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Category: Adoption
Dedication and Love Help Former Stray Find Forever Home

Dean Overcoming Behavioral Challenges

In September 2017, Dean, a two-year-old Pitbull-type mix, came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) as a stray who was found in West Bridgewater, MA. This past week Dean found his forever home, and for this energetic boy, it’s been a long road home.

When Dean arrived at ARL, he was a whirlwind of energy and presented with a number of behavioral issues – jumpy/mouthy, severe over-arousal, inability to focus, and resource guarding. While friendly, working on these issues simultaneously was a tremendous challenge.

Over a period of days and weeks, Dean began to bond with staff and volunteers, which helped him find focus. From this foundation, Dean started learning basic commands, making eye contact, focusing on his handler, looking to humans for attention, among other things.

Additionally, because Dean was still having high-arousal issues, he was sent to a train and board facility for two weeks to intensely focus on training.

“When Dean came to ARL he knew nothing,” said ARL Animal Care Manager Carolyn Curran. “We saw the potential in him and knew that with time, dedication and love, we would be able to find him his perfect home.”

As weeks turned into months at the shelter, Dean persevered and continued to learn — staff’s hopes for him never wavered and knew the right situation for him would present itself eventually.

It took nearly eight months, but Dean has met his perfect match and is now enjoying his forever home!

Catering to Individual Needs

Every animal that comes to ARL receives not only a medical evaluation, but a behavioral evaluation as well — it’s through this process that an individualized plan is developed based on that animal’s specific needs. Dean is just one of the thousands of success stories ARL sees annually, and we cannot do our important work without your support!


PRESS RELEASE: Stolen Dog Returned to Animal Rescue League of Boston

Nick returned unharmed and in good spirits

The three-year-old Pitbull-type dog stolen from the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Boston Adoption Center more than a month ago has been returned safe and sound.

Nick is safe, healthy and in great spirits!

Late Tuesday evening, a concerned citizen contacted the MSPCA call center with a tip about Nick and his location. MSPCA immediately notified ARL, who picked up Nick and transported him safely back to ARL’s Boston Animal Care & Adoption Center.

Shelter staff confirmed this morning that the animal is indeed Nick.

Over the past six weeks the search for Nick has been priority number one. ARL’s Law Enforcement Department has worked closely with the Boston Police Department to ensure Nick’s safe return.

ARL is overwhelmed with joy to have Nick back with the organization, he is healthy and doing great. Nick will be undergoing a medical and behavioral evaluation and is currently NOT available for adoption.

ARL would like to thank the Boston Police Department for their tireless efforts, the MSPCA for their quick response, and members of the media for getting Nick’s story to the masses.


April 8-14 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week

Education, Awareness are Keys to Prevention

There are an estimated 70 million dogs in the United States, and every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4.5 million dog bites are reported – 20 percent of which require medical attention.

The CDC goes on to estimate that at least half of dog bite victims are children.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to take this opportunity during National Dog Bite Prevention Week to remind dog owners that learning behavioral signs and properly training and socializing your animal can go a long way in drastically reducing these statistics.

When it comes to behavior, it’s important to recognize when a dog is becoming uncomfortable. Some of the signs include:

  • Panting
  • Yawning
  • Cowering
  • Holding its breath
  • Flattening its ears
  • Growling
  • Snapping
  • Curling upper lip

When a dog gives these cues, it’s important to back off immediately. Too often these signs are ignored and result in a bite.

Teaching Children

It’s important to teach children not to approach a strange dog; however, it should be noted that not only strange dogs bite. Even a family pet can bite if it feels frightened, threatened, or is in pain. Parents should consider supervising a child’s interactions with dogs, while teaching the aforementioned behavioral cues.

Training and Socialization

Training and socializing with people and other animals is vital to having a puppy become a well-mannered adult dog. Have questions? You can always contact ARL’s FREE Pet Behavior Helpline at (617) 226-5666.

ARL also offers a number of training courses covering a variety of areas including basic manners, commands, social skills and mental enrichment exercises. Courses are offered at ARL’s Boston location, and reduced rates are offered (first-time only!) to dogs adopted from ARL within the previous six months, and for Boston Veterinary Care clients.


Band Removal, Amputation Put Two Birds Back on the Adoptable Perch

This past week, Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) veterinarians performed surgeries on two colorful birds with colorful names, in an effort to fix lingering injuries and put them on a track towards finding forever homes.

In Boston, Neil Young, a beautiful 10-15-year-old cockatiel, was suffering from a leg band that had embedded into the bird’s skin. Adding further irritation to the cockatiel, a significant amount of debris was found underneath the band.

