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Category: Dedham
Abandoned Dog Recovering at ARL

Dog found on Oxford/Dudley line

A five-year-old silky terrier suffering from a criminal-level of neglect was recently found wandering the streets along the Oxford/Dudley town lines, and is now recovering from a host of medical issues at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

When Ben arrived at ARL, he was filthy, had matted fur caked with urine and feces, and grossly overgrown nails (some over half-an-inch long). Discharge from double ear infections was crusted on the outer ears, and the dog was also suffering from dermatitis – the suffering of which was compounded by an inability to scratch due to his overgrown nails.

Following a veterinary exam, medications were given to combat the ear infections, and clear up the dermatitis. Ben’s matted fur was shaved and his nails were trimmed.

He is now on a path to recovery.

For local news coverage of Ben’s story click here!

ARL has not come across any lost reports that match Ben’s description and he was not microchipped. It’s assumed he was abandoned but was severely neglected in whatever situation he was previously in.

Despite his suffering and likely abandonment, Ben defines perseverance. He’s extremely friendly, intelligent, and has a very outgoing personality.

Still on the mend, Ben will be monitored closely. He will undergo a behavioral evaluation and once neutered, vaccinated, and cleared medically, he will be made available for adoption.

Neglect and Abandonment are Illegal

Abandoning an animal is NEVER an option. Not only is it cruel, it is illegal in Massachusetts. If you are unable to properly care for an animal, contact your local animal control or reach out to an organization like ARL – there are always resources available.

While Ben moves closer to finding his forever home, any information on where he may have come from can be directed to Oxford Animal Control, or ARL Law Enforcement.


Keep Your Pet Safe This Fourth of July

Some things to keep in mind while celebrating

This year, the Fourth of July holiday falls in the middle of the week – and in the middle of a string of hot and humid weather. It’s a time to celebrate, but it’s also a time to remember that the sun, crowds, and loud noises can lead to over-stimulation, fear, and a potentially harmful situation for your pets.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) asks that you keep these five simple, but important tips to create a safe environment for your dog if they must be with you.

  1. Keep your dog away from potentially hazardous objects. BBQ’s are a source of tempting smells, and obvious danger. Fireworks – a sudden bang and a flash of light: these are ingredients for striking fear into your dog and could also illicit “fearfully aggressive” behavior. Keep your animal away from fireworks or even sparklers.
  2. There’s no place like home. Who doesn’t enjoy the comforts of home? And during the Fourth of July holiday, it may just be the perfect place for your pup. Turning a TV or radio on at low volume can distract your dog from all the outside noise, and they can also be in a cool, temperature and humidity controlled environment with access to water to keep them comfortable.
  3. If they must be outside, keep your dog in a carrier or on a leash. While outdoors, set your dog up in style, with shade, ample air-flow, and plenty of cold water.
  4. Never leave your animal alone in a parked car if they must travel with you. When the temperature rises it’s Too Hot for Spot®! Animals don’t sweat like we do and can overheat easily. Even with seemingly mild temperatures outside, the inside of a car can heat up to well over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, which can lead to deadly heat stroke. Massachusetts law also prohibits leaving an animal in a parked car; owners can face fines or even forfeiture of the animal.
  5. Make sure your dog’s microchip and ID tag information is current. Many animal shelters report an uptick of stray animals after July 4th due to the number of pets running away from the noise and excitement. Be sure your contact information is correct and up to date, and always have your information on your dog’s collar to ensure an easy reunion should they become separated from you.

Play it Safe

ARL wants you to enjoy the holiday as we celebrate the birth of our nation, and remember that prevention is always the best course of action for you and your pet. When possible, leave your pet at home to avoid a possible dangerous and stressful situation!


Video: ARL Conducts Recruit Training with Massachusetts State Police

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently made a trip to the Massachusetts State Police Academy in New Braintree, MA, to conduct Animal Cruelty training for the 171 members of the Massachusetts State Police 84th Recruit Training Troop.

ARL Director Law Enforcement Lt. Alan Borgal and ARL Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services Dr. Edward Schettino instructed these future troopers in a number of facets of animal cruelty.

