Tag Archives: pitbulls

Caring about animals – always in style for Dorrie!


For the Love of DaVinci

By Dorrie Maynard

awesome of d(1)
DaVinci – an awesome dog!!!❤❤❤❤

First, I would like to say that although I have never owned a pit bull – in a perfect world – someday I might. I am used to my small (under 10 pound
dogs), and I am not sure I could
handle the strength of a pit. Also, unfortunately, I don’t think I have
the lifestyle that it takes to maintain such a powerful dog. They like
to go for long walks, need plenty
of exercise and eat lots of food.

Some background: Pit Bulls, known as American Pit Bull Terriers, were originally called the “Nanny” dog because of their unparalleled love
and devotion for children. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th century that was their primary use – a family dog for a family with kids. Some may remember Petey, the pit bull of the 1930s movie shorts and later for TV show, The Little Rascals. He was a loyal and well loved pit bull. And for the record, The United Kennel Club does
not recommend using pit bulls as guard dogs because they are too friendly with strangers.

I remember when my son came to visit me and told me he had a“terrier,” I had no idea he was talking about a pit bull terrier. I was nervous about my small dogs and cats. I had never really spent anytime around a pit. Needless to say, that within half an hour of meeting Lacey, she was up on my bed and loved the company of my small dogs and they really enjoyed her playfulness. The cats kept their distance, but only because of her size – they were not used to being around such a large dog. But Lacey the pit bull had no real interest and never went after either of my cats. Within time if Lacey had been at my house for for a longer period, I am sure the cats would have been fine.

On to the story of Davinci.

He was a pit bull scheduled for death row along with two other dogs. Dr. Marty Becker put a plea on his site for help with the placement of these three dogs. They had been at an animal shelter that was closing. The volunteer that sat at the shelter desk took personal ownership of the dogs so they could be placed. Sweet Pea Rescue stepped up and took the dogs in. They came to the rescue on October 31, they were schedule to be euthanized on November 1, 2014.

I met all three of the dogs while volunteering at Sweet Pea before their horrific 2015 fire. Stella and Davinci were the only two dogs that did not perish in the fire! It was touch
and go for awhile after the fire, as they both had major health issues they were now faced with. But their determination to live never allowed either of them to give up.

The the dedication of the volunteers from Sweet Pea who visited the dogs and the staff at West Side also played a
huge part in their recovery and rehabilitation. Both Stella and Davinci had “issues” and needed to be
placed as the only animal in a home.

After the fire, they both had health problems that further complicated their
ability to be adopted, as they both needed long term medication and regular veterinarian exams. After almost a year in boarding, Stella was able to find her forever home, but Davinci was not been so lucky. Since the fire, he was being boarded at West Side and had regular
visits from dedicated volunteers from Sweet Pea. He was taken on long walks and drives and had special treats of ice
cream cones. Unfortunately, he was attacked by an off leash dog and bit the volunteer that was handling him. He bit her as she was trying to get him under control. Because of his bite history, West Side was unable to keep him as a boarder at their facility.

And so the scramble started. What could be done with Davinci? He was such a survivor and everyone had worked so hard to keep him alive! He was now facing an
uncertain future. SP had days to find an alternative situation for Davinci. I was not a part of the brain storming that took place, but within the small amount of time that was allotted, a dog trainer stepped up who is backed by an established 501c3. They have taken custody of Davinci with the goal of helping him to get back on track and hopefully find that forever home that he so deserves!

Rumor has it … that Davinci is now living in a home environment and even has a couch to call his own – for the time being.

This spring, please send
Davinici loving thoughts as he is more than deserving of love and a home with a loving owner/s. We wish him luck on what we all hope to be his last leg of a very long journey … home!

Happy Trails, Davinci! All the best! There are so many who love you and are praying for you every step of the way!


A happy ending for the Green Island pitbull!

Now for some positivity!! This is what we love to do! Make a difference in our community!!!

