I Gave Hundreds of Tours through Michael Vick’s Dogfighting Sheds. He Deserves No Pro Bowl Honor.

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The property as I saw it on February 1, 2011

My nonprofit organization bought Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound in Surry County, Virginia, and transformed it to a rescue facility for formerly chained dogs. As such, I walked the grounds where his dogs were chained, fought, and died for four years.

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One of Vick’s footballs, abandoned in the weeds.

The black sheds where his dogs trained and ultimately lost their lives still stand today, serving as a stark and brutal reminder of the world of dogfighting.

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Our dog Sloan the day we bought the property.

What I remember about my first experience with the house and grounds of 1915 Moonlight Road was a stillness, a loneliness, an oppressive feel; yet underneath there was a yearning for more—a wish to be seen, to be heard. Did the land, the souls who remained on the property seek redemption for the blood spilled in their name? Perhaps.

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The sheds in 2013

I couldn’t shake the feeling of wanting to protect the ground and all those lying therein, a similar desire to what one might experience when visiting battlefields or other sites of tragedy—a wish to somehow “fix” the horrors of the past.

To me, the grounds and buildings there were never evil, but instead almost hallowed by the pain they’d been forced to witness. They were victims of the evils of man in a way similar to the dogs who suffered so greatly within them.

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Almost everyone who came to visit asked to tour those sheds, and during my four years I would lead hundreds of people through them, highlighting how each had been used in the dogfighting operation.

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Car axles dogs were chained to in the clearings.

I’ve cried and I’ve watched others cry, as they were so touched by the plight of the fighting dog and so moved by what occurred there that their emotions overtook them. Not a single person who went in there came out unaffected. That is the power of those sheds.

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Rusty chains left hanging in the sheds.

Dog lovers felt a need to see where the crimes were committed, to understand the depths of the depravity involved in dogfighting. Most left with a strengthened resolve to put an end to this horrific abuse of our “best friends”.

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Board where the carpet mill was placed to train the dogs. BNK stood for Badd Newz Kennels.

The buildings appeared hastily and poorly erected, especially compared to the pristine white house decorously built at the front of the property. Three of the four sheds had spray-painted black interiors, too—even down to the windows—to keep anyone from seeing inside.

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DDB employee giving a tour of the dark shed.

The far right shed consisted of darkened kennels for the injured and mothers with pups. This shed gave off a pervasively eerie feel, the walls scraped with claw marks by dogs desperate to escape.

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Old collar and ESPN mug in fight shed.

Finally, there was the two-story fight shed, closest to the house. There were still odds and ends left in this shed, almost like it had frozen in time. Anything that the feds hadn’t considered as evidence for their case against Vick and his buddies still remained as it was four years earlier. This included an ESPN mug, old collars, lots of rusty chains, some cement dog bowls, and, creepiest of all, a puppy calendar from 2007.

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Old jackets draped over camp chairs in the fight room.

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Old stereo on the floor of the fight room.

Upstairs, where the dog fights actually occurred, was like stepping into a time warp. There were two old sweat jackets tossed over camp chairs, an old stereo and speakers, cut out squares in the floor from where the feds tested the wood for blood, and old tan carpet remnants.

The windows were painted black, and dog scratches etched the walls.

If there is indeed a hell, I hope that this is one of the rooms dogfighters end up in, forced to fight for their lives day in and day out.

The man who had these sheds built, who planned and financed an elaborate dogfighting operation, who served not a single day in jail for the crime of animal cruelty, was none other than the man the Pro Bowl now seeks to honor with a captainship today: Michael Vick.

“Yeah fine. I killed the dogs. I hung them. I slammed them. I killed all of them. I lost f@*king millions, all over some f@*king dogs.”—Michael Vick, October 12, 2007, after failing his polygraph.

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We transformed it to a beautiful home for our rescue dogs.

The argument has been made that Vick served his time and he deserves our forgiveness. That he’s shown remorse.

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The axle the carpet mill was attached to. It was taken for evidence.

I would argue that the remaining physical evidence of his crimes instead shows a man determined to commit atrocities against our best friends, to use them in a way most heinous and slaughter those who failed him—and the only reason he stopped was because he got caught.

While even murderers may be worthy of God’s forgiveness, that doesn’t mean that they should be upheld and honored by man.

If Vick’s crimes against the voiceless aren’t enough for a lifetime of dishonor, what would be enough?

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Tamira Thayne,  chained in front of the PA state Capitol, advocating for a law.

Take Action: Have you signed any of the petitions yet?
If not,
please click here and start signing. Thank you!

