Pets As Gifts… CAN Be a Good Idea!

5 factors to consider before you give pets as Valentine’s Day gift

It seems like a no-brainer… Giving a pet as a present can be a win-win situation for everyone involved: the animal has a cozy home to call its own, the recipient is in a state of awe, and the giver (you!) has made your loved one’s Valentine’s Day even more romantic.

While this is the gift-giving scenario that every animal lover dreams of, make sure it really is the purrfect present for the person on your list.

If giving your loved one a new pet as a present is on your mind, here are 5 things to consider:

  1. Manage the surprise. Even at the risk of spoiling the surprise, make sure that the intended recipient wants a new pet. Check in with someone who currently has pets or has recently lost one to make sure they are ready.
  2. Don’t make them sneeze. That’s not a twinkle in their eye; it’s allergies. Confirm any allergies among all household members. No one wants to go get an allergy shot after opening what’s supposed to be an extra special gift, after all.
  3. Know where they live. Even if you know your intended recipient really wants a pet, ensure that their building and development allows them. If their home is pet-friendly, be sure to confirm any weight or breed restrictions.
  4. Find out what they can handle. You want to know that the animal you are getting matches the lifestyle, physical limitation, ages, and personalities in the household.
  5. Adopt from a shelter.  When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  Adopting from a reputable animal shelter like the ARL’s locations in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham also has many practical benefits. All our adoptable animals, for example, receive spay/neuter services, vaccines, and a health and behavioral screening.

Keep in mind… It never hurts to run the idea by your loved one beforehand or take them along to pick out their new pet. They and their new furry friend will be thanking you for many years to come!

The ARL has many deserving animals looking for a home!

It’s not just snowing cats and dogs here at ARL’s shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham. We have many special small shelter pets like birds and rabbits who are looking for loving homes!

Search all adoptables

 

February 9, 2017 – Winter Weather Closings

ARL programs and administrative offices will be closed on February 9

Due to the winter weather, ARL will be closed to the public on Thursday, February 9:

  • Administrative offices
  • Adoption centers in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham
  • Boston Veterinary Care
  • Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery
  • Rescue Services
  • Spay Waggin’

Dedicated staff and volunteers will remain at each shelter location to make sure that the animals in our care remain safe, warm, and in good spirits as the snow flies.

When a snow storm hits, we often receive an increasing number of calls from concerned citizens with questions about feral cats. We suggest trying to coax a feral cat indoors to a garage or basement for shelter. If that’s not possible, watch our helpful how-to video to build a DIY cat shelter.

For more winter weather pet safety tips, visit arlboston.org/winter-pet-health.

 

DIY: Winter Pet Emergency Kit

Simple and inexpensive to make, a pet emergency kit is a must for your home

Blizzards, flooding, and power outages are par for the course during the harsh New England winters. When you’re stocking your pantry and gathering snow removal equipment for the next big storm, don’t forget to plan ahead for your pet too! In the event of an evacuation, natural disaster, or other emergency the Animal Rescue League of Boston wants to make sure that your pet is already packed and ready to go with you! Follow these 7 steps to keep your pet safe during an emergency In addition to having a sturdy comfortable crate or carrier on-hand for transporting your pet, be sure to prepare a pet emergency kit ahead of time with the following supplies:

  • Water-resistant backpack or lightweight bag to hold everything
    pet emergency kit

    Don’t forget to bring a photocopy or portable USB drive of your pet’s medical records.

  • Food and water – at least 3 days worth!
  • Portable food and water bowls
  • Manual can opener and fork, or measuring cup
  • Litter or newspaper to shred and litter boxes
  • Paper towels and trash bags for additional pet sanitation needs
  • Bleach (dilute 9 parts water to 1 part bleach for cleaning)
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Collar with ID tags – be sure the information is up-to-date!
  • Leash
  • Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Bedding
  • Grooming items

ALSO, DON’T FORGET… to make your pet easy to ID! If you become separated from your pet, you’ll want to locate and claim them as quickly as possible. Microchipping your pet is always a good idea and a fail-safe way to verify that you’re their owner. Also, keep a photo of you and your pet together handy to help others easily identify them. For more useful pet safety advice, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips.

