Why Phil the Horse Loves MSPCA Nevins Farm

Did you know that the MSPCA (Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) was actually founded following a notorious incident of animal abuse in which two horses were raced to their deaths in 1868?  George T. Angell founded the MSPCA to protect horses and other work animals from harsh treatment.

Today, MSPCA Nevins Farm in Methuen, MA remains the only open-door farm animal and horse rescue center in New England.  Last month, they celebrated their 100th anniversary and Phil the Horse would like to celebrate this incredible horse rescue organization by telling you a little bit of their story.

The Farm has roots in the very origins of the American humane movement

In June of 1917, Mrs. Harriet Nevins furthered George T. Angell’s mission by donating her farm of rolling pastures in Methuen, MA to the MSPCA so that it could be used as a rest home for horses and other unwanted or abandoned animals. The donation was accompanied by a $5,000 bequest toward building construction and the purchase of necessary farm implements and machinery.

MSPCA Nevins Farm Historic Photo

First known as “The Rest Home”, the property was used for retired police horses and other horses who worked on the then cobblestone streets of Boston. Arrangements made with horse owners allowed horses that were still working animals to spend time grazing and relaxing in the fields of Nevins Farm. A common agreement was one in which horses would rotate between spending a month on the farm and a month in Boston working.

A shelter for small animals was added to the Methuen facility in 1924 and as motor vehicles replaced horse-drawn carriages and fewer horses worked on the streets, the role of the farm began to change.

MSPCA Nevins Farm Joe Haswell 1970
This beautiful image is from when Nevins Farm was a retirement home for working horses. This photo, part of a Boston Globe article from September, 1970, shows Joe Haswell, then the superintendent of Nevins Farm, leading one of the resident horses into a pasture for the day. At that time, most of the horses on the farm were former Boston or Metropolitan District Commission police horses – and even a few former US Mail horses.

The Nevins Farm Mission

While involvement with smaller animals has increased, Nevins Farm’s concern for large animals has remained a central part of its mission. In 1994, the farm launched the Equine Ambulance Program to offer emergency rescue and transport of disabled horses in New England and ambulance services events involving horses worldwide.

George and Connie Noble of Concord, Massachusetts donated the funds for Nevins Farm’s 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2) adoption center building that opened in 2004. The new facility is officially known as the Noble Family Animal Care and Adoption Center at Nevins Farm.

MSPCA Nevins Farm Equine Adoption Center

Nevins Farm cares for over 7,000 animals each year, from hamsters to horses, and receives no funding from any state or federal agency.  The animals and programs of Nevins Farm are supported with private donations from caring individuals, and the special events held throughout the year.  On September 16th, the farm will be commemorating its centennial by hosting the Blue Jean Ball.  Tickets can be purchased here.

MSPCA Nevins Farm illustration

Thank you so much MSPCA Nevins Farm for all you do and all the animals you save and for being part of the Phil Family!

A percentage of every purchase made at Phil the Horse goes towards funding equine rescue and charities. Please consider directing your purchase from Phil the Horse to Nevins Farm when you check out.

Love What You Do. Give it Horsepower!


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