Tag: bad newz kennels
Dogs Deserve Better — the rescue organization that took over Michael Vick’s old house — has won state approval to reopen its shelter in Surry County, Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said that, based on an inspection last week, DDD’s Good Newz Rehab Center can begin providing shelter again to chained and abused dogs. It had been operating without the required state permit since June 2011.
“The state’s approval on her facility doesn’t have any bearing on the local charges,” Surry County’s Chief Animal Control Officer Tracy Terry told the Daily Press in Hampton Roads. ”They are not going to be dropped … If she is found guilty on the local charges, the state will have to revisit its decision to let her have dogs.”
Thayne was charged with one count each of animal cruelty and inadequate care of animals days after a state veterinarian and Surry Animal Control made an unannounced visit in August.
Surry County deputies removed nine cans of pepper spray from the house, along with two Tasers. They also seized a 1-year-old pit bull. Ten days later, the courts awarded custody of the dog, named Jada, back to Dogs Deserve Better.
Dogs Deserve Better, which seeks to helps dogs living lives on chains, is based out of the house on Moonlight Road where quarterback Michael Vick ran a dogfighting operation, known as Bad Newz Kennels.
Attorney Fred Taylor, who was representing Thayne on the permit matter, said Dogs Deserve Better initially believed it was in compliance with state regulations. The organization was not assessed any penalty for lacking a permit.
“I would argue that the state’s not filing any civil penalties … speaks volumes for the services that Dogs Deserve Better provides,” said Taylor, who is not representing Thayne on the criminal charges.
(Photo of former Vick estate by ohmidog!; photo of Tamira Thayne, from WAVY.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, agriculture, animal cruelty, bad newz kennels, chained, charges, department, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs deserve better, good newz rehab center, house, inspection, michael vick, moonlight road, property, rescue, shelter, state, surry county, tamira thayne, virginia
I’ve never liked the open letter. It’s a cheap gimmick that allows the writer to pretend to be writing to someone when you’re really taking aim at them. It’s a feeble attempt to get the attention of someone who neither knows who you are, nor cares what you have to say. It lets you, the writer, ride on their celebrity while you make a point, ostensibly to them, but really to the world. Open letters are highly presumptuous, and a little rude.
Nevertheless, Dear Michael Vick …
I see an opportunity for you.
This pertains your former property at 1915 Moonlight Road in Surry County, Virginia — the one that’s now headed to serve a purpose far different than the one for which you used it.
As you may have read, or not, your former house, the headquarters of your former Bad Newz Kennels, the home you forfeited after your conviction for dogfighting, has been purchased by a group called Dogs Deserve Better.
They plan to turn it into a $2.5 million center to rehabilitate and rehome dogs that have been abused — tied, chained, penned, or forced to take part in dogfighting. (At this point, were this one of those catty open letters, I would have added “an activity with which you are familiar.” But this really is more sincere than catty.)
From a writer’s standpoint, not to mention a reader’s, it’s a pretty wondrous development in the long-running story that, as you know, just won’t go away.
You should get in on it. You should donate some money to the project — if not to assuage any guilt you might still be feeling, then for image reasons alone, and image, these days, is everything.
To build its $2.5 million center, Dogs Deserve Better needs, well, about $2.5 million. They’ve made the down payment, but there is still lots of work to be done and money to be raised.
That’s where you come in, or could if you wanted to — giving the story one more serendipitous twist.
I know you served your time. I know you paid (and are still paying) your debt. I know your fans, and maybe you, think that gives you a clean slate — but a slate is hard to truly get clean once it has been tainted with blood, be it that of humans or dogs.
You have a lot of haters, myself included. I’ve bashed you before and I’ll probably bash you again — it’s easy to do that from afar, while hiding behind the protective gear of a blog. Though I’m a forgiving sort generally, I’m one of those people who can’t forget what you did with dogs. I’m also one of those people who stopped being a Philadelphia Eagles fan when they hired you, and, in the few games I watched, rooted for you to get sacked, even painfully so. (I did not like that I was doing that.)
Animal lovers, despite all their warmhearted, do-gooding tenderness, can be a pretty vengeful lot, and you permanently alienated them.
Even the work you are doing with the Humane Society of the United States in its anti-dogfighting campaign isn’t enough to change their minds about you. They probably never will. But by kicking in some money to rehabilitate dogs, you might make them, at least, think twice.
