Previous owner charged with animal cruelty
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is caring for a pair of dogs at its Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center that were relinquished by their previous owner, who’s now facing animal cruelty charges.
“Ace” and “Bentley” came to ARL through the Rochester, MA, animal control officer who suspected that the dogs had been fed inadequately. Both dogs were malnourished, however the condition of one of the dogs was particularly appalling.
Weighing just 20 pounds, Bentley is on a regimented diet to gain weight slowly and safely.
Two-year-old Bentley was severely dehydrated and emaciated, weighing just 20 pounds (according to veterinary records he weighed approximately 50 pounds in 2017). Bentley’s body condition score was 1-2 out of 9, and he also has a number of scars on his face and ears. Nine-year-old Ace fared slightly better, while showing signs of malnourishment, his body condition is close to normal.
According to ARL’s shelter veterinary staff, barring any unexpected complications, Bentley and Ace are expected to make a full recovery and have a second chance at life.
Both animals are settling into their new surroundings and will be on a closely monitored feeding schedule to promote safe and steady weight gain.
As they recuperate ARL staff and volunteers will work with the animals to ensure they are socialized and able to shed the fear and anxiety of such a taxing situation.
Per Sgt. Robert Small of the Rochester Police Department:
On February 21, 2018 an alert utility worker called Rochester police and reported that she had seen two malnourished dogs in a home on New Bedford Rd. Police officers responded to the home as well as Animal Control officers. The officers found the dogs were locked in the home and appeared to be severely malnourished. The conditions were very unsanitary and the officers reported an extreme odor of animal urine and feces was detected from the driveway. The home appeared otherwise vacant and no food or water was available.
The resident was contacted and returned to the house. The interior conditions were deplorable and contained a substantial amount of animal waste. Officers took custody of the dogs and Animal Control officers brought them for immediate medical treatment.
The owner of the dogs has been charged with two counts of Animal Cruelty and two counts of Failing to License a Dog.
Anyone who’s cared for a puppy knows how cute they can be – but they can also be mischievous and challenging! Curious by nature, puppies can get into things they shouldn’t and chew whatever comes in range of their mouths.
For Finn, an 11-month-old Boxer-mix, his curiosity almost cost him his life.
When he was brought to Boston Veterinary Care (BVC), he hadn’t eaten for several days, was lethargic, dehydrated, and an examination showed some sort of obstruction lodged in his intestinal tract.
He needed surgery immediately, but the procedure was cost-prohibitive for Finn’s owner. His owner applied and was approved for the Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund, and Finn was sedated and taken into surgery.
An incision into his stomach revealed a pom-pom from a winter hat was blocking the outflow tract from the stomach. While the pom-pom was removed, a second obstruction, likely another piece of the winter hat, was found further down in his small intestines. This blockage was more serious and had caused a 12-inch section of the intestines to die and rupture.
The section of intestines was resected, and due to the extensive surgery, when Finn awoke he was in pain and his body temperature was too low. Finn was transferred to Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment & Specialties in Walpole for overnight care and pain management.
Ready for a recheck and removal of his cone!
Showing his appreciation to BVC staff.
Chewed up pieces of a winter hat nearly cost Finn his life.
Extensive surgery at BVC and two days at an outside facility gave Finn back his life.
Finn's nearly ,000 treatment was covered by the Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund.
He was successfully discharged two days later, and Finn is back to his energetic self! The nearly $4,000 treatment was covered by the Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund and Finn’s owner was overjoyed and thankful for the assistance and to have her beloved companion be healthy once again.
“It was a grueling surgery, but Finn showed his strength, and it’s wonderful to see how he’s recovered and will go on to lead a healthy life,” said BVC Lead Veterinarian, Dr. Nicole Breda.
The Alice T. Whitney Fund gives homeless animals and family pets the chance to heal — see how you can help today!
Dental Health Month at BVC
February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and through the end of the month BVC is offering a free dental exam, toothbrush, and toothpaste with every wellness exam. Additionally, BVC offers a free pet exam for first time clients.
