<![CDATA[NBC10 Boston - Local News - Clear the Shelters]]>Copyright 2019http://www.nbcboston.com/news/localen-usMon, 20 May 2019 03:45:42 -0400Mon, 20 May 2019 03:45:42 -0400NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Top Stories]]>Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:19:11 -0400]]><![CDATA[Before You Adopt]]>Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:19:11 -0400]]><![CDATA[Videos]]>Thu, 07 Jun 2018 18:48:24 -0400]]><![CDATA[]]>Thu, 02 Aug 2018 16:43:24 -0400]]><![CDATA[Amazing Animal Stories]]>Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:19:11 -0400]]><![CDATA[After You Adopt]]>Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:19:11 -0400]]><![CDATA[Second Chances]]>Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:19:11 -0400]]><![CDATA[Full Archive]]>Fri, 10 Aug 2018 12:15:32 -0400]]><![CDATA[Home Sought for K-9 Who Lost Job, Leg to Cancer]]>Fri, 17 May 2019 07:38:17 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/51619+former+k9+looking+for+new+home.jpg

A former K-9 who served the Billerica, Massachusetts community was recently diagnosed with cancer and lost his leg and job as a result of the illness. Now, he’s hoping to be adopted so he can enjoy his retirement with a forever family.

"Blue," a dusty-brown Bloodhound, was taken to a veterinarian after a Billerica police sergeant noticed a fatty cyst on the dog. What was thought to be a benign tumor turned out to be a soft tissue sarcoma, a type of lethal cancer.   

The dog's leg was surgically removed at MSPCA at Nevins Farm in a bid to prevent the cancer from spreading.

Post amputation, Blue is described as the same loving and friendly creature he always has been. He previously worked with officers to track suspects and evidence by using an impeccable sense of smell.

Anyone interested in adopting Blue is asked to contact the MSPCA at Nevins Farm via email or visit the Methuen animal shelter.

Photo Credit: MSPCA at Nevins Farm]]>
<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: MSPCA in Jamaica Plain]]>Thu, 09 May 2019 18:07:52 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shelters__MSPCA_in_Jamaica_Plain.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits the MSPCA in Jamaica Plain to meet two animals lookig for their forever homes.

For more information:

MSPCA Angell Adoption Center

350 S Hunington Ave, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

(617) 552-7282

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Animal Rescue League of Boston]]>Thu, 02 May 2019 20:22:02 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shelters__Animal_Rescue_League_of_Boston.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford stops by the Animal Rescue League of Boston to meet two pups looking for their forever homes.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02118

(617) 426-9170

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Animal Rescue League Boston]]>Thu, 25 Apr 2019 16:09:37 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shelters__Animal_Rescue_League_Boston.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets three pups looking for their forever home at ARL Boston.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02118

(617) 426-9170

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Animal Rescue League of Boston]]>Thu, 18 Apr 2019 14:13:42 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/Ckear_the_Shelters__ARL_Boston.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets two pups looking for their forever homes at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

55 Anna's Place, Dedham, MA 02026

(781) 326-0729

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Northeast Animal Shelter]]>Thu, 11 Apr 2019 16:59:13 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/243*120/cts+1.PNG

The Hub Today's Anna Rossi visits the Northeast Animal Shelter to meet a few pups looking for a forever home.

For more information:

Northeast Animal Shelter

347 Highland Ave, Salem, MA 01970

(978) 745-9888

<![CDATA[Long Road Ahead: Emaciated Dog Found in Manchester, NH Park]]>Wed, 10 Apr 2019 09:47:28 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/204*120/41019+nh+emaciated+dog+web.jpg

A severely emaciated pit bull has a long recovery ahead of her after she was found stumbling around a Manchester, New Hampshire park, according to animal shelter officials.

The Granite State Dog Recovery picked up a dog they named "Daisy" from Livingston Park on Monday, according to a Facebook post from the Manchester Animal Shelter. The dog was reportedly found with urine burns on her skin and she smelled strongly of urine at the time of her discovery.

Due to Daisy’s condition upon finding her, officials believe she may have been kept in confinement in a crate or kennel before she was rescued.

The dog, who weighs only a third of what her weight should be, was rushed to the Veterinary Emergency Center of Manchester for treatment. She was found with a faint blood pressure due to her malnutrition and dehydration, authorities said.

Daisy has since been receiving IV fluids while she recovers and has been wrapped in warming blankets in an effort to regulate her temperature. She has so far made small victories in her recovery, such as being able to eat a few small meals and being able to walk a bit on her own.

The pooch is currently in stable condition, according to the Manchester Animal Shelter.

The Manchester Animal Control is investigating the animal abuse case. Officials are unsure who she belonged to or where she came from.

Anyone who recognizes the dog or who has information on her mistreatment is encouraged to contact Manchester Animal Control at 603-668-8711 or the Granite State Dog Recovery at 1-855-639-5678.

Photo Credit: Granite State Dog Recovery/Manchester Animal Shelter]]>
<![CDATA['Animal ER' at MSPCA Angell Animal Medical Center]]>Thu, 28 Mar 2019 12:45:07 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Wild_ER_at_MSPCA_Angell_Animal_Medical_Center.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford learns about the new National Geographic reality show, "Animal E.R.," featuring Boston's MSPCA Angell Animal Medical Center.]]>
<![CDATA[Cat, Dog Best Friends Find 'Fur Ever' Home, Get Adopted Together]]>Tue, 26 Mar 2019 10:44:06 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Fur+Ever+friends+adopted+together.jpg

Kitty and Leila, an inseparable cat and dog duo surrendered to a Boston animal shelter, have been adopted together, assuring that this odd couple will remain close fur-ever.

Leila, a 2-year-old Chihuahua, has known Kitty, a 6-year-old long-haired brown and white tabby cat, all her life. When their previous owner lost their home and couldn’t find a find a new place that would accommodate the pets, the pair was surrendered to the Jamaica Plain animal shelter.

The MSPCA-Angell said Kitty and Leila were dropped off sharing the same carrier.

"They are each other’s best friend and keeping them together has made a very difficult situation much easier for them to handle," said Anna Rafferty-Fore, associate director of the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center.

Determined to keep the best friends together, the shelter even broke its own protocol of housing pets with their respective species. Kitty and Leila shared makeshift quarters in a room apportioned just for them, the shelter said.

The MSPCA also hoped to find the duo new pet parents willing to take both Kitty and Leila. They shared their story on social media, and pleaded with users to help them find "a hero individual or family to adopt them both, so the two confidants need never, ever be separated."

A week later, their wish was granted. A Massachusetts couple who came across the story of Kitty and Leila was more than happy to take in the two best friends.

The MSPCA tweeted a picture of the new family and thanked everyone for sharing their post and spreading the word to help find a home for the inseparable cat and dog duo.

Photo Credit: MSPCA Angell]]>
<![CDATA[Friends Fur-Ever: Cat, Dog Duo Hoping to Be Adopted Together]]>Fri, 22 Mar 2019 13:18:12 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/32219+cat+and+dug+adoption+duo.jpg

An unlikely duo at MSPCA-Angell's animal shelter in Boston is hoping to be adopted together after they were surrendered in the same crate.

A cat named Kitty and her chihuahua best friend Leila were surrendered to the Jamaica Plain animal shelter on March 14 after their owners lost their home and could not find a new place to accommodate the pets.

The pet pair's bond is so paws-itively unique and true, that the two were even surrendered to the shelter in the same pet carrier. Staff initially tried to follow protocol by housing the pets with their respective species, but Kitty would yell when she would be separated from Leila.

Now, staff at MSPCA-Angell's are determined to keep them together and have even broken protocol for that very reason.

"Leila is 2 years old and has lived every moment of her life with Kitty," said Anna Rafferty-Fore, associate director of the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center. "They are each other’s best friend and keeping them together has made a very difficult situation much easier for them to handle."

The animal shelter is seeking adopters who are willing to welcome both Kitty, age 6, and Leila into their homes. The dynamic duo are described by staff as "playful, affectionate and gentle."

Those who are interested in adopting these best friends can email adoption@mspca.org or visit the MSPCA's Boston adoption location in Jamaica Plain.

Photo Credit: MSPCA Angell's
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<![CDATA[Clear The Shelters: Northeast Animal Shelter]]>Thu, 14 Mar 2019 19:01:14 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/208*120/cts3.PNG

The Hub Today's Anna Rossi visits the Northeast Animal Shelter to meet Sammi and River, two pups looking for their forever home.

For more information:

Northeast Animal Shelter

347 Highland Ave, Salem, MA 01970

(978) 745-9888

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters Update: Where Are They Meow?]]>Wed, 13 Mar 2019 06:10:32 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/219*120/pupdate+cts+thumbnail+necn.jpgWe caught up with a few furry friends and their families more than half a year after their fateful adoptions during our Clear the Shelters initiative. These well-loved pets were adopted during CTS at MSPCA at Nevins Farm.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Boston]]>
<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Animal Rescue League of Boston]]>Fri, 01 Mar 2019 10:54:26 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shelters__Animal_Rescue_League_of_Boston.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits the Animal Rescue League of Boston to meet Maggie and Joey, two older animals looking for their forever home.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston - Dedham Branch

55 Anna's Place, Dedham, MA 02026

(781) 326-0729

<![CDATA[Clear The Shelters: Northeast Animal Shelter]]>Thu, 31 Jan 2019 16:24:05 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/196*120/puppy+e.JPG

The Hub Today's Anna Rossi meets a few pups at the Northeast Animal Shelter looking for their forever home.

For more information:

Northeast Animal Shelter

347 Highland Ave, Salem, MA 01970

(978) 745-9888

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Adopt a Pet at the Northeast Animal Shelter]]>Thu, 24 Jan 2019 15:41:03 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Adopt_a_Pet_at_the_Northeast_Animal_Shelter.jpg

The Hub Today's Anna Rossi meets some mature dogs looking for their forever home at the Northeast Animal Shelter.

For more information:

Northeast Animal Shelter

347 Highland Ave, Salem, MA 01970

(978) 745-9888

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Animal Rescue League of Boston]]>Thu, 17 Jan 2019 18:09:34 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/203*120/arl.JPG

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford talks with Corey Adams at the Animal Rescue League of Boston to meet two lovable pets looking for their forever home.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02118

(617) 426 - 9170


Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Animal Rescue League of Boston]]>Thu, 27 Dec 2018 18:20:41 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shelters__Animal_Rescue_League_of_Boston.jpg

The Hub Today's Anna Rossi meets a few furry friends at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02118

(617) 426-9170


<![CDATA[Clear The Shelters: Animal Rescue League in Dedham]]>Thu, 20 Dec 2018 15:53:51 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_The_Shelters__Animal_Rescue_League_in_Dedham.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford talks with Anna Chaletzky from the Animal Rescue League in Dedham about a few animals looking for their forever homes.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston - Dedham Branch

55 Anna's Place, Dedham, MA 02026

(781) 326-0729


<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Home for the Holidays]]>Thu, 29 Nov 2018 18:34:18 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shelters__Home_in_time_for_the_Holidays.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets two adoptable pups at the Animal Rescue League of Boston to learn great tips for smooth adoption during the holidays.]]>
<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Adopt a Pet at MSCPA Nevins Farm]]>Thu, 15 Nov 2018 19:10:06 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shelters__Adopt_a_Pet_at_MSCPA_Nevins_Farm.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets a few furry friends looking for their forever home at the MSPCA Nevins Farm.

For more information:

MSPCA Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844

(978) 687-7453

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Animal Rescue League of Boston]]>Thu, 25 Oct 2018 16:52:25 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/206*120/arl+oct.JPG

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits Animal Rescue League of Boston to meet some furry friends looking for their forever homes.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02118

(617) 426-9170

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: MSPCA at Nevins Farm]]>Thu, 18 Oct 2018 17:42:11 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shelters__MSPCA_at_Nevins_Farm.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets a couple furry friends looking for their forever homes at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm.

For more information:

MSCPA at Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844

(978) 687- 7453

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Animal Rescue League of Boston]]>Thu, 11 Oct 2018 14:52:48 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shelters__Animal_Rescue_League_of_Boston.jpg

Colton Bradford meets some animals looking for a forever home at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116

(617) 426-9170

<![CDATA[Adopt a Pet at the Animal Rescue League]]>Thu, 04 Oct 2018 13:41:12 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/243*120/arl.JPG

Anna Rossi meets some furry friends at the Animal Rescue League of Boston looking for their forever home.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02118

(617) 426-9170


Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Southern Transports]]>Fri, 28 Sep 2018 17:17:42 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/172*120/arl+boston.JPG

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits new pups from the South looking for their forever homes at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02118

(617) 426-9170

<![CDATA[Adopt a Pet at MSPCA Nevins Farm]]>Thu, 20 Sep 2018 17:11:42 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/261*120/mscpa.JPG

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets some cute pups and feline friends.

For more information:

MSCPA Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844

(978) 687-7453 x6101

<![CDATA[Clear The Shelters: Northeast Animal Shelter]]>Fri, 14 Sep 2018 11:14:27 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_The_Shelters__Northeast_Animal_Shelter.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem to meet some furry friends looking for their forever homes.

For more information:

Northeast Animal Shelter

347 Highland Ave, Salem, MA 01970

(978) 745-9888

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Adopt a Pet at Northeast Animal Shelter]]>Thu, 06 Sep 2018 16:13:33 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shelters__Adopt_a_Pet_at_Northeast_Animal_Shelter.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets two dogs, Haley and Grumpy, looking for their forever home at the Northeast Animal Shelter.

For more information:

Northeast Animal Shelter

347 Highland Ave, Salem, MA 01970

(978) 745-9888

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Adopt a Pet]]>Fri, 24 Aug 2018 16:03:08 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/Clear_the_Shelters__Adopt_a_Pet.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

For more information:

Animal Rescue Leage of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116

(617) 426-9170 x604


<![CDATA[Thousands of Pets Find New Homes During Clear The Shelters]]>Thu, 21 Feb 2019 12:22:24 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_36_21.Still003.jpg

Across the country thousands of animals are finding forever homes. Watch some of these lucky pets as they meet their new families for the very first time.]]>
<![CDATA[Help Katherine Underwood Clear the Shelters]]>Sat, 18 Aug 2018 13:45:00 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/katherine.jpg

NBC10 Boston's Katherine Underwood reports from the New Hampshire SPCA on the "Clear the Shelters" initiative underway across the country today.]]>
<![CDATA[Help NBC10 Boston's Latoyia Edwards Clear the Shelters]]>Sat, 18 Aug 2018 13:12:11 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shelters_Today.jpg

NBC10 Boston's Latoyia Edwards reports from the MSPCA in Jamaica Plain, where the clearing of the shelters is well underway.]]>
<![CDATA[Today's the Day! Help Pets Find Their Forever Homes]]>Sat, 18 Aug 2018 12:36:43 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Cinderella_the_Cat_Available_for_Adoption.jpg

Cinderella the cat is one of many animals looking for a forever home! Help NBC10 Boston and necn Clear the Shelters!]]>
<![CDATA[Lovey: An Adoption Success Story]]>Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:43:32 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/Lovey_An_Adoption_Success_Story.jpg

The fourth annual Clear the Shelters event, a nationwide pet adoption initiative, will be held Aug. 18, 2018. Plenty of animals are in need of loving homes but one lucky cat named "Lovey" was able to find her forever home at last year's event.]]>
<![CDATA[Adopt a Pet at Animal Rescue League of Boston]]>Thu, 16 Aug 2018 17:43:50 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Adopt_a_Pet_at_Animal_Rescue_League_of_Boston.jpg

The Hub Today's Anna Rossi meets Lux and Whiskey at Animal Rescue League of Boston.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler Street, Boston, MA 02116

(617) 426-9170

<![CDATA['Animal Rescue' Couple Facing 44 Animal Cruelty Charges]]>Thu, 16 Aug 2018 11:06:28 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/_Animal_Rescue__Couple_Face_Animal_Cruelty_Charges.jpg

A New Hampshire couple is facing dozens of animal cruelty charges after police found malnourished horses, dogs, cats, birds and reptiles on their property.

Police say Edith Daughen and her husband, Nicholas Torrey, who had advertised their property in New Hampton as an animal rescue, are now facing 44 counts of animal cruelty. 

One of the horses police found was so sick, she didn't survive the rescue attempt.

"She had a lot of years left and those years were taken from her," said Sharon Morey.

Her sunglasses hid her tears as she recalled the 12 hours she spent trying to save Bristol the horse.

"In those last 12 hours, we gave her love, dignity, respect, and in the end, freedom," Morsey said.

She and a team of rescuers from "Live and Let Live Farm" in Chichester were called to the New Hapmton home, where police had found two malnourished horses.

Lulu and Bristol were loaded into a trailer, but Bristol — starving and hypothermic — collapsed on the way to her new home and never got back up.

"We massaged her legs, wet her mouth with syringes, got fluids into her," Morsey said. "She was grabbing and eating at hay. She had a spark of life in her eye, she wanted to live."

During a subsequent search at the same home, police found dozens more animals in dire need — birds, guinea pigs, reptiles, dogs and cats, without any food or water.

"Even if you run out of money, you can still turn the faucet on, you can still give them water," said Teresa Paradis, who founded Live and Let Live Farm 21 years ago. "There's no excuse."

"It's very emotional, you want justice for that horse," Morsey said about Bristol.

The defendants voluntarily surrendered most of their animals. That means as soon as they're all healthy enough, they'll be available for adoption.

The couple is due back in court in October.

<![CDATA[Vt. Shelter Ensures Better Match for Pet Parents]]>Mon, 13 Aug 2018 17:10:31 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Vermont+shelter+dog.JPG

Ahead of the annual Clear the Shelters event this weekend, a participating non-profit in southern Vermont hopes prospective pet adopters will consider a series of questions as they prepare to visit their area shelters.

The Second Chance Animal Center in Shaftsbury encourages people to ask themselves the following questions:

  • Can we make the time to properly take care of an animal and help enrich its life, with plenty of time for exercise, grooming, training, and other needs?
  • Is our household high-energy or low-key, and what type of pet best fits that lifestyle?
  • Do we have disposable income sufficient to cover vet bills, boarding, food, and other costs that may arise down the road—including potential emergencies?

Andy and Donna Chambers asked themselves all those questions before adopting a hound mix named Maddie this summer.

Second Chance told the Chambers that Maddie’s previous owners neglected her by keeping her tied up outside, rarely—if ever—letting her indoors, and failing to feed her properly.

“It’s like she knows how she had it and she likes the change, and she appreciates it,” Donna Chambers said of Maddie. “We appreciate her. And it feels really good to do it.”

The Chambers are both retired, so have time to devote to Maddie, who had no real training at all—until now.

“I knew we were going to spend lots and lots of hours,” Andy Chambers said.

That’s where Second Chance offers dog parents a special bonus.

The shelter has a trainer who works with adopters on ways to correct certain behaviors. In Maddie’s case, jumping on the couch appears to be a problem to address.

That trainer even makes home visits, explained Cathi Comar, the executive director of the Second Chance Animal Center.

“All at our cost,” Comar noted. “So that our behaviorist can see if the training’s going well, what maybe needs to be changed, and just to ensure that the dog actually stays in the home. In the end, that’s our goal is for all of our animals to stay in their forever homes.”

Comar and her team will get a new place to work on that goal this fall.

The Second Chance Animal Center is moving into a more than 10,000 square-foot headquarters in Arlington, Vermont, to better serve its large coverage area: Vermont’s Bennington County and parts of nearby New York and western Massachusetts.

Comar said the new facility will allow for expanded surgical operations, create new opportunities for visits and classes for members of the community, and will allow for an even better quality of care for shelter animals.

The focus of the expansion, Comar indicated, is to help even more animals like Maddie to get a “Second Chance.”

Click here to visit the website of the Second Chance Animal Center.

<![CDATA[#ClearTheShelters: Pets Find Their Forever Homes]]>Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:45:03 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/160*120/Dk5SbpiUYAsrIOR.jpg

Thousands of animals around the region have found forever homes as part of the nationwide Clear the Shelters event.

As of 5 p.m. Saturday, more than 5,300 animals were adopted across New England.

At the New Hampshire SPCA in Stratham, a 2-year-old Great Pyrenees dog named Brownie needed a home, and by noon, he had one. He wasn't the only one getting a new home, either.

Noir, an adult cat, will finally be going home with Aveen Kenny.

"He's an adult cat, that makes our hearts proud because everyone wants the kittens, we want someone with more maturity," the Epping resident said.

Nine-year-old Molly Valenza took home a three-legged cat during last year's Clear the Shelters event, and couldn't wait to bring home a new friend again. This time, there were tears of joy in her eyes as she held her new kitten.

"I thought, 'Wow, Sugar would be a good name because she's so sweet,'" she told NBC10 Boston.

Staff at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland in Maine say Clear the Shelters day feels like Christmas.

"We say it's the best day of the year," a staff member said. "Our whole team looks forward to it."

Martha woke up at 2:30 a.m. to be one of the first in line at the Animal Refuge League, and it appeared the early alarm was worth it as she walked out of the shelter with a puppy named Angel in her arms.

"I feel really happy," she said.

Hundreds of shelters in 20 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico have joined the one-day adoption drive. About 50,000 animals had been adopted across the country by noon on Saturday, and more than 80,000 pets were adopted across the U.S. during last year's event, but millions more need a forever home.

Click here for more resources on what you should do after you adopt a pet, tips on prepping your home for your new family member, photos of our employees with their furbabies and much more.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Boston/necn/Telemundo NI]]>
<![CDATA[Maine Family Adopts Dog After Fostering]]>Mon, 13 Aug 2018 17:49:36 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/From_Fostering_to_Adoption.jpg

From "foster failure" to adoption success story, one family in Maine can't imagine its home without its furry friend.

