SMITHFIELD, Va., Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A woman running a kennel in the former Virginia home where Michael Vick held dogfights has gotten the commonwealth's OK despite cruelty charges against her.
Tamira Thayne, founder of the group Dogs Deserve Better, purchased the NFL quarterback's former Smithfield, Va., home in June 2011, announcing plans to convert it into a rescue shelter, retraining and adoption center for abused dogs. Virginia agriculture officials said Thayne never obtained the proper license to operate a kennel at the facility, though she applied for and was granted one Wednesday after a veterinarian inspected the facility last week, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot said.
Local law enforcement, though, doesn't agree. A Surry County sheriff's investigation undertaken after tips that 10 dogs at the facility weren't being cared for properly resulted in charges of animal cruelty and failure to properly care for an animal being filed against Thayne.
She denied the charges and her lawyer told the paper she would ultimately be found not guilty.
Vick, who played for the Atlanta Falcons, was convicted of running a dogfighting ring and served 18 months in federal prison. He now plays for the Philadelphia Eagles.