By Mara Schiavocampo, NBC Nightly News digital correspondent
Michael Vick was released from prison to home confinement today after serving 19 months of a 23-month sentence for financing a dogfighting ring. I'm sure many of you still remember the horrifying details of the 2007 case: dogs hanged and electrocuted for not being good fighters, rape stands and, of course, brutal dogfights.
You'd think the dogs rescued from Vick's facility would be violent monsters incapable of ever integrating into normal society. But the reality couldn't be more different. This week I spent time with three of Vick's former dogs, two at an animal sanctuary in Utah, and one with a non-profit group in Northern California. The dogs behaved like run-of-the-mill house pets. They licked my hand excitedly when we met. They rolled over for belly rubs. The barked at my cameraman.
Mara and cameraman Aaron Sasson with Georgia, one of Michael Vick's former fighting dogs, and her caretaker John Garcia of the Best Friends Animal Society. Georgia is climbing on Garcia to steal some extra kisses. (Photo courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society)