fbpx
Category: Blog
Stray Cat Survives Barbed Wire Injury, Finds Forever Home

“Ant” needed extensive medical treatment

In May, while many of us were working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department remained busy on the front lines providing a number of services, including the rescue of a two-year-old stray cat in Middleboro that had been severely injured by barbed wire.

Ant had been spotted in a quiet neighborhood, and when ARL arrived on-scene, it was clear that the cat was in a tremendous amount of pain.

He had suffered severe lacerations which were clearly infected, and he needed medical attention immediately. Ant was transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center for treatment.

Unfortunately the injury to his left hind limb was beyond repair, and needed to be amputated.

Following his surgery by ARL’s shelter medicine staff, Ant was required to go into a state-mandated, four-month quarantine for a wound of unknown origin.

Given he was a stray, Ant showed signs of anxiety around people, and needed plenty of socialization during his recovery and quarantine period.

While Ant was initially hiding and tense, shelter staff and volunteers began spending time with Ant, approaching slowly, and using purr machines, soft music and even reading aloud to get him to relax.

Over time Ant’s body language improved, he was hiding less and was even allowing brushing, full-body pets, and chin scratches!

Finding a Forever Home

Ant’s tremendous progress over a four-month period made him an easy decision for his adopter, who fell in love at first sight!

Ant is settling in to his new home well and is sure to give plenty of love and purrs for years to come.

You Make These Outcomes Possible

While it is difficult to predict the on-going impacts of this global crisis, one thing remains constant – animals in our communities are still in need.

And with a great need for these ongoing and expanding community services, Champions Circle members are there to answer the call for help.

Thanks to you, Ant was able to not only be rescued from the streets, but received the extensive medical care he needed in order to have a second chance.

Champions Circle members provide steady support that sustains life-saving measures and second chances for homeless and at-risk animals all year long.

During unprecedented times like these when fundraising events have been cancelled or modified, monthly gifts are crucial to providing life-saving care and assistance to animals when they need it most.

By becoming a Champions Circle member today, you are ensuring that animals in need will the care they deserve, even during crisis.

Why does monthly giving matter?

  • Spreading out your donation in increments throughout the year makes your giving budget work harder and creates an even bigger impact for animals.
  • Monthly giving is a convenient, affordable, and efficient way to make a difference in the lives of animals in our community.
  • 60% of ARL’s funding comes in during the last quarter of the year- and most of it during the last 2 weeks in December – yet animals need help every day. Monthly support from Champions Circle donors provides animals with care and assistance when they need it most.

Use this secure link to join now, or call Derek at (617) 426-9170 x162.

Join by September 30th, and receive a special 2021 wall calendar!


ARL Holds Spay/Neuter and Pet Wellness Clinic in East Boston

Spay Waggin’ Returns to Boston after a Decade

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) unveiled its brand new Spay Waggin’ during a special spay/neuter and pet wellness clinic in East Boston Thursday, bringing expanded high-quality and accessible veterinary services to this historically underserved community.

The mobile clinic was held in collaboration with the Massachusetts Animal Fund, which provides eligible Massachusetts pet owners with spay/neuter vouchers to cover the cost of surgery and associated services, such as vaccinations.

For local news coverage from WCVB click here!

ARL provided free spay/neuter services for more than 20 animals, whose owners have been on the Boston waiting list for services for six months or more due to both demand and COVID-19-related restrictions.

“We’ve been on the waiting list for about a year,” said Dayanara G., who’s dog Blanca was spayed. “It’s very helpful, I rescued her so I didn’t have all the funds to get all her medical treatment. With COVID it was just so hard, a lot of the vets were closed so even just shopping around for them was hard.”

ARL’s Wellness Waggin’ was also on-site to provide low-cost basic and preventive veterinary care for at least an additional 20 animals whose owners were referred by community partner Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD)’s East Boston location.

Additionally, the East Boston Shaw’s location, who offered it’s parking lot as a staging area for the clinic, also hosted a pet food and supplies drive during the week leading up to the clinic.

When picking up their animals, clients were able to take home the pet food and supplies collected via ARL’s Transport Waggin’.

Need for Services

For the estimated 16,000 pets and 40,000 residents living in East Boston, pet resources are extremely limited, with just one veterinary clinic and one pet supply store in the immediate area.

