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Category: Boston
Taming Tiny Tigers

Volunteers to focus on under-socialized kittens

As spring slowly begins to show itself here in New England, it means the weather will be getting warmer and kitten season is upon us.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) will soon be seeing an influx of kittens who will be rescued from a life on the streets and adopted into loving forever homes; but before that can happen, these kittens must first learn to trust humans.

This past week ARL’s kitten experts met with more than two dozen volunteers to discuss the process of “Taming Tiny Tigers” which are kittens between 8 weeks and 4-5-months-old.

Kittens without any previous human interaction are likely to be frightened; which often leads to hissing, scratching, biting, and defensive body posturing.

It’s the job of staff and these special volunteers to move these kittens past the fear, build trust, and allow their true personalities to shine through.

This cute snap shot doesn’t happen without proper socialization.

Hands-On Approach

Constant contact is key to properly socializing these tiny tigers, and volunteers will be responsible for 15-minute socialization sessions with following rest periods of 45 minutes, where the kitten is pet, scratched, enticed with food, and talked to calmly.

Each session will be meticulously documented, noting all body language and behavioral signs – both positive and negative.

As these sessions continue, the kitten will gradually lower its guard, allow more contact, and will eventually reciprocate with a purr, headbutt, kneading, or any of the cute and loving things that kittens do.

Each kitten’s personality is different, and some may become trusting in a short period of time, while others may take a while longer.

The end goal will be to find these kittens forever homes where they can continue to learn, socialize and be loving, amazing companion animals!

Volunteers make the difference

With approximately 550 volunteers, ARL relies on these special individuals to accomplish a number of daily tasks and could not offer the vast number of services ARL provides without their help.

In 2018, volunteers donated more than 27,000 hours of their time to help animals in need, and for more information and to submit an application to join our volunteer team, click here!


Popular Spring Flowers Toxic for Cats

With the weather changing, you may have noticed the first signs of spring in the form of flowers beginning to emerge from the ground.

Soon these flowers will be blooming, but along their beautiful sight and smell, many species of spring flowers add a life-threatening element of danger for your cat.

Lilies of all varieties (Easter Lilies, Daylilies, Asiatic Lilies, Peace Lilies, Lily of the Valley) top the list of spring flowers that are extremely dangerous for felines.

For cats like Duchess, ingesting just a small amount of toxic spring flowers like lilies can be life-threatening.

Ingesting just a leaf or two, or drinking a little water from a vase holding the flowers, can cause kidney failure, and possibly death.

Lilies are so toxic that symptoms can be seen less than 2 hours after ingestion and include:

  • Dehydration
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy

If you suspect your cat has ingested lilies or any harmful substance, seek medical attention immediately – do not wait!

Other spring plants that are toxic for your cat include: daffodils, tulips, chrysanthemums, and hyacinths.

Our animals rely on us to keep them safe — if you have a cat, it’s certainly a good idea to remove lilies and other noxious plants from your home and yard to ensure their safety.

Questions?

Contact Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) at 617-226-5605 or email at bvc@arlboston.org.


Stray Cat Rescued in Dorchester, Badly Injured but on the Mend

For 120 years, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has been a lifeline for thousands of domestic animals annually, and a cat that was recently rescued on the streets of Dorchester is another example of this vital service.

A Good Samaritan alerted ARL Rescue Services this past week about a cat that was seen near a garbage dumpster and wasn’t moving. When ARL arrived on-scene, the cat was able to move, and was found inside the dumpster, lying atop a cardboard box.

He was evaluated on-scene, then brought to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center for medical treatment. The cat would likely have succumb to his injuries sooner rather than later and needed immediate treatment.

Gryffindor, who’s approximately 2-years-old, had suffered a broken jaw, was emaciated, and was in poor overall condition. While he was given a fictional namesake – the name itself represents courage, bravery and determination, which this suffering animal has in vast quantities.

His injuries were likely sustained in traumatic fashion i.e. struck by a car, and x-rays confirmed the cartilage piecing together the lower half of the jaw had separated, making it all but impossible to eat solid or even soft food.

The cat also had a puncture wound likely caused by another animal.

