fbpx
Category: Brewster
Keeping Pets Occupied While Working Remotely

For many us, our schedules have been rearranged in recent days, and that means working remotely whenever possible.

You’re following the guidelines for working from home – showering, getting dressed, having a dedicated work space, avoiding temptations like a Netflix binge-a-thon – but what about your pets?

We’ve all seen the cute pictures online – a cat sprawled across a keyboard, walking all over a desk or table, or curled up in a person’s lap These images are cute, but they don’t necessarily correlate to you being productive.

Our furry friends are attuned to our human habits, and once they get over the confusion of you not walking out the door in the morning, they can see it as an opportunity to spend more time with you and become more clingy.

Here are some tips to keep you productive and ensure that your pets are engaged while you’re home.

For Dogs

Maintain your dog’s routine as much as possible.

  • Keep feeding time the same, and if your dog spends time in a crate while you’re not home, don’t be tempted to forgo that routine either.
  • If you do crate your animal while at home, a tempting bone or treat will keep them occupied while you get your work done.
  • Try not to give in to the scratches at the door to go outside every time, and try your best not to give in to a lot of attention-seeking behaviors (whining, barking, pawing, among others) that may be happening simply out of confusion and wonder as to why you are around for so long.

Enrichment is critically important!

Some ideas to keep your pooch entertained!

There are a number of things to keep your dog active, engaged and occupied, including:

  • Stuffed treats (like a Kong) can keep a dog occupied and engaged for quite awhile
  • Marrow and Nyla bones at various times throughout the day is a great way to keep them engaged, but the key is to put them away when their time with the bones is over
  • Add a walk or two if weather and your schedule permits (it could be good for both of you!)
  • Engage in a couple of constructive play sessions (not snuggle sessions) where you play and really get your dog’s brain working to let them have fun
  • Allow you dog to relax and have quiet time by themselves

For Cats

Keep your cat’s regular feeding schedule, but meal time by:

  • Place food or treats in food puzzles, or in recycled toilet paper rolls or egg cartons
  • Try scattering dry food throughout a room and make them find or chase it!

Experiment with some easy (and inexpensive) ways to get your cat playing which include:

  • Fill a large paper bag with a sprinkle of catnip – cats love the crinkling and will be sure to have fun with it!
  • Build a fort/obstacle course with cardboard boxes
  • Take away a few toys from their regular stash then reintroduce them later – they’ll seem like new!
  • Put on a video to stimulate their prey drive (birds, etc.) then get them playing with wand toys; they’ll be stimulated by the “hunt” and will tire out quickly.

Finally, you can do something simple like move their cat tree to another location. You give your cat a new view to focus on and a new sunny spot to nap!

Have Pet Behavior Questions? ARL Has Answers

ARL is committed to being a reliable resource for behavioral and health-related questions about your pet, and our goal is to help owners provide the best care for their animals.

ARL’s Pet Behavior Helpline is a FREE service, and can answer basic behavioral questions about your pet, such as excessive barking, crate training, house soiling, or if you are looking for ways to stave off your pet’s boredom.

If you have questions, please call the Pet Behavior Helpline at (617) 226-5666 or via email behaviorhelpline@arlboston.org and an ARL representative will get back to you within 48 hours.


Cleaning Products and Our Pets

Typically this is the time of year for spring cleaning.

We organize the garage, donate old clothing, and move furniture to get into all the nooks and crannies we tend to neglect.

However, amidst the outbreak of COVID-19, cleaning has become more important than ever.

But, before you pick up the duster, industrial vacuum, and bottles of solvents and cleaners – keep in mind that not all cleaning agents are pet-friendly.

The ingredients to avoid in household cleaners are phenols – a parent compound used as a disinfectant. If the label says “disinfectant”, “antibacterial”, or “sanitizer”, chances are it contains phenolic compounds, which can be toxic to dogs and cats.

Let’s run through a few common cleaners and how they can be used safely around your pets.

Bleach/Bleach Cleaners

There are countless products that contain bleach, however if used properly, the risk of skin irritation or stomach upset is minute.

