MSPCA-Nevins Farm Celebrates Tenth Anniversary of the Noble Family Animal Care & Adoption Center
Posted on Nov, 7, 2014 by Dina Zawaski
BOSTON and Methuen, Mass., Nov. 7, 2014 – In the 10 years since the MSPCA-Nevins Farm opened the doors of its Noble Family Animal Care & Adoption Center, the shelter, clinic and educational facility has placed 35,000 animals into homes; spayed and neutered more than 8,000 others and vaccinated some 3,000 dogs and cats against diseases ranging from parvovirus and distemper to rabies.
On the eve of the Nov. 7 anniversary, those responsible for building it are reflecting on the contributions that Nevins Farm has made to animal welfare in the last decade. Among those are George and Connie Noble, whose family name adorns the adoption center.
“Ten years ago we supported this ambitious project because we believe wholeheartedly in the MSPCA’s mission to protect and advance the welfare of animals,” said the Nobles in a joint statement. “Not only has the team continued to place more animals into homes, they’ve also demonstrated tremendous innovation by rolling out new programs such as dog training and humane education, behavior consults and more. The team has immeasurably improved the lives of animals (and people) in our community, and we are beyond proud to have our family name on the adoption center.”
Animal Care Programs Galore
The adoption center has conducted dog training classes for thousands of owners in the last ten years, taking full advantage of a larger space that has also proved essential for large volumes of surrenders and sheltering animals seized in animal cruelty investigations. The new adoption center also enabled the team to engage in new programs such as fee-waived cat adoptathons and myriad humane education programs—endeavors that would have been impossible in the small shelter that occupied the same parcel of land in 2003.
“A bathroom that doubled as an exam room”
The previous shelter, erected in 1930, was by 2003 too small to meet the community’s needs. Moreover, all of the animals—be they cats, dogs, birds or rabbits—were housed together, with very little breathing room. The conditions at the time, according to Director Mike Keiley, were less than ideal. “It was especially stressful for animals like rabbits and cats housed in such proximity to dogs, whose barking unnerved them.”
According to Keiley, the shelter bathroom even doubled as a clinic for sick and injured animals. “Imagine having to vaccinate or administer life-saving care to an animal within the confines of a typical bathroom—with staff members working on the floor, wedged between the toilet and the sink. That was our life—day in and day out—all to make the animals in our care as safe and comfortable as possible. It’s astounding how far we’ve come.”
The size of the previous shelter was also a major issue. Today’s adoption center is 19,000 square feet, nearly six times larger than the original. The dog adoption room alone is 1,600 square feet—half the size of the original shelter. Until 2003, Nevins Farm struggled to accommodate the sheer number of animals surrendered every year. “The fact is, we just didn’t have the space for every animal who suddenly found herself homeless, which meant we had to turn many over to other shelters or scramble to find temporary foster situations—it was incredibly stressful for the staff and the animals,” said Keiley.
Keiley, with support from the MSPCA-Angell executive team and generous donors, was intent on establishing the Methuen property as an epicenter for animal adoptions and related services. The result was an ambitious fundraising and construction project that resulted in the current state-of-the art adoption center, complete with modern education & training and clinic areas.
Not only are cats, dogs, rabbits, birds and other animals housed today in separate, species-appropriate areas, but the Noble Family Animal Care and Adoption Center serves many other community needs as well. Consider the following:
In August 2014 the MSPCA-Nevins Farm orchestrated a massive canine parvovirus vaccine initiative in response to parvo outbreaks in Lawrence and Lowell, ultimately vaccinating 700 dogs in the community at no cost
The center has spayed or neutered over 8,000 thousand dogs, cats and other animals for no or low cost in the last ten years, preventing the birth of millions of unwanted companion animals
The MSPCA-Nevins Farm has trained over 6,000 dogs in specialized training classes, helping 98 achieve the American Kennel Club’s coveted Canine Good Citizen designation
Over 1,200 kids participated in the “Little Bookworms” program, which includes story time led by a Nevins Farm volunteer with direct interaction between kids and adoptable animals
Looking Ahead: MSPCA-Nevins Farm at Twenty
Having made unparalleled improvements in the lives of animals and people in Boston’s Northern suburbs, the staff at the MSPCA-Nevins Farm is not resting on its laurels. The team plans to establish even greater (and more frequent) humane educational programs aimed at children even as it looks to spay and neuter more owned animals in the community. “There’s still so much to be done with respect to protecting animals and placing them into forever homes,” offered Keiley. “And we’ll continue to evolve our programs to keep pace with our community’s changing needs.”
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 www.mspca.org and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mspcaangell