Smyrna man to foster 3 of Vick's pit bulls

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 01/25/08

There are pit bulls.

And then there are Michael Vick's pit bulls.

There was no way Brandon Bond, a Smyrna tattoo studio owner who provides a foster home for pit bulls on the side, was turning down this opportunity from the Georgia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals.

"Mike Vick's dogs? Are you crazy? These are like the highest-profile pit bulls in the world."

Bond, 33, has been providing a temporary home for pit bulls for a dozen years. He says he's placed more than 200 of them.

Last month, Georgia SPCA officials called Bond to see if he could provide foster care for three of the suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback's seized pit bulls, which were taken from Vick's property in Virginia after he was busted on charges of running a dogfighting operation.

For Bond, it was a no-brainer.

"They are gorgeous," he said. "It's amazing, these dogs — with the exception of one of them — don't even look like fighting dogs. They're super nice."

Vick pleaded guilty Aug. 27 to a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge and was sentenced Dec. 10 to 23 months in prison. The 47 surviving dogs seized from Vick's property in June were dispersed to various rescues and shelters across the country. Some were deemed unadoptable, but the others have a chance at a home.

Three of the dogs — two males and a female — came to Georgia late last month.

And they came with a lot of red tape — for now.

Bond said he can't disclose the dogs' exact locations. Or their names.

"Just to pet these dogs, I have to talk to three people," Bond joked. "I was on the phone with the Justice Department three times today. They're nice people, but they've got so many rules."

Some of the restrictions will be lifted Friday, when a federal gag order in the Vick dogfighting case is set to be lifted.

What Bond can say now is the three dogs will be eligible for adoption in six months. But first, they have to go through a program that tests their behavior, Bond said.

The catch: Bond already has got "first dibs" on one of the dogs; the manager of his tattoo parlor's adopting another one. So only one of the dogs will be put up for adoption by the public.

None of the pit bulls, Bond said, show signs of aggression or dog training. They don't sit or stay on command. But they've all got distinct personalities.

The one he's keeping is "incredibly scared of everything," Bond said.

The one his manager's going to adopt is excited and curious — especially about being inside a house, he said.

The third one is happy-go-lucky and loves toys.