Last summer, Janice Ribeiro and her son, Sam, started feeling like they were ready to have a dog again. Their previous pet had passed away, and they wanted to ease back in to pet ownership. They decided to be a foster family for a dog at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland.

"We loved him right from day one," Ribeiro said of poodle mix, Gaultier. The little gray dog was calm, affectionate and exactly what they were looking for.

Days later, it was time to return him to the Westbrook animal shelter so a family could adopt him on Clear the Shelters day. But instead of simply dropping Gaultier off, the family got in line — waiting outside the shelter in the hopes of adopting the dog they had just fostered.

They woke up before 5 a.m. and were among the first in line that morning. A few hours later, Gaultier was officially their dog. They've been going on adventures together ever since.

"It's amazing how instantly he connected with us," Ribeiro said.

Gaultier enjoys walks on Willard Beach, camping trips, belly rubs and being carried around in bags. Ribeiro said he looks a little bit like an Ewok from Star Wars, so they dressed him up like one on Halloween.

She said from now on, her family will adopt shelter pets, and she is encouraging other families to consider fostering and adopting, too.

"There are so many animals that need homes," Ribeiro said.

And she thinks taking part in Clear the Shelters Day is a great way to do it.

"The event is really fun," she said. "If your family is ready [to adopt], go for it."

<![CDATA[Adopt a Pet at MSPCA at Nevins Farm]]>Thu, 09 Aug 2018 16:09:51 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Adopt_a_Pet_at_MSPCA_at_Nevins_Farm.jpg

The Hub Today's Anna Rossi meets furry friends looking for their forever home at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm.

For more information:

MSPCA Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844

(978) 687-7453

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Furry Friends Up For Adoption]]>Thu, 09 Aug 2018 16:07:09 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/Clear_the_Shelters__Furry_Friends_Up_For_Adoption.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets some adorable furry friends at Cricket Wireless in East Boston.

<![CDATA[Benefits of Adopting an Older Pet]]>Wed, 08 Aug 2018 18:17:15 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Benefits_of_Adopting_an_Older_Pet.jpg

All pets deserve a loving home, regardless of their age. The MSPCA says there are benefits to adopting an older animal.]]>
<![CDATA[52 Dogs Rescued, Owner Charged With Animal Neglect]]>Wed, 08 Aug 2018 17:19:05 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/52_Dogs_Rescued_From_NH_Home.jpg

More than 50 Labrador retrievers are now spending their days inside a shelter as their owner awaits his day in court, charged with several counts of animal cruelty.

It's the largest dog intake the Monadnock Humane Society has ever seen, and their resources to care for the animals are running out.

The dogs have been at the shelter for the last month.

"What keeps me up at night is making sure they're getting one-on-one attention, and keeping them happy and healthy here," said Operations Director Emily Kerylow.

Prosecutors say the dogs were rescued from the Marlborough home of John Riggieri. The Cheshire County Sheriff's Office arrested the 58-year-old this week and charged him with four counts of animal neglect.

On the way to his front door, NBC10 Boston witnessed several outdoor crates and empty dog food bags. He's out of jail on personal recognizance bail, but didn't answer the door. On his Facebook page, Riggieri says the charges are "absolute rubbish" and called the case, a "witch hunt."

Kerylow says the Humane Society has spent more than $30,000 caring for the dogs — far exceeding their yearly budget in just one month.

"Not only are we maxed out space-wise, but it also limits our ability to help our community," Kerylow said.

The executive director of the humane society, Kathy Collinsworth, blames the state's poor regulations on commercial dog breeders.

"It's an example of what can happen when they don't have to be licensed," she said.

Collinsworth says if the laws don't change, these stories won't stop.

The humane society has made a plea to the Cheshire County Attorney's Office to allow the dogs to go out to foster homes while they await Riggieri's trial in September. Kerylow and Collinsworth say that will help save money while also giving the dogs the love and attention they need outside the shelter.a

<![CDATA[More Companies Allowing Employees to Bring Dogs to Work]]>Mon, 06 Aug 2018 16:17:09 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Working_With_Fido.jpg

Do you have a hard time saying goodbye to your dog in the morning?

If the answer is "yes," there's some good news for you. More and more companies are letting their employees bring their canine companions to the workplace.  

Massachusetts-based Harpoon Brewery, ranked third on an annual list of America's most pet-friendly companies, said it began allowing staffers to bring dogs at their Vermont facility. After seeing its success, it began encouraging employees at their Boston office to do the same. The dogs are only allowed in the office and not near where the beer is stored and served. 

"Productivity did not go down, but blood pressure certainly did and from there we ended up with three, four, seven dogs coming in at a time," said Chris Bonacci of Harpoon Brewery.

He said it wasn't a vision they had planned for the company, but a natural progression starting with the CEO who loves dogs, and people bringing them along to work.  

According to the Society for Human Resource Management in Alexandria, Virginia, nine percent of employers allow workers to bring their pets to work every day. Among them are companies like Google, Amazon and Tito's Vodka.  

Yet, 37 percent of pet parents say they would sacrifice vacation time and take a pay cut to bring their pet to work, a Wellness Natural Pet Food survey conducted by ORC International found. Twenty-two percent of respondents said they'd be more productive with a pet at the office. And 44 percent of the 1,100 pet owners polled said they would consider a career move for a pet-friendly workplace. 

WellPet says its pet-friendly policy gives the pet food company a competitive edge to entice the best talent.

"We know that millennials are going to be a big part of the workforce going forward, and it will even be more important to bring your dog to work. We know they have pets because they are starting families later," said WellPet CEO Camelle Kent.

The pups at Harpoon Brewery and WellPet appear more than happy to get some extra love when they clock in for a 9-to-5. Both companies even have "petiquettes" for their four-legged employees to hang around the office. The dogs must be able to get along with other dogs and humans, owners have to take them out regularly for bathroom breaks, and employees must keep food out of their trash bins so the dogs don't eat it.

So far, neither company has had problems with others not wanting dogs at the workplace nor has there been any reports of allergic reactions to the dogs, noting that should either of these concerns become a problem it would be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

<![CDATA[Think Outside the Box When Adopting: Pigs Need Love, Too!]]>Tue, 07 Aug 2018 12:49:42 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Scarlett+the+pig.JPG

If you're considering a new pet for your family, the New Hampshire SPCA is asking that you think outside the box.

The shelter has several potbelly pigs that need new homes and more pigs are being surrendered every week.

Scarlett has been at the shelter for several months and desperately needs a new family.

Just like a dog, Scarlett loves to go for walks and responds to her name. She's a pig with all the very best attributes of man’s best friend.

“Scarlett loves lounging on her bed and getting tummy rubs and she’ll fall asleep,” said NHSPCA's farm animal manager Carrie Fyfe.

Scarlett was surrendered to the New Hampshire SPCA by a family who said she outgrew their expectations. Fyfe said families who get tiny piglets because they think a piggy is "cute," are then surprised when they grow into a 100-pound porker. 

“Not necessarily all pigs end up being teacup or miniature,” Fyfe said. “We’re seeing people run out of time, they don’t have the experience or the knowledge to take care of these guys.”

Fyfe notes that its a myth that pigs are dirty. In fact, they are actually very clean animals, and because they have very few functional sweat glands, they can hardly excrete body odor. 

And just like dogs, pigs know a little something about loyalty and love.

“They’re so rewarding because once they’re bonded to you, you are their person for life,” Fyfe said.

Scarlett is hoping to find a forever home in the weeks leading up to Clear the Shelters event on Aug. 18.

“We’ve so enjoyed having her, she’s been so much fun, but she’s ready,” Fyfe said.

The shelter has at least two more pot belly pigs that will also be looking for new families.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Boston]]>
<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Adopt a Pet]]>Thu, 02 Aug 2018 14:43:41 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/Clear_the_Shelters__Adopt_a_Pet.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets a few furry friends at MSPCA Cape Cod.

For more information:

MSPCA Cape Cod

1577 Falmouth Rd, Centerville, MA 02632

(508) 775-0940

<![CDATA[Tick Dangers for Your Pets]]>Wed, 01 Aug 2018 22:24:10 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Tick_Dangers_for_Your_Pets.jpg

Keep your pets safe from harm this summer.]]>
<![CDATA[Brady Spends Quality Time With Siblings]]>Thu, 02 Aug 2018 14:52:58 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/221*120/brady14.jpg

NBC10 Boston's Puppy With a Purpose, Brady, spent the last two weeks enjoying some time with his siblings. He and his sister, Camden, are training to become service dogs for a veteran while his brother, Sunny, is working hard to become a service dog for a visually impaired person. All pups are featured on NBC stations as we track their journey through their training.]]>
<![CDATA[Amputee Kitten Thriving, Searching for Fur-Ever Home]]>Mon, 30 Jul 2018 04:22:27 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/206*120/072718+benji+kitten+amputation.JPGA critically-injured kitten whose left front arm was so badly injured that it needed to be amputated is now thriving and ready to find his fur-ever home.

Photo Credit: MSPCA at Nevins Farm]]>
<![CDATA[Adopt a Pet at Animal Rescue League of Boston]]>Thu, 26 Jul 2018 16:52:33 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/160*160/arl+pig.png

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits the Animal Rescue League of Boston in Dedham to meet a playful pup and a couple pigs looking for their forever home.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston - Dedham Branch

55 Anna's Place, Dedham, MA 02026

(781) 326-0729


<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Pair of Pups]]>Mon, 23 Jul 2018 12:30:52 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shelters__Pair_of_Pups.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits the Animal Rescue League of Boston to meet a pair of pups ready to be adopted and learns some important tips to keeping your pet cool this summer.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116

(617) 426-9170

<![CDATA[Adopt a Pet at the Animal Rescue League]]>Thu, 12 Jul 2018 14:38:44 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/160*121/arl+7.12.PNG

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits the Animal Rescue League of Boston to meet animals looking for a loving home.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler Street, Boston, MA 02116

(617) 426-9170

<![CDATA[Adopt a Pet at Northeast Animal Shelter]]>Thu, 05 Jul 2018 16:59:28 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Adopt_a_Pet_at_Northeast_Animal_Shelter.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets two furry friends at Northeast Animal Shelter looking for a forever home.

For more information:

Northeast Animal Shelther

347 Highland Ave, Salem, MA 01970

(978) 745-9888

<![CDATA[Happy Half Birthday to NBC10 Boston Puppy, Brady!]]>Tue, 03 Jul 2018 10:28:03 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Happy_Half_Birthday_to_NBC10_Boston_Puppy_Brady.jpg

Brady, NBC10 Boston's Puppy With a Purpose, stopped by for a special occasion -- his half birthday! As he turns six months old, Brady's trainer shares tips on how to keep dogs feeling safe on Fourth of July. We also see what Brady has learned as he prepares to become a service dog for a veteran.]]>
<![CDATA[NBC10 Boston's Natasha Verma Hosts Canines and Cocktails]]>Wed, 27 Jun 2018 07:02:18 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/206*120/062718+natasha+dog+rescue+event.jpg

Pooches, pup parents and philanthropists gathered Tuesday evening to raise funds for animals in an evening event hosted by NBC10 Boston Traffic Anchor Natasha Verma.

Verma kicked off the Canines and Cocktails charity event at the Seaport Hotel with two special guests, her pups Duchess and Diesel!

The start-of-the-summer celebration raised money for the Great Dog Rescue New England, an all-breed dog rescue based in Massachusetts. The organization rescues abandoned dogs from the streets and finds them their forever homes.

<![CDATA[WATCH: Madrid Police Dog 'Performs' CPR on Partner]]>Tue, 26 Jun 2018 10:28:49 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/20180626_cpr_dog_SOCIAL.gif

Poncho is ready to save a life! Madrid's municipal police department shared a video of K-9 Poncho "performing" CPR on his human partner as a way to promote adoption. ]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Found Emaciated, Efforts to Save Her Underway]]>Mon, 25 Jun 2018 12:07:50 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/180*120/062518+brandy+emaciated+dog.jpeg

A Weymouth, Massachusetts dog captured the heart of animal lovers and good Samaritans after a GoFundMe page was created to nourish her back to health from starvation.

The pooch, Brandy, is being treated for negligence at the VCA South Shore Animal Hospital in Weymouth. She was allegedly found emaciated in her owner’s home after a neighbor’s repeated attempts at a welfare check.

The neighbor, who created the charity page for the pup, immediately took Brandy to a veterinarian after the dog’s owner turned her over. After a series of examinations, veterinarians confirmed that the dog was being starved.

The animal hospital said the bill associated for Brandy’s three-day stay would amount to more than $4,000.

Brandy has been responsive to her treatments and is said to be wagging her tail and showing affection. The pup’s case was so widely received online, that it captured the attention of Braintree police, who responded to a call about Brandy and her owner’s wellbeing.

An animal cruelty investigation is underway, according to the GoFundMe page.

Photo Credit: Suzanne DiGiammo Rayberg via GoFundMe
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[NHSPCA in Need of Donations After Taking in Dozens of Dogs]]>Fri, 08 Jun 2018 18:52:13 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/NHSPCA_in_Need_of_Donations_After_Taking_in_Dogs.jpg

The New Hampshire SPCA is in desperate need of donations after spending more than $100,000 caring for dozens of dogs involved in one cruelty case.

On Friday, our NBC10Boston crew met Jill, Jack, Cali, Smokey, and the list goes on.

"I would say we are more inundated now than I ever recall," said NHSPCA Executive Director Lisa Dennison.

Thirty-six dogs were rescued from a New Hampshire woman who is now facing 29 charges of animal cruelty. The case started at the end of last year, when a fire at Jennifer Choate's Bristol home killed 29 dogs.

After the fire, police executed a search warrant at a barn Choate rented in Alexandria. It was the middle of winter, and police found almost two dozen German shepards locked in small, metal crates in temperatures below freezing.

"It was just heartbreaking," Dennison said. "Heartbreaking."

In cases like this, the NHSPCA is required by law to keep the animals as evidence until a judge decides their fate. So for the last six months, these dogs have grown up in a kennel.

"Some of the dogs have never been up and down a staircase," Dennison said. "They don't know the warmth of a home."

For the first time in more than two decades, the shelter has burned through its rescue fund, spending more than $100,000 caring for Choate's animals.

"This has been the most difficult case I can remember in a very long time," Dennison said.

And on Thursday, 10 more dogs from a different case were surrendered, leaving the NHSPCA in dire need of the public's help.

"We sit and we wait, and wait, and wait, and wait," Dennison said. "The cost of caring for these animals grows every single day."

She says there is no relief in the near future, because the dogs will have to be held in protective custody, at least until Choate goes back to court until July.

<![CDATA[Adopt a Pet from Northeast Animal Shelter]]>Thu, 31 May 2018 18:03:16 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Adopt_a_Pet_from_Northeast_Animal_Shelther.jpg

The Hub Today's Anna Rossi meets some pups looking for their forever families at the Northeast Animal Shelter.

For more information:

Northeast Animal Shelter

347 Highland Ave, Salem, MA 01970

(978) 745-9888

<![CDATA[Adopt a Puppy at the Animal Rescue League]]>Thu, 17 May 2018 15:34:10 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Adopt_a_Puppy_at_the_Animal_Rescue_League.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets two cute pups at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116

(617) 426 - 9170

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters]]>Thu, 03 May 2018 16:49:00 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shelters.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits the Animal Rescue League in Boston to meet some friendly furry faces.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League in Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston Ma 02116

(617) 426-9170

<![CDATA[Find a Furry Friend at the MSPCA]]>Fri, 27 Apr 2018 16:38:08 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Find_a_Furry_Friend_at_the_MSPCA.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets three furry friends at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm looking for a forever home.

For more information:

MSPCA at Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844

(978) 687-7453 x6101

<![CDATA[Adopt a Pet at the Animal Rescue League]]>Fri, 20 Apr 2018 11:16:09 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/210*120/ARL+Dedham+Colton.JPG

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets two loving and playful pets looking for their forever home at the Animal Rescue League of Boston in Dedham.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston - Safford Memorial Shelter

55 Anna's Place, Dedham, MA 02026

(781) 326-0729

<![CDATA[Adopt a Pet at Animal Rescue League]]>Thu, 05 Apr 2018 13:37:43 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/160*121/ARL+4.5.JPG

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets two new furry friends at ARL Boston looking for their forever homes.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116

(617) 426-9170

<![CDATA[Foster Cat Saves Lives of Newborn Kittens]]>Wed, 04 Apr 2018 14:15:47 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/160*120/MSPCA+Betty+Kittens.jpeg

The maternal instincts of a cat named Betty has earned her hero status for saving the lives of a newborn litter of kittens.

On March 22, a cat named Church suffered a prolapsed uterus while giving birth to five kittens. Church's owner, not realizing anything was wrong with her cat, planned on bringing the kittens to the MSPCA for adoption once they were old enough to be separated from their mom.

But when Church's health continued to deteriorate, she could no longer nurse her newborn kittens — all of whom were growing steadily weaker.

So Church's owner called the MSPCA sooner than expected and brought Church in for emergency surgery. Church recovered, but not enough to care for her kittens.

Enter Betty: a 2-year-old orange tab cat had been dropped off at the shelter prior to Church's arrival after she was abandoned in an apartment building. It just so happened that Betty was lactating, despite not having any kittens of her own. Alyssa Krieger, the community outreach coordinator at the MSPCA, introduced Church's kittens to Betty in hopes that she would nurse them back to health.

Sure enough, Betty was able to help the five kittens. Church recovered to the point she was able to nurse some of her kittens, too, which worked out perfectly since Betty wasn't able to produce enough milk for all five kittens.

"It's extremely rare for us to have a mom cat who is able to take over kitten care for another, and we often have to resort to bottle feeding kittens," Krieger said. "But we were lucky that Betty was able and willing to foster these kittens while their mother recovered because there are so many nutritional and socialization benefits of a 'real mom.'"

Betty was transferred to a foster home with one of the kittens, while Church returned home to her family with the other four. After 10 weeks, all five kittens will be available for adoption — as will Betty, once the weaning process ends.

Photo Credit: MSPCA Angell]]>
<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Animal Rescue League]]>Thu, 22 Mar 2018 15:25:56 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Adopt_a_Pet_at_Animal_Rescue_League.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits the Animal Rescue League in Boston to meet two furry friends looking for a new place to call home.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116

(617) 426 - 9170

<![CDATA[Adopt a Pet at MSCPA at Nevin's Farm]]>Thu, 08 Mar 2018 15:18:35 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Adopt_a_Pet_at_MSCPA_at_Nevin_s_Farm.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits the MSPCA at Nevins Farm to meet two furry friends looking for a home.

For more information:

MSPCA at Nevin's Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 0844

(978) 687-7453 x6101

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters]]>Thu, 22 Feb 2018 14:22:27 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/160*213/Colton+ARL.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford heads to the Animal Rescue League in Boston to help find homes for animals in need.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116

(617) 426-9170

<![CDATA[Find a Furry Friend]]>Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:50:06 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/Find_a_Furry_Friend.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits the MSPCA at Nevins Farm to meet some furry friends.

For more information:

MSCPA at Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, Ma 02844

(978) 687-7453 x6101

<![CDATA[Adopt a Pet]]>Thu, 01 Feb 2018 15:34:42 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Adopt_a_Pet.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford meets two furry friends at The Animal Rescue League of Boston.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116

(617) 426-9170

<![CDATA[Adopt, Don't Shop]]>Thu, 18 Jan 2018 15:41:51 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/193*120/arl.JPG

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits two furry friends at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116

(617) 426-9170


Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[21 Abandoned Animals Rescued From NH Home]]>Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:04:39 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/NH+Animals+011618.jpg

Authorities rescued 21 abandoned animals from a New Hampshire home Friday.

According to the New Hampshire SPCA, 10 cats, five rabbits, three gerbils, a guinea pig and two turtles were found at a home on Wanda Lane in Exeter. The home's occupants had been evicted about two weeks earlier.

"When they arrived at the shelter, they were obviously very hungry," New Hampshire SPCA Field Services Manager Steve Sprowl said in a statement. "The cats and rabbits especially were drinking water like they hadn't had it in days, or longer."

The guinea pig was in such poor condition that he had to be euthanized. A veterinarian said that the animals were thin and suffered from flea infestation and that some had ear mites.

The SPCA had already been caring for 32 dogs that were rescued from similar circumstances, including 31 German Shepherds from cases in Bristol and Alexandria.

"I can't remember a time in recent history that we've had this many animals under protective custody," New Hampshire SPCA Executive Director Lisa Dennison said. "While we will always find a way to care for the animals that need us ... it puts a tremendous financial strain on our resources."

The agency is asking for help paying for the animals' care. Click here for more information.

Photo Credit: New Hampshire SPCA]]>
<![CDATA[Shelter: Abandoned Dog Left Tied to Bench in Frigid Temps]]>Tue, 02 Jan 2018 19:41:56 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Northeast+Animal+Shelter+abandoned+dog+composite+010218.jpg

A dog was left tied to a bench in sub-freezing temperatures for nearly an hour outside of a Massachusetts animal shelter, according to shelter officials.

In a post on social media Tuesday, Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem said they found a female dog that had been tied to an outdoor bench for about 45 minutes with the temperature at a frigid 7 degrees.

The shelter posted surveillance images of the dog's owner looking inside the shelter before abandoning the animal and the owner's vehicle.

"Maybe we'll never know the name she has always known, what she has been through, or why you didn't go to another door at our building to talk to someone instead of just leaving her tied up but she gobbled up a warm meal and is wrapped in blankets and getting warm," the shelter wrote on its Facebook page.

The shelter has since nicknamed the dog "Icelyn" and believe she is a 5-year-old Papillion-Chihuahua mix.

She’ll likely be available for adoption in a week – but the shelter isn’t taking any names and says people should just check on their website.