BVC is the clinic with a mission – as all profits benefit shelter animals of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). BVC offers a number of high-quality outpatient services, click here to find out more!
Some of Old San Juan’s Most Famous Residents Finding Homes in Boston
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is broadening its reach in Puerto Rico by partnering with Save a Gato, a nonprofit group dedicated to rescuing cats in Old San Juan; the partnership began with a transport of nine cats this past week.
Once at ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center, the cats were placed under a state-mandated 48-hour quarantine period, given thorough examinations, vaccinations, spayed or neutered, and microchipped. From there, the gatos were made available for adoption, and to no surprise have been adopted very quickly.
An Internationally Known Colony
Save a Gato manages cat colonies throughout Old San Juan, including along the Paseo Del Morro – a trail that once serviced as a maintenance road for the massive stone protective walls of the city that date back to the 1630s.
For visitors to the National Recreational Trail, the numerous cats along the route are part of the experience, and many say that some of the cats are actual descendants of the original cats who came on ships when the first Spanish settlers came to the island.
To see video of one of the adorable gatos, click here!
Gatos and Satos
Along with Save a Gato, in 2017 ARL began its partnership with All Sato Rescue, and has transported dozens of dogs from the island, including an emergency transport of pups following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
There is an abundance of homeless animals in Puerto Rico. These transports allow ARL to supplement the number of animals the organization takes in locally, while giving our partner organizations the ability to continue their important work and make room for more animals in need.
Additionally, ARL receives monthly transports of puppies and dogs from Brother Wolf Animal Rescue and Alexander County Animal Services – both based in North Carolina.
ARL-Boston Reminds Public to Take Action when Seeing an Animal in Distress
With New England still in the grips of a brutal winter, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to remind the public to be mindful and to take action when seeing an animal in distress.
Such actions recently helped save the life of a female stray cat in Dorchester.
The Good Samaritan got a backyard surprise when pulling off the cover to an outdoor grill. Underneath was a shivering cat who was trying to get out of the cold and hadn’t been seen in the neighborhood before. The cat had suffered a devastating injury to her front left leg, and was very thin. Concerned for the animal, the resident took the cat in and contacted ARL Rescue Services.
Upon arrival at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, an examination by ARL veterinary staff noted that many of the cat’s toes on her left front leg were missing and the bones of her paw were exposed; a condition that was causing the animal severe pain. Additionally she was also dehydrated, anemic, severely underweight, and had an upper respiratory infection.
The cat, later named “Addie”, underwent amputation surgery this past week, is ravenously eating to put on weight, and is making continuous progress. She’s incredibly friendly and will be available for adoption when she’s back to 100 percent.
Addie upon arrival in Dedham. She had a devastating leg injury and needed surgery.
Dr. Kate Gollon follows up with Addie post-surgery.
Addie is adjusting well, putting on weight and getting better by the day.
Addie will soon be available for adoption!
“Considering her situation, she’s doing remarkably well,” said Dr. Kate Gollon, ARL Community and Shelter Veterinarian. “When she came to ARL she weighed about half what a cat her age should weigh and she’s already put on half a pound, so she’s definitely trending in the right direction.
Addie’s case serves as a reminder that if the public spots an animal in distress, calling ARL Rescue Services at 617-426-9170 or local animal control can be the difference in an animal’s demise or survival.
5 reasons why you should spay/neuter your pet
During National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month this February, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) reminds the public that pet overpopulation is a real issue, however, there are steps us humans can take to curb this problem.
“There are too many cat and dogs in our communities that don’t have homes,” explains Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare & Veterinary Services. “Every year, animal shelters like the ARL are inundated with stray and surrendered puppies and kittens that are the result of unplanned litters.”
In fact, national studies have found that amongst pet owners who indicate that their pets had at least one litter, 59% of cat owners and 38% of dog owners described the litter as “unintentional” or “accidental.”
