Animal rights group trying to buy Vick’s former home

Posted By elaine on March 28, 2011

Soon to be an animal rescue?  (Photo/Washington Post)

Soon to be an animal rescue? (Photo/Washington Post)

A Pennsylvania-based animal rights group said today that it failed to raise enough money to buy NFL star Michael Vick’s former dogfighting compound and turn it into a rehabilitation center for chained and penned dogs, but they have been given new hope.

ddbDogs Deserve Better of Tipton, Pa. had until Sunday to raise nearly $600,000 to buy in 45-day contract to buy the property that includes the 4,600-square-foot house in Surry County, Va. The house and the 15 acres it sits on served as headquarters for the Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting operation. 

Dogs Deserve Better raised about $130,000 from about 1,500 donors, according to organization founder Tamira Thayne. Thayne said they have now been given until late April to come up with the money.

The group’s ultimate goal is to raise $3 million to buy the site, install fencing and build a facility for the dogs, and rename the facility Good Newz Kennels.  

thayne

Dogs Deserve Better Founder Tamira Thayne(Photo/Dogsdeservebetter.com)

The house would be used for offices.

The property has five bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, two fireplaces, cathedral ceilings, walk-in closets and an attached, two-car garage. It was originally listed for sale for $1.1 million in 2007 following Vick’s prison sentence.

Thayne said it was important to buy the Vick house rather than a less expensive piece of property for a dog facility because of the symbolism it would convey.

“It’s the good basically vanquishing evil kind of scenario,” she said. “To take something over like this and basically bring in good would be very empowering for all of us. It’s an important part of societal evolution.”

The group has some celebrity backing including the late Elizabeth Taylor, Candice Bergin, and even Michael Vick who said he supports the plan to turn his former dogfighting kennel into a rescue.

“I believe it would be positive and beneficial for a rescue group to purchase the property and create an animal sanctuary,” the current Philadelphia Eagle and former Atlanta Falcon told the Washington Post.

Thayne says she would live in the mansion with dogs freed from their chains, helping socialize and housetrain them. They would leave the line of cement-floored, chain-link kennels outside, and the narrow scratched-up stalls in the sheds, as a memorial.

“The dogs deserve for this to be seen,” she said. “It’s an important piece of history.”

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