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Category: Boston
Rugby Update: Parade Goers Adopted this Playful Pup

Rugby is Settling into a New Home!

Rugby at the Boston Pride parade.

Rugby at the Boston Pride parade.

Rugby clearly made an impact at the Boston Pride Parade. When parade goers Maddy and Pam saw him marching with the ARL on June 14, it was love at first sight! They immediately contacted our Boston shelter about adopting him and he went home last week. Our Boston shelter supervisor, Naomi Johnson, said his new family is “dedicated to giving Rugby what he needs to thrive.”

When Rugby first arrived at the ARL his front legs were so severely twisted that he could barely walk. Thanks to a lot of TLC and very specialized therapy regimen, he has made enormous progress.

Read Rugby’s story.

We knew this amazing puppy would need a special home that could give him the attention that he needs and we’re absolutely thrilled that he found himself a great home with new canine and feline siblings and a large back yard to romp around in!

Rugby snuggling with his new brother.

Rugby snuggling with his new brother.

Maddy and Pam said that Rugby loves playing with his new 10-year-old canine brother, Tito and they’re having a fantastic time together.

Rugby is adjusting well and is starting his first day of puppy day care today. Good luck on your first day of “school” Rugby!

Everyone here at the ARL could not be happier for Rugby and his new family! We’d like to thank all of the staff, volunteers, and Dr. Alett Mekler and the physical therapists at Animotion in Stoughton, Massachusetts, who donated their time and services to help with his rehabilitation!

On his second day in his new home, Rugby got a pool!

On his second day in his new home, Rugby got a pool!

 

 


Meet Rugby!

A real miracle puppy ready to find a new home

“Rugby’s story highlights all the wonderful people in the ARL network who are dedicated to helping neglected animals.”
– Dr. Edward Schettino, Director of Veterinary Medical Services, ARL

When we first met Rugby back in April, he could have been the poster child for our “See Something, Say Something: Report Animal Cruelty,” campaign running that month.

At the time, he was 4 1/2 months old and had been cruelly abandoned in the middle of the road in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. His front legs were severely twisted at the wrists, so Rugby could only get around by doing a haphazard crawl.  Thankfully, someone reported spotting Rugby inching his way along the road where he’d been left, and Lt. Alan Borgal, director of the ARL’s Center for Animal Protection, brought him to the ARL’s Boston Shelter.

When Dr. Edward Schettino, the ARL’s director of veterinary medical services, examined Rugby at the shelter, he observed the spirited young dog was very underweight. Dr. Schettino concluded the condition of Rugby’s front legs was probably due to poor nutrition and long-term confinement to a very small crate. After reviewing x-rays of Rugby’s front legs with his colleagues, Dr. Schettino preliminarily diagnosed Rugby with bilateral carpal laxity syndrome, a condition that could require surgery or could also respond to a diet of well-balanced adult dog-food and a program of rigorous exercise.

Rigorous exercise seemed to be the best course of treatment for Rugby!  A rambunctious dog, Rugby already had ARL behaviorists, staff,  and trained volunteers working with him to help him channel his energies into playing with other dogs and chew toys.

And getting him moving helped on the medical and behavioral front indeed!

Within a few weeks, Rugby’s front legs were improving. The ARL collaborated on his treatment with colleagues at the ARL and Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. To increase strength in his legs, Rugby began underwater treadmill therapy twice a week, under the supervision of the ARL’s Dr. Alett Mekler and the physical therapists at Animotion in Stoughton, Massachusetts, who donated their time and services.

In just under three months, Rugby has come incredibly far in his rehabilitation.  He is moving well on his front legs and his sweet, playful personality makes everyone at the shelter smile–even when he’s a bit of a handful (written with love and a smile, of course).

Thanks to the collaborative effort of our Center for Animal Protection, shelter veterinarians, dog behaviorists, shelter staff, volunteers, Tufts University Cummings School, and Animotion, this miracle puppy is now ready for a new home!

According to shelter staff, an experienced dog owner preferably with another dog would be the best situation for Rugby–the guy really needs a playmate to keep him on his toes and moving!  He’s still working on his jumpy/mouthy behavior, so an active household with older children would be more suited to his big personality and energy-level.


ARL’s Lt. Borgal Featured in New Book About Local Legends

Congrats to Our Own Lt. Borgal for His Feature in Legendary Locals of Boston’s South End

Image courtesy of the Animal Rescue League of Boston

It looks like our Director of Law Enforcement, Lieutenant Alan Borgal is a local celebrity!

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the South End Historical Society is featuring people and information from Legendary Locals of Boston’s South End in its South End Trivia and South End Fact social media posts.

Yesterday’s South End Trivia post read:

“Name the Lieutenant who works at the non-profit that stands at the corner of Tremont and Arlington.”

