Animal Advocates

RIP Lucas: Michael Vick’s Prized Dogfighting Champion Euthanized

If you’re a dog lover, chances are you’re still haunted by the horrific details of the abuse at the hands of Michael Vick when he bankrolled (and allegedly participated in) his Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting ring. 51 fighting dogs and the bodies of 9 more dead pit bulls were pulled from his Virginia home. Many of us wept at the stories of these courageous dogs – and Lucas definitely stood out among the pack.

Best Friends Animal Society said farewell to Lucas on Wednesday evening, June 19th, at age 13. The well-loved, sweet dog lost his battle with a myriad of health problems and was humanely euthanized. He suffered from a type of Babesia common among fighting dogs; he and many of his fellow Vicktory dogs arrived with the disease, carried by a blood parasite spread through bite wounds.

From RYOT.org:

Babesia is a horrible disease that can be treated, but not cured. He suffered periodic flare-ups that would sap his strength through anemia. That in addition to age-related complications and, just a really hard life, were his undoing. In his final days, a steady stream of caregivers and Best Friends staff visited to bid him farewell. There were many tears and fond recollections.

Because of his perceived street value, the Federal judge who adjudicated the Vick dogfighting case (and authorized the placement of the Vick dogs with rescues), ruled that Lucas and 21 other “Vicktory Dogs” be released to Best Friends Animal Society with the condition that they remain lifetime-care dogs at the sanctuary, located in Kanab, Utah. Prior to the Bad Newz Kennels case, there was no hope for dogs confiscated in dogfighting cases, according to Gregory Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society.

“Before Lucas and the rest of the Vicktory dogs came to Best Friends, the policy on dogs taken from fighting rings was that they be killed. That’s it. That was the policy – rescue them from the bad guys and then kill them. After the Vicktory Dogs those policies and organizational positions were changed in favor of every dog being treated and evaluated as an individual.”

Lucas

Despite scars from fighting, Lucas always wore a smile on his face. Photos courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society

Despite scars from fights marking his face, happy-go-lucky Lucas touched the hearts of everyone who met him.

When the dogs first arrived at Best Friends in January 2008, media came from around the country to meet the dogs. While most of the other dogs were very frightened and cowered from the camera, Lucas proudly hopped on top of his doghouse, wagging his tail nonstop and posing for the camera. Several hardened newspeople were visibly smitten with this charismatic dog.

“Ironically, of all the Vicktory Dogs, the one who could never be adopted per court order, was the most social and well-behaved of them all around people,” said Castle. “And that is how Lucas will be remembered around the staff offices where he spent his days. It was a blessing in every way to be around him and to witness his wonderful effect on everyone he met.

“Lucas should have been someone’s pet and been raised in a loving home,” added Castle. “His life, however, was stolen by a gang of thugs who thrived on inflicting pain on helpless animals. Yet, he bore not a hint of malice toward people. In fact he makes the case that it is the characteristic loyalty and desire of dogs to please their people that is manipulated and used against them to get them to fight, which most certainly doubles the crime and abuse of dog fighting.”

Farewell, sweet Lucas. 

Even though Lucas is gone, his story will continue to be an inspiration to all. If you’d like to support Best Friends Animal Society, the amazing organization that rescued and reunited the “Vicktory dogs,” click here. If you’d like to honor Lucas’s memory, contribute to the fund Best Friends has set up in his name.

75 Comments

75 Comments

  1. Mary Ann Sromoski

    Jun 23, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Yet another reason i prefer animals over people. Chinese are demons walking the earth with no souls. Disgusting, immoral, inferior bastards. Just like their Japanese counterparts with whaling and dolphins.

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  6. jane

    Aug 1, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    What about the HSUS, the so called HUMANE Society of the United States, and the president of HSUS Wayne Pacelle’s support of Michael Vick owning a dog, saying he “would do a good job as a pet owner”? I guess the $50,000 “grant” that HSUS received from the Philadelphia Eagles had nothing to do with that. Or the tons of money they made in donations from people who were led to believe that HSUS was caring for all the dogs, when in fact they did not care for any of them. And if they had their way, HSUS would have killed ALL of them, especially Lucas.
    Michael Vick is bad enough, but there are no words for HSUS.

