Update: Pit Bull Who Was In Critical Condition After Shelter Fire Kisses Fireman Who Saved Her

Written by: Benjamin Moore

November 24, 2015

Update 11:28 a.m., 12/13/15

Stella, the Pit Bull who was in critical condition after the fire at the Sweatpea no-kill animal shelter last month, has improved considerably and is very grateful – particularly to the fireman who saved her life.


Posted by Sweetpea Friends of Rutland Animals on Monday, December 7, 2015

Since the fire, Kitten the cat has sadly passed away.Fortunately, all the other animals are doing well, Brooklyn Skye was adopted into a loving home, and the missing cat – Bruin – was found and is being taken care of.


If you’d like to help Sweetpea rebuild and continue rescuing animals, they’re still trying to raise money via GoFundMe and are also holding a benefit on Sunday, December 20th, 2015 at The Ranch in Worcester, MA.

***Original Story***

A late night (probable) electrical fire at the Sweetpea no-kill animal shelter in Paxton, Massachusetts claimed the lives of 56 dogs and cats (17 dogs and 39 cats). The fire raged throughout Sunday night, and volunteers were sifting through the wreckage into Monday looking for the bodies of their animal friends.

Sweatpea Shelter Burned Down

In the end, one of two Sweetpea buildings was destroyed, and only six animals survived: four dogs (Brooklyn Skye, Jade, Divinci, and Stella), Kitten the cat, and a second cat that escaped the fire and is still presumed loose in the woods. Of the five secure animals, four are in stable condition at a local vet, while Stella is critical condition at Tufts Veterinary Hospital in Grafton, MA.

Sweetpea Animal Survivors

It’s a devastating blow for a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter known for saving “death row” animals and animals in need of new homes. These are people whose lives are dedicated to saving dogs and cats, whose every waking day is stricken with difficulty and stress in the service of animal welfare. And now, to see so many beloved animals die in a single night? To watch one of the buildings Sweetpea used to house them burn to the ground? It has to be gut-wrenching in a way that most of us can’t even fathom.

Sweetpea Shelter Fire Vigil

Deborah Young – who has previously raised funds for the shelter through her dog Juno (of Juno’s Place) – was one of the volunteers on Monday. She told the Shrewbury Patch:

I have been there for hours taking bodies out. This is disgusting and heartbreaking. […] [The Shelter] lost every animal in the building except for [five]. One died on the way to the hospital. Some of the little puppies that we were playing with yesterday are gone.

And yet, despite the heartbreak, despite the devastation – both physical and emotional – Sweetpea will go on. President and co-founder Dick Clark is determined to rebuild and come back stronger than ever.

Dick told NECN:

I’ll make it. I’ll fight it. I don’t give up and I’m not going to. We will come back. It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of effort and a lot of begging, borrowing, whatever. But we’re going to bring it back.

Right now, what Sweetpea needs is help from YOU. If you’re interested in helping these wonderful people rebuild so they can continue saving the lives of dogs and cats, please go to their GOFUNDME page and donate whatever you can (or visit their website and donate directly through PAYPAL). Since Sweetpea is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are fully tax deductible.

Stella and Firefighter Sweetpea Fire

And remember, your donations will also go toward helping those animals who survived, like sweet Stella the Pit Bull mix (above), who is still fighting for her life.

A benefit for Sweetpea will be held Sunday, December 20th, 2015 at The Ranch in Worcester, MA. Please follow their Facebook page for more updates.


Sweetpea Website

H/t Shrewbury Patch & NECN

Featured image via CBS Boston

Written by: Benjamin Moore

November 24, 2015

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A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.