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Category: Dedham
Pets As Gifts… CAN Be a Good Idea!

5 factors to consider before you give pets as a holiday gift

It seems like a no-brainer… Giving a pet as a present can be a win-win situation for everyone involved: the animal has a cozy home to call its own, the recipient is in a state of awe, and the giver (you!) has made your loved one’s holiday even more joyful.

While this is the gift-giving scenario that every animal lover dreams of, make sure it really is the purr-fect present for the person on your list.

If giving your loved one a new pet as a present is on your mind, here are 5 things to consider:

  1. Manage the surprise. Even at the risk of spoiling the surprise, make sure that the intended recipient wants a new pet. Check in with someone who currently has pets or has recently lost one to make sure they are ready.
  2. Don’t make them sneeze. That’s not a twinkle in their eye; it’s allergies. Confirm any allergies among all household members. No one wants to go get an allergy shot after opening what’s supposed to be an extra special gift, after all.
  3. Know where they live. Even if you know your intended recipient really wants a pet, ensure that their building and development allows them. If their home is pet-friendly, be sure to confirm any weight or breed restrictions.
  4. Find out what they can handle. You want to know that the animal you are getting matches the lifestyle, physical limitation, ages, and personalities in the household.
  5. Adopt from a shelter.  When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  Adopting from a reputable animal shelter like the ARL’s adoption centers, also has many practical benefits. All our adoptable animals, for example, receive spay/neuter services, vaccines, and a health and behavioral screening.

Keep in mind… It never hurts to run the idea by your loved one beforehand or take them along to pick out their new pet. They and their new furry friend will be thanking you for many years to come!

ARL has many deserving animals looking for a home!

It’s not just snowing cats and dogs here at ARL’s shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham. We have many special small shelter pets like birds and rabbits who are looking for loving homes!

Search all adoptables


Home for the Holidays: Maya’s Story

8-Year-Old Chihuahua Finds Forever Home Following Life-Saving Surgery

Maya, an adorable 8-year-old Chihuahua, came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) in early October as an owner surrender. Like many animals who come to ARL, she was shy and fearful of strangers and other dogs.

Additionally, Maya had underlying medical issues – including a mammary mass (which was benign), and an extraordinarily large bladder stone that, if gone untreated, could’ve been life-threatening.

Bladder stones are a build-up of minerals and other materials and common symptoms include:

  • Urinary accidents
  • Frequents attempts to urinate without success
  • Straining to urinate
  • Discolored or bloody urine

Maya was showing classic symptoms of bladder stones, and ARL Shelter Medicine staff were shocked at the size of the stone which was clearly seen in her x-rays. While antibiotics and a therapeutic diet are sometimes used to help dissolve the stone over time, a surgical approach was necessary in Maya’s case.

The 10-pound sweetheart made it through surgery with flying colors, recovered quickly and was soon made available for adoption.

It took longer than expected given her cuteness factor, but 26 days after Maya’s surgery, she found her perfect match!

As we get into the heart of the holiday season, Maya has found her Home for the Holidays, and this is a gift we wish we could give every animal at ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Centers this holiday season.

Ready to Adopt?

If adding a furry member to your family is on your to-do list for the holidays, stop into ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Centers — located in Boston, Dedham, and Brewster to speak with an Animal Care Associate. With ARL’s Adoption Forward philosophy, the conversation-based, application-free process aims to match you with the perfect animal to suit your lifestyle and your family. Visit us today!


Press Release: Pair of Six-Month-Old Cats Abandoned on Busy Dedham Street

Cats Left in Cardboard Box, One Suffering Broken Leg

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is currently caring for a pair of six-month-old cats who were left in a cardboard box along High St., a busy thoroughfare in Dedham, MA. One of the cats is suffering from a broken leg and ARL Law Enforcement is seeking information to find the person responsible for this cruel act.

While driving along High St. this past weekend, a Good Samaritan witnessed a man standing in front of a box along High St., and drove away when the driver pulled over. Stunned to find the cats in the box, the Good Samaritan brought the cats to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, along with the contents of the box. There was pertinent information inside the box which ARL Law Enforcement is following up on.

