Living witnesses: The Vick kennel survivors find new life

Nine days before the Eagles announced they had signed Michael Vick and the world learned that the nation's most infamous animal abuser would be moving to Philadelphia, Handsome Dan found a new home.

Who's Handsome Dan?

He's a "Vicktory" dog, one of 22 battle-scarred pit bulls rescued from Vick's Bad Newz Kennel who found safe harbor thousands of miles away at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah.

The New York Times put together this stirring slide show of these traumatized animals embraced by the staff at the sanctuary. Some are so troubled they will likely spend their lives there, but others like Dan have found adoptive families. Still they are special needs dogs and the sanctuary (and court) has set up a rigorous adoption program.

Heather and Mark from New England, who run a doggy day care and rescue specializing in rehabilitating abused pit bulls, passed the test and welcomed Dan into their home earlier this month. They report Dan moped around for a few days before being convinced to play in a tear-inducing act of kindness by one of their resident mutts. Dan is still timid but he's coming out of his shell, they say, even doing a "little happy dance" when he sees the leash.