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The Portuguese Fila - the same breed that was loose and unfortunately struck by a car. (Pleple2000)

A message from the Acushnet Animal Control Officer



I spent most of the day yesterday trying to restrain a dog (a Portuguese Fila), which was running down Main St. in the area of Clems Way and Leonard St. I am pretty certain this dog was dumped by her owner. I exhausted all my possible means of gathering information about who owned the dog, and every one of them turned out to be a dead end.

As an Animal Control Officer, and I know I speak for all of us, that it is very disheartening, frustrating, and aggravating that people can just take a living, breathing creature and open their car door and discard it. Because of this heartless action, all of my efforts yesterday, along with those of the Mattapoisett ACO, were in vain. The dog was hit by a car and was killed. Again, I often wonder “What are people thinking?” This beautiful female canine was scared and was hoping her master was going to come back and pick her up.

Unfortunately for her, that did not happen.

It seems as though this year there has been more animals struck and killed by motor vehicles, and the people that are driving these vehicles do not feel as though they need to report to the authorities that they have struck an animal. Many times the animal is left there suffering. I would like to put a plea out to the public: To all of us who are driving: Stay off your phones. Pay attention. Most of all, if you own any type of animal and for whatever reason you cannot keep this animal, CALL YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL CONTROL.

Our job is to keep all of our animals safe and sound. Though our lives may take us in a different direction sometimes, that we can no longer take care of our animals, or pay for medical needs that may arise, it is so simple to contact Animal Control. We will try to do the best we can for your animal. There are shelters available. In the extreme case that an animal must be euthanized (GOOD DEATH), they would have at least left this earth and gone to a place of peace with dignity.

I have a 4+1/2 month-old Fila who was picked up on Brookside Dr on March 6. I certainly hope she was not dumped by the same person. This little pup I have chosen to name “Holly” has not been claimed as of yet. It is ironic that in 10 days’ time I have not only one dog of this breed, but now two. Fortunately, she has made it to a safe haven. She needs a lot of work and has a long road ahead of her, but she is being cared for.

If anyone knows of a person that has this breed of dog and no longer sees them, please contact me at: rtomlinson@acushnet.ma.us

I was asked to put a picture of the dog that was hit by the car on this page, but I declined. I just hope that the person that dumped the dog yesterday morning can live with their actions.

Rebekah Tomlinson
Acushnet ACO

“The only mistake in life is the lesson not learned” – Albert Einstein

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  1. unfortunately the Portuguese hunting dogs are considered throwaways by their owners. I struggled here in my town to get animal control to try and trap one that ran loose for months during the bitter cold I have not seen the dog and I assume it is frozen to death. if you see one the best thing probably would be too dart it. they are almost untrainable and I don’t know what you would do with it once you had it. It would take a lot of time to get it to be a domestic pet. on the flip side in Massachusetts I thought it was against the law not to report that you had hIt a dog am I wrong? this is a sad story in my heart breaks for this poor animal. Thank you for doing everything you have been doing I know ACO xan be a thankless job at times.

  2. I’m having problems with ground hogs. I purchased a Have a Hart trap from Home Depot yesterday so I can trap and release.However, I do not where it would be okay to release the ground hogs once captured. Can you help and suggest what I can do.

    Thanks for your help with this.

    Best regards,


  3. I tried to catch that dog in front of the Rivers End. It ran up the street so fast. So sad. He/She looked so thin.

  4. I have a Portuguese Fila that was rescued out of Acushnet I rescued her from Fairhaven her name is Holly. I hope it’s not from the same person breed 8i NH dogs and dumping their puppies, My Holly is very stubborn but the most loyal dog I have ever had. I’m sorry that this dog was killed and I hope whoever is doing this stops or karma will get you.

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