Category: Adoption
Press Release: Last Dog from Randolph Law Enforcement Case Still Seeking New Home

In early-August, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department collaborated with Randolph Police to rescue 24 dogs living in unsanitary conditions from a private residence.

The dogs were removed from the home, and the previous owner has been charged with two dozen counts of animal cruelty.

Of the 20 puppies and 4 adult dogs, all have found loving homes — with the exception of Benjamin, a 2-year-old male Pitbull-type dog.

When Benjamin arrived at ARL, staff noted that while extremely friendly, the young dog lacked socialization, focus, and basic manners.

He was excitable, jumpy/mouthy, and reactive to walking on a leash.

Over the past two months, ARL’s behavioral staff and volunteers have worked extensively with Benjamin, and he has made tremendous strides maintaining focus and working on his manners.

ARL is looking forward to finding Benjamin his new home and is committed to providing behavioral council and advice for his new family once he’s home.

Click here to see Benjamin’s online profile. 

Original Release:

RANDOLPH, MA — On Wednesday, Aug. 4 at approximately noon, Randolph Police officers responded to a home on Bossi Avenue after receiving a report that a male resident at the home had threatened a person who was doing work at the residence.

Upon arrival, officers spoke with the suspect, later identified as URIE LOUISSAINT, AGE 28, OF RANDOLPH, who consented to a search of his home. Officers entered the home and found its interior to be in a state of squalor with animal waste throughout.

Inside the home, officers located four adult dogs and 20 puppies allegedly living in unsanitary conditions without adequate access to food and water.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Law Enforcement Department was immediately contacted and responded to the scene, coordinating with ARL Field Services to remove the dogs and transport them to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

In all, one male and three female dogs that are approximately two to four years of age, and 20 puppies ranging from two to four months old — all believed to be Pitbull-type dogs — were removed from the home. ARL’s shelter medicine team has examined the dogs.

One puppy, a 4-month-old male, was determined to have a broken leg and will remain in ARL’s care until healed. Umbilical hernias have been detected in some of the dogs, which will require surgery before adoption and some of the animals have heart murmurs.

“The Animal Rescue of Boston cannot commend Randolph Police and Animal Control enough,” stated ARL Law Enforcement Senior Investigator Lt. Alan Borgal. “Everyone involved in this situation demonstrated a high level of professionalism, compassion and the steadfast commitment to removing these animals from the residence quickly and getting them the care they needed.”

Randolph Police Commander Robert Emerson said, “We are pleased to have been able to remove these animals from the poor conditions they were living in. I would like to thank the ARL Law Enforcement and Field Services teams for their quick response and assistance at the scene, as well as the shelter medicine teams and foster care network for their dedication to caring for the dogs. I would also like to praise our responding officers who were called to the house on an unrelated issue and noticed that the situation the animals were living in was not acceptable.”

LOUISSAINT was charged with 24 counts of Animal Cruelty and one count of Threats to Commit a Crime. He was issued a summons to appear in court and will be arraigned at a later date at Quincy District Court.

5 Facts About Pit Bull-type Dogs

As part of National Pit Bull Awareness Month, we wanted to share some important information about Pit Bulls, a “breed” that often gets a bad rap. Unfortunately, Pit Bull-type dogs often come to our Animal Care & Adoption Centers because their owners face housing and insurance restrictions prohibiting certain breeds of dogs.

Here are 5 facts that you need to know about Pit Bull-type dogs:

1. FACT: The “Pit Bull” is not an official breed.
“Pit Bull” is an umbrella term commonly reported to contain the following 3 registered breeds of dogs: Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Pit Bull Terrier.

Many dogs that are classified as “pit bulls” are actually a combination of mixed breed dogs of unknown pedigree or other purebred dogs which bear some physical resemblance. It is not easy to identify a dog’s breed origin(s) from appearance alone, therefore many dogs who are labeled as Pit Bull-type dogs are actually not.

2. FACT: While some Pit Bull-type dogs were historically bred for the purposes of “blood sports”, the majority were bred to become family dogs and farm help.
In the 1970s, dog “blood sports” (i.e., dogfighting, street fighting) began to get more attention by law enforcement and, therefore, the media—making the public much more aware of these cruel practices. The hype drew people to the conclusion that the Pit Bull-type dog’s history of involvement in “blood sports” made them uniquely dangerous.

The truth is that one cannot predict a dog’s behavior based on what the ancestral breed was “historically bred for.”  Instead, each dog should be assessed as a unique individual based upon their overall temperament and upbringing.

