Best Friends Blog

Georgia, until we meet again

I am so very sad to have to pass along this news. Georgia, one of the dogs from the Michael Vick dogfighting case, has passed over the Rainbow Bridge. Her age was taking its toll, and her kidneys could just no longer keep up.

All of the Vicktory dogs captured our hearts, but maybe none more than Georgia. From her time on the National Geographic show “DogTown,” she was an instant star. That wonderful smile and loving personality won everyone over – whether she met someone in real life or through a television screen.

She became quite a celebrity over the years. Along with Dogtown trainer John Garcia, she snuggled her way across the national stage. From the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” to “Larry King Live,” she helped rewrite the story for pit-bull-terrier-type dogs everywhere.

We’re thankful for everyone who played a part in her redeeming life story – from the investigators who put an end to the Bad Newz Kennels, to every shelter worker who aided in the rescue, to every Best Friends staff member, volunteer, donor and supporter who helped give her a new lease on life. We’re especially thankful for her adopter, Amy. Amy was the perfect person for Georgia. It’s been almost two years that Georgia has been exactly where she should have always been: in a warm bed in a home, snuggled by people who love her dearly for the wonderful dog she was.

As I said, she touched so many people around the world, but maybe none more than some of the Best Friends staff who worked with her so closely. I wanted to pass along some of their thoughts.

John Garcia, trainer: Knowing that Georgia isn’t with us anymore is something that is very emotional for me. I worked closely with Georgia for the years that she lived at Best Friends, and she was, to say the least, a very special girl to me. Knowing she was with Amy, in a loving adopted home for the last part of her life is a great comfort since I know she finally was treated the way she deserved, not only with the love and respect that we gave her, but she finally had a couch and a bed and all of the “princess” things that she loved so much.

Georgia taught me so much more than I could have ever given her, not from her reputation or history, but simply because she was who she was and the world got to see it.

Michelle Besmehn, Dogtown manager: I guess what I would say I loved most about Georgia is that although it was apparent by looking at her when she arrived that her life had not been easy, she was still exuberant, confident and full of life. It was hard not to fall in love with her goofy grin and gigantic personality. She seemed to quickly settle in to her life here at Best Friends, surrounded by caregivers who loved her and an ever-growing fan club. She didn’t miss a beat when it was time to do a little traveling with John Garcia or make an appearance on television. She was intelligent, silly and knew how to work a crowd.

With the help of her caregivers, she was able to achieve her Canine Good Citizen certification, which made her eligible for adoption. I am so grateful that Georgia was able to experience having her own home and family. She was truly loved and spoiled rotten (as it should be)! One of the more recent updates was about Georgia taking a vacation to the beach. There was an incredible picture of her walking towards the ocean. She looked peaceful and content. These are the updates that make me feel lucky that I have been a part of the journey for each of the Vicktory dogs. Georgia was an incredible soul and she will be missed.

Ledy VanKavage, senior legislative attorney, pit bull initiatives: Georgia was a little game-bred dog who truly was a game changer for all dogs seized in fight busts. Despite the horrible abuse she endured, she loved folks, charmed her way onto the set of ‘Ellen,’ and rubbed shoulders with Hollywood elite. Through her, we learned that all dogs are individuals and deserve a chance – even ex-fighting dogs. God speed, Georgia – you were one of a kind.

I’ll always remember her pink collar and her beautiful smile. As with all the Vicktory dogs, she exuded a bright light and love that was very special. I am heartbroken today to know that light is gone from the Earth. However, I’m forever thankful for Georgia’s contributions to the future for pit-bull-terrier-type dogs. She has truly left a mark on the world.

Georgia, please say hi to Lucas for us. We’ll see you again.


Gregory Castle
Best Friends Animal Society

  • Molly Lou

    Beautiful, sweet Georgia, you overcame so much. It was my great pleasure to meet you and know that you were finally safe from the horrors you endured. Rest in peace, dear one. You were well loved.

  • fancystar

    I don’t own a dog myself, but I started donating to Best Friends, after watching DogTown esp. the story of saving the dogs of the Michael Vick horrors. I’m very saddened to hear this news of Georgia, but I’m hopeful and grateful for all the kind & generous people who, everyday, give love, affection, and true caring to all animals. Thank you Best Friends Animal Society!

  • moondancer

    Be at peace dearest Georgia. You were loved very much by your Best Friends family and by many of us that never had the chance to meet you personally. You stole our hearts with your beautiful soul.

  • Kay

    God Speed Georgia! Hugs Amy

  • Trish Lamour

    I’m so sorry to hear of her passing. She was sweetheart and proof that it’s not in the breed, or how they’re raised, but how they’re treated and cared for. Good-bye sweet Georgia you’ll be missed by everyone who saw your story and fell in love with you, and those who were lucky enough to have met you, especially your Mommy, Amy. Thank you everyone who took care of Georgia and saw to it that she was given the life she deserved. My thoughts and prayers are with you all, especially you, Amy.