A few days ago I blogged about a pitbull that I saw tied to a bus stop in Green Island. He was wearing a man’s sweatshirt. He looked a little forlorn. I vowed to find the owner and help him give this dog a better life. So … I went looking for the guy yesterday and didn’t find him. This afternoon I got lucky.  I successfully tracked him down. His name is Ken and he works in the kitchen in a take out joint in the hood. He seems like a lovely guy! Polite, nice and soft-spoken.

Ken told me he is trying to do right by his pitbull! I believe him! This guy deserves our support!

Ken was delighted when I told him I had made myself his dog’s fairy godmother and that as long as InCity Times was around the dog would never go hungry/always be cared for. So we gave him the gift box filled with doggie goodies (shown mid-wrapped here, as my pooch Jett looks on) and a HUGE bag of top of the line dog food that should last a wicked long time. It was donated. There will always be more donated dog food.

We are now looking for a huge comfy blanket (bed) and pretty harness for Ken’s pitbull!

We could not take a photo of the dog, as he was home, hanging out!

What a fantastic way to usher in the holiday season!!!

– Rosalie  Tirella

– R. Tirella

Waiting for a bus

By Rosalie Tirella

There he was, looking like something straight out of a Charlie Chaplin movie: a black and white pit bull tied to a bus stop in Green Island’s Millbury Street. Medium built, almost slight, bow legged and wearing a torn, thin, orange sweat shirt that had obviously been worn by a guy when it was in much better shape. There stood the pitbull on this cold autumn day, tied to a bus stop, no room to turn around, lie down etc cuz there was only two feet of leash between him and the bus stop sign. If he had to piss it would have to be on himself. His two front paws were in the front sleeves of the old sweatshirt. The sleeves had been cut, tailored to fit the dog.

The little pit was oblivious to the cars, the people, the city life roiling before him. And believe me when I say Canal District or no Canal District Millbury Street still roils. It did when my mom worked there for 30 years and my sisters and I hung out at the diners and shops there after school, waiting for her to end her day at the dry cleaners, and it roils today as the drug deals go down, the boa constrictor s (really! ) are found blue from cold in the gutter and men and women on the edge try to get through another day.

The pitbull at the bus stop, like all pitbulls, radiated his loyalty, tenacity, stoicism. But he looked funny in a sad way as he waited at the bus stop in that oversized shabby sweatshirt – staring at the neighborhood restaurant/ bar 20 yards away. It was 3 p.m. He had been standing like that since 10 a.m

An old woman from the seniors housing project across the street flung open her sixth floor window and stuck herself half out. I’M CALLING THE POLICE, she screamed, very melodramatic now that she had an audience, me and my gal pal, on the sidewalk below. I’M CALLING THE POLICE. THAT POOR DOG HAS BEEN LIKE THAT SINCE MORNING.

My friend, who lives on Millbury Street, jumped in, just as loudly: It’s like this every day! That poor dog stands like that right there every day!!!

What? I said, still trying to get my bearings because things happen so fast in the inner city. I had just popped over to give my friend a cookbook!

Clearly, we would not be talking carrot cake today.

We would be talking, in the middle of Millbury Street, animal abuse. Neglect. Pain. The usual fucking depressing shit that so often, too often, is the stuff impoverished neighborhoods are made of.

This has been happening all week, my pal said.

He can’t even lie down, I said. The lead is too short.

My pal ran into her building to call the cops.

But as soon as she disappeared and I got back into my car, I noticed a woman, in her late 30s, a tanned, weather beaten woman, yet very beautiful, with long black hair and carrying two plastic bags filled with what I think was clothing, go to the pitbull and untie him and lead him off. She, like the pitbull, was wearing old clothes. She, like the pitbull, felt “street.”

The dog walked by her side, nervously but obediently. Sitting quietly in my car, I could see, because they were only two feet away, that the dog was quit thin under his sweatshirt. His paws scarred. He walked with a slight limp even though he was young.

My heart broke for the both of them. I thought maybe the dog’s sweatshirt had once been yhe woman’s who had such a beauty despite the brown, leathery skin. A homeless street woman, I thought to myself. And I thought I saw her being dropped off on Millbury Street, saw her get out of a car.

