South Portland pit bull devotee launches rescue group

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SOUTH PORTLAND — A new organization is launching to save pit bulls from all over the country.

Dog lover Britt Bolnick is behind the Pittie Posse Rescue and Sanctuary. A free event to introduce the public to the group and its mission will be held Saturday, April 15, 7-10 p.m., at Jen Dean Photography, 72 Bridge St. in Westbrook.

The goal is to train the dogs to be good citizens and then adopt them into loving homes, Bolnick said.

Bolnick said the launch party is a fundraiser designed to assist with the cost of buying land and building a shelter and training center for the dogs.

“I’ve had dogs my whole life; every single one of them a rescue,” Bolnick said this week. “I rescued my first pit bull, Boo Radley, off the streets of New York City when I was in my 20s.”

“I call him my gateway pit bull,” she said. “(I) got an understanding of all the terrible things these (dogs) face by working with him to reverse the damage that had been done to him as a bait dog.”

Bolnick has only had pit bulls since then, and now owns three rescued pit bulls of various mixes.

The mission of Pittie Posse is to rescue the animals “from dog fight busts around the country and areas that are overflowing with dogs,” like Los Angeles, where “only one in every 600 pit bulls make it out of the shelter,” Bolnick said.

“In addition,” she said, “we’ll offer community education around breed awareness and responsible dog ownership, as well as retreats and training for activists and (others involved) in animal rescue.

“This work is so important because Maine is a state that has the luxury of not having shelters that are killing hundreds and hundreds of pit bulls a month and that is not experiencing terrible issues with dog fighting and breeding, (which means) we are poised to help.”

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or Follow Kate on Twitter: @KirishCollins.

Britt Bolnick with one of her resuced pit bulls.