The shelter's Facebook post about the tragic circumstances has gone viral since it was posted on Tuesday morning.

It's unclear if a police report has been filed.

Photo Credit: Northeast Animal Shelter
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Adopt a Pet: Meet Floyd ]]>Thu, 28 Dec 2017 14:35:15 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Adopt_a_Pet.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford visits the Animal Rescue League of Boston to meet Floyd, a pup looking for a forever home.

For more information:

Animal Rescue League of Boston

10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116

(617) 426-9170

<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Nevins Farm]]>Thu, 21 Dec 2017 18:44:43 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/210*120/bunny+a.JPG

no description]]>
<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Nevins Farm]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 13:55:58 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Clear_the_Shetlers_at_Nevins_Farm.jpg

The Hub Today's Colton Bradford heads to the MSPCA at Nevins Farm to meet some farm animals looking for a home.

For more information:

MSPCA at Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844

(978) 687-74533 x6101


<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:43:27 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/203*120/MSPCA+Boston.PNG

The Hub Today's Romeo stops by the MSPCA in Boston to meet rescued animals available for adoption.

For more information:

MSCPA Boston

350 South Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02130

(617) 522-5055

<![CDATA[Clear The Shelters]]>Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:18:33 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/266*120/Clear+the+Shelter+2.jpg

The Hub Today's Anna Rossi visits MSPCA at Nevins Farm to help loving homes for shelter animals.

For more information visit:

MSPCA at Nevins Farm


400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844

(978) 687-7453 x6101]]>
<![CDATA['No One Would Help': Owner Leaves Note With Dog]]>Tue, 29 Aug 2017 09:07:21 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Harwington-Dog-Abandoned-thumbnail.jpg

A handwritten letter was left by the owner of a dog abandoned in Harwinton.

"My owner loves me very much, I am their life!" the note reads. "My human went homeless & found out they have a disease & cannot care for me."

The male pit bull, presumably named Fatty McFat, was left in a crate behind the Litchfield Hills Veterinary Hospital in Harwinton on Monday morning, animal control said.

Harwinton Animal Control said the dog food and water was left for the dog in bowls and a bag of dog food was left on top of the crate. They described the dog as being very afraid, but do not believe the dog was left for long. 

The letter claims the owner attempted to rehome the pet but no one would take him.

"It is not fair for me to live in a car which I have been for 2 months & my human cries everyday (sic) that they are sorry & love me," the letter reads. 

The dog had no chip, was wearing a red bandana and a prong training collar. 

"My human is heart broken & very sad it has come to this. No one would help," the letter reads. 

Animal control said it appeared the dog hurt himself trying to get out of the crate, but was in relatively good health. The dog had to be tranquilized to move him. 

“Leaving a dog like this in a very scared situation is the worst-case scenario for the dog,” said Erin Barrows, a veterinary technician at the animal hospital where the dog was found.

Harwinton Animal Control is asking the public for help getting more information on the situation. Anyone who recognizes the dog or the situation described is asked to call animal control at (860) 806-8743.

Per Connecticut law, they will wait seven days to find the owner before they can determine if the dog will be adopted.

Photo Credit: Harwinton Animal Control
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Website Matches Dogs With Adopters]]>Sat, 19 Aug 2017 08:57:49 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000008397413_1200x675_1028162115723.jpg

A website called How I Met My Dog is helping people find the perfect pet for them by using personalized profiles for both humans and canines.]]>
<![CDATA[28 Cats Recovered in Emergency Rescue]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:28:56 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/180*120/CatRescueRevere3.jpg

An emergency cat rescue is underway in Revere, Massachusetts.

According to the Northeast Animal Shelter, 28 cats are being rescued from a woman’s home. Currently, 16 have been taken from the home with 12 on the way.

According to the shelter's website, police responded to a Revere home after a call from a concerned neighbor. When they arrived they found cats in every room of the house.

Northeast Animal Shelter is asking for help taking care of the new rescues. "Our shelter was already full before these new rescues arrived," says the shelter's website.

Check back for updates as this story develops.


<![CDATA[Margaret Returns to Shelter Where She Met Susan Tran]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 00:03:16 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Margaret_Returns_to_Shelter_Where_She_Met_Susan_Tran.jpg

Three years after being adopted by NBC Boston reporter Susan Tran, Margaret returned to Shultz's Guest House in Dedham, Massachusetts.]]>
<![CDATA[Plenty of Dogs and Beer at NH Brewery's 'Yappy Hour']]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:45:20 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000008357908.JPG

We all know adopting a pet means gaining a loyal companion, but did you know it can also mean finding a whole new community of friends?

There’s proof at an event called “Yappy Hour” at Smuttynose Brewery in Hampton, New Hampshire.

“I mean they love beer and they love their dogs,” said Ali Lynch, the Outreach Coordinator at the New Hampshire SPCA.

It turns out, Yappy Hour at Smuttynose Brewery is just another twist in Minnow’s interesting journey.

“She had a rough upbringing, she was tied to a tree in Mississippi, it was so sad, but look at her now,” said Minnow’s owner Alycia Brandt of Hampton. “She’s out here maybe having a beer, but shh, we won’t tell anyone.”

That’s right, the seven-month-old rescue is now enjoying a cold one with her owner.

“We met her online, so it was virtual dating,” laughed Brandt. “Probably one of the highlights of my life bringing her home.”

Yappy Hour is a fundraising event for the NHSPCA, bringing dog lovers, and their dogs, to different breweries across the Seacoast.

“It definitely opens up a wide community and lots of people,” Brandt said.

“It’s really awesome because there are not a lot of places you can bring your dog to just hang out and have a drink,” said Lindsay Sherman who just recently adopted her dog, Atlas.

On this night, one dollar from every pint sold at the Hampton brewery went straight to the shelter to help volunteers care for the animals.

“Right now, we are pretty much at capacity at the shelter,” Lynch explained.

This is the fourth Yappy Hour of the summer and there are several more events before the season is over.

“Any funds we can get from these events, we appreciate more than people know,” Lynch said.

If you’d like to become a part of the rescue community, come to the NHSPCA on August 19 to help NBC Boston and NECN Clear the Shelters. 

<![CDATA[Thousands of Animals Find Their Forever Homes]]>Sat, 19 Aug 2017 21:30:46 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000008400565.JPG

More than 2,400 animals were adopted around New England, and more than 45,000 now have forever homes, thanks the nationwide effort Clear the Shelters.

NBC Boston producer Kathryn Shehade was one of the many who went to a shelter on Saturday and fell in love with a furry friend.

Max the dog was waiting for her at the MSPCA's Nevins Farm location in Methuen, Massachusetts, and by the end of the effort, she decided she "couldn't leave him there."

Meanwhile, in Portland, Maine, Stephanie Boulanger had had her eyes on a rescue dog, Daisy, at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland.

"She's so happy and she makes me happy," she said.

Gautier was also at the ARL of Greater Portland's shelter when his foster family decided to line up at the crack of dawn in order to adopt him -- forever.

"We heard about the event, we fell in love with him, so we woke up at 5 a.m. this morning to come and adopt him," Janice Ribeiro said.

Cats and dogs weren't the only animals to find forever homes on Saturday, either. Goats, pigs and even horses at Nevins Farm found new families through the Clear the Shelters effort. However, MSPCA officials say those looking for one of these animals need to be conscious of their special needs, like having a farm animal veterinarian available to help.

Interested in rescuing a new furry friend? Click here for our interactive map to help you pinpoint the nearest participating shelter in your area.

In addition to our livestream from the MSPCA-Angell in Boston, you can also watch live video of Clear the Shelters from across the country.

Click here for more resources on what you should do after you adopt a pet, tips on prepping your home for your new family member, photos of our employees with their fur babies and much more.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Specialized Approach to Pet Adoption in Hopkinton]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:11:12 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Specialized_Approach_to_Pet_Adoption_in_Hopkinton.jpg

The Baypath Humane Society in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, takes a specialized approach to helping each pet find the right home. Volunteer Kim Melanson says it's not about a pet's physical appearance, it's about their personality and the shelter works hard to match each dog or cat with the right family. ]]>
<![CDATA[People Pet Vet Talks Clear the Shelters]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 17:07:34 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Talk+Stoop+Clear+the+Shelters.jpg.jpeg

People magazine Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle and celebrity pet vet Evan Antin stop by “Talk Stoop” to chat with Cat Greenleaf about the effort to “Clear the Shelters” on Aug. 19.

Dr. Antin’s biggest piece of advice for those planning on adopting a cat or dog: “Going to a local rescue or shelter and visiting with the dogs, and realizing whether or not this is a good move for you,” he says.]]>
<![CDATA[Our Viewers' Shelter Pet Photos]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:41:19 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/1180.jpgCheck out this photo gallery of viewers and their beloved adopted shelter pets! ]]><![CDATA[The Pets of NBC Boston, necn, and Telemundo Boston]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:44:20 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/joyanddogs2.jpgIntroducing the pets of NBC Boston, necn, and Telemundo Boston and their wonderful owners!]]><![CDATA[How to Bathe Your Dog]]>Thu, 07 Jun 2018 19:24:45 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2017-08-05-at-8.25.58-PM.jpg

Is your pup stinky? Watch Ripley the Chocolate Lab get a bath at Bideawee, a no-kill animal rescue in New York City, and see how you can safely bathe your own canine.]]>
<![CDATA[Dogs From Puerto Rico Get 2nd Chance]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 18:03:59 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000007896053.JPG

Every shelter pet has a story. Some have overcome extraordinary odds while others traveled great distances to get a second lease on life.

One of those dogs is Yuko: a rescue from Puerto Rico, brought to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland in Westbrook, Maine.

A volunteer from the All Soto Rescue group in Puerto Rico discovered Yuko and his three siblings abandonded on the local streets. The rescue center placed the four puppies in a foster home to nurse them back to health and prepare them for adoption.

Foster mother Marta Delgado noticed his breathing and heart rate seemed irregular and he was frequently fatigued, even after napping

"I grabbed him and felt something on his little chest," she said. A visit to a veterinarian revealed Yuko had a heart defect, and needed an expensive surgery to save to his life.

Delgado created a GoFundMe page, and more than 100 people from around Puerto Rico and in the United States pitched in to raise the $5,000 she needed to pay for his surgery.

"I am the happiest person on earth," said Delgado. "Yuko is the perfect little dog that every family should have in their home," she added through tears.

Once he had the surgery, Yuko was flown to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland in search of a forever home.

Because Puerto Rico has a 99 percent euthanasia rate, rescue centers like All Sato have partnered with shelters in the U.S. to place fostered pets in America.

"Here at the Animal Refuge League, we have a 99 percent placement rate – so it’s really life saving work," said ARLGP spokeswoman Jeana Roth.

Yuko was adopted on July 22, just one day after ARLGP announced he was looking for a new home.

But just because Yuko is no longer a contender for a forever, there will be several other Puerto Rican rescue dogs up for adoption at ARLGP during NBC’s Clear the Shelters campaign on Aug. 19.

"All of these dogs are so important to us," said Roth.

Photo Credit: Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland]]>
<![CDATA[Kitten Who Lost Nose Will Undergo Reconstructive Surgery]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 16:25:05 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/202*120/Nigel+not+as+graphic+%28credit+MSPCA-Angell%29.JPG

A little orange kitten that lost part of his face is getting some help from the veterinarians at the MSPCA.

Officials at the MSPCA's Angell Animal Medical Center said a good Samaritan found the kitten beside a dumpster in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood on July 7.

The kitten, who was named Nigel by the MSPCA's shelter staff, was examined by veterinarians, who noticed that he had a discolored nose, which usually indicates an upper respiratory infection.

Nigel was given some antibiotics and pain medicine, but after a week, the skin on and under his nose fell apart, exposing many of his teeth and his jaw.

"We were shocked to discover later just how seriously injured Nigel was," adoption center manager Alyssa Krieger said in a statement.

MSPCA officials don't know what happened to Nigel, but said he might have been electrocuted or hit by either a car or a person.

Nigel will undergo reconstructive surgery in a month, when veterinarians will use existing facial tissue to "close the gap." He will also be neutered and microchipped before shelter officials place him in a new home.

Photo Credit: MSPCA]]>
<![CDATA[Puppy Left at Airport Bathroom With Heartbreaking Note]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:20:15 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Chewy+Abandoned+Puppy.jpg

A miniature Chihuahua was left inside a Las Vegas airport bathroom along with a heartbreaking letter from the puppy's owner.

In the handwritten note, Chewy's owner reveals she's a victim of domestic violence and was escaping her "abusive boyfriend," but couldn't afford the airfare for her 3-month-old dog.

"She didn’t want to leave me with all her heart but she has NO other option. My ex-boyfriend kicked my dog when we were fighting and he has a big knot on his head. He probably needs a vet," the note, which was posted on the Connor and Millie's Dog Rescue (CMRD) Facebook page, said. "I love Chewy sooo much – please love and take care of him.”

Since sharing Chewy's story on Facebook, CMDR says there has been “tremendous interest” in the pooch. The Las Vegas-based rescue center said it reviewing all of the interest forms before it selects a new home for Chewy.

"However, there is but 1 Chewy and he can go but to 1 home. Please consider the hundreds if not thousands of "Chewys" loaded with love that are desperately seeking homes in shelters which are at max capacity, rescues are full! Please consider adopting another wonderful companion in his honor!" the shelter added.

Photo Credit: Connor and Millie's Dog Rescue
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Special Needs Corgis Ready for Their Closeups]]>Fri, 14 Jul 2017 15:17:00 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/180*120/DSC_9647_Panda.jpgEach corgi in the series has either a behavioral, neurological or other medical need.

Photo Credit: Casey Christopher]]>
<![CDATA[Presidential Pets Through the Years]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:22:38 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/180*120/ap_940319058.jpgA range of dogs and cats have kept presidential families company through their stay in Washington, including Fala, Franklin D. Roosevelt's Scottish terrier; Socks, the Clintons' cat; and Bo and Sunny, the Obamas' Portuguese water dogs. Take a look back at the pets that have called the White House home.

<![CDATA[Pistons Coach Adopts Animal Shelter's Last Dog]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:37:33 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/US-MI-Last-Dog-Adopt-CR_1200x675_940425283974.jpg

Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy and his family have adopted a Labrador retriever mix that was an animal shelter's last remaining dog following a pet adoption day.

Van Gundy, his wife Kim and their teenage daughter picked up Eastwood, a special needs dog, Tuesday at the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society in the northern Michigan city of Harbor Springs.

Eastwood gained national attention last week for being the shelter's last remaining dog following a statewide "Empty the Shelters" free pet adoption day that found homes for nearly 1,600 pets at 66 Michigan shelters.

The friendly pooch was born with an eye defect and a leg deformity that may someday require surgery.]]>
<![CDATA[Rescued Miniature Horses to Provide Therapy for Wounded Veterans]]>Fri, 07 Jul 2017 13:33:36 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Horse_Therapy_Helps_Wounded_Veterans.jpg

A riding center in Ramona is bringing together miniature horses saved from slaughter and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) in a program that helps heal all involved.

The Cornerstone Therapeutic Riding Center adopted two miniature horses on Thursday, and will use them in its program Operation Saddle Up, which provides therapy to wounded service members and veterans suffering from PTSD, according the center.

The miniature horses were rescued from slaughter in a Texas auction house by P.A.W. 4 The Foundation, an animal rescue organization founded by Charlotte Olhausen. 

According to Cornerstone, the horse therapy provided through Operation Saddle Up has brought an 85 percent decrease in suicidal thoughts, 75 percent decrease in PTSD and 90 percent decrease in anxiety for those veterans enrolled in their program.

In addition to helping service members, Cornerstone said the horses will be used to help children with special needs and serve as program ambassadors throughout the community once they are trained.

<![CDATA[Retriever Fever: America's Most Popular Dogs, in Photos]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:55:37 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/178*120/1GettyImages-519107508_master.jpgThe Labrador retriever is America's best best friend, according to the American Kennel Club. This gallery features "aw"-inducing photos of the top 10 most popular dog breeds in America, as judged by the AKC.

Photo Credit: Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Giant' Draft Horses Rescued From Massachusetts Farm]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 15:44:55 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Abe+and+Dolly+settle+into+new+quarters+at+the+MSPCA-Nevins+Farm+%28credit+MSPCA-Angell%29.jpg

Ten "giant" draft horses are now in veterinary care after the owner of a central Massachusetts farm surrendered them to authorities.

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the horses, nine male and one female, are being cared for at the Nevins Farm in Methuen.

MSPCA officials say the previous owner could no longer meet the horses' needs and surrendered them June 28. Some of the horses are underweight and have teeth and hoof issues.

Draft horses, which stand a foot taller than normal breeds, are traditionally used as working animals to pull carriages or plow fields.

The MSPCA says once healthy, the horses will be available for adoption. The nonprofit organization has set up a donation fund to pay for the animals' veterinary care.

Photo Credit: MSPCA - Angell]]>
<![CDATA[ALS Cures Being Tested on Suffering Dogs]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 12:46:47 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/ALS+Dog+1.JPG

Despite the increased awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, few people know that a similar disease affects our canine companions. 

Degenerative myelopathy is a disease similar to ALS that causes progressive paralysis in older dogs. Both neurodegenerative diseases are fatal and there is no cure. 

As in humans with ALS, dogs with degenerative myelopathy eventually die when the respiratory system stops working, but often pets are euthanized before. 

But researchers at the University of Massachusetts partnered with the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton, Massachusetts, to test a new drug therapy in dogs that they hope could one day benefit human patients with ALS. 

Dogs participating in the trial, which began in December 2016, undergo tests and are checked every three months to assess their neurological and motor functions. According to Tufts, four dogs are currently in the pilot study. So far, the therapy appears safe in pets, but researchers say it's too early to determine whether it will stop the disease or reverse it.

"Does it work? That’s the question I wake up and go to bed with every day," said Robert H. Brown Jr., a UMass Medical School neurologist and one of the world’s foremost experts on ALS.

The failure rate with clinical trials for any drug is very high.

"Approximately only 10 percent of drugs that make their way into people is actually approved by the FDA for use in humans," said Dr. Cheryl London with Cummings School.

One reason is that tests are done on mice, which are given the disease or genetically engineered. London says because of these factors, the disease in mice don't accurately represent what researchers see in humans. But diseases in dog, cats and even horses do. Researchers also say because these animals are much closer in makeup to humans than mice, the likelihood of success is greater.

Greta, a 9-year-old boxer, is one of the dogs participating in the clinical trial of the drug therapy and her owner hopes it could stop her disease from getting worse. 

"Her contributing to the research was really important," Greta's owner said. "That it links to human ALS and research in that area, it just seemed like Greta could help dogs and humans, both."


If your dog has generative myelopathy and you would like your dog to take part in this study, click here to see if it meets the criteria.

Photo Credit: NBC Boston]]>
<![CDATA[PAWmicon: Comic Canines in Cosplay]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:04:11 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/180*120/pawmicon_19.jpgCoo over woofers dressed as superheroes, and villains, too, from movies and comic books, at a sweet San Diego fundraiser.

Photo Credit: The Helen Woodward Animal Center]]>
<![CDATA[Kristen Bell, Charlize Theron Gush Over Their Rescue Dogs]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:08:45 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/KristenBell-CharlizeTheron.jpg

As the Annenberg Foundation prepares to celebrate the opening of the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace in Playa Vista, California, some of Hollywood's most famous dog owners are sharing their positive pet stories with fans.

In a new video posted on YouTube, Kristen Bell reintroduces viewers to her dog Lola, who she rescued at a shelter 13 years ago.

"I wanted a dog for my birthday, which was like my first dog as an adult and she was just staring at me from inside her kennel and I felt this instant connection and the woman at the pound said, 'You may not want that dog. She's been returned by two other families,'" the actress recalled. "And I said, 'Nope. That's my dog. That's the dog I want.'"

The rest, as they like to say in Hollywood, is history.

Stars Who Adopted Pets

Charlize Theron also stars in the video with her two beloved pooches Johnny and Berkley. The Hollywood actress couldn't help but emphasize how much pets can become part of the family.

"My children absolutely adore them and they adore my children and I cannot imagine my family without them," Theron shared. "What's better than opening your door and two friendly faces are just happy to see you no matter what? That's what Berkley and Johnny do."

She added, "They're strays, they look weird but they're so beautiful. You don't need a purebred dog."

The Wallis Annenberg PetSpace is described as a community service and pet adoption center that includes veterinary care and animal education.

In fact, the center also focuses on "the celebration and study of the relationship between people and their pets -- and the important and beneficial impact of the human-animal bond."

"Looking out for another living thing is a way of learning how to look out for yourself, learning to have empathy and love and I think that's brilliant for kids," Stephen Moyer shared. "It's a great reminder for us."

Photo Credit: File/AP Photo
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<![CDATA[Nearly 1,000 Animals Rescued]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 15:17:08 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/NC_rescuedanimals0621_1920x1080.jpg

Nearly 1,000 animals are being cared for after being found in an old moving truck in Fresno, California, Friday. Kendyll Lyons, a kennel worker at Fresno Humane Animal Services, has been working long hours to make sure the hundreds of birds, bunnies, quail and others. A total of 955 animals were rescued, but several have since died.

Photo Credit: KSEE-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Ultramarathon Dog Scores Book and Movie Deals]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:20:07 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/AP_17165751510592.jpg

Gobi, the stray dog who captured hearts when she adopted her human Dion Leonard during a 155-mile race across China's Gobi desert, will be featured in books and a movie depicting how the two met and bonded.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[34 Dogs Saved From 'Deplorable' Conditions in Calif. Home]]>Sat, 17 Jun 2017 18:28:33 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/6-17-17_Dog_Seizure.jpg

Nearly three dozen dogs were rescued Thursday from woeful conditions in a Scotts Valley home, according to the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter.

