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Category: Adoption
Press Release: Stray Cat Found Frozen to Shipping Container Recovering

Schooner’s Holiday Miracle

Update: Schooner has found his forever home! Once he was made available for adoption, he found his new family in a matter of hours. Congratulations to Schooner and his new family!

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is continuing to care for a stray cat found frozen to a shipping container outside a Dedham restaurant during last week’s cold snap. Miraculously the cat, now named Schooner, not only survived, but is well on his way to finding a new home.

ARL was contacted by Dedham Animal Control Officer Jayson Tracy, after discovering the cat in the early morning hours last Wednesday, stuck to the container outside of TGI Fridays along Providence Highway. The cat was carefully removed from the container, and brought to ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Center in Dedham.

It’s likely that Schooner’s fur was wet and with bitter cold and real-feel temperatures well below freezing, once the cat came in contact with the container he was immediately stuck. It’s unknown how long the cat was frozen to the container.

Schooner was very thin, dehydrated and showing the typical bumps and bruises of living outdoors which included a fractured tooth, but amazingly he did not suffer from hypothermia.

While at ARL in Dedham, Schooner has eaten ravenously and has already gained a pound and he has also become a staff favorite for his easy-going and friendly demeanor.

Schooner will soon be placed in foster care for two weeks so he can continue to gain weight, will have his fractured tooth removed, be neutered and then will be ready to find his forever home.

Holiday Caring

For many, the holiday season brings feelings of warmth, comfort, and friendship – and our wish for you and all the animals in our care is to experience the joy of the holidays.

Your generous support made this wish come true for thousands of animals so far this year, including:

  • 4,420 pets and community cats who were spayed and neutered to keep them healthy
  • 2,770 animals who were rehabilitated and adopted into forever homes
  • 980 pets who received affordable pet wellness services in the convenience of their own community
  • 275 cats and dogs who were transported away from overcrowded shelters in other states

But this important work to help animals is not close to being done. Your support is critical to ensure that ARL is ready to respond when animals are in need of help. Please consider donating to ARL this holiday season, so together we can help animals like Schooner and thousands like him!


Abandoned 19-Year-Old Cat Needs Home for the Holidays

Cats of this age rarely seen in shelters

UPDATE: Tangee has been adopted!! Thank you to the hundreds of caring individuals who reached out regarding this sweet girl. She has found a wonderful home not only for the holidays, but for the rest of her life.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is looking to find a home for a 19-year-old cat who was recently abandoned by her owner, who has apparently moved out of state.

Tangee has quickly become a staff favorite!

Given her age, ARL is determined to find someone willing to open their home and heart for this special animal just in time for Christmas.

“Tangee” was initially brought to Boston Animal Control by a woman who had dropped a man off at Logan Airport. When exiting the vehicle, he handed the woman the cat and a note which indicated that he was moving to Florida and could not take the cat.

A forwarding phone number left by the man was to a pharmacy, and while the cat is microchipped, it was not registered so there is no possible way to follow-up with the owner.

While there’s no exact way to equate an animal’s age to human years, best estimates are that a 19-year-old cat is roughly 96-years-old in human years.

Tangee does have signs of early renal disease primarily due to her age, but overall she is in good health and is very friendly. She deserves to be out of the shelter and in a loving home for the holidays, and with your help, we will make it happen.

Home for the Holidays

For many, the holiday season brings feelings of warmth, comfort, and friendship – and our wish for you and all the animals in our care is to experience the joy of the holidays.

Your generous support made this wish come true for thousands of animals so far this year, including:

  • 4,420 pets and community cats who were spayed and neutered to keep them healthy
  • 2,770 animals who were rehabilitated and adopted into forever homes
  • 980 pets who received affordable pet wellness services in the convenience of their own community
  • 275 cats and dogs who were transported away from overcrowded shelters in other states

But this important work to help animals is not close to being done. Your support is critical to ensure that ARL is ready to respond when animals are in need of help. Please consider donating to ARL this holiday season, so together we can help animals like Tangee and thousands like her!


Surrendered Puppy Finds a Home for the Holidays

Back in July, Peaches, a one-year-old Fox Terrier, had a scary accident that would terrify any pet owner – she fell out of a second-story window!

Suffering a broken leg, her owners unfortunately could not afford the associated medical costs for such an injury and surrendered her to their local animal control officer.

Animal control reached out to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), who happily took the puppy in and started her on the road to recovery.

The leg was bandaged and splinted, and over the next 12 weeks Peaches had a regimented routine.

Every week the leg was cleaned, re-bandaged and splinted, and every four weeks Peaches would be x-rayed to see how she was healing.

With a lengthy recovery at hand, Peaches was placed into foster care some extra TLC, and to heal in a quiet, stress-free environment.

