ARL Takes in Kittens from Irma-Impacted Florida Shelter

On Thursday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) received an emergency transport of 10 kittens from the Palm Beach, FL-based Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, who was directly impacted by Hurricane Irma.

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An ARL new edition.

In the days following both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, ARL has been in constant contact with individual shelters as well our national partners, and has made it known that if animals need to be transported from Texas, Florida, or other areas, ARL will make space available.

 

“By taking in these animals who were in Peggy Adams’ shelter, it allows that organization to open up space to be able to assist stray, hurt or abandoned animals that need treatment and shelter in the wake of the storm,” said Caitlin Tomlinson, ARL’s Associate Director of Shelter Operations.

ARL recently partnered with Peggy Adams in a transport of 60 kittens in August, and was happy to be involved in the organization’s transport of about 100 animals to the Northeast. As cleanup efforts continue in all the storm-ravaged areas, ARL may be taking in more animals in the days and weeks ahead.

The kittens will undergo medical evaluations, and should be available to find forever homes by early next week.

 

September is Emergency Preparedness Month

Ensuring Your Pets are Included in Emergency Plans

September is Emergency Preparedness Month in Massachusetts, and as part of this important campaign, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to remind the public that pets need to be included as a part of planning for any natural or man-made disaster. Massachusetts is susceptible to hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards, and a number of other potential emergency situations. Experts say that being prepared is always the best way to endure any emergency.

When it comes to pets, it starts with having a sturdy and comfortable crate at the ready, should the need to transport your animal arise. Additionally, your pets need a go-bag to make sure they’re taken care of. The bag should be waterproof, and contain necessities for your animals including:

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A sample emergency kit.

  •         Several days’ worth of food and water
  •         Portable food and water bowls
  •         A manual can opener and utensils
  •         Kitty litter and disposable litter boxes, newspaper, potty pads
  •         Trash bags, paper towels and other pet sanitation needs
  •         Pet first-aid kit
  •         Collar with ID tags
  •         Extra leashes
  •         Grooming items
  •         Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof bag
  •         Toys and treats
  •         Bedding

Preparing this kit is also an opportunity to ensure that your pet’s microchip information is correct and up-to-date. Additionally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests carrying a picture of you with your pet, just in case you become separated.

Preparedness is responsible pet ownership!

 

Hoarding Update: 25 Days, 112 Animals

ARL Veterinary and Shelter Staff Taking Extraordinary Measures

The month of August proved to be unprecedented for veterinary and shelter staff at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). In just 25 days, 112 animals were removed from several different hoarding situations, 62 cats on one property alone. In the weeks that have followed, incredible measures have been taken to ensure the animals are safe and on a path to good overall health.

Nearly 40 cats are currently in isolation for treatment of zoonotic fungal infections, and must be handled delicately. Fulfilling basic tasks for the animals i.e. feeding, cleaning litter boxes and cages, requires Tyvek haz-mat suits, gloves, masks and other safety precautions. The treatment is extensive, and may last up to six weeks.

“It involves twice weekly baths, daily oral medications, and weekly fungal cultures,” said ARL veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley. “This process will need to continue for at least 30 days and may take longer to clear the infection.”

ARL’s MASH Unit

At least 15 cats that were removed were community or under-socialized outdoor cats. These cats had to be trapped and removed from the property by ARL due to the conditions on the property. While these cats had not been diagnosed with a fungal infection, ARL veterinary staff had to consider that they were exposed to it. Posing less of a risk to animals and people if they were spayed/neutered and released as quickly as possible, special arrangements needed to be made.

To eliminate the threat of spreading any possible infection, an outdoor spay and neuter clinic was set up at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center. Utilizing a simple camping tent, Dr. Quigley and staff examined, and spayed/neutered the cats. The animals were also given flea treatments and deworming medication. The MASH-type clinic reflects the challenges ARL staff has been presented with in treating these animals.

“Performing these surgeries in a tent isn’t exactly unorthodox, but it does present challenges,” Dr. Quigley said. “The outdoor process takes more than twice as many people as an indoor facility and requires extensive personal protection and disinfection protocols. The tent and any items that were not able to be sanitized were discarded at the end of the day.”