Straight bleach should be properly diluted with water, and if using either a bleach solution or cleaner, it’s important to thoroughly rinse and air dry. Bleach odor can be overpowering for both pets and humans alike, so use it in well-ventilated areas.

Carpet Shampoo

Carpet shampoos can cause skin irritation or stomach upset, but most are safe for households with pets. Make sure the carpet is completely dry before allowing pets to re-enter the area.

Carpet Deodorizing Powders

Carpet deodorizing powders, if ingested, can cause respiratory irritation, resulting in coughing, sneezing or a runny nose. Keep pets out of the room until you have vacuumed up the powder – and make sure to do a thorough job, as it can linger deep inside the carpet fibers.  If your pet comes in direct contact with the powder, you should wash their paws with soap and water to avoid skin irritation.

Aerosol Air Fresheners and Disinfectants

Chemicals common in many popular air fresheners and disinfectants, can cause skin irritation, as well gastrointestinal issues.

When spraying, make sure the pets are out of the room and do not come in contact with any surfaces until they are dry.

Floor Cleaners

When it comes to cleaning floors, many of us prefer the quick and easy method, like disposable microfiber pads that spray a cleaning solution.  The chemicals in these products are usually diluted, which means they do not present serious health risks to pets.

If you opt to use the traditional mop and bucket, be sure to dilute the solution properly with water, and always make sure the floors are dry before allowing pets back into the area.

Taking the time to find household cleaning products that will not create unnecessary risks for your beloved pets and taking care to use them properly, will ensure clean and healthy living spaces for everyone in your household!


Rescued Golden Pheasant Finally Finds a Home

“Buckbeak” spent 272 days at ARL

In September 2019, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department seized two dozen animals from horrific, unsanitary conditions at a Middleboro commercial breeding facility.

“Buckbeak”, a young golden pheasant, was rescued from the same property several months earlier.

Buckbeak quickly made himself at home in ARL’s iconic barn, located at the Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, and over a series of weeks was tested for several avian diseases, and was banded for identification purposes.

While extremely beautiful, golden pheasants are not native to Massachusetts.

They can however be kept as pets – but only by obtaining a permit from the MA Department of Fisheries and Wildlife which is required to be renewed annually.

Along with a permit, potential adopters also needed a secure enclosure, as Buckbeak is able to fly.

Unfortunately, these circumstances kept the golden pheasant at ARL for nearly nine months.

 A Perfect Match

This past week, ARL received an inquiry from a person who not only had a permit and a perfect setup, but was also caring for another pheasant!

After 272 days in the care of ARL, Buckbeak is now in the company of a female pheasant and enjoying his forever home!

Caring for Livestock

ARL’s livestock population is constantly changing.

From goats, pigs, horses, to roosters, pigeons and of course pheasants, ARL provides more than a temporary shelter for these animals – ARL gives these animals another chance at life.

We encourage anyone with the passion and capacity to care for livestock to check our website often to find your next barnyard friend!


Update: 2020 Virtual Lobby Day for Animals Postponed

UPDATE: This event has been indefinitely postponed due to ongoing actions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We are hoping to reschedule the event before the end of the legislative session on July 31, 2020. Thank you for your understanding, please stay tuned for further updates.

State House suspends sponsored events due to COVID-19 precautions

Due to on-going precautionary measures put in place in regards to the continued spread of COVID-19, the 2020 Lobby Day for Animals that was scheduled for March 24 at the Massachusetts State House has been postponed.

In light of this postponement, ARL and its animal welfare partners have decided to take Lobby Day in a virtual direction.

As you may know, the Commonwealth has taken a number of actions to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The State House informed our coalition late yesterday that all sponsored events—including Lobby Day for Animals—are being postponed for at least the next 30 days.

Ideally, we hope to reschedule this important event before the end of the legislative session on July 31. However, that will of course remain dependent upon the ongoing developments related to COVID-19, the potential for large events to impact public safety, as well as the ability of the State House to accommodate the number of events that will need to be rescheduled.

We will be cancelling the appointments we have made with your legislators, however, you can still take action for animals! 

  1. Please contact your state senator about several priority animal protection bills referred to Senate committees.
  1. Please contact your state representative about several priority animal protection bills referred to House committees.
  2. We will be hosting a Virtual Day of Action for Animals on Tuesday, March 24, including a lunchtime webinar and afternoon call-in to your legislators. Please register to join us for the webinar.

