It’s Hip to Snip on the ARL’s Spay Waggin’!

Learn about the ARL’s largest community spay/neuter program

The ARL’s mobile Spay Waggin’ is our largest community spay and neuter program, bringing affordable, accessible, and – most importantly – high quality spay and neuter services to pet owners in Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod every month.

community spay program coordinator

The ARL’s Cheryl Traversi welcomes a new patient onto the Spay Waggin’.

As the longest running mobile spay and neuter clinic in Massachusetts, the staff on the Spay Waggin’ has been building their expertise providing mobile veterinary care since 2000.

Staffed by an ARL veterinarian and two certified veterinary technicians, the Spay Waggin’ follows the same high-level of surgical protocols as a stationary clinic and your pet’s comfort and well-being is the top priority.

Through the years, the  community reach and involvement has continued to develop, and 2014 was no exception.

Just ask Cheryl Traversi, shelter & community veterinary medicine program coordinator at the ARL.

She describes 2014 as the “best, feel-good year yet” for the Spay Waggin’. Thanks to the generosity of supporters, over 3,900 cats and dogs received spay or neuter services and other veterinary care.

The Spay Waggin’ also formed very important partnerships with the Massachusetts Animal Fund, a tax-funded spay/neuter program, as well as many local and city town officials and animal control officers. With help from new partners, the mobile program reached deeper into the local communities to help pet owners in financial need and prevent animal homelessness.

community spay program

ARL shelter veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley assisting a patient during last week’s Commonwealth Fix.

Last week, the Spay Waggin’ participated in the Massachusetts Animal Fund’s Commonwealth Fix, a push to spay or neuter more than 500 cats and dogs statewide in one week.  Stationed in Brockton, the Spay Waggin’ welcomed a steady stream of clients who qualified for special spay and neuter vouchers offered by the Massachusetts Animal Fund.

To learn more about the Spay Waggin’, visit arlboston.org/spay-waggin/

IT’S HIP TO SNIP SPECIAL THANKS! As we wind down our “It’s Hip to Snip” spay/neuter awareness campaign, we wanted to once again thank our media partners Clear Channel Outdoor, The Pet Gazette, 98.5 The Sports Hub, WEEI, WRKO, and WZLX for sharing the benefits of spay and neuter for pets, people, and the community with your readers and listeners.

We also wanted to thank the Ellen B. Gray Memorial Fund who challenged us to triple a $5,000 donation and raise $15K in 15-days for spay and neuter programs during our “It’s Hip to Snip” fund drive.  You inspired us and donors across the state to support programs such as the Spay Waggin’ that prevent animal homelessness!

And of course, thank you to supporters like you who donated during the fund drive and helped spread the word that it’s hip to snip!

hip to snip spay neuter sticker

 

Do You Have Feral Cats In Your Neighborhood?

Help keep them safe by building a simple DIY cat shelter in your yard

A “feral” cat is defined as a cat that has had little or no human contact since birth. Many were initially former domestic cats that were either lost or abandoned. In many cases, these cats still depend on human caregivers for food and shelter.

Learn more about feral cats

Some feral cat colonies find shelter for themselves under sheds and uninhabited buildings. Living in these structures poses a risk for these cats because their safety is usually uncertain.

To help keep the feral cats in your neighborhood safe from the elements and potential predators, consider building your own shelter. DIY shelters are inexpensive and simple to build. Please keep in mind, there are many ways to build feral cat shelters.

Watch this video to learn how to build your own feral cat shelter:

Did you know…

That the ARL contributes to helping control the feral cat population in the Boston area? The ARL offers FREE spay and neuter TNR (trap, neuter, and release) clinics each year to feral cat caretakers in Boston.

During the clinics, cats receive a behavioral screening to identify “friendlies,” stray animals who could re-adjust to living with people as pets.  In addition to spay/neuter services, cats also receive vaccines and other veterinary services.

Learn more about the ARL’s TNR clinics by visiting www.arlboston.org/fix-a-feral/

 

A Mastiff Relief for Titan!

Big and Lovable Lovable Dog thriving after surgery

donations for titan

Titan, 6-year-old Mastiff, needed a $2,000 surgery to remove and test a large tumor in his abdomen.

During a routine neuter surgery,  our shelter veterinarian discovered shelter dog Titan had a large mass in his abdomen.  X-rays confirmed the 6-year-old big and loveable Mastiff had a tumor.

According to ARL shelter veterinarian Dr. Erin Doyle, about 50% of this type of tumor are benign and the other 50% are cancerous.  Sadly, dogs with the cancerous-type of tumor have a 6-month life expectancy after the tumor is removed without additional medical intervention.