My brain began spinning the back story: a street woman being dropped off by a john going to fetch her dog, her one true friend. A former junky just comming back from Merrick Street where she got her dose of methadone at Piedmont’ s methadone clinic. An abused woman being dropped off home after working the day shift at Dunkins. The money she makes she saves for a new apartment, away from her lover who beats the shit out of her. Right now she is couch surfing in Green Island.

I drove off when the woman and pitbull walked by me, and a few seconds later I called my pal who was now in her apartment.



My pal squelched my sappy narrative with: NO WAY, ROSE. Then she told me the pitbull belongs to the guy who works in the Millbury Street restaurant/ bar. That the guy just got out of jail. That last year he had another pitbull that was “vicious” and had to be put down by Animal Control. She said he treated his pits like shit.

My gal pal is great but sometimes her inner city stories

reflect her fears, her demons, her needs…

What was THE TRUTH? How best to help a malnourished pitbull tethered to an innercity bus stop? A sad, dirty, possibly sick pit wearing a tattered orange sweatshirt. A dog left to stand, STAND, for four hours in the cold, hence the sweat shirt. Or was it to cover up wounds/scars? Looking comical with its white paws, delicate paws, jutting through the sleeves of that orange sweatshirt, the body of which hung low, almost touching the pavement, as the pitbull and the woman walked down Millbury Street. Like a clown.

Pitbulls are genetically tailored to be aggressive with dogs. You have to really work with them to make them ok with other canines. And sometimes it never happens. But they are great with people. Fantastic with their families. I read somewhere they were bred to be so tractable with folks cuz when they were in the middle of a bloody fight in the fighting pit and an owner wanted to extricate his dog from the bloodbath, he needed a dog who would allow him to pick him up, grab him, pull him out of the fight. The American pitbull type dog of the early twentieth century was smaller also, making it easier for owners to pull them out of the fight pit. This dog on Millbury. Street seemed a throwback to that era. Loyal, stoic, obedient, focused on his masters.

So. Today I will try to write a happy ending to this story. I will meet with some friends and try to come up with a few bags of basic dog food. Big bags of Purina. I will take the cozy, pretty green plaid sweater I bought Jett, my husky mix, and put it in a gift bag, along with one of Jett’s leashes and collars. Maybe I’ll put in two or three collars. Jett has about 13 collars , a real woof wardrobe. He wears his collars with his usual high spirited state of mind, but he hates sweaters and cries like a two year old human baby when I put them on him. They may as well go to his distant cousin, the Millbury Street pitbull. I will probably throw in a blanket, too.

Then I’ll go to Green Island with my doggie goodies and butt my nose in where it has no business being.

Cuz that’s what we Green Island Grrrls do.

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

Worcester’s pitbulls: breaking my heart!

By Rosalie Tirella

I tell you, this city breaks my heart. Riding around the city these weeks I have seen so many Worcester pitbulls under duress. While our city teachers and cops bitch and moan about their $100,000 salaries and clog up/slow down Worcester City Council meetings because they are quibbling over their most lucrative contracts, I see the stuff that matters:

In 80-degree weather, one afternoon, a pitbull is with his master – a Latino guy – who has decided that he will strenghthen his poor dog’s jaw by making it carry a bottle of water. So instead of panting (to cool it self off), the pitbull is clenching his jaw to hold – most likely – his master’s water bottle. Heat stroke, here we come.

If only citizens like me could make a citizen’s arrest. Or – as a few of my pals have done – stop driving, get out of their car and offer the punk $50 or $100 for the poor dog. Chances are the puke will take the money and unload his pitbull. He figures cnyically, correctly, that he can get another one easily – he has friends or he himself is a breeder (in the worst sense of the word).

Some people I know would love to be armed – to shoot the puke who is tormenting his dog.