3. FACT: Pit Bull-type dogs are not born aggressive
Ever heard the phrase “nature vs. nurture”? Well, that applies here too. Pit Bull-type dogs, just like any other type, follow “learned” behavior taught by the humans who raise them.

To put it simply: an attentive caring owner will raise a happy well-adjusted pet. A neglectful and abusive owner will raise an unhappy aggressive pet. More often than not, Pit Bull-type dogs who display aggressive behavior are often the victims of irresponsible ownership.

4. FACT: Pit Bull type dogs do not have “locking jaws”
No such “locking jaw” mechanism exists in a Pit Bull-type dog or any other dog type or breed. There is nothing uncommon about the size and functionality of a Pit Bull-type dog’s jaws or teeth. Additionally, there is no evidence which proves that one dog type or breed is uniquely capable of inflicting serious injury to humans or other animals.

5. FACT: You should consider adopting a Pit Bull-type dog from your local shelter
If you’re looking to add a new furry family member to your household, think about saving a life and adopting. When a Pit Bull-type dog is properly matched to your family and lifestyle, it is a success story in the making. Pit Bull-type dogs are loyal companions, quick learners, and make great exercise buddies.

If you are considering adopting, make sure you visit a shelter that offers behavioral assessments and enrichment programs for all adoptable animals.  At the ARL, for example, staff can that provide insight into a dog’s overall temperament, health, and upbringing. It is always a good idea to bring everyone in the household (including other dogs) to the shelter with you to ensure that your new addition is the right fit for your home and family.

If you’re looking to add a Pit Bull-type dog or another type of pet to your family, visit our adoptable pets at our Animal Care & Adoption Centers. 

Cat with Chronic Skin Issues Finds Her Home

“Nala” diagnosed with rare autoimmune skin condition

Skin issues are just one aspect of what the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) shelter medicine staff diagnoses and treats on a daily basis, but for Nala, a 6-year-old Himalayan-Lynx-mix cat, her skin condition was bit more complicated than normal, leading to a nearly 8-month-stay with ARL.

Nala was surrendered to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center in March 2021, and presented with a number of skin lesions on her head, ears, and paws.

After x-rays, a biopsy, and wound debridement, Nala was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called pemphigus foliaceus (PF).

For Nala, her condition was causing her immune system to attack the upper skin layers, causing the lesions. But while autoimmune skin disease is rare in cats, it is treatable.

Nala’s initial course of treatment included medication, medicated wipes, and medicated foot baths.

She was then placed into foster care and over the next several months her condition began to improve with treatment, as the lesions healed and her fur grew back.

Nala required frequent veterinary visits, nearly two dozen, but by September, her condition was under control with medication, and was at the point where she could find a new home.

A Special Home

While PF is something that can be controlled or brought into remission with treatment, the condition is chronic, and is something Nala likely have to treat for the rest of her life.

Daily immunosuppressive drugs are needed to keep Nala’s PF in check, however because these types of medications limit the immune system to fully function as it should, Nala is prone to secondary infection, which could lead to further treatment.

Because of this, Nala will need frequent trips to the veterinarian to ensure her long-term health.

But her condition and ongoing treatment did not stop her from finding a wonderful home, as Nala found her new family this past week!

Help Animals Like Nala

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is an unwavering champion for animals in need, however in order to provide emergency treatment for animals like Nala, ARL relies on the compassion and support from people like YOU.

Nala’s chronic condition is under control after months of treatment, but there are countless animals out there that will need ARL’s help at some point in the future and we cannot do this work alone.

Whether it’s a one-time donation or joining more than 840 others to contribute monthly, click here to see all the ways you can join ARL to support animals in need today, tomorrow, and in the future.

ARL Caring for Stray Kitten with Traumatic Injuries

Kitten was likely entangled in fence

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is currently caring for a 13-week-old former stray kitten that is beginning a long road to recovery, due to suffering traumatic injuries.

The kitten was discovered on the side of the road in Dorchester last week, and seeing the kitten was in extreme pain and distress, the finder brought the kitten to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

ARL’s shelter medicine staff carefully examined the kitten, now named Nick, who was yowling and scratching due to his pain, and surmised his injuries were caused by being entangled in a fence and/or an embedded collar.

The kitten suffered deep abrasions and fur loss around his neck and front paws and a piece of wire was also removed from the back of his neck. An ARL veterinarian treated his wounds and is also fostering the kitten to monitor his condition and recovery.

As his pain has subsided, he is beginning to show a fantastic personality and ARL is grateful for the opportunity to care for him and give him the chance at the life he deserves.

There is no time table on when Nick will be well enough to find a new home, and he is currently not available for adoption.

