'Ms. Jennifer' the 53-year-old tortoise seeks new home after owner died of COVID-19

BOSTON -- She loves fruit salad and dandelions, attention from people and time outside -- and at 53, she may just be the oldest animal that the MSPCA-Angell has ever been charged with adopting into a new home. Ms. Jennifer the tortoise, who celebrated her 53rd birthday Wednesday, May 20, lost her owner to COVID-19 the same week.

In a news release, officials with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell said Ms. Jennifer is "a loveable tortoise" and they are "eager to place her into a loving adoptive home."

She arrived at the MSPCA on May 9, after her owner was admitted to the hospital, the release said. Since then, staffers have showered her with affection (and vegetables) to make life at the shelter as pleasant as possible.  Now, with no home to go back to, Ms. Jennifer needs a hero more than ever.

MSPCA officials said she's just 4 pounds, about the size of a large dinner plate -- the perfect-sized tortoise for any reptile or turtle-enthusiast.

They noted that "her previous owner absolutely doted on Ms. Jennifer, scheduling her wellness checkups at Angell Animal Medical Center, bringing her along on errands and showing her off to friends and strangers alike."

“We continue to see animals coming to us because their owners have either died, fallen too ill to care for them, or been so impacted economically that they could no longer care for the pets,” said Victoria Odynsky, manager of the MSPCA-Angell’s Boston adoption center. “Like we do for every animal in our charge, we’ll take the best possible care of Ms. Jennifer until we find her a suitable adoptive home."

Anyone interested in adopting Ms. Jennifer can email adoption@mspca.org for more information, or to schedule an appointment to meet her.