The man was driving a dark-colored SUV, and is described as a white male in his 30’s or 40’s.

The cats, named Arnold and Helga, are not microchipped, and both are extremely friendly. Along with an injured leg, a rabbit nail was found embedded into Helga’s tail – both cats were dirty but overall in good health.

As the law enforcement investigation continues, the cats will continue to be monitored and undergo medical treatment — the goal is to have them both into new, loving homes for the holidays.

ARL Law Enforcement is the lead agency in this investigation, and anyone with information is urged to contact ARL Law Enforcement (cruelty@arlboston.org; (617) 426-9170).


5 Thanksgiving Foods Your Pet Should Avoid

Keep your pup joyful and healthy this holiday with these helpful tips

Thanksgiving is a time to savor delicious food, enjoy the company of our family and friends, and to show gratitude for all that we are thankful for in our lives.

While it’s wonderful to include your pets in your holiday traditions, it’s important to remember that our furry companions cannot indulge in the same feasts that we prepare for ourselves. Some of the common Thanksgiving foods that fill our plate can actually be very dangerous for your pet to ingest.

Here are the 5 Thanksgiving foods that your dog should avoid:

  1. Turkey bones are small and can become lodged in your dog’s throat, stomach, or intestinal tract. They may also splinter and cause severe damage to the stomach or puncture the small intestine.
  2. Fat trimmings and fatty foods like turkey skin and gravy are difficult for dogs to digest. In fact, consuming turkey skin can result in pancreatitis. Symptoms for this serious disease can include vomiting, extreme depression, reluctance to move, and abdominal pain.
  3. Dough and cake batter contain raw eggs, so the first concern for people and pets is salmonella bacteria. What’s more, dough may actually rise in your dog’s belly, which can lead to vomiting, severe abdominal pain, and bloating.
  4. Mushrooms can damage your dog’s internal organs, including kidneys, liver, and central nervous system. Symptoms can include seizures, coma, vomiting, and possibly death.
  5. Raisins and grapes, although the causes of their toxicity are unknown, can cause kidney failure in dogs.

The best way for your pet to partake in the holiday cheer? Stick with traditional treats that are safe for dogs and cats! Food puzzles and interactive toys like a Kong filled with peanut butter are a great way to keep your canine entertained and feeling satisfied all holiday long.

Bonus tip: Keep your vet’s emergency number handy. Should your pet become ill, contact your pet’s veterinarian or the local animal hospital’s number! A quick call to either of them can give you life-saving advice or even help you avoid a trip to the ER. You can also reach Boston Veterinary Care at (617) 226-5605.

For more helpful tips about dog and cat health and behavior, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips


Community Cats Sometimes Need Extra Care

How YOU can help community cats like “Sherman”

In the spring of 2017, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) launched its Community Cat Initiative, in an effort to help the estimated 700,000 community cats living in cities and towns across Massachusetts. Since its creation, the initiative has served hundreds of these animals, with nearly 80 percent finding forever homes. These cats all have a story, and many share a common affliction: the need for extended care.

Sherman, a five-year-old domestic shorthair cat, was found wandering the streets of Mattapan in early July. Quirky but friendly, he was brought to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center where he underwent a thorough veterinary examination.

Due to a wound of unknown origin (WUO), Sherman was placed into a state-mandated four-month quarantine. Additionally, Sherman needed to be neutered and required extensive dental work, including two extractions.

Sherman after his dental work. Many community cats suffer from the pain of dental disease and need extensive care in this regard.

While only a small fraction of community cats need to enter quarantine protocol, the vast majority are intact and many suffer the pains of advanced dental disease and/or cracked or broken teeth as a result of living on the streets.

“Dental disease is certainly something we see on a regular basis with community cats,” said ARL Community and Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Kate Gollon. “Additionally given the living conditions and possible run-ins with other cats or predators, cracked or broken teeth are common as well. It’s painful and if untreated can lead to other health issues.”

