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MSPCA-Angell Plans a Happy Thanksgiving for a Cat who Suffered Severe Burns Caused by Car’s Engine

“Dale” is Healing after More than a Month in Treatment, Will be Placed for Adoption if no Owner Steps Forward

BOSTON, Nov. 24, 2020 – If it’s true that cats have nine lives, then three-year-old “Dale” used at least one of his after experiencing severe burns from a car engine, which he may have snuggled up to in an attempt to stay warm on a frigid fall evening, the MSPCA-Angell announced today.

Dale was brought to the MSPCA-Angell on Oct. 20 by Boston Animal Control, who found the cat meowing in pain underneath a car’s hood on Monmouth Street in East Boston.

Dale—a black and white domestic short haired cat who weighs about 10 pounds—was not initially thought to be badly hurt until he arrived at the MSPCA, where the seriousness of his injuries was made plain.

“After a few days with us, the extent of the burns became more clear,” said Dr. Rebecca Fellman of the MSPCA’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Dr. Fellman said it’s common for the severity and size of burns to gradually worsen several days on from the initial injury, as more and more tissue continues to die.  In Dale’s case, it meant that he would have to undergo several surgeries to clean and eventually close the wounds.

“We’ve been treating him with tissue debridement procedures—removal of dead tissue so that new tissue may heal—as well as with bandaging, antibiotics and pain medication, and even though some of the wounds have not closed because of their size or location, we’re hoping they will eventually heal,” she said.

Dale on the Mend, Mystery Deepens

It’s been five weeks since he first arrived, and Dale is recovering well.  The question now is: does Dale already have a home?

“He’s really friendly and social so we know he once had a home—and we’re hoping that by drawing attention to his plight, an owner may step forward to claim him,” said Victoria Odynsky, manager of the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center.

Odynksy said that the lack of identification tags and microchip make it impossible for the center to identify and contact Dale’s former owner.

“Should no one claim Dale, we’ll place him into a wonderful loving home as soon as he’s medically ready to leave the safety of the shelter,” she said.

Anyone with information about Dale’s owner—or readers interested in adopting—can email the center directly at

Dale is just one of thousands of animals the MSPCA will care for in 2020 alone—both inside and outside its three adoption centers.  Readers who would like to offset the cost of his care—and the care of animals just like him—can click here to make a donation.