Last Friday, October 7th, while Jersey Shore viewers rehashed another chapter in Vinny and Snooki’s will-they-won’t-they-did-they saga, now four seasons and two continents strong, Vinny mourned a loss far sadder than Deena’s underwear or Ron’s temper: Jelly, his 12-year-old pitbull.
The surprisingly rational (usually) fist-pumper reached out via twitter to announce Jelly’s passing: “I am sad to say today I lost not only a dog but my best friend of 12 years. #RIPJELLY love you buddy,” posted Vinny, alongside a picture of he and Jelly. Pauly D, Vinny’s co-star, fellow GTL worshipper, and, by all accounts, a genuinely close friend on and off the Shore, followed suit and showed support with a sympathetic tweet: “Damn I’m sorry my dude…I know how much Jelly Meant to you.”
Vinny speaks often about his lifelong love affair with animals, particularly dogs.Growing up, the Staten Island native’s father was a dog breeder and groomer, and Vinny has described his childhood home as “the house where everyone brought strays to.”
Vinny’s passion for animals is nothing new to Animal Fair—we wrote about his laudable animal rescue efforts last August, when he mugged for the camera with his menagerie of loveable mutts, and borrowed Lucky for some seaside snapshots. Recently, Vinny pledged some tee shirt time to Much Love Animal Rescue, auctioning off shirts he wore during the Italy season to benefit the Los Angeles adoption organization. Next time you tune in to Jersey Shore, look for the tees that went from Vinny to the dogs: A gorilla shirt, a “Shore Store” tank, and a “Haterz” tee.