fbpx
Category: Adoption
Pets As Gifts… CAN Be a Good Idea!

5 factors to consider before you give pets as a holiday gift

It seems like a no-brainer… Giving a pet as a present can be a win-win situation for everyone involved: the animal has a cozy home to call its own, the recipient is in a state of awe, and the giver (you!) has made your loved one’s holiday even more joyful.

While this is the gift-giving scenario that every animal lover dreams of, make sure it really is the purr-fect present for the person on your list.

If giving your loved one a new pet as a present is on your mind, here are 5 things to consider:

  1. Manage the surprise. Even at the risk of spoiling the surprise, make sure that the intended recipient wants a new pet. Check in with someone who currently has pets or has recently lost one to make sure they are ready.
  2. Don’t make them sneeze. That’s not a twinkle in their eye; it’s allergies. Confirm any allergies among all household members. No one wants to go get an allergy shot after opening what’s supposed to be an extra special gift, after all.
  3. Know where they live. Even if you know your intended recipient really wants a pet, ensure that their building and development allows them. If their home is pet-friendly, be sure to confirm any weight or breed restrictions.
  4. Find out what they can handle. You want to know that the animal you are getting matches the lifestyle, physical limitation, ages, and personalities in the household.
  5. Adopt from a shelter.  When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  Adopting from a reputable animal shelter like the ARL’s adoption centers, also has many practical benefits. All our adoptable animals, for example, receive spay/neuter services, vaccines, and a health and behavioral screening.

Keep in mind… It never hurts to run the idea by your loved one beforehand or take them along to pick out their new pet. They and their new furry friend will be thanking you for many years to come!

ARL has many deserving animals looking for a home!

It’s not just snowing cats and dogs here at ARL’s shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham. We have many special small shelter pets like birds and rabbits who are looking for loving homes!

Search all adoptables


Home for the Holidays: Maya’s Story

8-Year-Old Chihuahua Finds Forever Home Following Life-Saving Surgery

Maya, an adorable 8-year-old Chihuahua, came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) in early October as an owner surrender. Like many animals who come to ARL, she was shy and fearful of strangers and other dogs.

Additionally, Maya had underlying medical issues – including a mammary mass (which was benign), and an extraordinarily large bladder stone that, if gone untreated, could’ve been life-threatening.

Bladder stones are a build-up of minerals and other materials and common symptoms include:

  • Urinary accidents
  • Frequents attempts to urinate without success
  • Straining to urinate
  • Discolored or bloody urine

Maya was showing classic symptoms of bladder stones, and ARL Shelter Medicine staff were shocked at the size of the stone which was clearly seen in her x-rays. While antibiotics and a therapeutic diet are sometimes used to help dissolve the stone over time, a surgical approach was necessary in Maya’s case.

The 10-pound sweetheart made it through surgery with flying colors, recovered quickly and was soon made available for adoption.

It took longer than expected given her cuteness factor, but 26 days after Maya’s surgery, she found her perfect match!

As we get into the heart of the holiday season, Maya has found her Home for the Holidays, and this is a gift we wish we could give every animal at ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Centers this holiday season.

Ready to Adopt?

If adding a furry member to your family is on your to-do list for the holidays, stop into ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Centers — located in Boston, Dedham, and Brewster to speak with an Animal Care Associate. With ARL’s Adoption Forward philosophy, the conversation-based, application-free process aims to match you with the perfect animal to suit your lifestyle and your family. Visit us today!


Abandoned Beverly Dog Taken in by Couple Who Found Him

Angel thriving with his new family

In late September, Angel, a small, partially blind and deaf terrier-type dog was found in appalling condition and wandering the streets of Beverly, MA. A heart-warming example of the human-animal bond, the couple who took Angel off the streets has now taken him into their home.

The meeting between Angel and his finders was fate. Returning from an evening run, Beverly residents Dan Boschen and Liz Sweetman saw Angel ambling around the intersection of Charnock and Prospect Streets, and aside from his filthy appearance, it was clear he needed help.

“I’ve never seen a dog in such bad shape, and he was hobbling down the street towards a busier street,” said Boschen. “We were able to corner him and pick him up.”

From there, Angel was brought to a nearby veterinary clinic where he received emergency treatment. He was severely matted (a pound of fur was removed), emaciated and overgrown and curled nails were causing him pain and discomfort when walking.

While at the veterinary clinic, Boschen and Sweetman, who had only recently brought a second dog into their home, came to a realization.

“He was so sad, like his whole life was pain,” Sweetman said. “Once we got into a room with him they didn’t know if he would make it and we said we’ll do whatever we can. We looked at each other and knew we wanted to take him if he was going to be alright.”

From Beverly, the 10-year-old Angel was put into the care of the Animal Rescue League of Boston where his medical care continued and a joint investigation between Beverly Police and ARL Law Enforcement ensued.