 

Answered: Your FAQs About Spay/Neuter

February is National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month

Let’s face it: there’s nothing cool about pet overpopulation.

Despite all the health benefits of spaying and neutering pets, approximately one third of pet owners still have not brought their pet in to have the procedure.

Dr. Schettino, ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare and Shelter Veterinary Services, believes that lack of affordable options and lingering myths and misconceptions about the low-risk surgery are two major barriers to increasing spay and neuter rates. In fact, ARL frequently addresses these concerns with clients at our Boston Veterinary Care clinic and Spay Waggin’.

Dr. Edward Schettino with Moose, an ARL alum from the Boston shelter.

Dr. Edward Schettino with Moose, an ARL alum.

ARL Blog sat down with Dr. Schettino to find out the most FAQs about spay and neuter. Here’s what he had to say…

ARL Blog: What do you say to a pet owner who’s concerned that spay or neuter surgery is painful?

Dr. Schettino (DS): Pain is associated with every surgery. At ARL, we use pain medication before, during, and after surgery to make the procedure as pain-free as possible. The majority of dogs and cats are acting 100% normal by the next morning. In fact, the challenging part to the surgery is trying to keep the dog or cat rested when they feel so good.

ARL Blog: Is spay or neuter surgery expensive? What are the local low-cost options/clinics in the area?

DS: Spay/neuter surgeries vary in price depending on location and provider – here’s a link with some great resources – massanimalcoalition.com/resources/spay-neuter. Our Spay Waggin’ also provides affordable spay and neuter services to animals in need on the South Shore and Cape Cod. You can also check with your local veterinarian.

ARL Blog: At what age should dogs/cats be spayed/neutered?

DS: Many veterinarians now spay and neuter dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age. You should check with your veterinarian about the appropriate time for these procedures. And remember, it’s never too late to spay or neuter your pet!

ARL Blog: Should pet owners be concerned that their pet’s behaviors will change after the surgery? Will a male dog, for example, be less of a protector?

DS: Your pet’s behavior will not change. A dog’s personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones. It is a dog’s natural instinct to protect the home and family.

ARL Blog: What can people to do help end animal overpopulation?

DS: Spay and neuter your pet! Always talk to family and friends and explain to them the benefits of spay/neuter–tell them it’s hip to snip! Help them understand that this will benefit their pet as well as help prevent animal overpopulation. Additionally, people can donate to their favorite animal welfare charity to help support  spay/neuter efforts.

For more spay/neuter resources, visit: http://www.arlboston.org/spay-neuter/

 

February is National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month

5 reasons why you should spay/neuter your pet

During National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month this February, the ARL reminds the public that there’s nothing cool about pet overpopulation.

“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 & Shelter 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:

09-24 Boston Spay Neuter Day_Thumb1. You Snip, You Save. 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. Snipping Reduces 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. Snipping Stops 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. Snipping Lengthens 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. Snipping is a 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.

For more spay and neuter resources, visit arlboston.org/spay-neuter.

 

ARL Caring for Abandoned Hingham Dog

DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS DOG? Contact Hingham PD (781) 749-1212

Note: Due to ongoing investigation, the Hingham dog is currently NOT available for adoption.

Earlier this week, a young Maltese-type dog was found abandoned in a crate along Downer Avenue in Hingham, MA. He was left with a blanket, toys, and food; but he was also left shivering in near-freezing temperatures along a busy street.

hingham dog

Do you recognize this dog? If so, please contact Hingham Police Department at (781) 749-1212.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is currently providing veterinary care, shelter, and kind attention for the Hingham dog. An exam by ARL’s lead veterinarian concluded that the dog is approximately 2-years-old, is not neutered, and is in good health. Volunteers and staff have remarked at how sweet-natured the dog is… and how much he loves his little treats!

The Hingham dog was not found with any identification or a microchip.

Animal abandonment is a felony offense under Massachusetts law, however surrendering is a way to give an animal a second chance at finding a forever home. An animal can be brought to organizations like ARL, a local shelter, or even a police or fire department. There are always options, but abandonment should never be one of them.

DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS DOG?

ARL’s Law Enforcement Department is assisting the Hingham Police Department in this ongoing investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Hingham Police Department (781) 749-1212 or ARL’s Law Enforcement Department (617) 226-5610.

