Wherefore art thou Romeo?

Romeo a Pit Bull by TylerDog Photography

Romeo, an injured Pit Bull at the City of Tulsa Animal Welfare, 3031 N. Erie in Tulsa, OK., 918-596-8011.

In Shakespeare’s famous play, Juliet says to Romeo, “‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy…”

You see, her love, Romeo, was a Montague. And Montague was a despised name in the Capulet household. Much like the name Pit Bull is despised by many. It seems each week we hear horrific stories of Pit Bulls tortured, fought, or shot: Puppy Doe, the young Pit Bull tortured beyond belief in Boston; 367 Pit Bulls Rescued from Dogfighting Bust; Neighbors say police shot dog for no reason. Headlines scream. Investigations continue. All the while more dogs die. Because of a name: Pit Bull.

Somehow people seem to think because it’s a Pit Bull, it’s okay to do those things. I mean, Pit Bulls, they’re crazy monsters, right? They attack for no reason! They’ll eat your babies if you turn your back! Their jaws lock, for God’s sake!  It all must be true because that’s what Pit Bull haters spew forth on a daily basis. Right?! So not right.

Which brings me to another young boy named Romeo.

Romeo the Pit Bull by Sherry Stinson TylerDog Photography

This fella was brought to the City of Tulsa Animal Welfare by a woman from Sapulpa who tried to surrender him. When told she must turn him into the Sapulpa shelter since that’s where she’s from, instead of doing the right thing she drove down the road, opened her door and threw him out. Jean, the director of TAW, just happened to drive down the same road a few minutes later and saw him. She couldn’t get him into the car, but he did follow her all the way back to the shelter. Jean said his face at that time was grossly swollen and he just looked defeated.

Fast forward to Friday for our regular rescue shoot. Normally my volunteers bring the dogs to me, but this one I went to. I knelt at his kennel, holding out treats. Slowly Romeo approached. Wary and unsure, he turned his good eye towards me; the bloody socket and swelling on the other side bringing tears to my eyes. I held still and let him sniff me, gently dropping a leash around his neck when he showed no resistance. We walked through the kennels, dogs going crazy around him. Romeo cautiously walked, stopping every so often to look at me with his good eye, needing reassurance it was okay. We quickly took his photos, then sat on the ground to give him a few moments of freedom. This “vicious killer” as they’re so often portrayed, climbed up in my lap and gently licked my face. Then he leaned into me and sighed, like he was saying “Thank you, this is nice.”

I took Romeo back to his kennel and I left feeling sad and defeated. All I could think is “Why?”

Why is yet another Pit Bull bloodied and battered? Why would someone harm him? Why did that woman callously throw him out of her car? Why does his potential end have to be in a shelter, unwanted and unloved?


In the end, I don’t know if I’ll ever find the answer. But what I do know is I’m going to help give Romeo a chance at a better life with these photos and this blog post. I’m going to do my very best to let his sweet soul know what love and kindness is instead of pain and abuse. I don’t want my last memory of Romeo to be sad and alone in his shelter kennel, waiting for his fate to play out. I want a different ending to the play.

Romeo (A#059010) is available for adoption on Monday, September 30 at the City of Tulsa Animal Welfare, located at 3031 N. Erie Ave. in Tulsa, OK., or call (918) 596-8011 for more information.

Please open your heart and help Romeo find his happy ending.

UPDATE 9/30/2013: Romeo is safe! He was pulled by Mutty Paws OK, a rescue in Oklahoma. Happy dance!

UPDATE 10/10/2013: We’ve been informed the rescue that pulled Romeo (Mutty Paws OK) is going on hiatus and needs to find homes for all their rescues, including Romeo. Please someone open their hearts and give this boy a forever home. He doesn’t deserve to be shuffled around.

UPDATE 01/2014: We’ve been informed Romeo died in a horrific manner in the care of the rescue that originally pulled him and we simply have no words; we’re devastated. We’re sorry we failed you, Romeo. Run free, sweet boy.

Andrea Villasenor - June 21, 2014 - 2:49 am

What happened!!? Crying!

Silvia Schoeneberg - June 20, 2014 - 5:30 pm

Oh no so sad. Rip beautiful romeo run free little boy

Julie Storey - June 20, 2014 - 5:48 am

im crying reading, trying, too read this, poor ROMEO, what happened/went wrong that he died in that shelter? x

Lyn Diabo-Mcgregor - June 20, 2014 - 2:10 am

How the hell did he die !!

Lisa Auberry-Adams - June 19, 2014 - 10:43 pm


Robin Booth - March 24, 2014 - 8:33 am

Where is Romeo now?

Rebecca Ann Molhoek Stevens - March 23, 2014 - 7:21 am

Has Romero fund a forever home please tell me he has…

Barbara Lee - February 6, 2014 - 6:18 pm

May those who mistreat animals so be reborn as a yellow cur in India.

Kate Moretti - October 20, 2013 - 7:10 pm

So heartbreaking just heart breaking xx

Beached Paws - October 14, 2013 - 1:56 am

Who is the contact for adoption?

Shannon Collins - October 13, 2013 - 1:41 am

Please please save an please god save

Cassandra Sorenson - October 12, 2013 - 11:25 pm

Just saw the newest update. Has anyone stepped up toad opt him?

Ashley Furey - October 12, 2013 - 6:01 pm

Do you work with people that help dogs travel to new homes ?

