MSPCA-Angell photosThe MSPCA has reported that Sophie, the beagle taken from the MSPCA-Nevins Farm in Methuen, was returned Tuesday morning by the man seen on videotape along with his wife as they left the shelter with her over the weekend. ccording to MSPCA spokesman Rob Halpin, the couple is facing larceny charges, but the Methuen Police Department will not release their names or place of residence until an arraignment date has been set. Halpin said the MSPCA has been assured the couple will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The publicity surrounding the case prompted the couple to come forward and return Sophie to the MSPCA’s care, Halpin said. The dog is well and is under close watch by the shelter staff, Halpin said. Would-be adopters can contact Nevins Farm director Mike Keiley at firstname.lastname@example.org. The dog was taken from the Methuen adoption center at about 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16. The stolen dog, a 7-year-old beagle named “Sophie,” weighs about 40 pounds, is mostly white with a brown face, and has black fur covering much of her back. Surveillance video from Nevins Farm’s recently installed video monitoring system shows a white couple, who appear to be in their 60s, standing in the adoption center lobby before the man — wearing a white jacket over black slacks — is seen exiting the rear door with Sophie.
The woman, whose identity is not being released, was operating what the shelter staff described as the guinea pig equivalent of a puppy mill, continuously breeding the animals in order to sell the babies to local pet stores. At first she wanted only to surrender a couple of the animals, but concern for their welfare prompted the adoption center to demand she turn all of them over.
Mike Keiley, director of the Noble Family Animal Care and Adoption Center at Nevins Farm, expressed concern about the new additions. "It's a tremendous strain on our resources whenever we have a surrender of so many animals at once," he said. Keiley added that the center is already home to dozens of guinea pigs and other small animals, and the team is in urgent need of foster homes and adopters to ensure all of the guinea pigs can find new homes once they are available for adoption.
Owing to the size of the surrender and the number of animals already in the shelter's care, the MSPCA has set up a donation form for members of the public who wish to contribute to the care of the guinea pigs, and animals like them. "Monetary donations are hugely important in times like this because of the now significantly larger population of animals that need us," added Keiley.
Ten adult female guinea pigs will need to be cared for in foster homes for two months to ensure they are not placed into a permanent adoptive home if they are pregnant. Most of the baby pigs will be available for adoption in mid-November. And upwards of 10 adult males are available for adoption now.
Anyone interested in adopting one or some of the animals is encouraged to visit the MSPCA-Nevins Farm Animal Care and Adoption Center at Care and Adoption Center at 400 Broadway, Methuen or visit www.mspca.org.
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, nonprofit 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 of individuals who care about animals. Please visit www.mspca.org.
This press release was provided by the Middlesex District Attorney's office
A Methuen man has been found guilty of murder for the fatal stabbing of his former longtime girlfriend in her Burlington home, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan announced today
Christopher Piantedosi, 40, of Methuen, was found guilty of murder by deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty and malicious destruction of property by a Middlesex Superior Court jury following an 11-day trial. Middlesex Superior Court Judge Diane Kottmyer sentenced the defendant to life in prison without the possibility of parole on the charge of murder and 20 years probation on the charge of malicious destruction of property with the condition of no contact with the victim’s two children.
“This was a gruesome attack where the defendant killed Kristen Pulisciano, the mother of his children, by stabbing her 33 times in their daughter’s bedroom,” District Attorney Ryan said. “Perpetrators of domestic violence seek to exert power and control over their victims. When this defendant saw that he was losing his control over the victim, he violently killed her. This is a tragic case and today, while we are pleased that justice was served, our thoughts are with the victim’s family, as they continue to mourn the loss of Kristen.”
According to authorities, at approximately 6:45pm on May 3, 2012 Burlington Police responded to 23 Forbes Avenue for a report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, officers located a female victim, evidencing obvious fatal stab wounds. The victim, Kristen Pulisciano, 38, a resident of 23 Forbes Avenue, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Burlington Police and the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney's Office launched an immediate investigation into the circumstances of the stabbing. The defendant, who had had a long-standing relationship with the victim, stabbed the victim inside her residence.
An autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (ME) determined the cause of death to be sharp force injuries to the head and chest and the manner of death homicide.