While in foster care, Peaches made such an impression that her foster home became her forever home!

Home for the Holidays

For many, the holiday season brings feelings of warmth, comfort, and friendship – and our wish for you and all the animals in our care is to experience the joy of the holidays.

Your generous support made this wish come true for thousands of animals so far this year, including:

  • 4,420 pets and community cats who were spayed and neutered to keep them healthy
  • 2,770 animals who were rehabilitated and adopted into forever homes
  • 980 pets who received affordable pet wellness services in the convenience of their own community
  • 275 cats and dogs who were transported away from overcrowded shelters in other states

But this important work to help animals is not close to being done. Your support is critical to ensure that ARL is ready to respond when animals are in need of help. Please consider donating to ARL this holiday season, so together we can help animals like Peaches and thousands like her!


Home for the Holidays

For many, the holiday season brings feelings of warmth, comfort, and friendship – and our wish for you and all the animals in our care is to experience the joy of the holidays.

Your generous support made this wish come true for thousands of animals so far this year, including:

  • 4,420 pets and community cats who were spayed and neutered to keep them healthy
  • 2,770 animals who were rehabilitated and adopted into forever homes
  • 980 pets who received affordable pet wellness services in the convenience of their own community
  • 275 cats and dogs who were transported away from overcrowded shelters in other states

But this important work to help animals is not close to being done.

In the last two months alone, ARL rescued over 160 animals from the horrors of neglect — and even more cases are under active investigation.  There has been a troubling increase in the number of animal cruelty and hoarding-type cases that result in a sudden influxes of animals in dire need, which is why your donations are critical to make sure we can stand ready to answer the call for help at any time.

At the same time, our shelter population is changing and we are seeing more animals with complex medical and behavior issues that require additional resources, skilled staff, and extra time to improve.

These animals need you now more than ever, and it’s not too late to help!

Animals give us so much.  Please consider giving back by donating today.

symbolic gifts

Thank you for your thoughtful year-end gift that makes happier lives possible for animals all year long!

Need assistance or want to give by phone? Please call us at (617) 426-9170 x603

Prefer to donate by check? Please have it postmarked by December 31, so that it may be considered tax-deductible for 2019 to the extent allowed by IRS regulations.


ARL Partners with MAF for Fall River Spay/Neuter Clinic

38 animals receive surgery on ARL’s Spay Waggin’

On Monday, December 2, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Spay Waggin’ was in Fall River to spay or neuter 38 cats, as part of an ongoing statewide effort by the Massachusetts Animal Fund (MAF).

The clinic is in collaboration with Fall River Animal Control and the Massachusetts Animal Fund’s (MAF) spay and neuter voucher program, which provides the surgery for low-income families free of charge.

Despite the poor weather, the turnout was fantastic, as 38 out of 40 appointments arrived in the early morning at the Fall River Fire Museum, to drop their pets off to receive not only the important surgery, but also a medical exam, nail trim, and vaccines and microchip if elected.

Due to demand, many pet owners bringing their animals to this clinic have been on the MAF’s waiting list for months, and thanks to ARL with MAF financial support, they will finally be able to provide their pets this important and beneficial surgical procedure.

While this is the first large-scale clinic of this type in Fall River, ARL and MAF are aware of the needs of the community, and are looking forward to similar clinics in the area in 2020 to help more animals in need and the people who care for them.

“This is a great service,” said one client. “Without it I wouldn’t be able to keep my pets, but they’re a part of the family and we love them.”

ARL’s Spay Waggin’ is a mobile surgical unit that offers high-quality, low-cost services to the South Shore, South Coast and Cape Cod. Since its inception in 2000, the Spay Waggin’ has provided more than 60,000 spay and neuter surgeries.

Since 2014, MAF has helped more than 12,000 animals through its spay/neuter voucher program, and is funded primarily by donations made on Line 33f of the Massachusetts income tax form.


Time to Find a Home!

Abandoned Pitbull Recovering After Complex Heart Procedure

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is ecstatic to report that Gunner, the nine-month-old Pitbull-type dog that recently underwent a complex heart procedure, is making a fast recovery and is now ready to find his forever home!

Gunner suffers from Pulmonic Stenosis – a genetic heart defect that restricts blood flow from the heart to the lungs.

He underwent a Balloon Valvuloplasty (BV) procedure, which places a special balloon catheter across the stenotic pulmonic valve and then inflated to create a larger opening to allow better blood flow from the heart to the lungs.

Although starved and abandoned, Gunner has always displayed a friendly, outgoing and excitable personality, and since his procedure, he’s even more excited!

Ready to Go Home

**Update 12/9: Gunner has been adopted!**

With his surgery complete, Gunner is now ready to find his forever home.

