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Category: Dedham
Surrendered Horse Returns to Original Owners

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) aims to place every animal in our care into loving homes, but for George, an approximately 23-year-old saddlebred horse, an amazing collaborative effort helped him be reunited with his original owners – 15 years later and 1,300 miles away!

To see a video on George’s amazing story click here!

George came to ARL in September 2018 with several other horses who were surrendered when their owner could no longer properly care for them.

George was slightly underweight and needed medical care and general grooming but was overall in good health.

After spending a couple of months recuperating at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, George was put into foster care, and almost immediately his foster parent and equine enthusiast Cordula Robinson realized that she was caring for an extraordinary animal.

“He was highly intelligent, elegant, well-trained and had clearly known love, he was very engaged with humans,” Robinson said.

Talking to a trainer friend, Cordula was encouraged to reach out to saddlebred agencies up and down the east coast to see if someone would recognize George, and was surprised when someone in New Jersey reached out.

Turns out that George was well-known in the saddlebred world, and competed under the name “Midnight Memory Maker”.

Sadly, his original owner, Todd Mathieson, passed away in 2006, and Todd’s wife Diane decided to rehome George. George did however continue to compete for a number of years.

When Diane was contacted, she was overwhelmed and ecstatic for the possibility of being reunited with George, after spending 15 years apart.

Thanks to a collaborative effort, arrangements were made to transport George from Boston to Ocala, Florida and this week George and Diane were reunited and the former show horse has now come full circle and is back with his original family to enjoy his retirement.

ARL is grateful to everyone whose compassion for animals helped make this incredible reunion possible!


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; performing more than 50,000 surgeries along the way.

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.


Update: Dedham Abandoned Cats Ready to Find Forever Home

Two kittens, one with a broken leg, who were abandoned in late November along a busy road in Dedham have spent two months in foster care recuperating, and today are ready to find their forever home.

The 8-month-old pair, Helga and Arnold, are now available at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

When discovered, Helga had suffered a fractured right hind leg and the fact her bones are still developing, ARL’s veterinary staff determined the best course would be for restricted movement in foster care and allow the leg to heal on its own. X-rays taken Tuesday determined that Helga’s fracture has healed.

The cats are being adopted as a bonded pair, meaning they will need to go home together.

While Helga and Arnold will soon be in a loving home, the person(s) responsible for abandoning these animals has not been identified. ARL Law Enforcement continues to ask for the public’s assistance and any information can be given over the phone (617) 426-9170, or via email cruelty@arlboston.org.

Original Release, dated 11/28/18:

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. 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 i.e. Toyota RAV4/Honda CRV, 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.

The cats will continue to be monitored and undergo medical treatment, and the goal is to have them both into new, loving homes for the holidays.

ARL Law Enforcement is investigating this crime with Dedham Police, and asks that anyone with information to contact ARL (cruelty@arlboston.org; (617) 426-9170).
Abandoning an animal is a felony in Massachusetts, punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine.


Winter is here – ARL reminds pet owners to protect animals from the cold

Winter is finally here in New England, and with the first extreme cold snap upon us, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) reminds pet owners to take cold-weather precautions to protect pets — frigid conditions can endanger the well-being, safety, and the lives of the pets we love.

Here are some things to keep in mind not just for this arctic blast, but for the remainder of winter:

  1. Prepare your dog for the elements. If you have a longer coat dog, let it grow out for the winter; it will provide warmth and protection from the cold. For shorter coat dogs, sweaters, coats and booties can go a long way to protect your pooch.
  2. Wipe off your dog’s paws and stomach. Sidewalks are treated with a number of chemicals. These chemicals can irritate your dog’s paws, and can be poisonous if ingested. When coming in from the cold, clean and dry your dog’s stomach to keep them healthy!
  3. Keep outdoor trips quick. Bathroom breaks or walks, keep it short and sweet and keep your pets indoors as much as possible.
  4. Never leave your dog alone in a cold car. Many Massachusetts residents are aware that it’s illegal to keep an animal in a hot car, under the same law it’s ALSO illegal to keep your animal in a cold car (Ma. Ch. 140, Section 174F. (a) A person shall not confine an animal in a motor vehicle in a manner that could reasonably be expected to threaten the health of the animal due to exposure to extreme heat or cold). When going out, leave your animals at home.
  5. Pay attention to your pet’s grooming and health. An animal with a matted coat cannot keep him or herself warm! Long-haired pets especially during heavy periods of shedding, need extra help maintaining a healthy coat. Senior pets also suffer from increased arthritis pain in the cold, so check with your veterinarian on how to keep your pet comfortable.
  6. Check under the hood. Cats love to warm up underneath the hood of a car, as the residual heat from the engine burns off. Unfortunately, this method of warming up can have dangerous consequences, such as severe burns and other grave injuries. Always pound on the hood of your vehicle and do a quick visual check before starting the engine.

The chill can kill! So bottom line, if it’s too cold for you to be outside, it’s also too cold for your pet to be outside.

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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