Finding a "Furever" Home


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Lane Russell's picture

Broken Tail Rescue gives homeless pets a second chance

Every day at the PetSmart on Alewife Brook Parkway in Cambridge, volunteers from Broken Tail Rescue oversee the showing and hopeful adoption of the cats in their PetSmart adoption center.

Broken Tail Rescue, a nonprofit foster-based rescue organization primarily located in Worcester, works hard to give homeless pets a second chance at a happy life in a forever home.  The group does not discriminate against animals on the basis of health, age or breed, and only resorts to humane euthanasia if an animal is too aggressive or is terminally ill and has a poor quality of life.

The group works closely with animal controls, shelters and rescue groups in the Greater Boston area in providing care and shelter for stray and surrendered pets.

Along with stray and surrendered pets – pets whose owners can no longer care for them – Broken Tail Rescue helps give pets who have already been in a shelter a better chance at being adopted.

“There’s a lot of cats that don’t do well in a high-stress area like a shelter … We [at the adoption center] give them the chance to come out of their shell essentially, give them as much time as they need.  Or [if a cat] has some type of medical issue that would be put down in other places. [Our work] is important ‘cause we take care of those cats,” said Brooke Miller, a Broken Tail Rescue volunteer who works primarily with the cats in the organization.

For animals that do not do well in a shelter or the adoption center, they are put in a foster home while the dedicated volunteers at Broken Tail work to find him or her a forever home.

There is a rigorous process to making sure a human is a suitable match for a pet.  First the possible adopter must fill out an application on the Broken Tail Rescue website, then the Broken Tail Rescue staff looks to see if the adopter has ever had or currently has any pets.

The staff then checks in with the adopter’s vet to make sure they have had their pets seen on a regular basis. The staff also talks to the adopter’s references to make sure they will be a loving and responsible pet owner. Finally, they check to see if the adopter owns their home or if they rent, if pets are allowed.

If the animal is older or has any medical complications it is more difficult – but not impossible – to find “that perfect person,” Miller said.

“Today we just actually did an adoption for a cat that had been with us for a few months who has a thyroid problem – so was on medication – and 11 years old … We were able to find her a home,” said Miller.

Stray animal populations are a nationwide issue, and it is because of the hard work and dedication of organizations like Broken Tail Rescue that many animals get the chance for a fresh start.

“We are always open to people who want to volunteer, people who want to foster, and donations as well…” Miller said.

Even if you are unable to adopt a pet because of allergies or lack of resources, stopping by and giving the animals some attention, or letting kids go in and play with them is welcomed.

“We’re hoping that it [love of animals] would pass on so when the kids grow up they’ll want pets,” she said.

Further information on Broken Tail Rescue, as well as adoption and donation links, can be found on their website: