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 John Woestendiek 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
An animal rescue group says it has been able to raise enough money to make the down payment on Michael Vick’s former home in Virginia, which they plan to turn into a center for rescued dogs.
It will be called Good Newz (a play on Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels) Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs.
The group Dogs Deserve Better announced on its website it had received an approval for a loan and hopes to close on the Surry County property that served as headquarter’s for Vick’s dogfighting operation in mid-May.
The group, which has already raised a third of the sale price, is still raising money to pay off the remaining two-thirds — the amount the loan was approved for. They hope to build a fence around the property and start accepting dogs while they raise the money to build the facility, WVEC reported.
Members have previously said say they’d need an estimated $3 million to create the dog center, which would also serve as the new headquarters for the Pennsylvania-based rescue group.
After the forfeit of Vick’s five-bedroom, 15-acre property, potential buyers were few — in part because of a down real estate economy, maybe too, though real estate agents played it down, because of the horrors that occured there. Assessed at more than $700,000, the house is being purchased by Dogs Deserve Better for $595,000.
In an interview with Care2, DDB’s Tamira Thayne said, “I felt when I was there that the dogs who lost their lives and suffered there welcomed us and were grateful to us for both preserving their memories, continuing the fight against dog abuse, and bringing happiness to a place of such sadness.”
DDB announced in February that it had obtained an option to purchase the property, located at 1915 Moonlight Road.
Vick served 21 months of a 23 month sentence in federal prison for bankrolling the dog fighting operation at the property.
DDB plans to build a state of the art dog facility there, with help from volunteers and donations.
Thayne said the group hopes to house, train, and sent to adoptive homes about 500 dogs a year at first, moving up to 1,000 dogs a year. The group will be rehabilitating primarily dogs that been abused and neglected, penned and chained.
“For us, having a standard shelter is not the answer, because we have to be teaching these dogs how to live within the home and family,” Thayne told Care 2. “So we want to design a center where they will be trained in a house setting every day, working one on one or in small groups with a human to assess and deal with issues and teach housetraining and people skills.”
For information on how to donate, visit the Dogs Deserve Better website.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 3rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, bad newz, center, chained, ddb, dogs, dogs deserve better, former home, good newz, headquarters, home, kennels, michael vick, neglected, penned, philadelphia eagles, property, quarterback, rehabilitate, rehabilitation, rescue, shelter, surry county, tamira thayne, vick, virginia
About three weeks into my stay in the mansion basement, I realized I had access to more than just the handful of channels I was getting on my small TV – that simply by reprogramming the remote I could get more than 100. Three weeks after that new horizon opened up, there is only on channel number I have memorized, the one for HGTV. (It’s 69 on my dial.)
When I’m eating lunch, when there’s a lull in my day, when I need to step away from the keyboard and let my carpal tunnels reopen, I tune in Home and Garden Television and watch designers upgrade homeowner’s kitchens, or install a media-filled “man cave” in the basement, or turn a bedroom — from blah to ahhhh, from drab to fab – into a serene and spa-like paradise.
At the end, the homeowners get to see the transformation and say “ohmigod” a lot.
In other HGTV programming, shows follow people — young couples usually — as they search for a new home altogether, viewing three homes and then making their choice.
The part of it I like, when it comes to the design shows, is watching a project from conception to fruition, with, of course, the final touch of colorful accessories that really make the whole thing “pop.” It appeals to the Virgo, or something, in me. With the househunting shows, I like guessing which house the couple will pick (I get it right every single time), and predicting how long the marriage is going to last.
(When you can’t agree — or at least rationally discuss – something as simple as hardwood floors versus Mexican tile, your union’s days are numbered.)
Each episode of “Househunters” ends with a visit, a few months later, to the couple in their new home, into which they have comfortably settled and fixed those things they found most intolerable — whether it be wallpaper that is “too busy” or the devastating lack (it’s a cruel, cruel world) of granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.
Then – and this explains a lot of why I’m hooked – as soon as one episode ends, another begins, with no commercial break … “Tom and Nancy have outgrown their modest home in Modesto, and, with another baby on the way, need someplace larger, with a large master bedroom, an en-suite bathroom and a fenced yard for their dachschund, Scooter.”
That’s all it takes. Based on that simple plot introduction — and my need to see the tidy outcome – I’m in for another 30 minutes.
Why every station doesn’t do the no-commercials-between-episodes thing – it’s sort of the TV viewer equivalent of chain smoking — is beyond me.
