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Category: Boston Veterinary Care
When the Temperature Rises — It’s TOO HOT FOR SPOT

ARL Wants Your Pet to be Safe and Comfortable All Summer Long

In typical New England fashion, this week spring suddenly turned into summer, with heat, humidity and near record-setting temperatures forecasted. As part of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) annual safety campaign, “Too Hot for Spot”, ARL wants to remind pet owners about the dangers of leaving an animal in a hot car.

As temperatures rise, so do concerns about animal safety. Even with temperatures below 80 degrees, the threat for heat stroke still exists. Remember, pets don’t sweat like humans do, making them unable to cool their bodies efficiently in the heat.

Keep your pet safe and healthy by following these important guidelines:

  •      Prevention is always your best bet. Whenever possible, leave your pet at home in a low humidity and temperature-controlled room.
  •      If your pet must be outdoors, find a shady spot with ample air flow to prevent overheating.
  •      Hydration. This is key, so keep a bowl of cold water accessible at all times.
  •      Exercise wisely. Limit exercise to the morning or evening hours when temperatures are at their coolest.
  •      Never leave your pet alone in a parked car. When the outside temperature is just 80 degrees, inside a parked car, the temperature can rise to more than 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, leaving your pet susceptible to deadly heat stroke. It’s also illegal in Massachusetts, thanks to the passage of S. 2369.

Prevention is Responsible Pet Ownership

By following these simple guidelines, you can help your pet limit the possibility for any heat-related health issues. However, if you notice excessive panting, weakness, rapid breathing or balance issues, and suspect a heat-related problem, bring your pet to a veterinarian immediately.


Memorial Day Weekend Travel Tips to Keep Your Dog Cool and Calm

Things to keep in mind if you’re bringing your furry friend along for the ride

Memorial Day Weekend is just days away, and for many of us it means three things — Honoring our service men and women; spending time with friends and family and; travelling!

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) want to remind you that busy holiday weekends can be stressful and dangerous for your pup.

While temperatures during Memorial Day Weekend are expected to be seasonal, even when the outside temperature is 70 degrees, the inside of a car can heat up to more than 100 degrees in a matter of minutes — even with the windows left partially opened! That’s why leaving your pet inside of a hot car is the most common cause of deadly heat stroke — it’s just TOO HOT FOR SPOT! Remember, pets don’t sweat like humans do and cannot cool their bodies efficiently in hot temperatures.

If you plan on taking your best friend along for the ride this weekend, here are some tips to help keep your dog safe:

  1. Never leave your pup alone in a parked car if they must travel with you. Not only are hot cars the most common cause for heat stroke, but leaving an animal inside a parked car is ILLEGAL in Massachusetts.
  2. Just like us, dogs need bathroom breaks! When driving long distances, be sure to periodically find a safe area to pull over to allow your pup to do their business, and get a little fresh water and perhaps some food.
  3. Always keep your canine on a leash or in a carrier if they must be outside. Find a shady spot with plenty of air flow and lots of fresh water.
  4. Keep them away from dangerous objects. Secure your pet a good distance from sparklers, BBQs, and pools. Additionally, there are many plants and flowers that can be toxic to dogs, so make sure your pet is under constant supervision while outdoors.
  5. Loud noises can be spooky! Things like fireworks and other loud noises can make a dog “fearfully aggressive,” so monitor your dog and keep them calm, especially around children.
  6. Make sure your dog’s microchip and ID tag information is current. Many animal shelters report increases of “stray” animals during holidays due to the number of pets running away from the noise and excitement. Make sure your contact information is current and always on your dog’s collar to ensure an easy reunion should they be separated from you.

Prevention is responsible pet ownership. When in doubt, leave your pet at home in a quiet, cool room. Turn on a TV or radio to help distract from outside noises and leave them free to roam around so they don’t feel too confined.