These issues can include jaw fractures, and organ damage caused by chronic bacterial infection – kidneys are particularly susceptible.

The care given to Sherman and community cats like him is extraordinary, far-reaching, and exemplifies ARL’s mission to be an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes.

This commitment however, is not without cost.

For Sherman, who will soon be available for adoption, his four-month quarantine stay in Dedham, neuter surgery and dental work translates to approximately $2,500.

The Community Cat Initiative is an exciting branch on ARL’s community services tree, but in order to provide these innovative services and help upwards of 1,500 cats live healthier lives, ARL must raise $204,000 annually to do so.

For Giving Tuesday Double Your Impact

#GivingTuesday is an International movement created to encourage giving back to charity during the busy holiday season. For this special day, ARL’s Board of Directors, past Board members, and President have teamed up to offer an incredible challenge: Raise $100,000 and they will match it*! That means your donation from now until November 27 will go twice as far to help animals in need!

*The match only applies to the first $100K in donations ARL receives but all gifts will go to help animals in need


DONATE NOW to DOUBLE your impact for animals

#GivingTuesday is an international movement created to encourage giving back to the charities nearest and dearest to your heart during the busy holiday season.

Being a Champion for Animals means being a resource for not only animals in need, but also for the people who care for them. Because ARL is an essential resource in this regard, ARL’s Board of Directors, Past Board Members, and President have teamed up to offer this incredible challenge:

Raise $100,000 and they will match it*

That means your donation now through November 27 will go twice as far to help animals in need!

Donate $100 or more and you (or your pet!) can be included on ARL’s #GivingTuesday Wall of Honor!

Want to see and hear about YOUR donations in action? Tune into Facebook!

Throughout #GivingTuesday, you’ll hear firsthand from ARL staff, volunteers and a few of our biggest supporters how YOUR donations make it possible to help more than 18,000 animals each year. Be sure to log onto ARL’s Facebook page on #GivingTuesday as we host a variety of interviews showcasing the incredible work YOU make possible and the animals who directly benefit.

If you missed our live interviews this week, you can view them anytime on ARL’s Facebook page under the “videos” section, or click on the links below:

THANK YOU to ARL’s President and Board of Directors for offering this amazing challenge!

Sierra H. Bright
Barbara Burg and Priscilla Golding
Lisa and Dave Cawley
Randi Cohen and Al Ossorio
Anonymous
Richard and Lois Hall
Jeff Kaplan
Richard Kelly and Carol Akerson
Dr. Holly L. Kelsey
Walter and Elizabeth Kenyon
Lee Ann and Michael Leahy
Neal Litvack
Jeffrey and Jane Marshall
Malcolm McDonald and Susan Passoni
Kelly and Brian McKernan
Mary Nee and James Chapin
Tara and Christophe Oliver
Alisa Plazonja
Drs. Astrid and Peter Rapoza
Malisa and Andrew Schuyler
Tim and Jen Sullivan
Jane Willis and Richard Davey
Quentin P. Faulkner

*The match only applies to the first $100K in donations ARL receives but all gifts will go to help animals in need


2018 Fall Educational Forum: ARL in the Community

Every autumn, members of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Leadership Council gather in Dedham to get an up-close glimpse of what ARL programs are doing to help animals in need. This year was all about ARL’s community programs to bring services directly to those that need them most.

Proactive vs. Reactive

Animal adoption is of course a facet of ARL that’s widely recognized, however as the world of animal welfare continues to evolve, we must be proactive instead of reactive; with the goal of keeping animals safe and healthy in their homes, not in a shelter environment. To be proactive, we must move beyond the walls of our shelters and into the communities that are in need our services.

What are Community Programs?