ARL’s medical staff surgically wired his lower jaw and the cat will be monitored to ensure no complications arise. Because of the puncture wound, the cat will also need to be quarantined for four months for a “wound of unknown origin” per state law.

Like many injured animals that come into the care of ARL, Gryffindor has displayed amazing perseverance and is incredibly friendly to all who come in contact with by revving up his gravely purr.

He is expected to make a full recovery and when his quarantine period is over, he will be available for adoption.

Extraordinary Care

From routine exams, dental work x-rays and diagnostic testing to complex surgeries, ARL’s Shelter Medicine staff provides high-quality care to every animal that comes through our doors.

Cost of such extraordinary care exceeds $600,000 annually, and ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals like you to continue this high level of care. Please consider donating today to help animals in need!


ARL Caring for Several Diabetic Cats

Cases of diabetes rapidly rising nationally – link to pet obesity

Diabetes is the second most common endocrine disease (hyperthyroidism is the most common) in cats, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has seen several cats afflicted with the disease over the past year – recent statistics also indicate the number of cases are rapidly increasing.

The drastic increase can partly be attributed to the rise in pet obesity.

Webster, a 10-year-old male cat, was picked up as a stray in Malden, MA in late January, and had typical signs of living on the streets including dental disease and muscle wasting. However, his blood work revealed a glucose level of 349 – anything over 170 is considered high.

ARL’s shelter medicine staff continued diagnostic testing, instilled dietary changes and constantly monitored Webster hoping to rule out a diabetic diagnosis. However, a fructosamine test, which determines how the animal’s body is regulating blood glucose levels over a 2-3 week period, indicated that Webster’s body was not regulating properly and was properly diagnosed with diabetes.

The cat was placed into foster care, and is currently on a regimen of insulin injections twice a day, 12 hours apart, and after eating. Webster is also on a strict diet of wet and dry food specially formulated for managing diabetes.

Despite the diagnosis, Webster will have a good quality of life, his new owners will simply have to be diligent about follow-up veterinary care and ensuring insulin is administered as prescribed. Once his glucose can be regulated he will be ready to find his forever home!

Approximately half the cats diagnosed with diabetes can achieve remission if the disease is treated promptly – cats in remission may be able to stop insulin entirely as well.

Know the Signs

Diabetic symptoms vary and in addition to increased thirst and decreased activity, other signs include:

  • Weight loss
  • Change in litterbox habits
  • Appetite swings
  • Vomiting
  • Unsteady gait
  • Overall poor health

More than half the cats and dogs in the U.S. are overweight, and as long as pet obesity continues to be an issue, the number of diagnosed cases of diabetes in our pets will continue to rise. ARL encourages pet owners to strictly monitor their animal’s diets, limit treats and take action if a pet begins to gain or lose weight rapidly.


Senior Stray Finds Perfect Forever Home

“Frankie” required extensive medical care at ARL

In early January, 2019, Frankie, an 11-year-old Shih-Tzu, was found wandering the cold streets of Boston.

Given Frankie’s hearing and vision impairments, amazingly he wasn’t injured while living on the streets.

He was however, in dire need of medical attention.

Frankie’s initial veterinary exam revealed a handful of masses (both epidermal and oral), dental disease, and hearing loss. Additionally, x-rays were taken and blood was drawn for additional diagnostic testing.

The masses were removed and determined to be benign, however Frankie’s bloodwork revealed abnormalities which pointed to possible renal disease and pancreatitis.

The next month for Frankie would consist of more testing, frequent veterinary rechecks, and unfortunately additional findings.

While Frankie’s ongoing diagnostic testing showed improvement, there were further developments — the 11-year-old pup was diagnosed with glaucoma in one eye which needed to be removed; and a heart murmur was also discovered.

A Long Road Home

Despite all the testing and continuous discoveries, Frankie maintained a wonderful, friendly demeanor and was finally ready to find his forever home.

Frankie quickly found his perfect match, and will spend his golden years in a quiet home along the scenic North Shore.