  • MelF

    Crying. I fell in love with Georgia when I saw her on DogTown and followed her story carefully. I loved her personality. She shined. Her smile made me smile. I am so sorry she is gone. Godspeed sweet Georgia.

  • Eileen Jesmer

    My Prayers to all.I enjoyed watching John and Georgia going all over the county he made me a believer that pitbulls are great dogs even after they had been rescued from the fighting ring. Run Happy Run Free Sweet Georiga

  • LA dogs

    May God rest her sweet soul. Thank you to all who cared for her. You are truly amazing and an inspiration!

  • Cindy

    Rest in Peace, Sweet Georgia <3 Run Free <3

  • t6834bl

    ‘Godspeed Georgia’ says it all ~

  • Emmy’s Mom

    Even though I had never had the honor of meeting Georgia in person, I feel as though I had from her appearances on TV and the updates from Best Friends. She was a beautiful soul and Heaven will be brighter for her arrival. While those of us still here will miss her exuberance and silly grin, we know that she had finally gotten the home and forever family she DESERVED while she was still able to enjoy them. God bless you Georgia…you will be missed with much love and admiration.
    Cynthia & Emmy

  • Melissa Meaders

    OH NO!!! This episode broke my heart and then she stole it!! After the life she had I am sooooo grateful that she got to end her life on a happy note with owner’s who loved and cherished her!! Best Friends is such an AMAZING group and I fell in love with them all watching this short lived series. Be proud of the work you do, we all sure are 🙂

  • Danette Borg

    I will forever miss “Georgia Kisses!” We will all see you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  • Paige Lovelace

    I love you Georgia and I will miss you! Thank you Amy for taking sweet Georgia into your home and loving her like she deserved to be loved all along!

  • Darlene Funnell

    I cried when reading this very sad news, but I am so grateful that Georgia lived to experience the kindness and compassion of being part of a human family. She did so much to breakdown the stereotype of pit bulls all being mean and let the world witness how truly loving they are. I’m sure she will be waiting for Jon and Amy at the rainbow bridge. RIP beautiful girl.

  • moonie

    Dear Georgia… indomitable spirit. You have inspired so many. You should know that property where you underwent such pain is now a shelter for chained canines. They are being socialized and adopted to loving families. Thank you, sweet girl… RIP.
    John, we could see how much you loved her. You will meet again.

  • shawna

    thank you so much for loving her…so sad for Amy and for all of you 🙁

  • no filter Beth

    Thank you to all who showed Georgia that not all 2 legged animals are murderous beasts. She left this world knowing love. Thank you for that.

  • I Want My Country Back!

    Rest easy beautiful baby! Play, have fun and enjoy life over the Rainbow Bridge. The world is such a better place now that you’ve been here. You taught so many, so much in such a short time. I cried hearing of your passing, and my furbabies came to me with that “what’s wrong mama”? look. We had to have a cuddle session in your honor! Hugs and kisses girl. You did good!!

  • RevereLP

    I would love to see that photo of her at the beach, if someone could post it. Rest In Peace, strong, beautiful angel.

    • MelissaLMiller

      Hi RevereLP,

      There are some beautiful photos of Georgia at the beach on Handsome Dan’s Facebook page. You can find them here:

      Melissa Miller
      New Media Coordinator

    • Guest

      Handsome Dan’s (another of the Vicktory Dog’s) Facebook page has many wonderful photos posted.

    • PamelaJ

      See that and more photos on Handsome Dan’s fb page–he and his family went out to visit her to day good-bye.

  • Thatchersmom

    Rest easy sweet girl knowing the
    pain you endured earlier in your life was not in vain. So many other dogs have been saved because of what you went thru with that monster. Your spirit and verocity for life will live on Georgia, and we will never forget you beautiful girl. Never. Say hi to my babies for me, will ya?

  • Annalicia Bravo

    I remember Georgia on Dog Town and I’m so very happy to hear that she lived the remainder of her life in a WONDERFUL home as it should be for ALL. God bless her adopter, Amy, for giving her the love that she deserved from day one and I pray that one day ALL dogs will experience the love that Georgia had.

  • 123tl78

    Georgia and all the other dogs saved from this dog fighting ring have showed, without a doubt, what we would have missed if they were not saved. They truly did and still do make this world a better place. Georgia was one gutsy, goofy, loving dog who wore her scars from dog fighting with such beauty. That’s what’s amazing about animals. They don’t know how to be anything but innocent. She just kept going and going until her body said enough. Thanks so much to all the people who had a part in fighting for these dogs’ right to live and get a chance to have a better life and thanks so much Georgia and all the others for gracing this world. You are all immortalized in the National Geographic special, so we’ll always get a chance to be reminded of your wonderful spirits and the joy you have brought to people who care every day and will continue to do so. Godspeed sweet, beautiful Georgia. You will be truly missed along with all the others that have gone ahead of you. We’ll keep on trying to make sure more dogs get the same chance for a better life after a dog fighting bust.

  • Darlene Welch Williams

    Rest easy beautiful Georgia…you are loved by many…..

  • Kathy Droege Rueckl

    Rest in peace beautiful girl…..the world will never forget you.