  • Law Enforcement – Investigates crimes of animal cruelty, abuse and neglect. In 2017, ARL’s Law Enforcement Department investigated cases involving nearly 3,000 animals.
  • Rescue Services – ARL is the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with a technically-trained department dedicated to animal rescue. In 2017, Rescue Services assisted nearly 2,000 domesticated animals and wildlife in need.
  • Community Cat Initiative – Launched in 2017, this program addresses the estimated 700,000 community cats living in harsh conditions throughout Massachusetts. In its first year, the program assisted 622 community cats, 78 percent of which found loving homes, while the remaining cats were returned to the field where they are monitored and fed by members of the community.
  • Spay Waggin’ – Serving eight locations throughout the South Shore, South Coast and Cape Cod, this mobile spay and neuter clinic offers high-quality and low-cost services and in 2017 surpassed 50,000 surgeries since being launched in 2000.
  • Healthy Animals, Healthy Communities – This on-going pilot project was made possible through a grant from the Cummings Foundation, and centers on bringing services to the Codman Square area in Dorchester, MA. The initiative includes a weekly, low-cost wellness clinic, as well as a number of partnerships, including the Codman Academy.

Two New Additions

Attendees at this year’s Fall Forum were also introduced to two new exciting additions to ARL’s community programs that aim to bring services directly to areas they’re needed most.

Transport Waggin’

Thanks to a generous donation from Leadership Council members Peter and Connie Lacaillade, this specially-equipped vehicle allows ARL to help more animals in need by providing a missing resource – mobile response.

The Transport Waggin’ will be able to pick up surrendered animals from owners that are unable to come to the shelter; assist concerned citizens who find stray animals in their communities; assist Animal Control Agencies and smaller rescue groups with transport; assist ARL Law Enforcement and Rescue Services; and transport existing animals in our shelter system for any outside needs or services.

Wellness Waggin’

Although not on the road as of yet, the Wellness Waggin’ will drastically increase ARL’s ability to bring veterinary services to communities where they’re needed most.
The vehicle will include an exam room and surgical suite, and is slated to be in operation every Monday, Wednesday and Friday – each day in a different location in the Boston metropolitan area.

By bringing these vital and affordable veterinary services to communities, we can eliminate part of the financial burden of pet ownership, prevent animal surrender, and allow animals to remain in their homes.

A Special Thank You

ARL wishes to thank our Leadership Council members who attended the annual Fall Educational Forum, and stay tuned for more exciting updates of our expanding community programs and initiatives!


Dedham and Brewster Provide Shelter and Care for Surrendered Horses

Over the past couple of weeks, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has taken in a total of six horses from two separate owners, who are now being cared for at ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Centers in Dedham and Brewster.

In both cases the owners were no longer able to properly care for the animals, choosing to surrender them into the care of ARL.

Of course ARL’s Dedham campus is no stranger to having equine on the property, as the sprawling 27-acres served as ARL founder Anna Harris Smith’s summer residence and was also a respite for the working horses of Boston. Countless abused horses were also sheltered and rehabilitated in Dedham’s iconic red barn.

Caring for horses is not an easy undertaking. Along with copious amounts of hay and horse feed, the animals need on-going veterinary and farrier services, and space to exercise and graze.

The four horses in Dedham originated from Templeton, MA – they’re between the ages of 10-15, all are underweight and have settled into the grounds and are improving each and every day. They are well-mannered, friendly and sometime down the road will make wonderful additions to horse-loving families.

With Cape Cod solitude and the serenity of the ocean breeze, Brewster’s barn and paddocks are a perfect place for farm animals, including horses, to receive care. The Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center is a vital cog in ARL’s ability to shelter and care for livestock; in the past year alone, Brewster’s barn has housed a donkey, pony, pigs, along with other small farm animals.

The two horses were surrendered from a Plymouth County residence and while on the older side, 18 and 20-years-old respectively, the horses are even-tempered and are enjoying their new surroundings. Unfortunately the horses in Brewster scored a 1 out of 9 on the Henneke Body Condition Scoring System – meaning they are emaciated, with no body fat.

They have shown a ferocious hunger, but because of their condition, they need to gain weight slowly. The animals are on a regimented feeding schedule, and are allowed to graze in a paddock for about 15 minutes several times a day.

The six horses will remain in the care of ARL until they are deemed fit enough for adoption, and will then be rehomed to loving families.