Extraordinary Care

From routine exams to complex surgery, ARL’s shelter medicine staff provides extraordinary care for every animal that comes through ARL’s doors. Last year alone, more than $550,000 was spent to ensure these animals were healthy and happy. ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals like you to make our important work possible.

Please consider donating today to ensure these animals get the medical treatment they need!


Meet the 2019 ARL Boston Marathon Team!

ARL’s 9th run with John Hancock Boston Marathon Charity Team

Thanks to the generosity of the John Hancock Marathon Nonprofit Program, two dedicated and compassionate runners will take on the world-renowned 26.2 mile Boston Marathon course to help animals in need.

Our runners aim to raise more than $20,000 for ARL’s animals and programs, all while taking part in the annual Patriot’s Day run from Hopkinton to Boston.

Learn more about why our team members chose to run for ARL and how you can support them below…

Annie Seneski

“I am running for ARL to give all animals a chance to find a happy home. Our dog, Daisy, was adopted from ARL this summer and we couldn’t imagine life without her.”

Support Annie at https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/animal-rescue-league-of-boston-boston-2019/annieseneski1

 

 

Allegra Manacher

“Since moving to Boston 3.5 years ago, I’ve been volunteering at the ARL and am extremely fond of the organization – its mission, people, and most of all, the animals we help. It is a great privilege to raise funds for my favorite charity.”

Support Allegra at https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/animal-rescue-league-of-boston-boston-2019/allegramanacher

 

 

 

A very special thanks to our dedicated runners who have trained hard and worked tirelessly to raise money for animals in our community.

The 123rd running of the Boston Marathon will be on Monday, April 15.

Show your support for team members by making a donation to an individual runner or on the ARL Boston Marathon Team fundraising page at https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/animal-rescue-league-of-boston-boston-2019


How a Bill Becomes Law in Massachusetts

On January 2, 2019, the Massachusetts General Court began its 2019-2020 session. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) will continue to support legislation that enhances and improves protections for animals and to oppose reforms that endanger the welfare of animals in Massachusetts.

Click here to see ARL’s 2019-2020 legislative agenda.

The Massachusetts Legislature runs in a two-year cycle by calendar year, with each new cycle beginning in the January after the biennial state election.

Legislation may be filed by members of the House and Senate, and by the Governor. The state constitution also allows citizens to ask their legislators to present bills “by request”.

Each new session, hundreds to thousands bills are filed, but only a select few actually become law.

While the process is quite complex, here are 8 main steps a bill needs to go through before it becomes law:

  1. Bill Drafting. This document details every aspect of the proposed statute.
  2. Securing a Sponsor. The legislative sponsor will be the champion and voice for the statute.
  3. Bill Filing. Upon filing, each bill is assigned a number and referred to a committee.
  4. Joint Committee Hearing. This public forum allows members of the public, government officials, and office holders to speak either in favor of or against a proposed statute.
  5. Joint Committee Executive Session and Report. Following the hearing, the committee will decide if the statute will continue in the process.
  6. Bill Readings.
    a. First Reading. If reported favorably by committee, the bill appears in the Journal of the House or Senate, and given its first reading. The bill is then typically referred to another committee for further review.
    b. Second Reading. At this stage, the bill is debated and subject to motions and amendments.
    c. Third Reading. The bill continues to be subject to debate, motions, and amendments in the House or Senate. Once debated, a vote is taken to pass the bill to be engrossed. If passed, the bill moves on to the other legislative branch.
  7. Consideration. If the bill advances through three readings and is engrossed in the second legislative branch, it will be sent to the Legislative Engrossing Division to be typed on special parchment – as required by law.
  8. Bill Enacted. A vote to enact by both legislative branches passes the bill, and the newly created law will then be sent to the governor for consideration. The governor can: sign the bill into law; veto the bill; or send the bill back to the Legislature with recommended amendments. In general, laws become effective 30-90 days after the Governor’s signature.

Take Action!

Lobbying is the key to a bill’s momentum as it goes through the legislative process. It’s more than just standing up and saying “I support this”.

