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Rescue group signs contract on Vick house

A Pennsylvania-based dog rescue organization and advocacy group has reportedly signed a contract to buy the former estate of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick — headquarters of Bad Newz Kennels, a dogfighting operation.

The group, Dogs Deserve Better, says it hopes to turn the 4,600-square foot house and 15 acres of property in Surry into an animal sanctuary, where rescued dogs could be trained and rehabilitated.

The organization, which has been at the forefront of the movement towards banning the tethering and chaining of dogs,  has 45 days to raise enough money to cover the asking price of $595,000, according to the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk.

Monica Severy, the group’s local representative, said it has raised more than $50,000.

“The dogs will live in the house, and we’ll use it for training and for meetings,” Severy said. “There will be somebody there all the time, living there.”

The house has been empty for three years. When  Ace and I visited in August, the sign posted out front listed it as both for sale and for rent.

The white brick home has five bedrooms, four and a half baths, a pool and a basketball court.

Severy said the group chose the property for the symbolism of turning a place where dogs were made to suffer into a place of refuge for similar dogs. Fifty one dogs were seized from Bad Newz Kennels, and investigators discovered eight murdered dogs on the property once owned by Vick, who this past weekend was given the key to the city by Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway.


Comment from EmilyS
Time February 8, 2011 at 10:18 pm

1. why would you pay the asking price for a house that’s been unsold for 3 years? By definition, the price is too high

2. this gives me the creeps. The souls of the dead dogs will not be calmed by the presence of this group (which has its own issues). Major bad juju.

3. How many more times will the Vick dogs be exploited to serve the agenda of some not-necessarily-praiseworthy group?

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time February 9, 2011 at 1:47 am

I remember writing about this when the house first went on the market. I thought it was a good idea then, and I still do. It’s a good, solid structure with spacious grounds and several outbuildings. There’s plenty of room outdoors for dogs to have freedom of movement, go for walks, and receive outdoor training. There’s space for veterinary services. There’s plenty of room for all sorts of classes. I think it’s a great idea, and it will provide shelter for dogs who might otherwise have no place to go. The dogs have no idea what went on, and the place can be cleaned out of anything questionable as it’s being prepared for its new residents.

(Incidentally, Dwaine Cararaway is NOT the mayor of Dallas. He’s a member of the City Council and the “Mayor Pro Tem,” which in other city governments would mean he presides over council meetings when the mayor isn’t there. The REAL, elected mayor of Dallas is Tom Leppert, who has said, “We don’t condone it and clearly didn’t approve it. It’s unfortunate, and I would rather have not seen the situation.” The actual key to the city is a gold or crystal item usually given only to foreign dignitaries and officials who are visiting Dallas. City Council members may give a $25 souvenir key with the city seal on it to whomever they please. Or at least that’s what CNN is saying: http://tinyurl.com/4vdyfy7 )

Comment from anon
Time February 9, 2011 at 8:15 am

I had similar thoughts regarding the uncalmed spirits of dogs tortured and killed.

I would not be averse to seeing the house razed and the grounds salted.

Comment from Jim
Time February 9, 2011 at 9:54 am

@EmilyS – What is your problem with “Dogs Deserve Better”? Dogs Deserve Better is an ASPCA award-winning national nonprofit education, legislation, rescue organization dedicated to freeing dogs who have been chained …
Please, enlighten us…

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time February 9, 2011 at 10:10 am

I don’t mean to be combative, but–well, I’m going to be combative. Uncalmed spirits???? Razed and salted???? What about the uncalmed spirits of all the dogs who can be saved by having this shelter who would otherwise have to be put down? This is a reputable dog rescue organization devoted to caring for living dogs with serious needs in the actual here and now (as opposed to some weird spirit world). It’s a chance to set up a world-class facility for animals and a fine opportunity to turn something that was evil into something that is good. You cross the line from dog lover into dog crazy when you start talking about neglecting living dogs on behalf of dead ones. (And no, I don’t work for Dogs Deserve Better. But I’ve heard of them. I thought just about everybody had.)

Comment from anon
Time February 9, 2011 at 10:14 am

On the other hand I agree with efforts to rehabilitate the house and grounds into a rescue/sanctuary/education site.

Light a candle rather than curse the darkness.

Also interested in knowing EmilyS concern with the group.

Comment from Marie Belanger
Time February 9, 2011 at 10:47 am

Emily must have DDB confused with someone else, either that or she doesn’t have a clue that we save an average of 500 chained/penned dogs every year. We rescue, rehab and rehome these dogs who were serving a life sentence at the end of a chain or in a backyard cage. DDB works to Raise awareness through educational campaigns and changes the laws to protect dogs from a lifetime of cruelty and neglect.
This place needs a presence and the dogs who were tortured and killed there deserve to be meorialized and remembered, they didn’t ever get justice for thier suffering as Vick was never charged with dog fighting, only bank rolling the operation.

Comment from anon
Time February 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm

@Anne’n’Spencer, re: razed and salted, don’t snap your girdle, consider tongue in cheek…

Comment from RHONDA
Time February 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm

This is a GREAT idea!!! Love it & hope all goes well with this project!! U ROCK!!

Comment from Lory
Time February 9, 2011 at 5:50 pm

DDB is a fantastic, dedicated group, and should have everyone’s full support for the incredible , impressive work they do. We sorely need a sanctuary to rehabilitate and nurture dogs taken from bad situations and in need of a better life.
We have the positive energy to create a place of healing and hope where once was pain and torture. This is an inspired project and FWIW, I full support it.

Comment from katherine
Time February 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I live down the street from this house and its a shame that every time I ride by there i think about those dogs. Vick has a home in Hampton, Va and he wants a dog, so I think the only dog he can have are the ones that he going to help out and give a proper home too not just give him a dog and don’t know what he will do with it.I feel that he should donate some money to this cause as part of his community service and help raise money for this cause. He can help undo the wrong that he did and I feel this is a way to do it.

Comment from EmilyS
Time February 11, 2011 at 6:41 pm

DDB– gee I dunno; I’m not much impressed with groups that steal dogs because they think they know best. (I have the same problem with Shorty Rossi who stole dogs in the most recent episode)

But whatever floats your boat

Comment from Hayley
Time March 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Why doesnt M.Vick donate the house or buy the house and donate to show he really is sorry for what he did and make a difference in rescuing pit bull and pit bull mixes. Why should a rescue buy the house of dog fighter and give him money or the bank money. If the bank owns, offer to buy for far less than it is worth in this economy.