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Category: Brewster
Providing Comfort and Care in the Last Stage of Life

When Boston Animal Control recently brought Pablo to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, his prognosis seemed bleak. A large growth on the hamster’s back was likely cancerous, and because it was so ulcerated, there was a high likelihood of infection and chronic pain.

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, despite their size or species. Wanting to give Pablo a chance to be pain-free and enjoy a loving home for the remainder of his days, ARL shelter veterinarians decided that surgery was the only option to achieve this goal. It would also be the first surgery performed on a hamster in Dedham.

The mass was removed and Pablo has recovered well. ARL staff monitored him closely after surgery, spoiling him with a variety of treats including bananas and bell peppers; and while Pablo’s long-term outcome is unknown, his quality of life has vastly improved.

“We do not know how much time he has left now that he has had the surgery,” said Dr. Kate Gollon, ARL Community and Shelter Veterinarian. “But it was a wonderful opportunity to give Pablo some quality time for him to be pain-free and happy.”

Hospice Adoption

While hospice animals have medical concerns and are in most cases terminal – they still do have a quality of life and deserve to live out the remainder of their lives in comfort and surrounded by love.

When Pablo was made available for adoption, he did find a home quickly, and for these types of special adoptions, it takes a special person to make the situation work for them and for the animal.

“People who commit to a hospice adoption understand that while they may not have a lot of time with that animal, they can feel good about giving them love and support during the time they have left,” said Debby Chaplic, ARL’s Associate Director of Volunteer Engagement. “Adopters who are willing to open up their home and hearts to hospice animals are truly champions.”

Finding the Perfect Match

ARL is committed to matching adoptable animals with a permanent home. 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. Visit our Boston, Dedham, or Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers today to start the conversation and to find your perfect companion!


Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your Pet Safely!

St. Patrick’s Day, especially in Boston, is a day of celebration where everyone is a little Irish.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to remind pet owners to celebrate safely, and to keep a few things in mind while doing so.

  1. Everything is green…But your pet should NOT be. Green cookies, green beer and the like are commonplace on St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately many feel that dyeing their animal’s fur enhances the celebration. Dyed fur can cause irritation, and also imposes health risks. If your dog licks the area that’s dyed — even after washing — they can ingest a number of toxins that can cause nausea, vomiting, allergic reactions, or even death. It can also take up to a month to wash the dye completely from your dog’s fur.
  2. Keep a Watchful Eye on your Pet. Green beer has become a staple for many celebrating the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Most dogs will happily lap up anything on the table, and it doesn’t take much to intoxicate an animal. Needless to say, alcohol is dangerous for animals, so please keep an eye on your pup while attending parties or other holiday festivities.
  3. Luck of the Irish, NOT dogs. The shamrock is often found at St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, however these plants can be toxic to your dog. If ingested, shamrocks can cause upset stomach, drooling, and in severe cases kidney damage. Again, keep close watch on your dog while celebrating.

If your animal shows any sign of toxicity for any of the above-mentioned issues, contact your veterinarian immediately for treatment. Vigilance is responsible pet ownership!


An Open Letter Opposing Cape Cod Coyote Killing Contest

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), with an Animal Care & Adoption Center in Brewster, MA, is deeply troubled by the spectacle of killing coyotes for contest on Cape Cod. We are horrified to see people compete for cash prizes to see who can kill the heaviest of these animals. Contests like this are harmful for numerous reasons, including child health, public health, and wildlife management.

First, public hunting contests negatively affect children who witness these displays. Children who witness animal violence may become desensitized to animal abuse, which is often a precursor to other forms of abuse toward the elderly, the disabled, and family. Organizations such as the National Link Coalition research, document, and evaluate the link between violence toward animals as a predictor of future violence affecting both animals and humans. With a rise of violence in our nation’s schools, now, more than ever, we should protect children from witnessing or seeing harmful images or bodies of animal slaughter, especially for money.