Press Release: ARL Assists in Wellesley Beaver Rescue

Beaver spotted in same position along the Charles River for 4 days

Shortly after noon today, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services assisted Wellesley Animal Control in rescuing a distressed beaver at the Cordingly Dam Fish Passage along the Charles River.

The beaver had reportedly been seen in the same spot below a footbridge over the dam since Sunday, and Wellesley Animal Control had received countless calls from concerned residents.

For video of this rescue click here!

With the animal right at the edge of the rushing water and approximately 15 feet below a ridge, it was a precarious and potentially dangerous position to be in for both the beaver and ARL’s Field Services team.

With a throng of onlookers watching from the footbridge above, agents, armed with two nets, were able to corral the beaver into one net while covering him with the other, and then slowly raised the animal to the surface of the ledge.

Beavers typically are not very cooperative in rescue situations, however, once the beaver was on the surface, ARL’s team was able to coax the beaver into a carrier and then transport him to a wildlife rehabilitation center.

The animal did not appear to be injured in any way, however he’s likely malnourished given the fact that he remained in the same spot for several days and was seemingly too weak to swim.

ARL Field Services

ARL Field Services provides technical and non-technical rescue operations for injured or lost domestic animals, livestock, and raptors (turkey vultures, osprey, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls).

ARL Field Services also assists governmental agencies with equipment and training and in cases like the beaver, will actively assist in rescue; and plays an essential role in assisting ARL Law Enforcement in cases of animal cruelty, neglect, and abuse.

If you need assistance, call (617) 426-9170 to reach ARL Field Services dispatch, which operates from 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM Tuesday-Saturday.


The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Edward Schettino, DVM, PhD as the 9th President & CEO of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). His term will begin May 1, 2020.

After thoughtfully examining the qualities and skills desired in a new president, ARL’s Board concluded that Dr. Schettino’s extensive knowledge of veterinary medicine, deep understanding of animal welfare, business acumen, and leadership skills, makes him uniquely qualified to lead ARL’s vision for the future.

Dr. Edward Schettino

For the past five years, Dr. Schettino has served as ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services, and before this post was the organization’s Director of Veterinary Medical Services. As Vice President, he has overseen ARL’s animal care and operations, law enforcement, community and shelter medicine, and community programs. He has been instrumental in advancing ARL’s vision for the future—to reach animals and people most in need—and led the program design and implementation of many ARL’s innovative community-based programs.

Previously, Dr. Schettino worked for over 12 years in both private veterinary hospitals and animal shelter settings. He is an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and, on behalf of ARL, has trained hundreds of police officers and veterinarians on reporting animal cruelty.

Dr. Schettino is recognized for his ability to collaborate with local and national organizations to enhance the animal welfare field as demonstrated by his service on a variety of boards and committees. This service includes the Massachusetts Animal Coalition Board, Massachusetts Veterinary Medicine Association, the Tufts at Tech Advisory Board, the Shelter Medicine Steering Committee at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and the Veterinary Technology Advisory Committee at North Shore Community College.

Today, ARL stands as the Massachusetts leader in providing affordable veterinary care to underserved communities, is in the forefront of responding to animal cruelty and neglect, and is a tireless advocate for law and public policies that will protect all animals from harm. We believe Dr. Schettino possesses the skills, passion, and leadership to support these objectives and advance our vision to reach, and positively impact even more animals and people in the years to come.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our current president, Mary Nee, for her enormously effective leadership of ARL. During her tenure, Mary conducted a strategic assessment of ARL’s programs, facilities and resources. Guided by this resulting plan, and through her vision, determination and hard work, she enhanced areas of strength, implemented necessary changes and successfully led the organization through a period of changing animal welfare needs. ARL today is helping more animals more meaningfully and effectively than ever before. The Board of Directors congratulates Mary for leading ARL to this proud place, and we wish her the best in her retirement.

 

 

 

Walter Kenyon, Chair

Animal Rescue League of Boston Board of Directors


An Amazing Transformation

Olive, seized in law enforcement investigation, finds her forever home

When we first met Olive in September 2019, she had just been rescued along with 18 other Cane Corsos as the result of an Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) law enforcement case.

