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
Sixty-five chained dogs, believed to be part of a dogfighting operation, were seized on Thanksgiving in Tennessee after firefighters discovered them when responding to a brush fire.
The dogs — mostly pit bulls and beagles — were removed from the property in Ashland City by Cheatham County Animal Control and the Animal Rescue Corps, a non-profit animal protection organization.
“We believe this is the largest dog fighting rescue in Tennessee history,” said ARC president Scotlund Haisley. He described the conditions the dogs were living in as “the worst I have ever seen at a dogfighting operation in my 22 year career in animal protection.”
The dogs were underweight, without food and fresh water and some had sores covering their bodies, officials said.
Animal control officials identified dog fighting equipment, such as a treadmill, fighting pen, and a spring pole used for strengthening dogs’ jaws.
All the animals on the property were taken to an emergency shelter outside of Nashville, where they will be assessed before being transported to rescue centers around the country.
Also taking part in the rescue were New Leash on Life, a shelter in Lebanon, Tenn.; Agape Animal Rescue out of Nashville; the Nashville Zoo and the Tennessee State Highway Patrol.
(Photos: Animal Rescue Corps)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 65, animal control, animal rescue corp, animals, ashland city, beagles, chained, cheatham county, conditions, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, fire, pets, pit bulls, seized, tennessee
The founder of the dog rescue organization that moved its headquarters into Michael Vick’s old house was charged Monday with animal cruelty, the Daily Press in Hampton Roads reported.
Surry County deputies served a search warrant at Dogs Deserve Better’s Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs.
According to court records, they were looking for Tasers and mace allegedly used on the rescued dogs.
Authorities said the search and investigation were prompted by allegations from former staff and volunteers working at the center on Moonlight Drive — the same house where Philadelphia Eagles quarterback lived when he bankrolled a dog-fighting operation.
Dogs Deserve Better founder Tamira Thayne was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty and one count of inadequate care of animals, also a misdemeanor, according to Surry County Chief Animal Control Officer Tracy Terry.
She’s scheduled to appear Sept. 25 in Surry General District Court.
According to the search warrant, deputies were searching for all paperwork connected to dogs that have been housed on the property since the facility opened in June 2011, including veterinary records and receipts.
The search warrant alleged that “animals are being maced and tased on regular basis” and dogs are being cratedfor long periods, up to 19 hours a day. According to the warrant, injured and sick dogs are not getting proper veterinary care.
Terry declined to discuss what, if anything, was found in the search.
Authorities removed one dog from the kennel, but Terry refused to say why.
Terry said she began investigating July 20 after receiving mailed complaints, including pictures, from current and former employees and volunteers.
(Photo: Adrin Snider / Daily Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, bad newz, chained, charged, complaints, dog, dogs, dogs deserve better, employees, former, good newz, investigation, mace, michael vick, mistreated, moonlight road, organization, penned, pets, rehab center, rescue, search, surry county, tamira thayne, tasers, virginia, volunteers, warrant
The homeless and formerly homeless gathered on Skid Row in Los Angeles late last week to remember one of their own — Sheba, a shepherd mix who spent 17 years living on the streets.
On Tuesday, at about 11:30 p.m., Sheba was struck by a car and killed on Alameda Street.
About a dozen current and former street dwellers and animal activists showed up Thursday at a sidewalk memorial service for Sheba on Gladys Avenue.
Among those paying respects was Georgina Warren, who, homeless and addicted to drugs at the time, heard Sheba’s cries while living in a tent on a Skid Row parking lot 17 years ago.
She went to investigate and found a young German shepherd mix chained to a pole, unable to reach a bowl of water someone had left. Warren borrowed some bolt cutters from a nearby mechanic and freed the dog.
It was Warren who, noting how protective the dog was of her shopping cart, came up with the name Sheba, because she seemed to be respected like a queen.
Warren spent the next 10 years with the dog, Downtown News in Los Angeles reports — minus those periods she ended up in jail. When that happened, fellow street dwellers pitched in to take care of Sheba.
Warren left Skid Row in 2008 and is now in recovery. Sheba stayed.
“Sheba was the community’s dog,” said Lori Weise, founder of Downtown Dog Rescue, which provides services for low-income dog owners.
Weise helped care for Sheba, and arranged for the dog to be spayed and microchipped. She was registered on the microchip as the official contact, and there were 11 times that Weise was called to pick up Sheba from animal shelters, always returning her to the streets and the person who was taking care of her — if not always keeping her leashed — at the time.
Weise and others are making arrangements to have Sheba’s ashes buried in the garden at the Hippie Kitchen, a Gladys Avenue service center where Sheba often hung out.
