An animal rights group has bought NFL quarterback Michael Vick's former dogfighting compound in Virginia, and plans to turn the property into a rehab center for abused animals. Here, a guide to the turnabout:
What is this compound?
It's the place in Surry County, Va., where Vick ran his Bad Newz Kennels, the dogfighting operation that caused his downfall as a star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. The 4,600-square-foot house "has four and a half bathrooms, two fireplaces, cathedral ceilings, walk-in closets and an attached, two-car garage," according to Brock Vergakis of the Associated Press.
What happened to the property after the Vick scandal?
Vick sold it "to a developer who had difficulty unloading it following Vick's conviction," says Vergakis.
And who owns it now?
Dogs Deserve Better of Tipton, Pa., bought the place for about $600,000. And "how's this for the ultimate in karma?" says Sarah Firshein at Curbed: The group plans to build a $2.5 million facility called the Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs. But this "transformation from dog hell to dog heaven isn’t just a symbolic victory: The group needs a facility for rescued dogs," says Maria Goodavage at Dogster. "We are, in essence, giving this property back to the dogs that were abused there by using it to help other dogs just like them," says Tamira Thayne, the group's founder, as quoted by the Associated Press.
And what about Vick?
Dogs Deserve Better has reportedly had no contact with Vick, once again a star quarterback, but now for the Philadelphia Eagles. The group still needs to raise more funds though, and "the obvious solution here" would be for the quarterback "to put the rest of the money down for the new facility," says Doug Farrar at Yahoo! Sports. "Would there be a better way for Vick to bring a bit of closure to the worst part of his life than by paying it forward, and helping to turn what was a place filled with pain into something useful and important for the future?"