Tug, one of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring, has passed away peacefully after a love-filled and happy final few years. He was humanely euthanized on June 29th, 2016 at Best Friends Animal Society, the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Best Friends was responsible for taking in many of the “Vicktory” dogs nine years ago, and it’s where Tug spent his last several, blissful years of life.
Dubbed for their triumphant spirits, the Vicktory dogs were the victims in Michael Vick’s infamous fighting ring. As a result of their forced participation, a good number of the Vicktory dogs were exposed to the disease babesia, which is what ultimately led to Tug’s decline. Babesia passes through the blood, something that fighting dogs are unfortunately exposed to frequently.
According to Best Friends, it’s a manageable disease, but it’s incurable and has claimed the lives of other Vicktory dogs as well, including Ray the Vicktory Dog just last year. The complications from the disease combined with his age proved too much for Tug to handle and he was released from his suffering, surrounded by those who loved him.
The world just stood still when you were sitting with The Tug. Nothing else mattered. He had a heart that wouldn’t stop and I loved him with all my heart.
Best Friends also noted that Tug had an “unforgettable welcome dance” and that he enjoyed hugs, golf cart rides and hanging out with his friends. Despite it all, they describe him as “sensationally happy.” Rest in peace, Tug, we are wishing you safe travels over the rainbow bridge.
If you’d like to help dogs like Tug, you can make a donation to Best Friends here.