Lil’ Nugget: The Story of an ARLB Foster Kitten (Part I)

Lil' Nugget yesterday in his new foster home with his bff, hippo. Photo Credit: Maria Uribe

Lil’ Nugget yesterday in his new foster home with his bff, hippo. Photo Credit: Maria U.

Being a kitten without a home is tough, and it’s even tougher when you aren’t feeling well, your belly is empty and you just want to snuggle under a warm blanket and take a nap. Foster parents like Maria allow the Animal Rescue League of Boston to reach outside of the brick and mortar of our shelter and provide kittens with a warm and loving place for them to grow big and strong until they are ready to become available for adoption.

“LIL’ NUGGET” is a four-week-old kitten who came to the League after being surrendered by his owner last week. There were just too many cats in the house, and Lil’ Nugget was sick. But his former owner knew that we could provide the loving care he needed, and that he would find his forever home through us. For the next four weeks, we’re going to follow Lil’ Nugget through his time in foster care.

Lil' Nugget after he first arrived at the ARL.

Lil’ Nugget after he first arrived at the ARL of Boston.

Upon his arrival this little kitten received a medical evaluation, some food to fill his belly and a name! On Friday evening he went to his foster home with one of our fabulous foster parents and League volunteers, Maria. He’ll stay there until he’s 8-weeks-old.

Maria described him as “a little bit shy, but is learning to know us and getting more used to his foster home.” The kitten is currently in isolation (meaning he has his own room!) because he has a respiratory infection, which is highly contagious and could be passed on to his foster sibling if contact is made. Lil’ Nugget is receiving medicine every day and, after 5 days, should be ready to leave isolation.

Lil' Nugget snuggling in his new bed.

Lil’ Nugget snuggling in his new bed.

The good news is that Lil’ Nugget has a healthy appetite and is eating all of his food. He loves his wet food and is slowly being introduced to dry food. Maria says that her other cat is “very curious about the ‘new family member,’ I am sure she is waiting for him to come out so they can play together.”

Check back to our blog next Tuesday for an update on Lil’ Nugget’s progress!

Senior ARL Alums, Puff and Frances, Make A Move

Puff & Frances

Puff & Frances

Senior cats make amazing pets. Just ask Robyn who adopted Puff and Frances from the Animal Rescue League of Boston in December of 2010. Both cats were 12-years-old at the time of their adoption. The good-looking duo recently moved to Arlington, Virginia. They handled the move in stride and have settled into their new home without a hitch. Robyn said that “both [cats] are extremely affectionate and very well-behaved (for the most part) and I am so lucky to have them.” These two kitties were very popular among staff and volunteers during their time here at our Boston Adoption Center and we all loved them. We are so happy to see that they have such an awesome home. Puff and Frances are super affectionate and love their human companion they have learned to share Robyn, i.e. Puff sleeps with her at night, and Frances gets to lie in Robyn’s lap when she’s on the couch watching TV! These fabulous felines must be living the good life, because they don’t look a day over 5! Wishing Puff, Frances and Robyn all the best in 2013!



If you’re interested in adopting a senior cat 12-year-old Mittens and 10-year-old Honey are waiting for their forever homes at our Cape Cod shelter in Brewster. The Adoption Center is open Tuesday-Sunday.

Love reading about cats and want to read more about them? Check-out our other Feline Focus stories:

Hawk Hitches Ride on T

A red-tailed hawk is recuperating today after it apparently hitched a ride on a Mike and hawkNewburyport Line commuter train’s exterior into North Station.

The Animal Rescue League delivered the hawk, common to Massachusetts, to the wildlife clinic at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine just before noon today. It will be X-rayed there and kept through the weekend as it recovers. Full story

The Need For Speed: Meet TURBO!


Turbo is a speedy little 2 year old robo dwarf hamster. He is about the size of a mouse and is full grown! He enjoys burrowing, digging, exploring, climbing, and generally being on the go! Turbo has been at our Brewster Adoption Center since November 29, 2012 and is in a hurry to scurry on into his forever home.

