Boyce honored for his work with animals

Boyce honored for his work with animals

Cumberland Mayor Jeff Mutter, center, presents Josh Boyce with a citation from the town for his work protecting local animals.

CUMBERLAND – When a Cumberland animal is in trouble, most often the first person called in to respond is Joshua Boyce.

Boyce has become a hero of sorts for his work helping local wildlife, whether it’s freeing a trapped bird or getting help for an injured chipmunk.

The town last month honored Boyce for his “unparalleled commitment to the animals of our community.” Mayor Jeff Mutter presented him with a citation saying his work doesn’t go unnoticed.

“One of the best parts of a mayor’s job is you get to meet people you would probably never get to meet,” Mutter told The Breeze. “All these people behind the scenes do great work.”

On social media sites, when someone expresses concern about an animal, Cumberland residents know to tag the Cumberland High School graduate and Rhode Island Fish and Wildlife volunteer Boyce and he’ll know what to do, said Mutter.

“He’s the go-to guy whenever there is any sort of animal issue,” he said. “He’s the dude, a little folk hero.”

At a ceremony honoring him at Town Hall on Aug. 22, Boyce took the opportunity when Mutter mentioned his effort to save a blue heron caught in fishing line to remind people to not leave fishing line behind, even if it’s caught in a tree.

“Hi, everyone, my name is Josh Boyce and I am a volunteer with R.I. Fish and Wildlife,” Boyce posts on various Cumberland pages. “If you have any wildlife questions, concerns, or problems with wildlife please feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to help you out. You can message me on here. I hope I can be of help to you all at some point.”

Boyce declined to talk about his efforts.

Mutter said he and those in his office are making an effort to recognize local community heroes. Jen Cameron from the clerk’s office was the one who alerted them to Boyce’s good work.

Administrative Assistant Sarah King said she’s heard from residents who call Town Hall that they’re appreciative of what Boyce does, and she was then approached by Cameron who mentioned that she wished there was something that could be done to celebrate his work. She mentioned the idea of a citation, ran it by the mayor, and then ran it by Boyce, and all were excited.

“Social media can so often be a negative space that lends itself to complaints more than anything, but we view Josh as a bright spot in that,” she said. “He is always willing to help, whether by physically going out to assess a situation or simply answering questions and providing info.”

As a volunteer with R.I. Fish and Wildlife, Boyce is extremely knowledgeable, she said. Folks have gotten to the point where they instinctively tag him in any animal-related questions and he answers.

A small sampling of Boyce’s work includes:

• Coming out to a resident’s home to assist with a baby squirrel injured after falling from a tree.

• Helping with an injured dove.

• And rescuing an owl stuck in a trap and bringing the owl to the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island.

Comments

I would love to meet this awesome guy. I will call when I have a problem with my animals that live on my property!!He sounds like someone who really cares!