Dog Saved From
Michael Vick Dies

Ellen, one of Michael Vick's former fighting dogs, passed away earlier this week after an illness. Read on to find out how she impacted everyone she met.

Michael Vick's former dog dies

It's safe to say 11-year-old pit bull Ellen saw a lot of pain during her life: She was one of the dogs rescued from NFL quarterback Michael Vick's dog fighting operation in 2007 and eventually made her way to the Best Friends Animal Society in Utah. The blonde pup lived a life of luxury since her rescue, until last week: She had to be euthanized after an illness.

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"Ellen's health is failing," Best Friends veterinarian Dr. Patti Patterson told the Society's blog shortly before they made the painful decision to put her to sleep. "Although we do not know the cause of her illness and deterioration, we have exhausted all diagnostic and treatment efforts that we feel could help Ellen."

Despite her hard life, Best Friends staff said she was a sweet, gentle dog and loved the attention lavished on her. She had every right to be a mean, vicious creature: Vick's dogs were savagely beaten and torn up in the brutal fights.

"I’ve never had a dog who was so affectionate," caregiver Maddie Haydon told the blog, adding that her nickname was "Ellie Belly" for her love of belly rubs. It takes a lot for abused dogs to trust people enough to let them scratch their bellies. Not for Ellen, though.

"She bonded with everyone she met," Haydon added. She — along with the other Vick dogs — wasn't allowed to interact with visitors per orders from the court. The order was lifted in May and Ellen was finally able to meet visitors face-to-face and, of course, she loved the attention.

"The impact that it had on our visitors, tours and guests was visible," Best Friends' Tom Williams said. "You could see those people were touched."

"You could just see them change their perception," he added. "She went a long way toward helping not only the Vick dogs that are here, but pit bulls in general. She helped to dispel the myths about them."

Vick spent two years in prison for running the ring — and he's still on probation until next month. After that, he can again own dogs. It sounds like he wants to get some, too.

"I miss dogs, man," he told GQ in 2011. "I always had a family pet, always had a dog growing up. It was almost equivalent to the prison sentence, having something taken away from me for three years. I want a dog just for the sake of my kids, but also me. I miss my companions."

We like to think people can be rehabilitated — and it seems like he's sorry, but we're not sure he needs another chance to own pets.

Image courtesy Hugh Dillon/

Does Michael Vick deserve another chance to own dogs?

Tags: michael vick

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Comments on "Sad end for one of Michael Vick's dogs"

Sonja December 10, 2012 | 5:58 PM

Anyone who does this is "Sick" mentally, and does not deserve to own another dog Ever. These dogs are living a lifetime sentence of the torture they have been through. Just because someone such as Michael Vick, a Public Figure, with money has spent some time in jail, does not mean he is better now. He needs to pay hugely for what he has done. And that means raising Awareness of how wrong this is, and Contribute forever to End Dog Fighting and other Senseless acts towards innocent Dogs.

Theresa September 25, 2012 | 11:09 AM

Michael Vick should never ever be able to own anything with a soul. This peice of brutally beat these Dogs, shot them in the head, electocuted them, hung them, and bashed there skulls in with a shovel. Does this sound like a person that derserves a Dog or a second chance? These poor Dogs. The dogs that didnt want to fight had a person that volunteered to take them but Vick said no way and killed them. Just becasue they didnt want to fight. I don't care how sorry he says he is. There is no way any person can do the things he did to an animal and have any kind of remorse or any heart. I wish that somebody would beat the crap out of that peice of . I hate Him so much for what he did. It breaks my heart to think of the pain and suffering these poor dogs went through. Thank God for the Jim Knorr, and Bill Brinkmann and all of the others that brought that hell hole at bad news kennels to a stop and some of the Dogs are living good lives. May Michael Vick rot in hell

cjg September 04, 2012 | 2:53 PM

I just watched Michael Vick promoting his new book on the 700 Club. He should give all proceeds to animal rescue charities an should not profit from memoirs of his days torturing animals. He is a big piece of Crap an no matter what he says or does can undo the pain an suffering these dogs an other animals endured. He should NEVER be allowed to have a pet of any kind. He is pure evil an I hope he suffers in HELL for what he has done.

Dean August 06, 2012 | 1:45 PM

If I did what Vick did 5 years ago, I would not be an airline pilot today. Actions have consequences, and the NFL has a black eye for allowing this hoodlum back in the football ranks. I volunteer at Mill Dog Rescue in Colorado, and NOTHING Vick can do will make up for his evil. It's simple, and I hope Pilidelphia wakes up and dumps his ass. Maybe they will play New Orleans where justice will prevail, but I can't stand his comlaining anymore.

Bethann Hart-Taravella July 18, 2012 | 12:24 PM

I searched for this site after watching Michael Vick's interview last night because I couldn't decide if I could forgive him. However, something good has come out of this tragic event. Public awareness and exposure to this horrific sport. I give Michael Vick a lot of credit for doing the interview. He said something about us all being a work in progress. I believe he is sorry and thank him for speaking out and wish him success for the future.

Erika June 26, 2012 | 6:06 AM

No. He should never be allowed to own dogs again..Unless he would use his own money and start a dog rescue where he had paid employees to care for the rescued dogs. But to have a personal pet no way.

David Ruud June 25, 2012 | 9:12 AM

Hey Jimmy. He may have served his sentence but that doesn't begin to make that piece of smell any better. This is the same piece of he's always been and always will be. As for Ellen forgiving him?! The only happiness that poor dog ever knew was after she was saved from that piece of ! She would no more FORGIVE him than I ever would. I only hope he never gets close to another innocent creature again! I wish this guy only the worst.

Jimmy June 24, 2012 | 3:44 AM

Michael Vick has paid his debt. He has dedicated his life to talking to anyone that will listen to never do what he has done. The problem is that some people are so filled with hate that they are unable to hear. If Ellen can forgive, why can't you?

Joan June 23, 2012 | 10:55 PM

Why would anyone even suggest this deranged man could have another animal. The torture he put these animals through tells you he is one of those people who are empty inside. And how about all the people who love animals were hurting when they hear about the suffering of the dogs. They don't want to fight/ A picture of two men hold two dogs and encouraging them to fight, when the dog reached out and licked the other one on the nose still haunts me at night. I keep wondering if that beautiful dog was the one he electrocuted or hung since she sure did not want to fight. Vic should not be playing ball when our young people see such a low lifein sports.That is part of our problem in our country.Who are the people we can looK UP TO???????Please keep all animal lovers of the fact that mikel vic is not fit to have an animal..

prettygirlswagin June 23, 2012 | 3:46 PM

Absolutely NO!!!!!!!!!!! He shouldnt get another chance. when i read this and view a video of ellen i wanted to cry because lots of humans mistreat dogs and other creatures and WE SHOULD STOP ANIMAL CRULTRY

Lisa Rink June 22, 2012 | 9:13 PM

Absolutely NO!!! He should never be allowed to own any living creature! I read the book 'Lost Dogs' and in my opinion if I was a mother of one of his children, I would get a restraining order where he would never lay eyes of it again. He is the more than the definition evil...he is the anti-christ!!! I pray for one thing...I hope I live long enough to see him go through what he put those innocent dogs through!

Emma June 22, 2012 | 3:55 PM

Michael Vick deserves nothing when it comes to canine companions. He has already shown his poor judgment and incompetence, why would he deserve anything else? He may feel remorseful now and think he has changed, but pet ownership is a huge responsibility.

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