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Victorious Vick not forgiven for 'Bad Newz' dog treatment

Michael Vick was the starting quarter-back in last Sunday's game for the Philadelphia Eagles -- his first after being released from an 18-month sentence in prison for interstate dog fighting -- and it was a victorious return.

But there's a lot of controversy in Philadelphia over this. However, his once named 'Bad Newz Kennels' residents have a happy ending, or should it be said the dogs are having a happy beginning.

Out of 51 Pitbulls removed from Vick's dog fighting operation, 47 have been rescued. Thanks to many organisations such as Bad Rap, dog trainer Andrew Yori, and Dr Stephen Zawistowski, psychologist and ASPCA animal behaviour specialist, the dogs were carefully evaluated and most were found not to be aggressive toward people.

Vick had been forced to pay $1m in restitution which gave the organisations the needed funding to successfully rehabilitate the dogs.

One of the dogs, Jonny Justice, formerly named Jonny Rotten, now helps shy children. Jonny is always accompanied by his handler to ensure the safety of the children.

Jim Gorant, senior writer for Sports Illustrated, wrote The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs And Their Tale Of Rescue And Redemption. The book has just been released. The author tells the story of Hector, who of all the dogs had the worst fighting scars.

Andrew Yori, Hector's trainer, eventually adopted the dog, and Hector and Yori live in upper New York State and work for the Animal Farm Foundation.

Most mail about the dogs and the book that Gorant receives is positive and supportive of the dogs, but some of the comments Gorant summed up, "Why does it matter, they're just dogs? ... No one cares if you kill cows or chickens or hunt deer. What's different about dogs?"

Gorant replied: "Our relationship with dogs has always been different than it has been with livestock or wildlife. Dogs have that ability to sense what we're feeling and commiserate. There's a reason they're called man's best friend."