Back then she was known only as MD46.

Like the majority of the animals seized from the unsanitary conditions at the Middleboro, MA breeding kennel, Olive was terrified at the world beyond her kennel and it was clear the days and weeks ahead would be challenging.

However, nearly six months later, Olive has continuously shown her resilience, and her amazing transformation has come full circle, as she recently found her forever home!

A Slow Process

For Olive, ARL’s shelter staff and volunteers immediately went to work, providing daily encouragement and enrichment, and slowly began introducing her to new things like outdoor walks and playtime.

At first these activities would be short, and she would quickly retreat to the more familiar and self-imposed sanctuary of her kennel.

But as the days and weeks passed, more and more Olive was enjoying the time spent outdoors (highlighted by sudden bursts of the zoomies in Brewster’s outdoor paddock) and her once sad and sullen expression was replaced with joy and happiness.

Going Home

It did take a bit of time to find the right match for Olive, but when she met her new owner, the connection was instantaneous.

Olive is now enjoying a quiet life in Western Massachusetts and everyone who worked with Olive was thrilled when her adoption was finalized.

The Importance of Enrichment

For Olive and her fellow Cane Corsos, they came to ARL after living sheltered and unhappy lives.

ARL’s behavioral staff was steadfast in ensuring that these animals received the love, attention, and encouragement to help them break free of their previous circumstances in order for them to thrive.

Olive is just one example of the incredible work that goes into helping thousands of animals overcome adversity and find loving homes each and every year.

Congratulations to Olive and her new owner!


It’s National Spay and Neuter Awareness Month!

Spay and Neutering Pets Promotes Health and Longevity

For all of us, the health and well-being of our beloved family pets is paramount; and the simplest way to reduce nuisance and aggressive behaviors, improve long-term health and longevity, is to have your dog or cat spayed or neutered.

February is National Spay and Neuter Awareness Month, and here at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), we field questions about spay and neuter on a daily basis which typically revolve around two issues – cost and understanding the real and long-term benefits for you and your pet.

Affordable Options Exist

Don’t let cost be a barrier, as there are numerous affordable options throughout Massachusetts that are readily available.

Be sure to talk with your veterinarian about your best course of action, but here are a couple of options.

ARL’s Spay Waggin’ is a mobile veterinary clinic offering high-quality and affordable spay and neuter services. The Spay Waggin’ has been serving Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, the South Shore and South Coast for nearly 20 years; serving more than 59,750 animals.

Another place to turn is your local Animal Control Officer. The Massachusetts Animal Fund’s spay and neuter voucher program allows low-income residents receiving state assistance to get their pets this important surgery free of charge. Vouchers can be obtained through your city or town’s Animal Control Officer and are redeemed at participating providers, including ARL’s Spay Waggin’ and Community Surgical Clinic.

By the way, you can help keep this program going by donating on your state tax form on line 33f!

Long-Term Health Benefits

Caring for animals can be expensive, especially when it comes to their health. But consider this – having your pet spayed or neutered can reduce the risk of serious, and costly, health problems later in life.

Neutering male dogs and cats before six months of age prevents testicular cancer and spaying female cats and dogs before their first heat reduces the risk of uterine infections and breast cancer.
Spaying and neutering can also reduce behavioral problems such as marking territory, howling or barking, aggression and wandering.

We all want our pets to live long and healthy lives, and having an animal spayed or neutered actually increases their longevity. According to published reports, neutered male dogs live 18 percent longer than unneutered males, and spayed females live 23 percent longer than spayed females.

Healthy Moms, Happy Litters

How about if you have a pet at home with an unwanted or accidental litter of puppies or kittens? No problem, the Animal Rescue League of Boston can help.

Through the Healthy Moms, Happy Litters program, ARL will provide free spay and neuter services and vaccinations for mother/father dogs and cats. Once the procedure is complete, and animals are returned to the owner.

ARL will also waive the surrender fee for the litter of puppies or kittens, who will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and placed up for adoption.