Slowly but steadily Angel made progress and Boschen and Sweetman were able to take him into their home for foster care after several weeks. With medical care, proper diet, shelter and love, Angel, now appropriately named Lucky, is now thriving with his new family and will be enjoying his new home for the holidays.

While ecstatic that Angel has found a new home, unfortunately law enforcement officials have been unable to discover who left this animal to fend for himself on the streets. ARL continues to be an assisting agency to the Beverly Police Department and anyone with information can contact Beverly Animal Control (mlipinski@beverlyma.gov; (978) 605-2361), or ARL Law Enforcement (cruelty@arlboston.org; (617) 426-9170).

For Giving Tuesday Double Your Impact

#GivingTuesday is an International movement created to encourage giving back to charity during the busy holiday season. For this special day, ARL’s Board of Directors, past Board members, and President have teamed up to offer an incredible challenge: Raise $100,000 and they will match it*! That means your donation from now until November 27 will go twice as far to help animals in need!

*The match only applies to the first $100K in donations ARL receives but all gifts will go to help animals in need

 


Community Cats Sometimes Need Extra Care

How YOU can help community cats like “Sherman”

In the spring of 2017, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) launched its Community Cat Initiative, in an effort to help the estimated 700,000 community cats living in cities and towns across Massachusetts. Since its creation, the initiative has served hundreds of these animals, with nearly 80 percent finding forever homes. These cats all have a story, and many share a common affliction: the need for extended care.

Sherman, a five-year-old domestic shorthair cat, was found wandering the streets of Mattapan in early July. Quirky but friendly, he was brought to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center where he underwent a thorough veterinary examination.

Due to a wound of unknown origin (WUO), Sherman was placed into a state-mandated four-month quarantine. Additionally, Sherman needed to be neutered and required extensive dental work, including two extractions.

Sherman after his dental work. Many community cats suffer from the pain of dental disease and need extensive care in this regard.

While only a small fraction of community cats need to enter quarantine protocol, the vast majority are intact and many suffer the pains of advanced dental disease and/or cracked or broken teeth as a result of living on the streets.

“Dental disease is certainly something we see on a regular basis with community cats,” said ARL Community and Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Kate Gollon. “Additionally given the living conditions and possible run-ins with other cats or predators, cracked or broken teeth are common as well. It’s painful and if untreated can lead to other health issues.”

These issues can include jaw fractures, and organ damage caused by chronic bacterial infection – kidneys are particularly susceptible.

The care given to Sherman and community cats like him is extraordinary, far-reaching, and exemplifies ARL’s mission to be an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes.

This commitment however, is not without cost.

For Sherman, who will soon be available for adoption, his four-month quarantine stay in Dedham, neuter surgery and dental work translates to approximately $2,500.

The Community Cat Initiative is an exciting branch on ARL’s community services tree, but in order to provide these innovative services and help upwards of 1,500 cats live healthier lives, ARL must raise $204,000 annually to do so.

For Giving Tuesday Double Your Impact

#GivingTuesday is an International movement created to encourage giving back to charity during the busy holiday season. For this special day, ARL’s Board of Directors, past Board members, and President have teamed up to offer an incredible challenge: Raise $100,000 and they will match it*! That means your donation from now until November 27 will go twice as far to help animals in need!

*The match only applies to the first $100K in donations ARL receives but all gifts will go to help animals in need


Too Many Animals Being Abandoned Outside Shelters

ARL teams with Quincy Animal Control to urge proper pet surrender

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) joined with Quincy Animal Control to issue a public reminder that if you need to surrender an animal, to please do so properly – this after four rabbits were found abandoned in a carrier outside the Quincy Animal Shelter. The rabbits are now in the care of ARL and will soon be made available for adoption.

To see media coverage of this story click here!

Over the past few months there have been several instances involving animals being left outside of shelters or animal control facilities, ARL included – not only is this irresponsible, it’s also against the law.

One of four rabbits recently abandoned outside the Quincy Animal Shelter. They are in the care of ARL and will be available for adoption soon.

Abandoning an animal in Massachusetts is a felony, and each instance is thoroughly investigated by law enforcement.

Pet surrender isn’t easy. We understand that some pet owners feel guilt, shame, embarrassment, fear judgement or condemnation for surrendering an animal – and choose abandonment instead. This is never a viable option.

When surrendering an animal, it’s critical to meet with someone face-to-face. ARL is committed to keeping animals safe and healthy in their homes, and are willing to explore every option to see if there’s a way to keep the animal with the owner and out of the shelter. When you surrender properly, you’re also helping shelter and medical staff better understand the animal and what they may need before being rehomed.

Organizations like ARL exist to help animals, as well as the people who care for them. Moving, financial struggles; pet surrender is sometimes necessary, and ARL’s intake staff is ready to guide you through the process. If you need to surrender an animal, please make that phone call today.