    • Debbie

      Aug 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      I agree with you Jane.

  7. diana graham

    Aug 1, 2013 at 6:16 am

    this is way i am boycotting NIKE, they are still paying vick big money to be their spokesperson, but since he does not represent my values (kindness to animals) i refuse to buy nike, don’t support dogfighters and i believe nike could make a better choice, but if that’s what they believe in, they are not for me

  8. ktyrri

    Aug 1, 2013 at 5:08 am

    just pointing out that karma tends to be very spacific, he has been allowed another dog, he has himself a new belgian shepherd malilios ( a police dog, human attack dog ) lets just sit back and see what happenes shall we, maybe the dog will show him how it feels to have teeth ripping your body apart…

  9. Vicki B

    Jul 31, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    In the case of Vick, I really do believe that we should implement ‘an eye for an eye’ justice. Throw him in the ring with any of today’s top boxers and let him fight for his life. For people like Vick that’s all they understand. I am not religious but if there is indeed a hell, I hope he burns long and hot for all eternity. Worthless oxygen thief. RIP sweet Lucas. At least you died knowing what love and freedom felt like.

  10. Linda

    Jul 31, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    RIP boy.

  11. carmen costello

    Jul 31, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I pray in his final moments someone held him and loved him, so he knew to the very last he was loved and adored. Tears for you my angel wept by me. R.I.P. Sterilize all the people who hold dog fights men and women, so they can breed no more of their kind, divest them of their homes, cars, bank account the underpants on their rotten arses even.

  12. Rosemarie

    Jul 31, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    There should have been a boycott when V was permitted to play. Sports fans have their priorities it seems. Heartbreaking. There are no words to express my sorrow for this disgusting behavior. We have to give these animals a voice. The days of people turning their heads must stop. WE ARE THEIR VOICE!!! And if we use ours, it will be heard. Never underestimate the impact of your voice.

  13. carolyn

    Jul 31, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    RIP Sweet Sweet Lucas……cross the Bridge and be with God…no more pain…run free big boy….no more sorrow….<3

  14. Danidoglover

    Jul 31, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    SWEET OLD LUCAS WOULDN’T WANT US TO SPOUT SUCH VENOM, HE WAS BETTER THAN HUMANS IN THE FACT THAT HIS HAPPY, KIND SPIRIT SHONE BRIGHTLY, BRIGHTER THAN THE EVIL THAT WAS DONE TO HIM..AND THAT’S WHY DOGS ARE BETTER THAN HUMANS…RIP LUCAS, THANKS FOR THE LIFE LESSONS 🙂

  15. penny

    Jul 31, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    RIP SWEETIE!!I HOPE KARMA DOES BITE HIM IN THE ASS! MICHEAL VICK NEEDS HELP!!POOR DOGS SUFFERING LIKE THAT!!STOP ANIMAL ABUSE!! STOP ANIMAL CRUELTY!!

  16. Diane Massey

    Jul 31, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    I think Vick should have to pay a large portion of the 10 million dollars salary to animal shelters and abuse animal care to give back some of what he has taken from those animals…..

  17. D Kline

    Jul 31, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    My thought is that Micael Vick and those that were with him will suffer for what they did-what they did was cruel, heartless, and downright evil, I don’t get it….. When I read this story and remembered back when all this happened I actually felt sick–big knot in my thought and all, I can almost bet that most that read this felt the same way….
    Karma, What goes around comes around, As You Sow So Shall You Reap….

    Proverbs 12:10~Good people take good care of their animals, but the wicked know only how to be cruel……

  18. Wendy

    Jul 31, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Oh Micheal Vick, you should be very worried, because being a true believer in Karma, your payback will be haunting you in the form of Lucas, I hope he locks you up and he gets his payback by giving you nightmares!

