Blind and Deaf Cat Learns to Trust Again

All thanks to YOUR support, Bella found a new life when it seemed hopeless for her

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Blind and deaf, Bella was locked in a camper in the summer heat. She had no one to hear her yowls and cries for help. As the temperature rose, her hopes faded.

Fortunately, Bella was one of the over 1,400 animals that ARL helped rescue from a tenant farm in Westport, MA this past July. Though this horrific case displayed many examples of animal and human resiliency, Bella’s story is one of the most unique…

When she first came to ARL, Bella cowered from people. Brief moments of peace often ended abruptly in fits of confusion and fear. She had no reason to trust people, after all, and that is perhaps most heartbreaking of all.

After about a week, however, things started to look up. Volunteers and staff observed that when given a bit of freedom, Bella enjoyed exploring. However, if left unattended, she could be quickly overwhelmed by the size and lack of boundaries in her surroundings.

In foster care, efforts were made to make her world more manageable. She played with her toys in an open cardboard box—toys designed specifically to stimulate her remaining senses—so that she wouldn’t lose them. She also tested the limits of each room in the apartment, gradually progressing in comfort from room to room.

Bella

One of Bella’s favorite pastimes included laying on windowsills at her ARL foster home.

Over time, Bella learned to trust again. Though her steps were tender, she became more pet-able. She climbed into her foster mother’s lap more often.

Soon after returning to the ARL Bella was adopted into a new loving home! Her owner reports that she confidently explores their entire three-story home with reckless abandon.

Only because of your support, did Bella’s story have a happy ending.

Bella

You can help even more animals in 2017!

Bella is a striking reminder of why ARL continues its important work to fight for animals’ welfare in Massachusetts. With your help, we can get at the root causes of neglect and abuse to ensure that all animals have a chance at a safe and healthy home .

Your year-end gift before December 31, will not only help us prepare for helping even more animals in need in 2017, but also let you take your contribution into account on your 2016 tax return to the extent allowable under law.

We still need to raise over $317,000 by December 31 to meet our year-end goal and start the new year fully funded.

Thank you for being a champion for animals in need and for giving generously today! Click the red button below to…

HELP ANIMALS NOW

 

 

Top 10 Animal Rescues of 2016

Over 3,780 animals were assisted by ARL’s Rescue Services in 2016

Animals found in distress are a common occurrence across the Commonwealth. All because of your unwavering support, however, ARL stands ready to answer the call for help. Thank you for being a part of every on-the-ground action as we help ensure a brighter future when animals are safe and healthy in their habitats and homes.

ARL’s Rescue Services has had a momentous last 12 months, rescuing over 3,780 animals in need! Today we remember our top 10 animal rescues of 2016:

1. 1,400 Westport farm animals – In July, ARL assisted over 1,400 animals living in deplorable conditions in the largest farm animal cruelty case the Northeast has ever seen. ARL’s staff and volunteers worked around-the-clock to assist in the rescue, removal, and specialized emergency veterinary treatment of goats, pigs, horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, cattle, and birds, and other species in dire need of assistance. Many of the animals who remained in ARL’s care after the rescue found their forever homes.

Puppies found at Westport, MA
2. 47 Dorchester birds –  In September, Rescue Services responded to a call from a Dorchester resident regarding her cat that had become ill and the observation of birds falling from trees. An astonishing 47 Grackle-type birds had fallen to the ground, sick, thrashing and unable to fly, or were unresponsive. ARL quickly moved the birds into isolation and notified neighbors to keep their pets indoors. While many of the birds were too ill to save, 15 were healthy enough to be transferred to a partner wildlife organization for specialized care.

Dorchester birds
3. 9 Jamaica Plain kittens – In April, the Veteran’s Hospital called ARL regarding a cat stuck under the building. Rescue Services arrived on the scene heard faint meowing from behind the cinder blocks. Slowly, but surely, the team pulled out not 1, not 2, but 9 little kittens who had been trapped under the cold foundation.

