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Category: Boston
Halloween Pet Safety Tips for a Spook-Free Holiday

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) share important tips to keep your pets safe and happy this Halloween season.

Boston Terrier in Halloween costume

Tip: If it’s your pet’s first time wearing a costume this Halloween, spend a few days before the big holiday getting them acclimated to wearing it. Keep in mind, some pets are just not fans of wearing costumes and would much rather wear a festive collar or bandanna instead.

With the month of October almost half over, Halloween 2018 is right around the corner! You may be a fan of the spookiest time of year, but for your pet, this haunting holiday can be truly scary.

Not to worry though, enjoying the festivities and keeping your pets safe is easier than you think – Follow these 3 tips to ensure your pet has a spook-free Halloween this season:

1. Keep your pets inside. The Halloween season often brings out tricksters who might taunt or harm an animal left outdoors. It’s always a good idea to keep pets inside with proper, up-to-date identification. If your pet must be outdoors, be sure to keep them leashed and an eye on them at all times.

2. Stash the sweet treats. Chocolate, especially darker chocolates, are highly toxic to cats and dogs. Additionally, many candies and gums contain Xylitol. This sugarless sweetener is highly toxic to pets. Always keep chocolate and candies out of your pet’s reach.

3. Be careful with costumes. If you decide to dress your pet up for this festive holiday, costume safety is key. Keep these costume safety tips in mind:

  • Always supervise your pet while they’re wearing a costume.
  • Make sure your pet’s costume fits properly and does not restrict their movement.
  • Be cautious of loose or dangling pieces that pets could potentially choke on.
  • Ditch the masks or other accessories that could potentially make it difficult for your pet to breath or obstruct their vision.

No plans for Halloween? Spend the day getting to know some of our adoptable animals.

 


ARL Unveils New Transport Waggin’

Thousands of animals to benefit from mobile unit

With Animal Care and Adoption Centers in Boston, Dedham and Brewster, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) provides medical and behavioral care and adoption services for thousands of animals annually (over 18,000 in 2017), and these animals arrive at ARL in a number of ways. Owner surrenders, strays, out-of-state transports, rescues, and law enforcement cases; ARL also routinely assists local municipal and private shelters with transfers and we unfortunately also respond to large overcrowding and cruelty situations as well.

But no matter how they arrive, the goal for every animal is the same: that they are safe and healthy and returned to habitats and homes.

Each of ARL’s locations has different characteristics (urban vs. rural) and capabilities i.e. surgical suites and barns/paddocks for farm animals. Moving animals to the location that’s best suited for their needs has historically been a logistical challenge — until now.

With a most generous donation from Leadership Council members, Connie and Peter Lacaillade, ARL has purchased, outfitted and staffed a new Transport Waggin’.

Linking ARL’s locations, programs and resources, the Transport Waggin’ will serve animals and communities in a variety of ways including:

  • Ensuring proper medical care: If a shelter animal requires specialized diagnostics, surgery, or constant veterinary supervision, they have access to the care they need.
  • Matching animals with adopters more quickly: Animals may be overlooked by adopters in one Adoption Center base on their size, temperament or needs, so a change in location can be beneficial.
  • Enhancing behavior and enrichment: Different ARL Adoption Centers offer different volunteer expertise and amenities, like outdoor runs.
  • Allowing ARL to help out-of-state animals: ARL receives regular transports from high-kill areas of the country and Puerto Rico. These life-saving transports broaden ARL’s reach in helping animals in need, while meeting local adoption needs.
  • Increasing ARL’s ability to be a community resource: ARL can better assist municipal shelters, animal control facilities, and smaller rescue groups in transporting animals to get the care they need.

Abandoned Dogs Found with Striking Similarities

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently took in a small, terrier-type dog that was found abandoned in Beverly, MA. ARL’s Law Enforcement Department joined police in Beverly to ask the public to come forward with any information to ascertain where the dog (named Angel) may have come from. Shortly after that public plea, ARL was contacted by animal control in Brookline, MA and is now caring for a second abandoned dog, who bears a striking similarity and found around the same time as Angel.

“Chester” is an intact male, estimated to be about four-years-old, and was found in poor and neglectful condition. As with the case of Angel, this animal was not microchipped, and his fur was extremely matted and urine-soaked. The dog is also underweight and suffering from painful, advanced dental disease.

To see news coverage of Chester’s story, click here!

Chester’s entire coat has been shaved, and he has received a thorough veterinary exam at ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center – he will continue to be monitored and will also be neutered. Although agitated upon intake, Chester’s demeanor has greatly improved, as he is now soliciting attention and accepting treats from staff.

Whether there is a connection between the two animals is currently unknown, however the timeframe, breed and conditions in which they were found are too similar to ignore. While the neither animal is currently available for adoption, the dogs are moving in that direction as they continue to make positive progress.

