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Could Michael Vick's old dog fighting home become animal sanctuary?
A Pennsylvania group aims to buy the Surry County property and turn it into a rehab center.
By Eric Gillard (Daily Press)
2:13 p.m. EST, February 8, 2011
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 property as an animal rehabilitation center.
The Tipton, Pa.-based group aims to turn the former 15-acre site of Bad Newz Kennels, a dog-fighting organization, into the Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs.
In April 2007, Vick, a Newport News native and former No. 1 NFL draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2001, was implicated in an illegal interstate dog-fighting ring. In August 2007, he pleaded guilty to federal felony charges and served 21 months in prison, followed by two months in-home confinement.
Vick returned to football and is a quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was named as the 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year by The Associated Press.
Dogs Deserve Better has a 45-day contract on the property, at the end of which they have $595,000 to make the purchase. So far, they have raised more than $50,000. Some of that money is from donations made online. The group estimates full renovation and building the new dog center will cost $3 million. The house would become an office, fundraising center and a store.
"We're plugging away," said Tammy Thayne, the organization's founder.
The group has a page on its website that allows people to vote on where the center should be located in exchange for a $1 donation; people cal also donate through a Facebook page.
Thayne said her group has been looking for a rehab center for years and the Surry County property's location and size make it a perfect place to put it.
The group would move its operations to Surry County if they were to get the property, she said.
Monica Severey, the local representative in Hampton Roads and chairwoman of the capital campaign with Dogs Deserve Better, said the dogs would live in the house, not in the adjacent dog kennels.
"It's our job to teach (the dogs) how to be in a home," Thayne said.
Severey said the group has another plan for the kennels.
"There are kennels there which we hope to use as a memorial area for the dogs, the pit bulls that lost their lives there," she said.
The group rescues dogs from chains and pens and rehabilitate 400-600 dogs per year.
The 4,600-square-foot house and outlying building were purchased by Carrollton developer Wilbur Ray Todd Jr. in November 2007 for $450,000. Todd has also invested $50,000 in improvements; the property has been sitting vacant and unsold ever since.
"Finding qualified buyers in this market is hard," he said after the property failed to sell at a December 2008 auction.
"Seems no one wanted to buy a property with such a painful past," Thayne said.
If the group cannot buy the property, it will use the money raised to find a new place for the sanctuary.
"We would buy another property," Thayne said. "But I'm not entertaining that thought."
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 Moonlight Road.
"Everybody and everything deserves a second chance," he said.
"We think it would be great for the community," Thayne said.
So far, group members are overwhelmingly in favor of the project, Thayne said. She 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. "It's an attempt to make a positive out of a negative."
WTKR NewsChannel 3 contributed to this report.
For more information, call 1-877-636-1408, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, visit dogsdeservebetter.org or mail to DDB, P.O. Box 23, Tipton, PA 16684. You can also search for Dogs Deserve Better on Facebook.Could Michael Vick's old dog fighting home become animal sanctuary?
--Stanley Jablonka, 50, a Standfordville, NY man, decided a dog that belonged to a friend staying with his family was potentially rabid and rather than turn to authorities, he took matters into his own hands shot the dog then decapitated it --
The 3-year-old Great Dane, Humphry, belonged to Tracey Sturgess, his ex-wife’s sister who was staying with Jablonka while he fixed her car so she could be on her way to California. Not only was Humphry up to date on his shots, he was also BLIND and DEAF.
[Note]: Humphry was also CHAINED up in the garage at night where the atrocity took place... and at the time he was shot.
Jablonka’s brother, Michael said the dog was aggressive and was barking at him and had him pinned. When Jablonka was told he decided the dog probably had rabies so he shot him and being the real brainiac figured he had to chop the poor dog’s head off so it could get tested for rabies, even though Tracy had shown him Humphry’s up to date vaccination prior to that.
Sturgess said that Jablonka’s brother woke her up around midnight Sunday and told her there was a problem with her dog. She rushed out only to find a pool of blood but no dog and that was when they told her they had shot Humpgry and cut off his head.
“[Stanley] tried to say that the dog went after his brother,” she said, “but they shot the dog at the end of the chain. He was chained.”
“It’s a horrible act of violence,” Joyce Garrity, executive director of the DCSPCA said. “I’m extremely distressed.”
Even if for some reason the dog was acting aggressive, he was chained. A normal, sane person would have just stayed away from the dog and gotten the owner to deal with the situation, not resort to such a heinous act or they could have called animal control or the police.
Early Sunday morning police arrested and charged Jablonka with a MISDEMEANOR violation of the state’s Agriculture and Markets Law. A MISDEMEANOR! He shot and decapitated a defenseless, disabled dog! What the hell is this world coming to?
http://petloverstips.com/ForTheLoveoftheDog/news-updates/man-decides-disabled-dog-rabid-shoots-and-decapitates-it-video--Stanley Jablonka, 50, a Standfordville, NY man, decided a dog that belonged to a... more