A Life-Saving Approach

For many years, shelters have had to make tough decisions regarding animals diagnosed with or exposed to fungal infections. These decisions have historically been life or death. Unfortunately, cats were often euthanized due to the risk to other animals, people, and the cost associated with treatment. ARL has decided to take another approach — a life-saving approach.

“ARL is treating nearly 40 cats for this infection, and all of these efforts take an extraordinary amount of time and resources,” Dr. Quigley said. “Staff and volunteers must wear personal protection to limit their exposure to the fungus and we must take every precaution not to expose healthy animals in our care. Our dedicated staff and volunteers must spend countless hours working with these cats to give them the best quality of life whey they’re in our shelter, and the best chances we can provide them to find new homes after treatment — that is our charge and one we take very seriously.”

Your Support is Critical

As stated above, caring for these animals has required extraordinary measures, and will also require an enormous time and financial commitment. We need your help. By donating today, you will help:

  •       Support our special investigations and on-going rescue efforts
  •       Provide sanctuary and continued, extended care for these animals
  •       Help rehabilitate and prepare these animals for adoption

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes. Our mission is made possible by your generosity and on behalf of every animal ARL serves — WE THANK YOU.

 

Update: Ted Williams Tunnel Kitten Does Not Need Quarantine Period

“Ted” Currently in Foster Care

When Ted was rescued from the Ted Williams Tunnel during Labor Day Weekend, injuries to his tail suggested that he was headed toward a four-month rabies quarantine period due to a wound of unknown origin. That however is no longer the case.

Ted did indeed suffer an injury to his tail, which needed to be amputated, but while he was under anesthesia, it was determined that no quarantine was necessary. That being said, Ted is currently not up for adoption, he is in foster care to work on his social skills.

While still a little fearful following his ordeal, Ted is doing well and will be up for adoption soon — stay tuned for updates!

ORIGINAL POST: 

For the second time this summer, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) joined forces with the Massachusetts State Police to save the life of a kitten on the side of a busy Massachusetts highway.

In June it was along Route 128 near Canton, over Labor Day Weekend, it was on the westbound side of the Ted Williams Tunnel.

State Police received a number of calls from passing motorists concerned about the little grey kitten who was seen wandering along the side of the road. Surveillance cameras zeroed in on the wayward kitty, giving Troopers a better idea of where he was located inside the 8,448-foot long tunnel. Once on-scene, Troopers closed one lane of traffic to keep not only the kitten safe, but ARL’s Assoc. Director of Law Enforcement Darleen Wood safe as well when she arrived to rescue the little guy. The rescue unfolded as a game of hide-and-seek.

“The kitten was roaming in and out between barriers along the side of the tunnel,” Wood said. “I was able to get on the service walkway above the barriers so he didn’t know I was there. When he stuck his head out, I was able to grab him by the scruff and bring him to safety.”

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A spitfire, but he is adorable and friendly!

The rescue of Ted has made him a national star, as media outlets throughout the United States have covered this mischievous kitten’s journey from one Boston icon (Ted Williams Tunnel) to another (Animal Rescue League of Boston).

Medical Evaluation

The 12-week-old kitten was brought to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center where he was evaluated by shelter veterinary staff. Aside from being dehydrated and hungry, Ted also had visible injuries. His tail was void of fur, and the tail itself was described as being “necrotic and mummified” meaning that the injury likely happened several weeks prior to his rescue. Because of the condition of the tail, it will need to be amputated. Ted also had some fur loss around his left ear, indicating another injury that may have been caused by an altercation with another animal.

Because it is currently unknown how these injuries were sustained, Ted will be neutered, have his tail amputated, and then be placed into a four-month rabies quarantine, which is required by state law.

It should be noted that this past year Governor Charlie Baker changed state regulations to reduce rabies quarantine periods from six months to four. ARL lobbied for and strongly supported this change.

Because of the potential for a four-month quarantine, Ted is NOT currently available for adoption, and cannot be visited by members of the general public.

Thank You

ARL would like to thank the Massachusetts State Police for collaborating on another successful rescue operation, as well as all the passing drivers who alerted authorities of the situation. ARL’s rescue and law enforcement work depends upon the compassion of citizens who want to help animals in need. By phoning or emailing tips, you help save lives!