Did you know the Lieutenant? Lt. Alan Borgal!
Do you know the non-profit? The Animal Rescue League of Boston!

04-23-14 Alan Legend book-logoHere is a selection from Lt. Borgal’s profile in the book: “Lieutenant Alan Borgal began working at the Animal Rescue League (ARL) almost 40 years ago as a shelter kennel worker. He became a Massachusetts Special State Police officer in 1981 and began investigating incidents of animal cruelty and abuse. Today, Lieutenant Borgal is the director of the Center for Animal Protection at the ARL.”

To learn more about Lieutenant Borgal, his advocacy on behalf of animals, and the awards he’s won, check out his profile on page 10 of the book (it comes out on May 5th). Pre-order your copy here.

Special thanks to Hope Shannon and the South End Historical Society for featuring the ARL so prominently.


Turtle’s Story: From Bait Dog to Therapy Dog and Lobbyist

National Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month Starts Today

Turtle in the place where she was discovered.

Turtle in the place where she was discovered.

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and we’d like to share with you the story of a dog who exemplifies how much reporting concerns of animal abuse, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect to local authorities truly impacts the lives of animals in our communities.

Learn about the different types of “blood sports” and what you can do to help stop them.

On the night of December 14, 2009, the Animal Rescue League of Boston responded to a call about an injured dog in Hyde Park. Had someone not called, “Turtle” probably would not have made it through the night.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) found an emaciated and gravely wounded female pitbull-type dog – who we named Turtle because she was discovered near Turtle Pond Parkway – lying curled up and motionless in the cold. She was extremely weak and covered with scars and open sores.

ARL’s Field Services team immediately determined that Turtle’s injuries were consistent with her being used as a “bait dog” to train fighting dogs. Bait dogs are commonly discarded after a life of cruel and inhumane treatment, and she had obviously been left for dead.

Turtle at Tufts

Turtle at Tufts

Turtle was transported to Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatments & Specialties where veterinarians were able to stabilize her condition. She successfully underwent surgery to close numerous bite wounds and she received treatment for broken teeth, intestinal parasites, fleas and nutritional deficiencies. Once she recovered from her surgery she faced a long and arduous period of physical and behavioral rehabilitation at the ARL.

After months spent in the care of the ARL’s foster program, Turtle became a completely different dog. She was soon after adopted by her attending veterinarian from the evening she was found, Dr. April Paul. from Tufts who helped save her life.

Today, Turtle lives a happy, healthy life, spending much of her time visiting schools and hospitals as a therapy dog and lobbying for animals and encouraging people to give a voice to victims of animal cruelty at the Massachusetts State House.

Turtle after her recovery, bringing joy to children.

Turtle after her recovery, bringing joy to children.

3 Signs a Dog May Be Being Used for Dog Fighting

  1. Dogs kept on short heavy chains or tethered to makeshift dog houses
  2. Several crates, tethering devices, and specialized aerobic training equipment such as treadmills kept in basements and sheds
  3. Dogs with lots of scaring around the face, neck, front legs and chest

Learn more about how you can give a voice to the victims of animal cruelty: arlboston.org/take-action


199 Animals Removed From Lynnfield Home

Animal Rescue League of Boston and MSPCA-Angell partner in response to large-scale hoarding situation

MEDIA AVAIL: Monday, March 10, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, ARLBoston’s Boston Shelter, 10 Chandler Street, Boston, MA

Boston, MA – At the end of February, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) partnered with MSPCA-Angell to remove 199 animals from a home in Lynnfield, Massachusetts.

In one of the largest hoarding situations the ARL has responded to in recent years, a wide range of species including dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles lived in unsanitary conditions, stacked in cages and crates in different areas of the home.  All of the animals were voluntarily surrendered to the ARL and MSPCA-Angell.

After the ARL’s Rescue Services team removed animals from the home, 60 came to the organization’s Boston shelter.  According to Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, vice president of animal welfare at the ARL and a member of the veterinary response team that provided medical care to the animals as they arrived at the shelter, many had serious health issues resulting from neglect.

arl-lynnfield-hoarding-dog-and-rescue

Danielle Genter, senior rescue technician at the ARL, comforts one of the dogs removed from a hoarding situation in Lynnfield, MA, at the end of February.

“When people suffer from the complex psychological conditions that lead to animal hoarding, they become overwhelmed with caring for all the animals they accumulate,” explains Dr. Smith-Blackmore.

“In hoarding situations, both the owner and the animals need help.  If you see something that suggests an animal hoarding situation, say something to your local authorities.”

The ARL’s veterinary and shelter staff mobilized a temporary isolation area for the cats requiring long-term medical treatment and found places for them at the Pat Brody Shelter for Cats in Lunenburg, where they will continue to receive rehabilitative care.  The ARL also asked Jabberwock Reptiles in Winchester for assistance taking in the reptiles rescued from the home, including sickly blue-tongued skinks and snakes.