JP kittens
4. 8 Lexington ducklings – In April, a concerned citizen heard a distressed chirping sound from down below street level;  8 fuzzy little ducklings had fallen into a storm drain. Local police and firefighters helped ARL’s Rescue Services lift multiple drain covers to locate the frightened ducklings – all while the mother duckling nervously looked on. Fortunately, all 8 ducklings were brought up to safety and reunited with their mother at the local creek several blocks away.

Lexington duckling

5. Brookline turtle – In February, ARL was called for help when a turtle was spotted motionless on top of the icy pond at Larz Anderson Park. Rescue Services bundled up in cold-weather gear and carefully slid out onto the ice to rescue the Snapper with a large net. When they didn’t get a reaction, it was obvious that the turtle was in significant distress; the team immediately brought the turtle to a partner veterinarian to warm up and receive supportive care.

Brookline turtle
6. 4 Randolph raccoons – In March, the staff at Red Line Freight Systems had a surprise while unloading a trailer – 3 baby raccoons! Their crew carefully unloaded more pallets while ARL searched for the mother raccoon. Lo and behold, the mom was found hiding behind the last pallet and the family was released back into the wild together in an adjacent wooded area.

Baby raccoons and mother
7. Yarmouth Port cat – In September, Rescue Services faced one of their more difficult cases this year of a cat stuck in tree (there have been 108 such cases in 2016 to date!). On this extremely windy day, this particular terrified kitty continued to move further and further out on the tree limbs – just out of Rescue Services’ reach. Thanks to some patience and their extensive technical training, however, the team was able to bring the climbing cat down to safety.

Yarmouth Port cat
8. Brookline owl – In December, a Great Horned Owl found himself in quite the predicament; he’d gotten himself tangled in a soccer net. Rescue Services worked carefully to extract the feathered bird from the net and brought him back to a partner organization for observation and a good night’s rest before releasing him back into the wild the next day.

Brookline owl
9. Revere dog  - In February, a tiny dog named Frankie and his owner got into a car crash. Startled by the collision, Frankie jumped out of the vehicle and fled from the scene. Fortunately, the next morning, the scared pup was picked up by Rescue Services running along I-93. After hours of searching and a post on social media regarding a missing dog, ARL was able to reunite Frankie with his owner, who was released from the hospital post-accident with a clean bill of health.

Frankie and his owners
10. Hanover “Santa” squirrel – In December, ARL was called to help a squirrel that had a dog bone stuck around its neck. From afar, local residents mistook the bone as a white beard, which is why they named him “Santa Squirrel”. Rescue Services set up a humane peanut butter trap to capture the critter and brought him back to ARL to free him from the bone necklace. The squirrel was released back into the wild soon thereafter – just in time for the holidays.

Squirrel

Let’s help even more animals in 2017 – together!

Your year-end gift before December 31, will not only help us prepare for helping even more animals in need in 2017, but also let you take your contribution into account on your 2016 tax return to the extent allowable under law.

We still need to raise over $350,000 by December 31 to meet our year-end goal and start the new year fully funded.

Thank you for being a champion for animals in need and for giving generously today! Click the red button below to…

HELP ANIMALS NOW

 

 

After Losing Their Owners, Two Senior Pets Depended on ARL

Sandy and Jasmine relied on ARL -and a touch of fate- to help them find their new forever homes after losing their owners

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It’s heartbreaking to see an owner lose their pet. It’s equally as devastating to see a pet lose their owner.

At the ARL, we frequently see cases of the latter – typically senior pets that had senior owners who were ill. As tragic as these cases are, these situations often have a happy outcome for the pets involved.

Read this incredible story about how ARL helped two senior dogs that lost their owners much too soon… 

Sandy, a 7-year-old Chow mix dog, was rescued by ARL in 2013 after roaming an industrial park in the Greater Boston Area for over a year. Because of the prolonged exposure to rain and snow, Sandy had lost a majority of her fur. Her skin red and raw, her body exhausted and emaciated, she spent her first few days at ARL cowering behind her bed. With intensive veterinary care, behavior and enrichment training, along with plenty of love and attention from staff and volunteers, Sandy slowly began to heal.

