Mel poses with his edible key to the city.

On Saturday night when the Eastlake Pet Orphanage, a homeless pet shelter in Dallas, Texas, threw its annual fundraiser presenting the organization’s John LaBella Award to people who go above and beyond in their care, treatment, and advocacy for pets, a special honor was bestowed on one very special dog.

Mel, who once served as a bait-dog in Michael Vick’s dog-fighting ring, was given a key to the city. And best of all, the key was edible.

Upon bestowing the key to Mel, Dallas City Councilwoman Angela Hunt called out Dallas Mayor-for-the-time-being Dwaine Caraway for giving Vick, a convicted felon, his own key to the city during Super Bowl week.

Also presented with an award was Mel’s owner Richard Hunter for his work with the Eastlake Texas Pet Orphanage.

Hunter adopted Mel after he was seized from Vick’s home. He had actually tried to talk to Vick about Mel during the Super Bowl event but was met with resistance from his entourage saying, “We don’t care about the dog.”

Caraway has called the controversy overblown. But he did admit he’d give it more thought if he had to do it over again.

Story By Elaine Furst For Dog Files