ARL’s shelter veterinary staff surgically removed the band, cleaned the wound underneath, and is healing nicely. Unfortunately Neil Young does appear to have permanent nerve damage to the foot, but is able to compensate without issue and is now ready to find his forever home! UPDATE — Neil Young is adopted and has left the building! 

In Dedham, Sir Ellington, a one-year-old white pigeon, was found as a stray in Dorchester. He was covered in black oil, and after removing the oil from his feathers, it was noted that he was not perching normally and was only using one of his legs.

The middle toe on Sir Ellington’s left leg was swollen and painful, and x-rays revealed that he had a displaced fracture of his middle left toe.

Performing the first bird surgery at ARL’s Dedham facility, Sir Ellington was sedated and the middle toe was removed. After a week of pain medication and antibiotics, the young pigeon is comfortably walking and perching!

Why Adopt a Bird?

Birds make great pets, particularly if you’re facing time or space constraints.

Here are 5 reasons why adopting a bird may make sense for you:

  1. You’ll have someone to talk to. Because of their above average intelligence, birds are very communicative and love to socialize with humans.
  2. You’ll have fun training them. Since birds are relatively small, training them can be less physically demanding than working with larger creatures, making them a good choice for the young, elderly, or disabled.
  3. You’ll have more space. A bird’s, food, water, and toys are typically self-contained in their cage, so smaller households will still have plenty of room to move around.
  4. You’ll have a loyal friend for the long-run. Many bird species have extraordinarily long life expectancies, some living more than 100 years! This often eases the concerns of people who want to make sure they adopt a pet that they can love and enjoy for a very long time.
  5. You’ll save money. Most landlords only charge “pet fees” to tenants with cats or dogs. Additionally, at the ARL, all of this is included in your pet’s adoption fee: health screening and veterinary exam, behavioral screening and evaluation, vaccinations, parasite treatment, and more!

Ready to Adopt?

Visit an ARL Animal Care and Adoption Center in Boston, Brewster, or Dedham and find your perfect match today! Dogs, cats, birds, and other small animals, your furry or feathered friend is waiting for a place to call home.

 


National Puppy Day: Thinking About Adopting a Puppy?

10 Things You Need to Keep in Mind Before Adopting

We at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) love puppies. Let’s be honest who doesn’t? They’re adorable, loving and lots of fun. They’re also untrained, energetic and at times very destructive! While your heart may be in the right place, the bottom line is that puppies are not for every household. So on this National Puppy Day, here are 10 Questions to ask Yourself Before Adopting a Puppy:

  1. Time Commitment: How much time do you have to devote to the puppy and are you willing to commit to the dog for its life? From training, to multiple feedings daily, to middle of the night potty trips, puppies need constant attention and cannot be left alone for long periods of time. If you cannot devote time to properly and responsibly raise the puppy, then it’s not the time to bring a puppy home.
  2. Socialization: This job is critical of a puppy owner, and is especially important in the first few months of life. Can you commit the time to socialize your puppy? Puppies need to be meet people and other dogs to become a well-adjusted and confident adult dog. Socialization is never complete in a dog, but the longer you wait the harder it gets.
  3. Housing: It’s seemingly a simple question, but is overlooked or ignored by many. Can you properly house a puppy and are you allowed to have a puppy? Renters: Check your lease to see if there are pet restrictions. Home Owners: Check your home owner’s insurance policy for restrictions. Every year thousands of dogs are returned because they were not allowed – this is not fair to the animal or to you, so please make sure that there are no issues if you bring home a puppy.
  4. Lifestyle: What is your lifestyle like? Are you an active family that spends plenty of time outdoors? Or are you more of a couch potato? Some dogs require a lot of exercise daily, and remember that small does not equal less energy. Some large breed dogs have a lower activity level than many smaller breeds.
  5. Cost: Can you afford a puppy? Food, veterinary visits, vaccinations, training, licensing and medical emergencies. Just a few of the costs to consider, and remember the costs of owning an animal need to be maintained for its entire life.
  6. Patience/Training: Are you a patient person? Puppies are of course babies and need to learn in order to become a well-adjusted adult. Remember it takes time and lots of patience! House training, crate training, obedience training, how to walk properly on a leash; these are just a few of the critical training areas. If you lack patience and get frustrated quickly, then maybe an older dog would be better for you.
  7. Long Term: What will happen to the dog if you start a family? What if you have to move? Again there are thousands that are given up every year for these reasons. Dogs are a lifetime commitment, and plans for these factors need to be made to ensure that the dog remains a part of the family for the next 10-15 years.
  8. Human Medical Issues: Are there any allergies or medical conditions in your family that could cause issues that may result in having to surrender the puppy? If there are suspected health concerns, consult a doctor before considering any pet.
  9. Grooming: All dogs need grooming – even hairless breeds! There’s brushing as well as regular attention to teeth, ears and nails. Some breeds do require professional grooming, while others may require a few minutes with a brush on a weekly basis. Are you able to handle this responsibility?
  10. Need: Finally – Why do you want a puppy? If you already have pets in the house, especially senior pets, they may not be crazy about the idea of having a rambunctious puppy running around. Along with current pets, consider other family members too and who will care the dog for its entire life, not just its formative years.

