Hay There!

As our new miniature four-hoofed friends settle into the Dedham Shelter, bales of hay have been rolling in.

On Monday, the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation pooled together its resources and delivered 20 bales to Dedham’s door for our mini horses. McNamara Farm in Stoughton contributed to the first round of deliveries. Today, the Dedham shelter received 20 more bales from Lopes Dairy Farm in Taunton.

“When a situation like this presents itself, it’s Farm Bureau that gets called on to help out,” said Richard Bonanno, MFBF President.  “Farm Bureau works to support agriculture in the Commonwealth, but as our members have demonstrated, it’s not only farmers who reap the benefits.”

We would like to thank the MFBF, McNamara Farm and Lopesberry Farm for helping us care for these mini horses in their desperate time of need.

The League still needs your help caring for these horses. To continue revitalizing their spirits, please donate here.

Fur Ball 2012

Get a paw up by bidding on these and other great auction items now!
Click here to submit a bid

Green Monstah Package
4 tickets to a 2012 Sox game and 3 innings INSIDE the Green Monster Scoreboard

Bruuuuuuuce Package
2 Tickets to Bruce Springsteen at TD Garden and dinner for 2 at Toscano’s

Shamrock Package
4 tickets donated by Doc Rivers to C’s vs. Utah on 3/28/12 AND a Ray Allen autographed basketball.

Black and Gold Package
2 tickets to see B’s vs. Tampa Bay on 3/27/12 AND autographed Patrice Bergeron #37 game jersey

Making the Rounds: Feline Rounds

Feline rounds
Three times per week, a combination of staff, volunteers and and a representative from the League’s Shelter Medicine Department individually assess each cat’s physical and behavioral well being and collaborate to devise the best treatment plan for each animal.

Mini Horses, Extraordinary Hero

Lt. Alan Borgal has always gone above and beyond in his work as director for the Center for Animal Protection. In February, he was named one of America’s “Top 10 Animal Defenders” by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and now 34 mini-horses from West Bolyston also see him as their hero.

Upon hearing of the sub-standard conditions the mini-horses were living in, Alan worked with the overwhelmed owner and acquired 4 horses, now in the League’s care, on February 28. Last Thursday, the League received another 14. The remaining 20 are being cared for by the MSPCA.

The horses were treated at Tufts Veterinary Emergency Specialties and now are residing in their new home at our Dedham Shelter. Once the horses are back to full health, they will be adopted out to their forever homes. Because of the heroic actions of Lt. Borgal, these mini-horses are safe and getting the care they desperately need.

Thank you Alan for your hard work and compassion.

To help these mini-horses and continue the work Alan started, click here to donate.

Breaking News: 32 miniature horses rescued in West Boylston, MA

Thirty two miniature horses were rescued yesterday from a farm in West Boylston, MA.

The overwhelmed owner surrendered them into the care of the League, the MSPCA and other animal welfare organizations. We are caring for eighteen of the horses, with four currently at our Dedham Shelter and the rest being treated at Tufts Veterinary Emergency Specialties.

The severely malnourished horses are suffering from intestinal parasites and “rain rot,” a skin condition resulting from prolonged exposure to the elements. They are receiving small feedings every two hours and round-the-clock care from League staff.

Despite their poor condition, the Dedham staff were surprised by how readily the horses welcomed their care-givers. While carrying out the horses’ progressive feeding program, the horses nuzzled staff members – perhaps the first loving, humane act that these horses had ever experienced.

We anticipate that caring for these horses will cost at least $15,000 – expenses that were not included in our budget. Please consider a gift to help pay for their care. Visit www.arlboston.org/horses to make a donation.

Press Release: 34 Miniature Horses Surrendered to MSPCA-Nevins Farm and Animal Rescue League of Boston

BOSTON, March 9, 2012 -

The MSPCA Nevins-Farm and Animal Rescue League of Boston combined forces yesterday afternoon to rescue 34 miniature horses kept on a small farm in West Boylston. The overwhelmed owner voluntarily surrendered the animals after the state veterinarian concluded that their basic needs were not being met. Fourteen of the horses-all desperately thin and laden with internal parasites-have been transported to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s facility in Dedham, while the remaining 18 were sent to the MPSCA-Nevins Farm in Methuen.

“These horses are extremely malnourished due to the alarmingly high level of intestinal parasites that are interfering with their ability to absorb nutrients,” explains Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, director of Veterinary Medical Services at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

Serious Health Issues Resulting from Neglect

The MSPCA and Animal Rescue League of Boston’s arrival on the scene came at a crucial time. All 34 horses are suffering from parasite infections, which will require a precise de-worming protocol to treat. Their hooves are in such poor condition that the MSPCA and Animal Rescue League of Boston will rely on support from qualified farriers who are being brought in to repair them. Moreover, the horses are suffering from severe skin infections, commonly referred to as rain rot, as a result of inadequate housing and living mostly outside. The MSPCA and Animal Rescue League of Boston will work tirelessly to resolve these health issues. The MSPCA is caring for 20 of the horses and will eventually transfer them to outside rescue groups. The rescue groups will continue the horses’ rehabilitation and ultimately place them into forever homes. The horses being cared for at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Dedham facility will remain there for the time being for monitoring and to undergo a careful 24-hour feeding program.

A Call for Donations

The Animal Rescue League of Boston estimates that the cost of treating the 14 horses they are caring for will cost approximately $14,000 – $16,000. The League is asking for the public’s support in offsetting these costs. Please donate online at www.arlboston.org/horses.

“This is one of the saddest rescues we’ve experienced in quite a while, with such a large number of animals in such desperate condition,” said Melissa Ghareeb, who oversees barn operations at MSPCA-Nevins Farm and who participated in the rescue along with her counterparts at ARL Boston. “Fortunately, we and Animal Rescue League arrived in time to remove the horses from these deplorable conditions and begin the treatment they’ll need as we ready them for their new lives.”

More Letters from First Graders

Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, the League’s Director of Shelter Medicine, often receives postcards from first-graders, thanks to being featured in a textbook story about a veterinarian who works in an animal shelter. We shared some of these postcards with you back in May last year – if you don’t remember, see them here – but the letters and messages continue to arrive.

Recently, the first grade class at Leaksville-Spray Elementary read about Dr. Smith and emailed with their questions. Here is their email – for the answers, click the “More’ link.

Dear Dr. Smith,
Our first grade class just read a story about your work at the animal shelter. We have a few questions that we would like to ask you if you have time to answer.

  • Why did you choose this job?
  • How did you become a veterinarian?
  • How do you know how to treat the different animals?
  • Do you enjoy working in the shelter more than in a regular vet’s office?
  • Where does the money come from to care for the animals?
  • How many animals do you usually treat in a day?

We really enjoyed reading the story about your work. Thank you for your time.

Mrs. B’s First Grade Class