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Category: Dedham
Former Emaciated Stray Now Living His Best Life

This past August, Sigma, a six-year-old male cat, was brought to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center as an emaciated stray, by a resident who was concerned for the cat’s well-being.

Sigma’s finder believed he had been owned and then abandoned by a former neighbor and had kept an eye on him over the past year and feeding him from time to time as well.

Sigma, while friendly, was in rough shape.

He weighed just 6 pounds, and as a comparison, when he was adopted from ARL in 2017 as a kitten, he went home weighing 9 pounds. Along with being extremely emaciated, he was also dehydrated, and unable to stand or walk on his own.

Additionally, his right eye was foggy and he was also tremoring, a sign of possible neurological deficits.

Making Strides

Sigma, a former emaciated stray, transformed after several weeks on a refeeding plan.

ARL’s shelter medicine team quickly went to work, running diagnostic tests and placing Sigma on a refeeding plan to ensure he would put on weight safely and slowly.

The lameness in his hind limbs was due to severe muscle wasting, a likely byproduct of being abandoned and inability to find a sustainable food source. Thankfully, Sigma began to strengthen as he started putting on weight, and was soon able to display vastly improved mobility.

Sigma needed some time to recover, and was placed into a foster home, where he thrived!

Many former strays can be scared of new people and surroundings, however, Sigma was the complete opposite. He loved being around his foster family, especially a young child in the home.

Going Home

After several weeks in foster care, Sigma had put back on the weight that he had lost, and was healthy, happy, and strong.

About one month after arriving at ARL, Sigma was made available for adoption, and almost immediately found his perfect family, and is thriving in his new home.

A black cat laying on a cat scratch pad

“Sigma loves to explore our home room by room. He enjoys playing with his new toys and napping! He has a great appetite and lots of energy.” Deng L., Sigma’s adopter

September is Champions Circle Month!

Sigma received the care that he needed all thanks to supporters like you.

If you’ve ever considered supporting ARL throughout the calendar year, now is a perfect time to do so!

ARL’s Champions Circle members provide reliable support in the form of monthly gifts. With their recurring contributions, members give animals like Sigma the critical support they need now, and dependable support that ARL can count on, ALL YEAR LONG. Become a Champions Circle member today!


Hurricane Season: Are You and Your Pets Prepared?

ARL Reminds Pet Owners to Include Pets in Hurricane Emergency Plans

We are at the height of hurricane season, and the tropics as of late have been very active. While Massachusetts did not feel any drastic impacts of Hurricane Fiona, the threat of hurricanes or tropical storms remains real, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) encourages residents to have an emergency plan in place should a tropical storm or hurricane impact the region; and to include pets in the planning process.

Pet emergency kit

Pet emergency kit.

ARL recommends pet owners keep the following tips in mind for pets:

  1. Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit. Each animal in your household needs their own kit and should include at least a one-week supply of food and water, along with collapsible dishes; a week supply of medication; photographs, tags, and other identification; leash, harness, crate/carrier; toys, blankets and treats; waste bags, litter and litter tray
  2. Locate Pet-Friendly Evacuation Centers. Many, but not all, evacuation centers do allow pets. Check your area for not only evacuation centers, but pet-friendly hotels, boarding facilities, and even friends or relatives that would allow you, your family, and your pets to stay.
  3. Make Sure Your Pet is Microchipped. It’s the simplest way to be reunited with your pet should you become separated. If your pet is already microchipped, make sure all contact information is correct and up to date.
  4. Develop a Buddy System. Connect with friends and neighbors to ensure that someone is willing to evacuate your pets if you are unable to.

Download ARL’s pet preparedness emergency kit.

Additionally, storm conditions including howling winds, driving rain, thunder, and lightning, among others, can drastically increase anxiety for your pet.

During a storm make sure to keep an extra sharp eye on your pet, keep them as comfortable as possible, and reward calm behavior.


ARL Assists in Barnstable County Overcrowding Situation

ARL works with owners, local animal control to remove 19 cats from overcrowding situation

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department recently worked with local animal control and a family in need of assistance to help remove 19 cats from an overcrowding situation in Barnstable County.

The owners of the cats had unfortunately suffered a number of recent hardships and were no longer able to care for the cats, so when local animal control reached out to ARL regarding the overcrowding situation, ARL sprung into action to help not only the cats in the home but the family involved as well.

orange tabby cat

One of 19 cats ARL removed from an overcrowding situation in Barnstable County.

Working with the owners and animal control, ARL was able to trap 19 cats and safely remove them from the home, and then transport the animals to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center.

The cats were given time to settle into their new surroundings before receiving comprehensive veterinary exams and undergoing spay/neuter surgeries.

