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Blind, Elderly Dog Has All She Needs, Except a Home

MSPCA-Cape Cod Pulls out all the Stops for Newly Homeless “Lassie”

BOSTON and Centerville, Mass. April 15, 2016 – An unusually high volume of animal surrenders during the last several weeks had staff from the MSPCA-Cape Cod in Centerville, Mass. scrambling to take care of new dog and cat arrivals, one of whom is a blind, special needs Cocker Spaniel named “Lassie,” who first arrived on March 25.

Ten-year-old Lassie arrived at the apex of record spring animal surrenders—with eight dogs brought to the shelter in just the last week of March, doubling the shelter’s typical average once April rolled around.  Unlike the other dogs—most of whom would go on to find new homes within days—Lassie required significant medical care before she could even hope to leave the shelter.

Diagnosis: Blind—But No Less Loveable
Lassie was rendered homeless after her elderly owner was admitted to a nursing home.  “As soon as we saw her we knew she would need extensive medical care before we could place her for adoption,” said MSPCA-Cape Cod Director Mary Sarah Fairweather of the dog who stared out at the world through swollen, unseeing eyes, and who was also suffering from severe skin and ear infections.

The adoption center team booked an appointment with the Ophthalmology team at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, while simultaneously initiating antibiotic treatment to bring Lassie’s skin and ear infections under control.

Angell’s Dr. Dan Biros evaluated the dog’s eyes and concluded that not only was she completely blind, but the swollen and painful eyes would need to be removed.  The surgery was completed on April 13 and Lassie is now back at the Cape Cod adoption center, where Fairweather and her team hope an understanding adopter will step forward.

“Even though she cannot see—and she’s still battling other infections—she is sweet-natured and adores affection from staff and volunteers,” said Fairweather.  Fairweather said Lassie will likely need ongoing treatment to clear her skin and ear infections.  “Whoever takes this special animal home will need to continue her care to ensure she thrives.”

The MSPCA-Cape Cod has already spent over $3,000 treating Lassie’s various health concerns.  “Every dollar was well spent,” continued Fairweather.  “We must always be here for dogs like Lassie, whose bodies may be ailing but whose spirit and personality make them wonderful companion animals.”

Lassie’s care was paid for via the Guardian Angel Fund, which is supported by donors and pays for the veterinary care for animals in the MSPCA’s Cape Cod adoption center.  Readers who wish to donate to the Guardian Angel Fund may do so by clicking here.

The MSPCA-Cape Cod staff believes Lassie would do very well in a home with older kids, and might also benefit from the companionship offered by another dog or cat.

How to Adopt

Anyone interested in adopting from the MSPCA-Cape Cod can come to the adoption center during open hours or email with questions about Lassie.  More information about the adoption process can be found here.


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 from individuals who care about animals. Please visit and like us on Facebook at