 

ARL Transports 60 Kittens from Overcrowded Florida Rescue Organization

“Sunshine Kitties” Travel in Style

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) rescued 60 kittens from a Palm Beach, Florida rescue organization, an operation that had been several months in the making.

What made this transport unique? Besides the sheer number of kittens, these felines traveled in style — aboard a Falcon 900 private jet! It’s the third Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League to the Northeast since June, and the flights have been made possible through that organization’s donors.

ARL joined other organizations at Logan International Airport to pick up the jet-setting kitties, and begin finding them loving homes. Click here to see video of the transport!

Why Transport?

Across the Commonwealth there’s an estimated 700,000 cats that are roaming free, 70,000 in Boston alone. ARL is the first animal welfare organization in Massachusetts to hire a dedicated rescue agent to work specifically with community cats. Deploying a trap-neuter-return (TNR) strategy, ARL is working to decrease the numbers of homeless cats, and to date the program has rescued more than 250 kittens and cats.

Despite these ongoing efforts, there is still a high demand for kittens, due to the success and availability of affordable spay and neuter programs, such as ARL’s Spay Waggin’. Other areas of the country, including Palm Beach, FL, are inundated with animals and need to transport to organizations like ARL to reduce their numbers and allow them to help more animals in need.

This year alone, ARL will transport an estimated 400-500 animals!

Ready to go Home

Per state mandate, the kittens were placed in isolation for 48 hours, were evaluated medically, and are now available for adoption! The kittens will be divided between ARL’s Boston, Brewster and Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Centers. Stop by today, or check our adoption page to find your perfect match!

 

Animal Hoarding: 10 Days, 80 Animals

Please Consider Helping Animals in Need

In the past two weeks, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has rescued 80 cats and dogs from hoarding situations in the central and southern parts of Massachusetts.

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, and we have the expertise needed to address the complexities of animal hoarding BUT we are only able to answer the call for help because of YOU.

And these animals desperately need you now.

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Just two of the nearly 50 cats removed from a recent hoarding situation.

Animals removed from hoarding situations face a number of challenges, including severe health and behavioral issues. By donating today you will help:

  • Support our special investigations and on-going rescue efforts
  • Provide sanctuary for the sudden influx of animals
  • Provide much needed medical care (wellness exams, treatment for respiratory infections and zoonotic disease, dental procedures)
  • Help rehabilitate and prepare these animals for adoption

Please consider making a gift today to support these animals and the on-going work that’s being done by ARL to combat animal hoarding and rescue animals from unhealthy and hazardous conditions.

ARL’s Law Enforcement Department is here to help, and if you know of or suspect a hoarding situation you can call 617-226-5610 or email cruelty@arlboston.org.

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Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) Removes 25 Dogs from Hoarding Situation

Animal abuse is cruel – but it is not always intentional – It can be a sign or product of Human illness

ARL’s Law Enforcement Department is committed to preventing animal cruelty, neglect and suffering in Massachusetts. This is achieved in numerous forms: from citations and filing animal cruelty charges, to working with, and educating pet owners. The latter played a large role during a recent hoarding incident.

Assisting local officials, ARL Law Enforcement recently removed 25 dogs from a Central Massachusetts property, which are now in the care of ARL. DUE TO THE SENSITIVE NATURE OF THE CASE, ARL WILL NOT BE RELEASING THE LOCATION OR NAMES OF THE PARTIES INVOLVED.

In this particular case, there were no signs of intentional or egregious levels of neglect or abuse; due to extenuating circumstances the animal owners were simply overwhelmed.

Hoarding situations are delicate, and ARL’s law enforcement officers recognize that compassion must be given to both the animal and human players involved.

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One of 25 dogs removed from hoarding situation.

“Any time we have a hoarding case, we are cognizant to both the animal concentration and the owner awareness,” said Darleen Wood, ARL’s Associate Director of Law Enforcement. “As much as we consider the mental and emotional state of each animal, we duplicate this concern for the animal owner. We do not approach any of these cases with judgement or insolence and each case is unique and each animal owner requires individualistic services which could include elderly, veterans or addiction services.”

