There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Tara, a black cat, in the arms of her mother

In May 2021, the MSPCA-Angell Community Outreach team assisted families in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, MA, when a seven-alarm fire devastated several apartment buildings in the area.

The adoption center provided free emergency boarding to 11 pets after the fire, and while many of the animals were able to return to their families a few weeks later, Tara’s family struggled to find an affordable pet-friendly apartment. Despite being bounced around from hotels and temporary living situations, her family remained dedicated to getting her back.

While her family searched for a new place to live, Tara, a 6-year-old shorthair cat, spent time at the adoption center — and had a difficult time adjusting at first. She did not like being in a cage, and she reacted aggressively to staff when they tried to refresh her food and water or clean her litter box. Her behavior improved a bit when she was moved to share an office with the center’s volunteer and foster care coordinator.

Seeing that Tara needed a source of comfort and security, staff sought out a loving foster home where she could be safely cared for and feel more at ease while she waited for her family. That day finally arrived in December 2021, when Tara’s family found an apartment for rent that allowed cats.

Excited at the thought of their reunion, Tara’s mom cried tears of relief — Tara would be home soon. And when she arrived at her new home, Tara hopped out of the carrier and was immediately at ease. She was back in the arms of her loving family — and just in time for the holidays.

Learn more about the MSPCA-Angell Community Outreach at

Tara was one of 11 pets rescued by the MSPCA-Angell Community Outreach team following a seven-alarm fire in Dorchester.