Quails in duck sauce buckets, stray pigs all in a day’s work at Forever Paws

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 23, 2018 in Rat News | Subscribe

“They have taken everything we have thrown their way,” said Fall River Animal Control Supervisor Cindy Berard.

FALL RIVER — Things have always been bustling at the no-kill shelter Forever Paws, but it’s definitely been busier and more interesting since the city contracted with the non-profit organization last July.

By the sound of it, both sides couldn’t be happier with the new arrangement.

“Fall River has proven to be a cornucopia of different kinds of animals,” said Casey Fredette, the shelter’s administrator.

In addition to the usual cats and dogs brought to the shelter by the Fall River animal control officers, Forever Paws has taken in chinchillas, ferrets, pet rats, mice and snakes.

“My favorite was four stray quails,” said Fredette. “They were young and they were little and left in a 5-gallon duck sauce bucket at the side of the road.”

Fredette was able to get the baby birds to a wildlife rehab facility.

“They have taken everything we have thrown their way,” said Fall River Animal Control Supervisor Cindy Berard. “We are super impressed with them. A lot of fun too, they’re nice people.”

Fredette has a background in wildlife, so all the wild animals that Berard and her staff of two officers encounter — like possums, raccoons and pigeons, lots of pigeons — can find refuge through Forever Paws.

Last year, the shelter also housed a stray pig from New Bedford they named Kevin Bacon, who was adopted and renamed Abraham.

For a decade the city’s animal control officers had to travel to New Bedford to deliver the animals, but with Forever Paws located on Lynwood Street, the lost pets are reunited with their families in a day or two, Fredette said.

In addition to taking in Fall River’s stray and lost animals, Forever Paws contracts with Westport and New Bedford.

According to Fredette, in 2017 the shelter brought in 882 animals with 559 adoptions. This month alone, the shelter has had 40 adoptions.

Out of the three communities, Forever Paws reunited 165 pets with their families.

Forever Paws President Gail Furtado said there is another fact she and her staff can be proud of.

The national standard to be considered a no-kill shelter is a 90 percent live-release rate.

“We are over 97 percent, according to our statistics,” said Furtado.

She credits Fredette with being proactive getting the word out about their animals waiting to be adopted.

One-third of the funding that keeps the shelter in operation comes from fundraising, said Furtado.

“We have a lot of events coming up, and I have a great fundraising committee,” Furtado said.

The shelter counts on lots of volunteers not just caring for animals, but doing community outreach, like in nursing homes and schools with therapy dogs.

“That’s another thing we’re doing, is giving back to the community. I think it’s very important that we do that. But right now our needs are, well of course, our needs are always about money. If we could get rid of our mortgage that would be very helpful, but we manage to make it,” Furtado said.

Other needs, Furtado said, include the shelter looking for foster homes for their cats. On her wish list is to find a veterinarian who would be willing to work on occasion to do wellness checks on the animals.

“We have a lot going on and we’re really proud of that,” Furtado said, adding that people can follow Forever Paws on their website and Facebook page.

Forever Paws is located at 300 Lynwood St.; call them at 508-677-9154.

Email Jo C. Goode at jgoode@heraldnews.com.

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