Titan needed a $2,000 surgery to immediately remove the tumor and test for cancer.  The ARL moved quickly to get Titan the medical care and testing he needed.

Titan’s goofy grin and happy-go-lucky personality had quickly warmed the hearts of everyone at the shelter.  Everyone was hoping for the best when he underwent surgery a week later.

Thankfully, we got what we were hoping for!

Titan's adoption day

A recovering Titan (Mastiff on the right) post-surgery posing for a photo with his new family on his adoption day!

“Titan’s tumor ended up being a very rare type of benign kidney tumor,” happily reported Dr. Doyle.  “Now that the tumor has been removed, Titan should be able to go on to live a normal life.”

With the tumor gone,  Titan was cured and medically-cleared for adoption. He went home with a new family shortly after surgery and by all reports is doing better than ever!

Would you like to help Titan and other animals like him?

Only with your support can dogs like Titan get emergency medical assistance when they need it most.

The ARL doesn’t receive any government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters like you to provide veterinary care and treatment for shelter animals who have no one else to turn to for help when they’re sick or injured.

MAKE YOUR DONATION GO FARTHER NOW!  The Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund will generously match your donation today dollar for dollar!

Please visit arlboston/kintera.org/titan or click the button below to make a donation to help pay for the care and treatment of Titan and other animals like him.

Donate Now

 

 

Meet the 2015 ARL Boston Marathon Team!

Our 5th Run with a John Hancock Boston Marathon Charity Team

Boston Marathon sponsor JH

Thank you to Boston Marathon sponsor John Hancock for including the ARL in the 2015 charity bib program!

Thanks to the generosity of the John Hancock Nonprofit Program, four inspired marathoners – Chris Aronis, Mal Malme, Scott Shapiro, and Alexis Sheehan – are hitting the ground running to raise money for animals in need at the ARL ahead of this year’s Boston Marathon.

Each year, Marathon sponsor John Hancock awards a limited number of runner’s bibs to select non-profit organization in Massachusetts.  To qualify for a charity bib, runners apply to the non-profit they care about most, explaining how they will raise money to support the organization’s work.

We’re very excited to introduce the members of the 2015 ARL Boston Marathon team who have two very big goals – to raise over $30,000 and finish the grueling 26.2 mile course!

Learn more about why our team members chose to run for animal welfare and how you can support them below….

Chris Aronis boston marathon team

Meet ARL Boston Marathon Charity Team runner Chris Aronis and his Boston terrier pal.

Meet Chris

“My family has forever been lovers of rescue animals – cats, dogs, and the occasional lost creature in the wild. The cause of ensuring that every pet is safe, care for, and ultimately has a forever home is near and dear to us.”

Support Chris at crowdrise.com/AnimalRescueLeagueBoston2015/fundraiser/chrisaronis

Boston marathon runner Mal Malme

ARL Boston Marathon team runner Mal Malme with a sleepy canine supporter.

Meet Mal

“My experiences as a volunteer at ARL, working alongside staff to enrich the lives of the dogs at the shelter, and helping to ensure they get adopted into loving homes, has made my life immeasurably more meaningful. Now I get to say thank you by running the 2015 Boston Marathon with Team ARL!”

Support Mal at crowdrise.com/AnimalRescueLeagueBoston2015/fundraiser/malmalme

boston marathon runner scott

ARL Boston Marathon team runner Scott Shapiro at home with his personal cheering squad.

Meet Scott

“I’m running the Boston Marathon in memory of our first dog Gizmo and to honor everything ARL does to support our city’s animals.”

Support Scott at crowdrise.com/AnimalRescueLeagueBoston2015/fundraiser/scottshapiro

boston marathon runner Alexis Sheehan

ARL Boston Marathon runner Alexis Sheehan getting a pawsitive post-run pup talk from her canine pal.

Meet Alexis

“Why I am running the Boston marathon? I was born to run this race.  I love animals and I love running.  It just doesn’t get any better than this for a runner or a human with a heart.”

Support Alexis at crowdrise.com/AnimalRescueLeagueBoston2015/fundraiser/alexissheehan

A VERY SPECIAL THANKS to the dedicated runners on our 2015 Boston Marathon team!  Through sleet, snow, ice, and bitter cold this winter, our four team members have trained hard and worked tirelessly to raise money for animals in our community.

Show your support for team members by making a donation to an individual runner or on the ARL Boston Marathon Team fundraising page at crowdrise.com/arl2014bostonmarathon.

 

 

Thank You to Media Partners Who Say It’s Hip to Snip!

