Activist whose rescue group bought former Vick property faces cruelty charges


Former Pennsylvania anti-chaining activist Tamira Thayne, whose group purchased Michael Vick's compound in southern Virginia for a rehab center for rescue dogs, is now herself the subject of a cruelty investigation

Thayne, formely of Blair County, Pa., said the Surry County Animal Control officers seized a pit bull in her care after complaints about her facility.

Surry County Chief Animal Control Officer Tracy Terry told the Associated Press her office received complaints that led to an investigation, and the results prompted her to file the charges Friday. She declined to say specifically what led to the charges, but said Thayne should not be surprised.

They also said Thayne was operating her kennel without proper permits.

A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 25.

Thayne said she was "distraught" over the allegations and invited the public to visit her facility where she said nine dogs lived under the supervision of three caretakers.

"All I can say is that they are bogus charges," Thayne said in an email. "Our dogs are beautiful and healthy and loved."

The pitbull, Jada, that was removed on Monday, is now being housed in the same animal control facility that housed - and mysteriously lost noted Thayne - one of dozens of fighting dogs once chained to tire axles at the 15-acre Vick compound.

Thayne said Jada was in fine health and posted photos, including the one above taken shortly before Jada was taken away, on her Facebook page.

Thayne, who in 2010 spent 54 days chained to a dog house on the steps of the Capitol in Harrisburg in an unsuccessful effort to win passage of a bill banning round-the-clock chaining,  points out that Vick was never charged with animal cruelty by the same animal control office, although he would later admit to torturing and killing animals that did not perform.

Vick, now the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, spent 18 months in federal prison on federal charges stemming from his role in running an interstate dog fighting ring.

He ran the ring from his five-bedroom home and 15-acre property in a rural county northwest of Norfolk. Thayne's organization bought the former Bad Newz Kennels  last year and renamed it Good Newz Rehab Center to help chained and penned dogs.