Because of the hardships their previous family faced, many of the cats are not used to being around people, and while ARL’s behavioral staff and volunteers have spent time with the felines, it’s likely they will need time to acclimate to their new homes.

The majority of these cats are available for adoption, and once they adjust to their new surroundings will surely become wonderful companion animals!

Reach Out for Assistance

ARL encourages anyone who may be overwhelmed or who may know someone who may be overwhelmed, to reach out for assistance.

ARL is a resource, and will work with diligence and respect to resolve any issues a caregiver may be having.

More information about ARL’s Field Services Department, including contact information.


ARL Rescues Cat Trapped in Drain in Roxbury

ARL caring for cat after drain ordeal, seeking a possible owner

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is currently caring for a cat who needed to be rescued after becoming trapped in a drain outside of an apartment building in Roxbury.

The cat has shown signs of possible ownership, and ARL is actively looking to see if the animal has gone missing from a nearby residence.

On the afternoon of Thursday, September 15, ARL’s Field Services hotline received a call that a cat had been discovered trapped in a drain along 12 Cleaves St. in Roxbury, and was unable to free itself from the predicament.

An ARL Field Services agent responded immediately to the scene, and upon arrival could hear the cat meowing loudly from the drain.

The agent was able to remove the grate from the drain, and when reaching in to wrangle the cat, he seemingly knew that help had arrived and allowed himself to be handled and removed from the situation.

Once the cat was removed from the drain and safely secured, he was transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center to undergo a veterinary exam and settle into his new, and hopefully temporary surroundings.

The approximately 5-year-old cat, dubbed “Louie”, was found to be in good health and was not wearing a collar and is not microchipped.

Given his friendliness, ARL is concerned that he may be missing from his home and is asking anyone who may recognize him to contact ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center at 617-426-9170 x605.

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.


ARL Caring for Severely Burned Dog, ARL Law Enforcement and Norwood Police Investigating

Dog reportedly found as stray, suffered burns to 20 percent of its body

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is currently caring for a one-year-old mixed-breed dog who was reportedly found as a stray in Norwood, MA, and suffering from severe burns. ARL Law Enforcement is jointly investigating the incident with the Norwood Police Department as a case of animal cruelty and abandonment and is asking the public for any assistance in the investigation.

The case unfolded this past week when the dog, now named “Annie”, was brought to the Norwood Police Station after reportedly being found along Route 1 in the area of Ellis Avenue.

She was wearing a leash and collar, but did not have any tags or a microchip.

Annie shortly after arriving at ARL.

Concerned for her welfare, Norwood Animal Control Officer Henry Cerqueira contacted ARL Law Enforcement and Annie was then transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Annie’s second-degree burns cover her head, neck, shoulders, front limbs and abdomen.

ARL’s shelter medicine team’s first priority was to help manage her pain and provide treatment for the wounds. Given the severity of the burns and pain level, Annie was transferred to Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment & Specialties (Tufts VETS) in Walpole, MA, for several days to receive intensive 24-hour care and pain management.

Annie has returned to ARL’s care but has a long road, perhaps months, of recovery ahead of her.

ARL and its partners in this matter are committed to providing this dog with the treatment she desperately needs and vigilance to investigate and determine who may have been responsible for this act of cruelty.

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact ARL’s Law Enforcement Department at 617-426-9170 x110 or email cruelty@arlboston.org; or Norwood Police at 781-440-5100.

ARL wishes to thank Tufts VETS and Norwood Police and Animal Control for their ongoing assistance in caring for Annie.

How You Can Help

While Annie is on her way to recovery, her road to get there will be long and will require ongoing treatment — ARL’s work to get Annie well is far from over.

ARL relies solely on the generosity of individuals to fulfill its mission, and your donation to ARL today ensures that Annie and other animals like her receive the care they need.

Make a difference for Annie and thank you for being a Champion for Animals!


ARL Opens Doors to 25 Beagles from the Envigo Facility in Cumberland, Virginia

ARL assists in the Humane Society of the United States’ work to find placement for approximately 4,000 beagles

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has brought 25 beagles to its Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center as part of the first group of beagles to be removed from a mass-breeding facility riddled with animal welfare concerns.

The Humane Society of the United States is coordinating the removal of approximately 4,000 beagles housed at an Envigo RMS LLC facility in Cumberland, VA which bred dogs to be sold to laboratories for animal experimentation.

The transfer plan was submitted by the Department of Justice and Envigo RMS LLC, with the agreement of the Humane Society of the United States to assume the responsibility of coordinating placement.

The transfer will take place in stages over the next 60 days, and the dogs will be up for adoption via ARL and other shelters and rescues.

ARL understands the interest by those looking to adopt one of these special animals, however to manage the high volume of request and reduce the impact on ARL’s normal operations, these animals will be adopted through a special adoption process.

