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Below are just a few success stories from the Stray Animal Program. Your donation of any amount can help save other animals like these!


  August 14, 2017 I was dispatched to Dunn Road in Ashburnham for a stray white small dog that looked like it had a mouth injury. When I arrived and found the little guy I was so disgusted and appalled at what I found. The poor little guy did not have a mouth injury (well, not a traumatic one) but a face full of mats that had stemmed from severe neglect to his teeth. His teeth were so horrible that pus and drool had created these mats that looked like tar stuck to the side of his muzzle and under his eyes.

I immediately brought him to the vet. When the vet saw him, he was surprised that Bubba was still alive. He decided that he couldn’t wait to be treated and pushed all his appointments to later on and immediately took Bubba out back to start the exam, which needed sedation. Sedation wasn’t strong enough, however, and he had to switch to gas anesthesia. Bubba ended up needing all his teeth removed and his whole body shaved. He also had really long toe nails that needed to be clipped.

Bubba has since been in foster and has started his road to recovery. He loves playing in the grass and running with his new playmates in the yard.

Kristen Salerno, Ashburnham Animal Control Officer

Throughout my years here at the Facility I have seen a lot of animal neglect, but nothing prepared me for the call I got about a “suspicious” carrier on the side of the road in Hubbardston. Luckily it was early in the morning when I arrived to where the carrier was left.  When I looked inside I was horrified, sad and astonished. The interior of the small carrier was coated with blood and feces and looking back at me were the biggest, cutest, sad doe eyes of a very scared little pittie puppy. I saw eyes and a white diamond shape on her head, so we named her Diamond. Diamond is roughly 14 weeks old and has a prolapsed rectum.

I rushed her to Townsend Vet, where they determined that she would need surgery that evening to try to fix the prolapse. However, surgery was not guaranteed to work due to the fact the prolapse had gone so long without treatment. The skin around her anus had multiple necrotic regions and she had poor anal tone. She was given multiple doses of buprenex for pain management as well as lidocaine/buprenex enema.

I spoke with Townsend vet the next morning and unfortunately, she had prolapsed again. They performed another prolapse repair, and gave her medications to help keep her sedate and not strain while having a bowel movement, this seemed to help for a bit.

Throughout all of this ordeal at the vet, she remained her loving, happy self. It was like she could tell she was finally safe and being taken care of. Everyone in Townsend Vet fell in love with Diamond and her personality. She is a fighter and a survivor.

All in all, Diamond had to have four prolapse surgery repairs. So far everything is holding together and she is so happy. Currently she is in foster care, and is loving life! She has two fur baby foster siblings, a foster mom and dad that spoil her rotten. She really benefited from the multiple surgeries that she had to have. If any pup deserved this it is her. Thank you very much for your consideration.

Kristen Salerno (Hubbarston Animal Control Officer)


"Dingo” was found by MA State P.D. at approximately 6:30AM on Friday, March 31, 2017. He appeared to be hit by car and was unable to stand or place himself upright. The only apparent injury visible was a ruptured eye on the left side. I arrived approximately 7:00AM and immediately transported the dog to MA-RI for evaluation and treatment.

Social Media Update – April 2017: Dingo is in foster care and will be looking for a place to call home in approximately a week or two. He will be special needs and at least initially will need someone who has time to devote to his care. We are determined to help out this little guy...And he is a fighter!!!!! Dingo had surgery to remove his ruptured eye, he was neutered and vaccinated. His foster mom says he is doing great.

 - Liz Botelho (Somerset ACO)


young intact male pit bull type dog was found by a good Samaritan on Route 135 in Framingham on Sunday, March 19, 2017. The dog was severely emaciated, weighing only 24 pounds. He was unable to keep any food or water down, vomiting immediately after consuming even a small amount. X-rays revealed a foreign object in the intestines. 

Emergency surgery was performed at Tufts VETS in Walpole. A nipple from a baby bottle had become lodged in the dog's intestines and was removed
. Fortunately, the intestines were still healthy and no resection was needed.