By establishing a monthly Spay Waggin’ location in the community beginning with this September clinic, and by adding ABCD’s East Boston location as a weekly location for the Wellness Waggin’ beginning in 2021, ARL will significantly increase East Boston residents’ access to basic veterinary care and spay/neuter.

“ARL is excited and humbled to be able to provide these essential services to pet owners in East Boston,” said Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL President and CEO. “East Boston was identified as an area of great need, which was further compounded by COVID-19. ARL’s new Spay Waggin’ will join the Wellness Waggin’ to increase our capacity to help, and our continued partnership with ABCD will further allow ARL to broaden its reach in this great community.”

The Spay Waggin’ joins ARL’s Wellness Waggin’ and Transport Waggin’ as ARL continues to expand its comprehensive community programs approach to help alleviate barriers to care, such as cost and lack of transportation, that prevent many pet owners from accessing basic veterinary care.

Brand New Spay Waggin’

The new Spay Waggin’ is a state-of-the-art mobile surgical unit, and is the third unit in the programs’ 20-year history.

Since 2000, ARL’s Spay Waggin’ program has served the South Shore, South Coast, and Cape Cod region, and has performed well over 60,000 spay/neuter surgeries during operation.

You Make Community Services Possible

While it is difficult to predict the on-going impacts of this global crisis, one thing remains constant – animals in our communities are still in need.

And with a great need for these ongoing and expanding community services, Champions Circle members are there to answer the call for help.

Champions Circle members provide steady support that sustains life-saving measures and second chances for homeless and at-risk animals all year long.

During unprecedented times like these when fundraising events have been cancelled or modified, monthly gifts are crucial to providing life-saving care and assistance to animals when they need it most.

By becoming a Champions Circle member today, you are ensuring that animals in need will the care they deserve, even during crisis.

Why does monthly giving matter?

  • Spreading out your donation in increments throughout the year makes your giving budget work harder and creates an even bigger impact for animals.
  • Monthly giving is a convenient, affordable, and efficient way to make a difference in the lives of animals in our community.
  • 60% of ARL’s funding comes in during the last quarter of the year- and most of it during the last 2 weeks in December – yet animals need help every day. Monthly support from Champions Circle donors provides animals with care and assistance when they need it most.

Use this secure link to join now, or call Derek at (617) 426-9170 x162.

Join by September 30th, and receive a special 2021 wall calendar!


Lil’ Dumplin’ Ready to give a Lil’ Lovin’!

Former stray’s Quarantine Period Ends

In April, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) received a call from a concerned United States Postal Service mail carrier regarding a friendly stray in the Dorchester neighborhood they serve.

The mail carrier had been feeding the cat, and upon receiving the call, ARL’s Field Services Department were dispatched to pick up the animal and bring her to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Lil’ Dumplin’ enjoying the feline suite.

Despite spending time on the streets, the 3-year-old female cat was incredibly friendly. Overall she was healthy, however a wound on her neck was discovered and classified as a “wound of unknown origin.”

With this type of wound, the state mandates a four-month quarantine period, just in case the cat had come in contact and was wounded by a rabid animal.

Lil’ Dumplin’ has spent the last four months in a special feline suite, providing her with a large space away from the shelter environment, and she has had plenty of visitors and attention during her quarantine period.

Quarantine Period Used to Be Longer

In 2016, ARL encouraged Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to make some changes to shelter regulations, including reducing the rabies quarantine period from six months to four.

Governor Charlie Baker

Gov. Baker discusses shelter regulations at ARL in 2016.

The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians recommended the reduction due to evidence that showed that animals in isolation for an extended period of six months could become stressed and depressed, even with regular human socialization.

Not only is the reduced quarantine period beneficial for the overall health and wellbeing of the animals involved, it also allows organizations like ARL to help more animals and to ease financial constraints.

Ready to Go Home

**Update: Lil Dumplin’ has been adopted!**

With Lil’ Dumplin’s quarantine period over, she is now ready to find her forever home!

If you are interested in meeting Lil’ Dumplin’ and believe she may be a perfect fit for you and your family, contact ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center at (617) 426-9170 x604. ARL staff will be happy to conduct an adoption interview via phone and arrange a meeting, if both parties think it’s a good match.