Second, coyote hunting contests presented as management strategies for species overpopulation are unsupported by population counts or research. In fact, articles such as Megan Draheim’s, “Why Killing Coyotes Doesn’t Make Livestock Safer” published in the Scientific American, argue that the wide-spread killing of coyotes could actually result in a larger and unmanageable wildlife population because when coyotes are killed, they breed more rapidly and disrupt remaining wildlife.

Third, coyote hunting overlooks the role that coyotes have in the Massachusetts ecosystem. Coyotes control species and disease populations because their diet consists of rodents, rabbits, deer, birds, insects, and reptiles. They keep diseased animals from reproducing. By controlling rodent populations, coyotes protect crops and agriculture in Massachusetts.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston notes that the etymological meaning of the word “contest” is “together to witness.” As we, united with advocates on behalf of animals and children, bear witness to the contest that unfolds on Cape Cod, hope that Massachusetts legislators and citizens look to states like California and Vermont, who have undertaken legislative measures to prohibit coyote hunting tournaments.

A radical kill of animals for a cash prize is not consistent with sentiments of Massachusetts citizens and is inhumane for animals. It is harmful to children exposed to the unethical slaughter of animals for a cash prize.

Mary Nee

President, Animal Rescue League of Boston


Press Release: Emaciated Dog and Housemate on the Mend at ARL-Brewster

Previous owner charged with animal cruelty

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is caring for a pair of dogs at its Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center that were relinquished by their previous owner, who’s now facing animal cruelty charges.

“Ace” and “Bentley” came to ARL through the Rochester, MA, animal control officer who suspected that the dogs had been fed inadequately. Both dogs were malnourished, however the condition of one of the dogs was particularly appalling.

Weighing just 20 pounds, Bentley is on a regimented diet to gain weight slowly and safely.

Two-year-old Bentley was severely dehydrated and emaciated, weighing just 20 pounds (according to veterinary records he weighed approximately 50 pounds in 2017). Bentley’s body condition score was 1-2 out of 9, and he also has a number of scars on his face and ears. Nine-year-old Ace fared slightly better, while showing signs of malnourishment, his body condition is close to normal.

According to ARL’s shelter veterinary staff, barring any unexpected complications, Bentley and Ace are expected to make a full recovery and have a second chance at life.

Both animals are settling into their new surroundings and will be on a closely monitored feeding schedule to promote safe and steady weight gain.

As they recuperate ARL staff and volunteers will work with the animals to ensure they are socialized and able to shed the fear and anxiety of such a taxing situation.

Per Sgt. Robert Small of the Rochester Police Department:

On February 21, 2018 an alert utility worker called Rochester police and reported that she had seen two malnourished dogs in a home on New Bedford Rd. Police officers responded to the home as well as Animal Control officers. The officers found the dogs were locked in the home and appeared to be severely malnourished. The conditions were very unsanitary and the officers reported an extreme odor of animal urine and feces was detected from the driveway. The home appeared otherwise vacant and no food or water was available.

The resident was contacted and returned to the house. The interior conditions were deplorable and contained a substantial amount of animal waste. Officers took custody of the dogs and Animal Control officers brought them for immediate medical treatment.

The owner of the dogs has been charged with two counts of Animal Cruelty and two counts of Failing to License a Dog.


ARL Expands Reach to Help Animals in Need in Puerto Rico

Some of Old San Juan’s Most Famous Residents Finding Homes in Boston

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is broadening its reach in Puerto Rico by partnering with Save a Gato, a nonprofit group dedicated to rescuing cats in Old San Juan; the partnership began with a transport of nine cats this past week.

Once at ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center, the cats were placed under a state-mandated 48-hour quarantine period, given thorough examinations, vaccinations, spayed or neutered, and microchipped. From there, the gatos were made available for adoption, and to no surprise have been adopted very quickly.

