Increase In Animal Neglect Cases
Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden recently announced the formation of an Animal Cruelty Task Force on January 24th. The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Facebook page states that the task force has partnered with organizations like the Animal Rescue League of Boston, MSPCA-Angell, the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture, Massachusetts Environmental Police, and the Boston Police Department in addition to several local law enforcement agencies. According to Boston25News, there has been a 70% rise in animal abuse cases from 2019 to 2022.
At Baypath, we have seen a tremendous increase in cases in the last year or so. While a significant number are coming in well-loved from good families who have fallen on hard times, we are also seeing some concerning neglect and abandonment cases. We suspect these are likely due to financial strain and housing insecurity.
Lucy Snow was discovered as a local stray in poor health. She was suffering from severe ear and skin infections, along with allergies Further examination revealed that she was also dealing with kidney disease.
In these more difficult cases, the animal has had little to no vet care. Some of the medical issues we see come on acutely, while other animals come in with chronic conditions that could have been better managed with access to veterinary care. We are also seeing some significant behavior challenges, including fear and undersocialization – the stress of their living conditions is not lost on them.
Binx was a local stray who came in with a number of health concerns to address, including an infected mass, severe dental disease, and hyperthyroidism. After removing the mass on his head, extracting 13 teeth and prescribing a daily medication to regulate his thyroid, Binx was ready for adoption. He is now happy and healthy, living the dream with Baypath alum, Bella, and their loving adopter.
These observations aren’t unique to our organization. Numerous animal shelters and control officers in the area have reported similar experiences, which prompted the formation of the Suffolk County Animal Cruelty Task Force.
According to ARL President and CEO Dr. Edward Schettino
“In the last five years alone, we have received over 4,200 calls of suspected animal cruelty, and have helped nearly 12,000 animals. This task force will be an innovative tool and it’s really providing the resources we already have to keep pets and people together in their homes and that is critical. We don’t want to take pets from people.”
We recognize that affording pet care can be overwhelming for some owners. So, we provide a list of resources and encourage pet owners to seek help or rehome their pets if they are unable care for them.
If you suspect that an animal in your community is being mistreated or neglected, there are steps you can take. Visit our animal neglect resource page to gain insight on how you can help and become their advocate.
If you are facing the devastating reality of needing to rehome your pet, please reach out as soon as possible so we can help you prepare a plan for them.
The launch of the Suffolk County Animal Cruelty Task Force is a ray of hope for all of us who witness firsthand how these issues affect animals. We hope these efforts serve as a model for other counties to follow. Meanwhile, we will continue to work hard to provide care and aid to the voiceless victims.