Feline “Meet and Greet” Leads to Adoptions

Our Feline “Meet & Greet” at the Petco in Quincy, MA, yesterday led to the adoption of  four happy kitties. Congrats to Jeremiah, Mini Dog, Oreo, & Shelby who all found their forever homes on Sunday.

Prepping for the journey to Petco in Quincy.

Meet & Greets of this sort are an important way for the Animal Rescue League to reach out to communities outside of our shelter locations. Our dedicated staff and volunteers bring the cats to you and you have the chance to get to know each cat’s unique personality and find the perfect match for you.

Jeremiah and his marvelous adopter!

Some of those adopted felines are Whisker Patrol alums. We’re offering reduced adoption fees ($50) for all adult cats over 1 year. So, if you’re thinking about adopting an adult cat, now’s the time! Whisker Patrol is going on now until September 2nd. Stop by one of our Adoption Centers to meet your new feline friend.

Thank you to our volunteers, everyone who came out to meet the cats, and an extra special thank you to those of you who adopted and gave these kitties a second chance!

We’d also like to thank Petco for making this event happen! Remember that whenever you adopt a pet you’re eligible for Petco’s Think Adoption First Care and Savings Program. You’ll get instant savings on food and supplies, as well as monthly care tips.

Amazing adopters of newly formed pair, Shelby & Oreo.

Arli update

August 15, 2012: First, we’d like to thank everyone on Facebook, Twitter and our blog for following Arli’s story. She is now recuperating at our Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center where our veterinary team is treating a number of conditions including severe dermatitis and mild dental disease, and she is being monitored for a urinary tract infection and bladder stones. We are also carefully screening her for potential eye problems and autoimmune disease. 

She is receiving antibiotics and is being gently bathed with special therapeutic shampoo to soothe her painful, itchy skin. Yet, she eagerly awaits treats from passersby when she visits League staff member Debby Vogel’s office. Despite being a little itchy and sore, she is slowly finding her confidence and will happily get nose-to-nose with visitors who bend down to greet her. Some even receive a kiss on the face. Please check back for updates on her progress.

Please help us cover the cost of Arli’s care by making a gift today.

Boston’s Feral Cats Thank You

Yesterday, the League teamed up with the Boston Homeless Cats Group to collect food for the feral cat colonies in Boston. Donors arrived throughout the day to pitch in, and Maryann Reagan, Director of Shelter Operations, was overjoyed by the turnout. She estimates that approximately 1,000 cans and bags of dry food were donated.

Thank your for making Cat Food Bank Day a huge success!


Arli Needs Your Help

On a recent day off, the League’s Lt. Alan Borgal paused to listen to a voicemail message between yard work and errands. The message was from a concerned citizen calling about a weak, sickly-looking dog that was seen wandering near Arlington High School. Borgal immediately jumped into his car, picked up League staff member Debby Vogel, and went searching for the poor animal.

The female mixed-breed, now named “Arli’, was obviously hurting when they found her. Prolonged exposure to the elements made her fur sparse and skin raw. To make matters worse, she was completely covered in fleas and red ants.

Although timid, Arli was grateful for the food and water Alan and Debby provided. She is currently being treated for severe dermatitis as well as internal and external parasites at a local animal hospital. When she is well enough, she will move to the League’s Boston shelter to continue her recuperation under the care of our Shelter Medicine and Behavior teams.

We are happy to know that Arli will now get a chance at the life she deserves.

Please donate today to help cover the cost of Arli’s care and to support the important mission of the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

Meet Clyde and Chloe

 We don’t have a home, but we have love to share!

Clyde and I (Chloe) have been married for five years, and the difficult economic times have hit us hard. After successfully raising 3 litters of puppies and sustaining a loving relationship with each other, we lost our home.  Our family was absolutely devastated. They brought us to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, and were assured that we would be well taken care of. And we have been … our lives are pretty good. Our kennel is fairly small, and could use a decorator’s touch, but we go on walks three times per day, go to doggie social hour once daily, and occasionally get to spend time in a lovely office upstairs with wonderful people and a couch that we just adore! Every so often we humor the silly humans and do things that they ask, like ‘sit’… this makes them really happy and they give us lots of treats! Last night we had a bath… necessary I suppose, but NOT my favorite part of being here.