Along with contacting human service agencies, ARL Law Enforcement has also coordinated an effort to help the animal owners clean up their property in order to retain ownership of several dogs.

Animal Hoarding Explained

Animal hoarding is a serious, yet under-recognized community issue in Massachusetts that is responsible for extensive animal suffering. It can often be associated with adult self-neglect and/or mental illness, and animal hoarding can also put children, the elderly, dependent adults, property, and public health at risk. Unfortunately, the hoarding situations that ARL encounters are becoming more frequent, and increasingly complex.

Animal hoarders typically fall into one of the three following groups:

  1. Overwhelmed caregivers are often well-intentioned in their behavior and experience a steady decline in animal caretaking ability due to changes in financial or medical circumstances.
  2. Rescue hoarders are those who acquire animals due to their strong sense of mission to save animals from death or other circumstance and will not seek the assistance of animal welfare agencies or authorities.
  3. Exploiter hoarders acquire animals to serve their own needs and lack guilt and remorse for the harm that their actions may cause animals or other humans.

The four main characteristics of animal hoarding are:

  1. Failure to provide minimal standards of sanitation, space, nutrition, and veterinary care for animals.
  2. Inability to recognize the effects of this failure on the welfare of the animals, humans in the household, and environment.
  3. Obsessive attempts to accumulate/maintain a collection of animals in the face of progressively deteriorating conditions.
  4. Denial or minimization of problems and living conditions for people and animals.

ARL’s Law Enforcement Department is here to help, and if you know of or suspect a hoarding situation you can call 617-226-5610 or email cruelty@arlboston.org.

Support ARL’s Law Enforcement Efforts

In 2016, ARL’s Law Enforcement Department inspected nearly 2,300 kennels, farms and pet shops; assisted 151 local police and state agencies; prosecuted 68 individuals involved or accused of animal cruelty/neglect; and was the lead agency on the Northeast’s largest animal cruelty case in Westport, MA, which involved more than 1,400 animals.

ARL does receive any government funding and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to continue our important work. Please donate today to help animals in need!

 

ARL Receives Second Puerto Rico Puppy Transport

“Satos” in Need of Good Homes

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) received its second transport of puppies from All Sato Rescue, a Puerto Rico-based rescue organization.

Ten adorable and energetic mixed-breed pups are now in the process of being evaluated medically, and will soon be available for adoption.

“Sato” is a Puerto Rican slang term for a mixed-breed dog — or mutt. Puerto Rico has an immense population of homeless dogs, nearly 100,000 according to some estimates, and All Sato Rescue is dedicated to getting these dogs off the streets and into loving homes. A lack of spay and neuter programs and economic hardship are just some of the reasons that account for the staggering number of homeless animals on the island. The 10 puppies which arrived this week are sure to be adopted quickly, and are sure to make wonderful pets.

Why Transport?

In the Northeast, affordable spay and neuter services, like ARL’s Spay Waggin’, are readily available, and animal welfare organizations like ARL have educated the public about the importance of having animals spayed or neutered. Given those efforts, there is a large demand for puppies. What makes transport programs like this so impactful is that it allows ARL to broaden its reach in helping animals in need, helps fill the demand for puppies, and allows organizations like All Sato Rescue to continue their important work.

Additionally, ARL also transports puppies from the Southern region of the United States, where there are also high numbers of homeless animals. This year alone ARL anticipates that more than 400 dogs will be transported to our shelters!

Saving Lives

The Animal Rescue League of Boston is an unwavering champion for animals in need, and remember that when you adopt you save not one but two lives — the animal you adopt, and the animal that can take its place. Whether it’s a puppy, adult dog, kitten, adult cat or small animal, ARL’s staff and volunteers at its Boston, Brewster or Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Centers are there to answer your questions to ensure that the life you save is the right animal for you and your family.

 

 

Update: Maybelle’s Weight Loss Journey Continues

Pot-Bellied Pig Losing Inches

When we last checked in with Maybelle the pot-bellied pig in July, her waist measured 48 inches, or 4 feet round! In the past month, Maybelle has made significant improvements, but still has a long way to go to get back to an ideal weight. In her latest measurement by Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center staff, Maybelle has lost two inches, and the weight loss is certainly noticeable — but that’s not all.