A successful lobbying strategy includes the following:

  • Compiling an informational packet containing a one-page fact sheet on the bill, and any relevant news articles that support the bill
  • Meeting with elected officials is critical – don’t just drop by, arrange a sit-down meeting to discuss the legislation and ALWAYS follow-up with a thank you note!
  • Reach out to local media through press releases in order to publically discuss the bill and to introduce it to a wider audience to garner further support

WBZ Highlights Animal Hoarding

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently collaborated with veteran WBZ investigative reporter Cheryl Fiandaca to shed light on an issue that unfortunately is on the rise – animal hoarding.

In 2018, ARL was involved in 16 major hoarding incidents which involved 1,024 animals. This number is more than triple from what ARL saw the previous year, and this is an issue that impacts communities throughout Massachusetts.

Animal hoarding is a serious, yet under-recognized community problem in Massachusetts that is responsible for substantial animal suffering. Often associated with adult self-neglect and/or mental illness, animal hoarding can also place children, the elderly, dependent adults, property, and public health at risk. The situations that ARL encounters are becoming more frequent and increasingly complex.

To watch the complete WBZ story click here!


Press Release: Microchip Helps Reunite Lost Cat with Owners

Family notified of cat being found on Valentine’s Day

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is once again reminding the public of the importance of having pets microchipped – this after recently reuniting a Stoughton, MA, family with their cat who went missing shortly before Christmas.

Four-year-old Tigger snuck out of his Stoughton home on December 23, 2018, to explore the outdoors. Perhaps spooked by his surroundings, Tigger ran when his owners tried to get him back inside and unfortunately did not return.

In the following days and weeks, Tigger’s family posted the cat’s picture on social media and posted flyers in their neighborhood and nearby businesses – but still Tigger was not found.

Tigger back in the comforts of home but with a reminder of the elements — note the frostbite on his left ear.

On February 10, a local resident brought a stray cat to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center. The cat was emaciated, dehydrated, and had suffered from frostbite on its left ear and front paw due to long-term exposure to the elements.

The cat received fluids and was checked by ARL staff and was also scanned for a microchip. The chip was registered to a Florida resident, however after a little detective work, ARL tracked the owner from Florida to Stoughton.

A certification letter was sent to the Stoughton address, and owner Jackie Rhone tells ARL the cat was originally a gift for her 17-year-old daughter, and after two months had given up any hope of finding Tigger.

“That evening (Valentine’s Day) we went out for an errand and when we returned home my husband checked the mail, and when he came inside he screamed “read this Jackie quick”! I started reading it out loud with tears rolling down my face and said “they found our Tigger!”’, Rhone said.

Tigger was reunited with his family two days later and is now strictly an indoor cat.

This reunion would not have been possible if Tigger hadn’t been microchipped.

A Permanent ID

A microchip is a computer chip about the size of a grain of rice, programmed with an identification number unique to your pet. It is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and will last the life of your pet with no maintenance required.

A microchip greatly increases the likelihood of being reunited with a lost pet – an AVMA study shows 52 percent of dogs with microchips are reunited with owners, versus just 21 percent with dogs with no microchip. Owner return rates for cats with microchips is 38 percent versus 1.8 percent for cats without the chip.

ARL recommends pet owners to ensure their animal is microchipped, and to also keep contact information up to date.


Boston Globe Subscribers – YOU Can Help ARL!

Vote for ARL as Your Favorite Non-profit

The GRANT allows Globe subscribers to show their support for non-profits by choosing which organizations get free advertising space in The Boston Globe. In February, subscribers began receiving their silver envelopes in the mail, and have until April 30 to either return the voucher, or submit their GRANT dollars online.

 

Maggie the pup

Submitting your GRANT voucher is an easy way to help animals like Maggie find their forever home!

 

View the Leaderboard

ARL does not receive any government or public funding and relies solely on the generosity of compassionate individuals to carry out our important work to help animals and communities in need. Free ad space in The Boston Globe would allow ARL to reach even more people about the mission, values, programs and services that make ARL an unwavering champion for animals in need.

If you haven’t sent in your voucher, you have until April 30 to do so, please remember to write in the “Animal Rescue League of Boston” as your non-profit choice and spread the word to your fellow Boston Globe subscribers.