A dog activist buys Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound. What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out…everything.
The house sat empty, an eerie white sentinel against the flat winter landscape, now guarding only whispers of the past. A six-foot white metal fence with coded entry gate lined the country road, abandoning its purpose at the property line and allowing passage to all with the temerity and curiosity to walk around. The bullet hole in the front window went unnoticed.
Tamira Thayne was alone, parked across the street, and early for her appointment with the Hampton Roads, Virginia realtor. Today was the day she’d tour Michael Vick’s former dogfighting compound, something she’d never imagined nor particularly wanted to do. It seemed pretty creepy, truth be told. Tamira felt the whispers surround her, reaching out. The rescuer in her wanted to rescue the ghosts, too; embrace the broken dogs who lay undiscovered and probably buried on the property, assure them they weren’t forgotten. She shuddered, pulling herself together.
The decision Tamira would make that fateful day in February 2011 would lead not only to a home for her nonprofit’s rescue dogs, but also to the most turbulent four years of her life: She faced down allegations of racism, community harassment, poisoning, and, ultimately, false charges aimed at driving her and Dogs Deserve Better from the county. There was a reason Michael Vick felt he could get away with dogfighting in Surry County, Virginia – and why he got away with it for as long as he did…