MSPCA-Nevins Farm Rescues Dozens of Animals from Fitchburg Hoarding House

August 31, 2012

Methuen, Mass., Aug. 31, 2012 – Fire officials in Fitchburg, Mass. were able to quickly douse a house fire on Wednesday afternoon only to discover that the woman living in the house had a veritable menagerie of animals whose socialization and healthcare needs were not being met.  The fire department called the local animal control officer, who then turned to the MSPCA-Nevins Farm to rescue eight cats, five kittens, four turtles, two tortoises, four rabbits, three snakes and approximately 60 fish—all of whom were crammed into the single family home.


The owner of the home, whose identity is not being released, voluntarily surrendered the animals upon realizing she was not able to care for them properly.  The MSPCA-Nevins Farm team, with assistance from the animal control officer, took several trips to transport the animals to the MSPCA’s facilities in Methuen.


Mike Keiley, director of the Noble Family Animal Care and Adoption Center at Nevins-Farm, was prepared for the arrival, despite how many disparate animals there were.

 Mike Keiley of the MSPCA-Nevins Farm team with a rescued snake (credit: MSPCA-Angell)


“High-volume animal surrenders are, unfortunately, not uncommon and our teams worked overtime to ensure we’d be ready to accommodate these animals,” he said.  Keiley relayed that the animals’ health and wellbeing are the team’s foremost concerns.  “All of the animals will receive thorough veterinary exams and we will look to place as many of them up for adoption as soon as we can.  While we’ve never received such a high number of fish before—and this surrender will cause us to have to invest in new equipment to house them—we’re confident we can meet their needs until permanent homes are found.”




Next Steps for the Animals

Most of the animals recovered were generally healthy.  The cats were infested with ear mites and fleas, and the turtles and snakes were very thin.  The Nevins Farm team is preparing the snakes and turtles for immediate transport to the New England Herpetological Society for further rehabilitation and adoption.  The rest of the animals will remain at Nevins Farm where their socialization and healthcare needs will be addressed before they can be adopted into new homes.


How to Help

Readers who wish to donate to the MSPCA-Nevins Farm to support its ongoing animal protection programs can click here.


The MSPCA-Nevins Farm will provide updates on the animals’ condition and readiness for adoption.  Anyone interested in adopting one or some of the animals is encouraged to visit the MSPCA-Nevins Farm Animal Care and Adoption Center at Care and Adoption Center at 400 Broadway, Methuen or visit




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