The 6 dogs and 13 birds remaining at the ARL’s shelters continue to make progress in their recovery.  The Boston shelter has already begun to identify potential adopters for the shy, but very sweet dogs.

The ARL encourages anyone looking to help these animals and others like them recover from neglect to visit arlboston.org for more information.

About the Animal Rescue League of Boston

Founded in 1899, the ARL is dedicated to rescuing domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect.  In 2013, the ARL served over 14,000 individual animals through our shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham, and our law enforcement, rescue, and veterinary services.  The ARL receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters to help animals in need.

Media Avail
Monday, March 10
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Animal Rescue League of Boston
Boston Animal Shelter
10 Chandler Street
Boston, MA

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5 Reasons Spay/Neuter is Good for Pets AND the People Who Love Them

Animal Rescue League of Boston to host #ARLAskaVet twitter chat on World Spay Day

Boston, MA – According to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), a large portion of the companion animals coming into the organization’s shelters comes from unplanned litters of kittens and puppies.  National studies have also found that among pet owners who indicate their pets had at least one litter,  59% of cat owners and 38% of dog owners described the litter as “unintentional” or “accidental.” 

“Spay/neuter represents one of the most humane ways to lessen the number of homeless animals in our communities,” explains Dr. Edward Schettino, director of veterinary medical services at the ARL.  “The surgery comes with low risks and offers a variety of benefits to pets and the people who love them.”

01-11-14 Dr Schettino

In recognition of Spay/Neuter Awareness Month this February, the ARL encourages pet owners to consider the following five reasons to spay/neuter companion animals:

  1. Reduce the cost of pet ownership.  Particularly given the number of low-cost options available in Massachusetts, the cost of caring for an unplanned litter far outweighs the cost of having a pet spayed/neutered.
  2. Diminish nuisance behaviors.  Neutering resolves the vast majority of marking behaviors—even when a cat has a long-standing habit.  Howling in cats and excessive barking in dogs eases and even disappears after surgery.
  3. Prevent aggressive behaviors.  According to the National Canine Research Foundation, approximately 92% of fatal dog attacks involved male dogs, 94% of which were not neutered.  Neutering male dogs and cats reduces their urge to roam and fight with other males.
  4. Increase longevity.  The USA Today reports neutered male dogs live 18% longer than unneutered males, and spayed females live 23% longer than unspayed females.
  5. Improve health outlook.  Neutering males cats and dogs before six months of age prevents testicular cancer.  Spaying female cats and dogs before their first heat offers protection from uterine infections and breast cancer. 

Animal Rescue League of Boston Shares Happy Update on Oliver Twist

Severely emaciated puppy discovered by kind FedEx driver is home for holidays

Boston, MA – This past April, a kind FedEx driver named Jeff called the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) after spotting a severely emaciated puppy shivering in the cold and wandering the streets along his delivery route.  The ARL’s Rescue Services Team immediately responded to the call, and were stunned by what they found.

“We could see his bones jutting through his skin,” describes Danielle Genter, senior rescue technician at the ARL. “When we found him, he just stumbled over to us.”

oliver4

When the ARL’s Rescue Service Team first saw Oliver Twist, they were stunned by his severely emaciated condition.

At the ARL’s Boston adoption center, the frail little pup received immediate medical attention along with the name Oliver Twist. On the Purina body condition scale a score of “9” is considered obese and “1” is extremely lean; Oliver scored less than 1. He was also diagnosed with a bacterial infection.

Over the next few weeks, Oliver’s condition stabilized. He was placed on a progressive re-feeding schedule and soon began to eat on his own. ARL veterinarians checked him daily to ensure that he was gaining the expected amount of weight and treated his infection. He also received lots of love and attention from adoption center staff.

The ARL’s Center for Animal Protection put out requests for information to identify who so severely neglected Oliver. To date, however, a suspect has not been found.

With special care and attention, Oliver was ready for a home just a few weeks after his rescue.   After seeing Oliver’ story on the news, Billie Jean Nebesky and her daughter felt an instant connection with him. “We knew he needed us and we needed him,” said Nebesky.

They adopted him at the end of April and happily report that today, he has made himself completely at home for the holidays.

Oliver twist with stick in new home

Today, Oliver Twist is happy and healthy. He especially loves to fetch sticks in the woods near his home.

“If we sit down in a chair, Oliver will immediately join you and cuddle,” smiles his new mom. “He clearly knows he is part of our family.”

About the Animal Rescue League of Boston

Founded in 1899, the Animal Rescue League of Boston is dedicated to rescuing domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect. The ARL receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters to help animals in need.
At the beginning of December, the ARL launched “Home for the Holidays,” a month-long community outreach campaign to encourage adoption and support for shelter animals. By featuring stories of animals rescued from cruel conditions, now recovered and living happy lives, as well as animals available for adoption, the ARL hopes to find more animals a home this holiday season.