Answer “YES” to All the Above? You’re ready to adopt! All adoptable animals at ARL are spayed/neutered, receive a thorough medical exam as well as vaccinations and other treatments. Additionally, Boston Veterinary Care offers superb wellness services for your pet after adoption and it’s the clinic with a mission – All profits benefit the shelter pets under the care of ARL. And if you’re looking for training for your puppy, ARL offers that too! Click here for a complete list of classes that will help you bond with your puppy, and help them develop properly in their formative years!

 


Providing Comfort and Care in the Last Stage of Life

When Boston Animal Control recently brought Pablo to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, his prognosis seemed bleak. A large growth on the hamster’s back was likely cancerous, and because it was so ulcerated, there was a high likelihood of infection and chronic pain.

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, despite their size or species. Wanting to give Pablo a chance to be pain-free and enjoy a loving home for the remainder of his days, ARL shelter veterinarians decided that surgery was the only option to achieve this goal. It would also be the first surgery performed on a hamster in Dedham.

The mass was removed and Pablo has recovered well. ARL staff monitored him closely after surgery, spoiling him with a variety of treats including bananas and bell peppers; and while Pablo’s long-term outcome is unknown, his quality of life has vastly improved.

“We do not know how much time he has left now that he has had the surgery,” said Dr. Kate Gollon, ARL Community and Shelter Veterinarian. “But it was a wonderful opportunity to give Pablo some quality time for him to be pain-free and happy.”

Hospice Adoption

While hospice animals have medical concerns and are in most cases terminal – they still do have a quality of life and deserve to live out the remainder of their lives in comfort and surrounded by love.

When Pablo was made available for adoption, he did find a home quickly, and for these types of special adoptions, it takes a special person to make the situation work for them and for the animal.

“People who commit to a hospice adoption understand that while they may not have a lot of time with that animal, they can feel good about giving them love and support during the time they have left,” said Debby Chaplic, ARL’s Associate Director of Volunteer Engagement. “Adopters who are willing to open up their home and hearts to hospice animals are truly champions.”

Finding the Perfect Match

ARL is committed to matching adoptable animals with a permanent home. 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. Visit our Boston, Dedham, or Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers today to start the conversation and to find your perfect companion!


ARL Expands Reach to Help Animals in Need in Puerto Rico

Some of Old San Juan’s Most Famous Residents Finding Homes in Boston

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is broadening its reach in Puerto Rico by partnering with Save a Gato, a nonprofit group dedicated to rescuing cats in Old San Juan; the partnership began with a transport of nine cats this past week.

Once at ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center, the cats were placed under a state-mandated 48-hour quarantine period, given thorough examinations, vaccinations, spayed or neutered, and microchipped. From there, the gatos were made available for adoption, and to no surprise have been adopted very quickly.

An Internationally Known Colony

Save a Gato manages cat colonies throughout Old San Juan, including along the Paseo Del Morro – a trail that once serviced as a maintenance road for the massive stone protective walls of the city that date back to the 1630s.
For visitors to the National Recreational Trail, the numerous cats along the route are part of the experience, and many say that some of the cats are actual descendants of the original cats who came on ships when the first Spanish settlers came to the island.

To see video of one of the adorable gatos, click here!

Gatos and Satos

Along with Save a Gato, in 2017 ARL began its partnership with All Sato Rescue, and has transported dozens of dogs from the island, including an emergency transport of pups following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

There is an abundance of homeless animals in Puerto Rico. These transports allow ARL to supplement the number of animals the organization takes in locally, while giving our partner organizations the ability to continue their important work and make room for more animals in need.

Additionally, ARL receives monthly transports of puppies and dogs from Brother Wolf Animal Rescue and Alexander County Animal Services – both based in North Carolina.


Press Release: Good Samaritan Helps Save a Life

ARL-Boston Reminds Public to Take Action when Seeing an Animal in Distress

With New England still in the grips of a brutal winter, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to remind the public to be mindful and to take action when seeing an animal in distress.

Such actions recently helped save the life of a female stray cat in Dorchester.

