MSPCA Drops Adoption Fees for Animals Most in Need of Homes During National ‘Clear the Shelters’ Campaign

As visitors prepare to flood animal shelters across the country during NBC Universal’s one-day “Clear the Shelters” adoption promotion on Saturday, Aug. 17, the MSPCA-Angell announced it will drop adoption fees for its most challenging-to-place animals in a bid to find them all homes on the day. The waiving of adoption fees is made possible by generous donors such as the Catvocates, a group of donors who subsidize adoption and spay-neuter initiatives at the MSPCA. Holding Out for a Hero
The MSPCA’s three animal care and adoption centers in Boston, Methuen and Centerville will each waive adoption fees for pets described by staff as “harder to place,” such as shy cats, senior dogs and long-term horse residents. Mike Keiley, director of adoption centers and programs for the MSPCA-Angell, said the organization is eager to capitalize on the spotlight that the national “Clear the Shelter” campaign shines on pet adoption.


Frisky Feline ‘Starfish’ is Lucky to be Alive after Losing a Leg in Car Strike in South Boston

A friendly, ghost-white cat now named “Starfish” is lucky to be alive after she was rushed to the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center on April 27 by a good Samaritan who found her injured and cowering under a car in South Boston during a rain storm, the MSPCA-Angell announced on May 10. The cat—who MSPCA staffers believe is about seven months old—weighs about eight pounds and was wearing a red collar when she was found but had no identification tag or microchip, making it impossible to identify an owner. She arrived critically injured, with her left hind leg nearly crushed and her rear right paw stripped away, likely from being trapped and dragged under the wheel of a car. Scared, Broken and Cold
Starfish was found hiding underneath a car on the corner of Summer and East Second Street in South Boston, streets adjacent to a number of active construction zones and marked by high-speed traffic. Laura (Savard) Gallagher, a nearby resident, spotted her beside the car’s wheel as a cold rain drenched the neighborhood.


Springtime Temperature Rise Brings Concerns for Dog Safety

With almost 70,000 animals treated each year, the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center is one of the busiest 24-7 emergency and specialty veterinary hospitals in the world—and springtime in New England is one of the busiest seasons. “After a long winter we’re arriving at what feels like spring, and the longer days, sunshine and warming temperatures are encouraging us to spend as much time outside as possible,” said Dr. Kiko Bracker of Angell’s Emergency & Critical Care Unit. “But we must remember that our pets have spent the last six months mostly inside and disaster—in the form of heat stroke or death—can strike if they’re suddenly forced to engage in strenuous outdoor activity without time to acclimate.”

Warm Temperatures Demand Caution
Dr. Bracker urges caution to ensure the transition from the lazy winter slumber to springtime excess goes smoothly for pets. Topping the list of veterinarians’ concerns: heat. “Most people think the intense late summer heat waves are the most dangerous period for pets—but in reality we see far more cases of heat stroke in the early spring,” said Dr. Bracker.


Angell Animal Medical Center: Protect Dogs Against Canine Version of Flu Virus

Flu season is well underway in Massachusetts—and with it the body aches, congestion, fatigue and other ills associated with our collective seasonal misery. Now veterinarians at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston are concerned about a second category of potential victims: dogs. There is zero risk of dogs contracting human flu—nor is there a canine flu epidemic underway in Massachusetts. However, several states, including Illinois, Georgia and Kentucky, are racking up hundreds of positive canine flu tests and that has the veterinary community concerned. “This flu season has been severe for humans and that’s why there is so much attention on flu right now,” said Dr. Virginia Sinnott of Angell Animal Medical Center.


Long Suffering ‘Scottish Fold’ Kitten Arrives in Boston by Way of NYC and Ukraine

If cats could talk we would be amazed by the stories they could tell. Such is the case with Scottie, a four-month-old purebred Scottish Fold kitten surrendered to the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in November in very ill health and a back story that beggars belief. Scottie was bred in the Ukraine and then imported to a kitten reseller in New York. She was then purchased online by an individual in Boston and shipped to Massachusetts. Owing to her long and arduous journey—as well as the premature separation from her mother—Scottie arrived with a severe upper respiratory infection, and she was significantly underweight.


