Check out the many ways YOUR support helped animals in need in 2016
Click the image above to read the Fall/Winter 2016 edition of Our Four-Footed Friends.
The Fall/Winter 2016 edition of Our Four-Footed Friends (OFFF) is here!
For more than 100 years, ARL has responded to the needs of animals and the people who care about them. In fact, we are often the first to respond, as seen in the recent Westport farm animal cruelty case, featured on Page 10.
All thanks to YOUR critical support, this year we served thousands of animals through our outstanding veterinary care, adoption, rescue services, special police investigation, and advocacy.
Read the incredible stories about what you helped make possible…
Today, we increasingly focus on prevention and the impact we can have on more animals; keeping them out of shelters and in the communities where they belong.
YOU make our important work possible – THANK YOU!
Stay in touch between editions: visit arlboston.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Keep your pup joyful and healthy this holiday with these helpful tips
Thanksgiving is a time to savor delicious food, enjoy the company of our family and friends, and to show gratitude for all that we are thankful for in our lives.
Be sure to also keep pets away from food wrappings and decorations, as these items can cause intestinal obstructions!
While it’s wonderful to include your pets in your holiday traditions, it’s important to remember that our furry companions cannot indulge in the same feasts that we prepare for ourselves. Some of the common Thanksgiving foods that fill our plate can actually be very dangerous for your pet to ingest.
Here are the 5 Thanksgiving foods that your dog should avoid:
- Turkey bones are small and can become lodged in your dog’s throat, stomach, or intestinal tract. They may also splinter and cause severe damage to the stomach or puncture the small intestine.
- Fat trimmings and fatty foods like turkey skin and gravy are difficult for dogs to digest. In fact, consuming turkey skin can result in pancreatitis. Symptoms for this serious disease can include vomiting, extreme depression, reluctance to move, and abdominal pain.
- Dough and cake batter contain raw eggs, so the first concern for people and pets is salmonella bacteria. What’s more, dough may actually rise in your dog’s belly, which can lead to vomiting, severe abdominal pain, and bloating.
- Mushrooms can damage your dog’s internal organs, including kidneys, liver, and central nervous system. Symptoms can include seizures, coma, vomiting, and possibly death.
- Raisins and grapes, although the causes of their toxicity are unknown, can cause kidney failure in dogs.
The best way for your pet to partake in the holiday cheer? Stick with traditional treats that are safe for dogs and cats! Food puzzles and interactive toys like a Kong filled with peanut butter are a great way to keep your canine entertained and feeling satisfied all holiday long.
Bonus tip: Keep your vet’s emergency number handy. Should your pet become ill, contact your pet’s veterinarian or the local animal hospital’s number! A quick call to either of them can give you life-saving advice or even help you avoid a trip to the ER. You can also reach Boston Veterinary Care at (617) 226-5605.
For more helpful tips about dog and cat health and behavior, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips
DONATE NOW through 11/29 to DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT for animals
Giving Tuesday is an international movement created to encourage giving back during the busy holiday season. On the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year, people across the world are encouraged to help the charities and causes nearest and dearest to their hearts.
Because the Animal Rescue League of Boston (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 challenge:
Raise $25,000 and they will match it!*
That means your donation toward ARL’s Giving Tuesday 2017 campaign can go twice as far.
Click here or on the green DONATE button below
to make a gift on Giving Tuesday
Animals can’t say thank you, but we can!
When you express your love for animals, compassion, and kindness with a gift of $100 or more for Giving Tuesday, 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.**
VERY SPECIAL THANKS to ARL’s Board Chair, Malcolm McDonald, and to our anonymous challenge donor for their generous gift to help animals in need!
*All money raised will go toward direct animal care; however the match will apply to the first $25,000 to be donated.
**To have your pet’s name added to ARL’s Giving Tuesday Wall of Honor on arlboston.org, type your pet’s name into the ‘Additional Comments’ section of our online donation form.
THANK YOU to everyone who voted YES ON 3!
It’s official: Massachusetts voters said YES to stopping farm animal cruelty in last night’s historic election. An incredible 77.7% of Bay State residents voted yes on ballot Question 3, The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals.
This groundbreaking ballot question is a great first step towards animal welfare protection in the Commonwealth. By 2022, highly-restrictive cages must be phased out giving farm animals enough space to turn around and extend their limbs. The ballot question will also protect Massachusetts families from substandard and unsafe food products.
Click here to read more via The Boston Globe.
