By Susan Spisak
Britt Bolnick’s been involved in rescue work for decades, starting with that first Pit Bull she found in New York City. She fell for him and the breed, did her homework and realized they’re often feared, abused and/or neglected, and end in pounds. Her dog so touched her heart that when she and husband Todd Sullivan moved to Southern Maine a few years back, she convinced him to collaborate with her on the 501(c) 3 Pittie Posse Rescue (PP).
PP works with rescuers in southern states and other areas, often receiving dogs slated for euthanization and/or have high-cost medical needs. They’re inundated daily with requests to take in owner relinquishments, often due to financial and lifestyle changes. “For every 10 dogs we say ‘yes’ to, sometimes we say ‘no’ to 50. It breaks our hearts.” That’s not just because of their need for fosters – they’ve had to momentarily halt intake - but she refuses to bite off more than they can chew. She believes the rescue world’s battle cry is to try to save all dogs – but says that’s not realistic.
They pride themselves on being different. They educate the public on the plight of the breed and model responsible dog ownership. Pits can be stubborn, so they rehabilitate and train ahead of the match, setting the dog and adopter up for success. They provide support and guidance to the adopter for the life of the dog. And Bolnick admitted sometimes it’s not a good fit, so they’re not afraid to take the pet back.
“We’re at a loss [financially] on every single dog, but that’s ok.” She has a social media team raising funds to bolster efforts. And she and her husband, “Sully,” are embarking on The Bark Yard, a facility in South Portland with doggie daycare, grooming, training, and boarding. While it’s a for-profit LLC, she’s hopeful that in the future, a portion of its revenue can be donated to the rescue.
Part of PP’s mission is to alleviate the flood of animals into shelters and rescue. To that end, PP’s Pet Pantry helps those in need keep their pets by offering free dog and cat food, litter, treats, toys, and puppy pads. While monetary contributions and Loyal Companion gift cards are welcome, they’d appreciate tangible donations, especially dry cat food, to the Pet Pantry that serves Southern Maine. For info or to fill out a pantry application, visit pittieposserescue.com/pet-pantry/.
Visit their website link below for their criteria for potential fosters and adopters. “We’re really selective who our dogs go to…We are in it to find the exact right home for the dog.” Bolnick added that she’d love to see pretty Mocha find her forever home as she’s been with them a bit. This one-time abused girl is quirky, but she’s charming. For more info on her and to see all their dogs, pittieposserescue.com/adopt/.