Through the course of the investigation, officials learned that the victim’s daughter was video chatting with a friend on her Ipad in her bedroom just before the murder. When the victim’s daughter heard the victim and defendant fighting, she left her bedroom and went into the living room. Her mother then ran into the daughter’s bedroom, and the defendant followed with a knife in his hand. The video chatting program was still open during this time, and the friend witnessed the violent attack by the defendant. The defendant broke open the bedroom door, pushed the victim onto the bed and began stabbing her over and over. The victim’s daughter attempted to stop the defendant, but she was unable to pull him off of her mother, so she fled the house and called police. The victim suffered 33 stab wounds.
The defendant fled the scene. An arrest warrant for murder was issued the morning of May 4, 2012 for Piantedosi. On May 4, 2012, Piantedosi turned himself into authorities at the Massachusetts State Police Barracks in Weston. He was arraigned May 7, 2012 and held without bail. He was indicted by a Middlesex Grand Jury on June 7, 2012.
The prosecutor assigned to the case was Assistant District Attorney Nicole Allain. The Victim Witness Advocate was Anne Foley. The paralegal was Stephanie Calnan.
MSPCA-Angell’s seventh annual Walk for Animals in Boston on Sunday will feature special guests including Marathon bombing hero Carlos Arredondo and RadioBDC disc jockey Henry Santoro, the organization announced.
The event is expected to draw more than 2,500 participants, most of whom will be walking with their dog or dogs and, in some cases, their cat or cats.
The walk will kick off at noon on Sunday from the Boston Common. Santoro will emcee the event and Arredondo, his wife and their two dogs will lead the walk.
The Boston walk will be held at the same time as two other MSPCA walks, one in Hyannis and one in Methuen.
Funds raised from the events will support animal protection programs at the three MSPCA animal care and adoption centers in Jamaica Plain, Centerville and Methuen.
Over the past five years, the walk has raised more than $1 million. The organization said it hopes to raise more than $350,000 this year.
For more event details, see information below from the MSPCA’s press release about the walks:
Boston Walk Highlights In addition to appearances from Henry and Carlos, and half a dozen food and beverage booths set up on the Common, the Boston Walk will again feature a “Leader of the Pack,” who will walk at the front of the crowd and be available for photographs before, during and after the event. Leading the pack this year will be Sachmo and Hana, two purebred Shar Peis who were rescued along with 11 others from a hoarding house in Braintree, Mass. in January of this year. Sachmo and Hana have since been adopted into wonderful permanent homes and they will be walking with their families. The Boston walk will also features a specially designed agility course, called the “Tough Mutt-er,” designed to challenge dogs (and their owners) who will compete for audience applause as they navigate the course. Any Walk participant can sign up for the Tough Mutt-er when they register for the walk. Also at the Boston Walk, a veterinarian from Angell Animal Medical Center will be on-site throughout the day to answer pet-health related questions. For regular readers of the Boston.com “Ask an Angell Vet” online community, this is a unique opportunity to ask questions of the vets behind the popular forum. Finally, the MSPCA is also reprising other fan-favorite contests such as “Best Pet Trick,” “Best Kisser,” “Human Lookalike,” and more! Methuen Walk Highlights For the first time the Methuen Walk will be held on the grounds of the MSPCA-Nevins Farm. The Nevins Farm team hopes to garner even more community support for the Walk now that it will take place on home soil. The Methuen Walk will include part of the newly opened Methuen Rail Trail, a beautifully wooded trail that runs partly through the MSPCA’s property. Featured at the Walk is a “Vendor Village”, showcasing unique pet products and crafts from local businesses. Walkers and their dogs will also have a chance to try out the newest canine sports, including Nosework and WagIt! Games. Following the Walk the 18th annual Pet Memorial Sunday service will take place at the MSPCA’s Hillside Acre Cemetery, just down the road from Nevins Farm. Walkers are invited to pay homage to departed companion animals in a special ceremony to honor them. Centerville Walk Highlights The 2013 Hyannis Walk for Animals will be emceed by 99.9 WQRC Morning Show host and animal lover Shailene Jackson. This year’s Walk will focus on community service, with a number of Cape Cod non-profit animal service organizations participating, including the Cape Cod Disaster Animal Response Team; the Cape Cod Companion Animal Program; and the Mashpee Dog Park. The Walk will also feature “Cape Cod’s Talented Dog Competition,” featuring a number of local dogs who will vie for the title of the Cape’s most talented canine. Lastly, the walk will again host the MSPCA-Centerville’s famous Hot Dog Eating Race. Corporate Sponsors Line Up to Support the Walk for Animals The list of sponsors for this year’s Walk is a veritable “who’s who” of the food, beverage, media and pet merchandise world. Boston.com is again the exclusive media sponsor for the event. Celebrated ice cream maker Ben and Jerry’s will be onsite. Cedar’s Hummus, makers of delicious and all natural hummus, chips and spreads will once again feed hungry walkers. Joining Cedar’s is VitaCoco, purveyors of the increasingly popular and 100 percent pure coconut water, which is sure to be a hit with walkers on a hot day. In addition to the above companies, top pet food, supplies and medicine companies such as NMWT Credit Union, Especially for Pets, Bowchies, Cardinal, Doody Calls, Covidien, and Hill’s are again supporting this year’s Walk. Additional sponsors include Food Should Taste Good, Merck, Patterson Vet, TD Bank, Unleashed by Petco, Whole Foods, Yoghund and Zoetis.
