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Category: Adoption
Stray Puppy Found on Busy Neponset Circle

Stray puppy lucky to escape life-threatening circumstance

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently took in a 10-week-old stray puppy who is lucky to be alive after being found along a high-traffic area in Boston.

The 10-week-old Chihuahua named Sparkle, was found this past week in the Neponset Circle area, along the on-ramp heading towards I-93.

The Good Samaritan who rescued her had seen the dog in the area for several days, however, when the small dog wandered towards the busy roadway, her rescuer sprang into action to save the dog.

Weighing just 3 pounds and being an all-black dog, Sparkle is incredibly lucky she wasn’t struck by a vehicle, and ARL is extremely grateful to her rescuer.

The Good Samaritan is a resident at the Pine Street Inn, and once brought to the inn, staff then took the puppy to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Sparkle was frightened upon intake, and ARL’s veterinary team quickly gave her a thorough veterinary exam to make sure she was not injured and in sound health.

While she presented with an abnormal gait, the friendly and sweet puppy was determined to be in good overall health.

Sparkle was recently spayed, and was made available for adoption this past weekend.

Unsurprisingly, Sparkle quickly found her new family and is now thriving in her new home.

ARL again wishes to thank both the resident and staff at the Pine Street Inn for their actions in rescuing and likely saving the life of this young dog, who now has the forever home she deserves.

This rescue continues an amazing trend that ARL has seen in early 2024, as Good Samaritans have taken time out of their busy days to stop and help an animal in distress.

ARL salutes these acts of kindness, and thanks these Good Samaritans for being Champions for Animals in need!


ARL Provides Corrective Surgery for Pair of Cats

Cats needing surgery came to ARL from separate circumstances

No matter how they come to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), every animal is treated with the same level of compassion, care, and medical attention.

ARL recently performed surgery on a pair of cats that arrived at the organization through different circumstances.

Paul, an 8-year-old male cat was rescued off the streets in Raynham, MA, while Elise, a 2-year-old female cat, was part of a transport of cats from an overcrowded shelter in Texas.

Both animals arrived at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center with varying degrees of medical issues – for Paul, he had dental disease and a number of scars and healing wounds due to a life of living on the streets, while Elise was diagnosed with a heart murmur and mild dental disease.

However, these cats had one medical affliction that required a surgical solution – entropion.

Entropion is a condition where the eyelid is inverted, which can cause painful irritation and if left untreated, could result in corneal scratches, inflammation, discharge, or possible blindness.

ARL’s veterinary team performed surgery on both cats to correct the condition, and once recovered from surgery, with the entropion irritation or pain no loner being an issue, the behavior for both animals drastically improved and their personalities were on full display.

Not surprisingly, once made available for adoption, Paul and Elise quickly found their perfect situations and are thriving in their new homes.

About ARL Community and Shelter Medicine

ARL’s Community and Shelter Medicine Department provides care for every animal at ARL’s three Animal Care and Adoption Centers, while also serving animals and their families in the communities where they live through the Spay Waggin’, Community Surgical Clinic, and Wellness Waggin’.

The Spay Waggin’, a mobile veterinary surgical unit, provides low-cost spay and neuter services to animals in Metro Boston, the South Shore, South Coast, and Cape Cod and the Islands.

ARL’s Community Surgical Clinic provides both veterinary and surgical services twice weekly at ARL’s Dedham local to animals and people in need, including the Community Cat Program.

The Wellness Waggin’ is a pet wellness clinic for residents of Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, Hyde Park and East Boston.


Several Animals in ARL’s Care Thanks to Acts of Kindness

Good Samaritans paying it forward with acts of kindness

A number of animals have recently come into the care of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) thanks to kind-hearted and compassionate Good Samaritans that acted when seeing an animal in distress, and these acts of kindness made a tremendous difference in the lives of the animals involved.

Whether found in a parking lot, basement, or along the side of the road, the animals recently brought to ARL by Good Samaritans were in varying degrees of health, but all had one thing in common – compassionate and caring individuals who took time out of their day to help an animal in need.

Peanut Butter was found along a busy road in Dedham.

Along with a handful of cats who have already found their permanent homes, ARL is currently caring for an 11-month-old male Pitbull named Peanut Butter, who was recently found along a busy road in Dedham and was in dire need of rescuing.

Wandering along the side of Route 109 at night, the dark-colored dog was in danger of being struck by a vehicle, and additionally, the night he was found, temperatures were in the teens, adding to the animal’s vulnerability.