He is currently on a re-feeding program and has already shown marked improvement.

- Katherine MacKenzie (Framingham ACO)


Gingerbread" (now just “Ginger”) was found on the side of the road in December 2016. She was so weak and malnourished that she couldn’t even walk anymore. Animal Control was called out to pick her up and she was brought to Anchor Animal Hospital right away. Weighing only 11 pounds, severely dehydrated and emaciated, she was given fluids and some food to eat. She had sores on her legs and without treatment would not have lasted the night. Her wounds treated and that night she was up and walking around and by morning she was more alert and ready to start eating more. She was then brought to the South Coast Humane Society & Shelter so she could be cared for for a few more days. An owner was never located but the person who found her has since adopted her and brought her to her forever home.

- Sandra Gosselin (Dartmouth ACO)


Penny was found by a passerby on route 62 near Clinton/Lancaster line on side of road. Passerby took dog to Clinton Veterinary for ER care where dog was given supportive care, x-rayed, and determined hit by car. X-ray revealed possible pelvic fracture and dislocated hips. Dog was transported to Westford Veterinary ER Referral for orthopedic eval. Confirmed hips dislocated but no fractures. Recommended to attempt re-setting hips but procedure was unsuccessful. We’re now looking for more funds and donations for surgical procedure to correct hips so we can adopt dog out.

- Paul Wood, Clinton ACO


Misha came into the shelter on August 31, 2016. He had been wandering in a heavily wooded remote area of town. We posted his picture on our Facebook page and had one response from a person claiming to have been his owner "at one time," but had given the dog away to a man whose name was not known. We did hear from an ACO on Cape Cod who was familiar with the dog because it was routinely loose and at some point had been left in the basement of a house for several days before the owners came to get him.

Upon completion of the hold period, we sent him to Kingston Animal Hospital for routine vaccinations and a heartworm test. The heartworm test came back positive and we decided to have him treated. Misha is a very happy, strong, easy going, seems to like everybody kind of dog. On December 22, 2016 he was adopted by an experienced, responsible dog owner who has already bonded with him. They are the perfect match and destined to enjoy many happy days hiking trails on the South Shore.

- Debra Mueller, Kingston ACO

  Hello, my name is Nala. I was discovered left behind in a bathroom of my old home after my old owners were incarcerated. I was very frightened, but a nice Animal Control Officer talked to me for a while and assured me that I would be okay. We became very good friends. I am an older dog who has had a very unsettled life. When I was discovered my nails were overgrown to the extent that I could not walk without discomfort. When my new friend examined me, I also had very infected ears, as well as a terrible itchy rash all over my body with a couple of large lumps on my back leg.

I went to the vet and they cut my nails and gave me some medicine to make me feel better. They checked my lumps and discovered that they may be Mast cells and suggested that we have them removed in order to save my life. My new friend took me to the Townsend Veterinary Hospital and scheduled surgery for me. In the meantime, my old owner never came looking for me. I met a foster family who I immediately fell in love with and got out of the shelter to enjoy life in a great home while I waited for my surgery.

My surgery was a success, although I was very groggy after and had trouble getting my wits back, so I spent an extra night to be monitored. I returned to my foster home a day later to recover. My foster family was very worried while we waited for the results of the pathology report. A few days later we got the call that the lumps that were removed were Mast cells but very low grade. The surgeon got all of the cells out of my body and it is very unlikely that the cancer will spread. This surgery saved my life!

My new foster family was so happy that they decided to adopt me and make me a part of their family forever. I finally get to have a secure and loving family and life. However, the Animal Control Officer and the Shelter don’t have all of the funds to cover the costs of the surgery that made this all possible. Can you please help them with the $1,000 grant so they can continue to help other animals in need like myself? I am very grateful for all they have done for me and it shows in my beautiful and healthy smile. I have attached a picture so you can see how happy I am!

