The ARL is celebrating National Adopt-a-Dog Month and you should too
The month of October is dedicated to honoring shelter dogs and helping the approximately 3.9 million dogs* who enter animal shelters each year find loving homes. If you’re considering adding a dog to your family, there’s no better time than National Adopt-a-Dog Month and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is a paw-some place to find your perfect canine match.
Click the photo to learn our top 5 reasons why you should adopt an adult dog this October.
When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life. All adoptable dogs at the ARL receive:
- Spay or neuter services (excluding some small animals)
- Health screening and veterinary examination
- Behavior screening and evaluations
- Microchip identification and registration
- Heartworm test and preventative medication for dogs
- Feline Leukemia test for cats
- Flea, tick and mite treatment
- Deworming for intestinal parasites
- Tag, collar, and leash or carrier
Visit an ARL adoption center in Boston, Brewster, or Dedham, Tuesday-Sunday from 1pm-6:30pm to meet our adoptable dogs or visit www.arlboston.org/adopt to learn more about our adoptable dogs online. If you meet the dog of your dreams, in most cases you can take him or her home with you the same day!
If adding a canine companion to your family is not a possibility, you can still help dogs in need! Consider sponsoring a dog’s adoption fee or donating supplies from our shelters’ wish lists. Contact (617) 226-5602 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
*According to the ASPCA’s pet statistics.
Receive 20% OFF all weight-loss formula food for cats and dogs
As humans, we’re reminded daily about the short and long-term health benefits of proper nutrition and exercise. To keep our weight in check, we can pretty easily monitor our weight loss or gain by stepping on our bathroom scale, trying on those “skinny jeans”, or observing our overall energy level. And, if we don’t like what we see or how we feel, we can make a conscious effort to get our health back on track.
When it comes to our pets, the same rules about a proper diet and maintaining a healthy weight apply, except that our pets cannot regulate it themselves; we must do it for them!
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 52.6% of dogs and 57.6% of cats in the United States are overweight or obese. These statistics are concerning since there are many health risks for overweight pets, which include: diabetes, joint stress, arthritis, an increase in blood pressure, heart disease, lethargy, and overall poor quality of life. These worrisome negative health implications are why obesity in our pets is not only important to recognize, but also to control and prevent.
Let BVC help you achieve your pet’s weight-loss goal! Now through October 31st, *BVC is offering 20% OFF all weight-loss formula for cats and dogs.
Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) shares 5 important tips on how to manage your pet’s weight:
- Keep track of your pet’s weight, just as you would your own, so that any gains or losses can be easily detected. A 5-pound weight gain may not have a significant effect on a 160lb human, but it will on a 15lb dog. To determine if your pet may be overweight, stand directly over your pet and look down at them; if you do not see a waistline, then your pet may be too heavy.
- Monitor your pet’s eating habits. This includes snacks too! Proper calorie intake varies by animal, so consult your veterinarian to determine your pet’s ideal weight and a proper diet. If your pet seems hungrier than normal after mealtime, try to figure out if their eagerness to eat is from actual hunger or simply the desire to taste those yummy table scraps.
- Observe any changes in energy level. If your pet seems to be tired or less active than normal, weight gain or improper nutrition may be to blame. If the lethargy lasts more than a few days, contact your veterinarian.
- Create a lifestyle that encourages exercise. Most pets like to play, so find an activity that you both enjoy. If your dog likes to run, try jogging with them a few times a week. If they like to fetch, throw a ball around with them in the park after work. If you have a cat, find a toy that they like to chase. Remember, you’ll reap the benefits of the daily exercise too without even realizing it!
- Schedule vet appointments regularly. In addition to your pet’s annual wellness exam, you should take your pet to their veterinarian if you observe any significant weight gain (or loss!), or a change in eating habits or energy level. If your veterinarian determines that your pet needs to lose a few pounds, it’s important to help them slim down to a healthy weight- and to help them maintain it afterward.
Take advantage of Boston Veterinary Care’s special October offer!
Pet obesity is the #1 health problem for pets in the United States. Is your pet overweight? If so, then let BVC help you achieve your pet’s weight-loss goals through our October offer!
Now through October 31st, *BVC is offering 20% OFF all weight-loss formula for cats and dogs. Call BVC at 617-226-5605 or email us at email@example.com for details!
*Offer good for Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) patients who have had an exam within the last 12 months. May not be combined with any other offer.
New regulations allow cats and dogs to find loving homes 2 months sooner
On October 10, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore joined the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) to highlight significant changes in Massachusetts state regulations.
Visit our Facebook page to watch a recap of yesterday’s press conference.
