Pit Bull Rescued From Michael Vick’s Fighting Rink Gets the Best Day of His Life
Meet Cherry Garcia, one of the 50 dogs removed and rescued from Bad Newz Kennels, the dog-fighting kennels run by NFL quarterback Michael Vick.
Since being rescued, Cherry has had quite the transformation. The 11-year-old dog now loves to cuddle, have his belly rubbed, and hang with kittens. Cherry recently was honored by BarkPost as part of their Dog’s Best Day series and given the best 24 hours ever.
So, how did Cherry’s best day go? Great! It involved “a cuddle party with tiny kittens, a backyard beach bash with his human family, and a chance to devour a dog-friendly ice cream sundae,” shared Today. Check out his day below.
“People don’t understand (that) dogs in fighting rings are no different than any other dog. The proof is in Cherry,” Paul Fiaccone, who adopted Cherry in 2010, shared. “He wants to be happy. He wants to give back. What he wants to do is love.”
Fiaccone’s wife agreed, sharing, “He has shown the world that even if you come from a background like he did, you can still go on to be a great family dog.”
About half of the dogs from Vick’s fighting ring ended up in Utah at the Best Friends Animals Society’s sanctuary, where they were re-trained and rehabilitated to become typical house dogs.
“Many people thought that, based on the dogs coming from a fighting background, that they should automatically be euthanized,” Michelle Weaver, Best Friends’ director of animal care, shared in the video above. “(We) really felt the dogs deserved to go through the rehabilitation process because they were the victims.”
When Cherry was first rescued, he had a tough time readjusting to a normal life.
“When we would try to walk him, he would flatten his body right to the ground and almost crawl because he was so scared,” Weaver explained.
Cherry has picked up quite the fan club since being rescued as well. He has a Facebook fan page with over 20,000 followers and was the main star of “The Champion,” a documentary about the transformation of fighting dogs.
Thankfully, Cherry feels right at home with the Fiaccones.
“If Cherry was a vicious dog, he would not be able to recover,” Fiaccone said. “He just needed somebody there to give him the time that he needed to recover.”