Tag: surry county
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 dog was shot in the head and left on the doorstep of a worker for Dogs Deserve Better, the animal rescue organization that moved into Michael Vick’s old house in Surry County, Virginia.
Melissa Wischmeier with Dogs Deserve Better said the dog was taken to Roger’s Veterinary Hospital in Smithfield.
Wischmeier said the dog, named Leah, was left in front of the home of a Dogs Deserve Better worker.
Dr. Kathryn Bouvier at Roger’s Veterinary Hospital said x-rays showed a trail of bullet fragments from Leah’s snout all the way to her spinal cord.
Bouvier said the the dog was recovering, but concerns remained about shifting bullet fragments and infection.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, dogs deserve better, doorstep, dropped, left, michael vick, pets, recovering, rescue, roger's veterinary hospital, shot, shot in head, surry county, video, virginia
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 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
As public relations professionals go about rehabilitating Michael Vick’s image, his old place is getting a makeover, too.
Inside the home that once served as headquarters for Bad Newz Kennels in Surry County, Virginia, the quarterback’s cream colored carpet has been ripped up and replaced with rubberized flooring; his oversized tiled shower is now being used for doggie baths.
Dogs Deserve Better, which bought Vick’s former home, continues its work to turn it into a rehabilitation center for chained and abused dogs, assisted by generous donors and volunteers who are showing up regularly, including a group from Baltimore who arrived there this weekend.
According to a Sunday report in the Newport News Daily Press, nine dogs are now living at Good Newz Rehabilitation Center, with five more expected in coming weeks.
“It takes most dogs that have spent their lives in pens or on chains about three months to learn to play, to learn to chase a ball, because they are so traumatized,” said Tamira Thayne, founder of the Dogs Deserve Better.
Dogs will spend three to six months in rehabilitation before they are put up for adoption on Petfinder.com, and adoption fees will range from $75 to $150, depending on the pet’s age and size.
Vick’s former house will also serve as headquarters for Dogs Deserve Better, which formerly operated out of Thayne’s hous in Tipton, Pennsylvania.
The Daily Press article says Dogs Deserve Better was able to raise $180,000, within weeks of annoucing their intention to buy the property. One anonymous donor contributed $10,000, a private business donated $18,000, and one contributor, Monica Severy of Virginia Beach, has pledged to donate $5,000 a month for the next decade — more than enough to cover mortgage payments.
Dogs Deserve Better received a $10,000 grant to make the house more dog-friendly. Thayne installed the rubber flooring, added a dog door, bought tarps and fencing for yard areas so some dogs could stay outside during the day. All the yards have shaded areas and plastic, bone-shaped swimming pools to keep the dogs cool on hot days; all of the dogs sleep inside at night, Thayne said.
Thayne said Vick’s old living room will be used to provide dogs with obedience training.
Thayne said few have been made in the four buildings where Vick’s pit bulls were trained to fight and kill other dogs. All of them are painted black, windows included.
One of them has eight kennel runs, and some of the vestiges from the property’s past remain – unused syringes, which once were used to inject dogs with steroids and antibiotics, and a ”rape stand” used for breeding purposes.
Thayne says she’s not sure if she’ll take down the buildings, but that she doesn’t plan to use them for rehabilitation.
“I feel like they need to be seen,” she said.
The Daily Press also reported that some neighbors aren’t pleased with the property’s new use.
Neighbor Earnst R. Hardy Sr. said at least one of the dogs has ended up on his property.
“All the time he (Vick) was over there fighting and breaking the law, he didn’t disturb me,” said Hardy. “I’ve had more problems with them in the six weeks they’ve been here than I ever had with Vick.”
Thayne told the newspaper she feels the house has been rehabilitated.
“Dogs are living in the house and people say Michael Vick is rehabilitated. I hope he is … and I hope people will focus on the beautiful stuff happening here instead of the hideous crimes that occurred here in the past.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bad newz, center, dogfighting, dogs, dogs deserve better, donors, good newz, house, kennels, makeover, michael vick, moonlight road, pets, pit bulls, property, rehabilitation, remodeling, surry county, tamira thayne, virginia, volunteers
The first eight rescue dogs have arrived at the home once owned by Michael Vick in Surry County, Virginia.
“We want this place to be a memorial to all the dogs who lost their lives here,” said the groups founder, Tamira Thyne, who acknowledged the property’s past is a haunting one. “It’s creepy,” she told WAVY.