Seeing Peanut Butter on the side of the road, the Good Samaritans took action, pulling over and getting the dog into the vehicle.

The rescuers brought him home for the night and the next day brought him to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

While in good overall health, Peanut Butter was not wearing a collar, tags and was not microchipped.

ARL made efforts to track down his owner, but to no avail.

He is now available for adoption, and ARL looks forward to finding him the forever home he deserves.

ARL is grateful to all those who pause from their busy daily schedules to help an animal in need, and encourages anyone who finds an animal to contact their local animal control and animal welfare organization to ensure the animal receives the care they need.


ARL Provides Cat with Severely Fractured Leg Emergency Surgery

Cat surrendered due to cost of care for fractured leg

A 10-month-old female Ragdoll cat is recovering at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) after receiving an emergency amputation surgery due to a severely fractured leg.

The cat, named Winter, was recently surrendered to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center after breaking the leg in a fall in her former home, and unfortunately, the financial estimates to treat the injury were too great for her former family.

Upon intake at ARL, the cat underwent a thorough veterinary exam, including x-rays.

The images revealed a significant femoral fracture, and the damage was too extensive to save the leg.

Along with amputating the fractured leg, ARL veterinarians also spayed the animal, which revealed another issue for the young cat.

Winter was born with a partially formed uterus and was also missing a kidney.

The partially formed uterus and associated ovary were removed during the spay and will not have any impact on her future health.

ARL suggests that Winter’s new family consult with her primary veterinarian regarding living with one kidney, so her kidney function can be monitored as she ages – but it is expected that Winter will enjoy a normal quality of life.

Winter is not only a beautiful cat, but has also displayed a friendly, loving and playful personality, becoming an instant favorite among ARL staff and volunteers — she will certainly make a wonderful pet once she finds her new home.

The cat continues to recover in foster care and is not currently available for adoption, but it’s expected that she will become available in the coming weeks.

ARL understands the cost of veterinary care, particularly in an emergency situation can be shockingly expensive, and suggests any pet owner facing financial difficulties due to pet care to contact ARL.


Overweight Pig Looking for New Home to Start 2024

Overweight pig has been in Care of ARL since October

A four-year-old overweight pig currently in the care of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is looking to kick off the New Year on the right hoof by finding her permanent home.

The young potbelly pig came to ARL approximately 30-35 pounds overweight, and with weight-related mobility and emotional issues, but has made tremendous strides in the past two months.

The pig, named Nala, was surrendered to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center in October, when her owner could no longer care for her.

Nala originally came from a cruelty case in Ohio as a piglet, and was an indoor/outdoor pig in her previous home.

Due to her weight gain, Nala was uncomfortable upon her arrival at ARL, and had limited mobility.

Her discomfort also impacted her behavior and she was closed off and did not want contact initially.

However, as she began to lose weight, her mobility improved, as did her behavior.

A slimmed down Nala can now be seen moving freely throughout her paddock and she has also begun welcoming interaction, allowing pets and showing off her sweet and tender side.

While she has lost some weight, her new owner will need to help Nala continue her weight-loss journey, but ARL feels she is now physically and emotionally ready to find her forever home — just in time for the New Year!

Help an Animal Like Nala

When you make your year-end gift today, you can help make sure animals like Nala get everything they deserve this holiday season. 

Your generosity means you can be there for animals, every step of the journey home, as long as it takes. 

From transports from overcrowded shelters or emergency rescues, to veterinary care, enrichment and  behavior training, and finally adoption – you make it all possible. 

2,839+ animals in need have already found homes this year. Will you make a year-end gift to help one more? 

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Neonatal Kittens Rescued in October Find Homes for the Holidays

Neonatal kittens rescued when mom was injured and unable to provide care

Rescued as a trio of neonatal kittens in October by the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) have completed a remarkable transformation by finding their forever homes just in time for the holidays.

In October, the kittens were discovered in Fall River by a concerned resident who noticed the mother cat was unable to care for the kittens due to severe wounds.

At just 4-weeks-old at the time, the kittens were in an incredibly vulnerable situation, which could’ve been life-threatening without intervention.

ARL’s Field Services routinely works in the Fall River area, an area with countless community cats, and immediately responded when receiving the call about these three kittens.

The kittens and the mom were trapped and transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, where they immediately received veterinary care.

The kittens were filthy, and suffering from upper respiratory infections.

The trio received medication for the infections and were placed into foster care so they could be constantly monitored.

