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Nearly 200 Animals Rescued from Lynnfield Hoarding House

BOSTON and Methuen, Mass. March 10, 2014 – In what officials are calling one of the worst hoarding scenes in recent years, 199 dogs, cats and birds were removed from a Lynnfield Mass. home on Feb. 27 and transported to adoption centers in Boston and Methuen, the MSPCA-Angell announced today.  The MSPCA and the Animal Rescue League of Boston joined forces to rescue 27 dogs (four of whom are month-old puppies), 77 cats and kittens, 81 birds, six hedgehogs and eight reptiles out of the home.

The animals were surrendered to the MSPCA and Animal Rescue League.  The previous owner’s identity is not being released.  Sixty animals—including six dogs, 31 cats 16 birds and seven reptiles—went to the Animal Rescue League and the remainder were taken in by the MSPCA.

Very Sick Animals Living in Unsanitary Conditions

The animals were living in some of the worst conditions imaginable, with overflowing litter boxes and animal waste scattered throughout the home.  Some of the animals—including most of the dogs—were living in cages.  Nearly all of the cats were suffering from upper respiratory infections and conjunctivitis, as well as ear mites.

Most of the animals are suffering from upper respiratory infections, ear mites and conjunctivitus, which are painful but treatable conditions (credit MSPCA-Angell)

Most of the animals are suffering from upper respiratory infections, ear mites and conjunctivitus, which are painful but treatable conditions (credit MSPCA-Angell)

Despite their condition the majority of the animals are friendly and socialized, and the MSPCA is confident they will recover.  “It’s going to take several weeks and significant follow-up care to bring most of the cats around, but we expect to start placing them for adoption in the next month or two,” said Alyssa Krieger, head of the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center.  “Fortunately the dogs and many of the birds are ready for adoption today and we hope to find permanent homes for them very soon.”  Krieger added that all of the dogs and cats will be spayed or neutered prior to going to new homes.

While the majority of the animals are considered specialty breeds—including cockapoos and munchkin and Scottish fold cats—the MSPCA could not conclude that the owner was selling them.

“There’s no evidence to suggest this was a commercial breeding operation,” said MSPCA-Angell law enforcement director Richard LeBlond.  “It’s more likely that the situation just got out of control as a result of the animals reproducing on their own.”

Sixty Five Birds in One Home

Sixty five of the birds were taken to the MSPCA-Nevins Farm in Methuen and some are available for adoption now.  The birds range from parrots and cockatiels to pigeons and various other kinds.  The Nevins Farm team transferred the hedgehogs and one snake to other rescue groups that specialize in the rescue and adoption of these animals.

The massive bird surrender comes less than two months after the Nevins Farm team rescued another 65 birds from an overcrowded Lawrence home.  “It’s definitely a significant strain on our resources to be faced with another very large bird surrender so soon,” said director Mike Keiley.  “But, as is always the case, we’ll do all we can to provide for these birds until we can place them into forever homes.”  Keiley said many of the birds are missing some or most of their plumage, a result of illness and stress caused by their living conditions.  Remarkably, however, some are in very good condition and will be placed into new homes over the next few days.

A Call for Donations

Because the animals need extensive veterinary care the MSPCA has issued a call for donations.  Anyone interested in helping these animals, and others like them, can do so by clicking 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