November proved to be another busy month for the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Rescue Department with 331 activities reported ranging from rescue to law enforcement assistance, owner surrenders and home checks, with the biggest number – 148 – being rescues.

Of the activities 27% involved birds, 43% involved cats, 10% involved dogs. An additional 20% involved “other” including a flying squirrrel (shown at left) caught in a trap in an attic and also covered with duct tape.

Among the rescues that caught the interest of the local media was that of a daring young cat who fell three stories down the air shaft of a building in Dorchester. After rappelling down the shaft to pick up the scared but friendly kitty, Rescue Services Manager Brian O’Connor promptly named him “Shaft.” Examined by the League’s veterinary staff back at the Boston shelter Shaft (subsequently renamed “Shafty”) was determined to be unharmed by his adventure and is currently available for adoption.

Although the League is a private, non-profit organization receiving no government funding, by the nature of the job the Rescue Department is often contacted for help by local animal control officers who need its rescue technicians’ particular expertise. They also often work closely with police and fire departments, not to mention storm drain workers.

Real time rescue progress reports and photos from the rescue technicians involved are available on Twitter and provide a good glimpse of the drama and occasional humor of day-to-day rescue activity. To get the latest updates, go to: