BOSTON — Boston’s animal control director has been suspended and faces termination after the Animal Rescue League discovered what it called “disturbing” conditions at the city-run animal shelter.
The shelter’s manager and other employees remain at their posts for now as Mayor Martin Walsh’s administration waits for an assessment by the Animal Rescue League before taking additional action, The Boston Globe reported Friday.
The Animal Rescue League discovered the conditions at the shelter in the city’s Roslindale section last month. In its assessment, the league said one dog was gaunt, dehydrated, and had open sores on its body. Other animals howled incessantly. Cats lay on single sheets of wet newspaper. Shelves held out-of-date medication and old food.
Dozens of animals have been moved to other shelters, and all have been examined by veterinarians.
Mary Nee, president of the Animal Rescue League of Boston, called the conditions “very disturbing.”
“We very much felt the need to act,” she said.
The Walsh administration appointed John Meaney interim director of animal control. The suspended director could not be reached for comment.
Animals lived without bedding or toys, according to the Animal Rescue League. Dogs were drenched because it appeared they were not being removed when runs were hosed downs. Dogs labeled as “strays” were confined to kennels and were not walked on leashes.
The Animal Rescue League notified the city’s policy director, Joyce Linehan.
“It was dirty,” Linehan said. “I’m not a vet, but the animals seemed very anxious. They wouldn’t calm down. There were a couple that were cowering in their kennels. It was understaffed.”