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People are doing wonderful things out there for animals. And animals do wonderful things for people. Pet Rock each year focuses on a few of these wonderful people, animals and acts of kindness.

This year, the Pet Rock Hero Awards are presented to:
Karen Windsor

In 2001 a volunteer, Karen Windsor, showed up at Foster Parrots after reading about the organization in the local paper. From that day forward she never looked back. She took ownership of the parrot overpopulation and welfare issues with all her heart and soul. Karen worked a full time job with Foster Parrots with no pay, learning grant writing and taking over the daily administration tasks all while doing her part in the daily care of the birds in our care. Karen has forged the moral issues now widely recognized and she led the way, trailblazing the issues that would define the animal welfare’s opposition to the pet trade on behalf of these intelligent animals. Karen has given her every waking moment of her life to making a difference for both each parrot in our care and for the bigger picture involving all captive and wild parrots. Karen is one of those rare people who actually have made a difference in the world. Stay tuned, there is a lot more to come from Karen!
Lilly the Pit Bull

Lilly the Pit Bull is a hero after dragging her unconscious owner from the path of an oncoming train. Lilly’s owner was unharmed, but the train struck the 8 year-old dog.

While walking home from her boyfriend’s home at midnight with Lilly on May 3, Christine Spain collapsed on the railroad tracks after apparently having too much to drink. Authorities in Shirley, Massachusetts say a train was heading down the tracks at the same time.

The train’s engineer and the only witness reported seeing a dog “frantically pulling at a woman as he drew closer.” He did everything he could to stop the train. He heard a thump and thought he had hit both Lilly and her owner. When he was finally able to come to a complete stop, he found Spain safely on the side of the tracks, but Lilly had been severely injured.

The muscles and skin on her right paw were torn away, her pelvis was fractured and she had injuries to her internal organs. Lilly was rushed to a local animal emergency hospital, but Spain’s son, Boston police Officer David Lanteigne, picked her up and took her to Angell Animal Medical Clinic in Boston.

The Boston clinic had to amputate Lilly’s right front leg and is currently helping the dog recover from her other injuries.

“Lilly’s recovery from this horrific ordeal is my top priority right now and I’ll do everything possible to get her back home to us,” said Lanteigne. The officer adopted the dog for his mother three years ago. Lanteigne said, “Lilly’s doing a lot better than she was almost a week ago. She’s on her road to recovery now.”

Lanteigne hopes Lilly’s heroism will change people’s attitude about Pit bulls. “I just want it to raise awareness on how special these dogs truly are.” He calls Lilly loving and affectionate. He also said his mother has been deeply affected by the dog’s selfless act.

Lilly’s veterinary care is estimated to cost thousands of dollars. A fund has been set up with the MSPCA to help defray costs.
Officer John Pitro

Town of Shrewsbury Police Officer John Pitro came to the aid of an innocent puppy who was being grossly mistreated by his owner. While on duty, Officer Pitro witnessed Paul Green, 28, of Shrewsbury, yank so violently on the dog’s collar that the 40-pound dog came off the ground and backward 7 to 8 feet! While approaching Mr. Green he repeated the cruel act and told Officer Pitro “I can train my (expletive) puppy the way I want to train my (expletive) puppy.”

Officer Pitro went above and beyond the line of duty to make an arrest. Mr. Green was arraigned in Westborough District Court on charges of animal cruelty and disorderly conduct. If not for Officer Pitro, this puppy would most certainly have suffered at the hands of a bully who would hurt his trusted animal companion.

Worcester, Massachusetts:
Celebrating 14 years, Pet Rock Fest is the largest event of its kind in the Northeast, an annual festival that promotes kindness to animals and responsible pet ownership. Pet Rock Fest, held in September each year, is a family festival that features guest speakers, vegetarian food, live music, games, events, a raffle, vendors, and hundreds of area animal welfare organizations. Pet Rock is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. Donations are tax deductible.

If you’d like more information, visit

About the Chamber

The mission of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce is to promote the economic vitality of the Blackstone Valley and meet the needs of the Chamber’s business members, while providing leadership on issues which impact the economy and quality of life in the Valley. The Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce serves the eleven towns in the Massachusetts BV Region: Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton and Uxbridge. For more information on the Chamber please contact or call 508 234 9090 X101.

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