The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Community Cat Program was launched in 2017 to address the estimated 700,000 community cats, 70,000 in Boston alone, living in the harsh condition of the streets.
ARL helps these animals by working with a number of sources, including animal control officers throughout the Commonwealth, as well as local residents who monitor and feed community cats.
It was the latter that led to the recent rescue of a 10-year-old female cat that had been living in a Brighton neighborhood for a decade.
Thelma’s feeder contacted ARL, saying they could no longer monitor the cat.
ARL headed to the neighborhood and trapped the feisty female, transporting her to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.
Thelma was ear-tipped, meaning she had been spayed in the past and returned to the field, and had been living on her street longer than most of its residents.
Community cats like Thelma are incredibly resilient, surviving the harsh seasonal conditions New England has to offer, and avoiding predators and scrums with other community cats.
While having a feeder, Thelma did not have regular veterinary care, and it showed.
Along with the visible signs of a cat living on her own for a decade, she was a little underweight, and had advanced dental disease.
ARL’s shelter medicine team provided Thelma with a thorough veterinary exam, dental care, which included several tooth extractions, and vaccines.
Coming Out of Her Shell
Of course, Thelma wasn’t used to being indoors, and like any community cat, was keenly aware of her surroundings and on guard.
While initially showing a tough exterior when interacting with ARL staff and volunteers, the toughness faded after a few minutes of petting with a rolling purr and even a little drool!
With her tough exterior and heart of gold, it was clear that Thelma would thrive in a home.
Thelma spent a few weeks in foster care to allow her time to get used to being indoors, and she was soon ready to find her retirement home.
Thelma became available for adoption just this week, and to nobody’s surprise she found her perfect match quickly!
Every animal deserves the opportunity to be in a loving home, and Thelma is a shining example of ARL’s commitment to helping community cats living in our communities.
About ARL’s Community Cat Program
Community cats face many challenges living outdoors.
Without proper shelter and care, they are at risk of illness and injury.
Additionally, without spay/neuter surgery, these cats can produce many litters and continue the cycle of large colonies of unowned cats.
As an unwavering champion for animals in need, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) believes that the challenges that face community cats require our attention and action.