Advocacy Campaign Will Turn Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennel Into Dog Rehab Center
Posted Jun 21, 2012 by Alejandro De La Cruz
Cause leader Tamira Thayne became an advocate for the humane treatment of dogs after learning about a helpless dog chained up his entire life. Once a freelance graphic designer, Tamira became the founder and full-time executive director of Dogs Deserve Better, a nonprofit rescuing and rehabilitating chained dogs. To date, she has educated thousands of people about the tragic effects related to full-time dog chaining, and her cause community has attracted more than 93,000 members. We had a wonderful chat with Tamira this week about that first moment of inspiration, her organization’s greatest successes, and how her large Causes.com membership will turn Michael Vick’s “Bad Newz Kennels” into the next great place for dog rehabilitation.
Tamira remembers her moment of inspiration vividly. “The dog’s name was literally ‘Worthless’ and the name was indicative of the way he was treated. I remember going to the owner and asking if I could have him.” The owner of the dog gave him up and Tamira gave the dog a new home and a new life. Unfortunately, “Worthless” — later renamed as Bo by Tamira’s son — passed away six months later from heart failure. “I was happy he got to know love and he got to know what it was like to live inside.”
Tamira told us the 93,000 cause members propelled her advocacy campaign to reach a greater network of people, ultimately enhancing awareness about her organization. “For us to have 93K is huge. Our email list only has 10,000 members, so we have 80,000 more that know about educational information. It’s great because [these members] know they have a place to go to for information, or they have backup for chained dogs in their community.”
Bo’s legacy continues to have great impact. Last year, Tamira and her organization purchased Bad Newz Kennel, the former housing unit for all of Michael Vick’s fighting dogs. “Our goal there is to build the facility for the dogs. It’s a big endeavor, but it’s what keeps me excited. We can help so many more dogs with this facility and we’ll get them all into new homes with new families.” Tamira has saved more than 3,000 animals and doesn’t plan on slowing down.
Currently, there are four states with laws on the books pertaining to the limit a dog can be chained up. Tamira hopes more states will jump on board and help protect the livelihood of these pets. “Dogs are following me 24/7 when I rescue them because they are people-oriented. They want to be with people. When you see that over and over, you can’t help but realize how horrible their life must be at the end of that chain. Caring about pets: they open your heart. They open us up and we allow ourselves to be free to love them.” We think Bo would be really proud.