Help Animals Like Nick

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is an unwavering champion for animals in need, however in order to provide emergency treatment for animals like Nick, ARL relies on the compassion and support from people like YOU.

Nick is on the mend, but there are countless animals out there that will need ARL’s help at some point in the future and we cannot do this work alone.

Whether it’s a one-time donation or joining more than 840 others to contribute monthly, click here to see all the ways you can join ARL to support animals in need today, tomorrow, and in the future.

Stray Cat Hit by Car, Receives Treatment and Finds New Home

This past week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) found a home for a friendly stray cat, who had likely been hit by a car and needed emergency treatment.

The two-year-old cat, named Baby, was reported to ARL by a Good Samaritan in Boston’s South End who discovered the cat and realized she needed help.

An ARL Law Enforcement Department senior investigator rushed to pick up the cat and transport her back to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center for emergency care.

Upon arrival, Baby’s face was bloodied and displayed lameness in her front limbs and also suffered some facial bruising.

X-Rays also revealed a pneumothorax, a condition where air escapes the lungs and becomes trapped in the chest cavity – this can be a common injury following being hit by a car.

ARL’s shelter medicine team performed a procedure to remove the trapped air, making Baby comfortable, and over a period of about a week continued to recheck her and chart her progress.

In order to have a quiet place to heal, Baby was placed into foster care and as she recovered, she showed to be extremely affectionate and sweet and recovered from her ordeal quickly.

Baby was so affectionate, that her foster family decided to adopt her, and she is acclimating to her new home very well!

Here for Emergency Care

ARL wants to thank the Good Samaritan who showed extreme compassion in realizing that Baby was in trouble, and for contacting ARL for help.

If Baby had not received emergency treatment, the pneumothorax would likely have worsened and she may not have made it on her own.

ARL reminds the public that if you come across an animal like Baby in distress, to contact ARL’s Field Services Department at 617-426-9170 (press option 1) immediately, as every second counts in an emergency situation!

ARL Caring for 2 Puppies Who Lost Mom

Mom dog died from complications 2 weeks after giving birth

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is currently caring for two puppies who sadly lost their mother just two weeks after being born. The pups, who will soon be available for adoption, were surrendered and initially needed round-the-clock care.

To see local news coverage on this story click here!

Just two-weeks-old when they were surrendered back in June, the Parson Russell Terrier puppies were placed into foster care with a dedicated ARL volunteer and foster parent, and initially required bottle feedings every four hours round-the-clock, as nourishment is critical at that stage of life.

Additionally, because the puppies no longer had mom to rely on, they needed constant monitoring to ensure their health and safety.

“It’s very important to wake them every four hours and give them the nourishment that they need because they are very vulnerable at that stage,” foster parent Margy Ronna said to WCVB. “Then after a couple of weeks they are ready to learn how to walk and run, and their exercise area needs to be bigger.”

Very rarely does ARL see puppies this age, however this was a special situation born out of tragedy after their mother passed likely due to birth complications, and ARL was ready to take on the challenge to allow the puppies to grow and thrive.

Now at 7 weeks old, the puppies have made tremendous progress, are transitioning to solid food and are well on their way to happy and healthy lives.

Please note: the puppies are currently not available for adoption.

ARL Officially ASPCA Relocation Program Partner

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is excited to announce that it is now an official partner of the ASPCA’s Relocation Program.

As a result, ARL will begin receiving regular transports of animals who come from different regions of the country from the ASPCA.

The ASPCA Relocation Program launched in 2014, and has since relocated more than 160,000 animals from “source” shelters in areas with high homeless pet populations, to “destination” shelters in communities, like Massachusetts, where adoptable animals are in high demand.

The ASPCA’s Relocation Program currently transports animals to shelters in more than two dozen states.

“I am excited about ARL’s new partnership with the ASPCA,” said Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s President and CEO. “The ASPCA is a wonderful organization, and knowing that ARL can assist in taking in animals from areas where homeless pets and overcrowded shelter populations are a real issue, and finding these amazing animals loving homes right here in Massachusetts is impactful.”

ARL has already received a number of transport animals from the ASPCA, and looks forward to taking in more throughout 2021 and beyond.

Bonded Pigs Find Home After 2 Years

A pair of bonded pigs that were surrendered to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) back in June 2019 recently found their new home, and while the journey was long, it was worth the wait!

Turner and Hooch were both a year old when they came to ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center in 2019, after their former owner could no longer properly care for them.

Right away the two displayed their playful personalities, as they’d follow visitors around the paddock, gently take fruit and other snacks from staff and volunteers, and allow pets from whoever was willing.