Several months later, Sandy met Bill, a gentleman who had recently lost both his beloved wife and dog. He had been looking for a companion to share his golden years with. After hearing Sandy’s story, Bill knew that she’d be the perfect canine companion and adopted her. The duo had a wonderful life together, until, sadly, Bill passed away a short time later.

Quirky, arthritic, and wary of strangers, Sandy returned to ARL’s Brewster shelter where volunteers and staff showered her with extra TLC. For almost 6 months she waited patiently hoping to find another special family to call her own.

As luck would have it, Ralph, a Cape Cod resident, was looking for a senior dog. Needless to say, he and Sandy were the perfect pair. On adoption day, Sandy jumped right into his truck  - arthritis and all – and fell asleep on Ralph’s lap before they’d even left the parking lot. Sandy lived a happy life with Ralph for 2 years, until she recently passed away from bladder cancer.

Sandy and Bill

Sandy (pictured left) at our Brewster Adoption Center and with her adopter Ralph.

Meanwhile… Jasmine, a 8-year-old long-haired Rottweiler, was surrender to ARL’s Brewster shelter in January 2016 due to financial reasons. She was adopted shortly thereafter, however, she came back to us in October when, like Sandy, her owner had died. Luck was not on her side.

A tough senior girl, Jasmine was very particular and did not get along with other dogs at the shelter. ARL’s volunteers and staff were concerned about her future adoptability and knew that she just had to go home with someone special.

As fate would have it, Ralph, who was still grieving the loss of his canine companion Sandy, saw Jasmine’s photo on arlboston.org and instantly felt a connection with her. After a 48 hour trial, Ralph fell in love with Jasmine and brought her home – just in time for the holidays! By all accounts, the new pair are doing wonderfully together.

Jasmine and Bill

It was love at first sight for Jasmine and Ralph!

Although tragedy can pull pets and their owners apart, the ARL stands ready to jump in and connect both animals and people with the resources they need to make things right – all thanks to supporters like you.

A special message from ARL’s President Mary Nee…

My deepest thanks to everyone who answered my request for help last week with a generous donation for animals in need.

As a result, we are 25% closer to goal and now have to raise $425,000 by December 31 to meet our budget for the coming year,

Please give as generously as you can and let us start the new year with the resources to respond whenever we receive that call for animals in need. Click to the red button below to…

HELP ANIMALS NOW

Thank you and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

Sincerely,

Mary Nee, President of ARL

 

ARL Remembers Mike Thomas

In Memoriam…

Mike Thomas
Caretaker, ARL’s Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Mike Thomas.

For over 46 years, Mike was a tireless advocate, champion, and compassionate Caretaker of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Starting at the age of 19-years-old it had been the only full-time job Mike ever had, and he took great care and pride in helping all families as they came to need his services. As he used to say, “Nobody wants to have to see me, but when they do they’re glad I’m here.” 

Mike was a kind-hearted soul who went above and beyond his duties to help all of the staff, volunteers, and members of the ARL family. There have been a tremendous amount of letters and notes of remembrance of Mike’s work pouring into the ARL.

We know the love Mike had for people, animals, and his work can never be put to words, but today we try to remember him and enjoy fondly the great sense of kindness and compassion that he showed to all who met him.

Please click here to read an interview with Mike Thomas about celebrating 45 years of service at ARL in 2015. 

 

Brewster Cat Saved After Emergency Surgery

Please donate now to help save the life of animals just like Macy!

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On a chilly winter night in Chatham, Massachusetts, a tiny cat patrolled a parking lot. Macy, as she came to be known, was emaciated and abandoned, not knowing where she would get her next meal. 

Fortunately for Macy, a private citizen found her and brought her to ARL’s Brewster Shelter. Upon intake, the little feline received a standard workup from ARL’s Shelter Veterinary Medicine team, which showed that she weighted a mere 3.5 pounds. Macy had bloodwork done as well, because of her troublesome weight, however, all of her results were within normal limits.

