Group seeks to buy Vick dog fighting property

    A dog-rescue group in Central Pennsylvania is trying to buy the Virginia property that once housed Michael Vick’s “Bad Newz Kennels” dog fighting compound.

    Tipton-based “Dogs Deserve Better” intends to turn the property into a dog sanctuary and its headquarters.

    The 15-acre Good Newz Rehab Center would include a large penned area for dogs to run and a facility for helping chained and penned dogs recuperate.  Vick’s lavish, five-bedroom former house would be used for offices.

    “Dogs Deserve Better” Founder and CEO Tamira Thayne says some parts would be kept off limits.

    “We also want to fence the area of the sheds where the dogs lived and were fought so that there can be a memorial,” said Thayne.  “We want to put a special fence there so that people can leave notes to the dogs and basically come there as cleansing and closure and things like that for them.”

    Thayne says the group was tempted to buy the property because of its symbolic nature.

    “Initially, when something negative happens, everybody is so hurt and angry, and that’s a natural process,” said Thayne.  “But eventually, we have to come around to a closure and rebuilding, and I think that’s why our efforts at this time matter, because we recognize that this horrible thing happened, but now let’s turn it into something positive.”

    The group needs to raise $600,000 by March 20 to buy the property.  Eventually it will take $3 million to complete the planned development.  Thayne says “Dogs Deserve Better” has raised about $60,000 through donations, mostly on its website.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.