*Michael Vick’s home in Surry County, Va is still on the market, but could turn into an animal sanctuary — if a group can raise enough money to buy it.
The nonprofit organization Dogs Deserve Better wants to use Vick’s former house and site of a dog fighting organization as an animal rehab center, according to dailypress.com. The Tipton, Pa.-based group aims to turn the former 15-acre site of Bad Newz Kennels into the Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs.
The group has a 45-day contract on the property, and at the end of those 45 days, they have to raise $595,000 to make the purchase. So far, they have raised more than $50,000. Some of that is coming from donations made online. The group estimates that a full renovation and building of the new dog center will cost $3 million. The house would become an office, fundraising center and a store.
The group has a page set up that allows people to vote on where the center should be located in exchange for a $1 donation on their website and also through Facebook.
Tammy Thayne, the organization’s founder, said her group has been looking for a rehab center for years and the Surry County property is a perfect place to put it.
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 as they have a different plan for those.
“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 invested $50,000 in improvement; the property has been sitting vacant and unsold ever since.
In April 2007, Vick was implicated in an illegal interstate dog fighting ring that had operated over five years. In August 2007, he pleaded guilty to federal felony charges and served 21 months in prison, followed by two months in home confinement.
Vick is currently the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles and was named as the 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year by The Associated Press.