Leo is one of 51 dogs rescued from Mike Vick's dog fighting operation. Unlike almost all bust dogs before him, and because of the work of many advocates around the country, Leo was given a second chance. While other bust dogs have for decades been systematically killed and deemed "unable to be rehabbed", the dogs from Vick's operation were given a chance for an evaluation.
Nearly all passed their evaluations.
Leo was one of about 20 that were sent to various rescue groups for rehab. And his successful rehabilitation is truly an inspirational success story.
Leo quickly adapted to his new, good surroundings, and became a therapy dog. For the past few years he has been visiting schools, and cancer patients, serving as a therapy dog. In the process, he touched a lot of lives. And in the process, he changed a lot of them too.
It was through the successful rehabilitation of Leo and several others, that a lot has changed for bust dogs over the past 3 years. HSUS, who should have been advocating for the dogs for years, had recommended they be killed without an evaluation. However, after seeing the successful rehabilitation, finally changed their tune. They've helped change the narrative about 'pit bull' type dogs in this country -- and the role environment plays in their behavior.
So, today, it is sad to write about dog that's life ended too soon -- but it's a happy story. One of rehabilitation, second chances, and making the most of them. It's about a dog with a tough life that managed through it to improve the lives of others. It's about a dedicated trainer and rescuer who worked to help make it happen (thanks Martina). And it's about leaving a legacy that really has made a positive impact.
Click Here for a video of Leo in Action
Click here for a blog post about Leo from Our Pack, the group that rehabbed Leo.