It’s the moment so many have waited for and no one could have predicted. Jonny Justice, one of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s compound, is now immortalized in the form of a Gund — yep, the folks who make the teddy bears — plush toy.
Last year, the company held a photo contest. Proud pet owners were encouraged to submit pictures of their own companion animals, and Jonny’s was entered in the Most Beautiful Dog category. After the general public voted him top canine, judges declared the handsome Pit Bull the grand prize winner.
Gund’s Limited Edition Jonny Justice will be available online and in stores late this summer, according to the toymaker’s Facebook page. No word yet on how much it’ll run you, but insiders believe the likeness will sell out fast no matter what the price point.
It’s hard to believe there was once a time when many insisted the Vick dogs were beyond rehabilitation or would never make for adoptable pets. Hats off to those who knew these resilient animals were destined to become loving family members, gentle therapy dogs, and exemplary canine ambassadors — and who worked to make it a reality.