These included how to recognize signs of animal abuse, existing animal cruelty laws, and how ARL and other animal welfare organizations can assist state and local police in investigating suspected cruelty cases.

“Our goal was to help them understand, first animal cruelty, what it is and how you identify animal cruelty,” said Dr. Schettino. “They are going to be the first responders to many situations.”

“We recognize that laws on the books not only protect people, they protect animals as well,” stated MSP Academy Commandant Det. Lt. Michael Baxter. “We want our troopers to be mindful of those laws, to be able to recognize animal cruelty and abuse.”

ARL is extremely honored to have had this incredible opportunity to instruct the next generation of MSP Troopers.


A Community Cat’s Incredible Journey Home

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) helps hundreds of community cats annually. More often than not, these animals need routine medical treatment and socialization before finding their forever homes. However, other times these cats come to ARL having suffered severe injuries and need immediate and sometimes life-saving medical care.

Tucker was one of the latter and this is his story.

In December of 2018, Tucker, an approximately five-year-old cat, was found as a stray in Freetown, MA. He was injured and needed prompt medical attention, or likely would not have survived due to infection and other complications.

Before roaming the streets, Tucker was most likely in a home, as he was wearing a collar at some point. Unfortunately, Tucker had tried to break free of the collar, and it had become lodged underneath his right leg. Over time the collar became embedded – with skin actually growing over it.

He was in tremendous pain, but was social and friendly. Freetown’s Animal Control Officer notified the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and he was transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center for treatment.

The collar was removed before coming to ARL, however his open wounds were ghastly and stretched from around his neck to his right arm pit area.

Warning: Some of the pictures below are graphic in nature.

Knowing the healing process would be slow, Tucker was placed into long-term foster care, giving him the chance to heal in a quiet environment. Aside from healing, Tucker had also survived on the streets for an unknown amount of time and had to relearn how to live in a home and fully trust humans again.

First and foremost, Tucker’s wounds needed to be addressed.

Extraordinary Care

Tucker’s wound management was extensive. Along with suturing the wound, the healing process was aided by scalpel debridement, constant dressing changes, antibiotic ointments and even sterile honey was utilized when the sutures were removed.

Over a five-month period, the brave cat made a dozen trips into the surgical suite in Dedham, and he was strong through it all.

Ready to Go Home

In late May, ARL’s shelter medicine team concluded that Tucker’s wounds had fully healed, and he was made available for adoption. In early June, Tucker’s time at ARL came to an end as he met his new family and is now happily in a wonderful forever home!

A Cadre of Care

Along with extraordinary medical care, Tucker had a loving and supportive foster family to help guide him through his healing process. This involved bringing him to ARL’s Dedham campus for veterinary appointments, making sure he took his medicine and monitoring him to detect complications – and of course giving him a comfortable, quite space to heal! Interested in becoming a foster parent? Click here for more information!

If you’d like to make a difference for animals like Tucker, please consider a donation to help fund ARL’s ongoing work to help animals in need. ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding. We rely on the generosity of individuals like you to make positive outcomes like Tucker’s possible.


ARL Participates in Community Celebrations

Parades bring out the best in communities.

Pride, joy, unity, among others. For the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), whether it be Boston’s South End, Dedham, or Brewster, we are more than a service agency for animals – we are a part of the communities in which we reside and are honored to participate in celebrations that bring these communities together.

This past Friday, Dedham hosted its 52nd annual Flag Day Parade, and ARL was once again honored to march in this grand, patriotic event.

Flag day of course marks the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, by the Second Continental Congress and Dedham’s parade is one not to miss!

With thousands of onlookers, ARL was in the midst of more than a dozen marching bands, drum and bugle corps, jazz bands, bagpipers, and hundreds of marchers, floats and flag bearers.

This is an event that ARL is proud to be a part of year after year and is already looking forward to 2020!

Over in the South End, ARL marched in the 49th annual Boston Pride Parade, which attracts thousands every year to celebrate equality, unity and community.

