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
The U.S. Senate has passed an anti-dogfighting measure that prohibits attendance at organized animal fights, and another bill that improves care for retired military dogs.
While it’s already a felony under federal law to stage animal fights, the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which the Senate passed unanimously yesterday, is aimed at cracking down on the spectators who finance animal fights through admission fees and making bets. It also impose additional penalties for bringing a child to those events.
Animal welfare groups commended the Senate’s passage of the act, which was introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, (D-CT). Blumenthal also introduced the measure calling for better care for retired military dogs.
“The U.S. Senate has recognized the canine heroes who serve in our military as well as dogs victimized in underground animal fighting rings, passing legislation for both,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “The ASPCA applauds Senator Blumenthal’s brilliant leadership in the twilight hours of this Congress, ensuring that animals in need will not be forgotten by federal lawmakers.”
The Senate passed a provision to help retired military dogs by streamlining the adoption process and authorizing veterinary care for the retired animals at no expense to taxpayers.
Both measures still need to be approved by the House.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: acts, adoption, animal fighting, animals, apsca, attendance, bets, bills, care, children, dog fighting, dog fights, dogfighting, dogfights, dogs, laws, measures, military dogs, pets, prohibits, retired, retirement, spectators, support, veterinary, wagers
The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever attacked a pit bull mix with an ax in Bradenton, Florida is up to $13,600 — thanks to a big donation from the co-creator of “The Simpsons.”
Hollywood writer, producer and director Sam Simon pledged $10,000 to the reward created to help find those responsible for leaving a 2-year-old red and white pit bull mix named Axel with a two-inch-deep gash in his head, apparently inflicted by an ax.
Simon is founder of the Sam Simon Foundation, which adopts dogs from shelters and trains them as hearing dogs for the deaf, and runs a variety of other programs aimed at saving the lives of dogs and enriching the lives of humans.
Simon announced the contribution Friday morning on the nationally syndicated radio show of Bubba The Love Sponge. (Bubba kicked in $1,000 as well.)
The donations brought the reward to over $13,000, according to the Bradenton Herald.
The veterinarian’s office reports that, except when under anesthesia, Axel’s tail has been wagging constantly.
The wound damaged the dog’s sinus cavity and while pieces of his skull had to be removed during the operation, he is expected to make a full recovery, veterinarian Luke Berglund said.
The $13,600 reward, which will be given to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved
Axel is being given pain medicine and antibiotics, and will undergo treatment for heartworms this week. Based on his other scars, it’s possible he was used in dogfights or as a bait dog.
Anyone with information about the incident, or interested in fostering Axel, can call Manatee County Animal Services at 941-742-5933 ext. 8314. Tips can also be reported to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS(8477).
Posted by jwoestendiek December 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, ax, axel, bradenton, cruelty to animals, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, donation, florida, head, manatee county, mix, pets, pit bull, reward, sam simon, sam simon foundation, surgery, the simpsons, wound
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 dog and Apple have been together for 14 years — since the singer was 21 and the dog was four months old.
Apple says the dog she adopted had been used for dogfighting and was found with a rope around her neck and bites across her face and ears.
The singer made the cancellation announcement in a handwritten letter posted on her website.
The dog has been ill for the past two years, with Addison’s Disease and a tumor in her chest.
Apple describes Nancy as “the most consistent relationship in her life … She is my best friend, and my mother, and my daughter, my benefactor, and she’s the one who taught me what love is.”
“I just can’t leave her now, please understand,” she adds in the letter. “If I go away again, I’m afraid she’ll die and I won’t have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out.”
She concluded the note with these words: “I’m staying home, and I am listening to her snore and wheeze, and reveling in the swampiest, most awful breath that ever emanated from an angel. And I am asking for your blessing.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: addisons disease, adopted, american, animals, cancel, cancels, comfort, death, dog, dogfighting, dogs, dying, fiona apple, home, leg, nancy, pets, pit bull, south, stay, tour
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. We think this one’s worth about eleventy million.
Five years after they arrived in California, seven of the dogs seized from quarterback Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation got together for a group photo with their new owners.
The reunion came during a celebration of that anniversary at Bad Rap, one of the two California organizations that took in Vick dogs, determined to rehabilitate the animals some were arguing were violent and aggressive and should be put down.
Here’s a video recapturing the taking of the photo:
Posted by jwoestendiek November 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, anniversary, bad rap, california, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, michael vick, pets, photo, photography, pit bulls, pitbulls, rehabilitate, rehabilitated, rehabilitation, reunion, seized, vick dogs
A day after declining to respond to rising speculation that he had gotten a dog — prompted by a box of Milk Bones appearing in a family photo he tweeted — Vick released a statement through his publicist:
“I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family’s decision to care for a pet. As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals.
“I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of God’s creatures with kindness and respect. Our pet is well cared for and loved as a member of our family. This is an opportunity to break the cycle. To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change.”
Vick posted a photo on Twitter last week of his daughter and him seated at a table. A box of Milk Bone dog biscuits could be seen on the right side of the photo, next to a book or folder with puppies on the cover. The photo was later deleted and replaced with a similar photo in which the Milk Bones box didn’t appear.
Last Wednesday, he initially evaded questions about it, according to Philly.com, and seemed to say his personal life — even if he Tweets about it — is private.
“I’m here to strictly talk about football,” Vick said. “What goes on in my personal life is not to be talked about. What’s most important right now is the Philadelphia Eagles and getting the win Sunday.”
