Tamira Thayne’s trial in Surry General District Court in Virginia was to have begun Tuesday.
Prosecutors said the misdemeanor charges against the founder and founder and director of Dogs Deserve Better, could be reinstated later, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
Thayne was charged with animal cruelty and inadequate care of animals in August 2012, after an animal control officer and state veterinarian inspected her Good Newz Rehab Center in response to a complaint.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Poindexter told the court he decided not to prosecute the case because a key witness, a former employee of Dogs Deserve Better who lives in South Carolina, did not show up for the trial.
Thayne, if convicted, faced up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines.
Chief Animal Control Officer Tracy Terry said charges against Thayne would be refiled “in the very near future.”
“I’m an innocent woman and have always been an innocent woman,” she said. “Right now, I’m free, but there’s still this little bit of weight on my shoulders…. It’s not totally gone.”
Thayne opened the Good Newz Rehab Center in June 2011 at the rural estate on Moonlight Road where Vick once ran a dogfighting business.
Vick served 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in 2007 to charges related to a dogfighting operation.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animal cruelty, animals, care, charges, complaint, court, dogfighting, dogs, dogs deserve better, estate, former, good newz, group, home, michael vick, moonlight road, organization, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, rescue, surry county, tamira thayne, trial, virginia, witness
A Toledo-area rescue group is recovering from storm damage, but it’s facing repair bills nearly as big as its annual budget.
“Our annual operating budget is only about $2,000,” said Jane Huth, founder and president of You Lucky Dog in Oregon, Ohio. “This is really a huge hit for us because we are not very big.”
Storms caused the city sewer drain to back up into the facility, and while insurance covered much of the clean up, it didn’t cover the $1,500 bill to replace the waterlogged drywall and flooring, Huth said.
Huth said she went to the kennels where the group’s rescue dogs are kept after the storm and saw “water creeping toward the kennels … I knew I had to do something fast,” she said. She created a dam in front of where three dogs resided to keep the water from reaching them, according to the Toledo Blade.
The nonprofit organization, funded through donations, rescues about 25 dogs a year, most of which come from the Lucas County dog warden, Huth said. It recently celebrated its 11th year in operation and its 550th adoption.
Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle said the group houses about four dogs at a time, and has found homes for many dogs rescued from the county shelter, including litters of puppies, nursing moms and dogs recovering from injuries.
Tax-deductible donations to help the rescue group can be mailed to You Lucky Dog, 1510 Blandin St., Oregon, OH 43616.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 25th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animals, damage, dog, dogs, donations, flooding, insurance, jane huth, lucas county, nonprofit, ohio, oregon, organization, pets, rescue, storm, toledo, warden, you lucky dog
Ten thousand dollars worth of supplies were stolen from a California rescue organization that helps homeless and low-income people care for their pets.
Mohave Desert Animal Rescue, based in the Victorville area, said their warehouse in Apple Valley was broken into twice over the weekend.
The organization’s founder, Annie Lancaster, said the stolen supplies would have lasted for a year, and if there aren’t enough new donations, the non-profit organization may have to close.
The rescue provides food, leashes and care so the homeless, sick and recently unemployed can keep their pets. It also dispenses clothes, toiletries, sleeping bags and tents to the homeless, according to KABC in Los Angeles, which last year featured the organization in its “Pay It Forward” campaign.
“How low on the food chain do you have to go to find somebody who will steal from homeless people and their animals?” Lancaster said. “It makes me sick.”
“One thing people don’t seem to realize about homeless people is they take incredible care of their animals,” Lancaster added. “They’ll go hungry to feed their own animals. That pet is their everything, it’s their heart, it’s their best friend, it’s their confidante.”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, annie lancaster, burglary, california, food, homeless, kabc, leashes, mojave desert animal rescue, news, non-profit, nonprofit, organization, pay it forward, pets, poor, rescue, sleeping bags, supplies, tents, theft, victorville, warehouse
Two pit bull puppies died after they were apparently poisoned during a pit bull awareness event in Central Pennsylvania.