Changing Circumstances

No matter the size or species, animals are a life-long commitment, however ARL understands that circumstances happen in life where owners are no longer able to provide proper care. Reaching out to a reputable organization like ARL is critical to avoid further complications and endangering the health and well-being of the animals. If surrender becomes necessary, owners can reach out to any of ARL’s Intake Offices for guidance.


Halloween Pet Safety Tips for a Spook-Free Holiday

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) share important tips to keep your pets safe and happy this Halloween season.

Boston Terrier in Halloween costume

Tip: If it’s your pet’s first time wearing a costume this Halloween, spend a few days before the big holiday getting them acclimated to wearing it. Keep in mind, some pets are just not fans of wearing costumes and would much rather wear a festive collar or bandanna instead.

With the month of October almost half over, Halloween 2018 is right around the corner! You may be a fan of the spookiest time of year, but for your pet, this haunting holiday can be truly scary.

Not to worry though, enjoying the festivities and keeping your pets safe is easier than you think – Follow these 3 tips to ensure your pet has a spook-free Halloween this season:

1. Keep your pets inside. The Halloween season often brings out tricksters who might taunt or harm an animal left outdoors. It’s always a good idea to keep pets inside with proper, up-to-date identification. If your pet must be outdoors, be sure to keep them leashed and an eye on them at all times.

2. Stash the sweet treats. Chocolate, especially darker chocolates, are highly toxic to cats and dogs. Additionally, many candies and gums contain Xylitol. This sugarless sweetener is highly toxic to pets. Always keep chocolate and candies out of your pet’s reach.

3. Be careful with costumes. If you decide to dress your pet up for this festive holiday, costume safety is key. Keep these costume safety tips in mind:

  • Always supervise your pet while they’re wearing a costume.
  • Make sure your pet’s costume fits properly and does not restrict their movement.
  • Be cautious of loose or dangling pieces that pets could potentially choke on.
  • Ditch the masks or other accessories that could potentially make it difficult for your pet to breath or obstruct their vision.

No plans for Halloween? Spend the day getting to know some of our adoptable animals.

 


ARL Unveils New Transport Waggin’

Thousands of animals to benefit from mobile unit

With Animal Care and Adoption Centers in Boston, Dedham and Brewster, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) provides medical and behavioral care and adoption services for thousands of animals annually (over 18,000 in 2017), and these animals arrive at ARL in a number of ways. Owner surrenders, strays, out-of-state transports, rescues, and law enforcement cases; ARL also routinely assists local municipal and private shelters with transfers and we unfortunately also respond to large overcrowding and cruelty situations as well.

But no matter how they arrive, the goal for every animal is the same: that they are safe and healthy and returned to habitats and homes.

Each of ARL’s locations has different characteristics (urban vs. rural) and capabilities i.e. surgical suites and barns/paddocks for farm animals. Moving animals to the location that’s best suited for their needs has historically been a logistical challenge — until now.

With a most generous donation from Leadership Council members, Connie and Peter Lacaillade, ARL has purchased, outfitted and staffed a new Transport Waggin’.

Linking ARL’s locations, programs and resources, the Transport Waggin’ will serve animals and communities in a variety of ways including:

  • Ensuring proper medical care: If a shelter animal requires specialized diagnostics, surgery, or constant veterinary supervision, they have access to the care they need.
  • Matching animals with adopters more quickly: Animals may be overlooked by adopters in one Adoption Center base on their size, temperament or needs, so a change in location can be beneficial.
  • Enhancing behavior and enrichment: Different ARL Adoption Centers offer different volunteer expertise and amenities, like outdoor runs.
  • Allowing ARL to help out-of-state animals: ARL receives regular transports from high-kill areas of the country and Puerto Rico. These life-saving transports broaden ARL’s reach in helping animals in need, while meeting local adoption needs.
  • Increasing ARL’s ability to be a community resource: ARL can better assist municipal shelters, animal control facilities, and smaller rescue groups in transporting animals to get the care they need.