-Robyn Inniss, Ashburnham ACO

My name is Sammie. I am a 6 year-old black lab mix. The Gardner Animal Shelter has taught me a lot about humans and how to trust again. I love all the people that work there. They even give me cookies just for being me! Since my previous owners abandoned me and I was rescued by the amazing Animal Control Officers and the shelter staff, I have learned that not all humans are mean. They have taught me that even if I have an accident that I will not be hit or dragged down stairs for making a mistake.

When I first came to the shelter I was hurting so badly and I was so scared. But I saw the way the staff looked at me; it was like they knew how much pain I was in. I couldn’t walk very well and I hurt all over. The staff immediately made an appointment with the doctor for me and brought me the very next day!

The doctor took my blood, performed x-rays, and looked me all over. I know they were saying things to me but I couldn’t really hear them because throughout my life I have had really bad ear infections that never were treated, so my ears have completely closed up causing severe cauliflower ear in both of my ears. My ears were so bad the only treatment is surgery :(

The shelter staff took me to see a wonderful vet named Dr. James Easley who specializes in Lateral Ear Resection surgery. Dr. Easley has performed thousands of these surgeries throughout his career, but when he saw my ears even he was taken aback. He told my shelter family that it was the worst case he has ever seen.

The shelter staff scheduled the surgery and hosted a lot of fundraisers just for me, so I could have at least one ear done and try to save the hearing I have left in my left side. While waiting for my first surgery the best thing in the whole world happened. I found a foster mommy!! And she loves me :)

I had my first surgery to fix my left ear; I still need a second surgery for my right ear, which is even worse than the left ear. I have come a long way and have suffered a lot in my short life. Please help me and the Gardner Animal Control Facility with the vet bill. If there ever was a dog that needed this and deserves it, the shelter staff and my foster mommy say it’s me!

-Kim Landry, Gardner ACO

  Lowell Animal Control picked up a stray pitbull type dog who was underweight, dehydrated, and had an open tumor bleeding from his back leg. Despite his condition, the dog was sweet and loving and kissed everyone he met. The kennel staff fell in love with him and named him Esco. Calls and emails were sent out trying to get help for ESco, a foster home was found, and a vet at Wignall donated to perform the surgery. After surgery Esco went to his foster home. The foster home owners and other foster dogs loved Esco so much that they adopted him. 

-Darleen Wood, Lowell ACO
  Milo was presented by an owner for an ear infection. He was in deplorable conditions. Neglected, he had extreme mats, filthy coat, and smelled enough to fill the air in the room. He had a terrible skin condition/infection. His ear was beyond repair from the infection. The estimate for care was beyond the owner's means and Milo was surrendered to the animal hospital, who then called me.

A groomer volunteered to groom him but she had to shave him due to the severity of his mats. Upon shaving him a mass was found, which was not located previous due to the mats. I brought him back to the vet to have that looked at and it was believed to be fatty and could be removed at neuter. Milo was on ear, eye, antibiotics, pain meds, and prednisone until his ear surgery could be scheduled. 

-Maureen Ray, Billerica ACO

  We received a call for a Boston terrier running loose and we found it to be malnourished and very skinny. We went by the owner's to confirm and find out why the dog was very thin and found another Boston terrier at the house also very thin and malnourished. The owner is now facing charges of animal cruelty. The two dogs were taken to the vet for care. The owner could not afford the fees for the care of the dogs and signed the dogs over to be adopted. Thanks to the MVMA Charities, Inc. these dogs were able to get the care they deserved.

-Emanuel Maciel, New Bedford ACO

  Lowell Animal Control responded to a domestic call where a 14 year-old grandson attacked his 76 year-old great grandfather. The grandfather owned a dog, Sam. Sam got in between the attacker and saved his owner's life. Sam endured 5 stab wounds and a large laceration across the top of his neck. Sam was rushed to Linwood Animal Hospital where they treated all his wounds and gave him lots of love and attention. Unfortunately, like many domestics, although Sam's owner (the grandfather) originally agreed to have no contact with the suspect, he changed his mind and surrendered Sam. Happily for Sam, he went to ARL Boston, became the star of their play group, and was adopted.

