Adopt A Rescued Bird This Month!

Birds are sensitive and intelligent companions that will surprise you with their beauty and song. Here at the Animal Rescue League of Boston we have several different species of birds available for adoption between our three branches. January is Adopt-A-Rescued-Birth Month and if you’ve been thinking of getting a pet bird, don’t wait any longer adopt your new companion today.

Curry is a yellow finch.

Curry is a yellow finch.

Curry is a beautiful yellow finch and is one of four finches that are available at our Dedham Adoption Center. These finches came to us when the owner became overwhelmed with the amount of birds in their care. If you are interested in adopting a pair of finches, please contact the shelter at 781-326-0729, or stop by during visiting hours. We do ask that you provide a picture of your caging already set up in advance of adoption. These finches require a flight cage that is at least 30 inches in length. They will need to go home in pairs and their adoption fee is $10 per bird.


Mercury is a stunning unaltered male gray and yellow Cockatiel. He was brought to the League because he was not the right fit for his previous home. He is estimated to be about 1 year and 3 months old. This super sweet and friendly guy is available for adoption at our Boston Adoption Center. For more information about Mercury please call 617-226-5602 or visit our Boston Adoption Center.

Cloud is a white dove.


Cloud is a 3 month old domestic dove available for adoption at our Dedham Adoption Center. Cloud has been at the League Since September 7, 2012. Cloud’s adoption fee is $10.



Salty is a 4 year old Cockatiel who’s been searching for his forever home since June! He’s available at our Brewster Adoption Center. He is looking for a home where he will be the only bird.

He wants to interact with people but is timid of hands of new people. He is therefore looking for an experienced home with knowledge about bird behavior. Salty loves to chatter with his family. He wants to be affectionate but sometimes gets scared. Once he trusts you, he bonds strongly. Salty loves to share your lunch – he hangs out in one of the offices and plops himself down on the desk at lunch time.

In his cage or out, with someone he is not yet fully used to, he will shy away from fingers and make “threatening gestures” with his beak if you reach for him. As long as you don’t continue to reach right at him he doesn’t bite. He is a really great, fun little guy as long as you understand him.

Salty has been living in the office of our Assistant Manager, Pamela. We would want anyone interested in him to spend some time with him to get to know him and let him get to know you, and also to speak with Pamela because she knows all his ins and outs.

If you’re interested in learning more about Salty please call at 508-255-1030 or stop by our Brewster Adoption Center to meet him.

New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Owners

NYRBlogPhotoSo you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution for yourself, but have you thought about making a resolution specific to your pet? Here are 7 resolutions for pet lovers for 2013, because our four-legged companions always deserve a little more love! Take a minute to read through these and tell us which one you’re choosing for your New Year’s Resolution.

  1. Spend more time with your pet. Your cat or dog wants to be with you! After you’ve been at work all day, they can’t wait to see you! Pledge to spend an extra ten minutes with your pet every day. Get up ten minutes early and play with your cat or extend your dog’s walk by 10 more minutes or just take a few extra minutes to snuggle with your pup and scratch him behind the ear when you get home from work.
  2. Microchip your pet. We strongly recommend micro-chipping your pet. A microchip is an electronic device placed under the skin of an animal. The chips are about the size of a grain of rice and emit a low-frequency radio wave when detected by a special scanner. Pet microchips aren’t a tracking or GPS device but simply a way of storing a pet owner’s address and phone number if the pet is lost. For more information about pet microchips contact your vet, local animal shelter or Animal Control Officer. HomeAgain, a microchip and pet recovery service, is responsible for reuniting more than 1,000,000 lost pets with their owners. 
  3. Bring your pet to the vet.  The League‘s very own Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, DVM says “a checkup with your veterinarian can help you determine how healthy your dog is…. even healthy looking dogs can have hidden problems.” Take your pet to the vet at least once a year to keep vaccinations current, get heart-worm prevention renewed and make sure your pet is healthy.
  4. Take better care of your pet’s teeth. Dental Disease affects dogs and cats, just as it does humans. There are several ways to prevent dental disease in your pets. Give them treats that clean teeth. Brush their teeth on a regular basis, if you can’t use a toothbrush, use your finger and apply special toothpaste as suggested by your vet. If tartar buildup occurs, your pet’s teeth should be professionally cleaned by your veterinarian.
  5. Give your pet the proper nutrition. Poor nutrition can lead to poor health. There are many great dog food brands out there. Tell your vet what type of food you’re looking for, holistic, organic, all-natural, dental, weight control, etc… and ask your vet what brands s/he would recommend. An unbalanced diet can result in poor skin, hair coat, muscle tone, and obesity.
  6. DT_mini2Put an end to your pet’s behavioral problems. If your dog is misbehaving or if you want to teach him basic commands, enroll him in a dog training class. Dog training classes start at our Boston Headquarters on January 5. We offer a 10% discount to BVC clients and a 50% discount to ARL Alums!
  7. Allow your pet more opportunities to exercise. Most animals like to play, so find an activity that you both enjoy and go for it. Exercise is good for your pet and you! If your dog likes to run, try jogging a few times a week. If your dog likes to play fetch take him to the park and throw a ball around. For cats, try finding a toy that they like to chase.

Food Is Not Love

BigCatOne of the biggest issues with animal obesity is that owners themselves simply don’t recognize it. After all, our pets are our best friends; we see them every day, so naturally a few extra pounds can easily go unnoticed. This is until of course the dreaded weigh in at the Doctors office. When it comes to our pets being over weight there is much more at stake than just good looks. Some of the many health risks resulting from pet obesity include diabetes, joint stress, arthritis, blood pressure issues, heart disease and most importantly, longevity. Maintaining our pets everyday quality of life in later years becomes much more difficult when they are overweight. Obesity in our animals is not only important to recognize, but to control and prevent.

So how can we really tell if our pets are over weight? As DVM Kasja Newlin puts it, when feeling over our dogs ribs it should feel similar to the way our knuckles do when our hand is laid out flat. On the contrary, if your pets ribs feel the same way your knuckles do when forming a fist then they are under-weight. An easier way to tell might be simply standing over your pet, when looking down at them you should be able to see a waist. If you see a tank, your pet is too heavy. Keep track of your pets weight just as you would your own, this way any gains or losses can be easily detected. It is important for pet owners to understand that though your pet being a few pounds over weight may not sound like very much to you, it is to them. In our defense, our pets constant eagerness to eat is easily confused for actual hunger. As DVM Dr. Davis likes to remind us, the important truth is that our pets are a lot like us, we eat because we like to and not necessarily because we are hungry.

If your Veterinarian has advised you that your pet is over weight, or under weight, it’s important to take control of the issue. We don’t want to see rapid weight gain or weight loss in any pet so it is important to cut back or add on to equate the ideal calorie intake. Proper calorie intake varies between each animal. Consult your veterinarian to learn your pets ideal weight.  With your pet’s Doctor you can calculate a proper diet in accordance with the recommended calorie intake. After all, we want to see our loyal companions live forever, so lets start feeding them that way!

Safe And Warm For The Holidays

Photo Credit: Christine Barton

Photo Credit: Christine Barton

On Christmas Eve the Animal Rescue League of Boston rescued two cats who were left in a wire cage in an alley in East Boston. It was a freezing cold night and fortunately two good Samaritans found them, brought them inside and called for help. Now these two cats, lovingly named Grace and Ivy (pictured right), are safe and warm at our Boston Adoption Center. Despite the cold temperatures that night, Grace and Ivy appear to be in good health.

Without your generous donations we wouldn’t be able to help animals like Grace and Ivy, so before you go out to celebrate tonight please remember to make your tax deductible gift to the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

Please know that no gift is too big or too small. Help us continue our mission of rescuing domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment and neglect by making your gift today.

Thank you!

