September saw 280 animals adopted from the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s shelters in Boston, Dedham and Brewster including 204 cats, 38 dogs, 14 rabbits, nine birds, four hamsters, three guinea pigs, two ferrets, a pony and an iguana.
Among the cats adopted in September were 10-year-old Benji, 9-year-olds Mischa and Sgt. Major, 8-year-olds Jackson, Jonah and Tristal, 7-year-olda Irma and Tic Tac, and 6-year-olds Cloe, Louie, Momma and Phoebe.
Older dogs adopted were 10-, 9-, 7-year old Shih Tsus Kiki Lee, Buddy Girl and Charlie; 10-year-olds Chihuahua Rex and Labrador Retriever Bell; 8-year-olds cocker spaniel Claire and poodle Jack; 7-year-old West Highland Josh, and 6-year-olds Lhasa Apso Abby, and Labrador Retriever Stormy
Among the birds were a cockatiel named Pitterpatter; a dove named Evod; ducks Michelle and Bella; parakeets Pete-Tweet, Burt, Goosey and Louie; and Tiki the parrot.
Nut Nut has a new home - with no guinea pig bullies!
Some animals come to the League’s shelters because of abuse or neglect by humans. Nut Nut, a 10-month old male guinea pig came to the shelter after his owner surrendered him because of abuse – by another guinea pig.
“Basically, the other guinea pig in the house had been beating him up,” explains League veterinarian Dr. Erin Doyle. “After being treated at VCA Wakefield Animal Hospital, he was brought to our Boston shelter where we continued his treatment, which included pain management and antibiotics.” After recuperating and receiving a lot of love from staff and volunteers here, he was adopted into a forever home with a loving family – and no guinea pig bullies.
Squash, the beloved mascot of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Brewster shelter, died on October 11th after a period of declining health. The thirteen-year-old passed whilst surrounded by her loving shelter family.
Squash served as shelter mascot for the past seven years. Originally surrendered to the shelter at the age of six, Squash arrived suffering from morbid obesity and related health disorders. Shelter workers were able to wean Squash off “junk food” and eventually reduced her weight to a still plump twenty pounds.
Read the extended story on Cape Cod Today.
Even with eye issues, Miss Marble found her forever home thanks to the ARLB.
As with human adoptions, some animals that come into the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s care and adoption centers, such as a healthy kitten or puppy, almost immediately find homes. For others with special needs – be it health, age or temperament – finding a “forever home” may take a bit more work. For both the staff and the cadre of volunteers, the work is a labor of love.
“I think a large motivating factor for most of us in joining the League has been the knowledge that from the moment an animal comes into our care – whether it be a surrender, a rescue or a law enforcement case — the initial hope is to find it a home,” says Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Erin Doyle. “We’re not looking for, or expecting, ‘perfect’ animals to come through the door. Instead, we’re looking to find the best possible home for that particular animal.”
“I’m very proud of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s ability to find homes for ‘not-so-perfect’ animals,” says League President Jay Bowen. “I’m equally proud and grateful for the adoptive families whose love and care encompasses those animals with special needs.”
Take the case of Miss Marble, a 2-year-old female cat that came in as a stray and whose corneas were not clear (likely changes due an overactive immune response to previous herpes virus infection when she was a very young kitten). The appearance of her eyes is permanent but shouldn’t cause her significant concerns. Her only ongoing concern is that she could have further flare-ups of herpes that may cause conjunctivitis. She was adopted this summer with a medical letter.
A key activity of the Animal Rescue League of Boston is shelter veterinary medicine. Animals arriving at the League’s Animal Care and Adoption Centers are not always in the best of health – whether due to neglect, abuse, or simple underlying medical problems. Some of the stories are heartbreaking, some inspiring. But from Day 1 the League’s staff and volunteers are committed to providing the best medical care and, where possible, finding a loving adoptive “forever home.” Here is one of the animals that your donations have helped in recent months.
