Detective Sergeant DeFelice

The National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) has partnered with Show Your Soft Side (SYSS) to show the softer side of law enforcement in a 2019-2020 18-month calendar which includes our own Detective Sergeant DeFelice from the Dundalk Precinct Investigative Services Team.

SYSS is a non-profit organization that began in 2010 as a simple public service campaign to end animal abuse and generate support for animal rescues. It began with three women and a photographer placing posters in Baltimore City Schools aimed at changing the mindset of our youth after a number of horrific animal abuse cases in the Baltimore area. It has grown into a world-wide campaign to end animal cruelty and promote animal rescue, featuring posters of "tough" athletes, rockers, and other celebrities lending their names, faces, and furry companions to the effort to end animal cruelty before it begins.

The National Sheriffs' Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism in the law enforcement field and a leader in the fight against animal abuse. John Thompson, COO and deputy executive director of the NSA, serves on the SYSS Advisory Board. He also created the National Law Enforcement Center on Animal Abuse (NLECAA) division to provide law enforcement officers with thorough information on animal abuse and its link to other crimes. Thompson indicated that the NSA and SYSS missions in the fight against animal abuse were aligned and this was a perfect opportunity to work together for a cause so important to both groups.

Sgt. DeFelice was chosen for the calendar because of her extensive volunteer work in animal rescue and rehabilitation. For nearly four years she has volunteered with Pitties and Purrs Rescue, Inc., a nonprofit foster-based animal rescue in Baltimore, that depends on volunteers like Sgt. DeFelice and her family to take foster animals into their homes to care for and aid in their rehabilitation so that they can be adopted by a forever family. She is also their foster coordinator, responsible for the intake of animals into the rescue.

Detective Sergeant DeFelice and CharityHer work with Pitties and Purrs began after she and her family adopted their second rescue dog, Charity, pictured on the cover of the calendar. Sgt. DeFelice found a severely wounded Charity while working in October of 2011, after the dog had been attacked by another dog and struck by a car. Both of her rear legs were broken, one of which would require surgery. Knowing that Animal Services would likely euthanize the dog due to the severity of the injuries, Sgt. DeFelice loaded Charity up into her police car and took her to Pet ER in Towson. Sgt. DeFelice posted about the dog on her Facebook page in hopes of finding the owner and soliciting help from an animal rescue. While the owner was never found, Sgt. DeFelice did succeed in eliciting help from an animal rescue and raised funds to treat the dog's injuries, including saving the leg that was nearly amputated. Sgt. DeFelice credits her experience with Charity, who she ultimately adopted, for becoming involved in animal rescue volunteer work.

Sgt. DeFelice rescued Trotter, with whom she is pictured on the calendar page, from an animal shelter in West Virginia in November 2016 when he was just seven weeks old. The shelter saved Trotter from an abusive situation that left him paralyzed. Sgt. DeFelice created a Facebook page for Trotter so that people from his hometown could follow his progress during his rehabilitation. He now has nearly 7,000 followers and is well known locally and nationally.

Jude - available for adoption through PItties & Purrs animal rescueCurrently the DeFelice family has three rescue dogs - their first, Luke, was adopted in 2008 after he was thrown from a moving car when he was about six weeks old. He is not pictured in the calendar but recovered fully from his abuse and is now a happy and healthy big brother to Charity and Trotter. Additionally, the DeFelice family has rescued two cats and is fostering a third, Jude, until it can be adopted by a forever family.

Jude (pictured here) is a male cat, approximately 2 years old, recovering from an animal bite. Anyone interested in adopting Jude can contact Pitties & Purrs at adoptpitties@gmail.com as he will not be listed on their adoption page until he is fully recovered.

This is not the first time Baltimore County has been featured by SYSS. Adam Lippe and April Doherty, who, together with Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger, created the Animal Abuse Unit at the Baltimore County State's Attorney's Office in 2012, were also featured last year for their astounding accomplishments in animal abuse case prosecutions and convictions.