Susanne Hoshino - October 12, 2013 - 5:43 pm

Inspires smiles and pets from people even those previously frightened of pits because of her calm gentle ways. Please adopt ! Please open your eyes heart and mind. Please give Romeo a chance for a happy home! Adopt or share!

Susanne Hoshino - October 12, 2013 - 5:40 pm

My sweet baby Hope was either thrown from a car and dragged or dragged skinning her back paws to the bone. Starved and covered with ticks she made her way to a car dealership which turned her into the county animal control where I volunteer. As an injured teenage black “pit bull” her chances for a future were near nil. Well she came home with me as a medical foster who became a member of my family. She was welcomed by my other dogs and kitties and is sweet and loving with all. Hope is hale and healthy now and built like a tank but inspires only

Margo Broutin-Hess - October 12, 2013 - 1:35 pm

I have a 9 year old male pit who is very territorial but if you have any smaller Pitts and can get it to illinois or close let me know I assure you she will have a home where she will be spoiled hooch my male has his own chair and bedroom and plenty of love wouldn’t trade him for the world look at my Facebook several pics

Michelle Kirkbride Beaty - October 12, 2013 - 4:14 am

If any dog is trained to fight they fight. You give them love you have a friend for life no matter what breed! My nephews pit bull is the biggest baby honestly thinks he is human but there is the love that all pets need, it’s all on how they have raised people just need to say something to those who miss treat them

Homeless in Delaware - October 11, 2013 - 4:52 pm

Sharing to all my networks! Hope he gets saved! <3

Gaile Storm - October 11, 2013 - 5:56 am

He still needs a forever home! 🙂

Dana Mccoy - October 11, 2013 - 3:14 am

Im hoping Romeo has been saved. He deserves a wonderful loving home. PRAYING

Kathleen Barrett - October 8, 2013 - 5:15 am

I just read this story! Thank you for your work that you do! I have a whole new outlook on the breed! Sharing your story! So glad rescued!

Katie Ann - October 4, 2013 - 11:24 pm

What a beautiful story!!

Carla LaGrassa - October 1, 2013 - 12:42 pm

He’s SAFE but he still needs a home!!! Keep sharing.

Vicki Luck Muterspaugh - October 1, 2013 - 1:39 am

So happy he is safe!

Lizza Reed - October 1, 2013 - 1:31 am

Was the woman who dumped him brought up on charges?? Please say yes!

Lisa Kelly - September 30, 2013 - 11:48 pm

Omg! He’s beautiful! Love my pit – she’s the sweetest dog I’ve ever owned and soooooo smart. I can’t imagine a day in this world without my beautiful Sera. So glad Romeo is on his way to a forever home! Peace and love!!!

Annalee Teehee - September 30, 2013 - 9:49 pm

Yay mutty paws!!!!

Jenn Dean - September 30, 2013 - 6:51 pm

Shared! Praying for Romeo to find his forever family!

Charlotte Holder Herridge - September 30, 2013 - 12:28 pm

I continue to be dumbfounded at the cruelty of humans. Romeo’s story breaks my heart. How could this beautiful, noble dog be treated like garbage? He looks so defeated and puzzled. If I wasn’t so far away, I would love to adopt this beautiful boy. I pray that some loving, compassionate person will give him the forever home and family he deserves.

Robin Booth - September 30, 2013 - 11:38 am

Thank you for his story and for caring about him

Cassie Norris - September 30, 2013 - 9:35 am

Your writing is amazingly heart felt. It has moved me to tears. Someone will come for you Romeo. You will find your Juliet. No more pain only love. This guy is going to find a home, I just know it

Melissa Maser - September 30, 2013 - 6:02 am

Why… oh Why ! How can there be such horrible, soulless ppl ?

Deborah Granese - September 30, 2013 - 5:32 am

Beautifully written capturing the essence of a wary soul, vilified by most humans and understood by few. Let’s find Romeo a better end than his beginning.

Crystal Vines Steiniger - September 30, 2013 - 5:01 am

Romeo had Angels. Will share far and wide.

Kathy Hays Dumond - September 30, 2013 - 4:21 am

Pledge $25. Sharing

Renee Baldwin - September 30, 2013 - 2:05 am

Precious Romeo ❤
Peace and blessings to you, sweet Sherry ❤❤

Patti Fields - September 30, 2013 - 1:47 am

Thank you so much for caring. I hope he finds the love he so much deserves before its to late.

Melody Arms - September 30, 2013 - 1:26 am

Shared .. Sweet Romeo deserves a second chance!

Patty McClure - September 30, 2013 - 12:09 am

I know God cares for these animals, Proverbs 12:10a. A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal. Animals were created for us to take care of not, abuse, torture and kill. 12:10b. but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

Katherine Daydreamer Barrett - September 29, 2013 - 11:07 pm

I want him

Tiane Christy - September 29, 2013 - 10:56 pm

Sherry, wow. This is Tiane, from the shelter. I’m writing this with tears in my eyes. What a wonderful way to feature Romeo and tell his sad story. I hope his forever family sees it and your wonderful pictures. Your pics generate more adoptions then almost anything else we do. I THANK YOU and the animals THANK YOU, too.

Mary Stinson - September 29, 2013 - 10:55 pm

Sorry to say, but I wish the abuser would have to go thru what this poor baby did. God meant for us to be his, to be loved and cared for. There is just to much of this going on.

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