By Eric Gillard For DailyPress.com
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 dogsdeservebetter.org or mail to DDB, P.O. Box 23, Tipton, PA 16684. You can also search for Dogs Deserve Better on Facebook.