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Could Michael Vick's Old Dog Fighting Home Become Animal Sanctuary?

By Eric Gillard For

A Pennsylvania group aims to buy the Surry County property and turn it into a rehab center

SURRY — Michael Vick’s infamous Surry County property could see a rebirth as an animal sanctuary — if a group can raise enough money to buy it.

A nonprofit organization called Dogs Deserve Better wants to use Vick’s former house and site of a dog fighting organization as an animal rehab center.

The Tipton, Pa.-based group aims to turn the former 15-acre site of Bad Newz Kennels into the Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs.

In April 2007, Vick, a Newport News native and a former No. 1 NFL Draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2001, was implicated in an illegal interstate dog fighting ring that had operated over five years. In August 2007, he pleaded guilty to federal felony charges and served 21 months in prison, followed by two months in home confinement.

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Vick currently plays for the Philadelphia Eagles and was named as the 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year by The Associated Press.

The group has a 45-day contract on the property, and at the end of those 45 days, they have to raise $595,000 to make the purchase. So far, they have raised more than $50,000. Some of that is coming from donations made online. The group estimates that a full renovation and building of the new dog center will cost $3 million. The house would become an office, fundraising center and store.

The group has a page set up that allows people to vote on where the center should be located in exchange for a donation on their website and also through a Facebook page.

Tammy Thayne, the organization’s founder, said her group has been looking for a rehab center for years and the Surry County property is a perfect place to put it.

The group rescues dogs from chains and pens and rehabilitate at least 400-600 dogs per year.

The 4,600-square-foot house was purchased by Carrollton-based Todd Builders Inc. in May 2007 and has been sitting vacant and unsold ever since.

“Seems no one wanted to buy a property with such a painful past,” Thayne said.

Nearby resident Earnest Hardy Sr. and some of his neighbors say it would be nice for something positive to move into the old house on 1915 Moonlight Road.

“Everybody and everything deserves a second chance,” he said.

Thayne wants the next chapter of the scarred property to be a positive one.

“By Dogs Deserve Better purchasing this property, we desire to bring light to the darkness,” she said.

How you can donate:

For more information on this fundraiser or to donate, call 1-877-636-1408, e-mail [email protected]
, visit or mail to DDB, P.O. Box 23, Tipton, PA 16684. You can also search for Dogs Deserve Better on Facebook.

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Stacy Steinzeig Smith via Facebook

I hear the neighbors are vowing to fight that idea to the bitter end.

BoardAnd Behave via Facebook

I think he should have to pay every penny of vet care that those dogs needed, will need, or might need. he should have to pay for their re-training, and their transport to wherever they found a home. AND he shoudl have to pay the cost it takes to keep the ones at Best Friends’ (dog town) alive, healthy and as happy as they every could be.

Kerri Powell via Facebook

The ranch doesn’t belong to Vick anymore. It was confinscated during the investigation. It would have absolutely no impact on him. What he needs to do is pay the ungodly restitution that is court ordered and the money can go to education and housing of this wonderful breed that, yet again, had a red stamp placed on their forehead. Nothing will ever damage this “man’s” pride or clearly, his reputation. Many people have forgotten about his actions and welcome him with open arms. It’s too bad that so few do this with pit bulls.

BoardAnd Behave via Facebook

oh, and He shoudl have to visite the wors of the dogs he has abused EVERY WEEK for the rest of their lives…. Man I wish I went to Law School….

Wendy S Hixson via Facebook
Wendy S Hixson via Facebook
11 years ago

Personally, I think the property should be donated by whomever owns it at present to the rescue. (Which isn’t Vick btw, but perhaps he should anonymously donate the 3M hmm?)

Hay Cin via Facebook
Hay Cin via Facebook
11 years ago

He should donate the property!

Michael Measel via Facebook

I love the idea. But, I personally think Michael Vick should happily and willingly give up the money to help them buy the place and get it up and running. It is the least he could do…..

Ruth Neiser via Facebook

I agree with Measel. That sounds like a wonderful idea!!!!!!!