The event, sponsored by A Darrah Bull Bully Rescue, was held on Saturday at Legion Park in Hollidaysburg.
“The puppies evidently were an easy target,” said Renae Metz, one of the founders of A Darrah Bull Bully Rescue. “We aren’t going to turn people down when they offer to put water in their pen, we never imagined that someone would be this malicious.”
The group regularly takes in abandoned pit bulls and finds them homes.
“There are a lot of people that are against this breed and it’s pure ignorance and lack of knowledge about the breed,” Metz said.
Metz said the organization will no longer bring puppies to the pit bull awareness events, but that its work would continue.
“We want to press on and save as many dogs as we can,” she said. “This just turned us on to the fact that so many people are hateful and we just need to keep spreading the word that these are not bad dogs at all.”
An autopsy confirmed that it was likely a poisonous substance that killed two of the puppies.
Metz said one of the eight-week-old puppies began acting strangely Saturday afternoon during the event: “His stomach was bloated, he had glazy eyes and couldn’t hold his head up.”
“They were at the vet Thursday and all were completely healthy,” said Metz, whose group is offering a $1,000 reward in connection with the case.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: A Darrah Bull Bully Rescue, awareness, event, hollidaysburg, legion park, organization, pennsylvania, pit bull awareness, pit bulls, pitbulls, poison, poisoned, renae metz, rescue
Barkitecture Houston, a two-day fundraiser that features some innovative interpretations on that old standard, the dog house, will begin Oct. 26.
This year’s benefit, for Pup Squad Animal Rescue, promises to be bigger than ever, with more than 20 dog house designs being featured, along with a full slate of activities for dogs and humans.
The fundraiser calls on local artists, designers and architects to create stylish and functional dog houses, which are then sold at auction. It’s in its fourth-year running, according to the Houston Press.
Last year’s event brought in $18,000 for the animal rescue group.
“Houston is definitely a dog town, but there’s also a huge problem of overpopulation,” said Julie Landry, co-founder of Pup Squad. “It’s just a matter of getting the message out, to spay and neuter your pets.”
This year, the festivities kick off with a “yappy hour,” on Friday, October 26. On Saturday, the dog houses will line the two blocks of the Houston Pavilions. Attendees can bid on their favorites, or buy them for $500. Judges will select the “Best in Show.”
The Houston Press previewed this year’s entries, which included a giant rescue chopper that lights up, a doghouse with a roof drainage system that collects water, and a colorful fan of a dog house that folds up like a briefcase.
We’re pretty sure none of them, though, have what a dog house in Houston needs most — air conditioning!
Here’s where you can find more information.
(Photos: Some of last year’s entries; Rachel Bohanan / Houston Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, architecture, art, barkitecture, barkitecture houston, benefit, design, dog, dog house, dog houses, doghouse, doghouses, dogs, fundraiser, fundraising, houston, innovative, neuter, organization, pavilions, pets, pup squad animal rescue, rescue, responsible, spay, unusual
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
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
More than 250 dogs were confiscated from a rescue organization in Polk City, Florida, and its operators were arrested.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says 261 dogs were seized from Mid-Florida Retriever Rescue. Diane and Charles “Chuck” O’Malley were charged with more than 200 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and are being held at Polk County Jail.
The sheriff’s office received a tip at around 3 p.m. Wednesday that about 100 dogs were being mistreated at the O’Malley home, said Carrie Eleazer, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman.
Animal control officers went to the home Wednesday night and asked to see the dogs. The couple wouldn’t allow animal control staff into the home, but brought out one dog at a time to be inspected, Tampa Bay Online reported.
The couple showed 117 dogs to authorities, but by then it was midnight and they said they would not show any more, officials said.
The sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant and returned to the home at around 2 a.m. Thursday, confiscating all 261 dogs that were at the home — 35 of them puppies. The dogs were mostly Labradors and Labrador mixes.