One of these changes in regulation included an adjustment to the rabies quarantine period for shelter animals. Under the new law, the quarantine period has been reduced from six to four months, allowing cats and dogs to find loving homes sooner. This decision will improve the lives of animal in need and increase space and flexibility for animal shelters like the ARL.
“We applaud Governor Baker and his team for taking swift action ensuring the humane treatment of animals and providing greater access to shelter space for more animals in need,” said Mary Nee, President of the ARL. “These newly revised regulations prove that Massachusetts takes animal welfare standards seriously and is willing to lead the country in adopting the National Association of Veterinary and Public Health recommendations.”
Earlier this year, the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians issued new recommendations in the 2016 Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention advising reducing quarantine periods to four months due to evidence animals in isolation for an extended period of six months can become stressed and depressed, even with regular human socialization.
“Our shelter staff and veterinarians are eager to comply with these new common sense regulations. While rabies is a serious public health concern, science proves that excessive quarantine for animals is not necessary and is potentially harmful to otherwise healthy animals,” said Dr. Edward Schettino, VP of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services at the ARL.
Governor Charlie Baker greets ARL staff and volunteers.
ARL’s President Mary Nee takes the podium at Monday’s press conference.
Governor Charlie Baker stops to take a selfie with adoptable rabbit, Nikki. Click the photo to learn more about her.
THANK YOU to Governor Charlie Baker and his administration for taking this important step for shelter animals!
Russell Friedman shares advice for grieving pet owners and their loved ones
The relationship between an owner and their pet is a special one… and the loss of a pet can be a heartbreaking one. National Pet Memorial Day, the second Sunday in September, is a day designated to commemorate the power of the human-animal bond. In the United States alone, it’s estimated that over 63 million people annually are grieving the loss of a pet, whether it be a dog, cat, bird, horse, rabbit, or other animal.
In a time when pets are considered by many to be an equal member of the family, why is it that we don’t always quite know what to say when a family, friend, or acquaintance’s pet passes away? In fact, research shows that over 85% of the comments that a grieving pet owner hears within the first few days of their pet’s death is not helpful for them, no matter how well-intentioned they are.
ARL blog sat down with Russell Friedman, director of the Grief Recovery Institute and co-author of the Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss, to find out how to cope with the loss of your pet, and what you should and should not say to a grieving pet owner:
ARL Blog: Many people experience a very emotional or difficult time when their pet passes away. Some even report that they cry harder and longer over a pet’s death than a family member’s. Is that normal?
Russell Friedman: Just as we never forget the people who we love and who were important to us, the same goes for our pets. Grieving for animal in the same way that you would grieve a human being is completely normal, natural, and healthy.
Everyone has their own unique relationship with their pet. Even members within the same household grieving the loss of the same pet will react differently. Don’t forget that animals have very tangible emotions, so your other pets may grieve the loss of their companion too!
Unlike children who grow into adults, become more independent, and move out of the home, our pets do not. Although pets do age, they remain in our home and will always depend on us for food, shelter, and protection. The “parental” aspect to being a pet owner can make the emotional bond so powerful. For some couples who can’t have children, their pet is their “child” and they view them in that same way.
Our pets also give us a safe space to be ourselves and express our emotions without judgement. They are our loyal confidants. More often than not, what the person is feeling is a loss of the entity that used to always be there for them.
ARL Blog: Can you share some advice for people who are dealing with the loss of a pet?
RF: During a pet’s final care, we imagine unrealized hopes, dreams, and expectations for the future. There are always things that we wish would have happened differently. Allow yourself as much time as you need to grieve and surround yourself with supportive friends and family. Think of fond memories you had with your pet, and visit the gravesite or plant a memorial.
One of the biggest myths is the concept of replacing the loss. You need to allow yourself to grieve your old pet before you get a new one. This is only fair to the new pet, so that they have their own persona. As far as the timeframe between the death of your new pet and brining home a new one, there is no right or wrong answer; it’s whenever you feel ready.
If you are a friend or family member of a grieving pet owner, remember to never buy someone a new pet without their permission. Although your intention of helping that person to “move on” is well-meaning, the griever may simply not be ready to attach themselves to a new pet.
ARL Blog: In the Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss you discuss some phrases NOT to say to a grieving pet owner. Can you explain what a few of them are?
Russell Friedman, co-author of The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss, shares important advice for grieving pet owners and their loved ones!