Please note: due to the amount of inquiries for these beagles, ARL is no longer accepting applications for these special adoptions. 

ARL asks interested adopters who have submitted applications for their patience.

The beagles need time to heal and ARL is unable to anticipate a timeline for when they will be ready to go to their new homes. Interested adopters are asked not to call or email ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Centers. Calls, emails, or messages to our social media accounts will not be considered completed applications.

“The Animal Rescue League of Boston is honored to be a part of such a massive rescue effort,” stated ARL President and CEO Dr. Edward Schettino. “ARL commends HSUS for its effort and commitment to these resilient animals, as well as our animal welfare partners around the country who have made special accommodations to ensure that these dogs are cared for and find the homes they so richly deserve.”

The transfer plan comes as a result of a lawsuit filed against Envigo by the Department of Justice in May, alleging Animal Welfare Act violations at the facility.

Repeated federal inspections have resulted in dozens of violations, including findings that some dogs had been “euthanized” without first receiving anesthesia, that dogs had received inadequate veterinary care and insufficient food, and that they were living in unsanitary conditions.

“It takes a massive network of compassionate, expert shelters and rescues to make an operation of this scale possible,” said Lindsay Hamrick, shelter outreach and engagement director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are deeply grateful to each organization that is stepping up to find these dogs the loving homes they so deserve.”

The Humane Society of the United States is maintaining a list of partners accepting animals into their adoption program will be here.


ARL Shelter Medicine Team Prepares Pup for New Home

Shelter Medicine team helps “Ginger” improve quality of life

One of the critical components to preparing an animal for adoption at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is its shelter medicine team.

ARL veterinarians cover a wide array of services from general wellness exams to complex surgical procedures.

When Ginger, a nine-year-old Pitbull-type dog, came to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center recently via Athol Animal Control, it was clear this sweet pup would need a number of veterinary services before being made available for adoption.

High-Quality Veterinary Care

Ginger’s previous veterinary records indicated chronic lameness in her right hind leg, which was confirmed upon intake and exam.

The leg was clearly causing Ginger discomfort, and along with her lameness, ARL’s shelter medicine team also detected a mammary mass, which would need to be removed surgically.

To relieve the discomfort and to give Ginger a better quality of life, her hind limb was removed, and during this surgical procedure, the mass was also removed. Ginger also needed to be spayed.

Following surgery, Ginger healed rather quickly and with her leg no longer causing her pain and discomfort, her energy and demeanor drastically improved!

Going Home

Ginger adjusted very quickly, showing staff and volunteers her ability to tackle stairs with ease and showing off her sweet disposition.

She soon was adopted, finding her perfect home where she has plenty of space to play, be loved and do what she loves most – nap!

ARL Shelter Medicine

All animals who come to ARL receive veterinary exams, vaccines, are spayed/neutered, and microchipped by ARL’s shelter medicine team.

ARL also has the capability to handle a wide variety of surgical procedures to ensure that our animals are healthy, happy, and thriving.


It’s National ‘Check the Chip’ Day!

Sharon resident reunited with cat thanks to microchip

Today is National ‘Check the Chip’ Day, a day to remind pet owners of the importance of not only having a microchip implanted, but to make sure that all contact information is up to date. While not replacing a collar and tags, a microchip drastically improves the chances of being reunited with a pet should they become lost.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, a dog with a microchip is twice as likely to be returned to their owners, while a cat with a microchip is 20 times more likely to be returned.

Microchip Success Story

In February, Sharon resident Tyler Martin’s four-year-old brown tabby Bailey went missing. Bailey’s owner posted flyers around his neighborhood, but as the days and weeks passed, the hope for a reunion dwindled and the belief was that Bailey was gone for good.

Fast forward six months to August – the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services team received a call from a resident in Norwood about a possible stray cat in their yard. Field Services agents responded to the scene and were able to corral the friendly cat, transporting the animal to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Bailey was scanned for a microchip and the information led ARL to Martin. When contacted, he was emotional and ecstatic to hear the news, but shocked that Bailey had been found on the other side of Route 95 in another town! He left work and was in Dedham in less than 30 minutes.

At ARL’s Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center, Bailey was shy and wasn’t looking to interact with anyone, however when his owner arrived, a quick sniff of the hand created an instant reconnection, and the reunion was complete.

A happy reunion to say the least, and if Bailey had not been microchipped, it’s unlikely this reunion would’ve happened.

How the Microchip Works

A microchip is a tiny computer chip, about the size of a grain of rice, programmed with an identification number that is unique to your pet. It is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and will last the life of your pet with no maintenance required. The microchip is injected with a needle beneath the skin between the shoulder blades and is anchored in place as a thin layer of connective tissue forms around it.