The massive parade route cuts through the heart of downtown Boston, ending at City Hall Plaza. The theme for this year’s parade was “looking back, loving forward,” honoring the 50-year anniversary of the famous Stonewall Riots, which paved the way for the Pride Movement.

ARL was ecstatic for the opportunity to take part in this important annual event to celebrate with our friends, neighbors and community.

To everyone who participated in these special events – THANK YOU!


Press Release: ARL Caring for Abandoned Chihuahua

A two-year-old Chihuahua is settling in at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center – this after being abandoned on an enormous property in Southbridge that was once an American icon.

Bailey was recently discovered wandering among the dozens of abandoned buildings of the former American Optical property. Because the area’s gated, Southbridge Animal Control Officer Katelyn Spencer told ARL that no one enters the property by mistake and that it’s become a common animal dumping ground.

The dog is healthy, adorable, and friendly, but is also shy and easily frightened. Since arriving at ARL, Bailey has been vaccinated, spayed and microchipped and is currently available for adoption.

ARL once again reminds the public that abandoning an animal is NEVER an option. It constitutes animal cruelty, which is a felony crime in Massachusetts. If you are unable or unwilling to properly care for an animal, there are resources available to ensure the animal is taken care of and rehomed.

More Than a Century of Assistance

ARL has great relationships with municipalities throughout the Commonwealth and are always ready to assist – in this case, ARL worked with the Southbridge Animal Control Officer and travelled more than 60 miles one-way to take custody of Bailey.

A simple phone call to a local ACO or visit to a local shelter can get the process started for surrendering an animal and there are never judgements or shaming – anyone involved in animal welfare simply wants what’s best for the animal.


Kitten Season is in Full Swing

A pair of kittens rescued along the busy American Legion Highway in Roslindale this past week capped a busy month for the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services.

From Metro Boston, Metro West, to the South Shore and points in-between, the department rescued 40 kittens during the month of May alone, and June is shaping up to be another busy month. Over the past 16 weeks, ARL Field Services has rescued about 80 kittens total!

The aforementioned kittens were noticed by a passing driver wandering along a rock retaining wall and contacted ARL Field Services for assistance. The feisty six-week-old kittens were brought to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center and will be placed into foster care until they are ready to find permanent homes.

This is the height of kitten season, as warmer temperatures lead to increased mating and an explosion of newborn kittens.

These new cat families can be found almost anywhere – under your porch, in a backyard woodpile and anywhere that can provide safety and privacy for the mother cat and her offspring. Kittens have also been discovered in industrial and busy shopping areas – and they need our help.

Unfortunately, ARL has seen a number of instances where the mother cat may have been injured while out looking for food, or simply left offspring to fend for themselves. This creates a dangerous situation for the kittens who are far too young to be able to care for themselves.

Keeping an Eye Out

With an estimated 700,000 community cats living on the streets throughout Massachusetts, ARL believes getting these kittens and mama cats off the streets and into loving homes is imperative. ARL urges anyone who notices kittens in their yard, neighborhood or even out running errands to contact ARL Field Services at 617-226-9170 for assistance.


Cat Family Rescued in Mattapan

For several weeks, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services had been tracking a stray mama cat on the streets of Mattapan. She was clearly nursing, but her litter was nowhere to be found.

After numerous visits to the residence to check her status, this week ARL was finally able to bring the mom and baby to safety – thanks to perseverance, the resident taking action, and a little bit of luck.

The resident at the home where the mama cat had been hanging around was in the midst of moving this week, and when ARL arrived on-scene, the friendly one-year-old came up for a visit, and with only one breast carrying milk, it was clear there was only one kitten to be found.

During the visit professional movers were going in and out of the home, and ARL agents were scouring the property trying to locate the kitten. Suddenly, a mover ran out and exclaimed “I found the kitten!”

Sure enough, the four-week-old kitten was tucked away behind a bookshelf, which then begged the question – how did it get there?

The mama cat (now named Fremont), had not been inside the home previously, but must have taken advantage of the traffic going in and out of the home and at some point dashed inside to bring her little one to a safe place.