Turbo is not used to being handled and anytime he’s in someone’s hands he’s planning an escape (and his small size and quick speed make him a good escape-artist!). We’ve concluded that Turbo is more of a “watch and observe” type of pet, rather than one to take out and hold all the time. For this reason, he would not be a great choice for a child. However he is not fearful and does not try to bite at all when held – he just squirms away and then takes off! If you’re interested in adopting this little guy, please visit our Cape Cod Adoption Center in Brewster or give them a call at (508) 255-1030. They’re open this weekend from 1-4pm.

January is ‘National Train Your Dog Month’

Here are 5 Benefits of Training your Dog from Kim Melanson CPDT-KA
Behavior Counselor at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

Kim Melanson training Nala, one of our shelter dogs.

Kim Melanson training Nala, one of our shelter dogs. Photo Credit: Maria Uribe

Freedom:  A well behaved dog can have an enriching life by spending more time with his family.  He can hang out with visitors, go places with you and join in on family activities. If your dog has learned some basic house and outdoor manners, he will not jump all over guests or bother them too much. He can ride in a car safely, go to a relative’s house and settle, go to the park or the beach for an outing and come back when called.

Bonding:  With just a few minutes a day of active training and adding some training into every day activities, you and your dog can learn more about each other and have fun. The benefits of Positive Reinforcement Humane training are abundant. Both human and dog enjoy the training, they teach each other and learn from each other, creating trust and an enriching and lasting relationship.

It lets your “dog be a dog”:  Dogs like to do natural things that sometimes do not fit well in the human home such as; chewing, jumping, chasing, and digging. Training them in an appropriate way to have their fun lets them to do ‘doggie’ things and lets you join in too all while making sure they do not disturb the household in a negative way. Train your dog to chew on dog chews and toys instead of shoes and pillows, sit for greetings and attention instead of jumping, playing ‘find it’ with treats and stuff Kongs instead of digging, and retrieving balls with a drop for chasing. Not only will your dog be happier but you will have fun too!

Burns mental energy and relieves boredom:  Positive training promotes thinking in dogs and humans and a thinking brain can relieve excess energy. A few minutes a day can really help your dog rest well and not seek out other ways of burning energy that may be destructive. Teaching tricks is a great one to do on a rainy day, kids and friends love seeing your dog do tricks.

Keeps dogs in their ‘Forever’ Home:  Many dogs are surrendered to shelters for behavior problems and just being too much to handle for the owner. A well trained dog stays in her forever home because she has become part of the family and is a joy to live with. She can also become an ‘ambassador’ for dogs everywhere. There are public places, apartment buildings and areas that are banning dogs and some people are frightened of dogs. If our dogs are well behaved in public, people see that we can keep dogs as an integral part of our society and families.

DT_mini2Training obedience cues of sit, down, stay, drop, come and more are great for dogs to learn, but training also means teaching your dog to live in a human household and beyond. House training, learning to settle, go to a mat or crate, to chew appropriate chews, to play appropriate games, to walk on leash and polite greetings for people and dogs are the cornerstones of a well mannered and well liked family dog.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston offers many dog training classes that review basic and advanced cues, along with house and outdoor manners. We also offer some dog sports and fun agility classes. We are offering a 50% discount for ARL alums and 10% off for BVC clients. For more information about our Boston classes check out our schedule.

Redecorating Your Place? Keep Your Pets in Mind.


A Q&A with Lisey Good, an Animal Rescue League of Boston volunteer and Owner & Designer at Good Interiors. Lisey (pronounced “lee-sea”) Good’s design projects are focused on accommodating pets as well as people. Lisey shares some of the keys to pet-friendly interior design and some fun things that you can do to create unique spaces for your pets in your home.

Q: How long have you been a volunteer at the League?

A: I became very familiar with the League in 2007 when I redesigned the staff lounge for a project for Channel 7. I adore animals, so when I moved around the corner from the League the very next year, I decided to volunteer. I’ve been walking dogs ever since.

Q: How has volunteering at the League changed your views about animals?

A: I’ve been a vegetarian for 18 years, and I’ve always been committed to animal causes like adopting pets instead of purchasing from a breeder, for instance. But volunteering with the League and seeing so many pets in need of homes has strengthened that commitment.

Q: Do you have any pets of your own?

