BY ANDREAS YILMA
BEACON FALLS — One local official has added a new four-legged member to his home after he lost one earlier this year.
Selectman Peter Betkoski’s 13 year-old pit bull, Bessie died in February. Several months later Betkoski decided to adopt another pit bull, Roxy. He took ownership in the beginning of May from the Naugatuck Animal Control.
“It’s tough because the dogs become a part of your family,” Betkoski said. “I had to pray on it. This pit bull caught my eye. I had the guilty feeling of replacing my own dog. I didn’t want to replace her too fast”
Betkoski said he feels that these dogs need to be re-homed and he gave Roxy a good home as she has bonded with him already. He has had five dogs in his past and currently also has a dobermans named Zeke that was also rescued out of New Britain.
Naugatuck Animal Control Officer Steven Rupsis said Roxy’s owner, who was a single father of three children, got evicted but still did a good job training Roxy.
“We took the dog in because of the unfortunate events,” Rupsis said. “He couldn’t take the dog and live in another place.”
The Naugatuck Animal Control facility currently has about eight dogs and is at half capacity. However, people continue to dump dogs in the borough as someone dumped an older dog on Hunters Mountain Road in the Naugatuck State Forest on June 9.
“A lot of people are afraid to call us because they think we’re going to put the dog down,” Rupsis said. “We don’t do that.”
Rupsis said the Naugatuck Animal Control’s goal is to fit the dog to the family and not the family to the dog.
“The family has to match with what the dog needs and wants,” Rupsis said. “The dog comes first and we’ll match the dog with the family after the application.”
Betkoksi said people have lost dogs in the past and they’re little hesitant to adopt. He was heartbroken when he lost Bessie, who is buried in the backyard of his home.
Rupsis and Betkoski both agreed if a person has the experience and financial capabilities, it’s important to adopt a dog if they are able to.
“My big thing is we have dogs like this that are looking for good homes,” Betkoski said. “Why am I going to go buy a dog that costs a couple grand? It costs money.”
Betkoski’s son, Luke Betkoski, who lives in Austin, Texas, also rescued a pit bull named Suga before local officials planned to euthanize the dog.
Betkoski said he planned to have Roxy and Zeke meet at some point this summer.
“My parents raised me to love animals. We’re all brought up around animals,” Betkoski said. “So why not give a dog a good home.”