Tamira Ci Thayne, dog rights activist, and Founder of Dogs Deserve Better, is on a hunger strike which started May 7 to fight abuse of power in Surry County, VA. She has worked tirelessly for over 11 years to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome chained dogs, and to pass anti-tethering legislation. Tamira was recently accused of animal cruelty.
She was reported by what turned out to be a disgruntled ex-employee who was caught adding funds to her paycheck by the organization, and was being investigated by the VA state police for her actions.
The employee worked with Gerald Poindexter, Commonwealth Attorney—the very same Commonwealth Attorney who made headlines when he dismissed a case against admitted dogfighter Benny Butts in 1999, returning all 33 malnourished dogs to him; and then again dropped all animal cruelty charges against Michael Vick in 2008, despite an admission of guilt and nine dead dogs dug out of the ground.
This same Commonwealth Attorney was all too eager to charge Tamira Thayne with cruelty when she had done nothing wrong. Why? Because Tamira and her organization had the courage to buy Michael Vick's Bad Newz Kennels in 2011 and are turning it into a rescue home for chained dogs.
Animal control seized one of the rescue dogs, Jada, a pit bull, but the judge promptly ordered her returned ten days later, proclaiming her 'healthy' and said 'he saw a very clear lack of evidence of cruelty.' Tamira appeared twice in court, and both times, the so called "witnesses" did not show. The case was eventually withdrawn for lack of evidence, but Surry County and Gerald Poindexter continue to threaten Tamira with refiling the charges to this day.
The ex-employee in question however, has NOT been charged despite Dogs Deserve Better filing the proper charges, and even presenting substantial, concrete evidence against the perpetrator. Tamira has contacted Commonwealth District Attorney, Gerald Poindexter several times to pursue the charges against former employee to no avail. Charges have been sitting on Poindexter's desk since October of 2012.
As of May 7, 2013, after hearing that Surry County intends to refile the charges against her in order to further harass her and curtail donations to her organization, Tamira has begun a hunger strike on the Surry County, VA courthouse steps until the charges against her are permanently dropped and the charges against the employee are put forward.
The worst thing that can happen to an animal activist is to be accused of cruelty. Tamira faced a slew of judgment, harrasment and persecution, but she stood tall in court, knowing she was completely innocent, and faced the (lack of) evidence against her. Her accusers never showed but Tamira is STILL being put through the ringer. The accusations alone have defamed Dogs Deserve Better and Tamira; causing the organization to lose critical funding, resources, and personnel. The souls who pay the highest price for this injustice—are the dogs!
This ordeal needs to be put to rest. Tamira Thayne and Dogs Deserve Better deserve JUSTICE. Thayne will end her hunger strike only when justice has prevailed. All charges against Tamira should be dropped permanently AND charges against the former DDB employee, for felony embezzlement and making false statements to a police officer must be enforced. Poindexter is an officer of the state, if he refuses to serve the state, he should be asked to resign!