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Category: Blog
Home for the Holidays: Etha’s Story

Animals come to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) in a variety of ways: stray, rescue, law enforcement, transport – as well as owner surrender. There are a plethora of reasons why animals are surrendered, and for Etha, a one-year-old female cat, it was due to prohibitive medical cost.

In her former home, Etha had managed to slip a front leg through her collar, causing irritation in her armpit region. This went unchecked for a number of weeks, getting to the point of the collar being embedded in her skin. The wounds underneath were open, infected and painful for the young cat.

Her former owner brought Etha to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center for surrender in mid-November, and as soon as her intake was complete, ARL’s shelter veterinary staff went to work to remove the collar and treat her wounds.

Etha was spayed, and the wounds from the collar needed several rounds of cleaning and treatment with antibiotic ointment.

For many animals recovering from traumatic or serious injuries, foster care provides an environment where the animal can heal in relative quiet and receive the constant attention and care they need.

Given her amazing temperament, Etha was quick to heal and although shy at first, she was quick to warm up and showcase her sweet personality.

Within two weeks of being surrendered, Etha was rehabilitated and ready to find her forever home!

Home for the Holidays

ARL is proud that the median length of stay for dogs and cats in our shelters is 10 days or less, and for Etha, she was adopted just one day after being made available!

Etha has found her Home for the Holidays and has adapted very quickly to her new surroundings.

“We’re so happy having Etha around,” said her new owners. “It took all of one day for her to stop hiding now she’s a serious lap cat!”

Help Even More Animals in 2019!

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes – and our work is not possible without YOUR support! ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals to support our shelter, rescue, law enforcement and community programs.

As we look ahead to 2019, ARL will continue to be at the forefront of confronting the root causes of cruelty and abuse, and to help even more animals in need, like Etha, throughout Massachusetts.

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Home for the Holidays: Cuddy’s Story

In early November, Cuddy, a vocal and fluffy 13-year-old cat, was transferred to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center from Boston Animal Control.

For many senior animals, initially entering a shelter environment can be an overwhelming, fear-inducing experience – but for Cuddy, he was already familiar with ARL.

Originally adopted from ARL in 2010, Cuddy returned a little older, and a little wiser. Additionally, like many senior animals, Cuddy had advanced dental disease and had put on a few pounds.

While the majority of senior animals are surrendered due to an owner’s declining health or unfortunate passing, some, like Cuddy, are the victims of circumstance. Cuddy was surrendered to Boston Animal Control due to an eviction.

In a shelter environment, puppies and kittens typically get top billing because let’s face it – they’re adorable! The unfortunate reality is that sometimes senior animals can be overlooked simply based on their age.

At ARL, our Adoption Forward philosophy aims to match the adopter with the perfect animal – and for some senior animals better fit the person’s lifestyle or needs as their personalities are fully formed, they will be housebroken more often than not, and tend to be less active.

Cuddy Finds His Forever Home

Cuddy’s return stay at ARL was brief, as he was adopted in less than 3 weeks! His outgoing but relaxed personality was the perfect fit for his new owner, his adopter tells us, “Cuddy is a such a good boy – I awakened the morning after his very first night here to find him deep under the covers of my bed, nestled against my feet!” We’re beyond happy that Cuddy will be spending the holidays in his new forever home!

Help Even More Animals in 2019

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes – and our work is not possible without YOUR support! ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals to support our shelter, rescue, law enforcement and community programs.

As we look ahead to 2019, ARL will continue to be at the forefront of confronting the root causes of cruelty and abuse, and to help animals in need throughout Massachusetts.

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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!

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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!


Press Release: Pair of Six-Month-Old Cats Abandoned on Busy Dedham Street

Cats Left in Cardboard Box, One Suffering Broken Leg

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is currently caring for a pair of six-month-old cats who were left in a cardboard box along High St., a busy thoroughfare in Dedham, MA. One of the cats is suffering from a broken leg and ARL Law Enforcement is seeking information to find the person responsible for this cruel act.