I think another part of the HGTV addiction – in addition to having crushes on at least two of the designers (Howyadoin’, Genevieve?) — is that the urge to nest is growing stronger in me, after nearly a year traveling the country with my dog, living out of suitcases and staying in too many Motel 6′s.
I don’t know if urge to nest is making me watch HGTV, or if HGTV is adding to my urge to nest, but I definitely have an increasing desire to have a box of my own, put my stuff in it, make it functional and decorate it with some colorful accessories that really make it pop.
There is a third factor, I think, to the addiction. Watching HGTV makes me mad, and we, for some reason, like to watch people who make us mad — hence the success of shows like Survivor, and The Apprentice, and all those “real” housewives with artificial parts, not to mention sensitive bachelors willing to probe the souls of multiple women in search of their true lifemate.
On “Househunters,” there can be a perfectly cute and loveable young couple — the kind I could be friends with — that I instantly start hating the moment one of them turns up their nose at a laminate wood floor, or a stove and refrigerator that are, gasp, white. They seem convinced they can’t find true happiness without granite countertops.
The wealthier and pickier they are, the more I hate them, and want to send them to go work for the Peace Corps for a couple of years.
I find myself getting infuriated even more by “Househunters International” where homebuyers, usually seeking a second home, say, in the south of France, are forced to confront the bitter reality that there is only one walk-in closet, or that the ocean view from the Mexican villa they are looking at is slightly blocked by a palm tree.
Part of it, I’m sure, is jealousy — the fact that my financial situation for the moment precludes stainless steel appliances, the fact that a commodities broker, whatever the heck that is, can afford a $2.3 million second home while I can barely afford a commode.
Then again, maybe these people aren’t so greedy, and this is just another stereotype that HGTV, by taking things out of context, is reinforcing — that of the spoiled rotten gimme generation.
For sure, HGTV reinforces gender stereotypes. With every househunting couple, the woman demands walk-in closets and, generally, jokes about maybe giving her husband a little space in it. Just as the female needs closet space, the male needs a man cave, where he can watch sports on a large flat screen TV, play video games, have the boys over for poker and otherwise avoid the wife, who’s probably out buying shoes anyway.
Just once I’d like to see a man who wants a space to work on his scrapbooking, or a woman who’s interested in a barbecue pit.
It’s the use of the term “price point.”
I don’t know if HGTV invented this term, or if it’s something real estate agents came up with to make their jobs seem multi-faceted and complex, as opposed to something a monkey could do. For centuries, the word “price” worked just fine. Now, we have “price point,” as in ”You’re not going to find anything else like this at this price point.” Or, “granite countertops are rare at this price point.”
I don’t think just cutting back on HGTV will work for me. I think the only solution is clean and total break (sorry, Genevieve) — a moratorium on HGTV. Like onion dip and coffee, it seems I can’t be happy with just a little of it. Instead, it makes me — much like the stainless-steel-appliance-seeking homebuyers — want more: More episodes, more closet space, more upscale home furnishings, and of course more colorful accessories that will really make things pop.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accessories, addict, addicted, addiction, buying, couples, decorating, designers, families, furnishings, genevieve, gimme, granite countertops, greed, hgtv, home, home and garden television, homebuying, house, houses, nest, price point, pricepoint, property, real estate, renovation, spaces, stainless steel appliances, television, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, tv, view
To understand this video clip you need the following background: New Orleans Saints fans are known to chant “Who Dat” in support of their football team.
Otherwise, the humans would just appear to be a bunch of fools, which of course they still kinda do even with that background knowledge.
Be that as it may, these particular fans have chosen to let a beagle lead them in the cheer — the ownership of which has become a matter of dispute.
The full chant is “Who Dat Say Dey Gonna Beat Dem Saints? Who Dat? Who Dat?”
The NFL is claiming it owns the phrase “Who Dat,” and has issued cease-and-desist orders against New Orleans vendors who sell Saints memorabilia with the wording.
New Orleans fans, the Wall Street Journal has reported, are outraged by the claim, contending the NFL never cared about the chant when the football team was losing, or after it was ousted from its home stadium in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, finishing the season 3-13.
“The Saints actually win something and go to the Super Bowl, and the NFL sees a way they can make a penny,” complained Dan Frazier, general manager of local sports-talk radio station 690 WIST.
“Who dat,” locals say, was part of the local lingo well before it became the rallying cry at Saints games.
The Journal article says St. Augustine High School, an all-boys Catholic school in the city, started the chant in 1972 at its own football games. “Who dat talking about beating them Knights? Nobody! Nobody!”