The rescue happened after someone reported that several dogs were suffering from "deplorable and inhumane" treatment at a residence. The animal shelter officers were familiar with the property since there have been similar complaints made in the past, the shelter wrote on Facebook. 

"The conditions were such that [the dogs] needed to be seized," Linda Puzziferro from the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter said. "They were breeding the dogs, and there were many dogs. The conditions were not good."

With the help of warrants and assistance from the Scotts Valley Police Department, the animal shelter retrieved 34 dogs. Most of the canines were Boston terriers, as well as some Tibetan spaniels and one Chihuahua mix.

The pets were not being treated appropriately and will need to be examined by the veterinarians, according to the shelter.

The dogs' owner struggles with hoarding problems and recently suffered a stroke, a man who lives on the property where the dogs were seized told NBC Bay Area. The man added that he understands there were too many dogs in one location, but claimed the pups were healthy.

The shelter is stretched thin, officials said, and asked for donations.

People looking for more information can find it online.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Find a Participating Shelter Near You]]>https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Puppy-Kitten-GettyImages-78739772.jpg

Animal shelters across the country are teaming up with NBC and Telemundo stations to find loving homes for pets in need.

The fourth annual Clear the Shelters event, a nationwide pet adoption initiative, will be held Aug. 18, 2018. Hundreds of shelters in 20 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico are joining the one-day adoption drive.

The goal is to #ClearTheShelters by finding forever homes for as many animals as possible.

Across the country, over 80,000 pets were adopted during last year’s event, but millions more remain homeless. Every year, 7.6 million animals end up in shelters nationwide — and only 2.7 million are adopted, according to the ASPCA.

Dozens of local shelters will take part this year in Clear the Shelters. Refer to the interactive map above to identify a participating shelter near you.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Calif. Couple Accused of Hoarding 180 Yorkies Pleads Guilty]]>Wed, 12 Jul 2017 02:48:23 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Poway-Dogs-RESCUED.jpg

A Poway couple, accused of hoarding more than a hundred Yorkie dogs inside their homes and a restaurant pleaded guilty Monday, confirmed prosecutors.

Christine Calvert, 62, and Mark Vattimo, 73, will be placed on three years of probation at their sentencing on July 11, said prosecutors.

Calvert and Vattimo previously pleaded not guilty in March.

Deputy District Attorney Karra Reedy said it's most important that the defendants get help, in order to make sure this never happens again.

The defendants must undergo counseling and are not allowed to own any pets, as part of their plea agreement. They also will transfer the ownership of a 31-foot motorhome to the Humane Society as restitution in the case, said prosecutors.

After 18 months of probation, Vattimo and Calvert may apply to have their felony convictions reduced to misdemeanors, according to Superior Court Judge Kathleen Lewis.

Back in January, the Humane Society received a report from a concerned veterinarian that suggested the Poway couple was keeping 180 dogs in deplorable conditions. The dogs were kept in dark, unsanitary rooms filled with feces, urine, and mice at the defendants' home.

When Humane Society officials went to the scene, they were prevented from entering the home, said Reedy. After a few days, they were able to come in and 94 dogs were removed from the defendants' home within the next eight hours.

Later, 29 dogs were also seized from a restaurant the couple owned and nearly 50 dogs were taken from a motor home when Calvert was arrested last February in Primm, Nevada, according to prosecutors.

It was unclear why the couple kept so many dogs in terrible conditions, Reedy said. All the animals had health problems, ranging from ear infections to severe matting.

The couple was charged with 10 felony counts, including animal abuse and neglect, and one count of resisting an officer.

The dogs were placed in the care of the San Diego Humane Society. 

More than 1,500 adoption applications were submitted for the Yorkies, prompting the organization to close the adoption process earlier than planned.

Ed. Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the name of a defendant. The article has been corrected. We regret the error.

Photo Credit: San Diego Humane Society]]>
<![CDATA[Stolen Dog Reunited With SoCal Family 7 Year Later]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 10:06:59 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/dog-reunion-060617.jpg

Pet microchipping led to a heartwarming reunion Tuesday for a Southern California family and their dog, who finally returned home seven years after she was stolen.

Kona, an 8-year-old pit bull, was dropped off by animal control at Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) Saturday in Camarillo, where workers scanned her for a microchip implant that led to her owner, Shannon Pratt.

The last time Pratt and her family saw Kona was seven years ago when the then-1-year-old pit bull was stolen from their backyard in Ventura County, according to VCAS. The family has since moved to Bakersfield and Kona's collar was left behind.

Upon receiving the good news from VCAS, Pratt and her daughters drove to Ventura County to pick up Kona.

Tuesday's emotional reunion, which was streamed live on VCAS' Facebook, shows Pratt and her three daughters happy to be reunited with Kona.

"It's just the best feeling when the microchip scanner beeps," said VCAS director Tara Diller. "It means the pet has a microchip, and the chances of reuniting pets with their owners increases exponentially."

Even though a microchip implant dramatically increases the likelihood of locating a pet's owner, the vast majority of lost pets do not have these implants, according to VCAS spokesman Randy Friedman.

This is also true of the lost pets at the Camarillo Animal Shelter. Few animals there have microchips, making it difficult to locate owners and move animals out of the shelter. The Camarillo shelter currently offers shelter to 240 animals, almost 100 animals more than its intended 150-animal capacity. The shelter has been far over capacity since it became a "no-kill" facility in 2014, Friedman said.

Microchip implants are the size of a grain of rice and last a lifetime, making them a "game changer" for lost pets, Friedman added.

Animal services officials especially urge owners to microchip their pets as July 4 nears. Friedman said that having a microchip implant will increase the chance that a pet will be returned if it gets lost after running from fireworks.

VCAS offers microchip implants for $10 at low-cost vaccination clinics that are held at different sites each month. Implants are offered for free for pets that were lost and have been returned to their owners.

Photo Credit: Ventura County Animal Services
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<![CDATA[50 Animals Rescued Following Animal Cruelty Complaint]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 14:15:04 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/196*120/NHSPCA+rescue+060117+1+EDIT.jpg

About 50 animals living in overcrowded, filthy conditions were rescued in New Hampshire and relocated to the New Hampshire Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (NHSPCA) in Stratham following an animal cruelty complaint, authorities said.

An NHSPCA spokesman says the animals include two horses, a mother dog and her four puppies, 27 rabbits and 15 guinea pigs.

All will be evaluated by a veterinarian.

The organization believes the dogs are suffering from worms and the horses appear underweight and without proper hoof care. Some of the rabbits and guinea pigs were suffering from urine burns on their paws.

"It is always devastating to see animals that were entrusted to the care of humans and those humans failed to provide it," said Lisa Dennison, the NHSPCA's executive director. "These animals have suffered at the hands of human seeking to make a profit from their offspring."

The NHSPCA says the owners of the animals are cooperating with authorities but are expected to face animal neglect charges. Their information has not been released.

Once the animals have recovered, the NHSPCA said they will be placed in homes.

The agency is seeking donations to help pay for their food, vaccinations and care. To make a donation, go to www.nhspca.org, call 603-772-2921, Ext. 102 or send it by mail to New Hampshire SPCA, PO Box 196, Stratham, NH 03885.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC10 Boston

Photo Credit: New Hampshire SPCA]]>
<![CDATA[Meet Isis, the Bomb-Sniffing Dog Protecting You]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 12:30:13 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/215*120/052417+isis+the+bomb+sniffing+dog.jpg

ISIS was raised in prison, but she wasn't doing hard time. The bombing-sniffing pooch was trained by female inmates at Florida prison to become a service dog as part of a program called Puppies Behind Bars. NBC 6’s Julia Bagg reports.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Service Dog in HS Yearbook]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 23:31:55 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/soldier+campbell+yearbook1.jpg

To see Kathryn Campbell smile, you'd have to look into her past. The once active, talkative little girl started having seizures at the age of ten.

"She has since lost her ability to speak with us, and she doesn't smile very much anymore," said her mother, Kim Campbell. "We have lost that outgoing little girl, and that has been absolutely the most difficult part."

Bringing comfort to the whole family is Kathryn's best friend, Soldier.

"He's a goofball, and he's a big old scaredy cat. He eats socks, which is his absolute worst habit," Kim Campbell said.

Soldier is Kathryn's service dog. Together, they attend Timber Creek High School in Fort Worth. He's by her side constantly — even in the school yearbook.

But his presence is for more than just comfort.

"He can smell the differences in her body before the seizures actually happen," her mother said.

His alerts range from licking to pawing and barking, and they give Kathryn's caregivers an average 45-minute warning before a seizure occurs.

"Every seizure is life-threatening," said Kathryn's nurse, Samantha Stringer.

Stringer said she uses the extra warning time to prepare oxygen and rescue meds.

When she jumps into action, Soldier waits. He's always on alert, and he's always by Kathryn's side—through everything.

As high school freshmen they went to homecoming together—and then prom.

Soldier is an active member of Kathryn's classroom, so when it came to student picture day, Soldier took part.

"There's lots of kids rolling through, it's like, 'Hey! Here's a dog, okay good,'" said photographer Jared Pyfer, who captured Soldier's student ID picture.

Soldier is not only featured in an article with Kathryn in the yearbook, he also has his own picture, alongside the other students.

Because of his name's first letter, S, Kathryn's sister separates them in the row of pictures. But Soldier is close by—just like always.

"I think it commemorates their bond that they have. They get to go through all of this together," student Amanda Barber said.

Soldier is a proud student with a life-saving sense of smell and enough love to give anyone who needs some comfort.

"Every life matters and everyone that walks into this school matters," Stringer said. "Even a dog's life can make an impact of life and death, and I think that's amazing."

"He's a blessing, all the way around," said Kim Campbell said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Need a Dog Walker? There's an App for That]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:44:25 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/2017-05-15_0630.png

If you have a dog you have to leave everyday to go to work, you may feel a little guilty? What if your dog needs to go outside? Well, there's an app for that. News4's consumer reporter Susan Hogan shows us how a new app can make your day guilt free.]]>
<![CDATA[Three Special Dogs Looking For Forever Homes]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 11:52:11 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Doggie+1.jpg

The MSPCA-Angell returns to Clear the Shelters with three dogs looking to find forever homes.

For more information about these animals visit:

<![CDATA[Duck Shows Up at Man's Home, Refuses to Leave]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 16:12:48 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/NC_duckman0508_1500x845.jpg

A duck showed up at a Florida man's home a few weeks ago -- and he says it still won't leave the property. Lakeland resident Richard Martin says he tries to take the animal to a nearby lake but she always waddles back to his house.]]>
<![CDATA[Chinchilla Lionhead Rabbit, Rats, And A Yorkie Looking For Forever Homes ]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 12:14:18 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000006007405_1200x675_936343619957.jpg

The MSPCA at Nevins Farms returns to Clear the Shelters with a chinchilla lionhead rabbit, two rats and a yorkie looking for forever homes.


<![CDATA[Cat Survives 15 BB Gun Shots]]>Thu, 11 Oct 2018 02:32:08 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/chance-the-cat-la.jpg

An eight-month-old kitten is recovering after being shot 15 times with a BB gun earlier this week.

The stray feline came in to Nohl Ranch Animal Hospital with multiple puncture wounds, all of them aimed at his head, according to hospital officials. Five BB gun pellets went through the cat's skull; surgeons were able to remove all but one, which was too deeply embedded. 

Hospital workers have named the cat "Chance" because he miraculously survived the attack. Veterinarians said that cats are normally quick to run away once they've been attacked, raising questions about how 15 shots were fired at the kitten. 

"We would think he would have ran, so it's a possibility that he could've been held down or tied down," Dr. Janie Guirguis said. "But we're not sure."

Chance was found hovering under a truck just a few blocks from the Nohl Ranch Animal Hospital in Orange County, California.

Doctors said the shock of the attack left Chance blind, but they're hoping he'll regain his eyesight as he heals.

Chance will continue to recover before Nohl Ranch begins searching for a suitable home.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Local Animal Shelter Hours]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 12:11:40 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Dog-Cat-GettyImages-10093564.jpg



350 S Huntington Ave, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130


Monday - Closed

Tuesday - 1–5 p.m.

Wednesday - 1–5 p.m.

Thursday - 1–5 p.m.

Friday - 1–5 p.m.

Saturday - 11AM–4 p.m.

Sunday - 11AM–4 p.m.



400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844


Monday - Closed

Tuesday - 12–5 p.m.

Wednesday - 12–5 p.m.

Thursday - 12–5 p.m.

Friday - 12–5 p.m.

Saturday - 12–4 p.m.

Sunday - 12–4 p.m.



1577 Falmouth Rd, Centerville, MA 02632


Monday - Closed

Tuesday - 1–4 p.m.

Wednesday - 1–4 p.m.

Thursday - 1–6 p.m.

Friday - 1–4 p.m.

Saturday - 1–4 p.m.

Sunday - 1–4 p.m.



10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116


Monday - Closed

Tuesday - 1–6:30 p.m.

Wednesday - 1–6:30 p.m.

Thursday - 1–6:30 p.m.

Friday - 1–6:30 p.m.

Saturday - 1–6:30 p.m.

Sunday - 1–6:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: MSPCA Nevins Farms ]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 12:11:54 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000005824611_1200x675_930970179872.jpg

Please check with the MSPCA at Nevins Farms to see if these animals are still available for adoption.

<![CDATA[Lab Report: Gene Researchers Map Out Dog Family Tree]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 21:27:50 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/211*120/gretriever.jpg

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have come up with the most complete and definitive canine family tree to date, NBC News reported.

They've spent more than 20 years sampling the genes of 161 breeds of dog, sequencing them and comparing them to show how breeds were mixed and matched to make new breeds. The genealogy also gives a rough timeline and geographic map of what came from where.

"It's very subtle variation in small numbers of genes that account for that very large difference in morphology that we see across breeds," said Elaine Ostrander of the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the NIH.

The goal is to track disease-causing genetic mutations, which often translate to human disease genes, Ostrander said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Match for Mutts? Website Helps People Adopt the Best Dog]]>https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Golden-Retriever-GettyImages-522796697.jpg

There's a new way to find the perfect family dog. 

The founders of the website How I Met My Dog say people usually select a pet based on appearance and breed. But that's barking up the wrong tree. 

How I Met My Dog matches humans and potential pets based on what really matters - personality, lifestyle and behavior. Some are calling it a canine version of eHarmony or Match for mutts. 

People looking for a new dog can fill out a personality profile based on their lifestyle. 

The site then matches them with dogs at shelters or that need new homes that would complement that lifestyle. 

The service has rolled out in the Boston area, and the founders are hoping to go nationally later this year.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC10 Boston

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images]]>
<![CDATA[A Second Chance for Pit Bulls]]>Thu, 30 Jun 2016 23:28:44 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2016-06-30-23h28m00s15.jpgIt's a breed with a bad rap, but experts say pit bulls are what we teach them. July 23 is Clear the Shelters day, a national initiative to get as many homeless pets adopted as possible.]]><![CDATA[Clear the Shelters- Dog Adoptions]]>Thu, 07 Jul 2016 11:06:44 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/NECN_NECN_CLEAR_SHELTER_3_1200x675_720396867535.jpgClear the Shelters takes place on July 23. ]]><![CDATA[Clear the Shelters- Cat Adoptions]]>Thu, 07 Jul 2016 11:04:52 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/NECN_NECN_CLEAR_SHELTER_1_1200x675_720388163941.jpgClear the Shelters takes place on July 23. ]]><![CDATA[Bridge-Running Dog Adopted]]>Fri, 29 Apr 2016 02:19:28 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BayBridgeDog.jpg

Ponch, the stray Chihuahua who captured hearts around the nation after he sprinted across the Bay Bridge early this month, has finally found a home. 

After being rescued by California Highway Patrol April 3, Ponch went to stay with a foster family connected to San Francisco County's animal services department. His caretakers waited several weeks to see if someone would come forward and claim ownership – Ponch had a collar with a skull dangling from it when he was captured – but no one stepped up.

Instead, offers from animal lovers all over the world came flooding in, asking if it would be possible to give the 10-pound Chihuahua a new home. Animal Care and Control conducted several interviews, according to the department, before settling on a suitable family for Ponch. He was scheduled to go home Thursday, after his rescuers have a chance to bid him farewell.

“Taking into consideration that Ponch is a nervous fellow who loves to run, his new home and family are perfectly suited to give him the happily-ever-after life,” Animal Care and Control said in a statement. The family adopting him wishes to remain anonymous.

Ponch’s story went viral following an early morning police chase that resulted in a short shutdown of the Bay Bridge. The pup, who was visibly frightened, was darting across lanes of traffic.

The California Highway Patrol officers involved in his rescue nicknamed the pup “Ponch,” after Erik Estrada’s character in the 1970s TV hit “CHIPS.”

“We’re happy that Ponch’s story has ended with a loving new home”, says Animal Care & Control Executive Director Virginia Donohue. “We’re grateful for all of the good will Ponch has generated for shelter dogs.”

Photo Credit: CHP San Francisco
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Five Dogs Rescued from South Korea Farm Wait For Shelter ]]>Tue, 05 Jul 2016 23:37:54 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/NECN_070516_rescued_dogs_1200x675_719230019819.jpgMore than 150 dogs being raised on a meat farm in South Korea have been rescued. Five of them are in New Hampshire. ]]><![CDATA[Clear the Shelters]]>Thu, 07 Jul 2016 11:05:59 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/NECN_NECN_CLEAR_SHELTER_2_1200x675_720388163696.jpgClear the Shelters takes place on July 23. ]]><![CDATA[Dozens of Pets Find Homes in Clear The Shelters Day]]>Sat, 23 Jul 2016 21:43:00 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/Clear+the+Shelters2.jpg

Necn spent the day helping Clear the Shelters around New England. At the MSPCA Angell Adoption Center in Jamaica Plain, dozens of animals like Max found new homes.

“An older dog, the chances are less, we understand that,” said adopter, Ron Heckman.

“I can’t wait to get him home and show him everything,” Ron's wife Anne added.

At any given time, there are some 40 dogs up for adoption at the shelter, most of them the same breed as Max, in part because of the bad rap.

“Well, we wanted to take a pit bull because of the reputation and how badly some people treat them,” said Anne Heckman.

Meanwhile in Maine, the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland connected kittens and cats with their new families.

In New Hampshire, the NHSPCA in Stratham adopted out rabbits, rats and other small animals. At Nevins Farm in Metheun, workers hoped to find horses and pigs good homes.

“Our biggest population is cats but also dogs we have a lot of rabbits, guinea pigs, mice ferrets chinchillas,” said Alyssa Krieger of the MSPCA.

<![CDATA[Dog Helps Save Kids From Fire]]>Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:08:13 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/180*120/maxx2.jpg

A German shepherd helped firefighters find his owners' two young children as flames ripped through the family's central Florida home, authorities said.

The dog, named Maxx, helped crews navigate through thick smoke to find the 4-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl Monday night in their burning home in the Orlando suburb of Longwood, according to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

Moments earlier, neighbors who saw the fire spreading called 911, broke windows and helped rescue the children's mother, Margo Feaser, a 12-year veteran of the sheriff's office who currently serves as an auto theft investigator.

Firefighters then were able to rescue Feaser's husband and the two children, with Maxx's help.

Family members were hospitalized and their conditions ranged from serious to critical. Maxx was treated for smoke inhalation and is said to be doing well.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family's medical, veterinary, and other housing expenses as they work to recover from the effects of the fire. As of Wednesday morning, more than $11,000 had been raised to help the Feaser family.

In addition to her role with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, Feaser served three years in the U.S. Army and is a member of the Army National Guard. Her husband is also a military veteran.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC10 Boston

Photo Credit: Seminole County Fire Department
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Hardly a Dog's Life for First Pets Bo & Sunny]]>Sun, 29 May 2016 17:46:15 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/AP_851780932641.jpg

It's hardly a dog's life of just eating and sleeping for President Barack Obama's pets, Bo and Sunny.

The pair of Portuguese water dogs — Bo with his distinctive white chest and front paws, and the all-black Sunny — are canine ambassadors for the White House, very popular and so in demand that they have schedules, like the president.

"Everybody wants to see them and take pictures," Michelle Obama said. "I get a memo at the beginning of the month with a request for their schedules, and I have to approve their appearances."

The dogs have entertained crowds at the annual Easter Egg Roll and Bo has been at Mrs. Obama's side when she welcomes tourists on the anniversary of the president's inauguration. The dogs also have cheered wounded service members, as well as the hospitalized children the first lady visits each year just before Christmas. In a sign of just how recognized Bo and Sunny are, authorities in January arrested a North Dakota man who they say came to Washington to kidnap one of the pets.

Bo, now 7, joined the Obama family in April 2009. He was a gift from the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., a key supporter of Obama's 2008 presidential campaign who became close to the family. Bo helped Obama keep a promise to daughters Malia and Sasha that they could get a dog after the election.

Sunny, nearly 4, came along in August 2013.

Bo already had a job as a "helper" to Dale Haney, the head groundskeeper at the White House, which happens to be a national park.

"He leaves every morning and he goes down with Dale ... and he's with all the National Park Service guys. And you'll see him, and he's like walking around with them, and looking at the plants," Mrs. Obama said. "I think he thinks he has a job because he takes it very seriously. So if I go out and see him, he kind of ignores me when he's with his worker crew people."

The dogs have a pretty nice life. "They can sit on my lap, they sit on my chair, they cuddle with me," Mrs. Obama said. "I like to lay on the floor with them and blow in their face. I like to make them run and chase each other. But they're so cute, I just love to just cuddle them and massage them."

Presidential pets are always popular and many presidents kept dogs as companions. President Harry S. Truman famously advised: "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."

President George H.W. Bush's English Springer Spaniel, Millie, "wrote" the best-seller "Millie's Book."

