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About DDB



Our Mission

Dogs Deserve Better is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to freeing the chained or penned dog and bringing our best friend into the home and family. The mission of Dogs Deserve Better, Inc., is to provide a better life for abused, neglected and abandoned canines; especially those which are chained or penned without human companionship. We strive to accomplish this through advocating for humane legislation; promoting spay and neuter; educating communities on animal welfare; and rescuing and rehabilitating distressed canines.. The Center in Smithfield, Virginia serves as our headquarters and is the temporary home of 20+ dogs who have been rescued from a life of despair. We take them in, provide shelter, care for all their medical needs, and provide training and socialization to allow them to be the companion dog they have always wanted to be. When they are ready, we place them up for adoption with loving families.

We have an all volunteer Board of Directors, committed to saving dogs from a life of abuse and neglect, every single day.

Charlene Boyajian, President

Gilda Solomon, Vice President

Carol Attia, DVM, Treasurer

Kari Kolar, Commonwealth Attorney, Member

Tracy Carr, Secretary

Candace Edwards, Member

Denise Cohn, Member

Our Principles

We strive to advocate and become a voice for dogs living chained or penned outside and for those who have suffered from neglect or abuse.

We work hard to educate society to evolve to higher ethical and moral standards for the treatment of dogs living under these conditions.

Often we will meet with caretakers of dogs chained outside to advocate on behalf of the dogs and discuss other options available to them. We work with families to help them provide a better life for their dog and their family. When available, we provide fencing grants to those willing to bring their dogs inside but lack the means to put up a fence so their dog is safe within their yard while spending appropriate amounts of time outside.

When available, we also provide Hero Grants to assist individuals and non-profit rescues with the cost of routine vet care (exam and vaccines) for formerly penned or chained dogs, as well as spay/neuter, up to $300.00. To date, Dogs Deserve Better has awarded over $70,000 in Hero Grants. Join us in the effort and donate to the Hero Fund.

Our Story

Dogs Deserve Better, a national and award-winning nonprofit organization, is a voice for chained and penned, abused and neglected dogs. We rescue dogs of all breeds, all ages, all medical issues, and provide the love, medical care, socialization and training they need to be happy, healthy and loving companions. 

Dogs Deserve Better started in 2002 when the very first dog was removed from a chain by founder Tamira Thayne. Since that time we have grown leaps and bounds, strengthened our mission, rescued more dogs from a life living solely outside, on a chain or in a pen, and expanded to help dogs on a national level. Every year we work to grow and help more dogs, and thanks to supporters like you, we continue to expand reaching more families and rescues who need our help.

In 2011 Dogs Deserve Better was able to purchase our current headquarters in Smithfield, Virginia. The property was once the home of the Bad Newz Kennels, the dog fighting compound owned by Michael Vick. Thanks to an out pouring of support from supporters and donors, we were able to purchase the property and transform it into the Good Newz Rehabilitation Center for abused and neglected canines. Ever year we are able to assist more dogs in need and in 2015 we were able to significant changes to the living space. The area, which comfortably housed 12 dogs, now supports 20 dogs, and even more when puppies arrive.

In addition to our center in Smithfield we have volunteers all across the country working to free dogs from life on a chain or living outside. Our National Rescue Coordinator helps individuals and rescues every day. Our Nashville and Northern Virginia locations also serve as adoption centers, fence builders, and advocates for our mission. It takes a village to be successful and show positive results - the DDB Village is growing in numbers and determination. Join us and help us continue to grow!

We believe dogs should not have to live chained or penned as prisoners, yearning for a place in a family, craving acknowledgement, respect, and love. They deserve better and we, as caretakers, have the obligation to provide a good life for them. All they want is a chance to be the companion animal they were meant to be. They are pack animals and family is their pack. With your help, we can help even more dogs.

Please consider today how you can help the dogs in your neighborhood. If you routinely see a chained dog or a penned, it is time to take action. Please join Dogs Deserve Better today in taking a stand against this mistreatment of dogs.

Please visit our volunteer page for more information on how you can help. We are always in need of volunteers and fosters to help us provide loving homes for dogs who have yet to have the opportunity to live as a happy, healthy, loved dog.

Please consider supporting Dogs Deserve Better. Dogs survive and now thrive because of donations.  Thank you.

Don't forget; you can take action today by speaking up on behalf of mistreated dogs!

If you are not comfortable approaching caretakers of chained dogs or penned dogs, use our door hangers or submit our form with the names and addresses of the caretakers and we will send information in the mail. You will remain anonymous. Use our Chained or Penned Dog Help form.

If you are here because you currently keep your dog chained or penned, we applaud your efforts to give him/her a better life! You've come to the right place. Browse the articles section for tips on housetraining and fencing. If you need help, contact us at info@dogsdeservebetter.org. We would be happy to help you!

Start changing the way you and your community think about the chaining and penning of dogs today. Join Dogs Deserve Better to take a stand and make life right for dogs everywhere! NO CHAINS! Anything you can do, even sharing an hour a week can help! Use our Volunteer form. 

This was Misty's life before Dogs Deserve Better

This was Misty's life
before Dogs Deserve Better

No dog should live like this.

No dog should live like this.

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