While recovering wonderfully post-surgery, those interested in adopting Gunner will need to consider the medical factors before taking him home.

Upon adoption Gunner will need a recheck echocardiogram in 3-6 months, and then every 1-2 years after that.

Because Gunner’s first BV procedure went so well, the likelihood of an additional surgery at this point is low, however it may become necessary in the future.

Gunner is currently in a foster home, but anyone interested in meeting this amazing pup can contact ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center to set up an appointment.

Double Your Impact for Animals Like Gunner!

With routine medical care, diagnostic testing, surgery, follow-up-care and rehabilitation, the cost of correcting Gunner’s heart problem was an expensive endeavor. However, Gunner is just one example of the extraordinary care ARL’s shelter medicine staff provides to every animal who comes into our care.

This level of care is not possible without your support. ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, and relies solely on the generosity of individuals like you to make a difference, and in Gunner’s case – save a life.

By donating to ARL today, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar to double your impact!


ARL Removes 29 Cats from Overcrowding Situation

A recent welfare check at a Bristol County home by local police led to the removal of 29 cats by the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department.

Due to the high levels of ammonia in the home and safety concerns, local health officials would not allow ARL Law Enforcement and Field Services Departments to enter the dwelling without respirators with the highest-filtration-level charcoal filters to protect on-site workers.

With the help of local animal control officers, the 29 cats were removed from the home in about four hours, and transported to ARL’s Dedham and Boston Animal Care and Adoption Centers for evaluation and treatment.

The local building inspector and board of health condemned the home.

On the Mend

The majority of cats from this situation were socialized and friendly, and some have already found forever homes.

There were however, several animals with medical concerns that are commonly associated with animal overcrowding and unsanitary conditions.

A number of cats are suffering from upper respiratory infections, several had fleas and dry skin, and one cat required an eye to be removed.

As the health of these animals improves, they will be available for adoption once they are medically cleared.

ARL is Ready to Help

From rescuing, rehabilitating, and adoption, ARL is always ready to help animals like these 29 cats and to give them a second chance.

However, we cannot do it alone.

ARL receives no government grants or public funding, and relies solely on the generosity of individuals like you to make our important work possible.

Please join us by supporting ARL’s mission to keep animals safe and healthy in habitats and homes.

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Welcoming Your Adopted Dog into Your Home

Congratulations! You’ve adopted a dog and it’s going home with you this afternoon, so what’s next? After dog-proofing your house and gathering the necessary supplies (collar, ID tag, water bowl, crate, food, toys, and cleaning products), you’ll need to think about how to acclimate your pup the moment his paws walk through your front door.

Follow these tips to help your furry family member settle into their new house:

The first day

  • Bring your dog straight home and do not stop for errands along the way.
  • Calmly introduce to your pup to your family members outside, one at a time.
  • Limit visitors to prevent your dog from getting overwhelmed.
  • Keep your pup leashed, and lead them into the house for a tour of each room.
  • Stay close to home and do not go out on any major excursions.
  • Take your dog outside often for bathroom breaks, even if they were housetrained previously.
  • Give your pup ample quiet time to acclimate to their new surroundings.

Daily routines

  • Place your dog’s crate or bed in the room where you would like them to sleep, not in an uninhibited area, such as the garage or basement.
  • Offer your pup 2-3 meals per day; do not leave a full bowl of food out for them all day.
  • Use chew toys and interactive toys to keep your dog physically and mentally busy.
  • Keep walks to 5-10 minutes until you get to know your dog’s behavior and response to stimuli, such as cars, unfamiliar people, and squirrels.
    Prevent anxiety with being left alone by not making a fuss over your comings and goings. Practice leaving your pup in the crate and/or with chew toy for short periods several times per day.

Relationship building

  • Stimulate your dog physically and mentally with training. At ARL, we believe that positive reinforcement, reward-based training methods are the best course of action, especially when teaching dogs new things or desensitizing fearful dogs to new experiences.
  • Play the “name game” by periodically calling your dog’s name when they look at you and rewarding them with a piece of kibble as a treat. (See Pg. 8 for more on this training method.)

Adopting a dog from the South? “They may need additional time to adjust to their new environment,” explains ARL’s Animal Behavior Manager, Laney Nee. “Southern dogs have likely never been exposed to city noises, loud trucks, or lots of people, including men and children. Any aggressive behavior that they exhibit is simply a reaction to their fear and discomfort and should not be misconstrued as ‘bad’ behavior.” Adopters will need to exercise patience to help their new pup acclimate to simple things, such as living indoors, being confined to a leash, and being the only dog around for the first time. “It’s important to pair the thing that they are afraid of with delicious high-value food so that they build a more positive association to the new thing they are fearful of,” says Laney.