 

Animal Rescue League of Boston Marks Bill Signing

H. 1220 Strengthens Financial Protections for Animal Care Facilities

 The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) joined Representative Linda Dean Campbell, fellow animal welfare organizations, state and local officials, animal control officers, and the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association at MSPCA-Nevins Farm in Methuen today, to announce the signing of H. 1220 – An Act Updating the Law Relating to Posting a Security for Seized Animals in Cruelty Cases.

 H. 1220 was sponsored by Representative Campbell (D-Methuen), supported by 72 co-sponsors, and signed into law by Governor Baker on January 13. It will become effective on April 14.

“I am very optimistic about the positive impact this bill will have to expedite animal cruelty cases, promote better treatment of animals, and remove a financial and administrative burden on cities and towns,” said Representative Campbell.

Dr. Doyle speaks to crowd at Nevins Farm

Animal Cruelty cases often involve cities and towns, as well as organizations like ARL taking custody of the animal(s) affected. Some cases may take months to resolve, and the costs of caring for these animals is extensive. The update to H. 1220 now allows the prosecuting agency to request a court order for the accused to post a security bond, which can be utilized to pay for medical care, quarantine, behavioral training, food, shelter, and other care-related costs. This will hopefully expedite future cases.

“The organizations that care for and shelter the animals currently can request the court to order the accused to post a bond to cover the costs of sheltering the animal,” said Nadine Pellegrini, ARL’s Director of Advocacy. “Allowing the Attorney General and District Attorneys to also file the petition for a bond will be an addition, and hopefully, more efficient tool which will streamline the procedure during the course of the case and lead to a quicker resolution.”

Like people, the psyche and health of animals is fragile, and holding animals long-term isn’t only costly, it can be harmful. For dogs and cats these can manifest as aggression, the loss of house or litterbox training, or obsessive behaviors such as chewing and gnawing on themselves. And, medically, stress can result in a suppressed immune system, making animals susceptible to infectious diseases.

“It can be very challenging for shelters to meet the behavioral and medical needs of animals confiscated and held in cruelty cases,” stated Dr. Erin Doyle, ARl’s Lead Veterinarian. “Any measure that helps to provide resources for their care or expedites placement of these animals into stable homes will be greatly beneficial.”

As the new Legislative Session gets underway, the Animal Rescue League of Boston will continue its mission to be a champion for animals in need by collaborating with advocacy colleagues and working with law makers to further strengthen animal protection laws in Massachusetts.

 

Put Your Pet’s Best Paw Forward in 2017

Enroll your pup in one of the ARL’s many dog training classes!

dogtraining_class_sitting

Start your dog’s New Year off on the right paw by enrolling him or her in one of ARL’s many dog training and enrichment courses!

DID YOU KNOW… that January is National Train Your Dog Month?

Whether your dog is a newbie, needs a refresher on his basic commands, or just wants to meet a few new canine pals, the ARL has a class for you!

Help Rover keep his New Year’s resolutions by registering him for one of ARL’s Winter/Spring 2017 dog training and enrichment courses offered at our Boston shelter location at 10 Chandler Street.

The ARL offers a variety of dog training classes at our Boston shelter for dogs of all ages and levels as part of our commitment to supporting positive relationships between people and their pets.

Our certified, experienced, and caring dog trainers help you teach your dog basic and advanced commands, manners, socializing skills, and agility training.

Click here to view course descriptions and sign up your pup today!

For questions or more information about ARL’s dog training courses, contact us at 617-426-9170 or behavior@arlboston.org.

 

Recent Animal Cruelty Case Reflects Commitment, Highlights Need for Change

Judge Cites Link Between Animal Cruelty and Other Forms of Violence

On January 6, 2017, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) Law Enforcement Department, in collaboration with the Salem and Peabody Police Departments, assisted in the execution of a search warrant that landed an alleged animal abuser in jail on a charge of animal cruelty, and removed a defenseless 11-month-old Pit Bull-type dog from his possession.
The investigation of alleged abuse by 31-year-old Salem resident John Leger was reported by witnesses in November, and ultimately involved both Salem and Peabody Police Departments and ARL.