Please note:

  • With the exception of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York or New Jersey, we are unable to conduct out-of-state adoptions at this time.
  • The public will not be permitted in the shelter or lobby waiting areas without an appointment and will be asked to limit the number of visitors.
  • Everyone must wear a protective face covering or mask that covers both the nose and mouth while at ARL facilities by order of the State of Massachusetts.
    • Please alert our staff if you need to request accommodation due to a medical condition by calling: (617) 426 – 9170 and dialing the appropriate extension: Boston press “0”, Dedham x605, or Brewster x305;
    • For more information on these safety requirements, visit mass.gov.

How a Bill Becomes a Law: PAWS II

As we talked about a few weeks ago, the PAWS bill of 2014 was a wonderful example of how the legislature can be truly committed to protecting animals in Massachusetts.

After the tragic finding of a dog who had been sadistically tortured in 2013, the legislature acted to make sure other animals would not suffer this fate.

With the bill moving on a rapid timeline, concerns were raised that more laws regarding animal welfare needed strengthening. The legislature convened a task force to examine some of these issues. The task force included representatives from animal welfare groups including ARL, law enforcement, attorneys, animal control, and human service providers.

The Task Force

The task force report had numerous recommendations to improve animal welfare in the commonwealth:

    • It proposed ending the cruel requirement that animals seized from fighting operations must be euthanized, instead allowing individual assessment of animals.
    • It would clarify that drowning animals was inhumane.
    • Another recommendation was that landlords be required to check vacant properties for pets.

There were many other more technical suggestions that would strengthen animal welfare ordinances across cities and towns.

The results of the Task Force’s findings would be the basis for an extension of the PAWS bill, this one appropriately called PAWS II.

Legislation

Governor Charlie Baker signing PAWS II into law

Governor Charlie Baker signing PAWS II into law.

PAWS II was filed in January in 2017, largely mirroring the recommendations of the task force assembled in 2014.

The hearing for the bill was held in October of the first year of the session, and was reported favorably by the committee in December of 2017.

This gave PAWS II a much longer timeframe to get passed than the first PAWS bill.

In March of 2018, the Senate debated the bill.

Two months later, the House debated their version.

The two had to be reconciled, and on July 17, a conference committee was appointed to settle the differences between the two branches. The group had two weeks to come to an agreement.

The final agreement came late in the final day of the session on July 31.

The conference committee was able to secure many important proposals of the task force, including:

    • allowing increased reporting of animal cruelty by human service agency staff;
    • making animal control officers mandated reporters of abuse of elders, individuals with disabilities, and children;
    • requiring landlords check vacant properties for abandoned animals;
    • prohibiting the drowning of animals, update laws regarding animal sexual abuse, including prohibition on future ownership of animals;
    • ending mandatory euthanasia of animals seized from animal fighting operations and allows for individual evaluation of animals;
    • updating penalties and making technical changes improving enforcement of animal control laws, including improperly kept kennels.

The bill was engrossed in the late hours of the legislative session on July 31.

There were still the steps of enactment and being signed into law by the Governor.

Fortunately, both branches and the Governor recognized the importance of these common sense protections, and ARL was able to celebrate the signing of PAWS II at a ceremonial signing in September 2018.

PAWS II was able to move through the legislative process because of the hard work of legislators, staff, and advocates who contacted the legislature to make their voice known.

Want to learn more about how you can get involved in advocacy? Check out our Advocacy 101 post.


FedEx Driver Spots Stray Bearded Dragon After Rain Storm

Earlier this month when the Metro Boston area was inundated by a period of afternoon thunderstorm activity, an astute FedEx driver wound up making more than deliveries.

On the lawn of a small apartment complex in Dorchester, the delivery driver noticed a bearded dragon lying in the grass.

Concerned for the animal’s welfare, the driver contacted the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department to respond and care for the bearded dragon.

Ballou being rescued.

Upon arrival, Field Services agents noted that the bearded dragon was soaked from the rain and very cold.

Bearded dragons thrive in relatively low humidity environments (between 20 and 30 percent humidity), so given that the animal was caught in a torrential downpour and high humidity was concerning.

Field Services transported the one-year-old bearded dragon, now named Ballou, to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center for a medical exam and treatment.