While driving along High St. this past weekend, a Good Samaritan witnessed a man standing in front of a box along High St., and drove away when the driver pulled over. Stunned to find the cats in the box, the Good Samaritan brought the cats to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, along with the contents of the box. There was pertinent information inside the box which ARL Law Enforcement is following up on.

The man was driving a dark-colored SUV, and is described as a white male in his 30’s or 40’s.

The cats, named Arnold and Helga, are not microchipped, and both are extremely friendly. Along with an injured leg, a rabbit nail was found embedded into Helga’s tail – both cats were dirty but overall in good health.

As the law enforcement investigation continues, the cats will continue to be monitored and undergo medical treatment — the goal is to have them both into new, loving homes for the holidays.

ARL Law Enforcement is the lead agency in this investigation, and anyone with information is urged to contact ARL Law Enforcement (cruelty@arlboston.org; (617) 426-9170).


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

 


5 Thanksgiving Foods Your Pet Should Avoid

Keep your pup joyful and healthy this holiday with these helpful tips

Thanksgiving is a time to savor delicious food, enjoy the company of our family and friends, and to show gratitude for all that we are thankful for in our lives.

While it’s wonderful to include your pets in your holiday traditions, it’s important to remember that our furry companions cannot indulge in the same feasts that we prepare for ourselves. Some of the common Thanksgiving foods that fill our plate can actually be very dangerous for your pet to ingest.

Here are the 5 Thanksgiving foods that your dog should avoid:

  1. Turkey bones are small and can become lodged in your dog’s throat, stomach, or intestinal tract. They may also splinter and cause severe damage to the stomach or puncture the small intestine.
  2. Fat trimmings and fatty foods like turkey skin and gravy are difficult for dogs to digest. In fact, consuming turkey skin can result in pancreatitis. Symptoms for this serious disease can include vomiting, extreme depression, reluctance to move, and abdominal pain.
  3. Dough and cake batter contain raw eggs, so the first concern for people and pets is salmonella bacteria. What’s more, dough may actually rise in your dog’s belly, which can lead to vomiting, severe abdominal pain, and bloating.
  4. Mushrooms can damage your dog’s internal organs, including kidneys, liver, and central nervous system. Symptoms can include seizures, coma, vomiting, and possibly death.
  5. Raisins and grapes, although the causes of their toxicity are unknown, can cause kidney failure in dogs.

The best way for your pet to partake in the holiday cheer? Stick with traditional treats that are safe for dogs and cats! Food puzzles and interactive toys like a Kong filled with peanut butter are a great way to keep your canine entertained and feeling satisfied all holiday long.

Bonus tip: Keep your vet’s emergency number handy. Should your pet become ill, contact your pet’s veterinarian or the local animal hospital’s number! A quick call to either of them can give you life-saving advice or even help you avoid a trip to the ER. You can also reach Boston Veterinary Care at (617) 226-5605.

For more helpful tips about dog and cat health and behavior, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips


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


DONATE NOW to DOUBLE your impact for animals

#GivingTuesday is an international movement created to encourage giving back to the charities nearest and dearest to your heart during the busy holiday season.

Being a Champion for Animals means being a resource for not only animals in need, but also for the people who care for them. Because ARL is an essential resource in this regard, ARL’s Board of Directors, Past Board Members, and President have teamed up to offer this incredible challenge:

Raise $100,000 and they will match it*

That means your donation now through November 27 will go twice as far to help animals in need!

Donate $100 or more and you (or your pet!) can be included on ARL’s #GivingTuesday Wall of Honor!

Want to see and hear about YOUR donations in action? Tune into Facebook!

Throughout #GivingTuesday, you’ll hear firsthand from ARL staff, volunteers and a few of our biggest supporters how YOUR donations make it possible to help more than 18,000 animals each year. Be sure to log onto ARL’s Facebook page on #GivingTuesday as we host a variety of interviews showcasing the incredible work YOU make possible and the animals who directly benefit.

