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Tag: operation

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 Dogster.com.

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

Day care center also used for dogfighting

A children’s day care center in a Chicago suburb was also used for dogfighting — up until it was raided Tuesday, authorities said.

Three men were charged Wednesday, including the husband of the operator of the day care center, located in Maywood. Authorities were seeking two others, according to the Associated Press.

Nine battered dogs, four of them puppies, were rescued. Investigators found a blood spattered garage floor and wounded and malnourished dogs not far from where the children played.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said about 10 children were found in the day care center during the raid, but they were not in the immediate vicinity of the dogs.  The day care center was shut down Wednesday.

Trial opens in Britain for accused dogfighters

rspcadogGrisly testimony was heard yesterday in the trial of a woman accused of being a member of one of England’s biggest dog fighting gangs.

 The case was brought against Claire Parker by the Royal SPCA after Steve Ibinson, an undercover investigator, infiltrated a dog fighting gang called the Farmer Boys in Northern Ireland for a BBC Panorama program.

The busted dogfighting ring had links to Northern Irish paramilitary organizations, according to the Times of London.

Parker, a 44-old breeder of Boston terriers, denies being present at a dog fight, using her property for fights and owning three pit bulls.

Parker is on trial with 33-year-old Mohammed Nasir Farooq,  who it is claimed acted as the “time keeper” during the Lincolnshire fight in May 2007.

At the opening of what’s expected to be a two-week trial, the Lincoln Magistrates Court heard how some of the gang made the dogs train on treadmills and in swim tanks, used lunge poles with dummies hanging on them, electrocuted dogs, and used “rape harnesses” to force female dogs to mate.

RSPCA raids also uncovered weighing scales, ’break sticks’ for parting the animals once their jaws had locked on to each other and veterinary products to treat wounded animals.

Ibinson, a former SAS operative who had lived in fear of his life following the investigation, uncovered links between the gang and dog fighting fanatics across the United Kingdom. His identity was revealed after his death, from natural causes, earlier this year while serving as a security guard in Afghanistan.

Statements he made are being given as part of a case that has seen five people from across the North of England already admit various dog fighting offenses.

In a secretly recorded video, Gary Adamson, a 38-year-old welder, is shown standing next to three reinforced pens in his yard boasting about how his pit bull, Pablo, suffered a “real good ragging” during a 26-minute fight held in the garage of  Parker’s home in Lincolnshire.

In his statement, Ibinson said that Adamson was a representative of the Farmers Boys, from County Armagh, and aspired to be for pit bull fighting what Don King was for boxing.

(Photo: Courtesy of the RSPCA)

Multi-state dogfighting raid nets 30 arrests

Thirty people have been arrested and as many as 350 dogs have been seized in raids across five states that animal welfare groups are calling the largest simultaneous raid of dogfighting operations in the U.S.

Authorities said that the raids were conducted by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies across Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas and Oklahoma.

The raids followed a more than year-long investigation prompted by information from the Humane Society of Missouri, according to the Associated Press.

The ASPCA, which cooperated in the investigation, said the targets of the investigation ran what was believed to be the largest dogfighting operation in U.S. history.

John M. Bales, the U.S. attorney in eastern Texas, said nine people in his state were indicted on June 30 of three counts — conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, sponsoring or exhibiting an animal in an animal fighting venture and buying, selling, delivering or transporting animals for participation in an animal fighting venture. If convicted, the defendants each face up to five years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000.

Bales said eight people were arrested Wednesday in Panola and Gregg counties in Texas. Nine dogs, mostly pit bull terriers, were seized during a search of property in rural Panola County.

Amelia & Snowy: “She was like my other half”

ameliaAmelia Loran lost her dog last week. Snowy didn’t die, or run away. The Maltese mix, injured when run over by a bicyclist, just started accumulating more medical bills than her family could bear.

I’ll let Amelia, who wrote me yesterday, tell the story.

