Vick’s dogs form special Smyrna ‘Bond’
By Kelly Brooks
Marietta Daily Journal Staff Writer
SMYRNA - The owner and the manager of a Smyrna tattoo studio are
fostering two pit bulls from the dog-fighting ring tied to suspended
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.
Brandon Bond, owner of All or Nothing Tattoo on South Cobb Drive
and All or Nothing pit bull rescue, said he and store manager Daron
James are introducing the dogs "to the world of human love."
In August, Vick pleaded guilty to a federal dog-fighting
charge, admitting his involvement in a dog-fighting enterprise that
killed poorly performing dogs by hanging or drowning. In December, Vick
was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison. He and three codefendants
face state dog-fighting charges in Surry County, Va.
Bond said the high profile case would teach the public about
pit bulls in a way that his rescue organization and the Georgia Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) couldn't have done.
The Suwanee-based Georgia SPCA applied for dogs saved from the ring and received three in mid-December.
SPCA Adoption Center Manager Julie Warnat had been tattooed at
Brandon Boyd's shop. She kept up with the Web site for his pit bull
rescue efforts, her main interest at SPCA.
She said she contacted Boyd because she wanted to work with "somebody who was just good with people."
"It's kind of neat because the tattoo industry has a stereotype,
too," she said, adding that Vick's dogs would help the average person
to learn about the oft-misunderstood pit bull. "We're just hoping that
this will shed some light and people change their opinions on the
Ms. Huss is fostering a black staffordshire bull terrier, Chuck, who is about 3 or 4 years old and will be up for adoption.
"He's like a little ninja man," she said. "He's enjoying himself and he gets along with my dogs."
Bond's shop manager Daron James, foster parent to a pit bull he
calls "7,"- Vick's jersey number - said it's not about the quarterback
"It's about rehabilitating these animals," James said.
James plans to adopt the female, who is about 2 years old and
black with faint white spots. She's the only one of the three dogs that
has visible signs of dog-fighting, with scars on her hind legs, nose,
undercarriage and only half of a tongue.
"But that makes her all the more beautiful," said James, who has rescued pit bulls for a decade.
Bond started rescuing pit bulls 12 years ago after he ended up keeping Cain, 13, a black and white male he was fostering.
"He is the most loving, amazing dog in the world," Bond said.
He's also traveled the world: Cain has journeyed with Bond to
Seattle, the Rocky Mountains, New Orleans, Caesar's Palace and across
every major body of water.
Now, All Or Nothing Rescue has saved more than 200 pit bulls in the Southeast, he said.
Given his affection for pit bulls, Bond said he was "doing back flips" when the SPCA called him about Vick's dogs.
"I couldn't wait to meet the dogs," he said. "I was not disappointed; they are spectacular animals."
Before this week, Bond couldn't talk about the dogs partially because of a federal gag order that was lifted Friday.
"They're convinced the dogs could be stolen at any time," Bond said. "The dogs are never left alone, which is fun for them."
One of them, Bond said, concerned him a bit more than the other
two. In Virginia, authorities found the light brown male pit bull
chained to a tire, Bond said.
That's the one he and his wife, Ashley, plan to keep. They named him Makaveli, a stage name of the late rapper Tupac Shakur.
He hasn't shown any aggression toward humans. Quite the
opposite, his tail goes between his legs, he crouches down or he simply
runs and hides when Bond has friends over.
He's "scared of everything" and the most skittish of the three, Bond said.
"He's never been inside," Bond said. "When the heater comes on, he'll freak out."
But it's all about baby steps, or in this case, puppy steps.
He gets along swimmingly with Bond's foster pit bull, Annie Oakley.
"That's his new girlfriend," Bond said. "They hang out and party together."
And when it's just the Bonds, Makaveli is "incredible," the tattoo artist said.
"We finally got him to chase a tennis ball a week ago," he said.
Though Bond and James, as foster parents, have first dibs on
Makaveli and 7, Chuck is up for grabs in three months via the SPCA. But
SPCA executive director Joan Sammond said people wouldn't actually know
they've adopted a dog from Vick's ring until after the paperwork is
"We don't want people to adopt these dogs just for the novelty of it," she said.
Ms. Sammond called all three dogs "very adoptable" and said they
posed no threat to people. She also said that all of their owners would
receive free training classes for life from Man's Best Friend, located
in Woodstock and Norcross.
"We're glad that we're going to be a part of their happily ever after," Ms. Sammond said.
Information: http://atlantapitbullrescue.com/, http://www.georgiaspca.org/ or call (678) 765-2726