Dr. Schettino believes that one reason that pet owners choose not to spay or neuter their pet is misconceptions about the low-risk surgery. “If we can increase spay and neuter rates, we can help prevent pet overpopulation.”
In addition to the benefits to the community, here are 5 more reasons why you should spay/neuter your pet:
1. Cost Savings. The cost of caring for an unplanned litter of puppies or kittens far outweighs the cost of having a pet spayed or neutered. The good news – there are many affordable and free options in Massachusetts!
2. Reducing Spraying. Neutering resolves the vast majority of marking behaviors—even when a cat has a long-standing habit. Other nuisance behaviors such as howling in cats and excessive barking in dogs eases and even disappears after surgery.
3. Stopping Scuffles. According to the National Canine Research Foundation, approximately 92% of fatal dog attacks involved male dogs, 94% of which were not neutered. Neutering male dogs and cats reduces their urge to roam and fight with other males.
4. Extending Life Span. The USA Today reports neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered males, and spayed females live 23% longer than unspayed females.
5. Long-Term Health Safeguard. Neutering male cats and dogs before six months of age prevents testicular cancer. Spaying female cats and dogs before their first heat offers protection from uterine infections and breast cancer.
ARL offers a number of spay and neuter services and programs, including the Spay Waggin’ and the Healthy Moms, Happy Litters Program.
A life-threatening infection and a life-saving surgery
Recently, the family of three-year-old Mica noticed she was lethargic, not eating, and her abdomen was distended. Alarmed, they brought her to Boston Veterinary Care (BVC), and just in the nick of time.
An examination and x-ray confirmed that Mica was suffering from pyometra — a uterine infection that requires immediate attention. If left untreated, a uterine rupture would spread the infection into the abdominal cavity, and spell certain death. While not an uncommon condition, Mica’s case was severe.
“This was the worst case of pyometra I’ve seen in a cat,” said BVC Lead Veterinarian Dr. Nicole Breda. “Mica was close to rupture and needed surgery to remove the uterus and the infection, and to save her life.”
Quick action led to a successful surgery, and in the process Mica lost a third of her body weight. Mica weighed nine pounds upon check-in, and the removed infected area weighed an astonishing three pounds! With the crisis averted, Mica has her life back and is back home where she belongs.
Mica before surgery -- notice her enlarged abdomen.
Post surgery -- the infection is removed, and in the process, Mica lost a third of her body weight!
“She’s doing well, her owner is so grateful to BVC for saving Mica’s life, and she will go onto have a nice long and healthy life,” Dr. Breda said.
Located in Boston’s South End, BVC is the clinic with a mission — all profits benefit ARL’s shelter animals.
Along with a FREE wellness exam for new clients, BVC offers a variety of high-quality outpatient services including:
Wellness examinations and vaccinations
- Dental care
- Senior pet care
- Advanced diagnostics
- Radiology/diagnostic imaging
A trip to the vet can be stressful for any animal, but particularly for cats. That’s why BVC also offers a cats-only night every Tuesday! Schedule your cat’s exam for after 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and enjoy a dog-free waiting room — less stress for you and your feline friend!
To schedule an appointment call (617) 226-5605, or email email@example.com.
James Starting Physical Therapy
For humans, knee surgery is a common procedure due to injury or sometimes with age; for one cat who recently came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), knee surgery wound up saving his leg, and possibly his life.
When one-year-old James was brought to ARL’s Community Surgical Clinic, his physical exam revealed muscle wasting on his hind limbs, which caused concern for ARL veterinary staff.
“His legs were skinny, and it was also noted that one of his patellas (knee caps) was out of place,” said ARL Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Kate Gollon.
Medially luxating patellas are common in dogs, but relatively rare in cats. The condition can be quite painful, drastically limiting movement and in some cases causing lameness and muscle wasting.
James was facing two options: amputation or surgery. ARL veterinary staff saw amputation as a last resort, and did not want to remove a limb from the handsome Havana Brown cat, so opted for surgery.