Despite being homeless and our temporary  living quarters, Clyde and I are still mad about each other. We sleep entwined and on top of each other, and we love to play together. We know each other so well, we even finish each other’s sentences (you might not understand what we are saying, but its true!) We like it here, but we miss having a human family … we would like to find a person or family who can envision not one but two adorable Rat Terriers. I know that adopting two dogs at once is a lot to ask, but we are such an amazing pair… please come by the Animal Rescue League to visit us. Please don’t be turned off if we bark a bit …we  can be defensive of our  home turf, and don’t immediately trust strangers. If you give us a chance (do YOU hug every stranger you meet?), we warm up to people quickly!

For more information about Clyde and Chloe, please contact our Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center at adoption@arlboston.org.

Adopting a Cat? Think Older!

Right now we’re in kitten season, which means there are lots of adorable kittens waiting for their forever homes. But while all of our shelter animals need to be adopted, it’s important not to forget the amazing older cats who are often overlooked among their tiny-pawed companions.

There are many reasons why older cats make fantastic pets, but here are just a few:

  •  Cat personalities don’t begin to solidify until at least eight months of age, so it’s difficult to tell what type of cat your kitten will turn into in terms of playfulness, energy level, sociability, desire to sit in your lap, etc. With an adult cat you can pick and choose all of your favorite traits!
  • The older the cat, the less work they tend to be. A cat that has matured doesn’t mind so much if you’re at work all day, and is much more likely to sleep through the night. If you don’t like being woken up early, you definitely want to think adult!
  • Older cats know that you’ve rescued them and give tons of love and thanks in return.
  • Indoors cats can live on average between 16 and 18 years. Some can even live into their twenties! So a 7-year-old shelter cat is only just middle-aged. Even a 13-year-old cat could remain happy and healthy for the next five years! Particularly for first-time adopters, consider your own ability to commit to the rest of an animal’s life.
  • If you’re worried that an older cat means more medical bills, consider that even with a kitten you should be prepared to pay for unforeseen medical issues. All of our shelter animals get a full health check by our veterinarian, so we’re able to inform you about any long-term health care your pet might need.
  • Lastly, opening your home to an adult cat is extremely rewarding. There are great cats that spend weeks or even months at the shelter, simply because they get overlooked.

When it’s time to add a new member to your feline family, be sure to ask our staff and volunteers what type of cat (age, personality, etc.) would be a good match for your lifestyle. We’ve spent lots of time getting to know each animal, and are happy to help you start a relationship that will last!

Here are some of our wonderful adult cats currently waiting for their forever homes at our Boston shelter:

Whiskers (pictured above, 13 years): very calm & mellow, easy to handle, looking for a quiet home
Ginger Root (9 years): affectionate & charming
Teddy (9 years): shy & gentle
Princess (7 years): lovebug & lap cat, loves other cats
Bruno (6 years): playful & outgoing, loves other cats
Abby (6 years): talkative, people-oriented

How to turn anything into something wonderful

How To Turn Just About Anything Material in to Something Wonderful for a Shelter Cat: Part 1

By Stephanie Murphy

There are two things I know about myself: I love cats, and I am a mediocre seamstress. My ability to execute a straight line with my sewing machine is questionable at best. Good thing cats don’t judge my abilities: they are too busy enjoying the results.

I have taken to saving all sorts of sweatshirts, socks, old waffle weave shirts, shrunken wool blankets and any fleece I can score on sale at the fabric store. With no more skill than a somewhat straight line, I have been making a variety of cat beds, toys and rice heating pads for the cats of the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

There is always a need for warm fuzzy things for the kitties, so I am hoping that there are sewing people out there who can help. Perhaps you. Perhaps your child’s scout troop needs a project. Either way, the more people sewing for cats the better!

The first project I’d like to share is by far the easiest and requires the least amount of work: the rice heating pad.