During her initial stay with ARL, Macy slowly started to gain weight. But even her daily eating was met with periodic bouts of vomiting. In foster care, Macy continued to have trouble keeping her food down, so she returned to ARL to receive additional fluids, syringe feeding, and diagnostic tests. Still concerned, ARL’s Shelter Veterinary Medicine team ordered a chest x-ray.

Needless to say, ARL’s veterinarians were shocked at what they found: the x-ray revealed a plastic glove in Macy’s abdomen! Macy was so ravenous with hunger that plastic appealed to her rumbling stomach.

An x-ray of Macy's stomach showing the plastic glove.

Macy underwent emergency surgery and recovered in ARL’s Brewster shelter as an office foster, meaning she was cared for by a member of ARL’s administrative staff.

Macy

Thanks to supporters like YOU, Macy is able to live a happy and healthy life in her permanent home!

Once quiet and frightened, Macy socialized quickly, transforming into a sweet, petite kitty who liked to have her voice heard. “It got to the point where every time I got up from my chair, she would claim it as her own,” said Sandra Luppi, ARL’s Brewster Shelter Manager. “She was just a really nice cat. We all loved her.”

Only because of your support, staff and volunteers were able to monitor Macy closely, mapping each step and development in her case.

Just a short time later, Macy found her new loving home. At her time of adoption, she was a healthy 7 pounds.

Without the help of our supporters, Macy’s story could have been very different. You gave her a second chance at life, and for that we are very grateful.

A special request from ARL’s President Mary Nee…

My firsthand experience over the past four years has moved my husband Jim and I to add ARL as a priority for our charitable giving because we believe that the work of ARL is an essential part of the society we want to live in; one that is humane and compassionate to all. I am hoping you will join us and lend your support at this time.

As we approach year-end, we still need to raise more than $500,000 by December 31 to meet our budget. 

Please give as generously as you can and let us start the new year with the resources to respond whenever we receive that call for animals in need. Click the red button below to…

HELP ANIMALS NOW

Thank you and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

Sincerely,

Mary Nee, President of ARL

 

A Happy Holiday Ending for “Santa Squirrel”

ARL’s Rescue Services frees squirrel stuck in a dog bone

Earlier this week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services team was called to Hanover, MA, to help a squirrel that had a hollow dog bone stuck around its neck. The squirrel had been frequenting the backyard of a local residence for several weeks.

How did the family in that residence know it was the same squirrel? The critter had a very unique trait: a “white fur beard”. Given the holiday season, the family began referring to him as “Santa Squirrel”.

Read the full story, as covered by ABC.
Read the full story, as covered by People.com.

That was, until the family, captured a photo of the squirrel on a high-resolution camera. What the family had mistook as a beard was actually a hollow dog bone stuck around “Santa Squirrel’s” neck!

The Hanover family called ARL’s Rescue Services team for help. ARL promptly arrived on the scene and set up a humane peanut butter trap to capture “Santa Squirrel”.

Once safely inside the trap, “Santa Squirrel” was transferred to ARL’s Safford Memorial Shelter in Dedham, MA for immediate veterinary attention. With a little help from anesthesia to relax the critter, ARL’s Shelter Veterinary Medicine team was able to cut through the bone to free “Santa Squirrel”‘s neck.

Feeling much lighter the next day, “Santa Squirrel” was released back into the wild in Hanover – just in time for the holidays!

Bone removed from 'Santa Squirrel's" neck.

With the help of some anesthesia, a veterinarian was able to cut through the bone to free ‘Santa Squirrel’.

'Santa Squirrel' released back to Hanover, MA.

On Tuesday, ‘Santa Squirrel’ was released back into the wild in Hanover, MA.

HELP ANIMALS LIKE “SANTA SQUIRREL” HAVE A HOLIDAY THAT’S FURRY & BRIGHT 

ARL is a critical resources for animals in our community and for the people who care about them. Only thanks to YOUR support are we able to continue our important work.