An Internationally Known Colony

Photo courtesy: Save a Gato.

Save a Gato manages cat colonies throughout Old San Juan, including along the Paseo Del Morro – a trail that once serviced as a maintenance road for the massive stone protective walls of the city that date back to the 1630s.
For visitors to the National Recreational Trail, the numerous cats along the route are part of the experience, and many say that some of the cats are actual descendants of the original cats who came on ships when the first Spanish settlers came to the island.

To see video of one of the adorable gatos, click here!

Gatos and Satos

Along with Save a Gato, in 2017 ARL began its partnership with All Sato Rescue, and has transported dozens of dogs from the island, including an emergency transport of pups following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

There is an abundance of homeless animals in Puerto Rico. These transports allow ARL to supplement the number of animals the organization takes in locally, while giving our partner organizations the ability to continue their important work and make room for more animals in need.

Additionally, ARL receives monthly transports of puppies and dogs from Brother Wolf Animal Rescue and Alexander County Animal Services – both based in North Carolina.


February is National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month

5 reasons why you should spay/neuter your pet

During National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month this February, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) reminds the public that pet overpopulation is a real issue, however, there are steps us humans can take to curb this problem.

“There are too many cat and dogs in our communities that don’t have homes,” explains Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare & Veterinary Services. “Every year, animal shelters like the ARL are inundated with stray and surrendered puppies and kittens that are the result of unplanned litters.”

In fact, national studies have found that amongst pet owners who indicate that their pets had at least one litter, 59% of cat owners and 38% of dog owners described the litter as “unintentional” or “accidental.”

Dr. Schettino believes that one reason that pet owners choose not to spay or neuter their pet is misconceptions about the low-risk surgery. “If we can increase spay and neuter rates, we can help prevent pet overpopulation.”

In addition to the benefits to the community, here are 5 more reasons why you should spay/neuter your pet:

09-24 Boston Spay Neuter Day_Thumb1. Cost Savings. The cost of caring for an unplanned litter of puppies or kittens far outweighs the cost of having a pet spayed or neutered. The good news – there are many affordable and free options in Massachusetts!

2. Reducing Spraying. Neutering resolves the vast majority of marking behaviors—even when a cat has a long-standing habit. Other nuisance behaviors such as howling in cats and excessive barking in dogs eases and even disappears after surgery.

3. Stopping Scuffles. 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. Extending Life Span. The USA Today reports neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered males, and spayed females live 23% longer than unspayed females.

5. Long-Term Health Safeguard. Neutering male 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.

ARL offers a number of spay and neuter services and programs, including the Spay Waggin’ and the Healthy Moms, Happy Litters Program.


ARL Sheltering Displaced Animals Following Tragic Barn Fire

Animals Doing Well in the Wake of Trauma

This past weekend, a horrific barn fire in Holliston tragically claimed the lives of dozens of animals. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) responded to assist Holliston’s Animal Control Officer and first responders on-scene in rounding up surviving animals who scattered once they were freed from the barn.

ARL rescued and transported six chickens, four ducks, and two rabbits to its Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center. Additionally, three piglets were rescued and brought to a partner organization for treatment of minor burns and smoke inhalation.

The animals have been given shelter, food, water and physical examinations by ARL veterinary staff and despite the trauma, are doing well and adjusting to their new environment. The survivors will be with ARL for as long as they need to be and will receive the ongoing compassionate care and treatment they need to continue to thrive.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

ARL in the News

ARL’s collaborative efforts to save these animals has garnered much attention from national and local media including: WCVB, WFXT, the Boston Herald, Metro West Daily News, among many others.


ARL Sheltering Displaced Animals Following Tragic Barn Fire

Animals Doing Well in the Wake of Trauma

This past weekend, a horrific barn fire in Holliston tragically claimed the lives of dozens of animals. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) responded to assist Holliston’s Animal Control Officer and first responders on-scene in rounding up surviving animals who scattered once they were freed from the barn.