President Bill Clinton's chocolate Labrador Retriever, Buddy, helped Clinton weather the scandal over his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

President George W. Bush's Scottish Terrier, Barney, had an official web page and starred in "Barneycam" videos that were filmed from a camera hung around his neck. Like Mrs. Obama, first lady Laura Bush was involved with the video scripts and the taping schedule.

President Lyndon B. Johnson angered animal lovers by lifting his pet beagle, Him, by the ears in front of news photographers.

Obama promised last year to "clean things up a little bit" before leaving the White House in January because the dogs "have been tearing things up occasionally."

Mrs. Obama said her four-legged family members had been nice overall, but she exposed Sunny's naughtier side.

"You know what she does sometimes? She leaves the kitchen and she'll sneak and she'll go poop on the other end of the White House," the first lady said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC10 Boston

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[11 of the Best Dog Breeds for Senior Citizens]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 16:47:22 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/welsh-terrier.jpgA friendly dog can make the perfect sidekick for a senior citizen. According to PetBreeds, these 11 breeds are hardy and cheerful, making them excellent companion dogs. They are also highly intelligent and can be trained to assist less able-bodied owners.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dogs Hitch a Ride With Maryland Firefighters]]>Sun, 03 Jul 2016 13:42:38 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/dogs110.jpg

A group of Maryland firefighters gave a helping hand to a few four-legged furry friends Saturday morning — saving one from a hot car.

Prince George's County firefighters were called to the Home Depot in the 6000 block of Oxon Hill Road after a man reported having chest pains.

The man was in his vehicle in the store's parking lot with three dogs. He told the firefighters he had been drinking and was intoxicated, fire officials said.

Firefighters offered to take him to the hospital, but he declined. The concerned firefighters then called police who told the man he was in no condition to drive home. They suggested he walk to his house nearby.

The firefighters then noticed a dog left in another parked vehicle in the lot. All of the vehicle's windows were closed.

The crew found a door unlocked and rescued the dog. They tended to the pup until its owners returned to the vehicle, fire officials said.

Firefighters then gave the three other dogs an adventurous ride back home on-board the fire engine.

Photo Credit: Prince George's County Fire and EMS]]>
<![CDATA[Helping Pets During Fireworks Shows]]>Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:27:34 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Dogs+vs+Fireworks.jpg

The Fourth of July fireworks may be fun for those of us on two legs, but for a lot of four-legged friends out there, it's not the same story. 

The loud noise from fireworks shows during the holiday can often cause serious anxiety for pets and can even send some running out of fear.

Cate McManus with Dallas Animal Services said it’s common to see a rush the day after the yearly Fourth of July display as their already packed shelter takes on even more pets that got away from home.

“When animals just freak out from fireworks, they get out of fences or break down doors," she said. "I mean some dogs really go to extremes to get away — they’re so scared."

There are a lot of options available to deal with the anxiety such as wearable options, while others include herbal or over-the-counter pills offered at pet stores.

Last May, when Southlake veterinarian Dr. Tom Holbrook was seeing similar anxiety from dogs during thunderstorms, he showed NBC 5 a new medication being prescribed to dogs during such situations called Sileo.

"You put it in the cheek and gums,” said Holbrook. “Just put the syringe right in the gum right there and just squirt so many dots, and the dots are on the syringe itself."

The fast acting gel calms the pet and wears off after just a few hours. Holbrook’s office warns that it does require a checkup and prescription from your local vet to get the gel.

McManus said her best advice for avoiding problems during the fireworks is to keep your animals indoors and comfortable in a spot where they feel safe.

“Keeping them confined, well confined, certainly with a collar and tags on just in case,” she said.

If you do come across a stray after the fireworks, local animal services leaders ask that you contact them right away so that they can work to get that pet back home.

Photo Credit: Brian Scott, NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Pets Adopted Around the Country]]>Sat, 23 Jul 2016 18:53:00 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/180*120/ACCT+Othello+Dog+CTS.JPGThousands of pets have been adopted from hundreds of shelters across the country as part of Clear the Shelters, NBC and Telemundo's nationwide pet adoption initiative. Here are some of the animals that found their forever homes.

Photo Credit: Joseph Kaczmarek]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Found Riddled With Porcupine Quills]]>Fri, 06 May 2016 11:29:37 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/doggie11.jpg

A Massachusetts couple faces animal cruelty charges for allowing their dog to suffer unnecessarily. 

The MSPCA-Angell's Law Enforcement team has filed one count of felony animal cruelty against Richard and Hillary Marshall of Phillipston. 

"Buttercup" was found riddled with porcupine quills, at least 20 of which had to be surgically removed.

The pup was brought to Angell by MSPCA Law Enforcement Officer Nadya Moreno on April 9. The dog was in significant pain, suffering from a fever, infection and abscesses. She also tested positive for Lyme disease and her joints were inflamed.

The pair will be arraigned in Gardner District Court on May 24.

Animal cruelty is a felony crime in Massachusetts and carries a maximum prison sentence of 7 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

"Buttercup" has since been treated and is now up for adoption. Anyone interested in adopting her, should click here for more information.

Photo Credit: MSPCA-Angell]]>
<![CDATA[Kitten Stars of 'Keanu' in Hollywood Spotlight]]>Thu, 28 Apr 2016 07:09:47 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/212*120/KNU-FP-001.jpg

Anyone who's spent time with a cat might agree with filmmaker Peter Atencio when he says cats are the "15-year-olds of the animal kingdom."

Dogs are eager to please their owners. Cats couldn't care less.

But the kittens that play the title tabby in the new action-comedy "Keanu" impressed their human co-stars so much, they've earned permanent places in Hollywood.

"They blew away my expectations," said Atencio, director of "Keanu" and a self-described "crazy cat man" who has three cats, two dogs and a rabbit at home. "They took direction really well."

"Keanu," in theaters Friday, tells the story of Clarence and Rell ("Key & Peele" stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele), two mild-mannered guys who pretend to be killer criminals after a gang of thugs steals Rell's kitten, Keanu. The gangsters want to keep the kitten — now wearing gold chains and a tiny do-rag — but Clarence and Rell will do anything, including embracing their inner tough-guys, to get him back.

Seven brown tabbies, all rescued from animal shelters, played Keanu. Trainer Larry Payne said animal roles generally require multiple actors (or, in this case, cat-ctors), as each has its own personality traits that contribute to the onscreen character.

Some kittens are better at hitting marks, for example, while others are particularly skilled at sitting still and being adorable.

"There's the run guy, there's the snuggle guy, there's the meow guy," Key said.

"It's like assembling a team of bank-robbers," Atencio added.

Payne initially trained three kittens to play Keanu, but they aged out halfway through production.

"(They) had gotten big and not really kitten-like anymore," he explained.

He adopted four more kittens to finish the film. All were about eight weeks old when they began their monthlong training.

Besides learning the skills they'd need for their scenes — sit, stay, go from one mark to another — the Keanus had to get used to the noise and commotion of a movie set. Loud sounds typically make cats run and hide.

"It's a little bit easier with the kittens, believe it or not, than with adult cats, because I don't think they know any better," said Payne, who trains all kinds of animals for film and TV roles. "The kittens almost think, 'This is what all kittens do: We work on movies!'"

Payne plied the kitties with treats during training. Repetition and positive reinforcement are key, he said. He uses off-camera buzzers or clickers — which signify food is coming — to summon the cats to their marks.

He also used treats to get them to tolerate the dozen or so costumes Keanu wears. Rell dresses his pet in a little fedora, goggles, a leather jacket, a hoodie and sunglasses, among other things.

When the kittens weren't on screen, they hung out in miniature star trailers: deluxe animal carriers decked out with beds, toys and water. When filming on location in New Orleans, all seven Keanus stayed with Payne in his hotel suite.

Peele, who co-wrote "Keanu," said a cat-napped kitten wasn't part of the film's original premise. He and co-writer Alex Rubens knew the main characters and their squares-in-gangland dilemma, but "it didn't feel like we had something that really justified why we would put ourselves in danger," Peele said. "That's where the kitten came in."

Though he has a dog who sometimes wears outfits ("We got a Burberry outfit and we do have a little beach hoodie. It goes deep."), Peele said they made Keanu a kitten because "we realized there's not a lot of kitten movies."

Payne, too, said he "never had the pleasure of doing an entire kitten movie" in his 30-year career.

Atencio would do one again, saying, "I would love to do a kitten-based horror or thriller."

Maybe he'll call on the kittens formerly known as Keanu? All the film's feline stars are staying in Hollywood. Though one went home with "Keanu" co-star Tiffany Haddish to become a housecat, Payne said the others will continue to act.

He and his colleague, April Mackin, each took two kittens home, and the remaining two live at the California ranch where Payne keeps his menagerie of acting animals.

"The fact that I was able to acclimate them to a movie-set environment when they were real young, they become valuable for us for the future to do that work," he said. "They're provided a great home. We have on-staff vets. And they're very spoiled, much like a normal star would be."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC10 Boston

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Dogs Find Loving Homes]]>Sat, 23 Jul 2016 13:46:13 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2016-07-23-13h32m11s35.png

Heather Murphy was on a mission. She went to the New Hampshire SPCA four and a half hours before the sun came up. It was worth the early arrival because within minutes she found everything she was looking for.

"It's exciting like having a new baby," she said.

The shelter started the day filled with 140 animals in need of a home, including rats, rabbits and pigs.

Kittens and puppies are always a fan favorite, meaning that sadly, the older animals tend be overlooked.

If you have room in your home and a place in your heart, adopting a pet will change your life and theirs.

Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Shelter Loses Animals in Fire, Working to Adopt Others]]>Thu, 21 Jul 2016 09:20:44 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/CTS+Davinici.jpg

It's been nine months since a non-profit shelter in Central Massachusetts was devastated by fire. The organization is trying to put the pieces back together and they need your help with one very important piece.

DaVinci is a survivor.

The male pit bull was rescued twice - once from a high kill shelter, then again from fire.

All but four dogs and a cat were killed when the Sweetpea Animal Shelter burned to the ground in November. And the building that housed dozens of waiting pets was a total loss.

Shelter president Maria McDonnell vividly remembers the late night call, with words she never thought she would hear "...the shelter was on fire to say it was surreal is an understatement,” she said.

Months later the Paxton, Massachusetts shelter sits in ruin, but will be rebuilt thanks to overwhelming community support.

"We received over $400,000 in donations since the fire, which is going towards our rebuild,” said McDonnell. She wears a pin with the ashes of the shelter so she never forgets the mission.

"There's not one day that doesn't go by that I don't think of those 40 animals that lost their lives and I just want to make Sweetpea something fantastic in memory of them."

The four other surviving animals have been adopted. Jade now has a loving family to take her on walks.

"I'm an animal lover so it immediately affected me and upset me a lot,” said Katrina Sinclair, who adopted Jade. Despite some scarring from the fire, Jade has no long term health issues.

“She just loves to snuggle and she's very warm,” said Sinclair’s daughter, 10-year-old Sophie Giadanowicz.

But DaVinci still needs a forever home.

"To see DaVinci every day to know he's still at the shelter, waiting for a home, it's hard. We really want him to have a home. He's a good dog. He'll make someone very happy,” said Kathleen DiLeo, a Sweetpea volunteer.

Davinci is approximately 3-years-old and has no long term health issues from the fire. He would do best in a home with adults and no other pets.

For more information check out Sweetpea online.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Easing Pet Care Affordability]]>Fri, 15 Jul 2016 23:20:07 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2016-07-15-23h17m26s230.jpg

The Windham County Humane Society in Brattleboro, Vermont, says addressing people's struggles to afford adequate care for their pets is a pressing issue for it and similar organizations across the country.

"If we can keep animals in their homes, we can help more animals," said Annie Guion, the executive director of the organization.

The Windham County Humane Society has an assistance program which uses grants, donations, and volunteers to help people in the county who may be unable to pay for food or medical needs for their animals.

Dr. Sue Kelly, a veterinarian, donates two hours a month at the shelter to offer free or deeply-discounted animal care services, by appointment.

"These people who come in, they are so appreciative," Kelly said. "I always leave here happier than I got here."

The vet said services run the gamut from providing rabies and distemper shots to more complicated exams. The day necn visited, Kelly was examining a dog who received an eyelid reduction surgery when the center adopted the animal out. That eyelid would require additional surgery, Kelly determined, which she and the Humane Society would handle.

Beverly Covey of Marlboro, Vermont brought her dog, Xena, to see Kelly. The animal got all her shots and a locator chip implanted, for just $10.

"You can't beat the price," Covey said, adding that the discount clinic has allowed both her and an elderly relative to hold onto their pets, without worries about costly procedures. "Here, they care for the animal and the person, because my view is, without a dog or a cat, you're not completely full in your heart."

Guion said owners' tight finances are a major reason why owners surrender their pets and why many animals enter shelters. Therefore, addressing financial concerns should help keep some animals with their owners, Guion said.

"It's been a real game-changer for the shelter," Guion told necn. "The alternative would be to say, 'We're not going to help you with that,' and she might say, 'Well, I'm going to surrender the dog to you.' Well now, the dog still needs the surgery and it has to be re-homed. Can I give it the surgery and keep it in the home at the same time?"

Guion explained she requires proof of need and residency in Windham County to qualify.

She noted that the humane society works closely with area vets to make sure they're not losing business, even giving referrals and helping with costs for procedures that need to be done in those private offices.

Guion said in some cases, Dr. Kelly's free or discounted-cost clinics may the only time an animal sees a veterinarian.

On its website, the humane society says it asks owners to agree not to acquire any more pets while they're receiving assistance, and to work with WCHS to have all family pets spayed or neutered.

The Windham County Humane Society is participating in necn's Clear the Shelters day July 23. Click here for more information on the agency.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Meet the AKC's Newest Breed]]>Wed, 22 Jun 2016 07:43:15 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/westminster+dog.jpg

A high-energy Hungarian herding dog is the latest new breed headed to the Westminster Kennel Club and many other U.S. dog shows.

The American Kennel Club is announcing Wednesday that it is recognizing the pumi, the 190th breed to join the roster of the nation's oldest purebred dog registry. That means the pumi can vie for best of breed at Westminster for the first time next February.

With coats of corkscrew curls and ears that flop at the tips, the pumi (pronounced POOM'-ee) has a whimsical expression that belies its strong work ethic, fanciers say. The 20-to-30-pound breed goes back centuries in Hungary, where it herded cattle, sheep, and swine. It's related to the puli, a breed already recognized by the AKC and known for its coat of long cords.

Like many herding dogs, pumis — the proper plural is actually "pumik" — are alert and active.

"They're not for somebody who's going to sit and watch TV all day long," said Chris Levy, president of the Hungarian Pumi Club of America. But if provided with enough exercise and stimulation, "the pumi can chill out."

Considered quick learners, pumis have done well at agility and other canine sports. Some in the U.S. also herd rabbits, chickens, goats and even cats in a cattery, said Levy, who breeds the dogs in Salem, Oregon. She and others have been working to build up the breed in the U.S. for two decades, but it's still quite rare.

AKC recognition requires having at least 300 dogs of the breed nationwide, among other criteria. Two other new breeds, the American hairless terrier and an ancient North African hound called the sloughi, were recognized this past January and will also be eligible for Westminster for the first time next year.

Some animal-rights advocates say dog breeding is too appearance-focused and irresponsible when many mixed-breed animals need adoption. The AKC says conscientious breeding helps people and pets make happy matches by making the animals' characteristics somewhat more predictable.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC10 Boston

Photo Credit: Thomas Pitera/The American Kennel Club via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Md. Woman Kept 66 Dogs in Her Home]]>Sat, 09 Jul 2016 09:38:30 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Katherine+Ting+Tiong+Look+N.jpg

A Maryland woman will spend 180 days in jail for keeping 66 dogs in deplorable conditions in her home.

A district court judge sentenced 47-year-old Katherine Ting Tiong, of Rockville, to more than 16 years in prison with all but 180 days suspended. She also will be placed under three years probation and has been ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. 

The judge said the dogs would have been better off euthanized than continue living in her home.

Ting Tiong was charged earlier this year after police rescued the dogs on New Year’s Day.

The dogs were found in varying levels of distress, according to the Animal Services Division of the Montgomery County Police Department. Many of the animals had dirty fur soaked in urine, infections or suffered from other untreated diseases.

Three of the dogs had to be euthanized, and another also died.

Ting Tiong told authorities she was operating a rescue service called Forever Homes Animal Rescue.

Before sentencing Friday, Ting Tiong told News4's Kristin Wright she had lined up a rescue in New Jersey to pick up 30 of the dogs.

The police investigation officially began after one of the dogs bit a woman at a Potomac pet adoption event in December.

Most of the surviving dogs have been adopted, but some of them are still working through issues with their new families, according to Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center. Three of the dogs are still up for adoption.

To adopt, call 240-773-5900.

Photo Credit: Montgomery County Police]]>
<![CDATA[9 Cats That Won't Make You Sneeze]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 15:36:57 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-99192954_high-cropped.jpgIf you love cats but suffer from allergies, don't be discouraged. Here are a few breeds that won't send you running for Benadryl.

Photo Credit: Brenda Carson/Getty Images/Hemera]]>
<![CDATA[MSPCA Wants You to Clear the Shelters]]>Wed, 29 Jun 2016 23:31:06 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/NECN_062916_chriscts_4pm_1200x675_715519043708.jpgThe second-annual event, on July 23, is a nationwide initiative to help thousands of animals find new forever homes.]]><![CDATA[Family Set to Adopt One Dog, Leaves With Two]]>Sat, 23 Jul 2016 18:01:40 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/CTSJediSithDogs_1200x675_731049539547.jpgNBC 7's Dagmar Midcap speaks with a San Diego family who went to the San Diego Humane Society during Clear The Shelters on July 23, 2016 with the intentions of adopting one dog, but happily left with two new pets.]]><![CDATA[Adopting a Horse]]>Mon, 18 Jul 2016 10:40:53 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2016-07-18-10h32m16s96.pngAll of the horses at the New Hampshire SPCA have a story. Now they need a loving home.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Prisoners Help Train Service Puppies]]>Fri, 15 Jul 2016 09:06:05 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2016-07-15-09h03m09s187.pngSelect inmates are working with puppies to help raise them to become service dogs for those in need.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[5 Dogs Rescued From South Korea Farm Wait for Shelter]]>Wed, 06 Jul 2016 09:58:01 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/NECN_070516_rescued_dogs_1200x675_719230019819.jpg

Five of 150 dogs raised in a South Korea meat farm are currently in New Hampshire waiting for a shelter. 

Dogs were rescued after the South Korea farm was shut down by volunteers. The dogs were transported to the U.S., and five of them are in the New Hampshire SPCA. 

<![CDATA[Rescued Lions Explore New Home in Sanctuary]]>Tue, 03 May 2016 13:38:47 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/AP_518985915980-lion-airlift-south-africa-sanctuaries.jpg

Lions rescued from circuses in Colombia and Peru and airlifted to South Africa scratched their manes on trees and explored their new territory in the African bush after being released into a sanctuary north of Johannesburg Sunday.

One of the 33 lions, a male known as Zeus, let out a mighty roar before stepping out of his cage into an enclosure where he will spend the coming months being monitored by a vet.

The lions arrived at the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary shortly after dawn on Sunday to end a two-day journey from South America.

The lions were freed after the use of wild animals in circuses was outlawed in Peru and Colombia.

It will be impossible for the lions to survive in the wild as they were bred in captivity and their circus owners mutilated many by breaking their teeth and removing their claws. Because they cannot hunt they will be fed game meat and will have water in their enclosures.

"They are remarkably calm after such a long journey," Tim Phillips, the co-founder of Animal Defenders International which led the rescue of the lions told The Associated Press. "It was a dream come true watching them step of those cages into their new homes in the African bush."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC10 Boston

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Pa. Firefighters Rescue Fox]]>Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:12:38 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Soccer+Net+Fox.PNG

A group of local heroes rescued a fox tangled in a soccer net in New Hope, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

New Hope Eagle Volunteer Firefighters, along with Solebury Township Police and Medic 146 came to the rescue of the fox after its head was stuck in the soccer net.

A video posted on Facebook shows the group cutting the net that appears to be tangled around the animal's head. They then released the fox back into the woods. Take a look at the rescue in the video embedded above.

Photo Credit: New Hope Eagle Volunteer Fire Company
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[7 Goats Find Forever Homes After Being Surrendered]]>Wed, 13 Jul 2016 22:32:36 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/NECN_071316_UnderwoodGoats9PM_1200x675_724740675752.jpgSeven goats have found forever homes after being surrendered by a Montague, Massachusetts, property owner back in May. The owner gave up a total of 47 goats in what was one of the largest ever surrenders to the MSPCA.]]><![CDATA[Summer Camp Promotes Proper Animal Care]]>Tue, 19 Jul 2016 10:57:08 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2016-07-19-10h35m11s60.png

A long-running summer day camp at the Humane Society of Chittenden County in South Burlington, Vermont teaches kids about proper pet care. 

"I think it kind of opens their eyes totally to how much responsibility it is it take care of an animal," said Erin Alamed of the Humane Society of Chittenden County. 

Camp Paw Paw runs several different sessions for kids aged 7 to 12. 

Children learn about proper pet care and safety. They also meet with members of the community who work daily with animals, from police K-9 handlers to therapists and trainers. 

"They're like, best buds for you," said camper Gianna Petrunich, describing why she likes animals. 

When necn visited, the campers were honing their observation skills by examining insects. 

"That sense of valuing other living organisms-- I think it's really important," said ecologist Linden Higgins, who taught the kids some basics on identifying insects. 

The goal of all the programming is to foster a deep respect for animals early, possibly setting the stage for decades of supporting animal welfare. 

"You treat animals nicely, and carefully, and you treat them the way they want to be treated," said camper Adam Kavanaugh. 

