Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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December 6, 2012

Va OKs woman facing cruelty charges to run shelter

SURRY, Va. (AP) — The state is allowing a woman facing animal cruelty charges to run a dog shelter at NFL quarterback Michael Vick's former Surry County dogfighting compound.

Tamira Thayne's organization, Dogs Deserve Better, bought the property in 2011. Thayne was charged in Surry County with animal cruelty in August.

Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services spokeswoman Elaine Lidholm tells The Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/TL0ll3) that the agency gave Thayne permission to operate the shelter following a state veterinarian's inspection last week.

The shelter had operated without a permit since June 2011.

Lidholm says Thayne would be asked to remove herself from the shelter's operation if she's convicted.

Attorney Fred Taylor represents Thayne in the state proceedings but not in the criminal case. He says the shelter's permit and the criminal case are separate issues.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

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