MSPCA-Angell Rescues 13 Purebred Shar Pei Dogs from “Hoarding House”

January 24, 2013

Boston, Mass., Jan. 24, 2013 – The MSPCA-Angell’s Law Enforcement and Adoption Center teams joined forces last Monday to rescue 13 purebred Shar Pei dogs kept in filthy conditions inside a Braintree, Mass. home, the organization announced today.  The dogs—which range in age from 6 months to 2 years old—are resting at the MSPCA’s Jamaica Plain Adoption Center, where they are receiving medical treatment and socialization training.  The owner’s identity is not being released.

The MSPCA’s Law Enforcement department received an anonymous tip that 18 dogs were living in extremely unsanitary conditions in the home and suffering from eye and skin problems.  None of the dogs had been spayed or neutered, nor does it appear their medical needs had been addressed.  Moreover, most of the dogs are under-socialized and scared, owing to the large number of them living in the home.

MSPCA Law Enforcement agent Elysse Kelly investigated and was shocked by conditions inside the home.  “When we first arrived we were overwhelmed by the sheer number of dogs living in one house.  The owner conceded the situation had gotten out of control and that she needed help.  We assured her that we would do everything possible to address the dogs’ health problems so that they might find more suitable homes.” 

Four of the animals were particularly bonded with the owner.  Said Agent Kelly: “Because the owner made the brave decision to turn over most of her animals we agreed to spay and neuter those four and return them to her.  We’re confident she can care for them without the burden of so many other dogs in the home.”

Massive Surrender to the Shelter

Because of the number of animals involved the Law Enforcement and Adoption Center teams took two trips to the home to recover them all.  Upon arrival the dogs were furnished with warm beds, food and water.  One of the dogs was particularly aggressive and had to be humanely euthanized. 

While at least three of the dogs are available now for adoption, all of them will require eye surgery and treatment for skin disorders and other ailments.  Anyone wishing to contribute toward their care, and the care of animals like them, may do so by clicking here.

The MSPCA is seeking experienced dog owners, preferably with Shar Pei experience, as it works to find homes for the animals.  Anyone interested in adopting can send an email to  The MSPCA is also in contact with other shelters and rescue groups to determine if some of the dogs may be transferred to expedite the finding of new homes.

 One of the Shar Peis rests in a warm cage at the MSPCA-Angell Adoption Center after the harrowing ordeal (credit: MSPCA-Angell)


Looking Ahead: A Brighter Future for the Shar Peis

In addition to addressing the dogs medical needs the MSPCA’s behavior analysis team is executing custom training programs to ensure the dogs can learn to walk on a leash and acquire other basic skills.  Adopters will need to continue the socialization process so that the dogs can become wonderful pets.  All of the dogs will be microchipped, spayed and neutered—and receive full vaccinations—before they go to new homes.

About Shar Pei Dogs

Shar Pei dogs originated in China and are known for distinctive deep wrinkles and blue-black tongues.  They are loyal dogs and require socialization with other animals and people to flourish. 



The MSPCA-Angell is a national and international leader in animal protection and veterinary medicine and provides direct hands-on care for thousands of animals each year. Founded in 1868, it is the second-oldest humane society in the United States. Services include animal protection and adoption, advocacy, humane education, law enforcement, and world-class veterinary care. The MSPCA-Angell is a private, non-profit organization. It does not receive any government funding nor is it funded or operated by any national humane organization. The MSPCA-Angell relies solely on the support and contributions of individuals who care about animals. Please visit