The saying went on to become the rallying cry for the Saints, and, in the 1980s, New Orleans singer Aaron Neville made a video, singing “who dat” alongside team members.
But now, according to the NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, “If ‘who dat’ is used in a manner to refer to Saints football, then the Saints own the rights.”
Under that reasoning, I guess the Philadelphia Eagles, and therefore the NFL, own the rights to, and any profits from, dogfighting, as well.
Either way, they’re still a bunch of bullies.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aaron neville, bullies, cease, chant, cheer, desist, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, fans, football, michael vick, new orleans, new orleans saints, nfl, phrase, property, rights, saints, st. augustine high school, super bowl, trademark, trademarked, turf, who dat, who dat dog
Here’s a revolting celebrity story — revolting, as you can see in this video, on too many levels to mention.
So we’ll just mention the biggest one. RadarOnline reports that Nicky Hilton and Bijou Phillips, both friends of Casey Johnson, the heiress found dead in her Los Angeles home Monday, arrived at Johnson’s home Wednesday to claim her dogs, including one named Zoey.
The alleged reason? So Zoey could be put to sleep and buried with her owner.
Radar quoted an unidentified source as saying the dog “is in very bad health. Casey would want the dog buried with her.”
While a spokesman for Johnson’s family vehemently denied that the dog was to be put down, Radar ‘s sources said that was the plan. We don’t know if that means it’s true, but we hope it’s not.
As police stood by, the dogs and personal property belonging to Johnson were removed yesterday by Hilton and Phillips over the objections of Johnson’s fiance, reality TV star Tila Tequila, the New York Daily News reported.
Johnson, 30, was the daughter of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and an heiress to the Johnson & Johnson fortune. She was a diabetic, and had battled alcohol and drug addiction, but the cause of her death is unknown.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: addiction, bijou phillips, buried, casey johnson, celebrities, celebrity, claimed, dead, diabetic, dogs, euthanized, fortune, heiress, home, johnson & johnson, los angeles, new york jets, nicky hilton, owner, pets, property, put to sleep, radar online, removed, tila tequila, woody johnson, zoey
The leaders of New Jersey dogfighting rings could be charged under the same anti-racketeering laws used to prosecute mobsters and face sentences of up to 20 years under a bill proposed by two state senators.
Under the bill, organizers of dogfighting networks could be prosecuted under the state’s anti-racketeering (RICO) statute, and profits or property gained from dogfighting could be seized, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Oregon, Utah and Virginia have similar laws. If the legislation pases, New Jersey would be the fourth state in the country to use RICO statutes, commonly used in organized crime cases, to prosecute dogfighters.
“You can judge a society by the way it treats its most vulnerable,” said Sen. Jeff Van Drew, who sponsored the bill with Sen. Thomas Kean Jr. “Those that abuse animals in this way, in this severe way, are often individuals that go on to commit heinous acts against adults and children.”
Under current New Jersey law, dogfighting carries a penalty of three to five years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.
While penalties would remain the same for people who own or train fighting dogs, or host dog fights, those who finance and organize them would face five to 10 years in prison, or even twice that if the organizer was convicted of a violent offense or gun crime in connection with dogfighting.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anti-racketeering, bill, dog fighters, dog fighting, dogfighters, dogfighting, dogs, jeff van drew, law, legislation, new jersey, organized crime, pets, profits, property, proposed, rico, seize, seizure
The Vermont Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a case that could create a new precedent for animal lovers who sue over the loss of their dogs.
The lawsuit was filed by a Maryland couple — Sarah and Denis Scheele of Annapolis, whose mixed-breed dog “Shadow” was fatally shot in 2003, according to an ABC News report.
Lewis Dustin, 76, of Northfield, Vt., pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty and was given a year probation. He also was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and pay $4,000 to the Scheeles for the costs of adoption, medical bills and cremation.
The Scheeles, however, say that doesn’t come close to covering the emotional cost inflicted by the incident and the loss of companionship.
“Shadow was our little boy, our son, our child,” Sarah Scheele wrote on her website JusticeforShadow.com. “We loved him as if he were our own flesh and blood.”
The couple filed a civil suit against Dustin in 2006, arguing that the dog was more than “mere property.”
