Mass. Shelter Searching for Appropriate Home for 4 Coatis Left Inside U-Haul in Cambridge



The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA-Angell) recently received some unexpected visitors.

According to MSPCA-Angell, on June 13, four law enforcement agencies helped rescue a “menagerie of animals” discovered inside a U-Haul parked in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In the back of the container, authorities found two chinchillas, a rabbit, two rats, three Quaker parrots, three love birds, and four coatis — wild animals native to South America that are illegal to own as pets in Massachusetts.

The MSPCA, Cambridge Police, environmental police, and the Cambridge Animal Commission found the animals inside the U-Haul in dirty cages. The individual connected to the U-Haul, whose identity has not been released, is under investigation.

Authorities are grateful that the animals did not overheat in the U-Haul. One of the coatis briefly escaped the U-Haul before its rescue but was safely recovered and turned over to MSPCA-Angell along with the other animals found in the U-Haul.




All of the animals are currently undergoing health checks at an MSPCA adoption center. Once a veterinarian clears the critters, the search for new homes will begin. MSPCA-Angell expects to put all but the coatis up for adoption on their website.

Since the coatis are exotic animals that are illegal to own as pets in Massachusetts and require specialized care, MSPCA-Angell is working to find an appropriate home for the creatures. Ideally, this new location would be an accredited wildlife sanctuary.

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“Not only are [the Coatis] illegal to keep as pets in Massachusetts, but they have complex social and health needs that are very difficult to meet in a home-like environment, so we’re hoping that either a sanctuary or other wildlife-focused organization, or a zoo, will ultimately be able to take them in,” Mike Keiley, the director of adoption centers and programs at the MSPCA-Angell, said find a statement.

“We’ll keep them safe and happy in our care, as best we are able, until we find a more permanent solution for them,” he added.

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In January, MSPCA-Angell took in a wild serval cat found wandering the streets of Lincoln, Massachusetts, and cared for the animal until the Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota offered to provide the feline an appropriate, full-time home.

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