(ANIMAL RIGHTS) VIRGINIA — By now, we’ve all heard the story about NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s repulsive underground dog operation, and for years have had to sit through his claims that he has magically changed through his anti-animal fighting efforts. Finally, though, it seems that justice will be served for the incalculable amount of dogs who suffered through his organized dogfighting events. His home will be purchased by an animal rescue group, Dogs Deserve Better, and turned into an animal rehabilitation center for abused dogs. Though the location might be rather eerie, read on to see how the estimated 1000 dogs per year will benefit from the new facility. — Global Animal
Ecorazzi, Linda St.Cyr
Michael Vick’s crimes against dogs are well known. But, a group of animal lovers want to erase the evils that took place on Vick’s estate by creating a rehabilitation center for chained and penned dogs in that exact location.
The NFL star served 18 months in prison on federal felony charges for running Bad Newz Kennels –a place where dogs were pitted against each other for sport. Vick was led to financial ruin and sold his property to a developer. The developer had trouble selling the Vick estate following the football player’s conviction. But there was a group of people very interested in buying the property for the sake of dogs.
Dogs Deserve Better of Tipton, Pa., had been watching and waiting to buy the home. Tamira Thayne, founder of Dogs Deserve Better, said of the $600,000 purchase, “I think by us taking over this property we are winning for the dogs. We are, in essence, giving this property back to the dogs that were abused there by using other dogs just like them.”
It will take about $3 million to finish the project. The group plans to install fencing and build a facility for the dogs. According to NBC Philadelphia, an anonymous donor will make payments on the house for the next 10 years. However, fundraising will continue to meet the group’s $3 million goal.
Thayne has had no contact with Vick in regards to the property. She said she isn’t sure what she would say to him if he were to show up on her new property. She said, “I would like to see that he’s really remorseful and I personally don’t feel that I’ve seen that because actions speak louder than words.”
Vick’s latest appeal to animal activists was through the Humane Society’s website in April. Vick posted a statement after an application was released for Android phones that featured dog fighting.
The Eagles quarterback claimed, “I’ve come to learn the hard way that dogfighting is a dead-end street. Now, I am on the right side of this issue, and I think it’s important to send the smart message to kids, and not glorify this form of animal cruelty, even in an Android app.”
Over seventy dogs were seized on Vick’s estate when the dog fighting investigation began. Over the past five years, follow-ups on the dogs have been publicized by the media. A few of the dogs were euthanized for being too aggressive, others found a safe haven at the Best Friends Animal Society sanctuary in Utah, and many others were placed in foster care.