"They have hearts too, just like people, and they need help because they can't take care of themselves," Ava Desautels, another camper, said about animals. 

Click here for more information on the Humane Society of Chittenden County.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Kitten Found Traumatically Injured Behind KFC]]>Fri, 13 May 2016 11:53:33 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/cat45.jpg

A kitten was found traumatically injured behind a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on Beacon St. in Allston, Massachusetts, earlier this week.

He had been struck by a car and could not move. He was breathing heavily and in severe pain.

A person found him and brought him to the MSPCA where he now awaits surgery.

The kitten named "Captain Crunch" has major fractures to both of his hind legs. He will undergo surgery the week of May 16.

"Captain Crunch" will require six to eight weeks of rest. After he heals, the MSPCA will seek to find him a forever home.

Anyone interested in adopting him can email: adoption@mspca.org.

His surgery is expected to cost $5,000 and will be paid for via Spike's Fund. If you wish to contribute, click here.

Photo Credit: MSPCA-Angell]]>
<![CDATA[Pigs Need Homes, Too]]>Wed, 06 Jul 2016 23:35:40 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2016-07-06-23h31m45s73.jpgIt's not your everyday pet, but pot-bellied pigs are now in growing need of adoption. Help us Clear the Shelters on July 23.]]><![CDATA[News Anchor Apologizes to Dog He Saw in Hot Car]]>Tue, 14 Jun 2016 17:34:59 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Kyle-Clark-cropped.jpg

Kyle Clark, a news anchor in Denver, made an impassioned apology to a furry member of the local community during a recent broadcast.

While grabbing lunch, Clark heard a dog loudly crying in a locked Honda CR-V on a 90-degree day. In a video of his broadcast posted to his Facebook page, Clark said he nearly resorted to throwing a rock through the car window to help the clearly distressed dog. He said the animal's cries could be heard from across the parking lot.

"Do you know how hot it is in 90 degree sun when you're wearing a suit, or fur, in a car? I'm guessing you don't or you don't care," said Clark, who works for NBC affiliate KUSA.

Deciding against breaking a window, Clark instead called the Denver 311 help center. While he was on hold, the dog's owner finally returned from the nearby frozen yogurt shop. However, Clark said the person "blew him off" and "basically laughed" when he warned the person against leaving the dog in a hot car.

"There's an apology in order, not for you, no, for your dog," Clark said. "I am sorry that your dog does not have better humans."

The American Veterinary Medical Association warns that hundred of pets die every year from heat exhaustion after being left in cars on warm days. Dogs are particularly susceptible to the heat because their primary method of cooling is panting, which is not as efficient as sweating. The organization writes on its website that parked vehicle temperatures can rise by almost 20 degrees in just 10 minutes and continue to rise over time-- even if the windows are cracked.

Photo Credit: KUSA]]>
<![CDATA[Puppies Abandoned Outside NH Shelter]]>Wed, 25 May 2016 16:08:49 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/160*120/puppies18.jpg

Police in Laconia, New Hampshire, are asking for the public's help in finding the person responsible for abandoning eight puppies outside of an animal shelter.

Officers received a call around 5:30 a.m.

They say a metal crate and a wooden box were left next to the driveway of the Humane Society on Meredith Center Rd.

Each container held four puppies. They were covered in black flies and feces.

Authorities say it looks like two different litters, as four of the puppies are twice the size of the others.

The puppies have been fed and placed in two separate kennels.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Laconia Police at: (603) 524-5252.

Photo Credit: NH Humane Society]]>
<![CDATA[Biker Dog in UK Gets His Own Yellow Kevlar Coat]]>Thu, 28 Apr 2016 09:45:54 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/kevlardog.jpgBiker Steve Hawley wanted to share his favorite hobby with his dog and bought a yellow kevlar coat for the Labrador, Renee. Kevlar is an ultra-tough synthetic material designed for the toughest tasks; it's regularly used in motorcycle clothing when leather is not convenient.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Housebroken Bison for Sale by Texas Owner]]>Fri, 13 May 2016 16:36:59 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Bullet+the+Bison.jpg

An 8-year-old bison named Bullet has outgrown its Texas home and the owner wants to find a new place for the 1,000-pound pet to roam. 

The family posted a Craigslist ad listing Bullet as "for sale" for almost $6,000, as long as the new owner will allow the bison to continue interacting with people. Bullet's owner says the buffalo needs more space and grassland.

According to the ad, originally posted in March, Bullet is housebroken and "perfectly gentle." The post indicated that "if this ad is still showing, the buffalo is still for sale." On Friday afternoon, a link to the post displayed a message stating the post had been flagged for removal. 

"Bullet loves to chase and spar with a riding lawn mower, wheel barrow or even my truck when I'm out in the field. She will follow me when I'm in the truck. She is like a precious gigantic dog herself," the listing said.

It warns that Bullet is still a buffalo, after all, and should never be left alone in the house or with children.

The buffalo is also famous, the ad read, noting Bullet is featured in the children's book "Heaven is for Animals" by Nancy Tillman.

Bullet lives with the family in Argyle, 30 miles northwest of Dallas. 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC10 Boston

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Bill Would Allow People to Smash Car Windows to Save Pets]]>Fri, 15 Jul 2016 09:30:53 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2016-07-15-09h29m36s190.pngMassachusetts lawmakers are working to make it easier to save pets left inside hot cars.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[New Dog Meds to Curb Dogs' Noise-Related Anxiety]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:17:28 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/AP_16137623735677-zoetis-dog-anxiety-medicine.jpg

Fido and Spot may not have to cower under the bed this summer when fireworks and thunderstorms hit.

The first prescription veterinary medicine for treating anxiety over loud noises — a widespread problem that can send dogs running away in terror and harm both themselves and property — will soon hit the market.

Veterinary medicine maker Zoetis Inc. of Florham Park, New Jersey, said Monday that recently approved Sileo will be available through veterinarians within a week.

Dr. Chris Pachel, a veterinary behaviorist at the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland, Oregon, welcomes a medicine tested specifically on dogs that works rapidly but wears off within hours — like by the time a thunderstorm is over.

Dogs are now treated with medicines designed for their human owners or behavioral training, which can be ineffective or come with side effects.

"There's always a need for new options," said Pachel, who has reviewed some testing data on Sileo but isn't affiliated with Zoetis.

Fear of loud noises is a common problem for the 70 million dogs in the U.S. and their owners. Dogs are sometimes so frightened they jump through windows, destroy doors while trying to escape a room or run into traffic and get hit by cars. July 5 is the most common day for frustrated pet owners to drop a dog off at a shelter, according to a Zoetis study.

"I have seen the absolutely worst things that can happen with noise anxiety," Dr. J. Michael McFarland, head of U.S. pet marketing at Zoetis, who formerly worked at multiple animal hospitals.

Current treatments range from human anti-anxiety pills such as Xanax and tranquilizers that sedate dogs for many hours, but don't necessarily calm them, to behavioral treatments. Those include confining the dog to a small room or portable kennel, or trying to desensitize dogs by repeatedly exposing them to increasingly loud noise.

Pachel said those treatments or combinations of them work for many dogs, but the tranquilizers can take days to wear off and anti-anxiety pills — many only tested on people — can cause appetite problems, upset stomach and, rarely, abnormal heartbeats if the dose isn't right.

Sileo works by blocking norepinephrine, a brain chemical similar to adrenaline that pumps up anxiety. It comes in prefilled plastic syringes with a dial for setting a precise dose according to the dog's weight.

The needleless syringe is placed between the dog's gum and lip. A little push ejects a small amount of gel that's absorbed by the tissue lining the dog's cheek, which limits how much circulates in the dog's body at a time while enabling the medicine to start working within 30 to 60 minutes. It works for two to three hours, said McFarland, who said he has used Sileo with good results on his Finnish Lapphund.

Each syringe costs $30 and holds enough medicine for about two doses for an 80- to 100-pound dog or four doses for a 40-pound dog.

Dr. Barbara Sherman, a professor at North Carolina State University who runs its animal behavioral medicine clinic, reviewed detailed data on Sileo while serving on an advisory board at Zoetis and found its effectiveness "impressive." She said side effects were benign and thinks that for some dogs, it will be easier to administer than pills.

Zoetis has exclusive rights to distribute Sileo in the U.S. under an agreement with its developer, Orion Corp. of Finland.

In testing conducted for the company on 182 pet beagles on New Year's Eve, 75 percent of their owners rated its effect good or excellent, compared with 33 percent whose dogs got a placebo. Side effects were rare and minor.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC10 Boston

Photo Credit: Zoetis via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Paralyzed Dog Left at Florida Shelter With Note]]>Wed, 04 May 2016 13:48:48 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/NC_paralyzeddog0504_1920x1080.jpgA Florida animal shelter is caring for a paralyzed dog named Genie after her previous owners left her at the shelter with a handwritten note, explaining that the owner could not afford to care for the small pup. "I tried to manage her pain with medication from her vet but they only ease her pain and she needs surgery. I cannot afford so I ask that the Animal Health Center heal her and find her a loving forever home. Thank you," said the note. ]]><![CDATA[Family Introduces Their Rescue Dogs]]>Sun, 24 Jul 2016 11:35:45 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2016-07-24-11h28m27s88.pngNecn reporter Joy Lim Narkin introduces her family's rescue pets during Clear the Shelters on July 23.]]><![CDATA[Dogs Get Own Bathroom at NY Airport]]>Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:29:36 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/AP_16119780722026.jpg

Little Simba couldn't wait to check it out.

The toy poodle was one of the first dogs to try a special bathroom designated just for animals at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, among a growing number of "pet relief facilities" being installed at major air hubs across the nation.

"There's a fire hydrant in there!" Simba's owner, Heidi Liddell, announced as she opened the pawprint-marked door between the men's and women's rooms.

It didn't take long for the dog to sidle up to the little red hydrant atop a patch of artificial turf and do her business. A dispenser of plastic doggie bags and a hose was provided for the owners to clean the area up for the next pet.

The 70-square-foot room, at JFK's sprawling Terminal 4, allows dogs and other animals to relieve themselves without needing to exit the building to find a place to go outside — a step that requires an annoying second trip through the security line.

"We had seen an increase of passengers traveling with pets and we decided to do it sooner rather than later," said Susana Cunha, vice president of the management company that operates the terminal.

Guide and service dogs, emotional support animals and other pets traveling with passengers are all welcome to use the facilities.

A federal regulation will require that all airports that service over 10,000 passengers per year install a pet relief area in every terminal by this August. Airports that already have them include Dulles International outside Washington D.C., Chicago's O'Hare and Seattle-Tacoma International.

"With long flights and short transit time frames, passengers would not have enough time with plane changes to come back through security," said Karen Greis, a consumer services manager for the Guide Dog Foundation, a nonprofit that trains service dogs and participated in the design of the new facility. "Having relief areas inside the terminal is a stress reliever for the handlers."

That was certainly the case for Taylor Robbins, who had already missed one flight from JFK to Atlanta and was unsure if she had enough time to go back outside to find a place to walk her terrier John John.

"It's really clean, it gets the job done and he seemed to understand he could use it," she said after exiting the doggie restroom. "Without this he would have had to hold it in."

Other pet owners were encouraged by the convenience.

Mark Shadowens, from Lake Tahoe, California, peered into the new facility with a smile. He said he and his wife Helen would love to travel with their Jack Russell terrier, Bella, but fears not being able to find a place to let her go to the bathroom.

"We travel with our pet a lot, just not on airlines," Shadowens said. "We like to go see the world and I think we would bring her if there were places like this."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC10 Boston

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dogs Once Headed for Slaughter Up for Adoption]]>Fri, 20 May 2016 08:01:54 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Scared+Robin+compressed.jpg

Five dogs rescued from a dog meat farm in South Korea have arrived at the New Hampshire SPCA.

The pups are being evaluated and treated for any medical or behavior issues, and will later be put up for adoption.

The NHSPCA team will slowly socialize the dogs and help them work through a large number of new experiences.

The dogs are part of a group of 250 dogs and puppies rescued by Humane Society International's Animal Rescue Team. The dogs came from a dog meat farm in Wonju, South Korea.

Click here to learn more about the NHSPCA.

Photo Credit: New Hampshire SPCA]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds of Dead, Injured Animals Found on Site for 2nd Time]]>Thu, 21 Jul 2016 19:45:23 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/Westport+Mass+Dead+Animals.JPG

Police say officers have discovered hundreds of dead and injured animals, makeshift cabins, burning trash and illegal stoves on a 70-acre property in Massachusetts. 

Police say Westport and Dartmouth officers searched a portion of the Westport land on Tuesday and found three goats that had to be euthanized, dead sheep and several other sick or injured farm animals in "deplorable conditions." 

Authorities say the investigation started last week after a man reported that his goats had been attacked by two Rottweilers. The dogs had been found in poor condition after escaping an "unsanitary enclosure." 

Police identified the owner but declined to say Tuesday whether he or anyone else will face criminal charges. 

Police say a similar situation was found on the same property in 2010.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston has been working to help the animals found on the property. Click here to find out how you can assist in the effort.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC10 Boston

Photo Credit: Westport Police]]>
<![CDATA[Secret Lives of Animals]]>Thu, 05 May 2016 12:06:30 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2016-05-05-00h21m00s120.jpg

The MSPCA is giving a glimpse into the secret lives of animals.

Some of the organization's shelters in Massachusetts have teamed up with Logitech during May for "National Pet Month."

The company has donated 400 new Bluetooth-enabled cameras, and some have been mounted at shelter in Boston, Methuen and Cape Cod.

Viewable online, the feeds show the pets available for adoption, and MSPCA staff can see what the animals are up to when they're not around.

The cameras confirmed that 10 terrified cats from a hoarder, who wouldn't appear at all during the day, were healthy and active at night.

Some are mounted in the dog pens, too - and they depict what a dog day afternoon is really about.

All through May, if you adopt a dog or cat from the MSPCA, you also get one of these cameras for free to place in your home, allowing you to keep an eye on your furry friend on a computer or mobile device.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Summer Camp Promotes Proper Animal Care]]>Tue, 19 Jul 2016 22:55:20 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/Camp+Paw+Paw1.png

A long-running summer day camp at the Humane Society of Chittenden County in South Burlington, Vermont, teaches kids about proper pet care.

"I think it kind of opens their eyes totally to how much responsibility it is it take care of an animal," said Erin Alamed of the Humane Society of Chittenden County.

Camp Paw Paw runs several different sessions for kids aged 7 to 12.

Children learn about proper pet care and safety. They also meet with members of the community who work daily with animals, from police K-9 handlers to therapists and trainers.

"They're like, best buds for you," said camper Gianna Petrunich, describing why she likes animals.

When necn visited, the campers were honing their observation skills by examining insects.

"That sense of valuing other living organisms - I think it's really important," said ecologist Linden Higgins, who taught the kids some basics on identifying insects.

The goal of all the programming is to foster a deep respect for animals early, possibly setting the stage for decades of supporting animal welfare.

"You treat animals nicely, and carefully, and you treat them the way they want to be treated," said camper Adam Kavanaugh.

"They have hearts too, just like people, and they need help because they can't take care of themselves," Ava Desautels, another camper, said about animals.

For more information on the Humane Society of Chittenden County, you can visit their website.

Several pet adoption centers across Vermont are participating in necn's Clear the Shelters day this Saturday. Click here for more information.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[MSPCA Encourages Rabbit Adoption on Cape]]>Wed, 13 Jul 2016 15:32:08 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Baby-Bunny-GettyImages-123515199.jpgDogs and cats aren't the only animals in desperate need of forever homes. Dozens of rabbits are filling Massachusetts shelters.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Madonna Dancer’s Dog Fatally Shot by Police in Brooklyn]]>Wed, 13 Jul 2016 09:39:57 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/stonnie+boy+dog+shot+killed.jpg

A dog belonging to a professional dancer touring with Madonna was shot and killed by police officers while they were issuing an arrest warrant in Brooklyn Tuesday, police and friends say. 

The officers went to a home on Montauk Avenue in East New York in the early evening to serve a warrant to a 29-year-old man wanted in an open complaint, police said.

There, the suspect had a pit bull loose, and the dog bit one of the officers in the arm. His partner opened fire on the dog, killing it, police said.

"They came into the gate. He had the dog loose and the dog came out," said witness Micky Burgos. 

The cop who was bitten was treated for minor injuries. 

The dog belonged to a friend of the suspect, who was watching it while the owner -- a professional dancer named Stanley "Sheik" Mondesir -- wraps up his tour with Madonna in Los Angeles, friends said.

A witness said the officers had no choice but to shoot the animal, but friends said the dog was well-trained and cops should have tried to avoid it.

"The dog is a good dog," said Peaches Simmons, a friend of Mondesir. "I feel like if they really needed to get in the house -- that's why the need animal control." 

Simmons called Mondesir to let him know his dog was killed, and said he was distraught.

"He started crying 'cause he had Stonnie since he's a baby," said Simmons.

The dog, named Stonnie Boy -- an apparent slang term for "get wild" and something Madonna yells onstage -- was about 3 or 4 years old. 

People in the neighborhood said the dog was well-behaved and never seemed aggressive. But Burgos said the officers did what they had to do.

"I told the police officer, 'I'm sorry, it wasn't your fault,' 'cause the dog came at him," said Burgos. 

Police would not describe the nature of the warrant that was being issued against the suspect. 

Mondesir is a so-called "bone-breaker" dancer who has been touring with Madonna over the past year, friends said. He was also part of a popular dance crew, RingMasters, that appeared on MTV. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY/Provided
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<![CDATA[Pet Foster Care]]>Fri, 08 Jul 2016 12:45:20 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/NECN_070716_glenncts_9pm_1200x675_720864835761.jpgFostering pets is a trend catching on with animal enthusiasts, so check out Daisy's Animal Rescue League. And help us Clear The Shelters on July 23.]]><![CDATA[Wayward Sea Lion Returns to Ocean]]>Tue, 19 Apr 2016 07:07:00 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Marina+sea+lion+return.jpg

Amid cheers by those who rescued her, Marina, the wayward sea lion that ended up in a La Jolla restaurant booth two months ago, was returned to the ocean off California on Tuesday.

SeaWorld animal care workers boated out several miles off the coast of San Diego to return Marina and several other rehabilitated sea lions.

One by one, the animals waddled to the back of the boat and dove in, swimming away as the rescue workers looked on.

The chef of The Marine Room Restaurant, where Marina was found curled up in a booth in February, joined SeaWorld workers to free the pup.

Chef Bernard Guillas had snapped photos of the pup when he found she had sneaked in to his restaurant and posted the photos on social media. They have since gained thousands of likes and comments.

Guillas said he’s seen dramatic progress in Marina’s health since she was rescued. She’s gained 25 pounds and shows signs she can forage for food in the wild.

“When she arrived, she was frail,” Guillas said. “She’s back in the ocean, in the big blue, and she’s going to enjoy life now.”

Jody Westberg, the park’s Stranded Animal coordinator, said Tuesday it was an emotional experience returning Marina to her natural habitat, and she’s confident the sea lion will survive and thrive.

“She’s a feisty, sassy animal,” Westberg said.

Photo Credit: SeaWorld]]>
<![CDATA[How Much You Can Expect to Spend on Your New Pet]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:13:09 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/dog89.jpg

Adopting a pet can be a rich experience for both the owner and the animal, but it comes with costs. 

While many shelters offer low or no-cost spaying and neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping, there are upfront and ongoing health and wellness expenses to budget for after basic adoption fees.

Caring for a dog will set you back between $1,400 and more than $2,000 annually, depending on the size, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates. For a cat, you can anticipate spending around $1,174 a year. All those purchases add up; according to the American Pet Products Association, U.S. pet owners spent a total of $60.59 billion on their pets in 2016.

Even with the costs, many animal owners will tell you the overhead required to keep your pet happy and healthy will be worth its weight in kibble. Here's a look at some of the purchases you can expect to make once you bring a pet into your home. 


First things first: what you’ll need to buy in order to create a happy home for your new pet. To start, you’ll need a collar and ID tag (in advance, in case your new friend attempts a getaway en route home). You’ll also need a bed, kibble, toys and treats. Research local prices for registration fees and any costs associated with vaccinations and microchipping so you know how much you'll have to spend on those needs post adoption. For cats, don’t forget the litter box and kitty litter. 

Other costs to factor in before heading to the shelter might be for services like boarding, which can cost between $15 and $50 per night, dog walking, $15 to $20 per half-hour, and pet sitting services, which can cost between $10 and $65 per day. Be sure to consider that the cost of day and weekend trips — or even an evening stuck late at work — will likely go up once you take your pet's needs into account.   

Be sure to inquire about pet insurance rates with a representative at your local shelter before bringing your new friend home. Those plans can help defray some costs required to keep your pet healthy.


Food factored in as the highest pet cost in the APPA estimates, at $23.04 billion in total spending a year, followed by veterinarian care. And it's not just basic kibble hitting the dog bowls daily. The humanization of pets is driving demand for the best possible products, APPA representative Ashlee Verba said. Increasingly, pet owners are shopping organic.

"All natural is huge right now. The pet industry mirrors the human market so much. As more people are realizing, you know, grain and gluten free, all of these things are also being mirrored in the pet market," she said, adding that American-made pet food and "ingestibles" are at the forefront of trends in the pet market.

Sandra J. Townsend, a Chicago-based blogger who writes about life with her rescued Dachshund-mix Dolly in her blog, Dolly the Doxie, is part of that trend. Townsend, who writes about her pet costs occasionally on her site, likes to splurge on high-quality chow. Premium pet food costs her around $90 per bag, but can last several months.

"It has to be all natural, grain free, and made in the USA from U.S.-sourced ingredients," Townsend, who spends about $40 a month on her dog, wrote in an email.