If you have basic behavioral questions about your pet, contact ARL’s FREE Pet Behavior Helpline at (617) 226-5666 or behaviorhelpline@arlboston.org. A representative will get back to you within 48 hours.


ARL Brewster Takes in Senior Cat When He was Surrendered to Local Vet Office

Annual exams, medications – these are costs that any pet owner can expect over the duration of an animal’s life. However, when an underlying disease or sudden injury needs attention and treatment, these costs can unfortunately be out of reach for some.

This was the case for Clyde, a 13-year-old handsome cat, who was brought to Barnstable Animal Hospital just a few weeks ago.

As with many animals in advancing years, Clyde was starting to show signs of age, confirmed with diagnostic testing, which revealed that Clyde is in the early stages of renal disease. His examination also discovered a low-grade heart murmur.

Renal disease is common in middle to older age cats and is associated with a gradual loss of kidney function. There is no cure as the kidney cannot regenerate, however the disease is manageable and Clyde is expected to sustain a high quality of life for the foreseeable future.

Clyde undergoes exam at ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Due to the cost of testing and the need for ongoing treatment, Clyde was surrendered to the animal hospital – but of course a veterinary office is not a shelter and Clyde needed a place to stay while waiting for the opportunity to find a new home.

Despite there being a number of options in the surrounding area, the staff at Barnstable Animal Hospital decided to contact the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center – located approximately 20 miles away.

Why?

Because for nearly a century, ARL has had a history of caring on Cape Cod.

Since first establishing a shelter facility on the Cape in 1921, ARL has been the go-to resource for animals in need and today the Brewster location offers much more than adoptable animals.

Community services include spay and neuter resources, pet surrender, pet after-life care, animal cruelty law enforcement investigation, among others. ARL’s staff is also on-hand to answer any animal-related questions or concerns community members may have.

Looking for a Forever Home

Clyde has established himself as an immediate favorite among staff and volunteers, and while he may be comfortable and friendly in the shelter setting, he is still awaiting his perfect forever home.

Ready to Serve

ARL’s reputation as an animal welfare leader is unmatched in Massachusetts, however, your support is critical in order for ARL’s important work to continue. Your support allows ARL to take in and treat more than 17,000 animals in need annually and to deliver services directly to communities who need them most. Please help Clyde and others like him by supporting ARL today!


Update: All Cats Removed from April Hoarding-Type Situation Adopted

When the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department removed 50 cats from a home in the Metro Boston area during Easter weekend, it was immediately clear that many of the animals had a long road ahead of them – given their lack of meaningful interaction with humans.

Aside from a host of medical concerns, the majority of the cats were extremely under-socialized and at times standoffish with staff and volunteers.

However, thanks to an amazing and collective effort by ARL staff and volunteers, over time the walls of mistrust were razed and nearly three months later, the last two cats (Clarence and Moe) have found their forever homes!

Slow and Steady

The socialization process was extraordinarily slow. With many of these animals, volunteers and staff would begin by just talking softly to the cat. From there it would escalate to making eye contact, offering treats, and when a small semblance of trust was established, the cat would sniff the hand and eventually accept pets.

Clarence, an 8-year-old cat, came to ARL obese and in need of medical care and diagnostics. Unlike many of the other cats from this hoarding-type situation, he was friendly right from the start, but was shy and lacked confidence.

Clarence had advanced dental and was already missing 10 teeth. Unfortunately 8 additional teeth needed to be extracted.

Through diagnostic testing, the tough 8-year-old also showed early signs of renal disease.

Moe, a 4-year-old cat, was thin, scared and spent much of his time hiding upon arrival at ARL. Moe weighed just 6 pounds, had urine-stained paws and dirt was embedded around his nose.

The cat needed time to settle in to his new surroundings, and seemed to do best when paired with another cat from his previous situation – in Moe’s case he was paired with Clarence.

The two spent time as office fosters, which offers a more real-life experience and is less stressful than being in a kennel full time.

The pair came out of their shells and didn’t just find a forever home, they found a forever home together!

Extraordinary Measures

Before arriving at ARL, these animals suffered an enormous amount of physical and mental trauma. ARL was able to remove these cats from a difficult situation, provide much needed medical care, and socialize and recondition these animals to become the loving pets they are today!

Hoarding-Type Situations Increasing

The number of hoarding-type incidents involving large numbers of animals is unfortunately on the rise. In 2018, ARL handled 16 of these incidents, which involved 1,024 animals.

With hoarding-type situations, ARL is ready to help both the animals and people involved. If you are aware of such a situation, please contact ARL Law Enforcement or your local Animal Control Officer immediately.