This past week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), Massachusetts Department of Agriculture (MDAR) and Massachusetts Animal Fund (MAF) collaborated to not only save the life of an ill dog, but to ensure that the animal was able to stay with her loving family.

When Missy, a 7-year-old Golden Retriever, began showing signs she wasn’t feeling well, her owner brought her to an emergency animal hospital where she was diagnosed with pyometra – a uterine infection that is often fatal is left untreated.

Being on public assistance, the owner simply did not have the funds to cover the costs of a $2,000 emergency spay surgery. The dog was sent home with antibiotics and the owner was urged to contact some low-cost veterinary hospitals, or to surrender the animal to a rescue organization like ARL; but was also told Missy needed surgery in the next 36 hours.

After contacting several other animal hospitals with no luck, Missy’s owner called MAF. Given the owner’s financial situation, MAF was able to provide a voucher to cover the cost of the surgery and the next challenge was to find an available provider.

MDAR Chief Veterinarian Health Officer Dr. Lorraine O’Connor contacted ARL Medical Director for Community and Shelter Medicine Dr. Kyle Quigley, who was able to accommodate the emergency surgery request on the spot.

Just hours later, the life-saving surgery was performed, with the infected uterus and ovaries being removed, and Missy was soon on the road to recovery. Her prognosis is positive and most importantly Missy was able to stay in her home.

MAF Vouchers

MAF spay/neuter vouchers are made available for low-income residents, and can be obtained via local Animal Control Officers. There are more than a dozen of providers who accept these vouchers, including ARL’s Spay Waggin’ and Community Surgical Clinic, which is held every Friday at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center. Please note: both of these services are by appointment only.

Mission in Action

As an unwavering champion for animals, ARL’s vision is to keep animals safe and healthy in the communities where they live. ARL would like to thank MAF and MDAR for their assistance and for allowing us the opportunity to perform this service and keep a happy family together!