Animal welfare supporters from all over Massachusetts made last night’s vote a resounding victory. The ARL offers our sincerest thanks to the MSPCA, Franklin Park Zoo, The Humane League – Boston, Mercy For Animals, Farm Forward, Compassion in World Farming (USA), Animal Equality, Farm Sanctuary, the Mass Sierra Club, HSUS, ASPCA, and the hundreds of other animal welfare groups, farmers, veterinarians, local businesses, and individuals who helped support this momentous effort to end the extreme confinement of farm animals!
Since the Summer of 2015, ARL’s volunteers and staff spent countless hours helping to collect over 170,000 signatures to get The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals on the 2017 ballot, as well as educating Massachusetts consumers about the importance of voting YES ON 3.
“When there’s an effort to improve the protection and treatment of animals – whether they are companion, working, or farm animals – the ARL is here to help,” says ARL’s President Mary Nee.
Massachusetts isn’t alone… Ten states have already passed similar laws and nearly 200 major food retailers, such as McDonalds’s, Walmart, and Dollar Tree, and restaurant chains have policies phasing them out as well.
Prevent farm animal cruelty with just one vote: YES on Question 3!
With Election Day only a few short days away, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to remind you why this is such an important election year. Sure, you’re voting for the next President of the United States — but you’re also voting YES to stop unnecessary farm animal cruelty and YES to protecting Massachusetts families from unsafe food products.
Endorsed by the ARL and all of Massachustts’ major animal welfare groups, The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals, ballot Question 3, is a modest animal protection and food safety measure that will prevent breeding pigs, chickens, and calves from being confined in cages so small they can’t even turn around or extend their limbs.
Here are 3 reasons to vote YES on 3:
- Promotes responsible farming. Question 3 phases out the use of highly-restrictive cages by 2022, giving producers and retailers ample time to comply with the modest requirement that farm animals have enough space to turn around and extend their limbs.
- Protects food safety. Industrial animal operations put consumers’ health at risk. Unable to move and constantly stressed, confined animals suffer from weakened immune systems that lead to illness. The Center for Food Safety endorses Question 3 because numerous studies show that egg operations that confine hens in cages have higher rates of Salmonella, the leading cause of food poisoning-related death in humans in America.
- Makes economic sense. Most Massachusetts farmers are already cage-free and have shown that affordable food can be produced with animal welfare in mind. According to a study conducted by the egg industry itself, it costs just a penny per egg to produce cage-free eggs rather than battery cage eggs. The pork industry published a study that determined it can cost 11 percent less not to use gestation crates. In addition to the ten states that have passed laws prohibiting certain types of extreme confinement, nearly 200 major food retailers, such as McDonalds’s, Walmart, and Dollar Tree, and restaurant chains have policies phasing them out.
When you hit the polls on Tuesday, November 8, don’t forget to vote YES on Question 3 to prevent farm animal cruelty!
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8 – Don’t forget to vote YES on ballot Question 3 to prevent farm animal cruelty!
The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals, on the ballot as Question 3, is a modest animal protection and food safety measure that will prevent breeding pigs, chickens, and calves from being confined in cages so small they can’t even turn around or extend their limbs. A YES vote on Question 3 will also protect Massachusetts families from substandard and unsafe food products.
Question 3 is endorsed by all of Massachusetts’ major animal welfare groups, including the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), MSPCA, Berkshire Humane Society, Dakin Humane Society, and Zoo New England, as well as national charities like the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States and more than 500 Massachusetts veterinarians.
The amount of “personal space” each hen has is smaller than an iPad.
Why Vote YES on Question 3?
- The vast majority of pork sold in the Commonwealth comes from industrial factory farms where pigs used for breeding are confined in narrow crates so small they can’t even turn around. This limitation in movement results in a lifetime of crippling pain and emotional distress. Calves raised for veal are often confined in similar conditions.
- Most of the eggs sold in Massachusetts come from industrial egg producers that cram hens into cages so small the birds can’t even spread their wings. Packed five or more to a cage, each hen spends her whole life in a space smaller than an iPad. Chickens often suffer from bone fractures, feather-loss, and can die from starvation or dehydration.
Your vote counts, so please vote YES on Question 3 this Election Day!
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) share important tips to keep your pets safe and happy this Halloween season.
Tip: If it’s your pet’s first time wearing a costume this Halloween, spend a few days before the big holiday getting them acclimated to wearing it. Keep in mind, some pets are just not big fans of wearing costumes and would much rather wear a festive collar or bandanna.