The mom cat, now named Kiki, was suffering from multiple puncture wounds, and was also underweight.

The kittens rebounded rather quickly, and once they hit the right age, they were spay/neutered and recently found their forever homes.

For Kiki, because she had wounds of unknown origin, she continues a state-mandated 4-month quarantine with ARL, but she will become available for adoption in early 2024.

About ARL’s Community Cat Program

ARL is the only large animal welfare organization in Massachusetts with staff dedicated to helping community cats, which can be found in any city or town in Massachusetts, and it’s estimated that there are 700,000 community cats living throughout the Commonwealth, 70,000 in Boston alone.

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.

ARL’s Field Services Agents will respond to the call of residents who report a colony of cats, investigating the colony to determine the number of cats and kittens residing in that area, the cats’ overall health status, and whether or not a local resident is feeding them regularly and can continue.

After the initial assessment, a TNR (Trap-Neuter- Return) plan is formulated for that particular colony.

TNR is one of the most humane and effective ways to stop the cycle of homelessness among cats.

Spay and neuter surgeries are low risk and proven to improve the safety and health of these cats as well as the community as a whole.

The plan also includes vaccines, and whether each cat will be returned to the colony, returned to their owner if microchipped, or admitted to an ARL shelter to be put up for adoption if they are friendly.

Helping Homeless Animals in Need

For a homeless animal or at-risk pet, your kindness can change their whole life.  

 Your support is a powerful source of hope for the animals we serve, as it will ensure that we are able to provide all animals in our care with the level of compassion and love they deserve.  

 Will you make a gift to help animals experience kindness and joy this holiday season?

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Former Severely Emaciated Dog Ready to Find Forever Home

Emaciated Dog gained 22 pounds in foster care

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is thrilled to announce that a now formerly severely emaciated dog that was found as a stray in August has reached a healthy weight and is now ready to find his new home — just in time for the holidays.

The one-year-old dog, now named Dobby, was reportedly found as a stray in the area of Franklin Park in Dorchester in mid-August, and was brought to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center for care.

Upon arrival at ARL, he weighed just 37 pounds, scoring a 1 out of 9 on the body condition score chart which represents the highest level of emaciation with ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all bony prominences evident from a distance, no discernible body fat and obvious loss of muscle mass.

Additionally, Dobby’s fur was urine-stained, presented with mild dental disease, and he also had a number of pressure sores, indicating that he had been kept confined to a small space.

Dobby went to foster care and placed on a strict refeeding plan to ensure safe and slow weight gain.

Over the past several months he has put on 22 pounds and is now at a stable enough weight to be made available for adoption!

Despite everything he has gone through, Dobby has defined resilience and strength and is a shining example of the work that ARL does every day of the year to help animals in need.

Dobby’s has won the hearts of so many at ARL with his sweet and loving demeanor and is sure to be an amazing pet.

See Dobby’s profile on ARL’s adoptable animals page!

Dobby’s case remains an ongoing investigation by ARL’s Law Enforcement Department.

You can give animals like Dobby the greatest gift of all: hope.

When Dobby arrived, he was so thin you could count his ribs. His fur was stained and he was covered in sores, signs he was likely confined to a small space for a long time.

Dobby’s worst days may be behind him, but he is still counting on you to help him find a home of his own!

Your donation today can make sure animals like him have everything the need to find a home for the holidays!


ARL Seeing Steady Influx of Community Cats and Kittens

Colder weather raising concern for younger community cats and kittens

With mild winters becoming commonplace, there is no such thing as kitten season anymore, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) continues to see a steady influx of community cats and kittens from outdoor cat colonies throughout Massachusetts – and with colder temperatures settling into our area, younger cats and kittens will become more vulnerable and in need of help.

ARL is seeing an influx of community cats and kittens.

To date, ARL has taken in nearly 800 community cats and kittens from all corners of the state, and the organization’s Community Cat Program shows no sign of slowing down heading into winter.

With colder temperatures jeopardizing the health, safety, and possibly the lives of young cats and kittens, ARL is ramping up its efforts to take in as many of these animals as possible and get them the help they need.

Current data estimates there are approximately 700,000 community cats living in communities across Massachusetts, 70,000 in Boston alone.

ARL is committed to caring for these animals and reminds the public to be on the lookout for community cats and kittens.

If you come across these animals, it’s important not to attempt to move them, instead contact ARL Field Services for assistance at (617) 426-9170 (option 1).

Once the cats and kittens are rescued, ARL provides a wide range of veterinary care, including vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery, and the cats are also assessed behaviorally to determine adoption potential.