The incident occurred during the Scheeles’ July 2003 visit to relatives in Northfield, Vt., a small town south of Montpelier. Shadow wandered into the neighboring yard of Dustin, who fired an air pellet rifle at the dog to scare him off his property.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 18th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, annapolis, cost, courts, denis scheele, dog, dogs, emotional, family, justice for shadow, justiceforshadow.com, killed, law, lewis dustin, loss, maryland, northfield, pets, property, rifle, sarah scheele, shadow, shot, supreme court, vermont
It seems I wasn’t the only one to disagree with “Dear Abby’s” recent opinion that throwing the bagged poopage of your dog into someone else’s garbage can was acceptable.
“I’m sorry to say my advice … landed me in the doghouse,” the columnist noted earlier this week.
Back in September, Abby advised “Pooped Out in North Carolina” — who was getting the business from his family after tossing his dog’s bagged feces in a neighbor’s garbage can — that “as long as the bag was securely sealed, I don’t think adding it to someone’s trash bin was a social no-no.”
ohmidog! quickly pounced on Abby for dispensing such bad advice. It’s bad manners and, worse yet, gives the anti-dog types something else to complain about.
As it turns out, we weren’t alone. Many others disagreed with Abby, and a sampling of those opinions were included in her column Monday.
“DEAR ABBY: … As a homeowner who is a frequent recipient of foreign feces, there is a practical issue that you may not have foreseen. Our garbage collectors will not dispose of small bags of dog poop; they will only take trash bags of the larger size one would expect to contain household waste,” wrote Frequent Feces Finder.
“DEAR ABBY: You should have told “Pooped” to check the local laws first. In my community, if you’re caught putting your trash in someone else’s container, you are made to clean it out, fined and sometimes given jail time,” wrote Tom in Reed City, Michigan.
“DEAR ABBY: We walk our dogs four times a day and place their carefully bagged “deposits” only in the trash at our house. We do this for two reasons: One, people can be territorial about their refuse containers and resent any ‘unauthorized’ garbage placed there. Two, many homeowners hate finding animal waste on their property or in their trash,” opined Picker-Upper in California.
(Photo from the flickr page of left-hand)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abby, advice, animals, bags, cans, columnist, dear abby, dog, dogs, feces, garbage, manners, pets, poop, pooped, property, refuse, responsibility, responsible, trash, waste
Responding to a complaint about animals in need of medical care, Houston SPCA investigators were shocked to discover more than 1,000 animals at a home in the city — mostly crammed in cages.
SPCA officials say the seizure of animals from the home in northwest Houston was one of the largest in U.S. history.
“They were in deplorable conditions throughout the entire property,” said Charles Jantzen, chief investigator for the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Very few of the animals had the basic staples of life — food, water and shelter.”
The majority of animals confiscated were birds, including a score of chickens, roosters, ducks and parrots. SPCA workers also seized gerbils, snakes, iguanas, a malnourished goat, and a pair of small dogs, also in cages.
The animal cages were scattered throughout the property, which is located on an isolated stretch of road in a mainly light-industrial area, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Authorities said the homeowners, who were cooperative during the investigation, told them they sell the animals at flea markets throughout the area.
“They (the animals) were not hidden — they were not secretive,” Jantzen said.
The animals were taken to the SPCA’s Houston headquarters for a medical examination.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 27th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: $1, 000, abuse, animals, birds, chickens, cruelty, dogs, ducks, flea market, gerbils, goat, home, house, houston, iguanas, investigation, neglect, parrots, property, roosters, seized, snakes, spca
Doreen Houseman is headed back to court to gain custody of Dexter, the pug that a New Jersey court awarded to her ex-husband, deeming the dog merely another piece of property.
Today, a second trial beings on the custody of the nearly six-year-old dog, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
In March, a three-judge appeals panel ordered the new trial, saying Superior Court Judge John Tomasello should not have treated Dexter as just another piece of furniture during the first trial, in Gloucester County, in 2007.
Gina Calogero, Houseman’s attorney, said the appeals paned issued a “landmark decision” on pet custody.
Tomasello originally ruled Dexter was simply property and should go to the person possessing it. “Dogs are chairs; they’re furniture; they’re automobiles, they’re pensions. They’re not kids,” he said. “Canine affection” is irrelevant, he said.
Houseman’s ex, Eric Dare, a Williamstown police officer, was awarded the dog, and would compensate Houseman $1,500 – the pedigree dog’s purchase price – the judge said.
Houseman says she is happy she won another chance to prove she should be reunited with her dog.
“I hope he remembers me. I keep hearing that a dog never forgets your scent and your voice,” she said, with a nervous laugh.”
Posted by John Woestendiek July 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: appeals, custody, dexter, divorce, dogs, doreen houseman, eric dare, furniture, john tomasello, judge, marriage, new jersey, property, pug, superior court