RF: A few phrases that will actually have the opposite effect of what you intended are:
“I know how you feel.” This statement is always made in an attempt to commiserate, sympathize, or empathize with the person who is grieving. Unfortunately, it’s not possible for you to know exactly how the person feels, even if you have had a related experience. Every relationship is unique and everyone reacts to the loss of a pet, family member, or friend differently.
“They’re in a better place.” and/or “They’re not in pain anymore.” Perhaps their pet is in a better place and not in pain anymore, however the person who is grieving is not in a good place and feeling a painful loss.
“Don’t feel bad…” The person who just lost their pet does feel bad and is upset, even if their pet wasn’t suffering or lived its full life expectancy.
ARL Blog: Do you have any advice for what you SHOULD say to someone who has a lost a pet?
RF: Yes! First and foremost, make sure to acknowledge that you hear the person and the words that they are saying. Listen with your heart, not your head, and don’t give advice unless asked.
One of the best things you can possibly say is, “I can’t imagine what this has been like for you.” If you say it in the tone of question, it gives the grieving person permission to elaborate and express their feelings, should they want to. It shows the griever that you’re non-judgmental and that they’re in a safe space.
Alternatively, the truest and most failsafe statement when you encounter a grieving pet owner is probably, “Gosh, I heard what happened. I don’t know what to say.”
ARL Blog: Many parents are nervous to tell their children that their family pet is sick or has passed away in an effort to shield them from grief and sadness. Any suggestions of what you SHOULD say to children?
RF: Yes, be honest with them. When speaking to children about the loss of a pet, you can modify your language in terms that they can understand depending on their age; however the thoughts and ideas should remain the same. If you make the decision to put your pet to sleep, explain to your children gently what’s about to happen and give them the choice of whether or not they want to be there.
Encourage your children to show their emotions and teach them that grief is a normal natural reaction to loss. Have them tell you stories about their pet and how much they love them. Ask them to apologize to their pet and/or forgive their pet for any “wrongdoings”, such as chewing on their favorite doll. Remind them that although their pet won’t be there physically, that they will always have a place in their hearts and memories.
Animal owners in the Dorchester Neighborhood notified to be cautious while walking their dogs
Today, the ARL will send 15 birds to Tufts Wildlife Center in Grafton, MA for additional treatment.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) responded to 33 Bakersfield Street in Dorchester, MA on September 8, 2016 in response to a resident who called regarding her sick cat and the observation of birds falling from trees.
The ARL immediately gave emergency treatment to one cat, but unfortunately the cat could not be saved.
Additionally, 47 Grackle-type birds were either falling to the ground, sick, thrashing and unable to fly, or were found unresponsive.
It was determined that the birds should be isolated and neighbors notified to keep dogs and other animals from the area.
Current update on the 47 Grackles:
- 12 birds found deceased on scene
- 8 birds passed away shortly after rescue on their way to the shelter
- 12 birds were humanely euthanized due to their poor condition
- 15 birds remain in good condition in the custody of the Animal Rescue League of Boston Veterinary Team. Today, these animals will be sent to Tufts Wildlife Center in Grafton, MA.
The ARL continues to work with the State Department of Agriculture, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, City of Boston Inspectional Services Department, and Boston Public Health Commission to determine the cause of this unusual incident.
DONATE NOW to ensure that animals in need, like the many Grackles involved in this case, receive the critical veterinary care that they need.
It’s no surprise that American families love their cats- and their cats love them back! According to the 2015-2016 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, there were over 85 million owned cats in the United States making them the new “man’s best friend”. MEOW!
September is Happy Healthy Cat Month at Boston Veterinary Care (BVC), so what better time to bring in your kitty companion for their annual wellness exam! Your feline friend will love you even more for keeping them in tip-top shape, since, well, you know how meticulous they are!
Schedule an appointment with Dr.Breda, BVC’s Lead Veterinarian, at (617) 226-5605 or meet the rest of our team at www.arlboston.org/bvc/meet-our-staff.
Yearly check-ups are essential for cats of every age so that their veterinarian can carefully monitor their overall health and nutrition, while also making sure that they are up-to-date on all vaccinations and internal and external parasite preventatives.
Click here to download our promotional flyer – be sure to share this flyer with your friends and family!
Take advantage of BVC’s Happy Healthy Cat Month offer this September and receive:
- 25% OFF a cat wellness exam*, even for seniors!
- FREE goody bag filled with pawsome items for your feline friend, while supplies last.
To make an appointment, call (617) 226-5605 or visit arlboston.org/bvc.
All profits from Boston Veterinary Care support the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Boston Veterinary Care is located at 10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116 in the South End with easy access via I-90 and I-93. FREE on-site parking is available for your convenience.