If you missed our live interviews this week, you can view them anytime on ARL’s Facebook page under the “videos” section, or click on the links below:

THANK YOU to ARL’s President and Board of Directors for offering this amazing challenge!

Sierra H. Bright
Barbara Burg and Priscilla Golding
Lisa and Dave Cawley
Randi Cohen and Al Ossorio
Anonymous
Richard and Lois Hall
Jeff Kaplan
Richard Kelly and Carol Akerson
Dr. Holly L. Kelsey
Walter and Elizabeth Kenyon
Lee Ann and Michael Leahy
Neal Litvack
Jeffrey and Jane Marshall
Malcolm McDonald and Susan Passoni
Kelly and Brian McKernan
Mary Nee and James Chapin
Tara and Christophe Oliver
Alisa Plazonja
Drs. Astrid and Peter Rapoza
Malisa and Andrew Schuyler
Tim and Jen Sullivan
Jane Willis and Richard Davey
Quentin P. Faulkner

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


2018 Fall Educational Forum: ARL in the Community

Every autumn, members of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Leadership Council gather in Dedham to get an up-close glimpse of what ARL programs are doing to help animals in need. This year was all about ARL’s community programs to bring services directly to those that need them most.

Proactive vs. Reactive

Animal adoption is of course a facet of ARL that’s widely recognized, however as the world of animal welfare continues to evolve, we must be proactive instead of reactive; with the goal of keeping animals safe and healthy in their homes, not in a shelter environment. To be proactive, we must move beyond the walls of our shelters and into the communities that are in need our services.

What are Community Programs?

  • Law Enforcement – Investigates crimes of animal cruelty, abuse and neglect. In 2017, ARL’s Law Enforcement Department investigated cases involving nearly 3,000 animals.
  • Rescue Services – ARL is the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with a technically-trained department dedicated to animal rescue. In 2017, Rescue Services assisted nearly 2,000 domesticated animals and wildlife in need.
  • Community Cat Initiative – Launched in 2017, this program addresses the estimated 700,000 community cats living in harsh conditions throughout Massachusetts. In its first year, the program assisted 622 community cats, 78 percent of which found loving homes, while the remaining cats were returned to the field where they are monitored and fed by members of the community.
  • Spay Waggin’ – Serving eight locations throughout the South Shore, South Coast and Cape Cod, this mobile spay and neuter clinic offers high-quality and low-cost services and in 2017 surpassed 50,000 surgeries since being launched in 2000.
  • Healthy Animals, Healthy Communities – This on-going pilot project was made possible through a grant from the Cummings Foundation, and centers on bringing services to the Codman Square area in Dorchester, MA. The initiative includes a weekly, low-cost wellness clinic, as well as a number of partnerships, including the Codman Academy.

Two New Additions

Attendees at this year’s Fall Forum were also introduced to two new exciting additions to ARL’s community programs that aim to bring services directly to areas they’re needed most.

Transport Waggin’

Thanks to a generous donation from Leadership Council members Peter and Connie Lacaillade, this specially-equipped vehicle allows ARL to help more animals in need by providing a missing resource – mobile response.

The Transport Waggin’ will be able to pick up surrendered animals from owners that are unable to come to the shelter; assist concerned citizens who find stray animals in their communities; assist Animal Control Agencies and smaller rescue groups with transport; assist ARL Law Enforcement and Rescue Services; and transport existing animals in our shelter system for any outside needs or services.

Wellness Waggin’

Although not on the road as of yet, the Wellness Waggin’ will drastically increase ARL’s ability to bring veterinary services to communities where they’re needed most.
The vehicle will include an exam room and surgical suite, and is slated to be in operation every Monday, Wednesday and Friday – each day in a different location in the Boston metropolitan area.

By bringing these vital and affordable veterinary services to communities, we can eliminate part of the financial burden of pet ownership, prevent animal surrender, and allow animals to remain in their homes.

A Special Thank You

ARL wishes to thank our Leadership Council members who attended the annual Fall Educational Forum, and stay tuned for more exciting updates of our expanding community programs and initiatives!