Sheriff’s officials said many of the dogs were malnourished and had fleas, parasites and tartar build up on their teeth.
“It was deplorable living conditions, even for humans,” Eleazer said.
The Facebook page for Mid-Florida Retriever Rescue said the nonprofit, founded in 2005, is dedicated to placing “Labrador retrievers and other working dogs in loving permanent homes.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 28th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, charles o'malley, diane o'malley, dogs, florida, jail, lab mixes, labrador retrievers, labradors, mid-florida retriever rescue, news, ohmidog!, organization, pets, polk city, polk county, rescue, seized, shelter, sheriff
Attention wine-drinking dog owners: There’s an opportunity to enjoy sampling wines with your dog at your side this weekend — and to support a good cause in the process.
The fourth annual Bark and Wine event is Saturday (May 1) from noon to 4 p.m. at the Fiore Winery in Pylesville.
The event, which features wine, dog treats, music and raffles, is being held by Best Friends Fur Ever to raise funds for Fallston Animal Rescue Movement (FARM).
Best Friends, a dog daycare and overnight resort, is part of the foster network for FARM, an organization that has found homes for 8,000 animals.
Tickets are $10 per person, with an additional $5 fee for the wine tasting. For $5 dollars more, you can ride the bus from Best Friends (1009 Philadelphia Rd. in Joppa) to the event with your dog.
If you’re interested, RSVP to Best Friends at 410-671-7529 by April 28th.
(Photo: Painting by Amy Reges, a former wildlife biologist and current Lab lover and artist whose Otter Tail Art studio is located in Burdett, New York.)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 27th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bark and wine, best friends fur ever, dogs, event, fallston animal rescue movement, farm, fiore winery, fundraiser, may 1, ohmidog!, organization, pets, pylesville, rescue, tasting, wine, winery
As the founder of one of the country’s largest service dog organizations, Jennifer Arnold has spent the last 20 years breeding, training and matching service dogs for people with disabilities or special needs.
Now she has documented that mission, which began when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 16, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“I remember not wanting to leave the house,” she said. “I felt very awkward, scared. It surprised me how frightened I was to be left alone. You feel so vulnerable.”
Arnold’s book, “Through a Dog’s Eyes,” comes out in September. A PBS documentary based on the book and narrated by Neil Patrick Harris debuts April 21.
Arnold and her family decided to set up their own service dog training school when, as a teenager, she was diagnosed and found herself in a wheelchair. She applied, but was so far down the list that the family began making plans for their own service dog academy.
Three weeks later, though, her father, a surgeon,was hit and killed by a drunken motorcycle driver. Arnold and her mother spent the next 10 years raising funds, and incorporated on Dec. 31, 1991. They started training their first dog the next year. Canine Assistants is now among the largest service dog providers in the country.
“Through a Dog’s Eyes” looks at Arnold’s treat-based teaching methods, five of the people to which the organization has provided dogs and how the dogs have helped them regain independence.
One of them is Bryson Casey, 30, of Kansas City, Mo., who served in Iraq as a captain with the National Guard. He came home and was in a car crash that left him a quadriplegic. He and his dog Wagner bonded instantly.
Arnold is now 46, her disease is in remission and she is married to the academy’s staff veterinarian.
In the last 20 years, Canine Assistants has given away 1,000 dogs; there is a waiting list of nearly 2,000. The organization does not charge for the dogs, and will pay for food and vet bills for the life of the dogs, if needed. The recipients are asked to do community service in return.
Canine Assistants breeds its own dogs, and trains rescue and shelter dogs. There are 150 dogs in training year-round. About 5 percent fail to make the program and are placed as pets.
It costs about $22,000 to train a service dog, Arnold said.
The book can be pre-ordered from Random House.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, books, books on dogs, canine assistants, documentary, dog books, dogs, jennifer arnold, multiple sclerosis, neil patrick harris, news, ohmidog!, organization, pbs, pets, preview, service dog, service dogs, video