*Not to be combined with any other offer. Offer ends 9/30/16.
Espresso, a 1-year-old rat, recovering from surgery to remove a large tumor
Everyone knows that the Animal Rescue League of Boston helps cats and dogs, but did you know that we help all other types of small animals, livestock, and wildlife too?
Espresso, a 1-year-old female rat, was picked up by ARL’s Rescue Services after being abandoned at a local veterinary clinic with her sister, Mocha. The adorable pair were brought to our Boston shelter where they received a veterinary exam, behavioral evaluation, and kind attention from staff and volunteers.
Unfortunately, during Espresso’s initial examination at the shelter, a large tumor was found over her left shoulder. Our Shelter Veterinary Services team immediately brought her to surgery, which cost approximately $250, to remove the tumor.
Espresso, a 1-year-old rat, is recovering comfortably from tumor-removal surgery at the ARL. She and her sister Mocha are available for adoption and looking for a loving family!
DONATE NOW to ensure that animals like Espresso receive the critical preventative or emergency veterinary care that they need.
Espresso was a trooper throughout her surgery and recovered very well. In fact, she was walking around her enclosure and eating within an hour after waking up.
Through all of this process, Espresso never lost her love of people and remained as sweet as ever!
After surgery, the removed mass was sent to a lab for analysis and was determined to be a benign mammary tumor.
Mammary tumors are very common in middle-aged to older rats. Because rats have mammary tissue that extends well beyond the area of their mammary glands, mammary tumors can occur in locations you wouldn’t necessarily expect.
Thankfully, the tumors are nearly always benign, as was the case for Espresso. This means it’s very unlikely that they will metastasize or recur in the same location.
It’s important to know, however, that rats who develop one mammary tumor will often go on to have additional mammary tumors develop at new locations in the future.
We recommend that Espresso’s adopters have a discussion with their family vet about whether to consider additional treatment, such as hormone injections, to help prevent future tumors from forming.
MEET ESPRESSO AT OUR BOSTON ADOPTION CENTER! Espresso and her sister Mocha are both available for adoption and would make lovely little additions to your home. Visit us at 10 Chandler Street in Boston, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (617) 226-5602 for more information about this pair.
UPDATE 9/5/16: Espresso and her sister Mocha have been adopted!
Some holiday weekend activities may be TOO HOT FOR SPOT!
Although Labor Day signifies the end of summer for many New Englanders, the warmer weather and outdoor activities are sure to continue well into fall. Whether it be a family get-together, BBQ, or beach day, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) remind you that the heat and stimulation of the holiday weekend festivities may be overwhelming to your pup.
Follow these 5 pet safety tips to ensure a fun holiday weekend for you and your canine companion:
Keep these 5 pet safety tips in mind to ensure a fun Labor Day Weekend for the entire family!
Leave your pup indoors in a small quiet cool room. Turning on a TV or radio at a low volume can help detract from outside noises. Leave them free to roam around so that they don’t feel too confined.
- Always keep your canine on a leash or in a carrier if they must be outside. Set them up in a cool shady spot with ample air flow and plenty of fresh water.
- Keep your pooch away from potentially hazardous objects. Secure your pet a good distance from BBQs and pools. Remember that some pets can become “fearfully aggressive” due to loud noises, so monitor them closely.
- Never leave your pup alone in a parked car if they must travel with you. On a hot day, the temperature inside a parked car can cause deadly heatstroke- even with the windows cracked. S.2369, An Act to Prevent Animal Suffering and Death, will take effect on November 17, 2016.
- Make sure your dog’s microchip and ID tag information is current. Many animal shelters report increases of “stray” animals during the summer when pets are more likely to slip out into the sunshine. Be sure your contact information is current and always on your pup’s collar to ensure an easy reunion should they be separated from you.
For more summer pet safety tips, visit arlboston.org/summersafety
Combination of Animal Welfare Measures Triples Protection
At a ceremony at the State House on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, Governor Baker signed S.2369, An Act to Prevent Animal Suffering and Death, into law. The law will take effect on November 17, 2016.
Watch a snippet of the State House ceremony
Did you know that S.2369 actually is 3 bills in one? The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is thrilled because the new law provides protection for pets in several ways! While there has been a great deal of attention –and rightly so– on the pets in vehicles portion of the bill, the ARL is pretty excited about the other provisions as well.
“With the signing of this bill, animals in Massachusetts will be safer. The need to enact S.2369 was met with widespread support throughout the House and Senate and now by the Governor’s office,” said Mary Nee, president of the ARL.