With October coming to an end, Halloween 2016 is right around the corner! You may be a fan of the spookiest time of year, but for your pet, this haunting holiday can be truly scary.
Not to worry though, enjoying the festivities and keeping your pets safe is easier than you think – Follow these 5 tips to ensure your pet has a spook-free Halloween this season:
1. Keep your pets inside. The Halloween season often brings out tricksters who might taunt or harm an animal left outdoors. It’s always a good idea to keep pets inside with proper, up-to-date identification. If your pet must be outdoors, be sure to keep them leashed and an eye on them at all times.
2. Stash the sweet treats. Chocolate, especially darker chocolates, are highly toxic to cats and dogs. Additionally, many candies and gums contain Xylitol. This sugarless sweetener is highly toxic to pets. Always keep chocolate and candies out of your pet’s reach.
4. Be careful with costumes. If you decide to dress your pet up for this festive holiday, costume safety is key. Keep these costume safety tips in mind:
- Always supervise your pet while they’re wearing a costume.
- Make sure your pet’s costume fits properly and does not restrict their movement.
- Be cautious of loose or dangling pieces that pets could potentially choke on.
- Ditch the masks or other accessories that could potentially make it difficult for your pet to breath or obstruct their vision.
5. Play it safe with decorations. Discarded ribbons and packaging can be toxic and even deadly to pets if they are ingested. Balloons and glow sticks also pose a big risk to our furry friends. If swallowed, balloons can cause choking or blocked airways. Keep your four-legged friends safe by keeping decorations and wires out of reach.
No plans for Halloween? Spend the day getting to know some of our adoptable animals at www.arlboston.org/adopt.
3 techniques used by Shelter Veterinary Services to keep cats happy and healthy during exams
At the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) our Shelter Veterinary Services provide high quality, compassionate care to a variety of species. Cats, however, continue to comprise the greater part of our shelter population.
In an effort to expand our Shelter Veterinary Services’ ability to provide care that not only addresses the medical health of our cats, but also their behavioral well-being, Jessica Wright, ARL’s Lead Veterinary Technician, recently became certified in “Low Stress Handling Techniques” via Dr. Sophia Yin’s online course. The certification process required a commitment of at least 20 hours, during which online lectures and labs were viewed and follow up discussion questions and exams were completed.
As an organization, the ARL strives to reduce the stress that our shelter cats inevitably experience while in our care. These efforts can be seen in the double sided cages that the cats reside in, and the hiding boxes that each cat is offered. Upon completion of the Low Stress Handling course, Jessica was excited to incorporate the new techniques she had learned into the Shelter Veterinary Services’ daily rounds.
The 3 Low Stress Handling techniques that the ARL uses for felines are:
- Adjusting the methods by which a cat is moved between the cage and the exam room. To avoid exposing the cat to any number of stressors that may be encountered while moving between spaces, cats are now wrapped in a towel for transport. Some cats prefer to have their head exposed allowing them to look about whereas others prefer to have their head covered. This use of the towel allows the removal of potentially stressful visual stimulation and provides the cat with the feeling of being adequately supported.
- Incorporating the use of towels for comfort. Rather than sitting on a cold metal exam table, the cats now sit on the towel they were brought to the exam room with. This provides a sense of comfort for each patient. In addition, depending upon the behavior of each cat, a second towel may be placed over the cat. This again removes any potentially stressful visual stimulation and allows for more ease of handling of the cat during examination.
- Introducing food during examination. As surprising as it may be, many cats will often eat a snack during an exam or vaccination. Providing food to the patient can act as a distraction from any potentially negative or stressful event that may occur. In addition, if the cat chooses to eat during these procedures, a positive emotional response is encouraged rather than the typical fearful or stressed response often associated with veterinary care.
As a result of the introduction of Low Stress Handling Techniques, our shelter cats are that much more happy and healthy!
YOU can help keep shelter cats low-stress too: Please consider making a donation of regular sized bath towels to enable the ARL to continue our Low Stress Handling efforts! Donations can be dropped off at our Boston Adoption Center lobby located at 10 Chandler Street in Boston, Tuesday through Sunday, 7:30AM – 6:30PM.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) are celebrating National Veterinary Technician Week
October 16-22 is dedicated to celebrating veterinary technicians nationwide. Our compassionate veterinary technicians are a crucial part of our organization and play a vital role in improving the health and lives of the thousands of animals who come through our doors annually. Although we value our technicians every day of the year, we take this week to honor their dedication, hard work, and commitment to animals in need.