Please join us in lending your support at this time. As we approach year-end, we still need to raise more than $500,000 by December 31 to meet our budget. 

Give as generously as you can and let us start the new year with the resources to respond whenever we receive that call for animals in need, like “Santa Squirrel”. Click the red button below to…

HELP ANIMALS NOW

 

A Special Request from Mary Nee…

Dear Friends,

In 2016 ARL’s 117 years of skill and experience was called to action time and time again—

ü Mobilizing an emergency clinic to vaccinate cats in Boston, protecting them from a fatal panleukopenia outbreak,
ü Expanding mobile spay and neutering services to an underserved neighborhood in New Bedford,
ü Finding over 2,380 animals new adoptive homes,
ü Successfully advocating for important legislation that adds further protection to companion animals and farm animals in Massachusetts and,
ü First on the scene and sounding the alarm to what is believed to be the Northeast’s largest case of farm animal abuse and neglect in Westport, MA.

HELP ANIMALS NOW

ARL takes action for animals in need and the people who care about them. We do this through our exceptional veterinary services and animal care, by connecting with communities where animals live, and by advocating for laws and policies to protect and prevent animal abuse.

For these reasons and more I am very proud to be part of this amazing organization. This pride not only guides my daily work but also my family’s charitable giving.

Like many of you, my husband Jim and I have supported several worthwhile charities, including those that fight to end homelessness, improve education for underprivileged children, and combat hate crimes.

My firsthand experience over the past four years has moved us to add ARL as a priority for our charitable giving. We are contributing a leadership gift because we believe that the work of ARL is an essential part of the society we want to live in; one that is humane and compassionate to all.

I am hoping you will join us and lend your support at this time. As we approach year-end, we still need to raise more than $500,000 by December 31 to meet our budget. 

Please give as generously as you can and let us start the new year with the resources to respond whenever we receive that call for animals in need.

Click to the red button below to…

HELP ANIMALS NOW

Thank you and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

Sincerely,

Mary Nee
President, Animal Rescue League of Boston

 

Finding Positive Outcomes for Cats at Risk

ARL partners with other local organizations to help Pembroke cat colony

In early November 2016, a colony of community cats in Pembroke, Massachusetts found themselves in a dire situation; they lost their feeder and the property where they had been living was sold.

While there is no easy solution to helping community cats in this situation, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), along with many other animal welfare organizations, quickly rallied together to make sure that these cats had the best possible outcome.

Community cat colonies usually form due to a conducive environment, however, since a new caretaker could not be secured in their neighborhood, all efforts were focused on finding other alternatives for these cats.

Independent trappers began the process of trapping cats on this property (a procedure normally referred to as T-N-R, trap, neuter, return). However, with this particular colony, the goal was to see how many cats exhibited friendly behaviors*. If determined as friendly, the cats would either be adopted out as indoor companion animals, or could live safely outside on a barn property as a barn cat.

Cats like Bella, Namara, and Thumbelina, were spayed on ARL’s Spay Waggin’, discovered to be friendly, and transferred to ARL’s Safford Memorial Shelter in Dedham where they were adopted out to their forever homes.

A great outcome for these sweet cats!

Thumbelina pictured with her new dad.

Thumbelina is one of the many community cats who benefited from the swift help of the ARL and other local organizations, when her neighborhood feeder could no longer care for her.

Bella in Dedham's Adoption Center

Bella, formerly a community cat of Pembroke, waiting to be adopted at ARL’s Safford Memorial Shelter in Dedham, MA. It wasn’t long before this sweet kitty found her forever home!

thumbelina with her new family

Cats like Namara, pictured here with her new family, were determined friendly enough to be adopted!

THANK YOU to everyone who was involved with the plight of these cats, including the MSPCA, Standish Humane Society, independent trappers, and the State of Massachusetts, who provided funding for the spays, neuters, and vaccinations of these cats through the Massachusetts Animal Fund.