Oliver Twist: One “Sweet Baby” Home for Holidays

The once frail puppy now specializes in fetching sticks in the woods

This is what poor little Oliver Twist looked like when our Senior Rescue Technician, Danielle, first brought him in.

This is what poor Oliver Twist looked like when our Rescue Team first brought him in.

One chilly morning in early this past April, Jeff, a driver for FedEx, was making deliveries in Boston when he discovered a beyond-skinny 6 month-old puppy wandering the streets and shivering in the cold. He immediately contacted the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), and our Rescue Services Team went to work to find the dog.

The frail puppy stumbled over to the Rescue Team, he was so weak. His body was severely emaciated—lacking any fat and muscle, his bones jutted through his skin.  He was covered is his own urine and feces and had long overgrown nails.

At the ARL’s Boston adoption center, he received immediate medical attention along with the name, Oliver Twist.  On the Purina body condition scale a score of “9” is considered obese and “1” is extremely lean; Oliver scored less than 1. He was also diagnosed with a bacterial infection.

Over the next few weeks, Oliver’s condition stabilized. He was placed on a progressive re-feeding schedule and soon began to eat on his own. ARL veterinarians checked him daily to ensure that he was gaining the expected amount of weight and treated his infection. He also received lots of love and attention from adoption center staff.

Oliver Twist now getting love at home.

Oliver Twist now getting love at home.

Meanwhile, the ARL’s Center for Animal Protection put out requests for information to identify who severely neglected Oliver.  To date, a suspect has not been found.

With the special care and attention he received, Oliver was ready for a home just a few weeks after his rescue.  Well on his way to recovery, he had become a playful, loving puppy who adored attention from people.

And attention is what he gets from his new family! Grieving the loss of their 13-year-old boxer, Billie Jean Nebesky and her daughter saw Oliver’s story on the news.  They instantly felt a connection: “We knew he needed us and we needed him.”

Today, they happily report Oliver has made himself completely at home and loves to fetch big sticks in the woods.

“If we sit down in a chair, Oliver will immediately join you and cuddle,” smiles his new mom.  “He clearly knows he is part of our family.  He is handsome, smart, friendly and very affectionate. He is just a sweet baby!”

Everyone at the ARL is grateful for the outpouring of donations to assist Oliver Twist as he recovered from severe neglect.  Thanks to you, he is happy, healthy, and home for the holidays!

You can make a donation today to help animals at the ARL find loving homes, just like Oliver Twist did.


Middleboro Puppies Update: Getting Stronger Every Day

They’re Playing Through the Day and Sleeping Through the Night

We’ve promised to give you regular updates on the Middleboro Puppies who were rescued during a drug and weapons raid on a home in Middleboro, MA back on October 3, so here’s a little something on how they’re doing. They’ve been in the care of ARL foster parents for almost a month now and are making enormous progress. One of our foster parents shared this little tidbit about her foster pups whom she has lovingly named Franny and Ollie.

Franny is much smaller than her brother…but she is very rambunctious and usually in charge.  She likes to chat (and has the cutest little bark) and she also likes to follow us everywhere and cuddle up on your lap the minute you sit down.  She loves food and she loves playing hard and napping hard with her brother.

Ollie is just the sweetest puppy.  His beautiful eyes just melt your heart.  He is very gentle and calm for a puppy (I don’t think that we have ever heard him bark) and he is SO interested in people…and cats.  He is also very smart…very good with the food puzzles.

They both sleep through the night very well.  They love to play with sticks and chase each other in circles in our backyard. It’s amazing in three weeks how much they have grown and thrived from the condition they were in when rescued. It really makes Jon and I grateful for all the components of the League that make outcomes like this possible. They are amazing little pups that are going to make wonderful companions and bring immense joy to their future adopters!” ~ Amelia Hughes

When the puppies arrived at the ARL they were in terrible condition. All the the puppies were emaciated and dehydrated, covered in feces and riddled with worms. You can imagine how grateful we are to have a network of foster parents who care for these little guys and gals until they are healthy and strong enough to be adopted. The puppies still have a way to go and are not yet available for adoption, but we’ll let you know as soon as they are! Read their story.

Franny and Ollie play outside in the leaves.

Franny and Ollie play outside in the leaves in their adorable sweaters. Photo Credit: Amelia Hughes


PUPPY DOE UPDATE: Suspect Faces 11 Counts of Animal Cruelty

ARL will continue to support what remains an active investigation

The Quincy Police Department announced an arrest in the Puppy Doe abuse case and today the suspect was charged with 11 counts of animal cruelty in Quincy District Court.

Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey, Quincy Chief of Police Paul Keenan, and ARL president Mary Nee joined together for a press conference immediately following today’s court proceedings.