Hot off the Press: Our Four-Footed Friends

Check out the many ways YOUR support helped animals in need in 2016

ARL-Magazine-fall2016-Magazine-cover-400x520

Click the image above to read the Fall/Winter 2016 edition of Our Four-Footed Friends.

The Fall/Winter 2016 edition of Our Four-Footed Friends (OFFF) is here!

For more than 100 years, ARL has responded to the needs of animals and the people who care about them. In fact, we are often the first to respond, as seen in the recent Westport farm animal cruelty case, featured on Page 10.

All thanks to YOUR critical support, this year we served thousands of animals through our outstanding veterinary care, adoption, rescue services, special police investigation, and advocacy.

Read the incredible stories about what you helped make possible…

Today, we increasingly focus on prevention and the impact we can have on more animals; keeping them out of shelters and in the communities where they belong.

YOU make our important work possible – THANK YOU!

Stay in touch between editions: visit arlboston.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


ARL Focuses on Low Stress Handling for Felines

3 techniques used by Shelter Veterinary Services to keep cats happy and healthy during exams

At the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) our Shelter Veterinary Services provide high quality, compassionate care to a variety of species. Cats, however, continue to comprise the greater part of our shelter population.

In an effort to expand our Shelter Veterinary Services’ ability to provide care that not only addresses the medical health of our cats, but also their behavioral well-being, Jessica Wright, ARL’s Lead Veterinary Technician, recently became certified in “Low Stress Handling Techniques” via Dr. Sophia Yin’s online course. The certification process required a commitment of at least 20 hours, during which online lectures and labs were viewed and follow up discussion questions and exams were completed.

As an organization, the ARL strives to reduce the stress that our shelter cats inevitably experience while in our care. These efforts can be seen in the double sided cages that the cats reside in, and the hiding boxes that each cat is offered. Upon completion of the Low Stress Handling course, Jessica was excited to incorporate the new techniques she had learned into the Shelter Veterinary Services’ daily rounds.

The 3 Low Stress Handling techniques that the ARL uses for felines are:

  1. Picture1Adjusting the methods by which a cat is moved between the cage and the exam room. To avoid exposing the cat to any number of stressors that may be encountered while moving between spaces, cats are now wrapped in a towel for transport. Some cats prefer to have their head exposed allowing them to look about whereas others prefer to have their head covered. This use of the towel allows the removal of potentially stressful visual stimulation and provides the cat with the feeling of being adequately supported.
  2. Incorporating the use of towels for comfort. Rather than sitting on a cold metal exam table, the cats now sit on the towel they were brought to the exam room with. This provides a sense of comfort for each patient. In addition, depending upon the behavior Picture2of each cat, a second towel may be placed over the cat. This again removes any potentially stressful visual stimulation and allows for more ease of handling of the cat during examination.
  3. Introducing food during examination. As surprising as it may be, many cats will often eat a snack during an exam or vaccination. Providing food to the patient can act as a distraction from any potentially negative or stressful event that may occur. In addition, if the cat chooses to eat during these procedures, a positive emotional response is encouraged rather than the typical fearful or stressed response often associated with veterinary care.

As a result of the introduction of Low Stress Handling Techniques, our shelter cats are that much more happy and healthy!

YOU can help keep shelter cats low-stress too: Please consider making a donation of regular sized bath towels to enable the ARL to continue our Low Stress Handling efforts! Donations can be dropped off at our Boston Adoption Center lobby located at 10 Chandler Street in Boston, Tuesday through Sunday, 7:30AM – 6:30PM.


Happy National Veterinary Technician Week

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) are celebrating National Veterinary Technician Week

October 16-22 is dedicated to celebrating veterinary technicians nationwide. Our compassionate veterinary technicians are a crucial part of our organization and play a vital role in improving the health and lives of the thousands of animals who come through our doors annually. Although we value our technicians every day of the year, we take this week to honor their dedication, hard work, and commitment to animals in need. 


