SURRY, Va. (WAVY) - The owner and founder of a group that bought Michael Vick's former Surry County home in an effort to care for rescued dogs has been served an animal cruelty warrant.
According to Tracy Terry, Chief Animal Control officer for Surry County, Tamira Thayne was wanted for animal cruelty and inadequate care of animals charges. Animal Control has received numerous complaints about the property, but could not go into detail about the complaints.
Thayne founded and owns Dogs Deserve Better, a group seeking approval to be a shelter or rescue in the state of Virginia. Terry told WAVY.com representatives from Virginia visited the property in January and told Thayne Dogs Deserve Better would not be approved until some issues were rectified.
Terry told WAVY.com Thayne has been operating an illegal shelter as long as she has been in the state of Virginia.
When Animal Control began to receive the complaints, Terry said officers and officials from Virginia's Office of Veterinary Services visited the home and property.
Thayne told WAVY.com in 2011 the group planned to renovate the property and make it a state of the art facility for hundreds of dogs who were either chained or penned.
"The dogs aren't just put in a kennel," Dogs Deserve Better employee Corrine Linscott said. "We love them, we feed them, we play with them and we train them."
Linscott told WAVY.com she was surprised to hear of the charges.
"The dogs aren't being abused," Linscott added. "There is no dog here that is being abused."
Thayne allowed WAVY.com to observe the dogs Monday afternoon and where they are kept. Thayne remained out of view for WAVY.com's visit, during which one dog was taken away. Terry would not say why.
"By the end of the week you all will find out," Terry said.
Officers left the eight other dogs at the shelter. Thayne is scheduled to appear in court in September.
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