Media partners help spread the word

media partners high five

High five paw to all of our media partners who helped spread the word during our “It’s Hip to Snip” campaign!

During our “It’s Hip to Snip” campaign, several media partners stepped forward to help spread the word about the importance of spaying and neutering your pet.

Please put your paws together for Clear Channel Outdoor, The Pet Gazette, 98.5 The Sports Hub, WEEI, WRKO, and WZLX for sharing the benefits of spay and neuter for pets, people, and the community with your readers and listeners.

THANK YOU! Your help spreading the word will go along way towards increasing spay/neuter rates in Massachusetts and preventing animal homelessness.

media partners thank you

 

March is Adopt A Rescued Guinea Pig Month!

There’s more than just cats and dogs at ARL shelters

Many people assume that animal shelters only have cats and dogs, but here at the ARL we have a knowledgeable staff and are able to accommodate a variety of animals including guinea pigs.

And they are just waiting for to find their perfect match!

Meet BooBoo, an adorable 5-year-old female guinea pig available for adoption at our Boston shelter. She’s a friendly, but shy gal looking for a family to call her own.

Her two favorite activities?  Sitting on your lap to get a cheek scratch and snacking on tasty salads.

If you’d like to adopt a guinea pig like BooBoo from the ARL, make sure to bring a photo of the cage that your new pet will live in to make sure it’s a good size and shape for a guinea pig.

BooBoo

Adorable BooBoo strikes a pose during her photo shoot.

Just like any other pet, guinea pigs require special care and attention. Familiarizing yourself with their daily and long-term needs before adding one to your family is also an important step in the adoption process.

Learn more about guinea pigs

Guinea pigs can make great companions for both first-time or experienced pet owners, however they require a bit of patience and a gentle hand.

Once they are comfortable with you and their new surroundings, their personalities really shine through!

For more information on BooBoo or any of the other adoptable animals at our Boston shelter, you can speak with our shelter staff by calling (617) 226-5602.  Our shelters are open Tuesday through Sunday 1pm-6:30pm, excluding some holidays.

ADOPT A RESCUE GUINEA PIG MONTH FUN FACT Guinea pigs communicate through a variety of behaviors and sounds. These small animals will make a squealing or whistling sound, for example, to communicate anticipation or excitement–usually before they eat!  Meanwhile, a deep sounding purr indicates your guinea pig is comfortable and content.

 

 

Inside The Mind Of A Shelter Dog

The ARL’s Dot Baisly on working with shelter dogs

Ever wonder what goes on in a shelter dog’s mind? You know, aside from the usual, “When is it time to eat? When can I go outside to play? When is it time to eat….?”

Dot Baisly, the ARL’s new shelter enrichment and behavior manager, may not know exactly what shelter dogs are thinking at all times, but what she does know are the best methods to help them adapt to their new environment and get them ready to find a new home.

The ARL Blog sat down with Dot to learn more about how the ARL approaches shelter dog enrichment and giving potential adopters a profile of a dog’s behavior.

ARL Blog: What are some common behavioral issues that you come across related to shelter dogs and how do you work with them?

DB: The most frequent issue in shelter dogs is over-arousal and “jumpy mouthy” behavior. This issue is common for many reasons, such as lack of stimulation, the animal’s adolescent age, and a lack of proper training.

I like to treat the animal holistically by working to enrich their daily experience while teaching impulse control, and by finding ways to help the dog relax and find a quiet space at least three times a week.

Dot with rooster on her head

Dot Baisly faces every day at the ARL with a positive attitude–and with her party hat (a.k.a. ARL adoptable rooster Leonidas – come meet him at our Dedham shelter!)

ARL Blog: When the ARL does a “behavioral screening” for animals, what exactly does that mean?

DB: Our behavior evaluation process takes in all the information available to us for each animal. When possible, we start with a profile when an owner relinquishes a pet to us. If the animal comes in as a stray, we do everything that we can to gather as much information about an animal’s behavior.

We process all dogs through a systematic behavior evaluation in which the animal is screened for friendliness to humans, excitement levels, fear, aggression, and how well they know cues.

Finally, we gather and report all behavior observed in the shelter and compile this information to best match each individual dog with a new home.

ARL Blog: What is a typical enrichment plan that you give to a shelter dog?

DB: A typical enrichment plan should address the individual needs of each dog. For heavy chewers, for example, we feed them from a toy daily so that food acquisition is a mentally stimulating part of their day.

Basic obedience training is a part of every enrichment plan and quiet time outside of the kennel should happen regularly.

In many cases, we encourage play to learn impulse control and other aspects of interacting with humans.  This can be done with fetch, tug, and other games for the young adolescent dogs in need of physical exercise. When possible, I also include agility, appropriate social interactions with other dogs, and handling/massaging from humans.

