Pauly and Bruiser to be reunited thanks to an outpouring of generosity and community spirit

Lottie Twyford 4 August 2021 120
Pauly and his dog bruiser

Pauly and his “best mate” Bruiser at the Erindale Shops. Photo: Melissa McCormack.

After what can only be described as an outpouring of community spirit and generosity, Erindale homeless man Pauly New will be reunited with his best mate and beloved companion Bruiser after he was impounded last week.

Thousands of Canberrans had followed the story closely – liking, sharing and commenting on Facebook posts as well as signing petitions addressed to Domestic Animal Services (DAS) asking for the animal to be returned.

So when Pauly’s sister announced on Facebook on Monday evening that Bruiser had passed his temperament tests, commenters noted they either had tears in their eyes or were ready to bust out the champagne in his honour.

By the next morning, over 1000 people had reacted to the post.

Pauly and Bruiser are familiar faces to many who frequent the Erindale Shops to get their groceries or pick up a coffee in the mornings before work. He says he is more than blown away by the support he received from the community.

“I just want to say how grateful I am, and thank you to everyone who supported me and Bruiser,” he said.

“Now I’m just looking forward to picking him up after he is desexed and us being able to hang out.”


READ MORE: Community refuses to give up hope after local homeless man’s dog impounded


An anonymous donor has stepped up to the plate to cover the costs of Bruiser’s desexing, which is likely to take place today (4 August) at the Belconnen Veterinary Centre, where Bruiser was able to get an appointment at short notice.

If all goes well, Bruiser will be free to go with Pauly.

But that’s not where the good news ends.

When Pauly’s story was shared, he was offered short-term accommodation and is now set to meet with Canberra Liberals MLA and Member for Brindabella Mark Parton, who wants to help him secure permanent housing.

Pauly’s sister, Melissa McCormack, said she’s also in a state of shock and, like Pauly, can’t thank the community enough for their support.

“It just all feels like it’s happened so quickly that I don’t know what to think yet,” she said.

Melissa explained that Bruiser had performed well in the temperament test that animals are subjected to upon being impounded, and when shown aggression, he put his legs up and did not attack.

A spokesperson for the ACT Government said that in all likelihood, as soon as Bruiser was deemed fit to leave the vets after he was desexed, the two would be together again.


READ ALSO: Peter had a little lamb – ewe should read all about it


DAS’s investigation will only be deemed complete once the desexing procedure is completed.

The spokesperson explained that every dog seized by DAS undergoes a behavioural assessment conducted by a qualified and independent canine behaviourist or assessor to gauge the temperament and behaviour of the dog.

They added that, in the ACT, all dogs must be de-sexed unless their registered keeper has applied for a ‘sexually entire permit’.

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness, OneLink provides information and connections for support services in the ACT, including services for families and young people. A list of front-line community organisations can be found at VolunteeringACT and ACT Government funded homelessness services.


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120 Responses to Pauly and Bruiser to be reunited thanks to an outpouring of generosity and community spirit
Michael J. Chapman Michael J. Chapman 8:25 pm 07 Aug 21

Yes!!!!!!! I was so effected by this story when I read it two weeks ago. I actually want to go to erindale now and meet Pauly and Bruiser. 🙂 Actually best news Ive heard in a while. Hey Jess Chapman he got his dog back and the guy is getting some housing. 🙂 🐶

Julie Horwood Julie Horwood 4:57 pm 07 Aug 21

Awesome guys well done thank you

Samantha Sheppard Samantha Sheppard 9:00 am 07 Aug 21

Thank heavens. Such good news

Helen Bruce Helen Bruce 9:00 am 07 Aug 21

Great news

Uy Nguyen Uy Nguyen 11:57 pm 06 Aug 21

Great news! Pauly truely loves and cares for Bruiser!!

Audrey Gildea Audrey Gildea 1:52 pm 06 Aug 21

Sophie Gildea good news

Ruth Fearnside Ruth Fearnside 12:35 pm 06 Aug 21

Such a good ending! Thank you for covering this story in the RiotAct.

Fairdinkum Fairdinkum 9:33 pm 05 Aug 21

So annoyed with this dog @ Erindale shop. The dog is very intimidating and terrifies me, what more scarier is because this guy doesn’t keep his dog on the leash. The dog growled @ my husband when he just walking towards the shop’s entrance. My husband won’t take the chance and had to abandon going shopping. I don’t have anything against this guy and in favour in helping homeless people, but what if the dog over power his owner and attack people? We heard it so many times people got severely injured, sometimes even fatal when mauled by this type of dog. I wish people don’t treat someone as hero just because they are homeless, it is for someone who does something heroic, not just because they are friendy or say g’day when you walked pass them.

    Huon Zac Huon Zac 10:26 am 06 Aug 21

    Exactly right, do wrong get rewarded

    Melissa Stroud Melissa Stroud 4:07 pm 06 Aug 21

    Who did what wrong?

    Fairdinkum Fairdinkum 11:48 am 08 Aug 21

    He didn’t put his dog on a leash while he’s in public place

    Melissa Stroud Melissa Stroud 4:11 pm 06 Aug 21

    I don’t believe anyone has mentioned anything about a hero.
    I am sorry your husband is not comfortable around the dog. Could he use the other entrance if they are outside one of them?
    Maybe they won’t be around as much if they are given support and somewhere to live?

    Fairdinkum Fairdinkum 11:56 am 08 Aug 21

    wrong assumption. my husband happens to love dogs. Exactly the point, why we have to be inconvenience & go to different entrance or shop somewhere else when someone else have an unfriendly big dog unleashed near the entrance of shopping centre

Denise Chapman Denise Chapman 6:47 pm 05 Aug 21

Fabulous news💕

Nora Preston Nora Preston 6:30 pm 05 Aug 21

DAS and RSPCA temperament testing is violent and unnecessary committing a $600 fine for animal cruelty

Tracy Rautangata Tracy Rautangata 5:59 pm 05 Aug 21

Bloody wonderful! Some good news for a change.

Xena Kavanagh Xena Kavanagh 5:25 pm 05 Aug 21

Good onya Canberra. That's the spirit! <3

Karen Nulty Karen Nulty 4:40 pm 05 Aug 21

A lovely news story and its incredible to see what can happen with the power of the people and their caring spirit. I have always felt good upon arrival at Erindale shops after Paul and Bruisers greetings. I wish Paul and Bruiser all best and that they find a safe home out of the elements. 🥰

Sarah Allison Sarah Allison 4:39 pm 05 Aug 21

Soooooo happy with this result! 💜

TimboinOz TimboinOz 4:38 pm 05 Aug 21

This is very good news.

Having met these two outside a shopping centre a few times, I’ve been impressed by Bruiser’s responses to human attention, and by his ‘keeper’ who has trained Bruiser well.

Tracey Linnegar Tracey Linnegar 2:38 pm 05 Aug 21

That is great news about Pauly and Bruiser being reunited.

Vivienne Brennan Vivienne Brennan 1:35 pm 05 Aug 21

That is brilliant!! We all knew that big pup is just a big softie!! Fantastic news🤗🐾❤️

Clare Zacharias Clare Zacharias 12:32 pm 05 Aug 21

Great news Paul and Bruiser. Take care of each other.

Chrissy Dallinger Chrissy Dallinger 11:59 am 05 Aug 21

Fantastic!wonderful news

Jodie Durrant Jodie Durrant 11:02 am 05 Aug 21

Great outcome.

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