  19. cajunbaby

    Jul 30, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Remember “DOG” spelled backwards spells “GOD”!!! Dick opps I meant vick you still have to face GOD and this was one of His creatures, even if you have ask Him for forgiveness, even though you STILL haven’t apologized for your part of any or all the torture you did to God’s, DOGS. Yes, I AM going HERE as well…. If you support this team or “Dick/vick” in ANY WAY then you are NO better than him or any of the ones that cause all the pain & hurt these babies went though. I make NO apologize for how I feel, I am the one that has to answer for this feelings no one else. R.I.P. LUCAS, AS YOU CELEBRATE YOUR NEW HEALTHY BODY WITHOUT PAIN AND WITH LOTS OF YOUR OLD HEALTHY BUDDIES AND NEW ONES PLAYING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF “THE RAINBOW BRIDGE”!!!

    From one of MILLIONS who love & care for the downed dog, hurting, sick, unwanted, unloved & breed to death literally.

  20. Harmony

    Jul 30, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    This is a sad enough story without dressing it up with nonsense. It says, “He suffered from a type of Babesia common among fighting dogs”. Babesia is a TICK BORNE disease. It’s in all kinds of dogs and in other species as well.

    Dog fighting is bad enough as it is. You don’t have to make weird health claims.

    • de

      Jul 30, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      This is not just a weird claim. Babesia in dogs can be transmitted thru the bite from an infected dog. Guessing these dogs were probly not well vaccinated, it is not too hard to understand how this illness could be a direct result of this dogs fighting.

  21. Helen Steeves

    Jul 30, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Michael Vick deserves a painful and horrific death, just as he let happen to this poor animals!. I hope he rots in hell but that is too for him!

  22. sandra richardson

    Jul 30, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    RIP dear Lucas. Run with freedom, pain free and joy over the Rainbow Bridge. My Rhandi Rhu, YaYa, Tippy, Frisco, Leo will meet you there.

  23. Sarina Aguilar

    Jul 30, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    RIP big boy!! <3

    • Helen Steeves

      Jul 30, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      I only hope Michael Vick dies a lonely, horrible, painful death. No less than what he was willing to see happen to these poor dogs. He is scum and his supporters are too.

  24. Lorraine Donald-Epps

    Jul 30, 2013 at 7:12 am

    sorry to hear about the dog and I don’t think there was anything right about what was done to him and the other dogs,however I believe it still goes on and Mikal Vick is just one that got caught,but it started long ago when our great white fathers fought one buck( black slaves) against another it seems some white people now think more of the dogs than they do human beings we all need to pray more

    • Dive Oliphant

      Aug 1, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      For me, compassion is not finite. There is no hierarchy. Just because we care about these dogs doesn’t mean we care less about humanity.

      And actually, less praying and more DOING (good things for animals and people) would be a better option, methinks.

  25. carolyn [email protected]

    Jul 30, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Sweet lucas , run free and know your last days were filled with love . You will always be remembered.

  26. carole

    Jul 29, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    did vick have to pay monies – MUCH much monies to take care of these dogs that he tried to and succeed in brutilizing and maiming these poor animals? While I am not a pit bull enthusiast, abusing dogs, cats and humans is beyond my belief.

  27. judy

    Jul 29, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    It is too bad Lucas didn’t get to have the comfort of a real home to be loved and pampered.

  28. Dona Keim

    Jul 29, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    And yet they allow him to have another dog sickening.

  29. Michele

    Jul 29, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Im sorry you never got the chance to have a real home but at least you were killed for someone elses ignorance. RIP bAby know that you were loved by many

  30. christine thomas

    Jul 29, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Sweet Sweet boy, may you remember how love feels. You will forever live in the hearts of many people who loved you and some of us you never met!! We heard the screams from you and your other Pitties, and only wished Mike Vic would die a terrible death! Remain loved Lucas, forever in our <3

  31. Ruby Jean

    Jul 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Michael Vick, you are the worst kind of human. I can only imagine the hatred you must have inside you…

  32. Margaret Won

    Jul 29, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Michael will always be SCUM for his cruel behavior towards creatures in his care. He never should have been allowed to return to sports and should have spent a long long time in jail and losing everything he had.