YOU CAN HELP TOO! Keep community cats safe this winter by building your own DIY cat shelter in your yard or to donate to a local rescue. Click here for a basic how-to video.

*Friendly cats show signs of wanting to interact with people, feral cats do not.

 

Court Prohibits Owner of Westport Property Farm

Update:

In July of this year, ARL’s Law Enforcement team, staff, and volunteers, along with other humane organizations and law enforcement departments, went to the aid of and helped remove more than 1,400 animals living in deplorable conditions on a 70-acre property located at 465 American Legion Road in Westport, MA.

Dog at Westport scene

Last month, many people were dismayed to learn that farm animals were being reintroduced to that same property.

Fortunately, on November 9, 2016, Superior Court Justice Renee Dupuis issued an Order which, for the time being, prohibits Medeiros from returning any animals to the property and orders him to remove any animals owned by him from the property.

To the extent that Medeiros has authority over third parties using the property, animals belonging to the third parties cannot be returned and any animals on the property now must be removed.

The Court further ordered that Medeiros allow the Westport Animal Inspector access to inspect the animals; retain a pest control expert to address the need for rat control; retain a disposal service to address the issues of “solid waste” removal; and prohibits the use of all structures on the property.

The Court will hold a further hearing on December 7, 2016.

 

TODAY ONLY! We’ll Match Your Donation for Animals

Make a donation before midnight and we’ll match it for #GivingTuesday 

Donate now for 2x the impact

Only because of YOUR support are animals like Izzy able to get through a life-threatening experience!

Earlier this year, a stray black cat arrived at ARL’s Boston shelter with dislocated tarsal (ankle) joints. Izzy, as she came to be known, had a noticeably wobbly walk and a limited gait. 

Because her legs were not stable enough to maintain a normal lifestyle, ARL’s veterinarians determined that Izzy would have to undergo major surgery to help her walk properly.

A $3,000 procedure was performed on both hind legs to correct Izzy’s joints by removing the affected bone and placing bone grafts and metal plates to stabilize the leg. Despite her postoperative discomfort , Izzy was the perfect patient and remained exuberantly friendly to her caretakers

Izzy at ARL Boston

Izzy recovering after her surgery at ARL’s Boston shelter.

While surgery was the first step to getting Izzy back up on her paws, her recovery process afterward was just as critical. Not only did Izzy benefit from ARL’s shelter and veterinary staff, but also from our foster care program – made up entirely of volunteers. ARL’s foster care program enables trained volunteers to bring animals into their home and rehabilitate them away from the stressful shelter environment.

For two months, Izzy’s foster mom, Angela Wehr, carefully monitored the recovering feline’s movements by lifting her, so she wouldn’t jump, and by only using toys that Izzy could swat at while remaining stationary. Big movements during this phase can cause long-term damage, so this special program was vital to her recovery. 

Izzy recently came back to the ARL for her follow-up appointment—the last hurdle before being cleared for adoption– and passed her veterinary exams with flying colors! Her gait is nearly normal and she’ll be able to function perfectly well as an indoor cat, pain-free in her affected joints… and NO long-term medical issues!

Izzy at home

Thanks to supporters like YOU, Izzy is now safe and healthy in her permanent home!

Over 14,000 animals come through ARL every year seeking immediate attention just like Izzy.

Because ARL is an essential resource for animals in need and the people who care about them, ARL’s Board Chair Malcolm McDonald and an anonymous donor have teamed up to offer this exciting #GivingTuesday challenge:

Raise $25,000 and they will match it!*

That means your donation TODAY can go twice as far.

Donate now for 2x the impact


THEY COUNT ON US, SO WE COUNT ON YOU: 
When you express your love for animals, compassion, and kindness with a gift of $100 or more for #GivingTuesday, we’ll feature your and/or your pet’s name on our Wall of Honor online at arlboston.org, available for viewing on December 6; just type your pet’s name into the ‘Additional Comments’ section of our online donation form.

 

*All money raised will go toward direct animal care; however the match will apply to the first $25,000 to be donated.