-Darleen Wood, Lowell ACO

  "Sunny,” a golden retriever/chow mix, came into the shelter on July 23, 2015. He was surrendered by a family that could no longer keep him due to a divorce situation. On July 27th, Sunny was taken to Kingston Animal Hospital, where he was examined by Dr. Michelle Rudin. Test results determined that Sunny was positive for Lyme, Erlichia, and severe Heartworm disease. A treatment plan was put into place and beginning July 30th his medical issues were being addressed. Kingston Animal Hospital follows the American Humane Association guidelines for the treatment of heartworm disease (which is a 120-day treatment program). Sunny recently completed his final injection treatment and is well on his way to full recovery. At the end of December, he will be able to resume a normal activity level and be available for adoption. Through this long ordeal, Sunny has remained good-natured and a happy-go-lucky dog. Everyone at the shelter has grown to love him and is rooting for him.

-Debra Mueller, Kingston ACO


Pippi,” a long hair Chihuahua, came into the shelter on October 3, 2015. She had been found wandering the streets in a rainstorm by a Good Samaritan. She arrived cold, wet, dirty, matted, and underweight (3 ½ pounds). Due to the severe length of her nails, she had difficulty walking. She also had a very pungent odor coming from her mouth, and had difficulty eating even softened food. The shelter staff was able to make her somewhat comfortable by trimming her nails, bathing her, and giving her a professional grooming treatment.

She was taken to Kingston Animal Hospital for evaluation, where she was determined to be approximately 10 years-old. She was found to have serious dental disease with severe infection and in need of immediate treatment. A dentistry was performed and all her remaining teeth were extracted. A small mammary gland cyst was also discovered and a cystology was performed. The results were inconclusive. At the time, we were concerned that finding her a home given these issues would be difficult. Our volunteers, Tonia, decided to foster her and after just a few days, Tonia, her husband, and Pippi knew they were meant to be one happy family. Pippi has fit in their home beautifully.

-Debra Mueller, Kingston ACO


Pearl is an adorable Pomeranian type dog who was found by a passerby on the side of the road, not too far from Oxford Animal Control. She was very smelly due to a raging urinary tract infection and urine soaked hind end. The vet estimates that she is about 5 years old and she has a delightful personality – very cheerful and peppy. She had a bladder that was completely filled with bladder stones and bloody urine. She has had surgery to remove the stones and she is still being treated for a UTI. She is recovering well and we hope to adopt her to the right person as soon as she is fully recovered. Thank you very much for the assistance that you give us each year. My veterinary budget is very small for each year and I would not have been able to do this surgery on Pearl if it was not for the MVMA!

-Kathleen ("Kelly") Flynn, Oxford ACO

  Sheera spent the last year living with her owner, both homeless, in a car. During the height of a winter blizzard, Sheera's owner took her to a local police department and surrendered her. For now Sheera is living in a local shelter. It was rough for her at first, scary, and overwhelming, but she has wormed her way up into everyone's hearts. There is no hand that she can't push her soft nose under. Sheera's tail wags non-stop as soon as she sees someone or if anyone even looks at her. Cover her up in her blanket and she can't hide her wagging tail. She's a typical pitty who loves to snuggle in blankets.

Sheera gets short spurts of puppyhood. She is spotless in her kennel and teases to go out. She's a great walker and hardly pulls (unless a cat crosses her path, though... she doesn't care for them). Sheera has some arthritis so short walks are better and the cold affects her, but she's happy just taking any walk then settling in for a nap. She also loves to go for car rides. Sheera would prefer to be the only dog but may be able to get attached to a new canine friend if the personalities match.

With the assistance of the MVMA Charities, Inc. and its Stray Animal Program, Sheera has undergone ACL surgery and is expected to regain the spring in her step.

Update: Sheera is with a wonderful foster home. Her foster mom is just trying to convince foster dad that Sheera has found her forever home.

