Please, let me introduce you to Tyson a 5 year old Pit Bull mix who wiggled his way into many hearts! He had a wonderful temperament and laid back personality, truly a gentle soul an amazing ambassador for “THE Breed” and dogs in general – he is the reason for change!  Tyson had a way about him, a way to your heart…I always thought he would make a great Therapy dog but he never got the chance – Providence stole that from him! He was a dog full of love and life until that night.  The night of Sunday August 29, 2010 is the night Tyson was forced over the rainbow bridge by Providence Animal Control. 

What you are about to read is Tyson’s story which needs to be shared loud and clear…Tyson suffered the ultimate price – death!  He did not deserve to be killed but does deserve to be heard and that is how we can honor Tyson…by letting him be heard! WE ARE TYSON’S VOICE!!

Tyson came to Friends of Attleboro Animal Shelter at the end of March of 2010. He was under the standard 10 day quarantine that all strays are put under in Attleboro. On April 5, 2010, immediately after those 10 days were up he was Neutered and given all Vaccines (Parvo, Rabies, Distemper) and Heartworm tested (negative). 

In May / June 2010 Tyson was diagnosed with IBD which is Irritable Bowel Disease.  He was given medication daily and on a strict Diet of Holistic Lamb based food and only  natural Lamb based treats. 

Later in July / early August 2010, Tyson was diagnosed with borderline Thyroid issues and was put on a medication which he took twice daily.  Other than the IBD and the Thyroid Tyson was a Healthy 5 year old Dog.

On Saturday August 28, 2010 Tyson went with his potential adopter Louis DiBacco at approximately 10am. Louis was very excited to have Tyson join his family and Louis was under the mindset “to bring Tyson with him to places and get him out to meet and greet”. Later on in the day he took Tyson to visit friends in Providence, RI.  At around 5:30/6:00pm Tyson slipped from his lead and took off running down Enfield Street in Providence. Louis notified Providence Police and left a message on the Voicemail at Attleboro Animal Shelter and Providence Animal Shelter, as he continued to search for Tyson.

Sunday August 29, 2010 when Attleboro ACO’s arrived, they took note of his message and Volunteers were notified of Tyson’s disappearance. By 8:30am Two Volunteers from Friends of Attleboro Animal Shelter headed right down to Providence to try and find Tyson. We immediately searched the area calling Tyson’s name and squeeking his favorite Ducky toy and went door to door.   At around 11am we proceeded to Providence Animal Shelter, where we followed an ACO Van into the Shelter driveway. We ran right over to the Animal Conrol Officer’s Van with a picture of Tyson and asked “have you seen this dog”? , we were told “nope, don’t look familiar”. We then explained what happened and with No enthusiasm the Providence ACO told us…”do you know how many of THOSE dogs are out there”? He proceeded to tell us they were not open and to call back at 11am on Monday. We then headed back to Attleboro Animal Shelter, where other Volunteers were ready to help in the search  and had prepared 100 Fliers of Tyson to start posting in Providence. At around 1:00pm on Sunday August 29, 2010 Three Volunteers headed back into Providence to Start pounding the pavement and distribute and hang fliers. We placed 100 Fliers in the area of Enfield St, Smith St.,Admiral St., Chad Brown projects and the many side streets in the area of Providence College. We returned back to the Attleboro Animal Shelter at around 4:00pm and regrouped, posted Ads on Facebook and Craigslist, yahoo k9 Amber Alert Group, Emailed the flier to the general email of providence Animal Shelter at animal@providenceri.com, and prayed for some siting calls, which we received none.

Monday August 30, 2010, I called Providence Animal Shelter at 11:00am when they opened. They were asked if there were any “Tyson Sitings” and “did you get the flier that was emailed over to you”? The Answer was “No we have not picked up any dogs matching your description (White Bulldog/Pit mix with a Brown patch over his right Eye), and that an email should be sent to Dave Holden at 'dholden@providenceri.com”, which was sent that day at 11:18am with a copy of the Flier and the info on his situation. They were told that we would be in the area distributing more fliers and to please call with any info, as Tyson is a friendly dog who needs medication. We continued to look, walking and talking to everyone, posting fliers and calling Tyson’s name – again with no luck. 

Later in the evening on  Monday August 30, 2010 at 5:00pm several more Volunteers of Friends of Attleboro Animal Shelter and members of our community headed back into the Providence area to look for Tyson. We refused to give up and had more Fliers printed and we continued to pound the pavement looking for Tyson, knocking on Doors, hanging up Fliers And begging for assistance on Facebook and Craigslist. Again, we had no sitings, no tips, but we refused to lose hope.

Tuesday August 31, 2010 at approximately 6:30pm we went back into Providence with more fliers, knocking on more doors, hanging fliers in local stores, giving them to Providence Police, Cabs, Busses – anyone we could hand a flier to we did…we just wanted to find Tyson!

Wednesday September 1, 2010 I received a call on my Cell (which was the number listed on the Fliers) from a gentleman who resided at 467 Admiral Street in Providence. He proceeded to say Tyson was in his backyard on Saturday August 28th around 10:00pm and he called Providence Police Department to let them know. He stated they gave Tyson some water and put a blanket out, but did not want to move him as one of the Tenants in the house saw him get hit by a car and he was limping.  Animal Control finally came to that location around 1:00am or so based on reports from a tenant also residing at 467 Admiral Street.   