MSPCA Rescues Street Kitten Whose Collar had Embedded Into Her Skin

A social and outgoing kitten now named “Nickie” is breathing a sigh of relief at the MSPCA-Angell after shelter veterinarians surgically removed a collar last Thursday that had embedded itself so deeply into her neck that her skin had grown around it. Nickie was spotted several times in Dorchester by an anonymous good Samaritan who ultimately came to her aid, plucking her from the street and bringing her to the shelter on Nov. 1. Dr. Cynthia Cox, director of shelter medicine for the MSPCA, was first to examine Nickie, who remained friendly and gentle throughout despite the pain associated with the collar growing into her skin. “This unfortunately is an injury we’ve seen before,” said Dr. Cox, who surgically removes collars from one or two cats every year—even as dozens more arrive at the shelter with “severely constricted” collars.


Homeless Cats from Hurricane-Ravaged St. John Coming to Jamaica Plain

On Tuesday the MSPCA-Angell took in 34 cats from the St. John Animal Care Center on St. John, the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands that was left devastated when Hurricane Irma barreled through as a category 5 storm on Sept. 6, clocking wind gusts of up to 200 miles per hour. The cats arrived at Nashua Airport in Nashua, New Hampshire on Tuesday evening.


MSPCA Seeks ‘Super Heroes’ for Jamaica Plain’s Most Challenging Cats

The MSPCA-Angell is seeking Wonder Women and Supermen to open their hearts to the shy, the feisty and the demanding! The MSPCA-Angell’s three adoption centers in Massachusetts have turned over every imaginable stone in recent years to place more cats than ever into permanent homes, with regularly occurring “fee-waived” adoptathons playing a central role in efforts that have ratcheted the organization’s adoption rate to an all-time high of 90 percent. Now the organization is launching the “Challenging Cat Challenge,” a one-day fee-waived adoptathon to be held Saturday, Aug. 26 for cats whose personalities and habits—from shyness to feistiness and everything in between—have hampered their ability to get new homes. According to MSPCA officials, dozens of the cats living in its Jamaica Plain, Methuen and Centerville adoption centers are categorized as “challenging.” These cats stay in the adoption centers longer while watching other cats leave for permanent homes.


Emaciated Kitten Found Outside by Dumpster to Undergo Reconstructive Surgery to ‘Save Face’

Whether caused by infection or trauma or by electrocution, a tiny six-week-old kitten is missing nearly half his face and will soon have reconstructive surgery at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center before a new home can be found, the Jamaica Plain animal rescue said. The young kitten, who shelter staff named “Nigel,” was found wandering beside a dumpster in Dorchester by a good Samaritan, who rushed him to the MSPCA on July 7. At the time, the adoption center team thought Nigel might have been struggling with an upper respiratory infection. “His nose and much of his face seemed discolored but that appeared to be a standard infection for which we started him on pain medicine and antibiotics,” said adoption center manager Alyssa Krieger of the adorable ball of orange who now has his own Instagram page (@NoNoseNigel). “We were shocked to discover later just how seriously injured Nigel was.”
Missing Half His Face
After just one week Nigel’s face, including the skin on and under his nose had simply fallen off.


MSPCA’s July 4th Pet Safety Recommendations

Fireworks, dangerous foods and heat top the list of concerns for Jamaica Plain pet owners. As JP gears up to celebrate the Fourth of July Holiday the MSPCA-Angell is imploring pet owners to heed basic safety precautions to keep pets safe and healthy during the long weekend. Fireworks: Not Fun for Fido
Dr. Terri Bright of the MSPCA’s Behavior Services Department cautions that fireworks can be especially terrifying for some dogs. “We must keep in mind that the sense of hearing in dogs is far superior to ours—so they hear and feel these sounds with much greater intensity,” she said. Dr. Bright’s top tips for helping dogs weather the fireworks storm include:
• Keep dogs in a small interior room of the house with a noise machine and shades drawn so as to block out both explosive sounds and the bright lights of fireworks
• Offer an engaging and tasty treat such as a peanut butter- or meat-filled Kong to keep dogs occupied and comforted
• Play their favorite games, and have special toys for them to engage with
• Keep outside time to a minimum while fireworks displays are going on—even if that means moving up the post-dinner walk to earlier in the afternoon and ensuring bathroom breaks happen before the displays
• Never leave dogs outside unaccompanied as a general rule—and certainly not during fireworks displays, which can elicit unpredictable behavior (such as fleeing) that dogs may otherwise not exhibit
• As a last resort you may want to see your veterinarian to determine if a mild tranquilizer may help your dog get through the displays

“As with all things a little common sense goes a long way and by following these tips dog owners are much more likely to see their pets comfortably through the most intense displays,” said Dr. Bright. Top Summer Holiday Health Concerns
The MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center is keen to help pet owners avoid a trip to the animal ER ahead of the July 4th Holiday weekend.