In addition to basic kibble, many pet owners end up purchasing additional treats, which can be a helpful tool when training your pet. 


Much like with doctor bills, veterinarian services can add up quickly. And not just in emergency care situations. Pets need regular checkups and vaccination updates. Supplies and over-the-counter medicine ranked as the third-highest cost for pet owners in the APPA survey.

Joey Teixeira, of New York City’s chapter of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, stressed the importance of heartworm and tick prevention medication as well as core vaccinations. It’s important to note that most vaccines require more than one shot, he said.

"We'll have people who come in and they'll have a cat for 10 years and say it's vaccinated. But it never saw the vet since it was a kitten. We have to explain and educate that animals need vaccinations yearly," said Teixeira.

Vaccination costs vary greatly by location and provider, but vetinfo.com, a veterinary medical information website for dogs and cats, estimates core vaccine costs for adult dogs to be $75 to $100 annually and around $50 to $100 per year for cats.

Townsend said her biggest expenses are veterinary fees, which she estimates hit $100 to $200 a year on checkups and shots alone. With her dog’s recent diagnosis with inflammatory bowel disease, she anticipates thousands of dollars in vet bills. Luckily, she had a $25-a-month pet insurance plan to help defray the costs. 

Without pet insurance, she cautions, "you need to be aware that there could be emergency expenses and be prepared to pay them."


Teixeira also stressed the importance of regular professional grooming every four to six weeks for many dog breeds (and even some cats), in addition to weekly maintenance of their coats. A good brush, which can cost similar to human hair tools, can go a long way. 

"At the adoption center we see dogs who come in with very matted fur which is very painful for the dogs and can cause circulation problems, issues with their limbs, skin irritations and infections," he said.

For long-haired breeds, owners can anticipate spending around $264 per year on pet grooming, according to ASPCA estimates. 


Now that a trip to the groomer has your new pooch looking sharp, how about an outfit to tie it all together? If a stroll past your local doggie daycare or couture collar boutique hasn’t clued you in yet: Americans spend a lot on our animals.

The APPA, which conducts market research and tracks industry spending, also noted that pampering services thay go beyond basic grooming are an emerging trend factoring heavily in pet spending. Among the deluxe services trending in the pet market are luxury daycare and even spa treatments. There’s also apparel — not just doggie T-shirts, but designer dresses and swanky collars. 

"You can get Swarovski crystal or you know, handmade leather. It gets pretty high-class," Verba said.

Townsend hasn't gone that far, though she does treat her pup to the occasional Chicago Blackhawks or Cubs T-shirt or bandana. 

Assuming you’d rather spend more on your own wardrobe than your pet's, your newly adopted dog or cat will be just fine with the essentials.

But once the bond between you and your pet has taken root, you might just find you’d spare no expense, save maybe for the Swarovski crystal collar. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pet Tech Helps Keep Animals Safe and Connected While You're Away]]>Tue, 19 Apr 2016 10:44:00 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/PetTech-Thumbnail.jpg

Technology isn't just for humans anymore. It's also for their furry friends.

In Silicon Valley and beyond, a growing number of startups are selling devices to keep pets safe, healthy, entertained and connected when their owners are away.

"Pet tech" entrepreneurs and investors see a big opportunity as pet ownership grows and owners show a willingness to spend serious money on their four-legged companions.

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. households, or 80 million homes, have pets, and Americans spent more than $60 billion on them last year, according to the American Pet Products Association.

"The number of pets in the world is growing extremely fast and that opens up the market," said Peter Harrop, chairman of IDTechEx, a technology market research firm. "I'm sure five years from now there will be all sorts of things we can't imagine."

Already, there are devices that let your pets call you (PetChatz), play games and win treats when they're home alone (CleverPet) and even speak with a human voice (Petspeak).

But as more pet-tech gadgets come to market, experts caution owners against relying on them too much.

"The technology can be useful as an adjunct, a way of enriching your relationship with your pet, but certainly not a substitute for time spent with your dog," said Pamela Wyman, who runs the DogEvolve training school in Oakland.

The Petzi Treatcam lets Anne Ryan check on her dogs Oscar and Reggie at her Berkeley home when she's working in San Francisco or traveling out of state.

The Internet-connected device lets her see her dogs, talk to them, take photos and even dispense treats — using an app on her phone.

"I turn it on, get to see them, get to talk to them and it changes my mood, and puts me back in a positive frame," said Ryan said. "I didn't know that I needed it, but now I don't think that I could live without it."

The TreatCam was created by San Jose-based Petzila, which was founded by two veteran technology executives who wanted to get their pets online. The startup also created a social media app that lets owners share pet photos.

"All of the most current crazes and fads in technology were touching everything but the pet," said CEO David Clark.

Whistle, a San Francisco startup, sells a GPS-enabled Pet Tracker that alerts owners when their pets have left their "safe zone" and helps find them if they get lost. The device also lets owners track how much exercise and sleep their animals are getting.

Ben Jacobs, Whistle's CEO and co-founder, said the pet-tech market is expanding fast as pets move up the household hierarchy.

"From the yard to the home to the bed — the dog is no longer out as part of the farm, but they're actually sleeping in bed with you as part of the family," Jacobs said.

For owners who want their dogs and cats to be more active during the day, the Petcube Camera lets them see and speak to their pets, and play with them with a laser pointer.

Petcube's Ukranian founders started the company in Kiev, but moved its headquarters to San Francisco to reach a global market.

"If we can connect all the pets to the Internet and basically digitize this space, it will be nothing short of disruption," said Yaroslav Azhnyuk, Petcube CEO and co-founder. "It will be very big." 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC10 Boston

<![CDATA[How to Help a Shelter, Even If You Can't Adopt]]>Fri, 17 Jun 2016 18:39:55 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/VolunteerVasili_sm.jpg

Maybe you’ve already got two golden retrievers, or you’re allergic to cats or you’re not sure you’re ready for a new pet.

Your neighborhood animal shelter — and its assortment of dogs and cats — can still use your help.

Here are ways to help animals in need, even if you can’t adopt:

1. Volunteer. A shelter needs people to walk and bathe dogs, help with the feedings, serve as adoption counselors and do lots of other jobs necessary to keep the rescues going. At South Florida's Humane Society of Broward County, for example, volunteers caring for the dogs and cats awaiting adoption do everything from scooping poop to assisting with the spaying and neutering, especially if they have a medical background, said Mary Steffen, the senior vice president of operations.

“They come here for their animal fix,” she said.

2. Foster. If you’ve got room for some temporary furry visitors, shelters want to hear from you. The Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco has about 80 dogs at a time, but room for only 30 at the shelter.

“We literary cannot save lives if we do not have foster homes,” said Sherri Franklin, the founder and executive director of the rescue organization, which takes dogs 7 years and older.

Franklin says the animals stay from six weeks to three months. Failed fosters — those who decide to keep their four-legged guests — are welcome too.

“That’s the only kind of failure we like,” she said.

3. Donate. Non-profit animal rescues rely on donations to operate. Check websites to find out how you can give to a particular shelter — whether directly, through neighborhood thrift stores, or with a percentage of your purchase while shopping online through programs such as AmazonSmile. Shelter officials say you should make sure your donation is going where you want it to — whether to a national organization or to a local one — and not assume the money will trickle down.

Look for “wish lists” on websites, which cover everything from towels and wash cloths to food and nail clippers to larger, more expensive items. The Animal Rescue League of Boston, with shelters in Boston, Brewster and Dedham, publishes its lists through Amazon.com. Or if you have the needed items at home, you can drop those off at the shelters, said the marketing manager, Lisa Graham.

4. Socialize. Host benefits or help out at adoption days and other events. Shelter supporters organize happy hours, golf outings, dog walks and other gatherings to raise funds. Other volunteers design newsletters and websites, collect items for auctions and promote adoptions on social media.

“Social media is a big part of our rescue,” Franklin said. 

She recently posted a photo of a Pomeranian as part of a plea for help in transporting six dogs from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

“I posted it on Facebook and I got 75 responses within two hours of people wanting to help,” she said.

Help in attending — and throwing — fundraisers and benefits is also key. Famous Fido Rescue in Chicago, for example, held a fundraiser on Aug. 23, 2015 for a new headquarters, a 10,000-square-foot building. In addition to space for the animals, a counselor to help struggling owners keep their pets and a station to micro-chip animals, the new building was also set to include a rescue store, a pet-supply store that directed its profits back to the animals.

Photo Credit: Patty Stanton]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Real Dog Meets Giant Robot Dog]]>Tue, 19 Apr 2016 02:04:00 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2016-03-01-at-1.30.47-PM.jpg

It's dog versus machine.

A video, created by Boston Dynamics, the Google-owned robotics company, shows an interaction between a small, real dog and the Spot robot, which looks like a tall, headless dog. 

"Come on, take him big dog," a voice says in the video shot in a parking lot. 

But the real dog is not intimidated. It barks relentlessly and doesn't let the lifelike robot get away too far, chasing after it. The Spot robot is the latest quadruped robot from Boston Dynamics.

The video was posted to YouTube on Feb. 27 by Steve Jurvetson, a venture capitalist who is involved in several high-tech companies.

Photo Credit: Jurvetson/YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[Officer Saves Family Dog]]>Tue, 19 Apr 2016 05:45:00 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/216*120/bailey_rescued.jpg

A police officer in Southern California was credited with saving the life of a cherished family dog that was bitten in the face by a rattlesnake.

Dispatchers received a call around 4:20 p.m. Monday from a frantic girl who said her family's 11-year-old chocolate Labrador, Bailey, had been bitten by the rattlesnake while playing in the backyard, according to the La Verne Police Department.

Officers Chris Dransfeldt and Greg Rodriguez responded to the home in North La Verne, an area near the foothills where rattlesnake sightings are common, police said.

According to police, Bailey had suffered a bite near one of his eyes and his face was swelling in reaction to the venom. The 17-year-old girl told Dransfeldt that Bailey was like a child to her parents, who would be devastated if the dog died.

The girl had no means of transportation and her mother could not leave work, police said. It might have been too late by the time she got there anyway, so Dransfeldt sprang into action.

The officer, a dog lover himself, took Bailey to the nearest veterinary hospital in La Verne. Workers told Dransfeldt the only animal hospital that carried anti-venom was located in the nearby town of Upland, so Dransfeldt put Bailey in the back seat of his cruiser.

Bailey whimpered in pain from the bite as Dransfeldt rushed him to the VCA Animal Hospital in Upland, according to the La Verne Police Department. Veterinarians administered an anti-venom medication, as well as fluids, to help save Bailey's life.

The dog stayed overnight at the hospital and was released Tuesday morning to his family. He was recuperating and is expected to recover, police said.

Photo Credit: La Verne Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Tips for Adding Another Pet to Your Family]]>Tue, 19 Apr 2016 06:49:00 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/clear+the+shelters+dog+new+hampshire.jpg

For the past five year, Rio ruled the roost. In June, that changed.

New Hampshire SPCA adoption counselor Monica Yanosick decided to bring home Beau, an abandoned cat.

The first bit of advice is to determine the temperament of your resident animal before adopting another. She says you've got to make sure there's a possibility of the two getting along.

If you're introducing a new dog to your resident dog, Yanosick says that should be done outside in a neutral area. But, if you're bringing a cat into a home with a dog, that introduction should be made inside.

Yanosick says the cat should be kept separated from other animals for at least a couple weeks.

Even when the pets start to cohabitate, Yanosick says when there's no supervision, the animals still should be separated. She says if there's ever a physical altercation, don't panic. Just be prepared.

Yanosick says don't get discouraged. Commit to making it work, and eventually, it will. 

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Animal Shelter Opens a Pet Gym in Kentucky ]]>Tue, 19 Apr 2016 11:54:48 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/petgym.jpgAn animal shelter in Kentucky started a pet gym as a way to fund the rescue shelter, but they found they were helping pet owners fill a need -- better exercising obese pets.

Photo Credit: WAVE]]>
<![CDATA[The Health Benefits of Having a Pet]]>https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Dog-exercise-generic-park-outside.jpg

For centuries, humans have taken animal companions into their homes. But the utility of the animals goes beyond simple companionship. The evidence is increasingly clear that having a pet can lead to a longer, healthier life. Here are some of the ways a pet can help your health:

Pets encourage healthy habits.

Getting a furry, scaly or feathered friend can prompt lifestyle changes for the owner. While many associate getting a pet with waking up earlier to let the cat outside or extra trips to the store for dog food, studies show that pets can cause a tangible, positive impact on owners’ choices.

Own a dog? It should come as no surprise that walking your pooch has proven health benefits, and a People Pets Exercising Together study supports this. The study, conducted by the Wellness Institute at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital, concluded that people who exercised with their pets were more likely to stick their workout routines than people who exercised alone. Pets, the study said, should be considered companions that are part of one’s social support network when losing weight, just as people are.

Walking the dog also has additional health benefits besides weight loss. Regular physical activity strengthens your bones and can help fend off osteoporosis. Being outside exposes you to the sun, which is a good source of vitamin D (just don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun). If you’re a cat person, consider stretching alongside your cat, which is good for alleviating arthritis pain, according to veterinarian Amy Flowers.

One study published by the journal Tobacco Control even found that more than a quarter of pet-owning smokers tried to quit smoking once they learned about the negative health effects of secondhand smoke on their animals. Secondhand smoke exposure is associated with certain cancers in cats and dogs; allergies in dogs; and eye, skin and respiratory diseases in birds.

Pets are friends who help us feel better.

Anyone with a good friend knows that just being there for someone can make all the difference when we’re going through a difficult time. This is just as true with our animal friends as with our human ones.

If you’re in a really bad mood, consider calmly petting your cat or dog. As Prevention magazine reported, the simple act of petting or other simple interaction with your pet causes your brain to release the calming hormone oxytocin, as the stress hormone cortisol goes down. One study found that dogs’ behavior toward humans was similarly influenced by the oxytocin system, so when you and your dog spend some quality time together, you’re actually engaging in a mutually beneficial, and healthy, social interaction.

Another study focusing on cat owners found that cat ownership lowered people’s risk of cardiovascular diseases. The research, conducted by the Zeenat Qureshi Stroke Research Center at the University of Minnesota, showed that people who owned or had owned a cat at one point were at lower risk for a fatal heart attack or stroke. The study suggested cat ownership as a “novel strategy” for reducing these health risks.

If you’re trying to think of a gift to give grandma or grandpa, consider a dog: A study in the Medical Journal of Australia found that senior citizens who regularly walked or interacted with dogs boosted the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps calm and rest the body. The researchers found that even just patting and talking to a dog has this effect.

Animals have more uses to assist humans than ever before.

Although not pets in the traditional sense, service animals have been a boon to people with disabilities and other special needs for decades. Guide dogs for the blind are not uncommon, but dogs can also help those who are deaf, those with diabetes, those prone to seizures and even children with autism.

What’s more, comfort animals provide that special companionship all of our pets do for us every day, but for people who need it the most. They console mourners at funeral homes and children traumatized by the death of a classmate by suicide. 

Oscar is a therapy cat famously known for his unique ability to predict when hospital patients are about to die. Oscar has a perfect streak in correctly selecting terminally ill patients with mere hours to live, then curling up next to them to comfort them in their final moments on Earth, NBC News reported. One theory is that Oscar can detect the release of ketones, biochemicals given off by dying cells.

It’s not just cats and dogs getting in on the act, though. Therapy animals run the gamut from birds to horses. There is even at least one therapy tortoise at a Florida nursing home that the residents call a friend. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pet Adoption 101: Expert Tips on Animal Adoptions]]>https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/adoptionhappy.jpg

Welcoming a furry addition to a home can be a fun and exciting event. But ensuring a smooth transition for the pet - and the family - takes some preparation and work. Here are some tips from animal shelters about what to do before, during and after the adoption. 


Make sure everyone in the family wants a pet: Pet ownership can affect many aspects of family life, from deciding who gets to take the puppy out in the middle of the night to making sure everyone understands an animal is a long-term time, emotional and financial investment. And because the pet will be part of the family for the long haul, it's important that everyone is on board about the kind, size and personality of the companion of choice. Shelter experts advise discussing the delegation of responsibilities and going through the process of picking out the pet as a group to avoid problems down the road. “Understand all the responsibilities involved, and pick a time where you can all go pick a pet," said Madeline Bernstein, president of SPCA Los Angeles. "Many people have completely different ideas of what they want.”

Do your research: Experts suggest researching breeds and characteristics to identify animals that best fit your lifestyle before you arrive at the shelter, where you could find yourself falling for a cute cat or dog that wouldn't be a great match. “Some people think Jack Russell Terriers are so cute, but they require a lot of work because they have a lot of energy," Stephanie Knight, communications specialist at SPCA of Texas, said. "So if you don’t go for walks or outside much, you may want to consider getting something like a pug.” It's also smart to research and budget for the costs you'll face when you bring the pet home, such as vaccinations for young animals, license fees and pet supplies. 

Check the requirements: To avoid delays once you meet that perfect pet, shelters recommend looking into what paperwork is required for adoption. This can range from leases or other proof of residency to vet references.  “If you haven’t owned a pet, you can’t have a vet reference, but if we see they have in the past we’ll ask," Mantat Wong, director of operations at Animal Haven in New York said.  While home or apartment renters may be more aware of requirements needed for pets, it is important for homeowners to see if they have any pet restrictions as well. “If you’re a renter you have to be aware of requirements but even as a homeowner, insurance doesn’t always cover larger dogs," said Marc Peralta, executive director of Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles. 

Puppy-proof your home: Similar to preparing for a new baby, it is important to make sure a home is safe for a new arrival of a dog or cat. Animals can get into just as much trouble as young children, so working ahead to keep valuables out of reach of the furry friends can save time and money in the end. “Look around and try to figure out what a puppy or kitten can get into, like if you leave your shoes around," said Michelle Groeper, executive director at Tails Humane Society in DeKalb, Illinois. "Take the time to clean up. It’s easier to do a little work ahead of time instead of buy new shoes, because you know your puppy will chew your favorite pair.” It's also recommended that prospective owners purchase as many essential supplies as you can before adopting, such as getting a leash, toys, a bed, or a crate. Getting set up ahead of time can help smooth the transition from the shelter to the home.

Check out the shelter before stepping foot inside: Most shelters have websites that many experts recommend surfing. Beyond looking up requirements needed for adoption, people can see all the animals the shelter currently has to get a better idea of what they're in for. “Look for any animal they have online that may catch your eye,” Groeper said. “It can be overwhelming if you walk in and see all these furry animals.”


Bring your dog if you already have one at home: Many shelters require families to bring any dogs they already have at home for a meet-and-greet with the potential new pet, a policy meant to ensure chemistry between the two animals won't be an issue. “Most places require you to bring your dog," Bernstein said. "They get an idea whether they’re coping with each other. Occasionally the situation shows it’s a bad idea (to bring another dog home) most of the time it works out and helps with an introduction.” 

Check the chemistry with humans, too: While some may have their heart set on a certain breed or look of dog or cat, it's important to keep an open mind when looking for a forever friend. “There’s going to be a lot of dogs, so just go where the chemistry takes you,” Bernstein said. “People have a preconceived idea of what they want and they almost never leave with that.”

Ask questions about the animal: Don't be afraid to ask questions about anything regarding the animal, such as their health history or the situation that put them in a shelter. The more information the shelter can give, the better prepared a family will be when questions arise long after they have left the shelter. “You want to ideally know as much as the shelter knows,” Bernstein said. “You want to know the medical conditions, if they’ve been spayed or neutered, any behavior issues. Anything they can tell you about the animal is useful.”

Bring that paperwork you prepared: Meeting lease requirements for adopting an animal can delay a pet's release for a day or more if the paperwork isn't ready in advance. Many times, the lease is used as confirmation of what is and is not allowed on the property. Without that proof, a family would not be able to bring home their chosen pet the day they picked it out. “Anyone who rents, it saves us a lot of trouble because then we’ll have to call the landlord or building and sometimes they don’t answer,” Wong said. “It’s usually the roadblock that prevents a same day adoption.”


Go to a training class: Puppies and kittens aren't always easy to train, especially when their cuteness gets in the way of efforts to establish boundaries and rules. Taking an obedience class is a simple way to teach an animal the proper way to behave, while also creating an important bond between the animal and its family. “The more you can share a language with your dog, the less behavioral issues there are later on,” Bernstein said. “Making sure the pet is healthy, happy, and taking a training class as a whole family makes it a more enriching experience, and everyone will be happier in the end.”

Don't sweat it if you new pet is shy: Dogs, and especially cats, tend to want to hide when they first get in a new environment.Shelters recommend leaving shy animals alone to get used to their new home on their own terms, which means not following the pet around as they explore. Also, even if they were housebroken in the shelter, animals can revert back to old behavior when scared. “If you see a dog or cat acting funny, it’s most likely because of their new environment,” Knight said. “Especially with cats, it’s in their nature. ... It’s important to remember they do grow out of it.”

Keep asking questions: Many shelters encourage families to call when they need anything -- these are the places that know a lot more about the animal than their new family. It's also good to keep up-to-date with your vet. They can answer health-related questions, as well as give the recommended yearly vaccinations. “We have a behavior department that will answer any questions the adopters have,” Knight said. “Also follow up with your vet, make sure you have your vaccinations every year.”

Track your animal: Animals can stray away from home and get lost, and to make sure it's easier to find your beloved pet, experts recommend registering your animal, or putting a microchip in them. This way if someone finds them and returns them to a shelter, an employee can scan for the pet's unique ID number and contact the pet recovery service, which will connect them with the owner. 

Accept if it’s not a good fit: While some families want an animal and think a breed or specific pet is perfect for them, this isn't always the case. If the animal and family would be happier separated, it's important to talk to the shelter and look into returning the pet. “If it’s not a good fit, we want the animal back,” Peralta said. “Obviously we don’t want to see the animals come back, but in the ‘people world’ sometimes it doesn’t always work out with your high school sweetheart. The same thing can happen in the animal world.”