Pet pigs are not for everyone, and while Turner and Hooch continued to be happy in their surroundings, they were unfortunately unable to find a new home.

Sometimes a change of scenery can make all the difference, so after a number of months in Brewster, Turner and Hooch were transferred to ARL’s Dedham campus to see if their luck would change.

In Dedham, they settled in and showed off for staff, volunteers and visitors alike, but once again weeks turned into months without a new home.

As 2019 turned to 2020, Turner and Hooch, while happy in Dedham, it was clear that they once again needed a change of scenery and the opportunity to be around other farm animals.

An ARL foster family opened up their hearts and home for the pair, and once in foster care, efforts ramped up to find Turner a Hooch a permanent home.

Going Home

In the spring of 2021, Turner and Hooch’s soon-to-be family were actually looking for a puppy, when they stumbled upon the pigs, and as they have been fostering dogs for a nearby shelter and slowly been growing their animal family on the farm property in New Hampshire, they immediately decided that Turner and Hooch would be a perfect fit.

With the adoption complete, Turner and Hooch moved into their new home, and have settled in quite well.

“Turner and Hooch have been happily exploring their new home,” said Erica Formhals, Turner and Hooch’s new mom. “Their tails are always wagging and they are so well-bonded. They are quite cautious and shy but overall they are inquisitive and are beginning to trust us – trust is huge!”

There is a perfect family for every animal at ARL, sometimes it just takes time for an adoption to happen.

ARL is thrilled that Turner and Hooch have found their permanent family, and knows they will happy in their new home for years to come!

Ready to Adopt a Farm Animal?

Along with pigs like Turner and Hooch, ARL frequently has farm animals including goats, horses, chickens, among others, that are available for adoption.

To see who’s currently available, click here!

ARL Adoption Centers Reopen to General Public

Covid-19 pandemic forced shutdown in March 2020

This past week brought a tremendous amount of excitement, as the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) animal care and adoption centers in Boston, Dedham, and Brewster were reopened to the general public.

ARL locations were adorned with handmade signs and other decorations to mark the occasion, and during the first week of reopening 84 animals found their permanent homes!

Like many organizations and businesses, ARL shuttered its doors to the general public in March 2020 with the onset of Covid-19 precautions and restrictions.

However, because ARL was identified as an essential business, ARL was able to resume adoption services on an appointment-only basis in June 2020.

This past week was a huge step forward to returning to a sense of normalcy not only for ARL and volunteers, but also for the animals in our care.

“To be able to welcome the public back to our animal care and adoption centers is a great moment for ARL and animal lovers alike,” stated Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s President and CEO. “It’s wonderful to return to a sense of normalcy and allow those looking for a new pet to come in at their convenience to interact with the animals in our care.”

What to Know

If you’re considering stopping into any of ARL’s locations, keep in mind the hours of operation:

  • Monday/holidays: Closed
  • Tuesday: By appointment only from 2-6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday-Sunday: Open to the general public 1-6:30 p.m.

ARL continues to follow CDC guidelines regarding safety protocols and operation hours and availability are subject to change.

Click here to read more about ARL’s current health and safety protocols.

Welcome back!!

Obese Calico Cat Finds Permanent Home

Chloe, a 9-year-old female calico cat, was recently surrendered to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center due to continuous house soiling issues, and secondary medical concerns related to being obese.

The sweet, but reserved kitty has had house soiling issues her entire life and actually came to ARL initially when she was just three weeks old and after being found in a precarious situation.

Chloe hanging out in her kennel.

In 2012, Chloe and four of her litter mates were found zipped inside a plastic bedding bag and rescued by ARL.

Along with house soiling, as Chloe got older and her weight increased, she has been prone to vaginal infection and fur matting as she was unable to properly groom herself.

The 20-pound cat had her mats shaved and received medication for infection and also quickly became a staff and volunteer favorite with her pleasant demeanor and constant purring and vocalization.

Chloe is also on a strict diet to help her lose weight safely and her weight will need to monitored and kept in check for immediate future.

Going Home

ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Centers reopened to the general public this week, and no surprise to anyone who has met this adorable calico, Chloe was adopted the very first day of reopening!

Obesity in Pets

Like humans, obesity can lead to secondary health issues including diabetes, respiratory issues, arthritis, among others.

Obesity can also shorten a pet’s lifespan.

However, obesity in pets can be controlled through proper diet and exercise, so if you see your pet’s weight starting to increase, talk with your veterinarian to determine how to curb obesity and keep your pet healthy and active!