Vick was barred from owning a dog during a three-year probationary period after his release from prison, where he served 19 months for owning and operating a dogfighting ring. He served an additional two months of house arrest after his release in May.
In July, as the probationary period drew to a close, he told CNN’s Piers Morgan that he did not want to deprive his daughters from having a pet.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, biscuits, box, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, michael vick, michael vicks new dog, milk bones, new, pets, philadelphia eagles, photo, prison, probation, quarterback, table, terms, treats, tweet, twitter
A photo Vick posted on Twitter shows a box of Milk Bones at the edge of the frame, indicating he might have gotten the family a pet, as he has recently mentioned he was considering.
Then again, they could be part of his diet. Or maybe they just keep them on hand for visiting pets, though I’d doubt there’d be too many of those.
In the photo, Vick is shown studying a game film on an iPad, while his daughter appears to be doing homework. At the edge of the picture, there’s an opened box of Milk Bones.
“It’s not hard to connect the dots from there,” Chris Chase wrote in his USA Today blog
The picture was quickly deleted and replaced by a similar, biscuit-less one, Chase wrote.
Under terms of his probation, Vick was ordered not to own a dog for three years. That period expired several months ago. In July, Vick, in an interview with Piers Morgan, said he’d like to get a dog for his children.
“I can’t take that dream away from them,” he said.
While his ownership of a dog would be legal now, it’s bound to be a source of contention among those dog lovers who still harbor a great deal of resentment toward the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback who admitted to drowning, electrocuting and beating to death dogs that did not perform in the dogfighting ring.
Vick, as part of his rehabilitation, has been working with the Humane Society of the United States, speaking to young people about the importance of treating dogs humanely.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, biscuits, court, daughter, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, eagles, expired, family, michael vick, milk bones, order, ownership, pets, philadelphia, photo, prison, probation, quarterback, terms, treats, twitter, vick
An Ohio judge who called a man convicted of dogfighting “a monster” and sentenced him to six months in jail received a standing ovation Tuesday from a courtroom packed with animal welfare activists.
Judge Kathleen Ann Sutula sentenced Collin Rand Jr., 33, to six months in jail, five years community control, and more than $12,000 in fines, restitution and court costs, according to News Channel 5.
Additionally, the Cuyahoga County judge ordered that he never be allowed to own a dog again.
If Rand violates the sentence, the judge said she would send him to prison for more than 12 years.
“If I had the freedom and the discretion, you’d be serving a lot longer sentence, Mr. Rand. Much, much longer. In fact, probably like 27 years — a year for each dog,” the judge said.
Rand, as part of a plea agreement, pleaded guilty to six counts of dogfighting, four counts of cruelty to animals, one count of drug trafficking and one count of carrying a concealed weapon.
The activists applauded the judge, who sentenced Rand to the maximum amount allowed under current law. (House Bill 108 would make animal abuse a felony in Ohio and allow lengthier sentences.)
Activists in the crowd wore T-shirts with the phrase “Hope for the 27,” a reference to the number of dogs found tied up at Rand’s home on Dec. 22, 2011. The dogs were malnourished and had open wounds and scars. Officers also found a fighting ring and a treadmill with plywood sides to contain the dogs.
According to testimony, some of the dogs had spent their entire lives enclosed in small cages. Some needed immediate medical care and some had to be euthanized.
Rand had claimed the dogs were in bad condition when he found them, and that he was trying to find them new homes.
“I find your explanations and your statements to be totally incredible,” said Judge Sutula, who has a rescued dog. “They are not worthy of belief. No one with a heart could look at these animals and not get help … You are a monster, Mr. Rand.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, case, collin rand jr, county, cuyahoga, dogfighting, dogs, guilty, hb 108, hope for the 27, judge, kathleen ann sutula, law, maximum, monster, ohio, ovation, pets, plea, sentence, standing, video
That sound you hear is the collective bile rising in the throats of hundreds of thousands of Michael Vick-haters, who — if his new clothing line and new book aren’t distressing enough — will surely blow their tops, or lunch, upon hearing this news.
Michael Vick says maybe he’ll get a dog.
And, worse yet, at the end of this month — when the no-dog clause of his sentence for dogfighting expires — he legally can.
Vick makes the comment tonight, during an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN.
Above is a segment of what will be airing (with apologies for the 30 second commercial).
In the interview, we’re told, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback “speaks candidly about his fall from grace in 2007 when he was implicated and convicted of participating in the operation an illegal dog fighting ring.”
In his new book “Michael Vick: Finally Free, An Autobiography,” Vick expresses his love for dogs, despite taking part in training them, killing them and watching them fight to the death.
As part of his sentence, Vick was banned from owning a dog for three years, but this month the ban expires.
During the interview, Morgan asks Vick if he will get a new dog.
He says he would — for his children:
“I can’t take that dream away from them. That’s selfish on my behalf. You know, so, gotta find a way to make it right and, you know, I put everything in God’s hands to make it right.”
When Morgan asks Vick what kind of dog he would adopt, Vick replies “I would let them pick it out. Certainly wouldn’t be a pit bull.”
The interview airs at 9 p.m.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, autobiography, book, children, cnn, conviction, dog, dogfighting, dogs, finally free, getting a dog, interview, michael vick, michael vick getting a dog, ownership, pet, philadelphia eagles, piers morgan, pit bulls, pitbulls, prison, quarterback, vick