Vick says he supports plans to transform Bad Newz Kennels

Altoona-based nonprofit Dogs Deserve Better got an unexpected vote of support for its plans to turn the site of Michael Vick's dog-fighting operation in rural Virginia into a sanctuary for abused animals.

Michael Vick himself.

Vick told the Washington Post through a spokesperson that he believed it would be "positive and beneficial for a rescue group to purchase the property and create an animal sanctuary."

Dogs Deserve Better founder Tamira Thayne and her group's Virginia members have been negotiating with the property owner and a realtor to purchase the property, once known as Bad Newz Kennels. They want to transform it into Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs, a haven for abused dogs, who have spent their lives on the end of chains.

Thayne said a deadline looms Monday for the group to raise 30 percent of the property's asking price: $595,000. So far they have raised $120,000.

Thayne said while there are challenges ahead, she is positive about working out an arrangement with the owner who she said was impressed at how much had been raised. Of course there are neighbors to deal with too, most of them hunters who keep hunting dogs (on chains?) who are opposing the center.

Vick, who admitted to torturing and killing dogs on his Surry County property and went to jail forhis role in orchestrating the dog fighting ring, is now the star quarterback for the Philaelphia Eagles, When asked whether he'd kicked in a contribution for the center, Thayne chuckled and said, 'Not yet, but even $25 would help."

(Photo: Washington Post)