Little Red was born into a living nightmare that most of us could never imagine a dog living through. Her former owner, NFL superstar quarterback Michael Vick, didn’t value her life, and so he used her as part of a notorious dogfighting ring that would become infamous in the United States, eventually landing him a 2-year prison sentence when all the dust settled, and his crimes were revealed to the world.

Authorities found close to 50 dogs trapped in Vick’s Bad Newz Kennel was busted, and that included the precious and terrified Little Red. Years after the ordeal, she thrived, and upon meeting, you would never know that her past was filled with such sordid details.

Little, as she was known, was used to breed dogs, and didn’t do any of the fighting herself. Rescue workers from the Best Friends Animal Society, found her in such a deplorable condition, that it was not possible to domesticate her. Little was forced to produce litter after litter of pups that would be trained to fight. When she was discovered, she was underweight, malnourished, and her teeth were filed down.

Rescuers at the Best Friends Animal Society, had decided to give her a chance, unlike a few of her fellow kennel mates, who had to be put down because they were deemed too dangerous for rehabilitation.

First, it would take convincing a federal judge overseeing the case, to grant rescuers permission to take custody of Little and her kennel mates, something he eventually obliged to, after a strong case was made that the dogs did not pose a threat to the public. Now it was time for a home.

In 2008, Best of Friends Sanctuary took 22 of the dogs seized from Vick to their facility in Utah, and aptly nicknamed them “Vicktory dogs.” There, they thrived and were provided the love, care, and devotion they had been missing all of their lives.

In 2011, Little was adopted by a gracious family in Laramie, Wyoming. There she learned to laugh, live, and love, nubby teeth in all. In fact, her life was profiled in the movie The Champions, a documentary about the  Vicktory dogs.

The film chronicles the story of the remaining survivors of the Bad Newz Kennel, updating viewers on the latest happenings of their lives. It also strongly advocates against euthanizing animals like Little, because of what some might call the “hidden dangers” of the bully breed.

Little died Sunday evening at her home, her face white, and her body scarred from the abuse she conquered, due to the help of rescuers who advocated strongly for her and her kennel mates. A post on her Facebook page read:

“At 10 pm, she took her last breath. She was sleeping peacefully and simply slipped away,” Weidel wrote. “It has been my privilege to care for Little for over 5 1/2 years and to share her life with the many, many people who loved her and admired her strength and gentle nature. She is at peace, and I ask that you send her your love as she begins her journey on the other side.”

Fly away Little Red, to the world where pain no longer exist. You will always be remembered for lighting up the lives of all those who have come to know you. 🌈

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