Possum, a 10-month-old male Chihuahua mix, was brought to the League after he was thrown or fell out of a car and was then hit by the car behind them, with his owner leaving the scene. With several pelvic fractures it seemed that a lengthy recuperation might be necessary, but the plucky tyke proved to be more stable than anticipated. After just a few days of foster care with the League’s Dr. Amanda Goeman he was adopted into his “forever home” with the friend of a Brewster staff member. Reports Brewster Shelter Supervisor Dawn Lee-Laub, “Possum, now Taz, is doing so great. He’s been a handful but they have worked through some of his quirks and he is a welcome sight to see when they get home.”
Adopted Oct. 5, the cat formerly known as Samantha, now named Melody Rose ("Melrose"), poses with her new dad, Rescue Services Assistant Manager Mike Brammer.
As the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Race to Rescue 1500 enters the home stretch, an additional 26 dogs and cats found their forever homes during the third “free adoption day” at the Boston and Brewster animal care and adoption centers shelters October 5.
The Race to Rescue 1500 challenge has the ambitious goal of saving the lives of 1,500 cats and dogs between August 1st and October 31st, 2011. Lives saved include adoptions, animals reunited with their owners and animals placed in homes through the assistance of other shelter agencies. Through October 5, the total number of lives saved totals 692. The challenge is being held in conjunction with the ASPCA’s nationwide $100,000 Save More Lives Challenge.
“If you’ve decided that now’s the time to expand your family with a cat or dog, please consider adopting from the Animal Rescue League of Boston by October 31st,” says Boston Animal Care and Adoption Manager Marianne Gasbarro. “And even if you can’t add an animal to your own life, please help by spreading the word to family, friends, co-workers and neighbors – including sharing it on Facebook and Twitter. Anything you can do to get the word out is appreciated.”
To see animals available for adoption, click here.
For our Animal Care & Adoption Center locations and hours, click here.
For complete details about the ASPCA Save More Lives $100,000 Challenge, click here.
By Randy Shipp,
Luckily, my sweet-but-spunky five-year-old orange tabby cat, Miss Hissy, is in excellent health and likely to remain that way for many more years. But recently my uncle called to ask for help in dealing with the upcoming loss – from complications of an enlarged heart – of his 11-year-old King Charles Cavalier spaniel that they’ve had since she was a puppy.
The days under a ticking clock are especially precious; the present sweetness of the loved pet is interlaced with sorrow,” says Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, the League’s director of veterinary medicine.
Dr. Amy Marder, director of the Center for Shelter Dogs offers the following tips.
- Allow yourself to grieve. Although you may be embarrassed over your intense feelings over the loss of an animal, know this is normal. You have just lost one of the closest relationships you have ever had. It’s okay to cry.
- Reminisce about the many ways that your pet played a part in your life. Pull out all the pictures – you might fit in some smiles between the tears.
- Have a memorial service for your pet. A home burial (where permitted) will allow you to design your own funeral ceremony. If this is not possible, pet cemetery or cremation services, such as those offered by the League’s Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery, are other options. If you choose cremation, you can decide to bury the ashes, scatter them in your pet’s favorite locations, or keep them with you in an urn.
Dr. Smith notes that many veterinary schools operate pet loss help lines that can be useful for people prepare for the loss of their dear companion and individual pet loss counselors are also available. Both can be found by searching “Pet Loss Counseling” and “Pet Loss helpline” online.
This article from veterinarypartner.com may be helpful in determining what to do for your pet when the quality of his or her life becomes problematic.
In addition playwright Eugene O’Neill’s tribute to his beloved canine companion Blemie, “The Last Will and Testament of Silverdene Emblem O’Neill,” found at the eOneill.com website has helped many individuals deal with the loss of their pets over the years.
You may also find information about the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery helpful.
Janet Ferreri is the proud owner of Audrey, a sweet, wonderful beagle mix that her family adopted seven years ago from our Dedham shelter.