Press Release: Stray Peacock Finds Forever Home

Back in June, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) took in a two-year-old male peacock who was found as a stray in Brewster, MA. ‘Derek’ found his forever home this past week, and will be heading to a property in Southeastern Massachusetts with more than 20 other peacocks.

While ARL serves thousands of animals annually, a peacock is something the organization doesn’t see every day, however the adoption process was like any other with the end goal of finding the right match and the right home for the animal.

Dighton resident Jeff Fisk turned out to be the right match, as he is an experienced peacock owner and has been partial to the birds from a young age.

“They’re fascinating creatures and make great pets,” Fisk said. “I was so excited when I was contacted about Derek, knowing that he would be going to a good home.”

ARL and Brewster Animal Control had received a number of reports in June of the stray bird, and he was captured in the Greenland Pond/Long Pond area of Brewster. Due to limited livestock space, Derek was transferred to the iconic red barn at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

While in the wild for an unknown amount of time, the stunningly beautiful bird was in good shape; and the fact that no one stepped forward to claim ownership makes it likely that he was dumped or abandoned in the area he was found.

Adoption Forward

ARL is committed to matching adoptable animals with a permanent home. Adoption Forward — our conversation-based, application-free adoption process is designed so that the needs of both the animal and the adopter are understood and compatible with one another. We do this to achieve our vision that we will be a resource for people and an unwavering champion for animals most in need. Ready to adopt? Visit ARL’s Boston, Dedham, or Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers today!


Kitten with Eye Ulcers Part of Large-Scale Community Cat Spay/Neuter Clinic

Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, East Boston Colonies Targeted

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) conducted a large-scale spay and neuter clinic for community cats from neighborhood colonies in Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and East Boston. The day-long clinic took place at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center’s state-of-the-art surgical suite, and among the approximately 30 cats to have surgery was a 13-week-old kitten named Liam, found with ulcers affecting vision in both eyes.

If left on the street, Liam likely would not have survived long-term due to his condition. Along with being neutered, one eye had ruptured due to an untreated viral infection and needed to be removed; the hope is that with medication, Liam’s vision in his remaining eye will improve over time. He will be made available for adoption once he recovers from surgery.

Out of the 30 cats that had surgery, about half, including a dozen kittens, will find loving families and forever homes – the undersocialized, or feral, cats will be returned to the field. The surgical clinic was the culmination of several days of trapping in known colonies from the aforementioned neighborhoods, and ARL is planning for more clinics in the near future to serve communities in need throughout the greater Boston area and South Shore.

A Community Issue

There are approximately 700,000 community cats living in Massachusetts, about 70,000 in Boston alone. Since 2017, ARL has served well over 700 community cats, with just 18 percent being returned to their colonies; however ARL has never conducted such a large-scale community cat spay and neuter clinic.

“Over the past year, we’ve increased our focus on community cats and have helped them as they’ve come to us,” ARL’s Medical Director of Community and Shelter Medicine Dr. Kyle Quigley said. “But with this effort we strategically targeted large, known colonies and the goal is to have a bigger, immediate impact for these communities.”

Change the Lives of Cats at Risk

ARL is excited about our commitment to help keep community cats safe and healthy in the habitats in which they live, but we need your investment in order to provide the best outcome for these cats. To fully support these innovative programs and help more than 1,500 cats lead healthier lives, we need to raise $204,000 annually. Please donate now to help these animals in need.


ARL Caring for Stray Peacock Found on Cape Cod

Not an everyday occurrence

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently took in a stray peacock who was found as a stray in the Greenland Pond/Long Pond area of Brewster, MA. While ARL takes in thousands of stray animals annually, a peacock is certainly something the organization doesn’t see every day.

This stray peacock is absolutely stunning!

For more than a week in late June, ARL, Brewster Police and Animal Control had received numerous reports of the bird in that area; Brewster Animal Control was able to capture the peacock, and brought it to ARL Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center. Due to limited livestock space in Brewster, the bird was then brought to ARL’s Dedham facility.

His arrival in Dedham has even attracted local media attention!

Peacocks, which are not native to North America but gained popularity as a status symbol in the early 1900s, are legal to own in Massachusetts.

Despite the fact that they’re prone to wandering, nobody has stepped forward to claim ownership of this beautiful bird – opening up the possibility that he was abandoned in the area he was found.

The two-year-old male is settling into his new surroundings, and while being in the wild for a unknown amount of time, he is in remarkable shape and healthy.

The peacock will soon be available for adoption – anyone interested must demonstrate that they have the proper set up to house a peacock – ample space with a proper enclosure. ARL will also be reaching out to area zoos to determine if anyone would be willing to take in this striking animal.