Reunited, the Fremont Family was moved to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center to be medically evaluated and placed into foster care until they are ready to find a loving forever home.

YOU Can be a Champion for Community Cats

The Mattapan resident was a tremendous help to ARL, as she not only fed Fremont, but was constantly monitoring her as well. If you spot a possible stray around your property or in your neighborhood, please contact ARL’s Field Services. Your action can help get these animals off the streets and into a loving home.


Press Release: ARL Unveils “The Kennel-9” Campaign

Nine things to consider before boarding a pet

With vacation season right around the corner, today the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is launching “The Kennel-9” – a public awareness and safety campaign to help ensure pets are properly cared for while at a boarding facility.

Currently, there are no state-wide regulations that govern boarding kennels and animal daycare facilities in Massachusetts.

As part of its 2019-2020 legislative agenda, ARL is advocating for standards that would mandate the creation of new state laws to protect pets. The bill, S. 114, H. 1774: An Act protecting the health and safety of puppies and kittens in cities and towns, is sponsored by Senator Harriett Chandler and Representative Linda Dean Campbell.

ARL has unfortunately seen a number of incidents involving animals in boarding kennels who were injured, sometimes fatally, due to insufficient facilities, staff training, or protocols.

“There are many fine boarding facilities throughout Massachusetts, but unfortunately due to a lack of state-wide standards and regulations, the Animal Rescue League of Boston recommends pet owners do their homework and ask the right questions to ensure their animal is safe,” said ARL President Mary Nee.

Before boarding your beloved pet, research as much as possible and keep these nine considerations in mind:

  1. See for Yourself. Can you see the kennels and common areas where your animal will be boarded? During your pet’s stay can you check on them remotely via webcam?
  2. Sound the Alarm. Does the facility have a written emergency response procedure in the event of fire, power outage, or natural disaster? Does the kennel have working fire and carbon monoxide detectors, sprinkler systems and a back-up power generator?
  3. License, Please. Does the kennel have a current operating license issued by a local city or town? According to the license, how many animals can be boarded at one time? How many animals are currently housed?
  4. In Case of a Medical Emergency. Are you contacted if your animals experiences an unexpected medical condition or injury? Is there a veterinarian on staff, or does the facility have a veterinarian on call? Do you sign a waiver giving permission to have your animal treated?
  5. TLC. What is the ratio of staff to animals? Is there 24-hour on-site supervision? If not, are animals monitored by video camera? What training or experience does the staff caring for animals have?
  6. Social Circle. Do dogs play together in common areas? Are these play groups supervised at all times? Are dogs grouped together by size and/or temperament? Can you choose to have your dog not participate in group activities?
  7. Infection Precautions. Does the facility require up-to-date vaccination records for all boarders? What documentation is required for your pet to be admitted?
  8. Feline Friends. Does the facility allow cats and are they separated from the sight and noise of dogs?
  9. Get it in Writing. Will the facility give you written documentation of their procedures or confirmation of any special requests for your pet?

Click here to download ARL’s “The Kennel-9” flyer.


ARL Rescue Conducts Tree Training

As the warm weather approaches, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services expects to be busy, particularly when it comes getting cats out of trees. In order to ensure safety of both the staff and the animals they serve, training is essential.

For the past month, those new to technical climbing have spent hours getting familiar with knots, safety harnesses, throw lines and other climbing equipment.

This week the team had the opportunity to put the training to the test – under expert supervision, team members tackled their first tree on the grounds of ARL’s Dedham campus.

To see local news coverage of the training click here!

Weekly training will follow, as this type of climbing is precise and requires repetition, confidence and safety is paramount. Once this is achieved, agents will be ready to get into the field to assist these animals in need of help.

In 2018, ARL Rescue Services assisted more than 1,500 domestic animals and wildlife.

Help is on the way

If you see an animal in distress, contact ARL Rescue Services by calling 617-426-9170. Unfortunately ARL is unable to offer 24/7 services but will respond to an animal’s call for help as quickly as possible.