As 2014 comes to a close, Examiner looks back at the top 12 news stories that made a splash in Massachusetts. Counting down, we take a look at what transpired in the past year – the good and bad of animal news.
12. New organization aims to raise puppy mill awareness in Massachusetts
What started as a small protest against Fin, Fur and Feather in Hanover, Mass. in 2013 for selling sick puppies and kittens, quickly exploded into several protests against other pet stores across the state. In 2014, a new group was born. The goal of Massachusetts Coalition to End Puppy Mills is to bring awareness to the connection of puppy mills and pet store puppies and kittens. Read more.
11. Kitten mill raided; cats found bleeding from noses and mouths
A kitten mill in Savoy, Mass. was raided at the beginning of 2014 where 30 cats were found to be severely ill. Some kittens were so sick from upper respiratory infections that they were bleeding from facial orifices. The kittens were being sold online. Read more.
10. Dozens of cats abandoned, not once but twice; reward offered
Nearly 40 purebred Siamese cats were found abandoned in a Russell, Mass. apartment building by maintenance workers in May but were then dumped in a nearby field in Southwick. Eventually, most of the cats were rescued, but no kittens were found. It was suspected the cats were from a kitten mill since many of the cats were pregnant. Read more.
9. Dog rescued from cold waters in Cape Cod
Sandwich, Mass. firefighters came to the rescue of a terrier dog in October when he got stuck in the Cape Cod Canal. The tenacious pooch chased after a bird but couldn’t swim back to shore. His owner called for help and moments later the dog was hauled out of the cold water and brought back to land. Read more.
8. Bill to ban shark finning in Massachusetts passes Senate
The summer of 2014 had animal advocates celebrating the passing of a bill that would ban shark finning in Massachusetts. The bill ended the trade of shark fins, and therefore the sale of fins to local restaurants and businesses. This move helps to end the cruel nature of finning. Read more.
7. Buckets of kittens drowned in Westfield river, MSPCA seeking public’s help
Three five-gallon buckets of kittens were witnessed being dumped into the Westfield River in Westfield, Mass. in conjunction with the purebred Siamese cats that were found abandoned in May. The Westfield Homeless Cat Project and the MSPCA put up an award for information leading to the arrest of the individuals who dumped the kittens. Read more.
6. Carver police officer rescues dog from drowning
Carver Police Officer, David Harriman, was hailed a hero by the MSPCA for rescuing a dog who was trapped in a submerged vehicle when the owner drove her truck into deep water in June. When Officer Harriman arrived on the scene, he didn’t hesitate to jump in the water and pull the dog out to safety. Read more.
5. Middleboro dog, victim of domestic violence, suffers an unknown fate
A family dog was caught in the middle of a nasty domestic violence situation in Middleboro, Mass. and suffered the most for it. Buddy was deemed a dangerous dog and euthanized in November because his owner trained him to be violent. Joshua Grispi, a professional cage fighter, trained Buddy to attack his wife, Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn stood by Buddy but his fate was sealed. Read more.
4. Puppy abused by worker at Ashland boarding kennel
In May, an Ashland, Mass. kennel worker was caught on video kicking a puppy repeatedly, supposedly for not listening. The puppy was discovered cowering in his kennel by the business owners, who felt something was not right. They checked the surveillance video and witnessed one of their employees abusing the puppy. The employee was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. Read more.
3. MA State Trooper writes lengthy letter to his K9 partner after her death
This past summer, Facebook readers were touched to read about a MA State Trooper who gave a heartwarming tribute to his late K9 partner. The K9 cop passed away due to cancer and her human partner wanted to honor her life and work. He wrote a lengthy letter that was posted to the MA State Police Facebook page. Read more.
2. Family puppy found dead hanging from tree in Winchendon, MA
A three month old Beagle puppy was discovered by the family’s 10 year old daughter hanging from a tree this past spring in Winchendon, Mass. The puppy had been outside less than a half hour before he was found tied up in rope from a nearby bird feeder. He had been strangled to death. Read more.
1. Puppy Doe bill awaiting Governor Patrick’s signature in order to become law
Massachusetts residents celebrated the passing of the Puppy Doe bill this summer – a bill that strengthens the animal cruelty laws. The now-in-effect Act Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety Bill calls for an animal cruelty charge to carry up to seven years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. The Puppy Doe case is still tied up in the court system. Read more.
In most recent news:
Hunters kill family dog in a campground on the Cape
Update: woman charged with felony for abused dog who lost eyes
Quincy man who killed cat in dryer sentenced to jail time
Police searching for person who dumped burned dog on doorstep