing that doesn’t have hope. No one names a thing that doesn’t have a future. No one names a lost dog.” 4 likes
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