Rita, Baltimore, MD

“Lovely Rita” is my full name and this is my story and my journey. You will read about some twisted truth — I leave it here so you know everything about my journey.

My story started on April 9th, 2013 in Columbia, MD, when my badly battered body was brought into a shelter. The person who carried me in is a BGE Meter Reader who said he saw something moving in the woods and went to investigate when he came upon me. Sadly, the shelter could not take me in because I needed immediate care.

Luckily, someone at the wonderful shelter named Krystal called her friend Bemo at the Vet Hospital and they told the BGE Meter Reader to immediately bring me there. As soon as I got to the hospital, I was rushed to the back.

I had horrible infections in my face and legs. My right ear was sloughing off my head and the left was barely attached. My whole face was grossly misshapen and smelled so badly of infection. I had a 105 temperature and honestly my caretakers did not think I would make it through the night to have surgery the next day.

The Doctor stabilized me and gave her plenty of pain meds. They were happy to see I did eat the food they offered, so they did have some hope. When Bemo came home that evening she gave me a name so I would not die without one. It just came to her that in tribute to the person who brought me in, I would be become “Lovely Rita Meter Reader” — “Lovely Rita” for short.

My caretakers had also discovered that I had chain collar on with an old rabies tag. You can see it in some of my pictures taken that first day. Bemo took the information home to call the next day on the rabies tag not knowing her colleague Paige was tracking it down also. What they found out was truly sad.

I was purchased at 5 weeks, taken to the vet at 6 weeks, ears cropped at 8 weeks or so. Bemo contacted my previous owner and he came in the next day to sign Lovely Rita over to her. He had given me away because I had gone after their cat. My previous owner did say food was involved but his wife said I had to go. So go I did.

It was only a matter of 2 weeks or so until I was discovered in the shape I was in. I was given to a friend of a friend kind of thing. My caretakers do not know what truly happened to me but it had to be horrific to be found in the shape I was. Something just didn’t seem right… Bemo knows that someone somewhere did treat me. When I was found, I had vet wrap around my neck and one leg. My front legs were shaved as if I would have had Catheters.

I had surgery the very next day after being stabilized. My caretakers says I’m a true wonder. I made it through actually multiple surgeries and sedations to treat me. What you see now is a happy little girl who is willing to move on.

How I ended up in the woods was anybody’s guess; what truly happened was a mystery. Baltimore Bully Crew (BBC), a group Bemo was part of, took me under their care. In spite of all my trauma, I still love people and finds joy in life’s simple things.

BBC does a lot of work with pit bulls like me and they shared my journey to draw attention to the horrors of dogfighting and the danger of rehoming your pet without properly checking the potential new homes.

They were not prepared for the outcome.

After the WBAL TV 11 segment and the 2 radio spots, many people sent emails about me. Through perseverance of my guardians at Baltimore Bully Crews and one very special fan, my true story emerged.

I’ve had several owners: my breeder who did it for monetary gain, my first owner who purchased me so young I had to be bottle fed, my second owner, and then Bemo and Baltimore Bully Crew.

What was discovered is truly troubling and testament to human’s inability to tell the truth. I was given to the one person my caretakers thanked for getting me help. Yes, my second owner was the BGE meter reader who lied and said I was found in a field in Columbia, MD.

What happened has been pieced together. A latch was left open on my kennel in the basement. I popped out and was brutally attacked by the other dogs in the home. For how long and why, nobody knows and may never know.

What my guardians do know is that I was torn apart savagely and almost died from my trauma. I was taken to a Vet Hospital and when it was found what the cost would be, my owner decided it was better to lie and dump me. Remember I was found with vet tape around my neck and legs and my front legs were shaved for catheters? So taking me to the vet was true, but getting me the care I needed never happened until I came into the vet hospital.

This person my guardians all wanted to thank has now become the world’s biggest liar. Why I was so emaciated when I came in shows the lack of care I had. No dog becomes emaciated in such a short amount of time. I was just a “disposable dog” and was never given the chance I should have had.

Taken from my mother at such a young age, left in the backyard by my first owner all day long with nothing but one toy to amuse myself. Given away to someone who promised to care for me but in reality caused me more trauma than any animal should have to suffer. This is how I looked before I was attacked.

My guardians say I am true testament to my breed’s resiliency and will to survive. I’ve suffered much pain and many surgeries to get me where I am now. And I am very lucky; so many others don’t get the chance that I have.

I want to share the truth with everyone. Now I’m just “Lovely Rita” — not “Lovely Rita Meter Maid.” I am moving on with my life and it’s going to be one of love and true caring.

My guardians and I do have a message for anyone who is thinking of re-homing a dog: Please re-home your dog responsibly. Don’t let what happened to me happen to another animal.

~ Lovely Rita

p.s. I am still no longer looking for a forever home. Here’s my quick stat:

  • I’m 2 years old
  • I lost one ear and have the other very badly damaged, but it does not slow me down ONE BIT!! I can hear just fine 🙂
  • I love soccer balls and basketballs
  • I also LOVE my swimming pool and playing with water
  • I’m working on touching up my basic commands and walking on a leash without pulling
  • I need to be the only pet in the home (no dogs or cats)

Please contact Baltimore Bully Crew at baltimorebullycrew@gmail.com to adopt me. They will do meet and greets only with approved application, and home checks and adoption contracts are required.

Thank you for adopting instead of buying!

Editor’s Note: On 10/27/2014, Rita’s forever home was found and she will be queen of the castle! From her guardian Bemo:

“Her foster home gave her much love and time to overcome her trauma. Dogs that have gone through what Lovely Rita did, need time to heal, physically and emotionally, she received that and more. Her Journey is still ongoing and let it show you that any animal that has gone through what Lovely Rita has gone through, can and will overcome. She is a true Underdog to Wonderdog and she loves each and every one of you for loving and caring about her. Thank you.”