Tag Archives: homeless dogs

This holiday season, my love for animals shines bright!

Go, wonderful Dorrie, go!!!

By Dorrie Maynard

People are always asking me how and
when it – my love for animals – began. I can’t remember a specific time or event that contributed to my passion, but I do know that it has awakened something inside of me.

If I see a dead animal in the street like a squirrel or raccoon, I alway say out loud: “Poor baby, rest in peace.” I feel like they should know that someone cares that they died.

I have been saving strays for a very long time. I think it started when I was little and would find cats that were sickly and abandoned. My dad hated cats and would always tell me that I couldn’t keep them. But he would take one look at them and say, Oh that thing will be dead in a day or two – you can keep it.

Low and behold, it didn’t die!

As an adult, my first dog came from the
Grafton Flea market. I called her Grafton. Unfortunately, when I got divorced from my husband he decided to keep her because I was moving into
an apartment that didn’t allow dogs. Eventually, my ex found her a good home with kids when he moved to Florida. I was heart broken that she wasn’t staying with him, but by that time I had moved to Maine and had to let her go.

I am still rescuing stray and feral cats! For one reason or another, they always manage to find their way to me! For instance, one morning I got up and there was a beautiful cat in a cat carrier left in my driveway. I think word got around that I was feeding strays and someone knew I would do the right thing by this cat. I would
have loved to keep the feline but I know my limits. I found the a great home through networking.

The Internet and Facebook have become a great resource for animal lovers and rescuers: there are many sites and groups that help you find homes for homeless animals. There are many, many people who are involved! I find it heartwarming that so many people care and go above and beyond to help animals and place them in forever homes!

Penny at Dorrie and friends’ Spa Day for pups! She got a bath! photo by Dorrie Maynard

We have to be their voices and their earth angels, as it usually isn’t their fault that they are being re-homed. I live in a college neighborhood, and I believe students get cute little kittens and then when they start to grow or go into heat or their landlord finds out, they just let them go in the neighborhood to fend for themselves.

Last year I met one of my “rescues” because his owners got a new kitten
and this cat, named Buddy, didn’t like the kitten. So he started spending more time outside and eventually warmed up to me. He was sleeping on my porch one
day when the owner walked by and rang the bell.

He said Buddy was his cat.

I said great, feel free to take him
home because it is going to start to get cold. Well, Buddy never went home and made his way into my house for the winter. He had his own suite – I would let him roam when I was home but he never warmed up to my cats. So I eventually put him in rescue. He has
found a perfect home of his own with no
other cats.

This year’s project is a beautiful black
cat with a white tuxedo and paws. He always ran away when I approached him, but I started feeding him canned food every time I saw him. Now I can pet him and he talks to me all the time! I thought he was feral, but now I believe he either belongs to someone who doesn’t feed him canned food, and he comes to see me daily for his “meal” – or he lives outside.

I worry about him come the freezing cold nights …

I will get Mr. Tuxedo fixed and vetted through Spay Worcester and put him into rescue. He deserves a home of his own as well. I have several insulated cat houses throughout the neighborhood but not sure he would use one.

My neighbor and I have a feeding station where there are two set ups of dry food and water for the neighborhood strays, as there are several that come to eat on a regular basis.

I volunteer with Spay Worcester, trapping and then having the feral cats spayed or neutered by a vet. I have met some wonderful people who have become interested in saving strays through this
great program. Recently, I met a woman and helped her trap two kittens that are now living in the lap of luxury in her home! She has become obsessed with kitties, and I consider her a member of
the crazy kit kat lady club! I guess we are all kindred souls when it comes to saving animals.

Cece in her play-room! “Auntie Dorrie” gave Cece kitten food and three fun kitty toys! Another Auntie gave Cece a bed, a bunch of adorable kitten toys and cozy blankets! We are all in this – rescuing and caring for homeless animals – together! pic:R.T.

With the holidays upon us, please keep in mind that homeless animals are in need at local shelters and rescues. “Fostering” them is a way that you can keep an animal out of the shelter and provide a space for them in your loving home until they find their forever home. It is also a great way to decide if the baby could possibly be the pet for you and your family.

And please remember that shelters and rescues are always in need of pet food, litter, gently used towels and blankets in clean condition, or in kind donations.

Worcester Animal Rescue League

Central Mass Kibble Kitchen

Buddy Dog

Big Hair Rescue

New England All Breed, just to name a few!

I can be contacted at djmbytheelm@aol.com if anyone would like further information!

Happy Holidays to all and to all the fur babies out there!

A friend at the Worcester Animal Rescue League …

… says Lilac may have some collie in her because she has “a soft look … ” Perfect!

Morning, lil’ girl! Lilac – 9/25

The Worcester Animal Rescue League on Holden Street in Worcester has wonderful pups in need of loving homes!

CLICK HERE, to see them and learn more!

