Dogs Deserve Better closes on Vick house

It’s a done deal: Dogs Deserve Better, a nonprofit group that fights chaining, penning and other forms of cruelty to dogs, has closed on Michael Vick’s old house — the former headquarters of the quarterback’s dogfighting operation, Bad Newz Kennels.

Dogs Deserve Better plans to turn the property in Surry County, Virginia, into a center to rehabilitate and resocialize dogs that have been mistreated and abused, with the hope of finding them adoptive homes.

The name of the facility will be: The Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs.

The potential deal, which we told you about in February, became a reality in May, when Dogs Deserve Better raised enough money for the down payment and secured a bank loan to purchase the 4,600-square-foot white brick house and surrounding 15 acres.

The group paid $176,507 as the down payment for the house, liisted at $595,000, and is still raising money to pay for the rest and make improvements.

Once complete, it will be a $2.5 million facility, founder Tamira Thayne said told the Virginian-Pilot.

“Purchasing this property and in effect giving it back to the victims of the abuse that occurred here is a very powerful step for animal advocates and our country’s dogs alike,” said Thayne. “We are sending a message to those who want to abuse and fight dogs that a new day is dawning in America, a day where dogs are treated with the love and respect they deserve as companions to humans.”

The Washington Post had a report on the property’s transition from a place of nightmares to a place of hope earlier this month.

Dogs Deserve Better, which will move from its Pennsylvania base to Virginia,  has never had a facility of its own, but it says it has rescued and rehomed more than 3,000 dogs during its existence.

Dogs Deserve Better says having the facililty in a house will help in socializing the dogs it takes in. The group hopes to rescue and rehabilitate 500 dogs a year.

Thayne said that, in addition to welcoming visitors, Dogs Deserve Better will also build a memorial on the property for the dogs who died and suffered there, according to

For more information on the purchase, the plans and how you can donate, visit the website of Dogs Deserve Better.

John Woestendiek

John Woestendiek is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of "Dog, Inc.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man's Best Friend."

4 thoughts on “Dogs Deserve Better closes on Vick house

  • June 1, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I’m really looking forward to reading more about this as the project moves ahead. It’ll be great to hear all the details of their various projects and programs and to hear about the good they’ll be doing. There couldn’t be a better use for this house.

  • June 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    What an incredible waste of money, and a dangerous commitment of future funds for a pipe dream of a delusional meglomaniac Tamira Thayne. The secrecy, and confusing messages from this group concerning exactly how they plan on pulling all this off should be of a huge concern to the bank that loaned them the money to purchase. But then again, maybe the bank feels as I do. This venture will go belly up within 18 months. Enjoy your new mansion Tamira. You didn’t earn it, but have a bunch of suckers supporting you.

  • June 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    To Heepster Time….dangerous commitment and incredible waste of money for a pipe dream?? Seems to me, that property wasn’t going anywhere!! The only thing dangerous about that property was what was going on when Vick owned it. If you want to hope against a good outcome for the property and a crash and burn for the people trying to make something good out of a despicable situation, have at it. I don’t think it takes anything away from them and really just sounds like you are one unhappy, negative person. Praying you find happiness and peace along your travels. And praying for complete success for the Good Newz Rehab Center. God Bless~

  • July 1, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Congratulations to Tamira and everyone who worked so hard for this to become a reality. We wish you all the best with the Good Newz Rehab Center and all the lucky dogs who will be helped.

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