It would make a far deeper and more lasting impression than your HSUS appearances. I commend you for those, but, in all honesty and no offense, you don’t come across as all that remorseful. You don’t excel at appearing sincere. Besides, it’s just talk, and talk is cheap.
I realize that, despite your huge NFL salary, your money these days isn’t exactly your money — that you don’t have much to throw around, what with your debts and your lawyers and your agents. My understanding is you’re pretty much living on an allowance, and that endorsements, which dried up after your conviction, are few. This could help with that, too.
News that Michael Vick had chipped in to build a center to rehabilitate animals on his former property — and I’d suggest you do it in a low key, non-trumpeting kind of way — would do wonders for your image.
Since you’re still getting your finances back in shape, I think it would be great if the Philadelphia Eagles, and the NFL, chipped in as well, perhaps doubling or tripling the amount you might be able to come up with.
I’m aware it was you who, willing or not, footed the bill for your former dogs to make miraculous recoveries and find themselves in loving homes. There are pieces of the whole story of you and dogfighting that, horrendous as it is, are also inspiring. You could add another inspiring element – you could quell, but likely not erase, the wrath of dog lovers who hate you. Animal welfare types can be a self-righteous bunch — and persistent as linebackers. You may never have them on your team.
But a donation would give them pause, and perhaps a modicum of respect for you. They might see it as a sign — to some it might seem the first one — that you are truly sorry. Money usually can’t buy forgiveness, but it can soften the sharp edges.
I won’t be so presumptuous as to suggest an amount, and, I’m not even sure Dogs Deserve Better would take your money. I am in no way affiliated with the organization, other than having written about it a time or two. But they seem to mean well.
Support from you, the Eagles and the NFL — on top of all it would do for your image, and football’s — would help the organization accomplish its mission: Establishing the Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs.
Out with the bad, in with the good. Get it?
In closing, I apologize for the openness of this letter, and for sticking my nose in your business. But in a world where bad news is the norm, chances to make some good news – and to make some good happen — should be considered, if not jumped on immediately.
It’s just a thought.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, adoption, animal welfare, animals, atonement, bad newz kennels, center, chained, dear michael vick, dogs, dogs deserve better, donate, football, fundraising, good newz rehab center, house, hsus, letter, michael vick, mistreated, moonlight road, nfl, open letter, penned, pets, philadelphia eagles, rehabilitation, remorse, request, rescue, shelter, surry county, vick
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 Dogster.com.
For more information on the purchase, the plans and how you can donate, visit the website of Dogs Deserve Better.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, adopt, adoption, animals, bad newz kennels, bought, buys, center, chained, dogfighting, dogs, dogs deserve better, dogster, football, former, good newz rehab center, home, house, michael vick, mistreated, moonlight road, nfl, operation, penned, pets, philadelphia eagles, pit bulls, property, purchase, rehab, rehabilitation, rescue, ring, surry county, tamira thayne, virginia
We can’t remember a week — at least not since 2007, when federal authorities raided 1915 Moonlight Road – that pit bulls have grabbed so many headlines … without even biting anyone.
Here in Baltimore, the week began with a pit bull parade, sponsored by B-More Dog and designed to improve the image and shatter the misconceptions about the breed — such as the one that they are innately inclined to inflict violence.
Those who ran into the pack of four-legged goodwill ambassadors at the Inner Harbor Sunday got a chance to see beyond the myths.
The very next day, a mistrial was declared in the case against twin brothers in Baltimore accused of setting a pit bull on fire in the summer of 2009. Phoenix, as the dog was dubbed, died five days later. The police investigation that followed, testimony at the trial indicated, was something less than thorough — likely, I think it’s safe to say, because the murder victim was a dog, and, in particular, a pit bull.
Jurors were unable to reach a decision, and a new trial is a possibility, but as of now, it appears the fatal burning of Phoenix will go unpunished. Despite that, she leaves a legacy.
“We waited almost two years for justice for Phoenix and though justice was not met for her, she became the change agent and public figure for animal abuse,” said Jennifer Brause, executive director of Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS). “Thousands of people offered their support on her behalf. Because of her, a Mayor’s Commission on Animal Abuse has been formed and the seriousness of animal abuse has been elevated to a national level.”
No dog, I will go out on a limb and educatedly guess, is more often the victim of abuse and neglect than the pit bull type — just as they are the most often maligned. Society, rather than simply label them as aggressive, and ban and muzzle them, needs to come to terms with the fact that, in those instances when they are violent, our fellow humans are responsible for it, training them to fight, attempting to breed for viciousness, and trying to turn their natural born tenacity into something mean and macho.
