It is a story the Animal Rescue League of Boston sees fairly often - owners abandoning their pets because they can no longer afford to care for them.


Last week a 7- month-old Maltese dog was left outside a cat shelter in Ashland, with an anonymous note taped to a crate. To make matters worse, the puppy had a broken paw.


"It is pretty common, unfortunately," said Jennifer Wooliscroft, the league's director of communications. "We understand that things get complicated and people can't always keep an animal. We don't judge, but we ask that people take them somewhere safe."


The note said:


"To Whom It May Concern,

I am sorry to do this but I am leaving this dog here [because] unfortunately I have no money to care for him! His name is mashimello. He is 7 months old, his vaccines are not up to date and I believe his left paw is fractured. He is very friendly and hopefully you may find him a home.

Thanks sincerely!"

Abandonment exposes animals to unnecessary danger, like weather extremes and wildlife, Wooliscroft said, and according to Lt. Alan Borgal, the director for the Center of Animal Protection, it is also illegal.

After discovering the injured puppy, which has since been named "Snowball," Ashland city officials reached out to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, which provided the dog with the orthopedic surgery necessary to alleviate the dog’s pain and regain mobility.

League Veterinarian Hugh Davis performed the procedure, and the league is covering all costs associated with the dog’s care and rehabilitation, Wooliscroft said.

The plucky puppy continues to jump and play in spite of his newly acquired cast.

Watch a video of Snowball below:

"The dog is adorable. He is a crazy cuteness overload. He is going to be just fine," Wooliscroft said.

There is no word on what caused the dog's injury.

Snowball will recuperate at the league's South End facility under he is ready for adoption.

Anyone wishing to contribute to his care can donate by visiting

People who can not care for a pet should call the Animal Rescue League of Boston, or a local animal control facility or humane society.