MSPCA Launches Search For Loving Homes

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) Nevins Farm has launched a search for permanent homes for Clydesdales Surprise, Joe and Prince; Tulip the Pygmy Goat; and a host of brown Swiss Cows. The animals were seized last March from their Western Massachusetts home, along with four other draft horses and a Shetland pony, in what Nevins Farm officials call “one of the worst cases of neglect we have seen in recent years.” Thousands of man-hours and more than $60,000 have been spent to restore these starved, diseased and injured animals back to good health.

Despite the fact that some of the animals will continue to require special care due to the severity of their original condition, Nevins Farm has already witnessed an outpouring of support and interest in this case. Officials at the MSPCA Nevins Farm report that Clydesdales Flash and Bailey; Shire Davy; and 23 year-old Shetland pony Pepper have been adopted. A veterinary technician from Tufts Veterinary Hospital, a Nevins Farm volunteer and a horse-lover from Virginia have opened their hearts and their homes to these animals.

“The MSPCA has spent months and thousands of dollars to return these animals to health," noted Joe Silva, director of the MSPCA Nevins Farm. "We are thankful to everyone who has worked tirelessly to help these animals, especially our volunteers, farriers, Parrott Equine Associates, and the veterinarians and staff of Tufts University Veterinary Hospital and Rochester Equine Clinic. We must now focus our attention on finding good homes for these very deserving animals," continued Silva.

People interested in adopting or sponsoring one of the animals, or making a donation to offset the cost of the animals’ veterinary care can contact the MSPCA Nevins Farm & Equine Centre at 978/682-5595. The MSPCA’s web site contains photos and stories about each animal. Adoption counselors and staff are available to review applications, discuss animal needs and ensure the best possible match. The MSPCA requests a donation at the time of adoption. Donations vary based on the type of animal adopted and the adopters’ circumstances.

For a feature article on the MSPCA from The Horse, visit

The story behind these horses:

The MSPCA first became aware of the animals’ plight in March when its Law Enforcement department received an anonymous tip that animals were being neglected on a farm. Officers immediately began investigating the complaint. Because it had heard that so many animals were involved, the MSPCA dispatched all three of its equine ambulances, one cattle trailer, two MSPCA Law Enforcement Officers and a local police escort to the scene. With a warrant, the officers went onto the property and discovered the animals, all in deplorable condition – severely underweight and covered in feces, lice and mange.

The MSPCA made the decision to immediately seize the animals, which ranged in age from 8 months to 23 years old, and brought them to the Nevins Farm in Methuen, Massachusetts. The Nevins Farm is one of the nation’s only open door shelters for horses and farm animals.

Some of the horses were in critical condition. Flash, a 10 year-old Clydesdale, was too weak to stand and was immediately transported by equine ambulance to Tufts Veterinary Hospital, where he remained for five weeks. A 16 year-old Shire mare DeeDee, who was blind, had to be euthanized when it was discovered that she had fractured a bone in a hind leg prior to being confiscated and, despite the best veterinary care, would always be in pain.

Now, after months of intensive care, affection and handling, the remaining animals are in good condition and ready for placement.

“These animals deserve to find loving homes, especially after their terrible ordeal. But it has all been worth the effort, especially when we see their glossy coats and bright, shining eyes. We can tell from their response that they are happy and healthy and ready for their new lives,” said Silva.

The MSPCA Nevins Farm & Equine Centre is located on 60 acres of rolling pastures in Methuen, Massachusetts. It serves all New England and offers humane education, surrender, adoption and foster care programs, as well as volunteer opportunities and equine ambulance rescue. The MSPCA receives no state or federal funding and depends on individual donations to keep its programs running.

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