Meet our Shelter and Community Veterinary Services technicians:
||Jessica Wright, CVT, Lead Technician – Shelter Veterinary Services
Jessica graduated from the University of Vermont in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Sciences. Since beginning her career with the Animal Rescue League of Boston in 2005, Jessica has held technician positions with our Pembroke Shelter, Spay Waggin’ and Boston Veterinary Care.
In 2008, Jessica became the Lead Shelter Veterinary Technician in our Boston Shelter. During this time Jessica has developed a strong understanding of not only individual animal care but shelter population management, as well. Since entering shelter medicine, Jessica has cultivated a particular interest in the needs of small, geriatric dogs with prominent eyes in the shelter setting. During her free time, Jessica enjoys spending time with her dogs, Pixel and Ruxin, reading, and gardening.
Jean Mahoney, CVT
Jean graduated from Vermont Technical College in 2005 with an Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology. During her studies at VTC, she gained diverse experience with domestic and farm animals. She also completed an externship at Roberts Animal Hospital. After graduation, she worked in a private practice for a year before joining the Animal Rescue League’s Boston Veterinary Care in 2006. In 2007, Jean passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam and became a certified veterinary technician. After a few years at BVC, Jean was promoted to Lead Veterinary Technician. In 2012, she decided to venture into another branch at ARL and joined the Spay Waggin, the organization’s mobile spay and neuter program. When she is not working, Jean likes to read, go for walks, and hang out with her family, friends and dog, Dirty.
||Bonnie Morrissey, CVT
Bonnie has had a strong interest in animal welfare since childhood. She has worked at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Spay Waggin’ since 2003 and after taking the required courses at Dallas County Community College, she became a certified veterinary technician in 2013.
When not working, Bonnie enjoys spending time with her husband, four children, four cats and her Chihuahua mix, and loves being outside going for walks in the woods or at the beach.
||Sue Tortolani, CVT
Sue had been volunteering at her local animal shelter for eight years before she made the decision to go back to school to become a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2011. She relocated to the Boston area in April 2015 and is excited to join the Animal Rescue League working out of the Boston city shelter. Sue is passionate about shelter animals and hopes to be an advocate for those who need one.
When she isn’t at work, Sue is usually found cultivating her other skills, including karaoke, pinball, and trivia. She lives with her two feline loves, Gibson and Miles.
||Heather D’Amarino, CVT
Born and raised on the South Shore, Heather has been an animal lover and advocate for as long as her entire family can remember. Since the young age of fourteen, Heather has had a career in the animal field and has been everything from a dog groomer, kennel attendant, and veterinary assistant. In 2006, she then began her career as a Veterinary technician and became a certified Veterinary Technician in 2013. Her favorite part about being a Veterinary Technician? Being able to help pets and owners who are in need! She also maintains a strong interest in avians, exotics, and equine.
When not on the Spay Waggin’, Heather enjoys spending time with her baby girl and husband. Her weekend activities often involve power boating, yoga, long walks with her pets (and child!), or just being outdoors. The animal part of Heather’s family include six chickens (her favorite is named Maple!), Mackerel (cat), Maisy (cat), Mikey (greenwing macaw), Bird (African grey), Fred (lab/great dane mix), Morgan (podengo mix), and Jameson (pointer mix) – how’s that for a full home?!
Meet our Boston Veterinary Care technicians:
||Victor Vigo, Lead Technician
Originally from Puerto Rico, Victor attended the University of Puerto Rico where he graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in General Science. He continued his studies in Medicine at the Universidad Central del Caribe and transferred to the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Ureña where he obtained with honors the degree of Doctor in Veterinary Medicine. In 2005, he started working as an associate of veterinary medicine in a small animal general practice in Puerto Rico. In 2011, Victor moved to Massachusetts and started working as a veterinary technician at a specialty and emergency hospital. In 2013, he joined the Boston Veterinary Care team!