ARL Law Enforcement is again urging anyone with information regarding either of these animals to come forward – any information can be directed ARL Law Enforcement at (617) 426-9170, or email cruelty@arlboston.org.


Press Release: Law Enforcement Seeking Public’s Help in Identifying Abandoned Dog’s Owner

This past week a small, terrier-type dog was found in appalling condition and wandering the streets of Beverly, MA. Now, the Beverly Police Department and the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Law Enforcement Department are asking for the public’s help in finding the dog’s former owner/caretaker.

The 10-year-old male dog, named Angel, was found at the intersection of Charnock and Prospect St. and was severely matted, dirty, underweight, and malnourished. Additionally, extremely overgrown and curled nails were causing the dog pain and discomfort when walking.

See media coverage of Angel’s story here!

While neutered, the dog is not microchipped, making the public’s help critical to helping law enforcement find who was responsible for the dog not only being on the streets, but also being in such poor and neglectful condition.

Angel was initially in the care of a local veterinarian in Peabody, but is now with ARL where he will continue to receive the care he needs to improve. While skittish and possibly deaf, Angel is extremely friendly and has already gained a couple of pounds!

ARL is also an assisting agency in this investigation, 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).


Too Many Animals Being Abandoned Outside Shelters

ARL teams with Quincy Animal Control to urge proper pet surrender

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

To see media coverage of this story click here!

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

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

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

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

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

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


What to Know About Canine Influenza

This past week, the first case of canine influenza of the year in Massachusetts was confirmed, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to remind dog owners that canine influenza is highly contagious and precautions should be taken.

What is Canine Influeza?

Canine influenza is a respiratory infection – highly contagious – and spread by nose to nose contact or coughing.

There are two strains, H3N8 and H3N2, the latter of which was responsible for a 2015 outbreak that was believed to have resulted from the direct transfer of an avian influenza virus. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), since 2015 thousands of dogs in the U.S. have tested positive for the H3N2 strain of canine influenza.

What to Look For and Who’s At-Risk

Clinical signs of canine influenza are similar to human flu and consist of:

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Lethargy

Dogs can have the virus up to two weeks before displaying symptoms, and puppies and older dogs are most susceptible to developing more severe disease like pneumonia.

According to the AVMA, there is no evidence of transmission of canine influenza from dogs to humans or to horses, ferrets, or other animal species. It should be noted however, that in 2016 cats at an Indiana animal shelter were infected with canine influenza from dogs and cat to cat transmission is possible.

Lifestyle

Do you go to dog parks, use a dog-walking service or belong to dog social circles? If so, one preventative measure to consider is vaccination.

“Dogs that have contact with other dogs on walks, in daycare, or go to dog parks are at an increased risk and should definitely be vaccinated with the bivalent vaccine,” said Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) Lead Veterinarian Dr. Nicole Breda.

The vaccine won’t prevent every infection, but can reduce the clinical symptoms. Vaccinations are available at BVC or your regular veterinarian’s office.

See Signs, Take Action

Vigilance is responsible pet ownership. Canine influenza is rarely fatal, however should you notice any symptoms, contact your regular veterinarian immediately. With treatment, most dogs recover in 2-3 weeks.


Press Release: Stray Peacock Finds Forever Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adoption Forward

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


Cat with Hole in Soft Palate on the Mend

‘Vito’ suffered chronic nasal discharge and dental disease

Whether you’re human or a companion animal, the cost of medical care can be expensive – especially when the concerns are outside the realm of “normal”. For one-and-a-half-year-old Vito, his chronic afflictions proved to be too much of a financial challenge for his owners, and he was surrendered to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL).

ARL is committed to the health and happiness of every animal that comes into our care by conducting a thorough behavioral and veterinary assessment, and in Vito’s case, it was the treatment of one chronic condition that led to the discovery of what was causing the second.

Vito’s gums were painfully inflamed, and the severity of his dental disease required the extraction of 22 teeth. The cat was also suffering from chronic nasal discharge which was not improving — even with antibiotic therapy.

At ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, shelter veterinary staff sedated Vito for his dental procedure and simultaneous examination of his oral and nasal cavity. A hole was found in his soft palate (the tissue that separates the nasal cavity from the oral cavity), and the hole was allowing food and saliva into the nasal cavity, causing chronic infection.

With the root cause detected, Vito underwent a surgical procedure to close the hole and in the following days has shown rapid improvement.

While only able to eat wet food following surgery, Vito is now able to consume both wet and dry food, and now that he’s feeling better, his personality is on full display! Vito is playful, friendly and has a great desire to explore – he’s on the mend and will soon be made available to find his forever home!

Your Support Saves Lives

When you support ARL, you give animals like Vito a second chance. ARL’s shelter medicine program provides all facets of care – from wellness exams to complex and life-saving surgery.

ARL served 18,018 animals in 2017, and does not receive any government grants or public funding – we rely solely on the generosity of individuals like YOU to make our important work possible. Please DONATE today!