Leger was arraigned on January 9, 2017 at Peabody District Court, and was formally charged with one count of animal cruelty. The district court judge required the posting of a $25,000 cash bond, and the alleged abuser was instructed to have no contact with any witnesses connected to the case, and was barred from any possession, custody and control of animals and cannot reside with any animal while the case is pending. The details contained in the criminal complaint are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case encompasses elements that mirror ARL’s continuously evolving mission to combat animal abuse.

  • The first issue is consideration of the link between animal abuse and other forms of violence. In 2014, the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force was created to consider future protections for animals and ways to strengthen Massachusetts’ cruelty laws. ARL President Mary Nee was a member of the Task Force and she and others explored a number of areas including the link between animal cruelty and other forms of violence and making courts and law enforcement aware of this connection. According to a Massachusetts study, 70 percent of people who committed crimes against animals had also been involved in other violent crimes, and were also five times more likely to commit a violent act against another person. During the suspect’s arraignment, District Court Judge Richard Mori did make note of the existence of the link between animal abuse and other violent crimes before he set conditions of release.
  • The second issue involves the release of a defendant charged with animal cruelty. The court was required to set conditions of release because animal cruelty is not listed as one of the crimes which permits a finding of “dangerousness” and which would permit holding the defendant without bail. ARL, along with other members of the Task Force, is working on legislation which would add the charges of animal cruelty to those which can be used to find that a person charged with animal cruelty may present a risk of danger to the community.

ARL’s Law Enforcement Department works tirelessly and is committed to protecting animals in Massachusetts from all cases of neglect and abuse. ARL would like to commend the Salem and Peabody Police Departments, as well as the Essex County District Attorney’s Animal Cruelty Prosecution Unit, for making animal cruelty cases a priority.

IF YOU SEE ABUSE–REPORT IT
Often times, the initial step in animal cruelty cases are a report by a witness. As in the aforementioned case, witnesses who step forward and report are crucial. It is important to remind everyone concerned with animal welfare that if you see something, say something.

Immediately report an incident to your city/town animal control officer, or local police department. Members of the public and other agencies can also report suspected animal abuse to ARL’s Law Enforcement Department at (617) 226-5610 or cruelty@arlboston.org.

 

3-Legged Kitten Finds a Home for the Holidays

The clock is ticking…

countdown

We still need to raise over $203,000 by December 31 to meet our goal.

Please give generously to ensure that we start the new year fully funded to help special-needs animals like Bradley receive the emergency veterinary care they need to survive.

URGENT

Due to a congenital defect, Bradley was born missing the majority of his left rear paw. ARL’s Shelter Veterinary Medicine team tentatively scheduled a surgery for the young kitten just in case the remainder of his left hind leg would need to be removed.

In the meantime, Bradley was entered into ARL’s foster care program to gain strength in a quiet and safe space. His foster mom bottle-fed him throughout the day and night. She also had to stimulate him to use the bathroom and patiently taught him how to use the litter box.

Though Bradley moved around ably, his foster mom kept a close eye on him. She noted that he favored putting weight on his paw-less leg and was lifting it at an unnatural angle while he walked. He began to spend more and more time laying down.

Worried about the abnormalities in his gait and the injuries it could subject him to, Bradley’s foster mom brought him back to ARL to have his emergency leg amputation surgery.

Fortunately, ARL’s Shelter Veterinary Medicine team is highly experienced in surgeries of this nature and were able to act swiftly, yet carefully to remove the rest of Bradley’s paw.

Bradley writhed in a mix of confusion and pain after surgery, however, his dedicated foster mom was there to care for and comfort him during his recovery.  Though he had lost the last bit of his hind leg, Bradley’s life had started to turn around. According to his foster mom, “He became much more active than before and was quite the climber and rascal.”

Weeks and plenty of playful hours later, Bradley came back to the ARL for a routine physical, which he passed with flying colors. Within 24 hours of hitting the adoption floor, Bradley was adopted by a loving family!  

Bradley

This 3-legged kitten found a home for the holidays – thanks to YOU!

Bradley’s story highlights much of the important work that YOU make possible for animals on a daily basis.

Animals at ARL receive the specialized veterinary care, kind attention, and socialization they need to thrive – only because of YOUR generous donations.

There are less than 48 hours left to help us raise over $203,000 to start the new year fully funded.

URGENT