Friday, August 28, 2009

Sports Illustrated pit bull cover model dies

August 27, 12:41 PMPet ExaminerTeri Webster

Jasmine, the Sports Illustrated poster girl for rehabilitated pit bulls, has been hit and killed by a car, according to the animal rescue group Recycled Love.

“Our hearts are heavy with sadness over the loss of our sweet Jasmine,” a blog for Recycled Love reported. “She was recently killed by an automobile in an unfortunate accident. Jasmine touched so many lives in so many ways. Her family is devastated by her passing, but they would like everyone to recognize and celebrate the unmistakable love Jasmine received and the priceless gifts she has given to everyone.”

Further details of the accident were not disclosed. Jasmine was owned by Catalina Stirling, president of Recycled Love, according to the blog.

"Please understand that Catalina, along with the rest of Jasmine's family, are just beginning to process this loss," the blog states. "Thank you for allowing time for all to heal."

Recyled Love could not be immediately reached for comment.

One of 51 pit bulls seized from the Michael Vick dog fighting ring bust in April 2007, Sweet Jasmine was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The accompanying article detailed the lives of the pit bulls that were placed in foster care and adoptive homes.

The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in southern Utah took in 22 of the dogs. Best Friends described them as “suffering from serious psychological and emotional trauma, similar to what you see in children from situations of abuse and neglect.”

Sweet Jasmine was described by Sports Illustrated as gentle but skittish around people and obviously traumatized.

Vick, 29, is preparing for his debut with the Philadelphia Eagles, marking his first NFL game since 2006. The Eagles signed Vick earlier this month. He completed a 20-month prison sentence on a federal dog fighting conviction.

The Humane Society of the United States has been working with Vick, who is now speaking out against dog fighting. Vick also appears in a new video on the Humane Society’s YouTube page.

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