“Hi my name is Amelia Loran. I’m from the Bronx. I am 14 and I had a dog. Her name was Snowy. She was a white long fluffy dog. She was like my other half.

“The accident that happened with my dog, it was a warm sunny Sunday and me and my mom and two cousins were on our way 2 the park so my mom parked the car. We didn’t want 2 be in the jungle gym area. We wanted 2 be in open space where we could run, play, jump.

“So Snowy was on her leash but we let her go so she could be free a little bit, and there was this kid riding his bike in the open space and he ran over her right limb.

(Amelia’s mother, Myra Loran, drove to an animal hospital, and paid for the first vet bill, $629, with credit. She worked out a payment plan for the second one, $275, as well. But the cost of the surgery vets said was still needed — estimated at anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 – was more than she could handle.)

“So my mom had 2 give Snowy up for adoption,” wrote Amelia, whose last night with the dog was last Thursday.

“So Thursday was a night 2 remember. She had a white and blue cast. Me and my mom put on her blue and white pajamas 2 match her blue cast and me and my mom slept together with her … Friday it was a rainy morning so me and my mom went to the humane society and gave Snowy to the adoption agency. I was so sad that I couldn’t say goodbye to her. The ride from my house to where we took Snowy was the longest ride ever. I cried the whole night before that morning and I was crying thru the night. I still cry. When me and my mom go outside I feel like I’m missing a big part in my heart and I feel like I’m forgetting something…

“I have cystic fibrosis and I’m at home most of the time and she was like my twin. I am a only child. My mom works side jobs, babysitting, washing clothes, taxi, to get me extra stuff. I get SSI. So in the daytime I’m home taking meds. I miss lots of school days because of my disease. Snowy keeps me company. She loves to get dressed and lay down and look cute as you see in the pictures. And she is not too active. With my CF I really am not 2 active. We just got her a month ago, but it feels like I been with her my hole life.galleryloran

“I do not understand why I had to give up my bestfriend because we didn’t have $3000. I had a make a wish about 5 years ago. I went to Florida, and if I can have that gift, I would ask for Snowy. My mom tries to do her best to try and make my life easier because she knows I’m going to need a transplant in the near future.”

(Myra Loran says she now wishes they hadn’t surrendered the dog — even though it would have meant going even deeper in debt. She says she has tried to call the humane society to get updated on the dog’s condition, but her calls haven’t been returned. Amelia’s also an artist. The work to the left was exhibited in 2007 by ArtWorks, a program that provides children and young adults suffering from chronic and life-threatening illnesses access to creative and performing arts.)

Amelia, meanwhile, is holding out hope that Snowy, after she gets her needed surgery, will be put up for adoption – and that maybe she can get her back then. If so, she’d never let the leash out of her hand again, she says. “I swear not to ever let go when we are at the park.”

Amelia’s email address is amelialoran@yahoo.com.

Her mother’s is mloran169@yahoo.com.

At home with Michael Vick

Michael Vick spent his first day back home Thursday getting fitted for an electronic ankle monitor, hosting a backyard barbecue for friends and family, and preparing for his new job as a $10 an hour construction worker.

The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback, convicted of financing a dogfighting operation, served 19 months of his 23-month sentence in prison. He’ll serve two more at home, then be officially released from federal custody on July 20.

Nearly 100 dogs seized in Pa. kennel closure

A Lancaster County dog kennel that continued to operate even when denied a license was shut down Sunday by state dog wardens, who removed 96 dogs.

Ervin Zimmerman, owner of the Ephrata kennel, had fought to keep his dog breeding operation in business since the state revoked his kennel license in 2007.

On Dec. 5, a Lancaster County judge granted an injunction request from the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement and gave Zimmerman 14 days to shut down his kennel. He was to keep no more than 25 dogs, the maximum allowed without a kennel license.

Dog wardens and officers from the Humane League of Lancaster County inspected the property Sunday and removed all but five of Zimmerman’s personal farm dogs. The dogs seized during Sunday’s inspection are now with the Humane League. Read more »

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