Adult cats who are truly feral and do not want to rely on humans for care are returned to the field.

While community cats are incredibly resilient, kittens born outdoors are extremely vulnerable to fluctuating weather conditions, predators, illness, among others, and sadly many don’t survive.

Community cats and kittens can be found literally anywhere – under decks, in basements, woodpiles, dog houses – anywhere a mother cat can provide relative safety and warmth for her offspring.

ARL cannot do this work alone and needs help from residents who share concern for the welfare of these vulnerable animals.

For more information about ARL’s Community Cat Program please visit Community Cat Program (arlboston.org)


Below Freezing Morning Nearly Claims Life of Homeless Kitten

ARL collaborates with community cat feeder to save homeless kitten’s life

A 5-week-old homeless kitten who was recently found cold to the touch in Berkley, MA, on a brisk November morning when temperatures dipped below the freezing mark, is getting a second chance thanks to the quick actions of a community cat feeder and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL).

The former homeless kitten, now named Applesauce, was discovered amongst a cat colony by a resident who monitors and feeds the colony and was very alarmed when the kitten was found cold and listless.

The finder took the kitten inside, contacted ARL’s Field Services Department, and did their best to warm up the kitten, by using blankets and providing sugar water.

ARL responded to the home and transported the kitten to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Upon intake, the kitten’s temperature was just 93F – a cat’s normal body temperature is typically between 100.5-102.5F.

ARL’s veterinary team used a heated blanket to help increase the kitten’s body temperature and closely monitored him.

Over the course of several hours, the kitten’s temperature had risen to 98F, and he was starting to perk up, indicated by a voracious appetite. Aside from being nearly frozen to death, the kitten was otherwise in good health.

With the kitten stable, ARL placed Applesauce into foster care, where his foster family reported that for the first 24-36 hours the kitten was lethargic and spent most of his time curled up in a blanket sleeping.

However, by the third day in the foster home, Applesauce rebounded, being very vocal, attention-seeking, and purring for hours on end!

At just 7-weeks-old, Applesauce is still too young to find his forever home, however, ARL is thrilled that after the quick actions of the finder, he will have the opportunity to find a family and live the life he deserves. He should be available for adoption in a matter of weeks.

ARL and Community Cats

ARL is the only large animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with staff specifically dedicated to community cats.

ARL’s Community Cat Program rescues hundreds of community cats annually to help slow the cycle of homelessness among cats, providing medical care, vaccines, spay/neuter surgery, and determining whether each cat will be returned to the colony, returned to their owner if microchipped, or admitted to an ARL shelter to be put up for adoption if they are friendly.

There are an estimated 700,000 community cats and kittens residing in Massachusetts, 70,000 in Boston alone. ARL encourages anyone who discovers cats living outdoors to contact ARL Field Services at (617) 426-9170 x563.


ARL Seeking Home for Pair of Mini Stallions

Mini stallions transferred to ARL from Plymouth County sanctuary

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is looking for a new home for a pair of sibling mini stallions who were recently transported to ARL from a horse sanctuary in Plymouth County after initially being surrendered by their previous family on Martha’s Vineyard.

The 20-year-old brothers named Dwight and Stanley are not only stunning, they are in fantastic health and are very social horses.

They also have a bit of a mischievous side as well.

After being surrendered, during their time at the sanctuary they displayed their wonderful personalities, but also spent a little too much time trying to interact with the mares on the property, so the sanctuary reached out to ARL for assistance, and the stallions were transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Mini horses make wonderful pets and typically live longer than full-size horse breeds, so these two have many years ahead of them.

The stallions will be gelded later this month and will then be looking for their new home, however, ARL encourages any interested parties with the capacity to take these two in as pets to reach out to the ARL Dedham adoption team at (617) 426-9170 x605 or email Dedham-adoption@arlboston.org.

History of Horses in Dedham

 ARL relishes the opportunity to take in horses when available, as these animals have a direct connection to the history of ARL’s property in Dedham.

The 20-plus acre site was purchased in 1907 by ARL’s founder Anna Harris Smith, for the purpose of providing sanctuary for the working horses of Boston, who endured grueling working conditions and were often treated very poorly.

Witnessing the treatment of these animals was one of the driving forces that led Anna Harris Smith to establishing the Animal Rescue League of Boston in 1899.

The working horses in the city would be brought to Dedham where they would enjoy a couple of weeks of rest, relaxation, and care, in an effort to make their lives better.