Photo Credit: Christine Barton

Photo Credit: Christine Barton

Adoption Spotlight: Bridget-A Big Pup With A Lot of Love

BridgetBridget is a beautiful, big and strong, 11 month-old female pup who found her way to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, because her owner could not provide her with enough time. She knows some of her commands already and responds very well to them, but does need to learn not to pull on her leash so much! She loves to play with our bigger dogs here, but because of her size, she might spook some smaller ones. Occasionally, she will bark at strangers, but she recovers quickly and comes up to her human companion nearby wagging her tail and looking for attention.

If you’re looking for a big puppy to raise and train to be a wonderful pet, please consider adopting Bridget and giving her a forever home for the new year!

Ask The Vet: Our Vets Answer Your Questions Part 1

DrKim K. O.: What is the best way to prevent hair balls in felines?

Answer: For hair balls Dr. Davis recommends an over the counter hair ball remedy diet. Another alternative is a product called Laxatone. This is a supplement that can be purchased at your local veterinarian’s office and used as directed by your pet’s Doctor to help reduce hair balls.

Lindsey S.: It sounds like my pup has kennel cough from what I have read, but I would like to know the recommended healing method. Thank you!

Answer: Dr. Davis suggests that with any persistent cough, your pet should be examined by a veterinarian. In regards to kennel cough, if diagnosed it is treated by antibiotics as prescribed by your pet’s Doctor.

Have a question for one of our Boston Veterinary Care vets? Leave your questions in our comments section below!

Birthday Giving: Girl Asks For Donations To The League

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Meredith holds a shelter ferret at our Cape Cod branch in Brewster.

In this, the season of giving, we love to share the stories of people who find innovative and unique ways to give to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, particularly when those people are kids who show a passion for animals and animal welfare from a young age. One such young person is Meredith of Cape Cod who for two birthdays in row has preffered to give rather than receive. In lieu of gifts Meredith requested that her friends and family make a donation to the League.

Thank you, Meredith, for your commitment to helping shelter animals!

Have A Pet-Safe Holiday


Photo Credit: Maria Uribe

While part of the fun of the holidays is decorating – part of the fun for pets may be UN-decorating, and holiday decorations can be dangerous. Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore and Dr. Amy Marder offer some suggestions to help keep your holidays from ending in disaster.

“Many a Christmas tree is felled by a rambunctious cat,” notes Dr. Marder. To prevent accidents, she suggests supporting your tree with a sturdy stand and wires. Try to hang ornaments (especially the more fragile ones) high on your tree to make them less accessible to pets.

“Ribbons and tinsel are especially attractive and hazardous to cats (they can end up in your pet’s intestinal tract, causing string foreign body blockage), and chewing on electrical cords can cause severe oral burns and even fatal shocks for dogs and cats. To help prevent this, try to cover the cords with a bad-tasting, non-toxic substance like Tabasco sauce or a bitter-tasting product from your local pet supply store.”

Decorative plants are also a source of danger. “Mistletoe and holly can cause vomiting and lilies are often deadly to cats,” warns Dr. Smith. “Poinsettias, despite their reputation, are not deadly but can cause blisters in the mouth and mild stomach upset.”

If you think your in-laws are stressful for YOU …
The holidays are traditionally a time for families to get together, but if your pet is uncomfortable around new people or people they rarely see, it may be best to separate him or her from company, says Dr. Marder. “Make sure that your young guests know to let your pet rest when in bed or while eating. And your cat may appreciate a new ‘kitty condo’ or merely cardboard boxes or paper bags in which to hide.”

Dr. Smith also advises monitoring people going in and out of the front door as pets might take advantage and try to escape.

“In addition, be sure to make time to spend quality time exercising and playing with your pets. The holidays can be stressful for all of us, a little play can be a great stress reliever (for both pets and owners alike!), and tired pets are less anxious pets. She concludes, “Our pets are family members too, we have to be sure they don’t get lost in the holiday shuffle!”

Keep your vet’s and local animal emergency hospital’s numbers handy.
Last but not least, keep your veterinarian’s phone number and the local animal emergency hospital handy in case your pet should become ill. A quick call to either of them can give you life-saving advice or even help you avoid a trip to the ER.

by Randell Jay