Remember, there are an abundance of resources and help available to those who need it so please consider having your pet spayed or neutered for their happiness, their health, and for your piece of mind.


Take Action for MA Animal Protection Legislation

Join ARL at 2020 Lobby Day for Animals

Right now, Massachusetts legislatures are sifting through thousands of bills and deciding which ones should become law in the Commonwealth.

These bills cover everything from transportation, healthcare, education, animal welfare, among many others.

During the 2019-2020 legislative session, more than 90 animal welfare bills were filed, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is asking for your help in advocating on behalf of animals so the bills with the most impact can be passed.

It is crucial that elected officials hear from YOU – the people they represent about the issues most important to them.

Have Your Voice Heard

We invite you to join ARL, along with other animal welfare advocates, at the Massachusetts State Houses for the 2020 Lobby Day for Animals on March 24 to encourage law makers to take action to protect animals throughout the Commonwealth.

To register for this important event click here!

Advocating to legislators may be something you’re used to, or maybe it’ll be your first time. Regardless of your experience, it’s important to remember that animals cannot speak for themselves and rely on you to be their voice.

 We’ve Got You Covered

All attendees will get information before the big day, as well as a “how-to” day of and the ability to ask any questions.

The Legislature will see thousands of phone calls, emails, and letters over the next few months, so please join us for Lobby Day for Animals to ensure that animal welfare legislation receives the attention it deserves.

The Time is Now

The Massachusetts Legislature meets in a two-year cycle.

Our elected officials do most of their important work before July 31 of the second year of the session – which means that July 31, 2020, will be the deadline for controversial matters to be considered and voted on.

Legislation has to pass both the House and Senate with the same language, which can take days, weeks, or even months of conversation and compromise between legislators.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has a robust legislative agenda, focused on improving the lives of animals both in habitats and homes.

ARL supports a wide array of legislation supporting kennel regulations, improving citation enforcement for animals kept in cruel condition, ensuring animals from puppy mills do not find their way into Massachusetts pet stores, just to name a few.

We encourage you to take a look at ARL’s legislative agenda to see what bills we support and oppose.

There is strength in numbers and we are their voice!

Lobby Day Information

Lobby Day for Animals will be held at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and will being at 10:15 a.m.

There is a $10 charge for breakfast, lunch and to help offset the cost of the event. You must also register to take part in this event.

To register, click this link: https://secure.everyaction.com/OD7Xo7xMYEaCqDiou4_aQw2 


Press Release: As Temperatures Drop, Be on Lookout for Homeless Cats

Despite relatively mild daytime temperatures in recent weeks, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has still seen several cases of homeless cats winding up in some curious places while trying to escape the nighttime chill.

With colder air moving in for the upcoming weekend, ARL is reminding residents to keep an eye out for stray animals, particularly community cats, who may be seeking shelter from the storm.

Recent cases include a stray cat worming its way into the basement of a multifamily home in Dorchester, and a mom and kittens found under a house in Roxbury.

Eight-week-old Katrina was found with her mom and litter mates underneath a home in Roxbury.

Along with the aforementioned places, stray cats may find window wells, space underneath porches, backyard woodpiles, sheds, even the engine compartments of vehicles to get out of the cold.

If you spot a stray animal looking for shelter, you’re urged to contact local animal control, or ARL’s Field Services Department for assistance.

DIY Community Cat Shelter

If you live in an area where community cats are prevalent, you can provide temporary shelter by building a DIY community cat shelter. It’s cheap, easy, and could offer an animal a respite from the cold – for directions on how to build click here!

ARL Community Cat Initiative

With approximately 700,000 community cats living throughout Massachusetts, ARL launched its Community Cat Initiative in 2018, and has already helped thousands of these animals in a variety of ways. For more information about the initiative click here.

ARL Field Services

ARL Field Services provides technical and non-technical rescue operations for injured or lost domestic animals, livestock, and raptors (turkey vultures, osprey, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls).

ARL Field Services also assists governmental agencies with equipment and training; and plays an essential role in assisting ARL Law Enforcement in cases of animal cruelty, neglect, and abuse.

If you need assistance, call (617) 426-9170 to reach ARL Field Services dispatch, which operates from 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM Tuesday-Saturday.