PAWS II Signed into Law

PAWS II further bolsters Massachusetts animal protection law

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is pleased to announce that Governor Charlie Baker has officially signed PAWS II into law. An Act to Protect Animal Welfare and Safety in Cities and Towns passed unanimously in both the Senate and House, and was part of a whirlwind of activity for Governor Baker this past Thursday, who signed 53 bills into law.

PAWS II is an enormous step forward for animal protection law in Massachusetts and includes the following provisions:

  • Establishes a commission to explore mandatory reporting of animal cruelty (ARL will have a designated representative)
  • Ensures property owners check vacant properties for abandoned animals
  • Prohibits the automatic euthanasia of animal fighting victims
  • Ensures more efficient enforcement of animal control laws
  • Prohibits sexual contact with an animal
  • Prohibits the drowning of animals
  • Requires insurance companies offering homeowners or renters insurance to record and report circumstances surrounding dog-related incident claims to the MA Division of Insurance, the clerks in the Senate and House, and the ways and means committees for three years (last report to be filed by Jan 1, 2022)

“This legislation is a huge leap forward for animal protection in Massachusetts and was several years in the making,” said ARL President Mary Nee. “The Animal Rescue League of Boston is thrilled with its passage and appreciate the hard work and dedication of our elected officials to make the welfare of animals throughout the Commonwealth a priority.”

PAWS II builds upon the original PAWS Act that was passed in 2014 and was born out of the horrific discovery of the dog forever known as Puppy Doe in 2013. Along with increasing animal cruelty penalties and requiring veterinarians to report suspected abuse, the PAWS Act created the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force. ARL President Mary Nee was part of the 11-member group who was charged with investigating the effectiveness of existing laws, and determining where gaps still exist.

The PAWS II Act is a direct reflection of the Task Force’s hard work and recommendations.

ARL worked in collaboration with the Humane Society of the United States, MSPCA, and Best Friends Animal Society to educate the public and advocate for the passage of this bill and would sincerely like to thank the following legislators for their leadership and commitment to animal protection:

PAWS II Sponsors: Senator Mark Montigny; Senator Bruce Tarr; Representative Louis Kafka
Conference Committee: Representative Jim O’Day; Representative David Muradian, Representative Sarah Peake; Senator Tarr; Senator Montigny; Senator Adam Hinds

MA House: Representative Robert DeLeo (House Speaker); Representative Jeffery Sanchez (House Ways and Means Chair)

MA Senate: Senator Karen Spilka (Senate President); Senator Harriette Chandler (Former Senate President)


Guilty Verdict for New York Man Accused of Killing Two Puppies

Verdict marks third high-profile case in 2018 involving ARL to be closed

In November 2014, the bodies of two 20-week-old puppies were found in a dumpster at a gas station in Revere. The puppies had been placed in a black garbage bag and thrown away like common house trash.

Nearly 4 years later, Dominick Donovan, the man charged with killing the puppies has been found guilty of 6 counts of animal cruelty and was sentenced to four years in jail. A co-defendant in the case previously pleaded guilty and testified against Donovan. He will be sentenced in late August.

The verdict and sentencing was the end of a long, multi-jurisdictional and collaborative investigation, and is the third high-profile animal cruelty case that has come to a conclusion this year. All three cases have two things in common — a commitment for justice from prosecutors and law enforcement against those who abuse animals; and the assistance of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department.

For the Donovan case, ARL Law Enforcement Director Lt. Alan Borgal was vital in the inspection and shut down of the co-defendant’s unlicensed kennel in Lynn. With 40-plus years of experience in animal welfare, Lt. Borgal also extended assistance and advice when needed during all phases of the investigation, filing of charges and prosecution of this case.

ARL President Mary Nee and Director of Law Enforcement Lt. Alan Borgal address the media following Radoslaw Czerkawski sentencing.

The first of 2018’s triad of victories was the now infamous Puppy Doe case. In late March, 35-year-old Radoslaw Czerkawski was found guilty of 12 counts of animal cruelty for the vicious cycle of torture and pain inflicted upon Puppy Doe, who needed to be humanely euthanized due to the extent of her injuries. Czerkawski will serve 8-10 years in prison for his crimes.

Also in March, a 33-year-old Salem man pleaded guilty to pending animal cruelty charges, during jury deliberations on a separate case. In January 2017, ARL Law Enforcement seized Luke, the defendant’s 11-month-old Pitbull, and the defendant was charged with animal cruelty for several documented instances of abuse. Luke needed extensive training and care and was with ARL for more than 500 days until he was adopted.

On the Front Lines

ARL’s Law Enforcement Department investigates crimes against animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect. We employ Special State Police Officers, with the authority to enforce animal protection laws; these dedicated officers work closely with local, state and federal agencies, prosecutors and animal control officers throughout the Commonwealth.

In 2017, ARL investigated cruelty and neglect cases involving 2,966 animals, resulting in 84 law enforcement prosecutions. DONATE NOW