  33. Jenny

    Jul 29, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    That is so very sad. Mike Vic should be in jail. Scum

  34. Bonnie

    Jul 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Lucas, please find Taz up there….hes an German Rotweiller, and I will see you when I get there….All my love to all the doggies!! Especially Lucas! Vic…I hope you rot in hell and Karma comes around and around and around you u over and over……you deserve death for as many dogs as you caused pain to!!!

  35. Bonnie

    Jul 29, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    That poor dog didnt have a chance in life and it was soooooo unfair and wrong for him to live that way. Im glad he was allowed to live his life out in Dog Town, but he deserved a loving home where he would be loved and cared for. If they say what he had was treatable, then why did they kill him?? I read in here where it said it was treatable.

    • Lisa Moore

      Jul 31, 2013 at 10:13 am

      bonnie, the disease itself is not treatable, but the symptoms are. Lucas suffered severe bouts of the disease, which is similar to aneamia, that plus his old age (13 years) was too much in the end and that is why he was euthanised

  36. Robin

    Jul 29, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Rest In Peace sweet Lucas. You set a wonderful example, in spite of the abuse you suffered, of what a dog can be if given a second chance. Thank you for that sweet boy.

    From me to you at the Rainbow Bridge. Much Love, Robin

  37. linda

    Jul 29, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    MAKES MY HEART HURT AND SICK. WHAT A GREAT SOUL WAS LUCAS. WE ARE ALL DIMINISHED BY WHAT HE SUFFERED AND HIS DEATH.

  38. GINA SARAH

    Jul 29, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    R.I.P. LUCAS VICK WILL GET HIS KARMA ….. MAY YOU NOW REST IN PEACE WITH THE OTHER DOGGY ANGELS IN DOG HEAVEN!!!!!!!

  39. Terry LaRochelle

    Jul 29, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    To think that this P O S can never own another dog is of little satisfaction to me.
    He is SCUM and I hope this typical thug meets an ending as horrible as the poor dead dogs in his ‘kennel’ did.

    • Jane

      Jul 31, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      They actually have let him have a dog. That should never have happened.

  40. Beverly Miller

    Jul 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    RIP Lucas. What is troubling to me is that I read the other day that Michael Vick now OWNS ANOTHER PIT BULL! How in this world did that ever happen? I will never understand this as long as I live! He should have never been allowed back on a football field, and now he owns another dog! Unbelievable!

    • Jake Byars

      Jul 29, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      His dog is a begian malilios. Most well know as police and military use, they are also used as fight dogs in europe

      • Susan Trear

        Aug 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm

        Does anyone monitor this Belgian Malinois?

  41. Ann

    Jul 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    He knew the kindness and love that he and all the other’s deserved from the start. And honestly, regardless if Vick’s “paid” for the horrific things he did, he will answer for them all in the end. And for the current time: Michael Vick your GARBAGE–always remember; karma’s a bitch.

  42. debra owens

    Jul 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    at least he knew what it was to be treated well and be loved by u guys in his last years of life..thanks to u for that.

  43. Lori

    Jul 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    RIP Lucas. And as for Vick, he’s about washed up in the NFL. He still has his blind followers but his days are about done. I believe he will either die a violent death or broke, such is his character.

  44. Cindy Riggs

    Jul 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Michael Vick should rot in the bowels of Hell for what he did to those precious dogs!

  45. Helen Rose

    Jul 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    **God Bless you sweet Lucas**

  46. Sybil Bruncheon

    Jul 29, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    In my opinion, Michael Vick and his pals are damned forever…..they can roast in Hell with their millions…

  47. Allie

    Jul 29, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    and to think Michael Vick is STILL playing football, STILL making millions of dollars, and people are STILL too stupid to shut the game off and make the team fire his butt. He doesn’t deserve to breath the same air as this dog, let alone play a game and make millions!

    • Carol

      Jul 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Allie,
      You took the words right out of my mouth!!!!! Vick should be rotting away in jail!!!YOU are right, Vick doesn’t deserve to breath the same air as Lucas!!! As far as I’m concerned he doesn’t deserve to breath AT ALL!!!!What’s the matter with people anyway?????