In celebration of Audrey, Janet has pledged to knit 140 scarves, with proceeds to go directly to the League and its programs. As of of this week, Janet has raised close to $1,000.00! She is gearing up for a busy holiday season and hoping that you will check out her facebook page, “Audrey and Griff Scarves to Benefit Animal Rescue League” for photos of the scarf and 14 available colors. The scarves are linen and viscose, a nice mid-weight yarn that will keep you warm in winter yet is wearable almost year-round!
Make you holiday shopping easy and meaningful – what better gift for your favorite animal lover? Or for yourself? For more info and ordering, contact Janet at 617-244-4523, or online at email@example.com, Audrey and Griff Scarves to Benefit Animal Rescue League.
Thanks to Dee at the Daily Kitten blog for sharing the story about the New Bedford dogs with her readers. We’ve received several donations from them already – thank you!
Check out The Daily Kitten here.
For three veterans of the four Dorchester Cat Spay/Neuter Day and Walk-In Wellness Clinics, the most recent event was particularly meaningful.
From Maryann Regan who, in addition to coordinating the event, helped register people for the walk-in clinic, talked with them about general animal care and basic cat questions and handed out free cat and dog food:
Ida, with her beloved cat Jerry, wait to see Dr.Smith in the walk-in wellness clinic.
” It’s a neighborhood where animals need care and where many owners need financial assistance as well. People were just so grateful, so appreciative they could not thank us enough. While we like to do these events to help the animals, it’s also wonderful to get such great feedback from the people there – we all feel so good at the end of the day.
“I’ve noticed some of the same people coming back. One woman who lives nearby has a cat that’s around 9 or 10 years old that she just loves. She knows the routine, that there’s going to be a long wait in line. She doesn’t complain, just brings her folding chair and sits patiently.”
From volunteer Margaret Wirth who made sure all the people signed up for cat spay/neuter services got to the right place – the League’s Spay Waggin’, The Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society cat mobile and the MSPCA’s Shalit-Glazer Clinic:
Dorchester residents patiently waited in line to get their cats the veterinary care they needed.
“We’ve finally found the population we need to be serving. These are people who don’t even have $25 or find it hard to scrape together $25. There’s also a lot of education that goes into this – we had people wanting us to spay and neuter their cat so they could be sure it wouldn’t reproduce.
“Throughout the day grateful owners kept pressing money into my hand, saying, “Here’s a little something for the League.” At the end of the day from this community in Dorchester, really probably one of the poorest in the state, I had an extra $60. I was astounded. They were just so grateful that we were there to provide the veterinary medical service that their pets needed and might not otherwise have gotten.
“We had one person who took a cat in off the street and was taking care of her. We also another who called and said he had an adult cat and they didn’t want to have babies any more. Hey forgot to mention her four babies that were now one-year-old adult girls. We did all of them. We also had people with semi-ferals; we weren’t able to deal with all of them because it was so busy, but we were able to refer them to the upcoming Fix-a-Feral clinics, so it was a nice case of all our programs working together.”
From Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore who ran the Leagues walk-in wellness clinic:
Dr. Smith and patient Jerry
“The thrust of our effort is twofold. First, we don’t want animals to suffer whose owners haven’t been able to get them veterinary care. But also we want to minimize how much infectious disease is coming out of Dorchester because that’s where the sick cats come from that end up in our shelters. So the main focus is that front-line activity, getting them vaccinated and making sure they’re well. But then we go one step beyond – we do some nutritional counseling, we trim nails and comb mats out of the fur. If we discover a health problem during the exam, we refer them to a veterinarian who can help them within their financial needs. In short we just provide great animal care.
“It was busy! There was a crowd of people, almost like a community festival atmosphere, very friendly in the parking lot with people hanging out and talking to each other about their cats as they waited to have their animals seen.
“They were incredibly good natured and grateful. I kept apologizing because it seems like everyone had to wait before they get on to me, and they were saying, “No, no, we should be thanking you. We can’t believe you’re here.” Even people who had to wait till the very end of the day were saying that they were going to pray for us because God needed to know how good the work was that we were doing. I assured them that I was pretty sure God already knew.”