Ballou has done well since being in Dedham and is now looking for his forever home!

Caring for a Bearded Dragon

You may not know it from a bearded dragon’s stern expression, but these animals are in fact very docile and affectionate with humans!

Unlike many other lizards, bearded dragons are not nocturnal and are active during the day – perfect for forming a bond with your new companion.

Caring for a bearded dragon is fairly simple and here are a few things you’ll need to keep him health and happy in his new environment:

  • A larger capacity glass tank (40 gallons or more) and a secure screen lid
  • Sand, as well as obstacles like a rock or branches that your bearded dragon can climb on or hide behind
  • A heating lamp so your bearded dragon can spend plenty of time basking in the sun
  • A mister to keep your bearded dragon comfortable – a once-a-day spritzing is all that’s needed
  • Bearded dragons are omnivores, so be sure to have a balanced diet of insects, fruits, vegetables, reptile feed, and always keep water at the ready

Ready to Adopt?

Due to COVID-19, adoption services are by appointment only.

If you are interested in talking with an ARL Animal Care Associate about Ballou, you can contact ARL’s Dedham location by calling (617) 426-9170 x605 to set up an appointment.

To ensure Ballou will have an adequate environment in which to thrive, you will also need to provide a picture of the enclosure you plan on keeping him in.


August is Microchip Month at Boston Veterinary Care!

Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) answers your Microchip FAQs

Did you know… that microchipping your pet DOUBLES their chances of finding their way home?

August 15 is National Check the Chip Day, and for good reason: During the Summer months, pets will be spending more time outside—or may find themselves extra eager to slip out the door into the sunshine. In the event that you and your pet ever become separated, you’ll want to make sure that you are reunited as quickly and easily as possible.

That’s where a microchip comes in handy! Once microchipped, your pet can be identified throughout its life with a one-of-a-kind ID number. For this reason, microchipping has become extremely popular for pet owners, and scanning pets for microchips has become standard practice in veterinary offices, animal hospitals, and animal shelters.

Q: What is a microchip?

A: A microchip is a tiny computer chip, about the size of a grain of rice, programmed with an identification number that is unique to your pet. It is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and will last the life of your pet with no maintenance required. The microchip is injected with a needle beneath the skin between the shoulder blades and is anchored in place as a thin layer of connective tissue forms around it.

Q: Will the implantation of the microchip cause my pet pain?

A: Your pet may feel a slight “pinch” as they would with any other needle injection. Once the microchip in place, however, it does not cause pain and cannot be felt by touch. Many pet owners opt to microchip their pet during routine exams, spay or neutering, or dental cleanings; it’s one less trip to the vet, and your furry companion will probably be too distracted to notice that the injection is happening.

size of a pet microchip

Ever wonder what a pet microchip looks like? It’s as small as a grain of rice! Check out BVC’s August promotion and get your pet microchipped today!

Q: Can all cats and dogs receive a microchip, and at what age?

A: Absolutely! A microchip is recommended for all cats and dogs (even toy breeds) and can be implanted as early as 6-8 weeks of age.

Q: How does microchip identification work?

A: A special non-intrusive scanner is used to send a signal to the microchip to read the identification number. The person reading the scanner can search a national microchip registry to find out the pet owner’s information.

Q: Why should I microchip my pet; isn’t a collar enough?

A: In short, things happen. While a collar with ID tags is an excellent start, there is always a chance that they can be removed or fall off.  Think of a microchip as a permanent ID tag for your pet—and a fail-safe way to verify that you’re their owner.

Microchips have reunited thousands of pets with their owners, even ones who have been missing for years or traveled many miles away! If your pet were to go astray, any veterinarian’s office, animal hospital, or animal shelter would be able to scan your pet’s microchip and contact you immediately. Be sure to keep your contact information current in the national microchip registry database to ensure an easy reunion with your pet – some microchip companies even let you add a backup contact.

Q: My microchipped pet is missing. What do I do?

A: The first step is to contact your pet’s microchip manufacturer (e.g, PetLink, Home Again) and provide them with your pet’s unique microchip number. If your pet has already been located, they’ll be able to tell you where to pick up your pet. If your pet’s whereabouts have not yet been located, it means that their microchip has not yet been scanned by a local animal shelter, animal hospital, or veterinarian. The microchip manufacturer will put an alert in the system so that when your pet’s microchip IS scanned they can contact you right away.