Margo Stout via Facebook
Margo Stout via Facebook
11 years ago

MV should step up and do the right thing and fund this. Actions speak louder than words.

Angie Clow via Facebook

Hmmm, Donate the property, and donate to get it up and running! That would really impress me……..

The Dog Files via Facebook

He doesn’t own that property anymore.

Wendy S Hixson via Facebook
Wendy S Hixson via Facebook
11 years ago

Correct, It was confiscated first as evidence or a crime scene, then surrendered as part of his “sentencing” He should still cough up the $ though.

Viktoria Somorjai via Facebook

Towards the end of the article, someone living nearby says, “Everybody and everything deserves a second chance.” Wrong, Sir. Dogs do. That POS Vick didn’t.

Kerri Powell via Facebook

The idea is great. It would provide a home for many needy animals. Unfortunately, Vick would not be affected by it at all. If he doesn’t own the property anymore, how could it? He could care less. The only thing he cares about is his success, which has proven to not be overly affected by his horrible actions. He will never truely be able to rectify his actions to pit bull advocates. We don’t pay his salery…

Donna Williams via Facebook
Donna Williams via Facebook
11 years ago

Using the property is a great idea. However, it’s good PR for him. Yes, I agree “He will never be able to rectify his actions to PitBull advocates” and ALL ANIMAL ADVOCATES. How about 90% of his earnings go to rescue!

Linda Marchiony Francis via Facebook

Hope they clear the energy before they bring dogs in…could be traumatic if all that fright and death energy is still lingering! Otherwise, a good idea…that property should be used for something positive for a change!

Matt Mitchell via Facebook
Matt Mitchell via Facebook
11 years ago

One of the problems is that most people really dontknow the savageness of Vicks crimes. I was talking with my brother about this the other day. He is not an animal lover but wouldnt condone Vicks actions either. He was arguing that vick had served time and payed fines and that people can change. I told him I understood that but asked did he know how vick was disposing of non-fighters. He said he knew they were shot. So I told him the truth and then said ” its horrible that they would be killed at all but the manner in which vick did it was extra brutal. Anyone who is capable of such horrible attrocities to another living creature could never truly be sorry. Its in his nature.” my brothers reply was “oh I didnt know that I see what you mean!”

Matt Mitchell via Facebook
Matt Mitchell via Facebook
11 years ago

He never les himmself lose an argument and is way more of a football fan than ananimal lover. It says alot that he changed his mind after hearing that.

Stephanie Dolloph via Facebook

just thinking about that asshole makes me want to puke. I hate him sooo much! i agree! he should have to pay for everything! he should still be in jail!

Jennifer L Green via Facebook

@Kerri…he probably would be in jail still if it wasnt for the clout of the NFL. If i was a judge id fine him a 1000 a week for next 30 years payable to rescues that apply for aid!

Michelle Horne Revelle via Facebook
Michelle Horne Revelle via Facebook
11 years ago

There needs to be stiffer penalties for animal abusers. Treating them like misdemeanors or felonys with light sentences is not enough. It’s a proven fact that most serial killers, rapists and abusers of humans abused and tortured animals when they were younger.

Kerri Powell via Facebook

Jennifer- I totally agree! Unfortunately, his court ordered restitution in the $900,000 range hasn’t even been attempted to be paid. Imagine if we didn’t pay our fines!! And I can’t imagine our employers would hold our jobs for us and shower us with money after we got out of prison. He is a disgrace to football, the justice system, animal owners, and society in general.

Pam Smith via Facebook
11 years ago

that spawn of satan Vick should give it to the local Humane society.. .and what is up with him not paying his court ordered restitution??? Con vick punk needs jumper cables put on his chest!!! not praised!

Tara Whitehead via Facebook

Kerri- could not have said it better!

Terri Williams via Facebook
Terri Williams via Facebook
11 years ago

Putting any decent living being on that foul ground is a bad, bad idea. Dogs are so sensitive and good and pure. They’d be picking up on all that fear and despair left behind from the Unlucky Ones. Even if they razed the place it wouldn’t matter. Evil has roosted there. The best thing they could do is wait till Vick dies and burn his sorry carcass right on that site.


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