LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Cydney Cross, a beloved local animal rescue activist suddenly passed away recently. Local animal rescue organizations are now paying tribute to Cydney and her rescue work which was especially centered around Pitbulls.

Inspiring Women of the Capital Region: Cydney Cross

Nicknamed the Grandmother of Pitbull rescue, Cydney started ‘Out of the Pits’ in 1994, an organization devoted to rescuing the breed she thought of as misunderstood. 

“Cydney’s been doing this — ‘Out of the Pits’ — for 29 years, and prior to that she was in rescue for Greyhounds. So, the last 40 to 50 years of her life has been devoted to dogs” said Maggie Blodgett, Co-VP Out of the Pits.

Cydney was working up until the end. Just 3 weeks ago she was at the Healthy Pet Center in Latham buying supplies for dogs that she rescued.

Sirena Sanders works at the chain store where Cydney was a regular customer. She says Cross was truly devoted to her work with dogs. 

“She worked endlessly. She would sometimes call our staff in the middle of the night if she got a dog that was rescued saying ‘hey they have this issue, what nutrition can I do’. She did not give up on any dog ever. She’s really gonna be missed.”

Cross was beloved by local animal rescue groups, especially for her work in changing the negative perception of Pitbulls. 

“One thing she’d always say that I will never forget is it’s not about how they were raised, it’s about who they were made to be” said Kari Henkle, Co-VP Out of the Pits.


The CEO of the Mohawk Hudson Society echoing Sirena’s sentiments in a statement saying in short:

“…Through her education and rescue she was a pioneer in changing attitudes towards dogs who have been misused and misunderstood. She was relentless in her mission to improve their acceptance…”

‘Out of the Pits’ says Cydney’s legacy will live on. 

“She would not want us to be sitting around feeling sorry for her or ourselves. She would want us to do the celebration and get back to work” Blodgett added.