TOO HOT FOR SPOT® For more advice on how to keep your pet safe in the warmer months, visit https://www.arlboston.org/too-hot-for-spot/


Advocacy 101: Understanding Too Hot for Spot®

For many, August is a time to relax and take in summer.

Similarly, August is usually a quiet time in the legislature. It’s hot, elections are coming up, and formal business is usually on hold.

While August is a laid back time for people, August is a dangerous time for pets. Summer, even in New England, brings hot days and the risks that come with them.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Too Hot for Spot® Campaign annually encourages people to think before taking their pets out on the road with them. A minute to a store can quickly turn into 15 or 20 minutes. On an 80 degree day, a car can reach 120 degrees in minutes. For an animal, this can mean injury or even death.

A bill becomes a law

In the summer of 2016, Massachusetts became one of a limited number of states allowing private individuals to rescue animals from cars when their health is threatened by extreme temperatures.

Passage of this law was not easy, and required determination on the part of legislators, advocates, and the public.

The bill that would eventually become law was actually originally sent to study.

This is often the end of a bill’s consideration in the legislature. Fortunately, this was not the case here.

The bill was removed from study, and sent to the Senate where it passed 39-0. But it was the end of June, and with only a month left in the session, it was up against the clock.

The House saw this bill as a crucial effort to save animals lives, and took the unusual step of passing the bill in August.

After July 31 of even numbered years, any legislator can object to a bill, killing it. However, there was no controversy here, and the bill was passed and signed into law by the Governor in August of 2016.

This law is most known for its authorizing of civilians freeing animals in danger from vehicles. This is only part of the law.

The law, called “An Act preventing animal suffering and death” also limited the amount of time and the conditions in which dogs may be left outside. Prior to this change, dogs could be left outside for up to 24 hours, regardless of weather conditions.

What does the law really say?

View the full text of Ch. 140, Sec. 174F here.

The prohibition on leaving an animal in a car is clear:

“A person shall not confine an animal in a motor vehicle in a manner that could reasonably be expected to threaten the health of the animal due to exposure to extreme heat or cold.”

If you see an animal in a car, you must first try and locate the owner. If you can’t find the owner, call your law enforcement or your local animal control. They will try and find the owner as well, and will enter the vehicle if need be.

“After making reasonable efforts to locate a motor vehicle’s owner, an animal control officer…, law enforcement officer or fire fighter may enter a motor vehicle by any reasonable means to protect the health and safety of an animal”

What if you can’t find the owner and help isn’t arriving in time?

“After making reasonable efforts to locate a motor vehicle’s owner,  a person other than an animal control officer, law enforcement officer or fire fighter shall not enter a motor vehicle to remove an animal to protect the health and safety of that animal in immediate danger unless the person:

You have to notify law enforcement or 911.

  • notifies law enforcement or calls 911 before entering the vehicle;

If the door is unlocked, you can open the door. If the door is not unlocked, you need to be reasonable. This is not an excuse to damage someone’s car; you must only use as much force as is necessary to enter the vehicle and remove the animal.

  • determines that the motor vehicle is locked or there is no other reasonable means for exit and uses not more force than reasonably necessary to enter the motor vehicle and remove the animal;

You have to actually and reasonably think that the animal is in imminent danger in the vehicle. If you see an animal in distress and you truly believe that you have to enter the vehicle to save the animal, you may do so.

  • has a good faith and reasonable belief, based upon known circumstances, that entry into the vehicle is reasonably necessary to prevent imminent danger or harm to the animal; and

You must stay with the animal until law enforcement or another first responder arrives.

  • remains with the animal in a safe location in reasonable proximity to the vehicle until law enforcement or another first responder arrives.

This is the part of the law that allows you to break a window to save an animals life. You must follow every step. Not calling law enforcement, causing more damage than is necessary to remove the animal, or leaving the animal is likely to result in you being held responsible for the damage to the vehicle. Additionally, there must really be an animal in distress.

“A person who removes an animal from a motor vehicle pursuant to subsection (e) shall be immune from criminal or civil liability that might otherwise result from the removal.”