 MORE ABOUT DOT – Dot first came to the ARL as an under-grad looking for a part-time job. She found she loved the work so much, she joined us full-time for several years before going back to school for her master’s degree. She operated her own dog training business, through which she continued to work with shelters.

Most recently, Dot worked at the SPCA of Westchester, New York, designing and implementing a volunteer-based dog walking and training program and fulfilling all behavior needs of that shelter.

 

 

Thank You Spring Cat Food Drive Donors!

Excellent turnout to support Boston’s homeless cats

cat food drive

Thank you to everyone who donated cat food during our Spring Cat Food Drive!

Thank you to everyone who dropped off cat food during our Spring cat food drive last weekend!

A steady stream of supporters brought in bags and bags of dry food, and case upon case of wet food to help Boston’s homeless cats.

All cat food donations collected during the drive went directly to feral cat caretakers in Boston.

These caretakers feed feral cats living in areas around the city on a daily basis.  They often cover the cost of providing large quantities of food at their own expense.

Your donations of food last weekend will make a huge difference in caring for animals in your community. 

 

 

Pet Me, I’m Irish!

Find your lucky charm at an ARL Shelter today

All the animals at ARL shelters in Boston, Brewster and Dedham are getting into the St. Paddy’s Day spirit!

If you’re looking for a pet-friendly St. Patrick’s Day activity, visit our adoptable pets at our shelters 1 pm – 6:30 pm and find your lucky charm today. (Green top hat not included.)

Search adoptables

When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  All adoptable animals at the ARL also receive:

  • Spay or neuter services
  • Health screening and veterinary examination
  • Behavior screening and evaluations
  • Vaccinations and flea/tick/mite treatment
  • Microchip identification and registration
St. Patrick's Day cat

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from everyone at the Animal Rescue League! ARL adoptable Henry (pictured above) doing his best leprechaun impression.

Speaking of pet-friendly holidays, St. Patrick’s Day is most definitely a festive celebration of Irish culture, music, and the opportunity to dress up in bright green and shamrock prints. (Read: fun!) As with any holiday though, remember to take precautions with food and libations which may not be safe for pets to ingest.

If you plan to celebrate the holiday in a home where a pet resides, keep in mind three safety guidelines to ensure that everyone has a good time:

  1. Keep the leash.  If your dog is a genuinely friendly, relaxed, confident and calm dog with familiar and unfamiliar people, things and dogs, maybe he could be included in St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Still, it’s best to keep your dog leash. The smell of food, a large group of people, and other excited pets can easily overstimulate a dog, increasing the potential for poor behavior and bites.
  2. Watch the secret sippers.  Alcohol is poisonous to cats, dogs, and other animals and can lead to severe illness or death.  Do not leave alcoholic bottles, cans, etc. on the floor or in reach of a pet. Although the container may seem empty, even ingesting trace amounts can cause illness in animals.  If you suspect that a pet may have ingested alcohol, look for the following symptoms and seek emergency medical treatment: excessive drooling, retching, vomiting, stomach distension, elevated heart rate, weakness, low blood pressure, hypothermia, or coma.
  3. Beware the sneaky eaters.  We’ve all had it happen—turn your back for just a second and your pet starts to eat the food right off your plate!  Keep food and snacks out of paws reach because many party foods can be hazardous to cats and dogs.  Though you might be tempted to share your St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage with your furry friend, keep in mind corned beef contains a high amount of sodium, which isn’t good for cats or dogs.  Onions—a frequent ingredient in many corned beef and cabbage recipes—can also damage a cat’s red blood cells, restricting their capacity to carry oxygen effectively.

Wishing you and your pets a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day!

 

ARL Assisting Bridgewater PD Dog Investigation

Providing Forensic Assistance in Breaking Case

Bridgewater Police today release information about two deceased pit bull-type dogs found on Sunday, March 15, by a local resident out walking his dogs.   Both dogs had wounds on different parts of their bodies that could be consistent with dog fighting, though their origin has not yet been confirmed.

The Police turned to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL)  for forensic assistance to determine potential causes of the wounds.  The ARL will provide findings from the necropsy of the two dogs to the Bridgewater Police within the next several days.

In the meantime, anyone with information about this case should immediately contact the Bridgewater Police Department at (508) 697-6118.

SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING – Because 4 out of 5 cases of animal cruelty go undiscovered, the public plays a critical role in prevention.  Thank you to the concerned citizen who contacted police after finding the two deceased dogs.

You saw something.  You said something.  And it made a difference in your community.