Massachusetts Humane Society Announces Capital Campaign to Fund New Facility

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$400,000 needed to fund new facility in Boston Metro/Norfolk County.

The Massachusetts Humane Society (MHS), recently announced its “Bessy's Home For Felines” campaign designed to raise funds for its affiliate organization, Bessy’s Place, ( will be a sanctuary and home for cats, many of whom are senior cats with special needs. The $400,000 campaign, which will be completed by January 2016, has received to date more than $20,000, thanks to the support of local residents, corporations and others.

Campaign co-chairpersons include: Joanne G. Mainiero, President/Treasurer, of Weymouth; Janice Pagnani, Secretary and Board Member, from Braintree; Jean York, Director of the Board, from Braintree; Gail E. Cavanaugh, Board of Directors, of Weymouth; and Eileen Horton, Board Member, from Weymouth.

MHS is seeking a 2,000 square-foot house, in Norfolk County near Boston. MHS has engaged a realtor to assist in finding an appropriate property.

The facility is needed for several reasons including the upcoming expiration of the current facility’s lease in East. Weymouth. And, there is a growing need for housing of homeless, neglected or mistreated cats, many of whom are seniors with special needs.

As our human population ages, so has our pet population. And with seniors on fixed incomes, there has been a significant increase in the number of surrendered cats.

And in general as our economy has slumped in recent years, there has been a tremendous impact to pet owners. There has been an increase of 55% in homeless, neglected and surrendered cats since 2006. In recent years a greater number of pet owners have become unable to pay for growing medical bills. Foreclosures have forced families and their pets into shelters or motels or to share lodging with relatives or friends where animals are not welcomed.

"We have outgrown our facility in East Weymouth due to the significant increase in animals we are caring for,” stated Joanne Mainiero. “We also want to provide expanded services such as special group rooms for cats with FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), or those on special medication and foods, a quiet room for hospice care and communal living space cats with plenty of windows to provide natural light. Our current cat room now has only two very small windows,” Mainiero added.

The new facility will house an estimated 35-45 cats. Some will be adoptable and some will be unadoptable for medical or behavioral problems. There will also be an area reserved for a limited number of dogs, with inside and outside dog runs.

About the Massachusetts Humane Society Inc.
Originally established in June 7, 2004 by Joanne Mainiero and a handful of caring and supportive volunteers, the first MHS Animal Shelter opened in East Weymouth on September 30, 2006. MHS is a section 501 (c) 3, non-profit, tax-deductible, no-kill, volunteer-run shelter. MHS does not receive any direct town, city, state or federal funding. MHS depends solely on monetary donations from its individual supporters, charitable foundations, fundraiser events and dedicated volunteers. MHS is constantly and diligently helping and caring for animals in need. For more information please go to:

The MHS Mission:
The mission of MHS is to help sheltered animals by providing exceptional care and proper placement of adoptable companion animals. The MHS staff is dedicated, committed and tirelessly engaged in assuring every animal entrusted to them, is nurtured, provided food, medications if needed, and opportunities for exercise and play in a warm and safe environment.

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Margaret Lohmann

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