Which brings us, once again, to Bad Newz Kennels.
Down in Dallas, the adoptive parent of one of Michael Vick’s dogs confronted the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and offered him an opportunity to meet Mel, a shy and fearful pit bull who was apparently used as a bait dog at Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels.
The convicted dogfighting ring operator — in Dallas to receive the key to the city — declined, and his entourage shoved Mel’s new owner, local radio personality Richard Hunter, who captured the whole episode on his shaky camera, out of the way.
A few days after that, reports surfaced that Vick’s former estate on Moonlight Road, the Surry, Virginia, headquarters of Bad Newz Kennels, which has sat empty for three years, may be getting a new owner — Dog Deserves Better, a Pennsylvania-based dog rescue and advocacy group.
They hope to turn the former Vick mansion — where 51 dogs were seized by authorities and eight more were found dead and buried on the grounds — into a training and rehabilitation center for rescued dogs.
As usual, bringing up Michael Vick brings on lots of comments, on this blog and others, from his supporters — those who say “give it a rest,” those who say “he served his time,” those who say he’s a different person now who should be permitted to move beyond his besmirched reputation.
Be that as it may, I’m wondering when pit bulls — given they are regularly accused and punished without any trials, given that any violence they display has been instilled into them by humans, given that their bad reputation is mostly undeserved – will be afforded that same opportunity.
As a breed, they’ve done their time.
(Photo by Tim Quinn)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, aggression, animal abuse, animal welfare, animals, bad newz kennels, baltimore, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, brothers, burned, burned dog, cruelty to animals, dogfighting, dogs, doused, fire, image, investigation, media, mel, michael vick, myths, news, parade, pets, phoenix, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, prosecution, richard hunter, stereotypes, trial, vick, vick dogs, violence
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.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bad newz kennels, chaining, dogfighting, dogs, dogs deserve better, estate, home, house, mansion, michael vick, nfl, organization, pets, philadelphia eagles, pit bulls, pitbulls, quarterback, rehabilitation, rescue, sanctuary, shelter, surry, tethering, training, vick, vick estate, vick house, virginia
Maybe it’s in part to pay respects to those who died and suffered, in part to remind ourselves of how evil man can be – that whole business about keeping history fresh enough in our minds that we don’t allow the mistakes of the past to be repeated.
Maybe (last maybe, I promise) that’s also why you still find Michael Vick stories on ohmidog! and elsewhere – not so much because we want to keep punishing a man who has paid what the courts decided was his debt, but because we think the public, and public officials, need to keep it fresh in their heads, and do all in their power to wipe out the ongoing scourge of dogfighting.
Our travels having taken us to Virginia — and having recently finished reading “The Lost Dogs,” the new book by Jim Gorant that recounts the horrors that took place at Vick’s country estate and the redemption of the dogs that survived them — a trip to 1915 Moonlight Road seemed, while morbid, somehow in order.
So Ace and I headed from Norfolk up Highway 10 through Virginia’s tidelands, past the meatpacking plant in Smithfield, and turned left down the narrow road, where homes are few, far apart and – unlike the one Vick had built — mostly modest.
It’s a two-story, 4,600-square-foot, white brick home, with five bedrooms, four and a half baths and master bedroom suites on the first and second floor. It has several outbuildings, a pool and a basketball court; and the real estate listings — which make no mention of the former owner — note that there’s a kennel, too.
Yes, Michael Vick’s former house is available, and has been ever since Vick sold it before heading off for his prison sentence.
The private individual who bought it then has it listed at $595,000 – a price that is $152,000 under its assessed value. In other words, it’s a bargain – if you don’t mind the fact that it’s haunted. How could it not be – after what the 51 dogs seized from Bad Newz Kennels had gone through, not to mention the eight more murdered dogs that were dug up behind the home and removed as part of the investigation?
The house, which has sat empty for nearly three years, has more recently — amid the sluggish real estate market — been offered for rent as well. The price is $2,500 a month.
There was no open house on the day we dropped by — no one around at all. Taking heed of a sign on the gate that warned “Keep Out, Private Property, Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted Even the U.S. Army,” Ace and I kept to the perimeter of the property, across the street from a small white Baptist church.
Usually, when Ace gets out of the car he commences to sniffing and excitedly exploring for minutes on end. But here he behaved differently. He walked up to white metal gate, sat down and stayed perfectly still, staring inside for what had to be three full minutes.
I won’t read anything into that.
Vick bought the 15-acre property in 2001 – for the purpose of setting up a dogfighting operation. For two years, only a trailer occupied it. In 2003, he had the custom built house constructed, though he never lived in it full time.
A Long and Foster agent told me yesterday that the house’s prolonged period on the market is probably more a result of the housing slump than its shameful legacy — my words, not her’s. She said there is a prospective renter, but that a deal has yet to be finalized.
Not too many who have looked at it have been driven away upon learning its history, but then again, that history is not on the property sheet.
While there was an animal welfare group that sought to raise funds, buy the property and turn it into a sanctuary for animals, the agent said that plan was apparently dropped. The group thought that it would be a triumph of sorts to turn Michael Vick’s old house into a place that helped dogs.
But it’s hard to get over an awful past — whether you’re a dog, a person or a house. While Vick’s dogs have shown it can be done, and while Vick insists he has reformed, his former house remains in limbo.
As for Ace, he eventually came out of his trance, sniffed around the shrubs in front of the house and did his business.
I won’t read anything into that, either.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 25th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 1915 moonlight road, ace, ace does america, animal welfare, bad newz kennels, dog fighting, dog's country, dogfighting, dogscountry, empty, estate, for rent, for sale, history, house, legacy, mansion, memory, michael, michael vick, moonlight road, nfl, past, philadelphia eagles, quarterback, real estate, redemption, rent, rescue, sale, smithfield, surry county, unoccupied, vick, vick's house, virginia
BAD RAP, the California pit bull advocacy group, invited Michael Vick to visit eight of his former dogs this weekend when the Philadelphia Eagles are in town to play the Oakland Raiders.
Vick declined the offer.
Tim Racer, BAD RAP co-founder, said the group picked a location that would have allowed Vick to view the dogs from behind a window at a distance — thus satisfying the conditions of Vick’s parole that bar him from being near animals.
Racer said the Eagles informed him Wednesday that Vick would decline the offer.
“We understand Vick is trying to right his wrongs and is very interested in redemption, but you can’t find redemption without acknowledging your victims,” Racer said. “Making amends to the dogs themselves would have helped to create some closure for many of us, especially those people who worked so hard to keep them from being destroyed. It seems that Vick is not ready to go there.”
Oakland-based BAD RAP took in 10 of the dogs that were part of Vick’s dogfighting operation at Bad Newz Kennels in southeastern Virginia.
(Photo: Ernie was among the dogs seized from Michael Vick. He was adopted by Andy and Sasha Gibbs. Courtesy of BAD RAP)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 15th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advocacy, bad newz kennels, bad rap, bay area, dog fighting, dogfighting, invite, invited, michael vick, oakland raiders, philadelphia eagles, pit bull, pitbulls, see, tim racer
Suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick used family pets as “bait dogs” to train his pit bulls, and he took part in hanging three fighting dogs who did not perform well, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report.
The 17-page report, released Friday, provided new details on Vick’s participation in Bad Newz Kennels — including the revelation that pet dogs were used for training purposes, according to an ESPN report.
“Vick, (Purnell) Peace and (Quanis) Phillips thought it was funny to watch the pit bull dogs belonging to Bad Newz Kennels injure or kill the other dogs,” the report by the USDA’s inspector general-investigations division says.
Vick is serving a 23-month sentence in a minimum-security federal prison camp in Leavenworth, Kan., on a conspiracy charge relating to the interstate dogfighting operation he helped run on a property he owned in Surry County, Va. He is scheduled to be released on July 20, 2009.
He still faces two state charges — one count of torturing and killing dogs and one count of promoting dogfighting. Each carries a five-year maximum prison term. He is expected to plead guilty to those at a hearing Tuesday in Surry County Circuit Court and, under the terms of his plea agreement, and will receive a three-year suspended prison term and a $2,500 fine (which would be suspended if he pays court costs and maintains good behavior for four years).
By resolving the pending state charges, Vick would qualify to be moved to a halfway house to serve out the remainder of his sentence. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek November 24th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: atlanta falcons, bad newz kennels, charges, court, dogfighting, halfway house, hanging, hung, law, legal, michael vick, prison, quarterback, release, report, sentence, surry county, torture, usda, vick, virginia