The Good Samaritan got a backyard surprise when pulling off the cover to an outdoor grill. Underneath was a shivering cat who was trying to get out of the cold and hadn’t been seen in the neighborhood before. The cat had suffered a devastating injury to her front left leg, and was very thin. Concerned for the animal, the resident took the cat in and contacted ARL Rescue Services.

Upon arrival at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, an examination by ARL veterinary staff noted that many of the cat’s toes on her left front leg were missing and the bones of her paw were exposed; a condition that was causing the animal severe pain. Additionally she was also dehydrated, anemic, severely underweight, and had an upper respiratory infection.

The cat, later named “Addie”, underwent amputation surgery this past week, is ravenously eating to put on weight, and is making continuous progress. She’s incredibly friendly and will be available for adoption when she’s back to 100 percent.

“Considering her situation, she’s doing remarkably well,” said Dr. Kate Gollon, ARL Community and Shelter Veterinarian. “When she came to ARL she weighed about half what a cat her age should weigh and she’s already put on half a pound, so she’s definitely trending in the right direction.

Addie’s case serves as a reminder that if the public spots an animal in distress, calling ARL Rescue Services at 617-426-9170 or local animal control can be the difference in an animal’s demise or survival.


Knee Surgery Saves Community Cat’s Leg

James Starting Physical Therapy

For humans, knee surgery is a common procedure due to injury or sometimes with age; for one cat who recently came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), knee surgery wound up saving his leg, and possibly his life.

When one-year-old James was brought to ARL’s Community Surgical Clinic, his physical exam revealed muscle wasting on his hind limbs, which caused concern for ARL veterinary staff.

“His legs were skinny, and it was also noted that one of his patellas (knee caps) was out of place,” said ARL Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Kate Gollon.

Medially luxating patellas are common in dogs, but relatively rare in cats. The condition can be quite painful, drastically limiting movement and in some cases causing lameness and muscle wasting.

James was facing two options: amputation or surgery. ARL veterinary staff saw amputation as a last resort, and did not want to remove a limb from the handsome Havana Brown cat, so opted for surgery.

The procedure, which was performed at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, called a trochlear block recession, essentially deepens the groove where the patella normally sits, and is then secured in place by tightening the connective tissues around it.

Post-Surgical Therapy

Just like when humans have knee surgery, James also needs to undergo physical therapy to strengthen his knee to be able to regain full use of his leg. James’ foster parents are performing a number of exercises with James every day to build strength and agility.

He continues to make noticeable progress by being able to put more weight on the leg, and will be made available for adoption when he is back to 100 percent.

Why Your Support Matters

Being a Community Cat and given his condition, it’s likely James would not have been able to survive living on the streets, and through ARL’s Community Cat Initiative and surgical clinic, James was able to be rescued and receive the medical treatment needed to ensure a long, healthy, and happy life. ARL receives no government funding, and relies on the generosity of individuals like you to make these programs possible, so THANK YOU for affording ARL the opportunity to help yet another animal in need!

 


Sato Undergoes Costly Emergency Hernia Surgery

Tinker Expected to Make Full Recovery

Tinker, a 3-year-old Italian Greyhound Mix, was one of 11 dogs who came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) just after Christmas as part of a transport from All Sato Rescue in Puerto Rico. Being jet-bound from the island to Boston likely saved Tinker’s life.

According to All Sato, Tinker’s owner had moved after Hurricane Maria, and had simply left the sweet and loving dog behind. While initially seeming perfectly healthy, several days after her arrival in Boston, Tinker was spayed, and following surgery, ARL veterinary staff noticed she was having a hard time breathing.

tinker blog thumb

Tinker’s surgery was a success and she is on the road to recovery!

X-rays were taken and confirmed the diagnosis of a diaphragmatic hernia — a protrusion of the abdominal viscera into the diaphragm caused by a tear, which prohibits the lungs from expanding normally.  Despite attempts to make her comfortable, Tinker continued to have breathing issues, and was transferred to an Emergency Specialty Hospital for surgery.

Tinker’s condition was likely caused by a previous trauma, such as being hit by a car. She remained stable by probably limiting her activity but one thing is certain — she is lucky to have made it to ARL to have the problem corrected before she suffered from any life-threatening complications.

Road to Recovery

Tinker will remain in foster care for a little while longer as she continues to heal from her surgery, but will soon be made available for adoption so be sure to check back for updates!

YOU Can Help Even More Animals Like Tinker in 2018!

Tinker’s life-saving surgery cost approximately $4,500, and while animals like Tinker depend on us to care for them and make them well, we depend on YOU to support and help us continue our critical work. Animals at ARL receive the specialized veterinary care, kind attention, and socialization they need to thrive — only because of YOUR generous donations. Thank you for being a champion for animals and for giving generously today!