After getting off the phone with Isaac, a cal was made to various ER Vets in the area since Providence Animal Control was unreachable at that time. That is when we learned that MA/RI Euthanized a dog that may fit Tyson’s description – he was euthanized Saturday August 28, 2010 at approximately 2:00am in the back of the Providence Animal Shelter’s vehicle.

I then proceeded to reach out to Friends of Attleboro Animal Shelter volunteers who could goto the Providence Shelter and get to the bottom of this horrific situation. Two Friends of Attleboro Animal Shelter Volunteers sat at the Providence Shelter waiting for them to open. At around 11:20am they decided to open the doors to the public and the Volunteers entered the Shelter armed with several pictures of Tyson then asked the famous question “have you seen this dog”? AGAIN the answer was “No”.   The Volunteers continued to question the Animal Control Officers, and at that time were told again “no we have not seen your dog”! One ACO proceeded to say “do you know how many of THOSE breeds we see each day”? After about 30 minutes of bickering with Providence Animal Control Officers, One finally admitted and said “oh yeah I did pick up a dog at that location Saturday – but he had parvo and we euthanized him”. Then he stated that it is the law, they immediately cremate Parvo dogs and there was no way of knowing for sure if it was Tyson or not.  The Volunteers refused to accept that and  continued to question them in hopes of confirming whether it was Tyson or not.  At that time one of the Volunteers ran out to her car and grabbed her laptop where there were many more pictures of Tyson and that is when a female staff sitting at the desk got out of her seat and went out back. A few moments later she came back and said “oh yea I think your dog is out back” and at the time the two Friends of Attleboro Animal Shelter volunteers were walked to a walk-in freezer outside and confirmed by Identification that indeed it was our baby Tyson.

Providence Animal Shelter was called daily at around 11:15am when they opened, 1:00 figuring it was after lunch and 2:45 before they closed and was always told “sorry we don’t have your dog”. We were doing everything that Providence Animal Shelter suggested via their website for a Lost Dog and then some!  We are a determined group looking for a loved dog and reached out thru any and all channels possible. How could this happen?  They knew…how could they not?  They thought Tyson was just “another one of THOSE dogs”….well he wasn’t and because we didn’t walk away and accept their answers we were able to find our darling Tyson…lying lifeless and cold all alone with nobody to love him in Providence Animal Shelter’s Freezer.

About 20 minutes after leaving the Providence shelter after identifying Tyson’s dead body, we called providence to say “we want his body – Tyson needs to come home, our ACO is coming to get him” and that is when they said “NO it is against the law to bring him across state lines”.  I found that interesting – as they transported him across state lines before and after they authorized his execution.  Providence told us he would be cremated on Thursday September 2, 2010 and we could pick up his ashes on Friday September 3, 2010.We hung up and called right back again and said we are going to ask out Vet to come out there and get a sample from Tyson, to prove he was healthy and they proceeded to tell us “sorry he is in the incinerator as we speak”.

Let me refresh some things here…….The Same Animal Control officer (Michael Disano) that was personally handed the flier on Sunday morning admitted he was the one who picked him up that night (August 29th).  This was the ACO that said “nope haven’t seen your dog” just 8 hours after electing to have him killed!  I cannot help but wonder how can he forget about a dog he just had killed hours before he was handed a flier on that same dog? Officer Michael Disano told us that on that Saturday evening he saw Tyson at the location he was dispatched to, called for him to “come here” and Tyson did. At that Time Tyson was exhausted, scared and very thirsty (can you blame him?). He also stated that Tyson smelled of Parvo…he said “you know that smell”, which is why they state they elected to euthanize Tyson.

I know Providence is on the Alert after they were recently under quarantine for Parvo.  However, let’s not forget what the reports made public state…the only dogs Euthanized by Providence Animal Shelter during their outbreak….were “those kinda dogs”, you know..dogs like Tyson.  Officer Michael Disano and Dave Holden gave us a brief summary of the events that night.  They simply said Officer Michael Disano drove Tyson to MA/RI Veterinary and elected to have him Euthanized as he had Parvo. Tyson never went into the Vet office, he was Euthanized in the back of a dark ACO Van. At that time they were suppose to cremate him as they stated that is the law…but they never did he was placed in the freezer at the Providence Animal Shelter for another 3 days.

Let me remind you as Tyson’s story is long……Tyson was fully up to date on his Vaccinations he was a 5 year old adult dog who was in the same location since March until that one day. Yes he had IBD which caused issues with his stools and being hit by a car will cause Anal glands to express which do smell quite strong…..Tyson played with all dogs at the Attleboro Shelter (except 2 that are not dog friendly)….all our dogs were tested the day we identified Tyson…not to anyone’s surprise ALL are negative!

What they didn’t know or seem to care about is that Tyson wasn’t just “one of those dogs” he was a dog that was loved, cared for, vetted and now missed!  He was truly a phenomenal dog full of love and life that they sucked right out of him! Anyone who met Tyson loved Tyson….THAT is the kind of dog Tyson was!

Goto and look at what they say to do when you lose your pet under the “Finding a Lost Pet” section.  Tyson is a wake up call…..the ones who loved him did all that and then some….and still they killed him! 

 Tyson deserves to be heard and remembered!!!!

I and I know many others feel an emptiness over losing Tyson….The tears are painful and the hurt is fresh he did NOT deserve this and he WILL be heard!  Tyson baby WE LOVE YOU!


Athena Elizabeth Avery    Contact the author of the petition