(Top photo: Georgina Warren, left, and Catherine Harris of the nearby Hippie Kitchen, at the memorial service; by Gary Leonard, Downtown News)
(Bottom photo, of Warren and Sheba, courtesy of Lori Weise, Downtown Dog Rescue)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alameda street, animals, car, chained, community, dog, dogs, downtown dog rescue, freed, georgina warren, hippie kitchen, hit, homeless, killed, lori weise, los angeles, memorial, memory, mix, pets, queen, service, sheba, shepherd, skid row
A DeKalb County police officer responding to a domestic dispute shot and killed a family’s dog Tuesday night.
That happens far too often, but this time there’s an even sadder twist — he was at the wrong address.
The officer went to Bobbie Currie’s home on Silva Court around 9 p.m. in response to a domestic dispute call that possibly involved an armed person, Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News reported.
When the family’s German shepherd lunged at the officer, he shot and killed the dog, even though it was on a chain in the garage. He then pointed his gun at Currie’s husband, Anthony.
“I said, ‘Why you shoot my dog?’ And he said, ‘Well, I’ll blow your brains out,’” Anthony Currie said.
A DeKalb police supervisor sent to the scene said the officer made an error.
“Subsequent investigation determined that the actual address that he was looking for was actually across the street,” DeKalb police Lt. Dane Cunningham said.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, atlanta, chained, dekalb county, dispute, dog, dogs, domestic, error, family, family dog, fatal, georgia, german shepherd, killed, law enforcment, mistake, pets, police, shoots, shot, wrong house
Rolled into a North Carolina courtroom in a green wagon, a pit bull mix named Chamberlin watched as one of two people accused of neglecting him so severely he’ll likely never fully recover was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Chamberlin, who Guilford County Animal Shelter officials said spent more than two months chained in a yard with little or no food — along with another dog who didn’t survive — was neglected to the point that his muscle tissue deteriorated, his bones fused and his claws circled back into his footpads.
Chamberlin, whose case led to a proposed law to make prosecution of neglect cases easier, called “Chamberlin’s Law,” entered the shelter over a year ago, and remains there, normally getting around on a cart that supports his front legs.
While he does have occasional outings, Wednesday’s might have been the most unusual of all.
Chamberlin was accompanied by shelter staff to today’s sentencing of Wilburt Morrison, Jr., 56. Morrison and his former live-in companion, Nellie Brock, were arrested last September and charged with two counts of animal cruelty each.
Chamberlin arrived at the Guilford County Courthouse in High Point atop a pink cushion in a heavy duty wagon, flanked by shelter staff and about 20 animal advocates.
When Morrison’s hearing began, the dog was rolled into the courtroom to the front row of seats.
(Brock rejected a plea agreement and will stand trial on the charges.)
Morrison’s attorney told the judge that Brock, not Morrison, was the owner of the dogs, and that Morrison had been ”under the impression that she would bring food to the dogs.”
He said the case was not as “black and white” as it appeared, and pointed out that, contrary to some earlier news reports, it was Morrison who called animal control to come get the dog.
Prosectors allowed a representative of Susie’s Miracle Fund — named after a burned dog whose case led to laws imposing harsher penalties for animal abuse in North Carolina — to read a statement. Upon its completion, the prosecutor said, “Finally, I would present Chamberlin.”
The black pit bull mix was wheeled into the middle of the courtroom, poking his head over the rails. After about 20 seconds of silence, he was pulled back to the front row.
Superior Court Judge John O. Craig, III, while he had some strong words for Morrison, accepted the plea agreement prosecutors offered.
Morrison in exchange for pleading to one count of animal cruelty (a second was dropped) was given a suspended 7 to 9-month prison sentence. He will spend 30 days in jail, and three years on probation. He was also ordered to make $1,000 in restitution to help cover Chamberlin’s medical bills.
The plea agreement also prohibits Morrison from having pets during his three-year probationary period.
“I don’t want him even to have a guppy,” the judge said. “Not even a pet rock.”
The maximum penalty Morrison could have received was 15 months in prison, because “Susie’s Law” had yet to go into effect at the time of his arrest.
Calling the dogs’ treatment “deplorable,” Craig said who owned the dogs was not the issue: “Even though the dogs may not technically have been owned by you, they were on your property and in your care.”
“They’re like children or elderly adults who can’t fend for themselves,” the judge added. “They are totally dependent on humans,” he added — and even moreso when they are chained, and unable to reach or seek their own food.
Judge Craig thanked Chamberlin’s backers for coming, but lamented that the same kind of support isn’t shown in cases involving the abuse and neglect of children and the elderly.
After the hearing, Nellie Brock spoke to reporters outside the courthouse, saying that, while the dogs belonged to her, Morrison was responsible for them.
“He put me out in May. He was responsible. Where I was at I could not take those dogs,” she said. She said she turned down a plea bargain because, ”I’m not guilty … I didn’t abuse my dogs.” A trial date has yet to be set.