For more details and to register for any of the walks, click here.
Vanessa Wright (above); MSPCA-Nevins Farm (left)
The following was submitted by the MSPCA:
This weekend, the inaugural Silver Oak Jumper Tournament will host Thunder’s Lemonade Stand, an old-fashioned lemonade stand staffed by children who donate the proceeds to the medical needs of the horses and farm animals at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm in Methuen.
The Lemonade stand was named for Thunder, a large Simmental steer that arrived at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm in 2008. His previous owner could not keep him, and turned to the MSPCA for help.
As the only open admissions animal care and adoption center in New England for horses and farm animals, Nevins Farm provided him a safe place to stay while a forever home was found. During his four years at Nevins, Thunder became a favorite of staff, volunteers, and visitors alike, with many families coming each week just to see this 2,000-pound steer relax in his paddock. Thunder was finally adopted and now enjoys a life with a herd of cows to call his own at Farm Sanctuary in New York.
Nevins Farm will be bringing four adoptable horses to the jumper event in Hampton Falls, N.H., to encourage would-be adopters to meet them as well as shine a spotlight on the need for more horse-lovers to consider rescuing vs. buying horses.
“I want to encourage our equestrian community here in New England to support the important work being done by the MSPCA Nevins Farm to rehabilitate, care for, and offer adoption services for horses and other farm animals,” said Peter Wylde, Olympic show jumping gold medalist and Massachusetts native who’ll be competing in the Silver Oak Grand Prix competition on Sunday. “Log on to the website, connect with them on social media, take a tour of the farm, donate, foster or adopt – do what you can – but please take an active role and get involved with this incredible organization.”
About the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament
Under the management of respected entrepreneur and equestrian Jeff Papows, the Olympic caliber world of show jumping is set to return to Hampton Falls, N.H. this weekend.
The Silver Oak Tournament will surround the athletes with thousands of enthusiastic fans culminating in the Grand Prix competition to be held on Sunday. In addition to the grace, power, and beauty of these magnificent and courageous horse and rider combinations, there will be a multitude of food vendors and shopping for the enjoyment of spectators. For more information, go to www.silveroakjumpertournament.com. For more information about Nevins Farm and animals available for adoption, go to www.mspca.org/adoption/methuen-nevins.
Orange Leaf, an Oklahoma City-based frozen yogurt chain, said it will continue to expand its presence in Massachusetts by opening 18 new stores in the Bay State before the end of the year, including its first store in Boston.
The Boston store will be in the city's Brighton neighborhood at the corner of Market and Washington streets, the company said in a press release this month.
Nine of the chain’s stores have already opened in Massachusetts this year. Once the 18 additional stores planned for 2013 open, there will be 41 Orange Leaf stores in Massachusetts. The only state with more of the chain’s stores is Texas, where 54 are either open or under construction.
“As a company, we cannot be more excited to expand our footprint in Massachusetts as one of the highest-demand markets for frozen desserts,” said a statement from Orange Leaf CEO Reese Travis. “Massachusetts, along with the northeast as a whole, is one of Orange Leaf’s fastest developing areas. Our low start-up cost and scalable business model has attracted many eager franchisees in the region who are excited to grow our brand.”
By year’s end, the stores in Massachusetts will be in communities including: Acton, Attleboro, Andover, Belmont, Brighton, Brockton, Burlington, Cambridge’s Harvard Square, Canton, Chelmsford, Danvers, Dracut, Franklin, Gloucester, Hingham, Hanover, Hull, Leominster, Lexington, Mansfield, Marblehead, Medway, Melrose, Methuen, Natick, Needham, Newburyport, Newton, Norwood, Plymouth, Randolph, Reading, Salem, Seekonk, Somerville, Swansea, Tewksbury, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Wellesley, Westwood, Winchester, and Woburn.
