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December 24, 2021

Last surviving dog rescued from Michael Vick's kennel eats steak dinner as final meal before dying surrounded by family

Frodo, one of the youngest pit bulls saved from the ex-Eagles QB's dogfighting compound, lived to be about 15 years old

Obituaries Dogs
Michael Vick Dog Frodo BAD RAP/Facebook

Frodo was among the youngest dogs rescued from the dogfighting ring operated on the former Virginia property of retired NFL quarterback Michael Vick. After long life in the care of a California family, Frodo died last weekend at about 15 years old. He was the last surviving dog rescued in the case.

The sickening details of the Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting ring that operated on the former Virginia property of retired NFL quarterback Michael Vick became a lightning rod for animal welfare advocates when the investigation reached the public eye in 2007.

Authorities working on the case learned that Vick and his co-defendants killed at least six dogs because the animals lacked the aggressiveness desired for fighting. The unwanted dogs were sometimes shot, drowned, hanged or electrocuted. Nine pit bull carcasses were found on the property and samples of skeletal remains were linked to another two dogs.

Vick, who spent 21 months in federal prison, has had a long and contentious redemption arc that continues to ignite fierce debates about his return to the limelight, first as an NFL player again, including a successful stint with the Philadelphia Eagles, and later as a broadcaster for FOX Sports.

But the stories of the 48 dogs who were rescued from Vick's compound and placed in shelters and loving homes have been a powerful testament to the rehabilitation abused, aggressive pit bulls.

Last Saturday, Frodo, the last surviving dog rescued during the Vick case, died at 15 years old surrounding by his adoptive family. BAD RAP, an Oakland-based animal rescue organization, shared a picture of Frodo in his final moments after he chowed on a steak dinner.

The incredible 'Vick dog' era is over. On Saturday, we had the great honor and privilege of attending the transition...

Posted by BAD RAP on Monday, December 20, 2021

"Seized and rescued in 2007, we 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," BAD RAP wrote on Facebook. "Sweet Frodo - How we loved him. He was one of the bravest survivors we've ever met."

Just two days before Frodo's death, another dog saved from Vick's property, Jonny Justice, also passed away after spending a life as a therapy dog who worked in a children's literacy program in San Francisco.

BAD RAP helped rehabilitate 10 dogs from Vick's property, while the 22 most troubled survivors went to the Utah-based Best Friends Animal Society. The remaining dogs were cared for by other organizations.

Best Friends Animal Society shared a statement honoring the journeys of the surviving dogs and their impact on the rehabilitation of abused animals.

"The incredible 'Vick dog' era is over." Today, BAD RAP shared the news that sweet, shy Frodo crossed the rainbow...

Posted by Best Friends Animal Society on Monday, December 20, 2021

"After an astonishing legacy, from coast to coast, from warm homes to state capitals, these beloved dogs have been the living embodiment of resiliency," the organization wrote. "Their courage proved that there's no such thing as 'too damaged' or 'beyond hope.'"

Frodo was adopted by California resident Kim Ramirez, who told the Washington Post that he was "shut down" when she first met him and would cry through the night.

“I’ve had to somewhat rearrange my life in a way for Frodo,” Ramirez previously said as she worked on addressing his issues. “And he’s worth it, believe me.”

The news of Frodo's death recycled social media debates about Vick's status in societyand the platform he has been given to rebuild his life. Now 41 years old, Vick has maintained a relationship with the Humane Society of the United States and previously made appearances at schools to talk to kids about avoiding bad decisions in life, often met by protesters who have questioned his sincerity.

Vick confirmed in 2012 that he became a dog owner again after completing the terms of his probation.

"I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family's decision to care for a pet," Vick told ESPN at the time. "As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals. I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of God's creatures with kindness and respect. Our pet is well cared for and loved as a member of our family."