Stephanie Clark, CVT
Stephanie has been interested in working with animals for most of her life. She graduated from SUNY Canton with an A.A.S in Veterinary Technology in 2012. She passed her certification boards in August 2012 and has been working as a Certified Veterinary Technician ever since. Stephanie has been working at veterinary hospitals since 2010 and began working at the Boston Veterinary Care in January 2014. Stephanie has attended multiple seminars and classes about animal health and she hopes to continue learning more. She lives at home with a dove, a rabbit, and two dogs!
||Lauren Litif, CVT
Lauren is a graduate of Mount Ida College with a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology and a minor in Legal Studies. She was on the Dean’s list for all four years at Mount Ida. As part of her studies, Lauren completed internships at New England Animal Medical Center, VCA Weymouth, and VESCONE. Lauren joined the Boston Veterinary Care team on May 19, 2014.
||Sue Miller, CVT
Sue graduated from Suffolk University in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She began working for the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) as an animal care attendant in 2000. She then took a veterinary technician position on the ARL Spay Waggin’ in 2001 and became lead shelter technician in 2003. With her work experience and bachelor’s degree, she became a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2004. Over the past decade, Sue has worked in the surgery and anesthesia department at Angell Animal Medical Center, the emergency department at a referral hospital in NH, and general medicine at some local veterinary practices. She rejoined ARL at Boston Veterinary Care in 2013. Additionally, Sue volunteers her time for the ARL Fix-a-Feral program and fosters sick or injured animals for our shelter. When not working, Sue spends her time with her husband, daughter, two lazy cats and one German Shepherd named Kernel.
||Marisa Notarangelo, Veterinary Technician
Marisa is a graduate of Mount Ida College with a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology. She completed internships at Wellesley Animal Hospital, Tufts Wildlife Clinic, Tufts Large Animal Hospital, Beth Israel Medical Center, and Biomodels. Marisa recently worked at Holliston Animal Hospital. She joined the Boston Veterinary Care team on May 27, 2014.
||Emily Ograbisz, Veterinary TechnicianEmily graduated with high honors from Clark University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She began working at an animal hospital as a kennel technician and moved up to the veterinary technician position in 2006. Since 2012, she has volunteered at Tufts at Tech Community Veterinary Clinic in Worcester. Emily joined Boston Veterinary Care in June 2014.
Want to learn from our team? View our student opportunities:
ARL Shares Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Adopt an Adult Dog
If you’ve considered adding a canine companion to your family, there’s no better time than NOW to ADOPT! October is National Adopt-a-Dog Month and the ARL has many adult dogs looking for their forever homes!
Search adoptable dogs
Meet Coretta, an extra sweet 3-year-young mixed breed who would love an active home to call her own! Click her photo to learn more about her.
Many potential adopters visit animal shelters looking for a puppy. While puppies are absolutely adorable, they are also very energetic and their personalities, likes, and dislikes are still emerging.
That’s why adopting an adult dog can be a great decision for you and your family! (Hint: At ARL shelters, adult dogs are 1 year and older.)
When you come into ARL’s shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham, our knowledgeable adoption agents will ask you about what you’re looking for in a dog in terms of energy level, personality, and compatibility with children and other pets.
It won’t take long for you to realize that one of the biggest perks of adopting an adult dog is that what you see, is what you get.
Adult dogs have passed their critical development stages, so you’ll get a good idea of whether or not their personality and energy level is the right fit for your home. They may also be an easier introduction info the family, as puppies can be fragile and act quite timid in an already active household.
Not yet convinced? The ARL’s shares top 5 reasons why you should adopt an adult dog this October:
- You’ll save a life. When you adopt, you actually save two lives: the life of the dog that you adopted, and the life of the dog that is going to take its place at the shelter. Your new pet will thank you again and again for being their hero with slobbery kisses!
- You’ll meet your perfect canine companion. At the ARL, each dog is thoroughly evaluated to assess their medical history and overall temperament. They are then given a customized behavioral and enrichment plan to prepare them for life in their future home. All this information will be presented to you at the time of the potential adoption so that you and your family members can decide if the dog you’re interested in is the right match for you.
- You’ll find variety. If you have your mind set on a dog of a particular breed or temperament, chances are that one of ARL’s shelters will have what you’re looking for! Various purebreds and mixed breeds come into our shelter at any given time, so we always have new dogs available! Don’t see a canine that catches your eye? Keep checking our list of current adoptables, as it changes every day!
- You’ll save money. Every adoptable dog at the ARL receives the following included in their adoption fee: health screening and veterinary examination; spay or neuter services; vaccinations; heartworm test and preventative; flea and tick treatment; intestinal parasite scan; microchip identification and registration; tag and collar.
- You’ll be doing something especially kind for animals in need. Adult dogs usually stay at our shelters much longer than puppies do. That’s why shelters usually charge a smaller adoption fee for adult dogs- to incentivize people to adopt them!
To meet our adoptable dogs, stop by our adoption centers in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham on Tuesdays – Sundays from 1pm – 6:30pm. If you meet the dog of your dreams, in most cases you can take him or her home with you the same day!