Meet our Shelter and Community Veterinary Services technicians:

Jessica Jessica Wright, CVT, Lead Technician – Shelter Veterinary Services

Jessica graduated from the University of Vermont in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Sciences. Since beginning her career with the Animal Rescue League of Boston in 2005, Jessica has held technician positions with our Pembroke Shelter, Spay Waggin’ and Boston Veterinary Care.

In 2008, Jessica became the Lead Shelter Veterinary Technician in our Boston Shelter. During this time Jessica has developed a strong understanding of not only individual animal care but shelter population management, as well. Since entering shelter medicine, Jessica has cultivated a particular interest in the needs of small, geriatric dogs with prominent eyes in the shelter setting. During her free time, Jessica enjoys spending time with her dogs, Pixel and Ruxin, reading, and gardening.

Jean

Jean Mahoney, CVT

Jean graduated from Vermont Technical College in 2005 with an Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology.  During her studies at VTC, she gained diverse experience with domestic and farm animals.  She also completed an externship at Roberts Animal Hospital.  After graduation, she worked in a private practice for a year before joining the Animal Rescue League’s Boston Veterinary Care in 2006.  In 2007, Jean passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam and became a certified veterinary technician.  After a few years at BVC, Jean was promoted to Lead Veterinary Technician. In 2012, she decided to venture into another branch at ARL and joined the Spay Waggin, the organization’s mobile spay and neuter program. When she is not working, Jean likes to read, go for walks, and hang out with her family, friends and dog, Dirty.

 Bonnie Bonnie Morrissey, CVT

Bonnie has had a strong interest in animal welfare since childhood. She has worked at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Spay Waggin’ since 2003 and after taking the required courses at Dallas County Community College, she became a certified veterinary technician in 2013.

When not working, Bonnie enjoys spending time with her husband, four children, four cats and her Chihuahua mix, and loves being outside going for walks in the woods or at the beach.

Sue Tortolani Sue Tortolani, CVT

Sue had been volunteering at her local animal shelter for eight years before she made the decision to go back to school to become a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2011. She relocated to the Boston area in April 2015 and is excited to join the Animal Rescue League working out of the Boston city shelter.  Sue is passionate about shelter animals and hopes to be an advocate for those who need one.

When she isn’t at work, Sue is usually found cultivating her other skills, including karaoke, pinball, and trivia.  She lives with her two feline loves, Gibson and Miles.

Heather Heather D’Amarino, CVT

Born and raised on the South Shore, Heather has been an animal lover and advocate for as long as her entire family can remember. Since the young age of fourteen, Heather has had a career in the animal field and has been everything from a dog groomer, kennel attendant, and veterinary assistant. In 2006, she then began her career as a Veterinary technician and became a certified Veterinary Technician in 2013. Her favorite part about being a Veterinary Technician? Being able to help pets and owners who are in need! She also maintains a strong interest in avians, exotics, and equine.

When not on the Spay Waggin’, Heather enjoys spending time with her baby girl and husband. Her weekend activities often involve power boating, yoga, long walks with her pets (and child!), or just being outdoors. The animal part of Heather’s family include six chickens (her favorite is named Maple!), Mackerel (cat), Maisy (cat), Mikey (greenwing macaw), Bird (African grey), Fred (lab/great dane mix), Morgan (podengo mix), and Jameson (pointer mix) – how’s that for a full home?!


Meet our Boston Veterinary Care technicians:

Victor Victor Vigo, Lead Technician

Originally from Puerto Rico, Victor attended the University of Puerto Rico where he graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in General Science. He continued his studies in Medicine at the Universidad Central del Caribe and transferred to the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Ureña where he obtained with honors the degree of Doctor in Veterinary Medicine. In 2005, he started working as an associate of veterinary medicine in a small animal general practice in Puerto Rico. In 2011, Victor moved to Massachusetts and started working as a veterinary technician at a specialty and emergency hospital. In 2013, he joined the Boston Veterinary Care team!