The law empowers individuals to save animals in distress from hot cars. ARL continues to advocate for people to think about what their trip entails before they bring their furry friends along—and never leave an animal unattended in a car!


Stray Kitten Needs Amputation, Now Available for Adoption

Athol Animal Control Reaches Out to ARL for Assistance

**Update 8/17/2020: Alfie has been adopted!**

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) prides itself on being a resource for municipalities throughout Massachusetts who may need assistance for any number of reasons – in the instance of Alfie, a 5-month-old kitten, his reason was medical.

Athol Animal Control contacted ARL late last week when Alfie was found as a stray. Alfie had suffered a hind limb fracture, and needed immediate medical attention.

Following amputation surgery, Alfie is ready to find his forever home!

Alfie was brought to an emergency facility in Deerfield, MA, and from there was transferred to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center for further care and treatment.

The fracture was severe, and unfortunately in order to save the kitten’s life, the leg needed to be amputated.

ARL’s shelter medicine staff performed the surgery on Alfie, and he has bounced back very quickly!

Ready to Find a Home

The vast majority of cats who need a limb removed live a healthy, happy and normal life and are not impacted by the loss of the appendage — Alfie certainly falls into this category and is now ready to find his forever home!

Your Support Helps Animals Like Alfie

A gift to ARL ensures that when another animal group or municipality reaches out for assistance, ARL is ready to respond.

Alfie is just one of the thousands of animals ARL helps annually, and this work cannot be done without your support – thank you for being a Champion for Animals!

Red DONATE button


Legislating in the Time of COVID-19

All of our lives have been changed drastically by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Massachusetts Legislature is no different.

What is usually a flurry of activity in April, May, June, and July, the legislature saw a very different pace this year.

A series of interim budgets replaced the usual days-long debate in the House and Senate in April and May. For the first time in its history, members used video conferencing software to hold hearings and were able to call into legislative sessions to vote and debate.

The State House building itself, usually bustling with legislators, staff, press, school groups, tourists, and advocates, sat dormant except for a limited number of legislators and staff.

Lobby days, including ARL’s event geared towards animal protection legislation, were first postponed then ultimately canceled, and advocates turned to phone and email to connect with legislators.

In another historic measure, last week, the Massachusetts Legislature took the unprecedented step of suspending the rule requiring formal session end on July 31 on the second year of the session. While unprecedented, it was all but inevitable as the scope and reality of economic and health impacts became clear.

The formal legislative session will now run through the end of the year.

There are several bills in conference, as small groups of legislators from the House and the Senate try and come to final agreement. The legislature still used the last few days of July to take up and pass a number of bills, but the timeline is extended through the fall.

What does this mean for ARL’s bills?

The legislature will still be able to do business and are likely to debate a full budget this fall. In the meantime, there is a focus on those issues that are directly related to COVID-19.

We are constantly monitoring the legislature, so stay tuned to our social media to learn about any updates. View ARL’s Legislative Agenda.


Press Release: ARL, MDAR, MVMA Reminds Public to Properly Dispose PPE

ARL caring for dog who ate paper masks and needed life-saving surgery

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is reminding the public to properly dispose of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) after a dog recently needed emergency surgery to remove the paper masks he had ingested.

PPE has become a way of life for all of us, however if not properly disposed of, masks, gloves, and other PPE may become life-threatening hazards, not only to domestic animals but to wildlife as well.

ARL joins the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), Massachusetts Veterinary Medicine Association (MVMA), MVMA Charities, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and the Dracut Police Department  in providing this important public awareness message.

Why is improperly discarded PPE so dangerous?

Masks can smell like food, and dogs or wildlife may think they’re a treat. These items can cause massive stomach upset or intestinal blockages, and the metal nose wire in masks may cause a variety of health issues, including stomach and esophageal tears, as well as sepsis, which may prove fatal if not treated.

Signs your dog may have ingested a foreign body include:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal tenderness or pain
  • decreased appetite (know as anorexia)
  • straining to defecate or producing small amounts of feces
  • lethargy
  • changes in behavior such as biting or growling when picked up or handled around the abdomen

When finished with a piece of PPE, it should always be disposed of in a covered waste container.

We are all in this together, and it’s up to all of us to protect our pets and wildlife and to keep Massachusetts beautiful!