-Karen Fontneau, North Attleboro ACO


Neighbors had seen cat around and then it disappeared for 3 weeks and showed up walking on 3 legs, so they called animal control. The cat was evaluated and x-rayed and amputation was recommended. The cat went in for surgery and was neutered at the same time. The cat is recuperating well and several neighbors are considering adopting him once he is cleared and his vaccines are given. We will microchip him to be sure he doesn’t get lost and end up with animal control or a shelter.

-Sue Webb, Wellesley ACO
  Rose and Daisy's plight was discovered by the owner's landlord who was investigating a water leak in the home. Rose, an 8 year-old Havanese, and Daisy, an 11 year-old Bichon, were taken from their owner, who was charged with cruelty. They had not been groomed in 18 months. They were confined to a room and not taken outside to go to the bathroom. The room had wall-to-wall carpeting which was soaked with urine and feces, as were their coats which were matted to the skin. Their nails were almost 2 inches long. The groomer said it was the worst case of neglect she'd ever seen. Their teeth and gums were so horrendous it's a wonder they could eat. They were much happier after a dentistry, which included numerous extractions.

Rose and Daisy were amazingly resilient during their custody. Every morning when I entered the kennel Rose greeted me with a "woo, woo, woo" and then ran in happy circles waiting to go on her walk. Daisy was more sedate but still clearly enjoyed going on walks. After a lengthy court process the owner surrendered the dogs. They were adopted by a shelter volunteer and her family. I think it's obvious from the picture that they are much loved and very happy!

-Sue Thibedeau, Foxboro ACO

  Quinby, a Yorkshire Terrier, was brought into the Kingston Animal Shelter on August 9, 2014 by a good Samaritan who found him in traffic on Route 44. Upon arrival he was flea-infested, suffering from bi-lateral ear infections, a skin infection, and significant dental disease. The shelter was able to locate his owners and notified them of his condition in writing. No attempt was ever made by his owners to claim him.

After completing the hold period, he was considered "abandoned" and was considered property of the Kingston Animal Shelter. The shelter bathed, groomed, and treated him for fleas. Kingston Animal Hospital treated him for the ear and skin infections. Later he had a much-needed dental surgery. We adopted him to a retired, disabled veteran and his wife in Brockton, MA. Quinby now has constant loving attention from his new family who is so grateful for his companionship.

-Debra Mueller, Kingston ACO

  Hibachi is an elderly Chihuahua mix found in Ruggles Park in Fall River. He was taken in by someone who eventually contacted Fall River Animal Control to pick him up. Hibachi stayed at the Humane Society for his allotted time and was never claimed. The staff fell in love with him. He was deemed un-adoptable by their veterinarian because his mouth was severely infected. Hibachi would need dental or would not be able to be placed. The shelter manager contracted me to see if we could help him.

I was able to find a wonderful foster home for him and luckily provide him with the veterinary care he needed. Hibachi thrived once his teeth were fixed and it wasn't long before the foster home found someone willing to give him a forever home. Hibachi now lives a life of love and happiness. I was told that his feet rarely touch the ground as he is carried everywhere he goes. He makes frequent visits to Faxon Animal Rescue League, who eventually handled his official adoption. Hibachi is alive because of this grant money. Once again, we are so appreciative to be able to help an animal that otherwise would not have made it.

-Cynthia Berard, Fall River ACO

  I was dispatched to a single family home in a residential section of Lowell for a complaint of a dog sitting in a yard. I arrived and found what appeared to be a black and white male intact Papillon. He was biting at his hind end and crying so I at first thought he was infested with fleas. It was not until I got closer and he looked up that I noticed he was bleeding from his hind end. I proceeded to lift him into the vehicle and noticed that his tail was severed. I immediately brought him to Wignall Animal Hospital. Due to the nature of his injury, he was made comfortable and stable overnight but the fear of infection and loss of blood made surgery a necessity. He responded well to surgery and recovered and was able to be placed in a foster home for adoption.