A few years ago, I saw one pitbull in Piedmont, carrying (courtesy of his stupid master) a red brick, wrapped in some cloth. His idiot owner felt his pit was in training – this creul task was strenghthening his dog’s jaw.

No one, absolutley no one cannot tell me Worcester has no pitbull fighting rings. We’ve got them – they are just totally underground. The city should offer a $1,000 reward for anyone coming to them with info on a pitbull fighting ring. They will be up to their earlobes in dead pit bulls (mostly bait dogs).

The past executive director of the Worcester Animal Rescue League, my pal Doreen, was pushed out of her job by uber-bitch/tough-to-deal with (and power hungry) Jan Beckwith of Second Chance Animal fund (cuz she wanted Doreen’s job). Now Doreen is no gone and the new executivbe director at WARL is lovely but doesn’t have a clue as to how to help pits. She has turned WARL into a no kill pit bull shelter and refused to accept any Worcester dogs because of the city’s recently adopted pitbull ordinance.

Back to Doreen. Doreen knew pitbulls and the hellish lives they lead in our city. She had “tools and gear” at WARL confiscated from pitbull fights. She saw the pain and fixed it. For example, Doreen drove – DROVE – the pitbulls that were too damaged for immediate adoption but still adoptable in the near future (they just needed extra time/socializing) to Boston – Jamaica Plain – to a pitbull foster care agency. For special pit bull foster care. The good folks in Jamaica Plan took Worcester’s pits and worked with them – saved their lives. These dogs got adopted!

The pit bull puppies, the young, easy going pits, Doreen kept them at WARL – they were totally adoptable. And guess what? They got adopted.

Now this insanity. WARL is run by kids who don’t deal with the real world and Doreen – the woman who knew how to deal with these special needs dogs – is ousted.

The good news: the City of Worcester is working with Barton Brook Kennel and the Leicester facility is working miracles with our pitbulls.

But in the meantime, I still see all the pain, all the suffering that our city pits endure. In a way,the pit bull ordinance is beside the facts: the assholes who are killing and tormenting these lovely animals – dogs with so much heart! – are continuing their brutal ways, are killing pits in their cellars, attics, inner-city apartments – you name it.

This is why I hope there is a God. So he or she can hear me and my friends as we pray for and try to help our city’s pitbulls.

Going to the dogs?

By Rosalie Tirella

Now that the Worcester Police Department is responsible for animal control, we wonder: do the cops know anything about Worcester’s feral cats/stray cats pandemic? Can they track down and shut down the pitbull fighting rings in the city (folks say there is one on Southbridge Street)? And what about being able to deal with animals that are hungry, wounded, abused? Can our cops treat these animals with dignity?

It is sad driving around Wormtown and seeing all the pitbull puppies. Some are so teeny. Others are older – six months or so – teenagers. Usually they are being walked by a thug.  I saw a disheartening scene one day in our inner-city: One thug yells to another who is walking his female pitbull: “So when is she gonna have puppies? I want a girl.”  Yes, of course you do, asshole. That way you can breed her and make a quick $50 or $100 off her puppies – just like the thug you’re talking to plans on doing.

I’ve seen the same young pitbull in the same Piedmont neighborhood yard for three consecutive days now – in the wind, in the rain – chewing on big, broken-down cardboard boxes. The yard is enclosed but that doesn’t make the situation OK. Who leaves a puppy out in a rainstorm? People who don’t care about animals that’s who. Most likely they treat their kids, spouses, even neighborhood with the same callousness.

So, good luck, Worcester Police Force. The Worcester Animal Rescue League had a great guy who used to investigate animal abuse. They had to let him go because of a lack of funding. He really did his job – not like the jamokes in the City’s Animal Control Dept. But  now we don’t have to worry about their incompetence.

Now we will see what the WPD has to offer animals in pain. Police Chief Gemme is supposed to be a stand up guy. Here’s hoping he stands up for animals.

If you see an abandoned animal or one in trouble, call WARL. They can point you in the right direction. Their phone #: 508.853.0030

The Worcester Police Department complaint/biz line (for what it’s worth): 508.799.8606