Fourteen years later, Frodo has become the last Vicktory Dog to cross the Rainbow Bridge.
“Sweet Frodo – How we loved him. He was one of the bravest survivors we’ve ever met,” BAD RAP wrote today on its Facebook page. “[W]e estimate that he would’ve been 15 years old — and 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.”
Frodo “was once so timid that he couldn’t look his caretakers in the eye, much less take treats out of their hands,” according to his BAD RAP bio, “but he has since blossomed into a cheerful dog who prods his favorite humans for attention.”
Those favorite humans are Kim and Toby Ramirez, who adopted Frodo from BAD RAP. To help soothe Frodo at night, Kim would turn on a fan or a music channel on TV. “I’ve had to somewhat rearrange my life in a way for Frodo,” she once said. “And he’s worth it.”
It was thanks to the efforts of BAD RAP and a few other animal welfare organizations that the lives of Frodo and the other dogs were spared. Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States at the time, said the rescued Vick dogs would never be suitable as pets and thus should all be destroyed. PETA agreed.
But BAD RAP along with the Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) and Richmond Animal League took in the Vick survivors, rehabilitated them and found them loving forever homes in which these “unadoptable” survivors thrived, earning them the name “Vicktory Dogs.” Many became beloved therapy dogs.
One of the survivors, Jonny Justice, was awarded the prestigious ASPCA Dog of the Year award in 2014. Sadly, Jonny Justice died last week, according to BAD RAP, just two days before Frodo.
As for Vick — who, according to a federal indictment, killed poorly performing dogs by hanging them, repeatedly slamming them to the ground or holding their heads underwater until they drowned — he went to prison for 18 months but was then awarded the second chance he’d deprived of all those dogs he killed. He was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles and immediately resumed his NFL career.
As recently as last year, the NFL awarded Vick the honor of being a “legends captain” for the 2020 Pro Bowl. Over 1.4 million people signed online petitions urging the NFL to choose someone actually worthy of that title.
If anyone deserves legend status, it’s Frodo and those amazing Vicktory Dogs. May they all rest in peace.
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