More than dogs and cats

While the vast majority of animals ARL takes in are dogs and cats, from livestock to zoo animals, for decades the organization has demonstrated time and time again that it can handle a wide variety of species and give them the same level of care and affection that’s afforded to every animal that comes through our doors. ARL receives no government funding and our work is made possible only through your generous support.


Triumphing Over an Abusive Past

“Luke” with ARL for 518 days, recently finds perfect forever home

In early January 2017, Luke, then an 11-month-old puppy, was seized by the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department, when his owner was arrested on animal cruelty charges for allegedly beating the dog on multiple occasions.

Luke recently found his forever home, but was with ARL for more than 500 days – and during that time ARL staff and volunteers witnessed his awe-inspiring evolution from a puppy into a young adult dog. It was also a journey with plenty of bumps along the way.

To see a video of Luke’s story click here!

When Luke first arrived at ARL, he was scared, confused, and based on his former situation, he was understandably fearful of strangers – it was a hurdle.

“When Luke first came here, he didn’t want to trust anybody,” said ARL Animal Care Associate Anna Chaletzky. “He would bark, and while it would seem aggressive, he was just so afraid of everything.”

Building Trust

It took patience, but the more time ARL staff and volunteers spent with Luke, he slowly began to trust. And once that trust was established, Luke truly began to blossom. Showing his intelligence and love of learning, he went beyond basic commands, broke out of his shell and was soon showing off his playful personality.

An extended stay in a shelter environment can be difficult for some animals, and it was important to keep Luke engaged and focused and in turn he progressed forward and gained confidence.

Time to Find a Home

In the spring of 2018, Luke’s former owner pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, and he was finally ready to find his forever home. While it took a bit of time, Luke found his perfect match in a couple who came all the way from Maine to adopt him!

From intake to adoption took 18 months, and while saying goodbye was difficult, seeing him walk off into his new life happy and full of confidence was a proud moment for anyone who witnessed Luke’s progression.

It also highlighted the effectiveness of ARL’s enrichment program, which is tailored to the needs of each individual animal.

“He matured here with us and we worked every day at keeping him in a good place mentally,” ARL Pet Placement Supervisor Alicia Muller said. “Enrichment for Luke was incredibly important and a focus for all staff. We were always looking for new ways to show him he was cared for and loved, and to see him go from scared little pup to a confident young adult was incredible.”

It Takes a Village

While the length of stay for Luke isn’t typical for an animal in ARL’s care, the collective efforts from numerous ARL programs is. From law enforcement to shelter medicine and daily shelter care, Luke was impacted by a wide swath of ARL services, and we as an organization strive to give each individual animal the same care, attention and love that was given to Luke. That being said, our work is not possible without your generous support – thank you for being a champion for animals!


Cat with Myriad of Medical Issues Finds Forever Home

June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month

June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently found a forever home for one amazing cat with a number of health concerns.

Rhade, a 10-year-old domestic shorthair, came to ARL when her previous owner was moving and presented with quite a few common and uncommon conditions.

Rhade undergoing a medical evaluation.

Rhade’s most noticeable issue is neurological, as she was born with the congenital abnormality called cerebellar hypoplasia. The condition affects her coordination and balance.

She also tested positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which was likely contracted via a bite from another infected cat. An offshoot of Rhade’s FIV was swelling to her lip, commonly known as a rodent ulcer. A biopsy did not reveal any underlying issues, but her lip is permanently deformed.

Previous ear mite infections has caused what’s commonly known as “cauliflower ear”, and finally, Rhade has developed Horner’s syndrome in her right eye. This condition is due to an unknown impairment to her sympathetic nervous system – which is responsible for the normal fight or flight reaction.

Despite all these issues, Rhade persevered and does have a good quality of life. Rhade responded well to all her treatments at ARL, however it’s hard to know what her medical future holds, and it’s important for her new family to monitor her closely.

“She’s Amazing”

This past week, Rhade found her forever home, and for all parties involved, it was love at first sight. Because of her medical issues, her new owners had a long medical consult with ARL’s shelter medicine staff and at the end summed up this sweet girl by saying “So basically she’s perfect from the neck down?”

“She’s amazing,” her new owner said. “We fell in love as soon as we saw her.”

Love at first sight! Rhade getting to know her new family.

Extraordinary Care

As with any animal that comes through our doors, ARL’s veterinary medicine staff spent an enormous amount of time diagnosing and treating all of Rhade’s health issues to ensure that any potential adopter would be as informed as possible before taking her home.
Rhade has been given a second chance and is ready to thrive in her new home.

At the Core of ARL’s Mission

Part of ARL’s core values are compassion and commitment – and while this extends to every one of the animals we serve, a cat like Rhade needs that compassion and commitment to live to her full potential with the greatest quality of life possible. ARL’s mission is to ensure that animals are safe and healthy in the communities they live, and our success in this mission could not be possible without your support.