Note: Hector died on October 27, 2014. The original article follows:
On Tuesday, a group of teens at the Kids in Transition residential facility in New Jersey received a special visit. The Lost Dogs author Jim Gorant, former Michael Vick dog Hector, and a rescued Pit Bull named Sarge stopped by.
Like the dogs, the young men here are abuse survivors, and they read Gorant’s book as part of their curriculum. The visit (in conjunction with Pit Bull rescue and educational organization, Animal Farm Foundation) provided an opportunity to talk about the scars of cruelty and the challenges of rehabilitation and recovery.
It’s not often one reads about a high-profile hero and then gets to meet him face to face. But the teens got that chance with Hector, connecting with a fellow survivor and witnessing true healing. (For the record, I’d met Hector several years ago through BAD RAP, and have been following his path ever since. I don’t care what species you are, this animal is the epitome of hero: forgiving, brave, gentle, noble.)
The teens were also introduced to Sarge, a sixteen-year-old Pit Bull, rescued only after fourteen long years of abuse. Sarge now lives with his two loving humans and five other canines. Like Hector, he’s a certified therapy dog and a testament to resiliency and trust.
I would’ve loved to have been part of the discussion Tuesday, but the notes the young men posted following the visit are sufficiently telling. Said one fourteen-year-old of the book, “It made me hopeful.”
More information Jim Gorant or his book, The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption.