At last, some good news at Bad Newz Kennels.
In 2009, word that the Eagles had signed Michael Vick infuriated animals welfare advocates that the team would bring the nation's most notorious animal abuser to Pennsylvania.
So it seems only fitting that a Pennsylvania group dedicated to helping end dog chaining would win its bid to buy Vick's former dog fighting compound in Virginia and turn into a rehabilitation center for abused dogs.
Tonight Tamira Thayne, founder of Dogs Deserve Better, announced that her group had secured approval for a loan to buy the Surry County property from an investor who bought it arouind the time Vick was charged with federal dog fighting ring - for which he would later serve 18 months in prison - but had been unable to sell it.
With the help of donations large and small Thayne was able to raise one third of the $595,000 selling price for the 15-acre property which includes a 4,600-square-foot house.
"We are ecstatic to get on the ground and start the transformation of this property and the entire community which was brought to its knees by the brutality that occurred. It's a new day; we are sending a message that animal abuse is out of line with what our country's citizens want. Dogs are family members, part of the pack, and we must honor and respect them as such.
Thayne says she plans to build a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center for chained and penned dogs that will be known as DDB Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs. She also plans build a memorial for the unknown number of dogs who cruelly lost their lives on the property - some of them at the hands of the star quarterback who admitted torturing and killing his pit bulls that lost in the fighting ring.
When agents raided the property in 2007 they seized 51 pit bulls - most of whom survive and have found loving homes - and found the bodies of eight dogs who had been killed.
Thayne said her group still has a long haul ahead as itl continue to raise funds to build the rehab center. But she hopes to close on the property deal later this month.
Dogs Deserve Better has advocated for an end to 24/7 dog chaining since its founding nine years ago. Its members have rescued and fostered as many as 400 dogs a year who would have otherwise been relegated to lives on chains.