Hector had a rotten start in life. He was one of the dozens of fighting dogs kept by Michael Vick at the Bad Newz Kennels. When Hector and 50 other dogs were rescued in 2007, Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Pacelle said they would never be suitable as pets and should all be euthanized.
But dog experts at BAD RAP and Best Friends Animal Society knew better. They took in the dogs, rehabilitated them and found loving forever homes in which many of these “unadoptable” survivors thrived.
Among those lucky dogs was Hector. The good folks at BAD RAP eventually adopted him out to Roo and Clara Yori from Rochester, Minn. In his brand-new life, Hector became a certified therapy dog, visiting patients in hospitals and nursing homes. He passed the Canine Good Citizen test twice.
(I really hope Mr. Pacelle is aware of this.)
“When he first came to us, I was skeptical a little bit,” Clara told FOX 47 earlier this month. “I was worried he wouldn’t get along with our other dogs because it didn’t make sense to me that he would. But he did. He gets along wonderfully with our other dogs. He taught me to be a little bit more open-minded too.”
Roo told FOX 47 that Hector had scars “all down his chest. I think he had to do what he had to do when he was [at Bad Newz], but once he had the chance to get out, he said, ‘All right, I can stay who I am and never look back.'”
Unfortunately, the 9-year-old Pit Bull’s luck changed early in September. He was diagnosed with erythrophagocytic histiocytic sarcoma, a very aggressive form of cancer, and given just weeks to live. After making — and then breaking — two previous appointments to have him euthanized, his pet parents made the difficult decision yesterday to send Hector over the Rainbow Bridge.
“My last day was as good as one could ask for,” wrote “Hector” in an update on his Facebook page. “The sun was shining, the frogs were out for me to chase at the pond, and I had Roo and Clara to carry me off the trail when my legs just couldn’t go any further.
“To my Vick Dog family, and all the other dogs rescued from similar cruelty situations, keep carrying the torch! There are a lot of dogs out there that still need help, so keep proving they deserve their chance through our success.”
Safe travels over the Bridge, Hector.
Photos via Facebook