ARL rescued and transported six chickens, four ducks, and two rabbits to its Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center. Additionally, three piglets were rescued and brought to a partner organization for treatment of minor burns and smoke inhalation.

The animals have been given shelter, food, water and physical examinations by ARL veterinary staff and despite the trauma, are doing well and adjusting to their new environment. The survivors will be with ARL for as long as they need to be and will receive the ongoing compassionate care and treatment they need to continue to thrive.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

ARL in the News

ARL’s collaborative efforts to save these animals has garnered much attention from national and local media including: WCVB, WFXT, the Boston Herald, Metro West Daily News, among many others.


Legislative Update: ARL-Supported Poaching Bill Passes Through Massachusetts Senate

Bill Aims to Stiffen and Modernize Illegal Hunting Penalties

The Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed proposed legislation aimed to protect wildlife by increasing penalties and measures to stop illegal hunting, or poaching, in the state. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has publicly advocated for the measure since its filing in January of 2017.

Many of the state’s current poaching penalties are about a century out of date, and S. 2248, an Act Further Regulating the Enforcement of Illegal Hunting Practices, would modernize the current antiquated legislation. This bill would bring penalties in line with other states, elevating fines, jail time, and hunting and fishing license suspensions for certain crimes, including the commercialization of fish and wildlife.

Additionally the legislation would bring Massachusetts into the Interstate Law Enforcement Compact. Currently Massachusetts is one of only three states that is not a member of the network which has been helping wildlife agencies increase compliance with wildlife laws for 25 years.

With passage in the Senate, the bill will now go to the House. ARL would like to thank Senate bill sponsor Senator Mike Moore and House bill sponsors, Representatives Ann-Margaret Ferrante, Lori Ehrlich, and Cory Atkins for all their hard work and dedication.

Get Involved

ARL is dedicated to preventing animal cruelty and neglect by strengthening law and public policy, and continues to be a voice for domesticated animals and wildlife in need. Please view our current Legislative Agenda, and we urge you to contact your representatives and encourage them to help further animal protection policy in Massachusetts.


Sato Undergoes Costly Emergency Hernia Surgery

Tinker Expected to Make Full Recovery

Tinker, a 3-year-old Italian Greyhound Mix, was one of 11 dogs who came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) just after Christmas as part of a transport from All Sato Rescue in Puerto Rico. Being jet-bound from the island to Boston likely saved Tinker’s life.

According to All Sato, Tinker’s owner had moved after Hurricane Maria, and had simply left the sweet and loving dog behind. While initially seeming perfectly healthy, several days after her arrival in Boston, Tinker was spayed, and following surgery, ARL veterinary staff noticed she was having a hard time breathing.

tinker blog thumb

Tinker’s surgery was a success and she is on the road to recovery!

X-rays were taken and confirmed the diagnosis of a diaphragmatic hernia — a protrusion of the abdominal viscera into the diaphragm caused by a tear, which prohibits the lungs from expanding normally.  Despite attempts to make her comfortable, Tinker continued to have breathing issues, and was transferred to an Emergency Specialty Hospital for surgery.

Tinker’s condition was likely caused by a previous trauma, such as being hit by a car. She remained stable by probably limiting her activity but one thing is certain — she is lucky to have made it to ARL to have the problem corrected before she suffered from any life-threatening complications.

Road to Recovery

Tinker will remain in foster care for a little while longer as she continues to heal from her surgery, but will soon be made available for adoption so be sure to check back for updates!

YOU Can Help Even More Animals Like Tinker in 2018!

Tinker’s life-saving surgery cost approximately $4,500, and while animals like Tinker depend on us to care for them and make them well, we depend on YOU to support and help us continue our critical work. Animals at ARL receive the specialized veterinary care, kind attention, and socialization they need to thrive — only because of YOUR generous donations. Thank you for being a champion for animals and for giving generously today!