During the first two weeks of July, fees will be waived for the adoption of cats that are nine years or older from MSPCA centers in Jamaica Plain, Methuen and Centerville.
The “Declare Your Love” adopt-a-thon runs from July 1 to 14, officials said.
The goal of the campaign is to find homes for the organization’s 30-plus senior cats.
“Kittens are irresistible and generally spend less time in our adoption centers before they are taken home – but senior cats, many of whom are surrendered because their older care takers have died or are too ill to care for them, can spend much more time in a setting that is unlike anything they’ve ever known,” said a statement from Jean Weber, director of animal protection for the MSPCA-Angell center in Jamaica Plain.
“It’s also important to remember that cats routinely live upwards of 20 years or more so these cats have plenty of life left in them,” she said.
The organization has a page on its website with details on adoptable cats and related information.
The adoption fee for cats is normally $95.
The adopt-a-thon campaign is funded by the Ivan Smith Adoption Challenge, which is designed to educate people about the variety of adoptable animals available at the MSPCA and to support adoption promotions.
“Senior cats make wonderful low-pressure pets for individuals and families because most have already lived in a home – often with other pets – and their personalities and habits are fully established,” the MSPCA said in a statement. “The ‘Declare Your Love’ adoptathon kicks off during a time of year when older cats languish in animal shelters, passed over for the many kittens available during the summer months.
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MSPCAThe following was submitted by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell Animal Medical Center:
A young puppy with a brave heart is on the mend after she was struck by a car on May 26 in downtown Lawrence before dragging herself up two flights of stairs to her owners’ apartment.
The owners of the 3 1/2-month old Pit Bull-mix, named Luna, brought the dog to the nearby MSPCA-Nevins Farm in Methuen, where they surrendered her because of the expense and burden associated with rehabilitating the critically injured puppy.
The veterinary team at Nevins Farm evaluated Luna and concluded the severe injuries to her pelvis and legs required special surgery at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. On Tuesday, May 28, Angell surgeon Dr. Sue Casale — who specializes in orthopedic and soft tissue surgery — performed an operation to repair Luna’s broken left hip. After two days of recovery at Angell, Luna made her way back to Nevins Farm, where the adoption center team placed her into a temporary foster home.
Luna’s Brush with Death
Mike Keiley, director of the Noble Family Animal Care and Adoption Center at MSPCA-Nevins Farm, feared the worst when Luna was first brought in.
"Luna was in terrible shape and my primary concern was whether she had suffered permanent spinal damage as a result of the accident,” Keiley said.
Despite the intense pain associated with her shattered pelvis and leg, Luna wagged her tail and remained calm during an extensive initial evaluation. “It was a huge relief to see her remain calm in those first few hours after the accident. That gave us all hope that we could see her through the worst of this and ultimately get her into a wonderful home,” Keiley said.
For Dr. Casale, who performs life-saving surgery every day on owned pets as well as homeless animals who come into the MSPCA’s adoption centers and through law enforcement investigations, the opportunity to give Luna a second chance has been incredibly rewarding.
“I’m really pleased to see how well Luna has recovered from the surgery and I believe she’ll go on to live a perfectly healthy life,” she said after the operation concluded. “It’s an amazing feeling to know we’ve played a role in transforming a broken dog into a healthy pet who’ll no doubt make her future owner very happy.”
Luna is continuing her recovery from surgery at a foster home. “The future is incredibly bright for Luna and we’re proud of the work we’ve done as a team to get her to this stage,” said Keiley.
The MSPCA-Angell relies on donations from the public to fund the medical care costs of animals like Luna. Her care has been paid for through the MSPCA’s Pet Care Assistance program, which provides financial assistance to low-income pet owners as well as pays for the care of homeless animals and those the MSPCA seizes during law enforcement investigations. To make a donation to Pet Care Assistance, click 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 of individuals who care about animals. Please visit www.mspca.org.
The MSPCA reported a volunteer found “Pete” the Beagle early Friday afternoon on the Nevins Farm property in Methuen after he was stolen sometime Thursday. Five-year-old Pete was stolen from the organization’s adoption center minutes before his new adopter was to take him home. Officials believe the dog was dropped off Friday by whoever stole him Thursday, MSPCA spokesman Rob Halpin said. Mike Keiley, Nevins Farm director, said Pete is unharmed and appears healthy, While he’s trying to find out who dropped him off Friday, he is also contacting the adopters to make arrangements to pick up Pete and take him home.