—Tamira Thayne is the founder and former CEO of Dogs Deserve Better, and the author of the newly-released: “It Went to the Dogs: How Michael Vick’s Dogfighting Compound Became a Haven for Rescue Pups”, now available from Who Chains You Books.

Some photos here courtesy of photographer Rita Thomas.

34 thoughts on “I Gave Hundreds of Tours through Michael Vick’s Dogfighting Sheds. He Deserves No Pro Bowl Honor.

  1. Let’s chain him up. Jail or no jail he is an evil person and doesn’t deserve to be out doing life. He needs to be in jail now and put in the hole forever. Hs is not sorry he just got caught. Let him rot in one od those chambers if his. I have no feelings for him. He deserves to be felon like the law our President Mr Trump signed into order this past week.

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    • Agree 💯 This Evil SubHuman Garbage doesnt deserve to be breathing oxygen I pray God Wrath upon Him POS miserable soulless soul 🤬 Rest In Peace precious Furbabies no more pain 💔🐾🌈

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes he’s guilty, but all the other people that where there too are as guilty for watching…Everyone needs to think of that and do we know who all of the men and women that were watching all those years…Probably not!!!
      I think they need to Tear down those buildings PERIOD!!!!

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      • Why? That would make Vick VERY happy…if the last remaining evidence of his cruelty was gone forever. Those sheds are much more effective with people getting to SEE what went on there for themselves. There’s nothing more powerful. I challenge you to go see them for yourself.

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      • While living in Germany, I visited a concentration camp where the Nazis killed thousands and thousands of people. Thank God these buildings are still standing as a remembrance of the horrors man can inflict on others. Michael Vick’s buildings are standing as a reminder…we cannot let anyone forget what this horrible man and others did to these defenseless, voiceless souls. I’m so grateful that Tamira had the forethought to make Vick’s property of horrors a place of healing and compassion! What a great tribute to all of the dogs that gave their lives so this subhuman could profit off of their suffering! Thank you, Tamira!

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  2. Justice for those forgotten who died by the hands of Michael Vicks. He deserves to be punished for what
    he did to those precious dogs. He is a monster full of evil. An should not be able to roam tjis earth.

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  3. I went to visit and went on one of the tours. I couldn’t make it through the tour. My heart couldn’t take it. No one should ever bury what he did; like the way the dogs were buried. Everyone should always be reminded of what this evil monster did. To have never served ONE DAY in prison for even ONE dog that he tortured or killed is an atrocity.
    Those of us that have canine rescues fight daily for the precious lives of our canine friends and we will NEVER FORGET

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s disgusting how the NFL refuses to acknowledge what this monster did…and is still very capable of doing again if he could get away with it! If they continue down this path of denial, I hope they lose billions of dollars and fans!!!

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    • I so agree he only got changed with the gambling portion nothing more I would not allow him around my kids let alone a Dog
      He is a vile person and should be remembered as such not someone that NFL honor there is nothing honorable about him and if NFL let this go forward they are just as guilty and hope they lose billions

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  5. We all know his a piece of shit but the NFL is not human it’s a machine hell bent on making profit just like him.
    You notice I didn’t mention his name because he is not worthy of that honor coming from my mouth.

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  6. Nothing makes me more angry or sick to my stomach as the thoughts of what those poor dogs had
    to endure. There is no excuse for anyone treating an animal that way. People that will be a part of that
    horrible act are less than human; if money is that important to you then there is a special place in Hell for you and your money !

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  7. “Yeah fine. I killed the dogs. I hung them. I slammed them. I killed all of them. I lost f@*king millions, all over some f@*king dogs.”—Michael Vick, October 12, 2007, after failing his polygraph.

    I am looking for proof that he said this. I posted it and my friends started blocking me, saying I was posting lies. Is there a video? Was this in a newspaper? I worked with the Vicktory dogs at BFAS and have a rescue shelter. I know how evil this is. Thank you for the follow up.

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  8. I find it hard to believe that someone could be so evil! I have never been a football fan and don’t know the particulars of Michael Vick, but thank you for not worshiping him as in the past. He will get his from the man above and trust me, he deserves the worst! Don’t know how he can sleep!

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  9. He did it he tried to wiggle out of it his lawyers were paid very well to wiggle him out of it but he did it .. He lied he did it. He served time for racketeering under the Rico .. He sets badd examples very badd and I cannot believe the NFL condones.his behavior by giving him an honor no he does not deserve it maybe the NFL needs a tour….. Just because he can throw run and catch a football. If he was never caught he would still be funding the program

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  10. He’s only sorry he got caught, such cruelty by a human is unthinkable, yet it happened. Those poor dogs omg, no living thing should ever have to endure what those dogs did.
    Why is he being honored by the NFL? His heart is cold and no amount of rehab can give you a heart. It’s not in the past and we will never forget what he did to those dogs.
    They only wanted love, but instead learned what true evil is.
    No to Vick!

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  11. What has this world come to when you can honor someone that’s so demonically charged that he would commit these atrocities? The only sorrow he feels is that he got caught. There have always been laws against this type of abuse the problem is the courts that refused to enforce it. He should still be in prison for what he did.

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  12. I researched the quote also, as I never want to post anything that is incorrect and take away my credibility as presenting facts. If you post something untrue, those you are attempting to educate will consider you a “crazy dog person spewing falsehoods” You lose the opportunity to enlighten them to the facts that the media has failed to share. The media has presented half the story just as state prosecutors let him walk instead of him serving 10 years in prison. They both let him off the hook. That’s the story the media should have told, along with questioning Vick straight ahead about the brutality and killing of living beings instead of questions about him redeeming himself. Ask the SOB how it felt to beat, choke and drain the life out of a living being with your own two hands.

    I found this on Snopes.com

    This quote comes from a 2009 book published by Kathy Strouse, a lead investigator with the Virginia Animal Control Association who helped uncover Vick’s dogfighting ring, entitled “Badd Newz: The Untold Story of the Michael Vick Dog Fighting Case.”

    Strouse would certainly be a person with firsthand knowledge of the going-ons in Vick’s case, and we don’t have reason to doubt her credibility. However, it appears that this book is the sole source for this quote and we have thus far been unable to reach Strouse to ask whether she witnessed Vick saying it firsthand or learned of it from a secondary source.

    In 2007 the New York Times reported this:
    Billy Martin, Vick’s lead lawyer, asked for leniency in the sentencing.

    Martin said that Vick admitted to an investigator that he killed dogs only as a means to end a frustrating five-hour session of questioning.

    “I did it all. I did everything. If you need me to say more, I’ll say more,” Martin said Vick told an investigator.

    The man does not deserve to be honored, he lost all respect the minute he admitted to killing dogs for sport. Dogfighting is not a sport, it’s gruesome use of dogs for entertainment. For people who claim it as part of their culture need to realize its the underbelly of your culture and nothing to be proud of and should be removed. Violence is not acceptable in any civilized culture.

    Time and time again Vick has found himself in trouble whether being sued for passing an STD to a sexual partner, to drug charges, to whatever else he has been caught doing; he says “sorry” and claiming to change his ways, doesn’t absolve him from the crimes. True redemption would be not focusing on building your clothing brand, remaining involved in NFL, growing business ventures. It would be 24/7/365 days of non-profit work to truly bring about change in the welfare of animals and giving of oneself, not because the court ordered it; but because you are truly repentant.

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  13. I signed the petition. I agree when someone commits a crime even though repentant now, they loose their rights and especially to be honored. But one thing on here that is a misconception. He did serve jail time for doin this. Not enough in my eyes though..

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  14. And he still would be doing it if he hadn’t got caught. Anybody that does what he did believes in slavery. Chained, made to fight, and held prisnoner. He should receive the same treatment and then ask him was he right for doing it. He thought he was above the law and definitely an EVIL person. Has no right to walk around, he should be in prison before he does it again.

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  15. I’m mortified this coward is still allowed to play football and not in prison, where he should be!!! Our laws need to be changed pertaining to animal abusers!!!!

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  16. “Yeah fine. I killed the dogs. I hung them. I slammed them. I killed all of them. I lost f@*king millions, all over some f@*king dogs.”—Michael Vick, October 12, 2007, after failing his polygraph.

    Tamira,
    Can you elaborate on “finding this quote in the book Bad Newz” and “assuming” it is accurate? If this quote is accurate, it would be in the court records (as you indicate he made this statement after failing a polygraph). I believe that is quite a game-changing statement to many. Hence, if you are directly quoting Vick, its accuracy and validity should be 110% fact-checked.
    Thanks for the clarity!

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    • I have no idea if it’s in a court record. I can say it’s definitely in the book. I don’t have the book on me this second since I’m out of town, but it’s in there. And the author was heavily involved in the case, so I have no reason to doubt the accuracy.

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  17. He will not change He will only make sure he doesn’t get caught again
    Like pedophils they can’t be rehabilitated
    He needs to be in prison just like for killing a human
    Oh wait that doesn’t happen all the time either

    Like

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