This corner bar won’t show Eagles games, but it has nothing to do with the team’s playing.
Doobie’s on 22nd and Lombard streets refuses to play the games because of Michael Vick’s previous involvement with dog fighting.
Pat Brett, the owner of the bar, is an animal activist, and aside from not playing the Eagles in bar, she welcomes pets of all kinds into the establishment – from dogs and cats to even a fox.
The Eagles ban has been implemented for years, but Brett has recently been gaining attention for her boycott, possibly because of how long it has lasted.
Brett’s family has owned the neighborhood bar for 35 years and because of her love for animals, has used Doobie’s as a platform for commenting on animal rights. Brett said she has maintained a strong belief in refusing to support anyone involved with animal cruelty.
She keeps a picture of Lucas, Vick’s prize dog fighter, behind the bar as a reminder of what she is protesting.
“We actually bought that television when the Eagles were in the playoffs in 2007,” Brett said, pointing to a TV mounted in the corner behind the bar.
“Haven’t played a game since 2009 when the Eagles hired Vick,” Brett added. “The day that I heard [it], I was in the car listening to KYW on my way to [Doobie’s]. I came in through the door and said, ‘The Eagles hired Vick, we’re not showing the games here anymore,’ and that’s how it started.”
“In the beginning it was certainly odd to turn away customers who wanted to watch the game, but I think now everyone knows that we do it so we don’t get very many people who come in asking for Eagles games anymore,” Brett said. “Although this past Sunday [Nov.3], I actually turned away five people.”
Brett, who has worked at the bar since she was 22, said she has been fortunate to have a supportive staff and that she often works Sundays when most Eagles games would be shown. Doobie’s is also known as a neighborhood bar, so many patrons are familiar with the ban on Eagles games.
Running a bar has also given Brett a flexible schedule so she can extend her love for animals into animal rescue.
“My husband and I have been doing [cat rescue] for 12 years,” Brett said. “Where I live we have a terrible stray problem, so we do TNR – trap, neuter and release – with the ferals, cats that can’t be placed into homes because they are too fearful of humans.”
Brett even extends her rescue work into the bar.
“The friendlys that we find in the neighborhood we get vetted and try to adopt out,” she said. “I was just talking to someone in the bar about adopting a kitty.”
Brett has also done wildlife rescue with birds, raccoons, squirrels and geese. She doesn’t mind her passion for animals overlapping with her business, welcoming pets into the bar.
“I’ve had a couple of my cats in here, coming in to say hi to employees,” Brett said. “People bring their dogs in on leashes. We actually have a fox that comes in, a little fennec fox – the smallest of the foxes. His name is Gonzo and he’s 8 years old, which is actually old for a fox. Often when he comes in he has to be held because he doesn’t like dogs.”
Brett said she has always had a love for animals.
“I was the little girl who used to bring every injured animal home to my mom,” she said.
With a strong position on what she feels is right, Brett is unafraid to take a stand against anyone who is suspected of animal cruelty.
“I don’t like what [the Eagles] did in hiring [Vick] right after he got out of prison,” Brett said. “I thought that was a little too quick for him to return. But there are some suspicions of another Eagles player doing some [dog fighting], I don’t know for certain yet whether that is true, but if I find out that he is fighting then we still won’t be playing Eagles games here.”
In June, Eagles player Bryce Brown had his pit bull and its seven puppies taken from a kennel after suspicion of involvement in dog fighting. The dogs have since been returned and Brown has not been tied to involvement in any illegal dog fighting operations.
Doobie’s plans on continuing to support animal rights while being a safe haven for all pets.
Sinead Cummings can be reached at email@example.com.