Having 3 separate animal welfare measures enacted helps keep Massachusetts at the forefront of animal protection…
1. Pets in vehicles, a new legal tool in place
The ARL’s “Too Hot for Spot” campaign is aimed at educating pet owners on the dangers of leaving a pet in a vehicle and it certainly underscored the need for this measure.
The new bill now allows first responders, such as animal control officers, law enforcement officers, and police officials, and firefighters, to intervene early and rescue a pet from a hot car –or from a car in extreme cold weather– before the pet is suffering.
Additionally, there’s a new consequence for people who put their pets in harm’s way by leaving them in cars, separate and apart from animal cruelty. People who violate the law will be given tickets, and the fines increase if they are repeat offenders.
Citizens may also help rescue pets left in vehicles, but only under limited conditions that require them to first call 911 and make reasonable efforts to find the owner. If the pet is taken from the vehicle, the rescuer must stay with the pet at the scene until law enforcement personnel arrive at the scene.
2. Tethering of dogs, now reduced to 5 hour time limit
The new bill updates a law already in place, which didn’t seem to be working as well as it should have been. Under the old law, a dog could be tethered (tied or chained up) for up to 24 hours. The law did not prohibit tethering outside in terrible weather.
The new law now limits the time of tethering outside to up to 5 hours. Additionally, a dog cannot be tethered between the hours of 10PM and 6AM, or outdoors when a weather advisory, warning, or watch has been issued.
3. The ARL and MSPCA can further help enforce the law
The new bill gives the ARL’s and MSPCA’s law enforcement officers the ability to rescue animals that are confined under “cruel conditions”, which includes exposure to excessive animal waste, garbage, dirty water, noxious odors, and other potentially dangerous circumstances.
Under the new law, the ARL and MSPCA will now be able to enforce the prohibitions under this section. They are also permitted to write citations to violators if an animal control officer is unavailable or is unable to respond to the scene.
“We are grateful that first responders and citizens can protect the well-being of animals,” says Mary Nee. “We are also excited that our law enforcement officers now have the ability to enforce the law and stop animals from living in, and being exposed to, cruel and inhumane conditions.”
KNOW THE LAW… Click here to read the details of S.2369, An Act to Prevent Animal Cruelty and Death.
THANK YOU to Governor Charlie Baker, Senator Mark Montigny, Rep. Lori Ehrlich, Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Rep. David Rogers, Rep. Louis Kafka, Senator Pat Jehlen, Senator Barbara L’Italien, Rep. Speliotis, and the many other legislators for their commitment to helping animals across the Commonwealth and for taking action to prevent animal suffering and death!
SPECIAL THANKS to the MSPCA and HSUS for their partnership on getting this important piece of legislation passed for animals in Massachusetts!
Rep. Lori Ehrlich takes the podium.
This adorable pup couldn’t help posing for the camera!
Left to Right: Rep. Lori Ehrlich, Senator Mark Montigny, and Senator Tarr.
Umbrella Cockatoo Recovering Well After Being Severely Neglected
DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS BIRD? Contact ARL’s Law Enforcement, (617) 226-5610
On July 25th, 2016, a concerned citizen noticed something odd with the trash put out around Norfolk Street in Dorchester, Massachusetts; in the middle of the garbage to be collected was a birdcage filled with maggots and cockroaches– and an Umbrella Cockatoo.
Mayfield, the Umbrella Cockatoo found in the trash, is recovering well at the ARL after emergency surgery.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue services quickly responded to the call to help the discarded bird.
When found, the Cockatoo, now named “Mayfield”, was emaciated and had a serious medical condition that required emergency surgery. Luckily, she is now recovering at the ARL and doing well enough to soon be able to find a loving home!
Sadly, Mayfield is not the first animal we’ve seen who was abandoned and left to die in the trash or on the streets. We understand that tough economic conditions also affect pets, but let’s get the word out that the last resort is not throwing your pet away.
Learn the 7 warning signs of animal cruelty
There are many organizations like the ARL, agencies, and individuals, who can be a dependable resource for families who need help caring for their pet. There are always options, but throwing an animal away is not one of them.
The ARL needs your help in identifying Mayfield’s owners…
The person(s) responsible for neglecting and cruelly abandoning this lovely bird needs to be held accountable for their actions. Failure to provide proper food, drink, shelter, and a sanitary environment and willful abandonment of an animal are felony violations of Massachusetts’s anti-cruelty laws. A person convicted of these crimes could receive a prison sentence of up to 7 years.
If you recognize Mayfield or have any information regarding her case, please contact the ARL’s Law Enforcement Department at (617) 226-5610.