Your pet’s identification number is entered into a national microchip registry, and you can think of the microchip as a permanent ID tag for your pet – but if you move or change phone numbers it’s important to make sure that your contact information is updated to increase the chances of a reunion.

When you adopt a dog or cat from ARL, along with being vaccinated, spayed or neutered, medically and behaviorally evaluated, the animal will also have a microchip implanted before you take them home.


Press Release: ARL Law Enforcement, Malden Police Jointly Investigating Abandoned Dog Case

Two-pound, emaciated and ill Chihuahua abandoned near Malden Police Department

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department is jointly investigating a disturbing case of animal cruelty and abandonment with the Malden Police Department, after an abandoned dog was discovered in terrible condition in a popular recreation area in Malden.

On Monday, July 25, the one-year-old Chihuahua, named Bailey by his Good Samaritan finder, was discovered huddling in some bushes along the East Coast Greenway bike trail in the area of Dell and Branch Streets.

The finder carefully wrapped the animal in a blanket and brought him to the nearby Malden Police Department.

The dog was initially treated at an animal hospital in Charlestown and then transferred to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Bailey is emaciated, weighing just 2.7 pounds and scoring a 2 out of 9 on the body condition score index.

He also suffered severe fur loss and his body is covered in scabs.

Additionally, he tested positive and is being treated for Giardia, a parasitic illness that may be a further indicator that Bailey was previously living in unsanitary conditions — when presented for medical treatment, the animal was described as “malodorous” (filthy).

Bailey is receiving ongoing veterinary care including medicated baths and a refeeding plan to ensure he gains weight slowly and safely.

Please note: Bailey is not currently available for adoption. There is no timeline for when this may happen, the animal has suffered greatly and will take some time to get healthy and be ready to find a new home.

How You Can Help

Bailey still has a long road to health and our work is far from over.

We need you now to help him heal and find those responsible for his neglect.

Here are two ways you can help Bailey and animals like him:

  1. Make a life-saving donation in Bailey’s honor
    Your emergency gift today can support:

      • Veterinary care and rehabilitation for animals that have suffered the trauma of neglect
      • On-going investigations of cruelty to pursue justice for animals
      • Emergency response when crisis strikes and animals like Bailey are in dire need

Report Animal Cruelty
Too often, animal cruelty is not identified. By many estimates, 4 out of 5 cases remain hidden, leaving animals to suffer.

If you suspect animal cruelty, please call your local authorities or ARL’s confidential Law Enforcement line at (617) 426-9170 X110, or email cruelty@arlboston.org so we can investigate.


Lost Logan Cat’s Infamous Journey Comes to an End

ARL Field Services lends a hand as “Rowdy” was lost at Logan Airport for three weeks

In late June, Rowdy, a 4 year-old cat, got out of her carrier while being unloaded after her flight from Germany landed at Boston’s Logan Airport, and over the next three weeks, the lost Logan cat captured the attention of animal enthusiasts across the country and the world.

Collaborative Effort

Upon hearing of Rowdy’s disappearance, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department reached out to Massport, who was already working to locate and retrieve the lost cat.

ARL offered to loan Massport humane cat traps, as well as technical advice to make the effort more effective.

Massport placed the traps and baited them with Rowdy’s favorite treats, and also laid out personal items from her owners to try and entice the cat.

Over the next few weeks the lost cat was spotted around Logan Airport’s Terminal E by airport employees on the ground and on surveillance cameras, but she continued to evade the traps.

Found

ARL, Massport and Rowdy’s owners kept the cat top of mind, and then one morning, the lost Logan cat allowed herself to be trapped!

Massport contacted ARL, who immediately dispatched a Field Services agent to retrieve the wayward and elusive cat.

While news of Rowdy’s airport exploits spread quickly, she was brought to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center where ARL’s veterinary staff checked the cat over to make sure she was in good health after her ordeal.

A testament to Rowdy’s intelligence, survival skills and resilience, she was alert, free from injury and was able to maintain a healthy weight during her ordeal.

With her wellness check complete, ARL’s animal care staff was able to confirm Rowdy’s microchip number and were then able to contact her owner with the good news!

Reunion

As Rowdy settled into her temporary surroundings at ARL, she began to relax and showcased her warm, playful personality.

The final piece to her journey was to be reunited with her owner, but unfortunately this could not happen overnight as her owner lives 1,300 miles away in Florida!

The joyful reunion had to wait two days as her owner made travel arrangements, and on a Saturday morning, Rowdy rejoined her family in front of a throng of media members and cameras.

ARL is proud to have played a small role in reuniting a cat who truly lives up to her name with her loving family, and we are happy to report that she has returned home and is once again basking in the love of her family!