Animal Advocates

RIP Lucas: Michael Vick’s Prized Dogfighting Champion Euthanized

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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,” check by clicking here. If you’d like to honor Lucas’s memory, contribute to the fund Best Friends has set up in his name.

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75 Comments

75 Comments

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  7. Avatar Of Jane

    jane

    says:

    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.

  8. Avatar Of Diana Graham

    diana graham

    says:

    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

  9. Avatar Of Ktyrri

    ktyrri

    says:

    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…

  10. Avatar Of Vicki B

    Vicki B

    says:

    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.

  11. Avatar Of Linda

    Linda

    says:

    RIP boy.

  12. Avatar Of Carmen Costello

    carmen costello

    says:

    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.

  13. Avatar Of Rosemarie

    Rosemarie

    says:

    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.

  14. Avatar Of Carolyn

    carolyn

    says:

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

  15. Avatar Of Danidoglover

    Danidoglover

    says:

    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 🙂

  16. Avatar Of Penny

    penny

    says:

    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!!

  17. Avatar Of Diane Massey

    Diane Massey

    says:

    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…..

  18. Avatar Of D Kline

    D Kline

    says:

    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……

  19. Avatar Of Wendy

    Wendy

    says:

    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!

  20. Avatar Of Cajunbaby

    cajunbaby

    says:

    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.

  21. Avatar Of Harmony

    Harmony

    says:

    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.

    • Avatar Of De

      de

      says:

      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.

  22. Avatar Of Helen Steeves

    Helen Steeves

    says:

    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!

  23. Avatar Of Sandra Richardson

    sandra richardson

    says:

    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.

  24. Avatar Of Sarina Aguilar

    Sarina Aguilar

    says:

    RIP big boy!! <3

    • Avatar Of Helen Steeves

      Helen Steeves

      says:

      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.

  25. Avatar Of Lorraine Donald-Epps

    Lorraine Donald-Epps

    says:

    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

    • Avatar Of Dive Oliphant

      Dive Oliphant

      says:

      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.

  26. Avatar Of Carolyn Hamiltonakacarriecat@

    carolyn [email protected]

    says:

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

  27. Avatar Of Carole

    carole

    says:

    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.

  28. Avatar Of Judy

    judy

    says:

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

  29. Avatar Of Dona Keim

    Dona Keim

    says:

    And yet they allow him to have another dog sickening.

  30. Avatar Of Michele

    Michele

    says:

    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

  31. Avatar Of Christine Thomas

    christine thomas

    says:

    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

  32. Avatar Of Ruby Jean

    Ruby Jean

    says:

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

  33. Avatar Of Margaret Won

    Margaret Won

    says:

    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.

  34. Avatar Of Jenny

    Jenny

    says:

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

  35. Avatar Of Bonnie

    Bonnie

    says:

    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!!!

  36. Avatar Of Bonnie

    Bonnie

    says:

    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.

    • Avatar Of Lisa Moore

      Lisa Moore

      says:

      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

  37. Avatar Of Robin

    Robin

    says:

    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

  38. Avatar Of Linda

    linda

    says:

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

  39. Avatar Of Gina Sarah

    GINA SARAH

    says:

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

  40. Avatar Of Terry Larochelle

    Terry LaRochelle

    says:

    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.

  41. Avatar Of Beverly Miller

    Beverly Miller

    says:

    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!

  42. Avatar Of Ann

    Ann

    says:

    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.

  43. Avatar Of Debra Owens

    debra owens

    says:

    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.

  44. Avatar Of Lori

    Lori

    says:

    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.

  45. Avatar Of Cindy Riggs

    Cindy Riggs

    says:

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

  46. Avatar Of Helen Rose

    Helen Rose

    says:

    **God Bless you sweet Lucas**

  47. Avatar Of Sybil Bruncheon

    Sybil Bruncheon

    says:

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

  48. Avatar Of Allie

    Allie

    says:

    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!

    • Avatar Of Carol

      Carol

      says:

      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?????

    • Avatar Of Juliann Valencia

      Juliann Valencia

      says:

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

      • Avatar Of Juliann Valencia

        Juliann Valencia

        says:

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

        • Avatar Of J. Mcglothlin

          J. McGlothlin

          says:

          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.

  49. Avatar Of Linda

    lINDA

    says:

    rip sweet lucas.

    • Avatar Of Almanull

      almanull

      says:

      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 !!!!!

      • Avatar Of Jena

        Jena

        says:

        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..

        • Avatar Of Terri

          terri

          says:

          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”

          • Avatar Of Animal Lover

            Animal Lover

            says:

            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.

      • Avatar Of Cheekygrrl

        Cheekygrrl

        says:

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

    • Avatar Of Liz Matthews

      LIZ MATTHEWS

      says:

      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.

    • Avatar Of Bernadette Doucette-Sperry

      Bernadette Doucette-Sperry

      says:

      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…

    • Avatar Of Clara Hirlehey

      Clara Hirlehey

      says:

      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.

    • Avatar Of Michemer

      michemer

      says:

      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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