WTKR NewsChannel 3
SURRY For members of the rescue group Dogs Deserve Better, moving into the Bad Newz Kennels property was supposed to signify a new beginning. We were there in June when they started settling in. "We thought it would be a great fit because the whole idea of turning something negative into something positive, it's very powerful," Tamira Thayne.
But three months after their relocation from Pennsylvania, former volunteers and employees are calling into question the non-profit's central mission and possible misappropriation of funds. The latest defection from Dogs Deserve Better, Shannon Allen, the group's former national rescue coordinator. "I don't agree, a lot of people don't agree with the rehab center, amount of money being spent there," says Allen. Allen says there is very little oversight on the organization's founder, Tamira Thayne. The former employee says money from past fundraising has gone missing, unaccounted for. Meanwhile, the organization put limits how many dogs they can take in at a time, and screens their picks based on behavior. "The point of a rehab center is to help dogs that don't get along with other dogs and other people," says Allen. Volunteers say Tamira's reasoning for not taking in critical care dogs is that the vet bills were too expensive. Meanwhile, they allege Tamira was fundraising for a new carport for the mansion. "These were dogs in dire straits that were in very bad condition, needed lots of medical and emotional care," says Allen. And she isn't the only one losing confidence in the organization. Allen says before their move to Virginia, Dogs Deserve Better had over 150 rescue representatives all over the country. Now there is less than 25 still affiliated with the organization. "A lot of people left because when we bought this fenced center, we were told to stop rescuing, that we couldn't afford it anymore," she says. We went to the infamous mansion in Surry to confront Tamira, but no answer. And answers are exactly what these former volunteers are searching for.