Adopt your next best buddy from WARL!      –  Rosalie Tirella

P.S. … a slight period of adjustment for April!


Sun and fun at Barton Brook Kennel! The City of Worcester’s stray and homeless dogs are now brought to this Leicester facility where good country livin’ (and lovin’) make them super-adoptable!

By Rosalie Tirella

Ripples just loves to swim! Every afternoon this once emaciated pitbull removed from a Worcester drughouse takes her “dip” in Barton Brook, the namesake of Barton Brook Kennels in Leicester.

“She goes for dives!” says Barton Brook owner/director Pat Dykas, laughing. Dykas says many of the pitbulls that are picked up by City of Worcester Dog Officers and brought to Barton Brook are so out of shape and underfed that at first they can’t handle living in the country – can only “swim” in Barton Brook for “five seconds.”

“Their health is compromised,” Dykas says.

But then it only takes a few weeks of good meals, a safe place to sleep and lots of farmland in which to roll, run and walk and Worcester’s homeless dogs rebound – big time. Under Pat and her family’s loving guidance Worcester’s pitbulls, chihuahua-mixes, huskies and even Pekensese pups blossom. “They put on a pound a day,” Pat says, smiling. Soon they are being walked on the grounds by volunteers, frolicking with their peers in a big enclosed, grassy area and even – a la Ripples – diving into Barton Brook.

A country vacation for Worcester’s street dogs, abused dogs and dumped dogs. Who would have guessed that things would have turned out so well for our city’s much-maligned pitbulls and other forgotten dogs?

Things have changed in Worcester when it comes to our homeless dogs. Today most of Worcester’s inner-city stray/picked-up pups and pooches are now taken to Barton Brook to be quarantined, vaccinated, housed and put up for adoption. Pat got the city contract for caring for Worcester’s strays/pickups after the Worcester Animal Rescue League refused to do business with the City of Worcester. They cut their ties to Worcester to protest the city’s recent pitbull ordinance.

But an oh-oh moment became an aaahaaa moment for Worcester and its homeless dogs! The dogs have made out wonderfully at Barton Brook. The love, care and exercise they get from Pat – in a country setting, no less – is totally therapeutic for them.

During the two afternoons this reporter spent at Barton Brook, touring the facility, talking with Pat and meeting all the dogs, she saw happy pooches galore (Pat has about 25 or so) – pups and dogs who can’t stop waggin’ their tails!

“It’s been great,” Pat says. “It’s been a great experience,” says Pat who has always loved dogs and has been the Leicester Dog Officer for a number of years. She also has a horse and pony at Barton Brook where she and her family live, adding that she is never more than several yards away from the dogs as she lives right there on the kennel/farm.

Pat says the Worcester dog officers are wonderful to work with. She says often a Worcester dog officer is so committed to a dog, he will stay with Pat as she cleans up a new arrival – just to make sure the dog is OK.

Pat says she has been pleasantly surprised at Worcester’s commitment to its homeless dogs. The city has paid for emergency visits to Tufts and other area veterinarians for special vet care for some dogs (broken legs, etc) before Pat gets them. She vaccinates them, gets them evaluated by a dog behaviorist and takes them to a vet to be spayed or neutered.The adoption fee of a dog ranges from $175 to $275. Not bad for a pooch that is all set to go.

“It’s about stabilization,” Pat says, noting that once dogs are deemed healthy she and her family and volunteers work hard to socialize it. The dogs are exposed to children (her little grandson), men, women, bikes, tricycles, etc. “That’s our goal – to see them interacting” with people, Pat says.

It’s great walking around the grounds with Pat. She and her daughter know all the dogs – and the dogs know and love the women. The pooches come running when called, jump up for hugs and pats – and treats. Pat takes out a husky found in Worcester and gives him a treat and a hug and a kiss. She stops by the pen holding the little dogs and lets them out into the gated yard where they run, run, run – a trio of lively happy critters!

She stops at an outdoor kennel where a big pitbull and smaller dog are hanging out. “This [pitbull] is my Big Daddy,” Pat says, indicating that this Worcester pitbull has such a calm and balanced temperament that she uses him to calm other dogs down – just like the Dog Whisperer Cesa Milan uses his big pit “Big Daddy” as a therapy dog for the unbalanced dogs he has to rehabilitate. A few minutes with the big handsome guy and you see his easy going temperament. He is so gentle, this big pitbull. And he grows more loving by the day living at Barton Brook.

You almost hate to see him get adopted!

“Three of our dogs have been adopted by NEADS,” Pat says. They will be trained to help people with disabilities.

Pat is as committed to Worcester and Worcester dogs as WARL was. We know our city’s canines are in loving and capable hands.

For more information call:

508.615.1339 • 508.892.0321 or visit 305 River St., Leicester, MA 01524, www.bbkanimalhealthcomplex.com