    • Juliann Valencia

      Jul 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Mike Vic is a fucking piece of shit asshole and anyone who watches him play football is too.

      • Juliann Valencia

        Jul 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm

        Oops I meant Vick not Vic. You know Vick like the dick he is.

        • J. McGlothlin

          Jul 31, 2013 at 4:40 pm

          He should not be able to own another pet. He also should be court ordered to pay every cent it takes to care for these animals at Best Friends. $50,000.00 donation a month would surly not break his bank.

  48. lINDA

    Jul 29, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    rip sweet lucas.

    • almanull

      Jul 29, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      Rip Lucas. at least yrs. we good ones. Micheal Vick should be thrown into a pit n he can be the bait dog ! And to think ppl still don’t think he did anything wrong. But, karma will come back and bite him !!!!!

      • Jena

        Jul 29, 2013 at 5:47 pm

        Michael Vick is still scum today, he should not be allowed to enjoy freedom, he should be in a dark hole some where for the rest of his miserable life..

        • terri

          Jul 29, 2013 at 6:02 pm

          and you know that Vick is still doing it…he’s just found a way around the law…or paying someone to “look the other way”

          • Animal Lover

            Jul 30, 2013 at 10:50 pm

            Dog fighters are like pedophiles, just cuz they get busted, doesn’t mean they will ever be rehabilitated. He hasn’t learned, he will abuse dogs the rest of his life, just like the diddlers will always want little kids.

      • Cheekygrrl

        Aug 1, 2013 at 10:40 pm

        Karma DID come to bite Michael Vick! He had to declare BANKRUPTCY!!!

    • LIZ MATTHEWS

      Jul 29, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      I SUPPORT BEST FRIENDS, AND THE WONDERFUL WORK THAT THEY DO, WITH TEARS RUNNING DOWN MY FACE I MOURN FOR LUCAS- WHAT A BEAUTIFUL SOUL, EVEN VICK AND HIS HENCHMEN COULD NOW BREAK HIS SPIRIT- I KNOW ALL OF THE STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS ARE HEART BROKEN AT THIS LOSS… FLY ON WINGS OF ANGELS SWEET LUCAS. YOU WERE LOVED.

    • Bernadette Doucette-Sperry

      Jul 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      I only hope that Michael Vick has a Long, Lonely, Cruel life ahead of him for what he has done to these beautiful, loving dogs…And, I hope, that we can get a 50 State Victory for Felony Animal Abuse, and make it stick, also, a 50 State Abuse Registry for All animals, domesticated and farm to be tied in with the Children’s Abuse Registry. We Need though, to make it Valid in all 50 States…These people who abuse animals, Will abuse children and the elderly, no question of it…It is an Insane person who abuses any type of human form…Their sick and need to be dealt with fast, no excuses…Maybe we wouldn’t be having these bombings in schools, theatres, and the like either…Think about it…It does go hand in hand…

      • Linda

        Jul 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm

        No truer words ever written. Thank you.

      • Lorraine

        Jul 31, 2013 at 4:17 pm

        In total agreement with you Bernadette!

      • Paul

        Jul 31, 2013 at 5:18 pm

        I actually disagree… This is a good example of “The American people’s” self-centred mind set. That what was said should be applied globally. Think broad…

        • Susan Trear

          Aug 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm

          Are you on the right blog? From another planet perhaps?

        • Robin

          Aug 2, 2013 at 4:05 pm

          Are you sick?

    • Clara Hirlehey

      Jul 30, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      That piece of crap has a new pit bull puppy. It is shameful that any foot ball team would want him. I would like to remove his profiles as well. YOUR DAY WILL COME FOR WHAT YOU DID TO THOSE POOR FRIGHTENED DOGS!! RIP Lucas, you were a great dog.

    • michemer

      Aug 1, 2013 at 2:05 am

      Sad thing is that people spend thousands of dollares promoting Vic the football star. He went right back into millions of dollars. Why do people support the NFL, Philly and all the merchandise. At the least he should have had to pay some sort of restitution for the rest of his life.

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