“Her skin is healthier and not as tight,” said Dr. Kate Gollon, ARL Shelter Veterinarian. “She is more willing to walk around on all four feet rather than on her wrists and appears more comfortable overall. Previously when she walked, her belly would drag along the ground and get chaffed, but now she has some clearance, which is further evidence of her weight loss.”

When Maybelle first came to ARL several months ago, she weighed 196 pounds and could barely stand, let alone walk; and her overgrown hooves were causing severe discomfort. She was also so obese that a roll of fat covered her eyes, impacting her vision.

Now she is moving easier, there’s less discomfort, and we are even starting to see her eyes!

ARL’s veterinary staff want Maybelle to lose weight safely — meaning it will be a slow and steady process. She is still receiving six small meals a day and has drastically reduced her caloric intake. Maybelle still has approximately 60 more pounds to lose and is still unable to move around well enough to get outside, but that’s expected to be the next step in her rehabilitation so stay tuned!

Extended Care and Wish List

It’s expected that Maybelle’s weight loss and rehabilitation will take up to a year, meaning she will be in the care of ARL much longer than a typical shelter animal. From food and shelter, to on-going veterinary care, costs to take care of Maybelle will run in the thousands. ARL does not receive government funding, and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to care for animals in need like Maybelle. Please donate today to help Maybelle and animals like her.

If you can’t donate, you can still help this sweet girl along her journey. Like many human diets, Maybelle needs her vegetables — and loves celery. We also want to keep her comfortable, and proper skin care can go a long way in that regard. ARL staff brushes Maybelle with Vitamin E oil, which she seems to enjoy, and her skin looks much healthier. So if you’re near ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, feel free to drop off any of the above items, and help Maybelle during her life-saving journey!

 

Boston Mayor Issues Important Reminder Following Tragic Dog Death

When the Temperature Rises — It’s Too Hot for Spot

Following the tragic and senseless death of a dog left in a hot car in Jamaica Plain on Tuesday, animal advocates, fellow animal welfare organizations, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh are joining the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) in reminding the public that leaving an animal in a hot car isn’t just a health hazard — it’s also illegal in Massachusetts.

“It is terrible to lose an animal under such preventable circumstances,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in a statement to ARL. “As we close out the final weeks of summer, I remind all Bostonians to never leave pets alone in the car, especially on a hot day. If you see an animal locked in a car and are not able to immediately locate the owner, please call 911. You could help save a life.”

The investigation is ongoing, however officials believe the dog’s owner left the animal alone, in a pickup truck with California tags, for the better part of three hours. Despite the valiant efforts of first responders, the dog was unable to be saved.

While New England is in the height of summer, it’s important to remember that with temperatures even below 80 degrees, the threat for heat stroke still exists. Pets don’t sweat like humans do, making them unable to cool their bodies off efficiently in the heat.

Keep your pet safe and healthy by following these important guidelines:

  •   Prevention is always your best bet. Whenever possible, leave your pet at home in a low humidity and temperature-controlled room.
  •   If your pet must be outdoors, find a shady spot with ample air flow to prevent overheating.
  •   Hydration. This is key, so keep a bowl of cold water accessible at all times.
  •   Exercise wisely. Limit exercise to the morning or evening hours when temperatures are at their coolest.
  •   Never leave your pet alone in a parked car. When the outside temperature is just 80 degrees, inside a parked car, the temperature can rise to more than 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, leaving your pet susceptible to deadly heat stroke.

Too Hot for Spot Legislation

With the passage of S. 2369 in November, 2016, it is now illegal in Massachusetts to confine any animal in a vehicle when extreme heat or cold could be dangerous to the health and well-being of the animal. The law also allows Animal Control Officers, law enforcement officer and firefighters the legal right to enter a vehicle to retrieve an animal in danger. Regular citizens can also act to save an animal in danger, however only after making a reasonable effort to locate the owner, and contacting first responders. Pet owners can be cited up to $500 and face possible forfeiture of the animal.

Spread the Word

This tragic death certainly could have been avoided, and prevention is a part of responsible pet ownership. Never leave your animal in a hot car, and if you see an animal in distress, take action by contacting your local authorities immediately.