Kennel owner on Michael Vick’s old property faces charges

Posted at 6:02 PM, Aug 27, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-28 00:21:18-04

SURRY COUNTY, Va. (WTVR)--The owner of Dogs Deserve Better kennel, located on the property once owned by Michael Vick is facing charges.

Late Monday afternoon CBS cameras were rolling as Surry County deputies arrived to serve Tammy Thayne her charges. 

Thayne is charged with animal cruelty and inadequate care of an animal according to Tracy Terry with Surry County Animal Control. The kennel was on Vick's former property, which was sold after his dog fighting charges. 

Thayne was served and then released on her own recognizance. Deputies were inside the home for about twenty minutes and left with several cardboard boxes labeled as evidence. Surry County Animal Control also seized a pitbull during the visit.

Thayne,who resides in the upstairs of her business, invited media cameras to tour her facility but did not wish to meet the media in person or make any comments on her case.

Staff members showed a spacious facility that had clean outdoor and indoor conditions from what could be observed. Staff claimed that the facility is currently housing nine dogs.

Thayne began her business outside Altoona Pennsylvania in 2002. Back then her name was Tammy Grimes. Several years later she would change it to Tammy Ci Thayne.

On her website she explained that in a hybrid of foreign languages the new name meant "Peaceful Dog Warrior".

Some former employees claim the name change came after an incident in 2007 when Thayne was convicted of theft after removing a dog from another person's yard after she claimed it was being abused. The initial complaint indicates that the dog was evaluated by a veterinarian and deemed not to be in need of any treatment, but also cites that Thayne refused to give the dog back until the owners were investigated for animal abuse.

Thayne also made a name for herself by protesting at the Pennsylvania state capitol. In an effort to bolster legislation that would prevent chaining and penning dogs, Thayne chained herself to a dog house on the steps of the Capitol. Her efforts were later documented in a book she published about the time she spent there.

Shannon Allen is a former employee of Dogs Deserve Better. She claimed she left the company after witnessing decisions she didn't agree with, specifically not taking animals to the vet as often as they required.

“I'm really not looking forward to hearing exactly what the charges entailed because my main concern is about the dogs that are still in there," said Allen.

On the Dogs Deserve Better Face book page a comment was posted late Monday afternoon refuting the charges and claiming the efforts were stemming from a small group of people, but the comment was removed several hours later. 

Terry said that  Dogs Deserve Better is under investigation with operating an illegal shelter, but that investigation is being handled with the Va. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).

VDACS said they are investigating the kennel, but can’t comment on the specifics regarding the investigation. They can say a staff veterinarian inspected the kennel last week, but no action was taken.

They said the investigation is ongoing.