-Darleen Wood, Lowell ACO

  I received a call from a resident that she had found an injured dog in her yard when she got home from work and had brought the dog into her house until I could be contacted. I picked up the dog and brought him to the veterinarian for care. He had bite wounds on his leg and head. The wound on his left back leg required surgery under anesthesia.

-Maggie Houghton, Wendell ACO
  This dog was found at large on Medford's Riverside Ave by the MSPCA (who was covering for the Medford ACO). I transported the dog to North Shore Animal Hospital. Because it was not micro-chipped or tagged and was not claimed by an owner, the dog was placed at Broken Tail Rescue.

-Pat Hogan, Medford ACO
  This dog was found at large in the city of Everett and brought to MSPCA Boston then transferred to the City of Everett Pound at North Shore Animal Hospital in Lynn. The dog was not chipped, collared, or tagged and was therefore placed with Mass Paws Rescue for adoption.

-Kathy Carroll, Everett ACO
  Angie the cat was found injured on Parker Street in Chelsea. The cat presented with pelvic/back pain. She was anesthetized and radiographed which revealed sublaxation L3-L4. The cat was spayed while under anesthesia. Medication and nursing care was provided and made a full recovery. She was placed with Northeast Animal Shelter for adoption.

-Joao Teixiera, Chelsea ACO
  This dog was found at large on Morris Street in Lynn by Lynn ACO on January 7, 2013. She was not tagged or micro-chipped and was not claimed by an owner. She was placed with Pittie Love Rescue on February 6, 2013.

-Keith Shepherd, Lynn ACO
  This cat was found by a citizen who transported the cat to NSAH. The Lynn ACO was notified. The cat was presented with tail injury (open wound) and scratches over its body as well as severe dental disease. Tail wounds were treated 3x daily with low-level light laser for a week and wounds healed so amputation was not necessary. Complete dental prophylaxis was performed with multiple extractions. It was determined that the wounds were not bite wounds. This cat was placed with Northeast Animal Shelter for adoption.

-Keith Shepherd, Lynn ACO
  Luther-Lou showed up at the Ashby transfer station in September. The transfer station workers took care of her until it got cold. She was picked up by the ACO and was put up for adoption.

-Ashby ACO
  Jack the Rat Terrier was handed to the Fall River Animal Control on November 10, 2012. The people who gave him up stated that they think he was kicked and they could not afford vet care. They had just gotten the dog from a Craigslist ad and had not even hda him for an hour. Jack walked as if he were in pain and his teeth were falling out. The adoption counselor from Faxon Animal Rescue League took Jack into her home to foster him until he could be brought to the vet.

Once Jack got to the vet it was apparent that without a dental he would suffer for the rest of his life. Jack was estimated to be about 12 years-old but in relatively good health other than his mouth. Jack received dental treatment and was also neutered on November 29, 2012. Jack remained in foster care for his recovery and was adopted by a loving family on December 10, 2012.

Jack's new mom was recovering from cancer at the time and she also had a 12 year-old son who suffers from mental illness. Jack has been given the chance to live out his life with people who care about him and love him for the special guy he is.

-Fall River ACO


This stray cat was first spotted after being locked in Mike's Garage (gas station on Rouge 9) over the weekend. When they opened up Monday morning he ran out and up into a truck engine. He was not seen for a couple of days until spotted inside a feral cat enclosure next door. When I went to get him he ran through the chain link fence and under a construction dumpster next door at a tile store. Kitten traps were set outside the feral pen as we thought he would return for food. Once trapped, we discovered large hernia and section of intestine covered with debris. He quickly responded to being fed canned food and being held/petted so he was scheduled for surgery. He recovered nicely and was placed for adoption.

-Sue Webb, Wellesley ACO

  This stray cat was found in the city and brought in by Everett ACO on October 26, 2012. A physical exam revealed she was a young, thin female cat with fleas, but otherwise healthy. While boarding she appeared to have some sensitivity in her mouth. Further exam of the mouth and radiographs revealed no abnormal findings. She was placed with Stray Pets in Need of Massachusetts on November 12, 2012.

-Cathy Carroll, Everett ACO


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