Stephanie

Stephanie Clark, CVT

Stephanie has been interested in working with animals for most of her life. She graduated from SUNY Canton with an A.A.S in Veterinary Technology in 2012.  She passed her certification boards in August 2012 and has been working as a Certified Veterinary Technician ever since. Stephanie has been working at veterinary hospitals since 2010 and began working at the Boston Veterinary Care in January 2014. Stephanie has attended multiple seminars and classes about animal health and she hopes to continue learning more. She lives at home with a dove, a rabbit, and two dogs!

 Lauren Lauren Litif, CVT

Lauren is a graduate of Mount Ida College with a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology and a minor in Legal Studies. She was on the Dean’s list for all four years at Mount Ida. As part of her studies, Lauren completed internships at New England Animal Medical Center, VCA Weymouth, and VESCONE. Lauren joined the Boston Veterinary Care team on May 19, 2014.

Sue Sue Miller, CVT

Sue graduated from Suffolk University in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She began working for the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) as an animal care attendant in 2000. She then took a veterinary technician position on the ARL Spay Waggin’ in 2001 and became lead shelter technician in 2003. With her work experience and bachelor’s degree, she became a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2004. Over the past decade, Sue has worked in the surgery and anesthesia department at Angell Animal Medical Center, the emergency department at a referral hospital in NH, and general medicine at some local veterinary practices. She rejoined ARL at Boston Veterinary Care in 2013. Additionally, Sue volunteers her time for the ARL Fix-a-Feral program and fosters sick or injured animals for our shelter. When not working, Sue spends her time with her husband, daughter, two lazy cats and one German Shepherd named Kernel.

Marissa Marisa Notarangelo, Veterinary Technician

Marisa is a graduate of Mount Ida College with a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology. She completed internships at Wellesley Animal Hospital, Tufts Wildlife Clinic, Tufts Large Animal Hospital, Beth Israel Medical Center, and Biomodels. Marisa recently worked at Holliston Animal Hospital. She joined the Boston Veterinary Care team on May 27, 2014.

 Emily Emily Ograbisz, Veterinary TechnicianEmily graduated with high honors from Clark University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She began working at an animal hospital as a kennel technician and moved up to the veterinary technician position in 2006. Since 2012, she has volunteered at Tufts at Tech Community Veterinary Clinic in Worcester. Emily joined Boston Veterinary Care in June 2014.

Want to learn from our team? View our student opportunities:


BVC’s September offer will keep your feline friend in PURRfect shape!

It’s no surprise that American families love their cats- and their cats love them back! According to the 2015-2016 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, there were over 85 million owned cats in the United States making them the new “man’s best friend”. MEOW!

September is Happy Healthy Cat Month at Boston Veterinary Care (BVC), so what better time to bring in your kitty companion for their annual wellness exam! Your feline friend will love you even more for keeping them in tip-top shape, since, well, you know how meticulous they are!

healthy cat

Schedule an appointment with Dr.Breda, BVC’s Lead Veterinarian, at (617) 226-5605 or meet the rest of our team at www.arlboston.org/bvc/meet-our-staff.

Yearly check-ups are essential for cats of every age so that their veterinarian can carefully monitor their overall health and nutrition, while also making sure that they are up-to-date on all vaccinations and internal and external parasite preventatives.

Click here to download our promotional flyer – be sure to share this flyer with your friends and family!

Take advantage of BVC’s Happy Healthy Cat Month offer this September and receive:

  • 25% OFF a cat wellness exam*, even for seniors!
  • FREE goody bag filled with pawsome items for your feline friend, while supplies last.

To make an appointment, call (617) 226-5605 or visit arlboston.org/bvc.

All profits from Boston Veterinary Care support the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Boston Veterinary Care is located at 10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116 in the South End with easy access via I-90 and I-93. FREE on-site parking is available for your convenience.

*Not to be combined with any other offer. Offer ends 9/30/16.