Downeast Dog News

December Rescue of the Month: Pittie Posse Rescue & Sanctuary

A Unique Non-Profit
By Susan Spisak | Nov 30, 2018

Britt Bolnick rescued her first Pit Bull from the streets of New York City 20 years ago, and since then, she’s been on a mission. That dog was fraught with issues, and her dedication to him prompted her to not only volunteer for a few Pit rescues but also research the breed. She discovered that there’s an abundance of “bully breeds” in pounds and shelters--and they are often feared and have been abused and/or neglected. What troubled her then and always will is that their degree of loyalty to their owners is often exploited (think dog fighting).

She moved to Maine, got married, and convinced her husband, Todd Sullivan, to initiate a Pit rescue and sanctuary. That was in 2016…in January of 2017, they applied for a state shelter license and import permit, and in December of 2017, their first dogs came under their wing. Dogs come to them as local owner relinquishments, those seized in cruelty/criminal cases, and from high kill shelters in the south. They’ve done a good job as a new rescue--Britt estimates by the end of this year, they will have taken in and rehomed around 100 dogs.

The rescue has a one, three, five, and ten year growth plan which includes not only taking in, training, and socializing their rescues, but advocating for spay/neuter and responsible dog ownership. They’ll also focus on educating dog owners to train and properly socialize their dogs--especially the harshly judged bully breeds, mixes thereof, and their “cousins.”

While they have teamed up with southern rescuers to attack issues that have resulted in an overflow of dogs in high-kill shelters, they recently made their affiliation more formal--they introduced Pittie Posse South. These partners in Thomasville, Georgia are heading up animal education in schools and the spay/neuter education and initiative at the root of the problem in the south. They’ll also lobby to strengthen and change Georgia state laws to protect animals more effectively.

Britt’s goal is to have her 501(c) (3) self-supporting. She and her core of volunteers are hoping to receive grants, so they can purchase land near Saco for Pittie Posse Rescue & Sanctuary kennels and training facility. (Once the dogs are trained, they’ll move into foster care.) But they’ll also build a separate commercial training, boarding, and doggie day care facility on-site that will sustain the rescue--she doesn’t want to continually ask for donations. (Britt’s personal business now is funding a great deal of the rescue’s training and vetting.)


Britt said one main thing that sets Pittie Posse Rescue & Sanctuary apart from other rescues is that they provide support and guidance to the adopter for the life of the dog. “It’s important to us,” she said. She also noted that they do take in some non bully breeds; she has a hard time saying no to a dog in need.

They welcome donations for their sanctuary land purchase as well as volunteers--certified trainers, fosters, and administrators to process applications and perform virtual home tours. For more info, visit