A: I have two rescue dogs: a 10 year old beagle/Jack Russell mix named Cooper, and a 2 year Chihuahua mix named Goose. I wish I could have more but 2 is my limit (imposed by my husband!).

Q: Do you think it’s important to consider clients’ pet(s) when designing an interior?

A: I always consider clients’ pets when designing an interior—even if they don’t ask me outright.

Q:How do you incorporate a client’s pet friendly lifestyle into your designs?

A: For example, if someone has pets with light fur, I would absolutely steer them away from dark colored floors and rugs, since light fur is so visible against dark backgrounds; they’d spend their whole lives vacuuming. For the same reason,  I try to match the color of the sofa and major furniture to the dog’s fur.

For carpets and rugs, I first get samples or swatches to test to see if products like Nature’s Miracle (and other pet stain removers) leave visible stains—-if the rugs are too light, you’ll see every spot where you ever cleaned up after an accident which obviously doesn’t work! And I never let people get natural material rugs like sisal or jute if they have pets who aren’t perfectly house trained, because it is pretty much impossible to clean them.

For cat owners, I’ve had to do research on what fabrics cats are most attracted to scratch, and avoid those for furniture (fyi:  apparently, they love nubby textures like chenille and corduroy, but don’t like slippery ones like leather).

Q: Anything else you’d like to share about your work?

A: I’ve done some fun things with built ins for animals, too. I redid a small South End bath where I designed a cabinet at floor level with a hidden door to hide the litter box;  above the cabinet was shelving that went to the ceiling for towels and toiletries. I have done many bookcases or window seats with integrated dog beds underneath  In my own house, I built two dog “houses” at either end of a wall of shelving. The funny thing is that since my dogs are allowed on every piece of furniture in my house, they have zero interest in these special houses. They spend all day nestled on the pillows on our bed!

Jonathan’s Bar Mitzvah Project Helps Animals At The ARL


Jonathan sitting among all of the items that he donated to the League.

When Jonathan thought about what he wanted to do for his Bar Mitzvah project he thought about what he really loves in life and the first two things that came to mind were baseball and his dog. That’s when Jonathan decided that he wanted to make a difference in the lives of other dogs and animals that are less fortunate than his pup. Jonathan reached out to the Animal Rescue League of Boston and asked for our Wish List, which he included on the poster that he’s holding above and fliers. The giant poster that you see was hung on the front door of his house and fliers were hung in various locations throughout his neighborhood including his Temple and accompanied by donation baskets. Jonathan rode his bike around his neighborhood asking for donations for the League.

Jonathan's "tickets" included the League's Logo and a picture of his dog, a Shephard/Lab mix.

Jonathan’s “tickets” included the League’s Logo and a picture of his dog, a Shephard/Lab mix.

At his Bar Mitzvah the table centerpieces, one of which he is holding above, were filled with treats, toys and other goodies for animals of all kind. On top of all of the items that he donated, Jonathan was able to raise money for our shelter animals as well.

Thank you, Jonathan for choosing the Animal Rescue League of Boston as your charity of choice and for choosing to make a difference in the lives of animals!

11 Years Old And Still The Cat’s Meow

SpockPhotoSPOCK has been waiting patiently for his forever family since early November! This handsome neutered male cat is 11-years-young and is the epitome of a lap cat.

Spock was brought to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, because his owners moved and couldn’t take him with them. He has been tested in our Feline Play Group and did very well, so he will likely do well in a home that already has a cat.

Spock CollageHere’s some more info about Spock:

  • Spock enjoys relaxing in a warm spot with his human friends.
  • He loves being petted, especially under the chin!
  • He’s been declawed, which means he must remain indoors, because he now has limited defenses against the outdoor elements. If you’ve been looking for a declawed cat, then look no further.
  • He makes pricless facial expressions.
  • He may be 11 but he acts like he’s 6!

If you’re looking for a loving, gentle and relaxed lap cat to cuddle with you on a cold winter evening then Spock is the cat for you. Stop by our Boston Adoption Center Tuesday- Sunday and visit with him. If you want to learn more about Spock you can also call our Boston Adoption Center at  (617) 426-9170. Once you meet Spock you’re sure to fall in love!