In the most awkward moment of the afternoon, Brock approached the dog outside the courthouse, knelt down and spent several minutes petting and hugging him before an animal shelter official interrupted.
“He’s a strong dog and he has a good will and he knows in his heart that I didn’t do anything,” Brock said. “I pray every night for him.”
(Photos by John Woestendiek / ohmidog!)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 30 days, abuse, animal cruelty, appearance, chained, chamberlin, chamberlin's law, courtroom, deal, englect, guilford county, guilford county animal shelter, hearing, high point, jail, neglected, nellie brock, north carolina, pit bull, plea agreement, probation, restitution, rolled, sentencing, starved, susies miracle fund, wagon, wheeled, wilburt morrison
If a picture is worth a thousand words, this PETA pictorial on the hazards of chaining dogs is worth about 15,000.
Judging from some of the comments we receive when we post about tethering and the increasing number of campaigns across the country to outlaw it, I’m guessing we’ll hear again — especially given the source — from those who see taking away their right to tether their dogs as tantamount to taking guns away from citizens.
(In truth, we don’t think that — at least with some types of guns and some types of citizens — is all that bad an idea, either.)
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about dogs whose owners might loop their leash around a post to go into a convenience store and get a newspaper — even though that can be dangerous as well — but those dogs who are living life at the end of the chain.
PETA says the best way to help chained dogs is to work with city or county lawmakers to ban chaining.
“All too often, ‘man’s best friend’ is left to spend their entire lives in solitary confinement, trapped at the end of a chain,” PETA says. “Chained dogs are often deprived of adequate care and shelter and are left to suffer through extreme heat or freezing winter nights when all they want are scratches behind the ears, walks around the block, and the opportunity to curl up at their guardians’ feet at night — indoors.”
True, perpetually chained dogs are but a symptom of the real problem — neglect – but, in our diagnosis, it’s a symptom that needs to be treated.
(Photo: Courtesy of PETA)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, ban, care, chained, cruelty to animals, dogs, hazards, laws, neglect, peta, pets, pictorial, shelter, tethered, tethering
Investigators say someone tried to burn 14 pit bulls to death in Alabama.
The dogs were found chained in Jefferson County, with a series of fires burning around them. Sheriff’s officials suspect they were part of a dogfighting operation.
Eight individual fires surrounded the dogs when firefighters arrived, according to Alabama’s 13 News.
Investigators found a treadmill of the type used by dogfighters to force dogs to train.
The dogs were all saved and taken to the Birmingham-Jefferson County shelter.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, animal cruelty, animals, birmingham, burning, chained, cruelty to animals, dogfighting, dogs, fires, jefferson county, pets, pit bulls, rescued, saved, set, tethered
Supporters of a law that would ban tethering dogs for extended periods filled the Forsyth County Commission meeting last night.
No one at the meeting spoke against a ban of the practice, but scores showed up in support of it, including Spiderman’s aunt.
Academy Award nominee Rosemary Harris Ehle, a member of the Forsyth County Humane Society and a Winston-Salem, N.C., resident for 42 years, can be seen in the Fox News video above.
Forsyth County is in the process of writing up a proposed ordinance that could be approved by the end of the month, but even if passed, it would not fully go into effect for at least two years.
“I know there have to be guard dogs, but they don’t have to be chained to a stake. They should be able to move around,” Ehle said.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: actress, animal control, ban, chained, chaining, county commission, forsyth county, law, meeting, proposal, rosemary harris ehle, tethering, unchain forsyth, winston-salem
The push to end dog tethering in Forsyth County, North Carolina, goes before the county commissioners tonight.
Animal groups in Forsyth County have been patiently working for years to build support for a law that would make it illegal to leave dogs tied up for long periods of time.
At tonight’s meeting, though the issue is not listed on the commissioners’ formal agenda, a large turnout of dog advocates are expected to show their support for the proposal. The meeting, at the County Government Center at 201 N. Chestnut Street, starts at 6 p.m.
If a measure were approved, Forsyth County, which includes Winston-Salem, would join 12 other North Carolina counties that have passed tethering bans.
Those behind the proposal — including the Forsyth County Humane Society, Furever Friends, Save the Animals, Dogs Deserve Better and the Coalition to Unchain Dogs — say public opinion seems to be strongly in their favor.
An on-line survey by the Winston-Salem Journal showed 64% of the public approved of a ban, and the county animal control department has recommended one.
Numerous studies have shown that chained dogs — in addition to often suffering from being tethered — are more likely to bite adults and children than those who are not chained.
More details are available on the Unchain Forsyth Facebook page
Posted by jwoestendiek August 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, animals, ban, chained, coalition to unchain dogs, county commissioners, dog, dogs, dogs deserve better, forsyth, forsyth county, forsyth county humane society, law, north carolina, pets, proposal, tethering, tied, unchain, winston-salem