Dogs Deserve Better, formerly based in Pennsylvania, will use the property as its new home base as it begins renovations aimed at turning it into “a state of the art” facility for dogs. The organization is seeking both volunteers and donations to help meet that goal.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abused, chained, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs deserve better, estate, michael vick, moonlight road, penned, property, rehabilitation, rescue, shelter, surry county, tamira thayne, virginia, wavy
I’ve never liked the open letter. It’s a cheap gimmick that allows the writer to pretend to be writing to someone when you’re really taking aim at them. It’s a feeble attempt to get the attention of someone who neither knows who you are, nor cares what you have to say. It lets you, the writer, ride on their celebrity while you make a point, ostensibly to them, but really to the world. Open letters are highly presumptuous, and a little rude.
Nevertheless, Dear Michael Vick …
I see an opportunity for you.
This pertains your former property at 1915 Moonlight Road in Surry County, Virginia — the one that’s now headed to serve a purpose far different than the one for which you used it.
As you may have read, or not, your former house, the headquarters of your former Bad Newz Kennels, the home you forfeited after your conviction for dogfighting, has been purchased by a group called Dogs Deserve Better.
They plan to turn it into a $2.5 million center to rehabilitate and rehome dogs that have been abused — tied, chained, penned, or forced to take part in dogfighting. (At this point, were this one of those catty open letters, I would have added “an activity with which you are familiar.” But this really is more sincere than catty.)
From a writer’s standpoint, not to mention a reader’s, it’s a pretty wondrous development in the long-running story that, as you know, just won’t go away.
You should get in on it. You should donate some money to the project — if not to assuage any guilt you might still be feeling, then for image reasons alone, and image, these days, is everything.
To build its $2.5 million center, Dogs Deserve Better needs, well, about $2.5 million. They’ve made the down payment, but there is still lots of work to be done and money to be raised.
That’s where you come in, or could if you wanted to — giving the story one more serendipitous twist.
I know you served your time. I know you paid (and are still paying) your debt. I know your fans, and maybe you, think that gives you a clean slate — but a slate is hard to truly get clean once it has been tainted with blood, be it that of humans or dogs.
You have a lot of haters, myself included. I’ve bashed you before and I’ll probably bash you again — it’s easy to do that from afar, while hiding behind the protective gear of a blog. Though I’m a forgiving sort generally, I’m one of those people who can’t forget what you did with dogs. I’m also one of those people who stopped being a Philadelphia Eagles fan when they hired you, and, in the few games I watched, rooted for you to get sacked, even painfully so. (I did not like that I was doing that.)
Animal lovers, despite all their warmhearted, do-gooding tenderness, can be a pretty vengeful lot, and you permanently alienated them.
Even the work you are doing with the Humane Society of the United States in its anti-dogfighting campaign isn’t enough to change their minds about you. They probably never will. But by kicking in some money to rehabilitate dogs, you might make them, at least, think twice.
It would make a far deeper and more lasting impression than your HSUS appearances. I commend you for those, but, in all honesty and no offense, you don’t come across as all that remorseful. You don’t excel at appearing sincere. Besides, it’s just talk, and talk is cheap.
I realize that, despite your huge NFL salary, your money these days isn’t exactly your money — that you don’t have much to throw around, what with your debts and your lawyers and your agents. My understanding is you’re pretty much living on an allowance, and that endorsements, which dried up after your conviction, are few. This could help with that, too.
News that Michael Vick had chipped in to build a center to rehabilitate animals on his former property — and I’d suggest you do it in a low key, non-trumpeting kind of way — would do wonders for your image.
Since you’re still getting your finances back in shape, I think it would be great if the Philadelphia Eagles, and the NFL, chipped in as well, perhaps doubling or tripling the amount you might be able to come up with.
I’m aware it was you who, willing or not, footed the bill for your former dogs to make miraculous recoveries and find themselves in loving homes. There are pieces of the whole story of you and dogfighting that, horrendous as it is, are also inspiring. You could add another inspiring element – you could quell, but likely not erase, the wrath of dog lovers who hate you. Animal welfare types can be a self-righteous bunch — and persistent as linebackers. You may never have them on your team.
But a donation would give them pause, and perhaps a modicum of respect for you. They might see it as a sign — to some it might seem the first one — that you are truly sorry. Money usually can’t buy forgiveness, but it can soften the sharp edges.
I won’t be so presumptuous as to suggest an amount, and, I’m not even sure Dogs Deserve Better would take your money. I am in no way affiliated with the organization, other than having written about it a time or two. But they seem to mean well.
Support from you, the Eagles and the NFL — on top of all it would do for your image, and football’s — would help the organization accomplish its mission: Establishing the Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs.