Send pictures: An easy way to say thanks to a shelter for all their hard work: send photos of the animal in its happy new home. Many workers don't get to say goodbye to animals before they get adopted, so keeping up-to-date with them is affirmation that they went with the right family. “A lot of adopters really understand how much we put in to the animals we care and get attached and want us to be reassured they went to a good home,” Wong said. “This is very thankless job, and it’s such a nice morale boost to hear success stories.”

Photo Credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dogs Hate Being Hugged: Pet Behaviorist]]>Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:50:29 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-522796761-%281%29.jpg

Most people treat their dogs like family, giving them big, all-encompassing hugs.  

But a new article in Psychology Today says dogs are actually stressed out by this sort of affection. Canine behaviorist Stanley Coren writes that when dogs get hugged, they interpret it differently than humans. 

Signs of stress include a dog turning his head away from whatever is bothering him and closing his eyes. Lowered or slicked-back ears are also a sign or stress, according to Coren. 

But, this doesn't mean you can't love your pup. Coren suggests expressing your affection toward your pet "with a pat, a kind word, and maybe a treat."

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images]]>
<![CDATA[Orphaned Puppy Adopted Into Litter of Kittens]]>Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:35:46 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/cat-adopts-puppy.jpg

Families can come in all shapes, sizes and species.

Such is the case with Bobby, a tiny Chihuahua who found himself alone at 5 days old when his mother was struck by a car.

A passerby found him on the side of the road and brought Bobby to Michigan Humane Society, where volunteers struggled to give him the care he needed.

He was too young for solid food and required constant attention.

"The calories and nutrition to keep him healthy and growing need to come from his mom. Bottle feeding can be inconsistent, laborious, and risky, even for those that have the resources and time to do so," the humane society wrote on its website.

But there was one problem. There were no nursing dogs at the shelter.

"They had a mom cat that was recently still nursing and they thought — ingenious idea — to maybe see if this puppy could go along with these guys and see if mommy cat could treat him like one of her own," said humane society employee Faith O'Georgia. "And it actually worked."

Now 5 weeks old, Bobby has several feline siblings, including one small kitten who follows him around.

"You think about Mother Nature and how cats and dogs aren’t supposed to like each other but as we all know at the Michigan Humane Society that’s not always the case and this is certainly an extreme example of that," said Ryan McTigue with the humane society.

Bobby will move to a foster home with other dogs when he's old enough to eat solid food.

Photo Credit: Michigan Humane Society
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<![CDATA['Easy Transition': Older Pets Become Instant Companions]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 17:08:34 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Captain_Reynolds.jpg

Alba and Steven King never thought of adopting a cat — they'd always wanted a dog — so it certainly never crossed their mind to adopt an older feline companion.

But when they went to a New York City shelter in November to check on a sick stray they had brought in a few days earlier, they ended up taking home a 10-year-old cat who meowed his way into their hearts.

“When we walked in the room where there was a wall of cages, he came over to the door of his cage and was meowing at us,” Alba King, 27, said of the cat. “He was the only one trying to get our attention." 

The couple felt an immediate connection with Andrew, whom they renamed Captain Reynolds after a character in a TV series “Firefly,” and knew their apartment in Queens allowed the pets. But when King found out the cat was 10, she immediately called her mom and brother to get their opinion on adopting an older cat.

“The first thing they said to me was ‘why are you getting an old pet?’ That’s what everyone said to me,” she said.

King worried, too, that Captain Reynolds might get sick soon and die next year. But the staff at Animal Care Centers of NYC in Brooklyn put her at ease and explained that a cat’s life expectancy is 15 to 20 years.

“I looked at him and then I realized that kittens are a lot of work, they are very playful and they change when they grow up, whereas with Captain Reynolds, what I was seeing is what I was getting,” said King.

Animal shelters across the U.S. are filled with healthy older dogs and cats in need of a home. Animal care professionals urge those thinking about picking up a pet from a local shelter to not look past older cats and dogs because they need families, too. 

“Unfortunately, the older animals and seniors are often overlooked because people are excited to adopt puppies and kittens,” said Jessica Vaccaro, adoption manager at Animal Care Centers of NYC, which takes in more than 30,000 animals each year. “We hope to encourage people to come and see these wonderful, mature animals-- animals that are often already trained, often used to living in a household.”

Adopting an older pet is as practical as it is gratifying, experts say. There are fewer surprises with older pets because you’ll know their full-grown size, personality and grooming needs. They are often already trained and calmer than youngsters.

Older dogs are not necessarily “problem dogs” — they can end up at the shelter for a number of reasons, including their owner going through a job loss or move. 

Elizabeth Hendrix, 67, of Manhattan, had been considering adopting a dog when her granddaughter sent her a photo of 13-year-old Max, a 91-pound Swiss mountain mix who ended up at the Animal Care Centers of NYC in Harlem because his owner was unable to care for him. Hendrix went to meet Max in mid-July and brought him home the same day after he refused to go back in his cage at the shelter.

“He had a very sad look in his eyes, like 'why am I here?'” said Hendrix, who already has a 3-year-old terrier mix named Molly.“I couldn’t see him being euthanized; he needed to live out his final days as comfortable and as loved as possible.”

Hendrix said the benefit of adopting an older pet is that “they already have all their little problems out of the way: they’re already trained, house broken, they don’t chew things up."

"The main thing is they just need to be loved,” she added.

She said less than one week after the adoption, Max became her instant companion. He follows her everywhere she goes.

Not all senior pets are so lucky when it comes to finding home. Cherie Wachter, vice president of marketing at the Humane Society of Broward County in Florida, said puppies and kittens there get adopted very quickly, but older pets linger in the shelter for weeks.

In early June, she had two 7-year-old-dogs, a little dog named Nacho and a shepherd mix named Roxy, available for adoption. She said they lived in the same household and are very attached, so they’d have to be adopted together. No one had expressed any interest at that time, even though they are potty trained.

Wachter said people looking for pets often don’t realize how much work and patience little puppies require. 

"I wish more people opened up their hearts and homes to mature pets,” she said.

Emily Huetson, animal welfare director at On Angel’s Wings in Crystal Lake, Illinois, also finds that older pets are a better fit for many families. She said qualities more typical of older animals, such as a calm demeanor and less destructive nature, often come up when the shelter asks potential puppy owners what qualities they are looking for in a pet.

"What they want is the qualities we have in our 8-year-old dogs," Huetson said.

She said the shelter encourages families with young children and seniors to adopt older pets since they are already trained. In addition to providing information about the dog's personality and history, she encourages families and children to meet and interact with the seniors pets. 

"They just kind of sit there with sad eyes," said Huetson. "They don’t know why they're in the cage."

Many potential pet owners are worried that adopting an older pet can mean high vet bills, but experts say that is not always the case. Sometimes a shelter will have medical records that can help owners make an informed decision about possible health issues. Either way, experts recommend a full vet visit -- including a geriatric workup -- soon after the adoption is complete. 

King learned that Captain Reynolds was allergic to some foods, so he’s on a special diet now that does cost a little more every month. He also had to have 16 of his teeth taken out because he spent so many years as a street cat without dental care and is now left with only one fang. King discussed the potential costs of teeth extraction with a vet and, since it wasn't a life-threatening condition, she was able to save up for a few months to cover the $373 bill. She said a kitten “could’ve grown up to have the same problems just maybe a little later.”

At Operation Kindness in Carrollton, Texas, a permanent foster care program eliminates concerns over vet bills. Anyone who adopts an older pet from the shelter can return there to get medical care for their pet for free, according to CEO Jim Hanophy.

“That takes worry off the table for some people,” he said. “People underestimate the length of time an animal can live. If an animal is healthy when they are 12 they will probably be healthy till the end."

For King, Captain Reynolds’ age is just a number and she said from now on she’ll adopt older pets.

“It was such an easy transition,” King said. "He’s just really relaxed, he’ll take a nap on a couch, he’ll take a nap on a windowsill. I didn’t have to turn my life upside down to have a companion.”

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<![CDATA[App Releases Top Pet Names]]>Tue, 12 Apr 2016 09:04:13 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Corgi-GettyImages-512536165.jpg

Looking to adopt a new furry companion?

In honor of National Pet Day on Monday, social media app Nextdoor released a report on top pet names across the country and by animal.

For the Southwestern states, including California, that name is Lucy. Coincidentally, Lucy is the top names for cats.

Bella, the most popular pet name in the Pacific Northwest, also earned the top name for dogs.

In a similar list released last month, Nextdoor also named Bella the top dog name in San Diego County, followed by Lucy, Buddy, Max, Molly, Daisy, Bailey, Lola, Rocky and Chloe.

National Pet Day started in 2006 to celebrate the joy of animals and to draw light to those in need of permanent homes.

Data for the list was compiled from Nextdoor member profiles that included pet information. 

Here’s a look at the full Nextdoor map of most popular names:

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Moment RF
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<![CDATA[New Zoo Exhibit Puts Visitors Nose to Beak With Penguins]]>Fri, 15 Apr 2016 10:51:34 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/PenguinDetroitGIF.gif

A new penguin habitat that the Detroit Zoo calls the world's largest such facility offers its 80-plus residents new rocks for climbing, waves, snow and better ice conditions, while allowing visitors to come nose to beak with the stately birds.

A preview Wednesday showed off the $30 million Polk Penguin Conservation Center, which features an underwater gallery and two acrylic tunnels where visitors can watch four species of penguins swim above, around and below them.

Zoo officials say it's designed to simulate the penguins' native habitat, including optimal air and water temperatures. Zoo CEO Ron Kagan, who made multiple research trips to Antarctica, says the penguins can "do the polar plunge" in the 25-foot-deep aquatic area.

"This is so new, they're still learning this new environment," Kagan said in an interview. "They've never been able to dive this kind of depth. They've never had this kind of opportunity for ice and snow."

Sixty-nine penguins — gentoos, macaronis and rockhoppers — have marched over to their new home, which opens to the public on Monday. Fourteen king penguins will arrive in a bit.

The 33,000-square-foot Polk Center is situated on two acres. In addition to the 326,000-gallon swimming pool, the new inhabitants also have the option of spending time chilling in their spacious above-ground abode that includes expansive windows that allow visitors to see in — and the penguins to see out.

The environment is intended to encourage the same kind of behavior as in the wild, from leaping in and out of the water to nesting and rearing young.

"We've had penguins at the Detroit Zoo for many years, so we know how to feed penguins and keep them healthy," said Scott Carter, the zoo's chief life sciences officer. "What we wanted to make sure we could do here was make sure that we could create an environment in which penguins could really be happy, in which penguins could thrive."

The center's design, inspired by the harsh climate of Antarctica, features an exterior that resembles a towering iceberg with a crevasse and waterfall.

It's "the biggest project that the Detroit Zoo has ever undertaken" Kagan said. A $10 million donation from the Polk Family Fund is the largest gift in the zoo's 88-year history.

The center is free with Detroit Zoo admission, but requires timed-entry passes that are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC10 Boston

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Turns Her House Into Cat Sanctuary, Moves Into Trailer]]>Thu, 28 Apr 2016 10:56:28 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/CatLady-GIF.gif

It started with a few kittens. But nearly a quarter century later, a California woman has transformed her 4,000-square-foot home into what's believed to be the largest no-cage cat sanctuary and adoption center in the U.S.

An estimated 24,000 cats have been saved by the sanctuary, which houses up to 1,000 felines at any given time. Lynea Lattanzio set up Cat House on the Kings after finding out that many nearby shelters euthanize cats who aren't adopted.

As more feral and abandoned cats took up residence in her home, she moved out into a trailer on her 12-acre property.

Lattanzio spent her entire retirement fund on her pet project, which also relies on donations.

"If I didn't have to deal with humans and all their drama in life, I would be perfectly content just taking care of cats," she said.

She now has staff and a team of volunteers to keep the house clean and the cats fed. The sanctuary also employs veterinarians who keep the cats healthy and spayed or neutered. The cats lap up about 1,000 cans of cat food a week.

People looking for a furry companion are allowed kitty cuddle time on adoption days.

A cat-proof fence keeps predators out and cat doors allow them free reign of the home.

"They've got this house. They've got 12 acres. They can climb a tree. They can go sit in the sun outside," Lattanzio said. "It just gives these animals a reason to live as opposed to just living in a cage just because no one wants them."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC10 Boston

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dog With Cancer Lives Bucket List]]>Tue, 12 Apr 2016 17:16:28 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/bucket4.jpg

A Michigan dog diagnosed with terminal cancer after his owner died is now living out a bucket list of "everything a dog should do before they cross the rainbow bridge."

Loren Cazan, a volunteer at Rejoyceful Animal Rescue in Mount Clemens, adopted the 14-year-old Lab mix named Buddy after his owner suddenly passed away.

"The family had contacted the rescue and asked if we could take him cause they didn’t want him to end up at a shelter," said Michelle Heyza, founder Rejoyceful Animal Rescue. "He was very depressed when he came in."

Rescuers took the dog to a vet, where tests revealed Buddy had mast cell cancer.

"He has a tumor on his side, and a bunch of small tumors all over his body," Heyza said. "He’s not in the position at 14 years old to have the tumors removed. He wouldn’t survive surgery." 

Heyza called the vet visit a "blow" because there was nothing the workers could do. She called Buddy the "most lovable dog you could ever meet."

"There’s not a person or thing he didn’t like that he didn’t meet, which made his diagnosis all the more hard to hear," she said, adding, "So we created a bucket list of everything a dog should do before they cross the rainbow bridge. It was to celebrate his life and have fun with him before he goes."

A series of photos show items on the pup’s bucket list, including: get adopted, chase a flock of geese, become a businessman, get a job, eat a "pup cup" with his best friends and "being a total chick magnet surrounded by a bunch of chicks!"

"We hope that people will adopt other senior dogs and help them live out a bucket list," Heyza said.

Photo Credit: Rejoyceful Animal Rescue
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<![CDATA[Kids Read to Dogs]]>Mon, 14 Mar 2016 23:48:21 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/220*120/barks-and-books031416.PNG

What could be cuter than kids and dogs?

Children in Southern California read out loud to "tail-wagging tutors" Monday at La Pintoresca Branch Library as a part of the Pasadena Humane Society's "Barks and Books," a reading enrichment program that encourages kids to build confidence in their reading skills and the safe and humane treatment of animals.

The guest of honor was Smokey, an 8-year-old pit bull, who donned a shamrock headband in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day.

"We found that children who were afraid of dogs are more comfortable after being with a dog here in the library," Rosa Cesaretti of the La Pintoresca Branch Library in Pasadena said.

Since 2003, volunteers from the Humane Society have regularly brought specially-trained dogs to more than 17 different libraries in the Southland.

"We also find that as the children are reading out loud, they're able to listen to themselves read, and they're realizing that they could read well and it builds their confidence," Cesaretti said.

The "Barks and Books" program is free and open to the public. Find out where else you can read to curious canines here.

Photo Credit: KVEA]]>
<![CDATA[Helping Your New Shelter Dog Adjust]]>https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/CTS-2015-AcclimatingYourDog-Fixed_1200x675_505037891838.jpg

The first thing you might want to do after you bring a new dog home from the shelter is also something you probably shouldn't do: invite all your friends over to meet the cute pup.

Instead, you should first make sure that your dog is comfortable with its new surroundings. Then, invite one friend over at a time to make sure you don't overwhelm the dog.

That's just one tip that can help your dog adjust to their new home. Watch the video above to learn more. 

<![CDATA[Tips for Training Your New Pet]]>Mon, 11 Apr 2016 16:20:40 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2015-08-11-18h07m43s220.png

To ensure your new pet is a good fit, shelters suggest investing time, energy, and potentially money into training your pet.

Francine Coughlin is the owner of Bark-N-Roll in Reading, Massachusetts. She trains dogs for a living and also volunteers at the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem. She says our behavior can greatly impact that of our pets.

Some dogs are motivated by treats, but others may like other rewards for good deeds.

Coughlin suggests 30 minutes a day of training, which can be broken up into five minute sessions throughout the day. If you don't have that kind of time, you can always hire a trainer or send your pet to a class. Just budget that into your plan before you decide to adopt.  

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Found With Muzzle Taped Shut]]>Sat, 09 Apr 2016 17:07:01 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/040916dog.jpg

Authorities are offering a reward for information leading to the conviction of the person who taped a dog's muzzle shut then abandoned it on a New York highway.

The male German shepherd was found Saturday on Montauk Highway in Lindenhurst, said the Suffolk County SPCA, which is offering a $2,000 reward.

"To leave this dog unable to eat or drink, abandoned and frightened on a busy road is heartbreaking," organization chief Roy Gross said in a statement.

Gross said the dog, estimated to be 2 or 3 years old, is in good health and very social.

"I can say whoever did this is a truly heartless individual," Gross told NBC News.

The Babylon Animal Shelter picked up the dog and is now caring for it.

<![CDATA[Chihuahua Rescued on Calif. Bridge]]>Mon, 04 Apr 2016 09:48:06 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/runaway+puppy.jpg

California Highway Patrol officers gave chase to an unlikely suspect early Sunday — a Chihuahua.

A driver reported the dog on westbound Bay Bridge just after 7 a.m., according to Officer Vu Williams, a spokesman for CHP San Francisco. 

CHP units noticed the small dog on the bridge's north side catwalk heading toward San Francisco, prompting an officer to stop traffic.

A motorcycle officer tried to go over to the Chihuahua and pick it up, but it bolted onto the Bay Bridge, Williams said. A video on the CHP San Francisco Twitter page shows a motorcycle officer pursuing the dog as it scampered across multiple lanes.

The black Chihuahua kept running away from officers who were trying to safely capture it so a motorcycle officer and others in a patrol car boxed in the wayward dog, Williams said. One officer distracted the animal with a jacket while another scooped it up. 

The rescue lasted roughly five minutes, according to Williams. 

CHP officers also shared a photograph of the Chihuahua being carried by one of their colleagues. A skull is dangling from the dog's black collar, but Williams said it doesn't contain any identifying information.

The dog has been picked up by the San Francisco County's Department of Animal Care and Control, whose employees nicknamed it "Ponch," after Erik Estrada's character in the 1970s TV hit, "CHiPs." Officials are going to use a scanner to ascertain if it has a microchip in it, Williams said.

Officials are seeking the public's assistance in reuniting the Chihuahua with its owner. If it isn't claimed in seven days, it will be put up for adoption.

This dog isn't the first animal to prompt a brief closure of the Bay Brige. Williams said turtles, seals and a litany of other animals have caused traffic jams in the past. 

Anyone with information is asked to call 415-554-6364.

Photo Credit: CHP San Francisco
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<![CDATA[Dog's Emotional Reunion With Owner]]>Fri, 25 Mar 2016 16:27:13 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/032516+chloe+mary+jane+collier+county+department+of+animal+services.jpg

A Facebook video showing a Florida dog owner's emotional reunion with his stolen dog after seven months apart is going viral.

The video, posted by the Collier County Department of Animal Services, shows the dog happily barking and jumping into her owner's arms for a big hug.

The dog, named Chloe by the shelter's workers but whose real name is Mary Jane, was found roaming the streets. The shelter posted videos which led to her owner.

The Facebook video (below) has been viewed more than 1.5 million times and had nearly 35,000 likes by Friday.


Photo Credit: Collier County Department of Animal Services
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<![CDATA[Runaway Piglet Gets a Home]]>Tue, 12 Apr 2016 17:17:30 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/IMG_18272.JPG

This little piggy, who ran wildly among cars and brought traffic to a halt in San Francisco's Mission District earlier this month, has traded in city life for the country.

According to the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control, the wayward piglet, who has since been named Janice, was adopted by Al Wolf, the director of Sonoma County Reptile Rescue. The piglet and her new guardian left for Sonoma Monday morning.

Janice drew a crowd of good Samaritans on March 8, leading them on a chase up and down Dolores Street, animal care officials said. Finally, Brother Damian with the Society of Saint Francis was able to scoop her up and get her to safety.

 "Janice has spent her time wisely, bringing good cheer and smiles to shelter visitors," the Department of Animal Care and Control said in a statement.

Although no owner laid claim to Janice, the piglet's story captured the attention of many who asked to adopt her, officials said.

"We've enjoyed having Janice — she’s taught us a lot about pigs, and we’ve loved her good nature and spirit," Animal Care & Control Executive Director Virginia Donohue said.

Photo Credit: San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control]]>
<![CDATA[Butcher Rescues Pet Pig]]>Tue, 12 Apr 2016 17:16:18 -0400https://media.nbcboston.com/images/181*120/12923144_10154021408273798_8038226485201047208_n.jpg

An unwanted pet pig got a new lease on life after ending up at the butcher.

"Luckily, the butcher could tell that Missy belonged in a home and not on the dinner table so she was brought to the New Hampshire SPCA for safe shelter and a second chance," the SPCA wrote in a Facebook post March 30.

Missy, a 3-year-old pot-bellied pig who is now up for adoption, is used to living in a house and loves to sleep under the covers with her human counterparts, according to the animal shelter. She is litter box trained and knows how to sit. 

The rescue operation said Missy has been going for walks and spending time outside with staff members — and she's learning how to walk on a leash. 

"She is one smart gal and would love a family to keep her mentally engaged!" the SPCA wrote on its website.

In a Facebook update posted April 1, the SPCA said thousands of people have shared Missy's picture and passed along information about her original home.

"And because so many people have responded, we will surely be able to find homes more quickly for other pot-bellied pigs when they are surrendered here, which happens more frequently than people might think!" the agency wrote.

To learn more about adopting Missy, call 603-772-2921 ext. 124 or visit the New Hampshire SPCA website.

Photo Credit: New Hampshire SPCA
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