The procedure, which was performed at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, called a trochlear block recession, essentially deepens the groove where the patella normally sits, and is then secured in place by tightening the connective tissues around it.
James came to ARL as a Community Cat. He needed knee surgery to save his leg and regain normal function.
Checking to see if patella is in proper place.
Like humans, James is going to need physical therapy.
While in foster care, he will undergo daily exercises to build strength and agility.
Although still walking with a noticeable limp, James is able to put more weight on his leg with each passing day!
Just like when humans have knee surgery, James also needs to undergo physical therapy to strengthen his knee to be able to regain full use of his leg. James’ foster parents are performing a number of exercises with James every day to build strength and agility.
He continues to make noticeable progress by being able to put more weight on the leg, and will be made available for adoption when he is back to 100 percent.
Why Your Support Matters
Being a Community Cat and given his condition, it’s likely James would not have been able to survive living on the streets, and through ARL’s Community Cat Initiative and surgical clinic, James was able to be rescued and receive the medical treatment needed to ensure a long, healthy, and happy life. ARL receives no government funding, and relies on the generosity of individuals like you to make these programs possible, so THANK YOU for affording ARL the opportunity to help yet another animal in need!
Animals Doing Well in the Wake of Trauma
This past weekend, a horrific barn fire in Holliston tragically claimed the lives of dozens of animals. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) responded to assist Holliston’s Animal Control Officer and first responders on-scene in rounding up surviving animals who scattered once they were freed from the barn.
ARL rescued and transported six chickens, four ducks, and two rabbits to its Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center. Additionally, three piglets were rescued and brought to a partner organization for treatment of minor burns and smoke inhalation.
Four ducks stick together in their new surroundings.
ARL rescued 6 chickens, 4 ducks, and 2 rabbits from the devastation.
Despite the trauma, the animals appear to be in good health.
The animals are being the care and support they need in the wake of trauma.
The animals have been given shelter, food, water and physical examinations by ARL veterinary staff and despite the trauma, are doing well and adjusting to their new environment. The survivors will be with ARL for as long as they need to be and will receive the ongoing compassionate care and treatment they need to continue to thrive.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
ARL in the News
ARL’s collaborative efforts to save these animals has garnered much attention from national and local media including: WCVB, WFXT, the Boston Herald, Metro West Daily News, among many others.
Bill Aims to Stiffen and Modernize Illegal Hunting Penalties
The Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed proposed legislation aimed to protect wildlife by increasing penalties and measures to stop illegal hunting, or poaching, in the state. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has publicly advocated for the measure since its filing in January of 2017.
Many of the state’s current poaching penalties are about a century out of date, and S. 2248, an Act Further Regulating the Enforcement of Illegal Hunting Practices, would modernize the current antiquated legislation. This bill would bring penalties in line with other states, elevating fines, jail time, and hunting and fishing license suspensions for certain crimes, including the commercialization of fish and wildlife.
Additionally the legislation would bring Massachusetts into the Interstate Law Enforcement Compact. Currently Massachusetts is one of only three states that is not a member of the network which has been helping wildlife agencies increase compliance with wildlife laws for 25 years.
With passage in the Senate, the bill will now go to the House. ARL would like to thank Senate bill sponsor Senator Mike Moore and House bill sponsors, Representatives Ann-Margaret Ferrante, Lori Ehrlich, and Cory Atkins for all their hard work and dedication.
ARL is dedicated to preventing animal cruelty and neglect by strengthening law and public policy, and continues to be a voice for domesticated animals and wildlife in need. Please view our current Legislative Agenda, and we urge you to contact your representatives and encourage them to help further animal protection policy in Massachusetts.
Serving thousands of animals annually, at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) we see it all. From tribulation to triumph, here are some of the stories that stood out in 2017.
2017 Terrific Transformations
2017 Top Animal Rescues
2017 Top Animal Protection Stories
2017 Animal Transports
2017 Social Media Sensations