Out with the bad, in with the good. Get it?
In closing, I apologize for the openness of this letter, and for sticking my nose in your business. But in a world where bad news is the norm, chances to make some good news – and to make some good happen — should be considered, if not jumped on immediately.
It’s just a thought.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, adoption, animal welfare, animals, atonement, bad newz kennels, center, chained, dear michael vick, dogs, dogs deserve better, donate, football, fundraising, good newz rehab center, house, hsus, letter, michael vick, mistreated, moonlight road, nfl, open letter, penned, pets, philadelphia eagles, rehabilitation, remorse, request, rescue, shelter, surry county, vick
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 jwoestendiek 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 jwoestendiek 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
Maybe it’s in part to pay respects to those who died and suffered, in part to remind ourselves of how evil man can be – that whole business about keeping history fresh enough in our minds that we don’t allow the mistakes of the past to be repeated.
Maybe (last maybe, I promise) that’s also why you still find Michael Vick stories on ohmidog! and elsewhere – not so much because we want to keep punishing a man who has paid what the courts decided was his debt, but because we think the public, and public officials, need to keep it fresh in their heads, and do all in their power to wipe out the ongoing scourge of dogfighting.
Our travels having taken us to Virginia — and having recently finished reading “The Lost Dogs,” the new book by Jim Gorant that recounts the horrors that took place at Vick’s country estate and the redemption of the dogs that survived them — a trip to 1915 Moonlight Road seemed, while morbid, somehow in order.
So Ace and I headed from Norfolk up Highway 10 through Virginia’s tidelands, past the meatpacking plant in Smithfield, and turned left down the narrow road, where homes are few, far apart and – unlike the one Vick had built — mostly modest.
It’s a two-story, 4,600-square-foot, white brick home, with five bedrooms, four and a half baths and master bedroom suites on the first and second floor. It has several outbuildings, a pool and a basketball court; and the real estate listings — which make no mention of the former owner — note that there’s a kennel, too.
Yes, Michael Vick’s former house is available, and has been ever since Vick sold it before heading off for his prison sentence.
The private individual who bought it then has it listed at $595,000 – a price that is $152,000 under its assessed value. In other words, it’s a bargain – if you don’t mind the fact that it’s haunted. How could it not be – after what the 51 dogs seized from Bad Newz Kennels had gone through, not to mention the eight more murdered dogs that were dug up behind the home and removed as part of the investigation?
The house, which has sat empty for nearly three years, has more recently — amid the sluggish real estate market — been offered for rent as well. The price is $2,500 a month.
There was no open house on the day we dropped by — no one around at all. Taking heed of a sign on the gate that warned “Keep Out, Private Property, Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted Even the U.S. Army,” Ace and I kept to the perimeter of the property, across the street from a small white Baptist church.
Usually, when Ace gets out of the car he commences to sniffing and excitedly exploring for minutes on end. But here he behaved differently. He walked up to white metal gate, sat down and stayed perfectly still, staring inside for what had to be three full minutes.
I won’t read anything into that.
Vick bought the 15-acre property in 2001 – for the purpose of setting up a dogfighting operation. For two years, only a trailer occupied it. In 2003, he had the custom built house constructed, though he never lived in it full time.
A Long and Foster agent told me yesterday that the house’s prolonged period on the market is probably more a result of the housing slump than its shameful legacy — my words, not her’s. She said there is a prospective renter, but that a deal has yet to be finalized.
Not too many who have looked at it have been driven away upon learning its history, but then again, that history is not on the property sheet.
While there was an animal welfare group that sought to raise funds, buy the property and turn it into a sanctuary for animals, the agent said that plan was apparently dropped. The group thought that it would be a triumph of sorts to turn Michael Vick’s old house into a place that helped dogs.
But it’s hard to get over an awful past — whether you’re a dog, a person or a house. While Vick’s dogs have shown it can be done, and while Vick insists he has reformed, his former house remains in limbo.
As for Ace, he eventually came out of his trance, sniffed around the shrubs in front of the house and did his business.
I won’t read anything into that, either.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 25th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 1915 moonlight road, ace, ace does america, animal welfare, bad newz kennels, dog fighting, dog's country, dogfighting, dogscountry, empty, estate, for rent, for sale, history, house, legacy, mansion, memory, michael, michael vick, moonlight road, nfl, past, philadelphia eagles, quarterback, real estate, redemption, rent, rescue, sale, smithfield, surry county, unoccupied, vick, vick's house, virginia