When Momma Pibbs went to have her photo taken with Santa recently, this young pit bull’s deepest wish was to find a forever home. Her most immediate need, however, was a stay of execution.
The good-natured but badly-scarred pit bull, believed to be between the ages of 2 and 3, had been at the New London Animal Control facility for three months and her days were officially numbered.
“My supervisor said enough is enough. We do have limited kennel space and we were getting full. She’d been here the longest and she hadn’t had any interest,” said Officer Tonya Kloiber, one of New London’s two animal control officers. “It was a no-room-at-the-inn kind of situation.”
Kloiber wasn’t about to give up on her, however. The friendly pit bull reminded her of her own beloved dog, Hayley, who died last year at the age of 14. After spending three months with Momma Pibbs, Kloiber had become pretty attached.
“She’d been here so long I felt bad for her. I used to have her out in the office a lot and take her out on patrol with me,” said Kloiber. “She loved every person. She loved every dog. If she was any breed other than a pit bull, I would have bidding wars over her but, because she was a pit bull, people would turn their nose up.”
After finding that most people wouldn’t even look at her because of her breed, Kloiber turned to Facebook. She had until Dec. 18 to find the dog a home, or else. As Momma Pibbs began to run out of time, Kloiber’s postings became increasingly urgent.
“She went to see Santa tonite to ask for a new home, and was without a doubt one of the best behaved dogs there! She met bunches of people and other animals, and was an absolute ANGEL! Everyone who met her just loved her, and many people complimented her on how well-behaved she was….PLEASE, won’t you consider helping this girl out? She is truly desperate!”
The idea that such an affectionate, playful, and nonaggressive dog would be put down for no good reason became a rallying point for dog lovers from all over. At the eleventh hour, Vermont Foster Dogs, a pit bull rescue group, stepped in and offered to take Momma Pibbs.
The group pulls a lot of pit bulls out of kill shelters in Hartford and Waterbury, Kloiber said, because people in Vermont don’t seem to have the same “breedism” that makes many Connecticut residents hesitant to adopt Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and American Pit Bull Terriers—all of which are more commonly labeled “pit bulls.”
That being said, the group got a lot of assistance from local “pibble” lovers, without whom the rescue wouldn't have happened. Pete Kieburg of North Stonington paid the adoption fee and All Friend’s Animal Hospital in Norwich agreed to donate $100 in veterinary care.
Momma Pibbs came to New London Animal Control shortly after having a litter of puppies. Those days are over now. She was spayed on Wednesday. Momma Pibbs is spending the holiday with “foster mom” Diane Musil Monte in New London, where she’s recovering from surgery and happily chewing a new Kong toy.
Not only does Momma Pibbs have a new lease on life, she’s sallying forth to Vermont with a new name: “Mariah.” (As the name the pound gave her is spelled Momma Pibbs, Mama Pibbs and Mama Pibs on the New London Animal Control Facebook page, this should clear up any confusion!)
Although she’s scheduled to make the trek to Vermont sometime next week, Kloiber said there’s a chance Mariah might yet be adopted locally. A couple from Waterford, whose dog died last weekend, has expressed an interest in giving the pit bull a forever home.
Kloiber couldn’t be happier that Momma Pibbs has been saved but she’ll be sad to see her go. “How can watching a dog drive away to a new life make me cry?” Kloiber writes on Facebook.
If you’re interested in adopting a dog, New London pound has two in need of a home at the moment. A black female pit bull named Coal and a mutt with two different colored eyes named Chromia, both younger than nine months old, remain at the shelter in need of a forever home.
Find information about all the animals up for adoption at the New London Animal Control's web site or by calling (860) 447-5231.