Old socks stuffed with dry rice make perfect feline heating pads.


During feral cat clinic season, scores of cats are spayed and neutered. While recovering from anesthesia, cats have a hard time regulating their body temperature and get cold. The League’s caring staff devised a way to keep the cats warm using 6”x8” cloth bags filled with dry (uncooked) rice. These bags can be tossed in the microwave and viola!, a disposable heating pad for our recovering feral Fluffy.

Sewing a 6”x8” rice bag is quite simple, but I went one step easier: loner, solo socks. Take one of your numerous matchless socks (clean, and sans holes please), fill about ¾ full with dry rice (I’m a fan of the warehouse store 25lb bag), and simply sew the top shut. For shorter socks, I used the entire sock. But for taller socks, I cut off the foot portion and used the top tube portion. But there’s nothing to say you can’t use both halves.

Remember, these socks will be microwaved, so higher cotton blends might fare better than an all-synthetic sock material. Above all, perfection isn’t required. Cats are just so happy to be warm, and to know that you cared about them.

In addition to being a cat lover, Stephanie Murphy is also a dedicated League volunteer.

Adoption Spotlight: Meet Whiskers

Meet the face of our Whisker Patrol, Whiskers, the black tabby cat!

Whiskers is a delightful 13-year-old cat. Don’t let his age fool you, this handsome fellow has a lot of personality and a lot of love to give. If you’re looking for a laid back, relaxed, and affectionate companion, Whiskers is the cat for you!

We chose him as the face of our campaign for three good reasons. 1) His name fit the bill, 2) He’s just so charming and wise, and 3) he’s the oldest cat at the shelter and he deserves to be spending his golden years in a caring home.

Summer is a particularly difficult time of year for the Animal Rescue League. Many cats are being surrendered and our shelter is nearing capacity. During these busy months, cats like Whiskers are sometimes overlooked by adopters. 

Please help adult cats like Whiskers find their forever homes by participating in our “Whisker Patrol”. From August 17th until August 31st, the Animal Rescue League of Boston has reduced its adoption fee for adult cats 1 year and older to $50! Discounted adoptions will be available at all three of our shelters. Check us out on Twitter and Facebook to follow the #WhiskerPatrol!

Happy Birthday!

-By Alana Mahoney

I’d like to wish a happy second birthday to a litter of 12 puppies that I fostered 2 years ago!  Some of you may remember Lacey who came to our shelter as part of a Law Enforcement case.  Lacey, a now 4-year-old Mastiff mix, came to our shelter emaciated and heavily pregnant.  It wasn’t long before she gave birth to 12 puppies that I ended up taking home to foster because it is better for young puppies to grow up in a home environment.  It was my first time fostering puppies and, especially with a litter so large, it was a truly unforgettable experience.  I had to help Lacey out with bottle feeding, as 12 mouths were too many for her to feed on her own.  I will never forget watching all the puppies run around in my backyard together, tumbling over each other.  

At two months of age, all 12 healthy puppies had grown to be quite friendly and were adopted into wonderful homes. Lacey was also adopted a few months later. 

The puppies even have an annual group birthday party (which they celebrated this past weekend) at one of the adopter’s homes. The festivities included a walk around the reservoir for the pups! 

I so enjoyed fostering the puppies and Lacey will always hold a special place in my heart.  There are so many organizations that may have turned Lacey’s puppies away due to the overwhelming size of her litter and I cannot express how much the adopters and I appreciate all of the time and effort the Animal Rescue League of Boston put into this family.

Happy Birthday to Tink, Daphne, Hunter, Eowyn, Jax, Kody, Patience, Hazel, Zack, Wilbur, Stella, and Amber!

- As anyone who has ever cared for a puppy can attest, having to raise 12 at once requires patience, energy and a sense of humor to say the least. Kudos to Alana for giving them such a great start. -Ed. 

Alana Mahoney is an Intake and Special Placement Liaison at the Boston Animal Care & Adoption Center.

Click here for a slideshow of ‘before and after’ photos of the pups.