fbpx
Category: Dedham
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.

Abandoned Dogs Found with Striking Similarities

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently took in a small, terrier-type dog that was found abandoned in Beverly, MA. ARL’s Law Enforcement Department joined police in Beverly to ask the public to come forward with any information to ascertain where the dog (named Angel) may have come from. Shortly after that public plea, ARL was contacted by animal control in Brookline, MA and is now caring for a second abandoned dog, who bears a striking similarity and found around the same time as Angel.

“Chester” is an intact male, estimated to be about four-years-old, and was found in poor and neglectful condition. As with the case of Angel, this animal was not microchipped, and his fur was extremely matted and urine-soaked. The dog is also underweight and suffering from painful, advanced dental disease.

To see news coverage of Chester’s story, click here!

Chester’s entire coat has been shaved, and he has received a thorough veterinary exam at ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center – he will continue to be monitored and will also be neutered. Although agitated upon intake, Chester’s demeanor has greatly improved, as he is now soliciting attention and accepting treats from staff.

Whether there is a connection between the two animals is currently unknown, however the timeframe, breed and conditions in which they were found are too similar to ignore. While the neither animal is currently available for adoption, the dogs are moving in that direction as they continue to make positive progress.

ARL Law Enforcement is again urging anyone with information regarding either of these animals to come forward – any information can be directed ARL Law Enforcement at (617) 426-9170, or email cruelty@arlboston.org.


Too Many Animals Being Abandoned Outside Shelters

ARL teams with Quincy Animal Control to urge proper pet surrender

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) joined with Quincy Animal Control to issue a public reminder that if you need to surrender an animal, to please do so properly – this after four rabbits were found abandoned in a carrier outside the Quincy Animal Shelter. The rabbits are now in the care of ARL and will soon be made available for adoption.

To see media coverage of this story click here!

Over the past few months there have been several instances involving animals being left outside of shelters or animal control facilities, ARL included – not only is this irresponsible, it’s also against the law.

One of four rabbits recently abandoned outside the Quincy Animal Shelter. They are in the care of ARL and will be available for adoption soon.

Abandoning an animal in Massachusetts is a felony, and each instance is thoroughly investigated by law enforcement.

Pet surrender isn’t easy. We understand that some pet owners feel guilt, shame, embarrassment, fear judgement or condemnation for surrendering an animal – and choose abandonment instead. This is never a viable option.

When surrendering an animal, it’s critical to meet with someone face-to-face. ARL is committed to keeping animals safe and healthy in their homes, and are willing to explore every option to see if there’s a way to keep the animal with the owner and out of the shelter. When you surrender properly, you’re also helping shelter and medical staff better understand the animal and what they may need before being rehomed.

Organizations like ARL exist to help animals, as well as the people who care for them. Moving, financial struggles; pet surrender is sometimes necessary, and ARL’s intake staff is ready to guide you through the process. If you need to surrender an animal, please make that phone call today.


What to Know About Canine Influenza

This past week, the first case of canine influenza of the year in Massachusetts was confirmed, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to remind dog owners that canine influenza is highly contagious and precautions should be taken.

What is Canine Influeza?

Canine influenza is a respiratory infection – highly contagious – and spread by nose to nose contact or coughing.

There are two strains, H3N8 and H3N2, the latter of which was responsible for a 2015 outbreak that was believed to have resulted from the direct transfer of an avian influenza virus. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), since 2015 thousands of dogs in the U.S. have tested positive for the H3N2 strain of canine influenza.

What to Look For and Who’s At-Risk

Clinical signs of canine influenza are similar to human flu and consist of:

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Lethargy

Dogs can have the virus up to two weeks before displaying symptoms, and puppies and older dogs are most susceptible to developing more severe disease like pneumonia.

According to the AVMA, there is no evidence of transmission of canine influenza from dogs to humans or to horses, ferrets, or other animal species. It should be noted however, that in 2016 cats at an Indiana animal shelter were infected with canine influenza from dogs and cat to cat transmission is possible.

Lifestyle

Do you go to dog parks, use a dog-walking service or belong to dog social circles? If so, one preventative measure to consider is vaccination.

“Dogs that have contact with other dogs on walks, in daycare, or go to dog parks are at an increased risk and should definitely be vaccinated with the bivalent vaccine,” said Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) Lead Veterinarian Dr. Nicole Breda.

The vaccine won’t prevent every infection, but can reduce the clinical symptoms. Vaccinations are available at BVC or your regular veterinarian’s office.

See Signs, Take Action

Vigilance is responsible pet ownership. Canine influenza is rarely fatal, however should you notice any symptoms, contact your regular veterinarian immediately. With treatment, most dogs recover in 2-3 weeks.


Press Release: Stray Peacock Finds Forever Home

Back in June, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) took in a two-year-old male peacock who was found as a stray in Brewster, MA. ‘Derek’ found his forever home this past week, and will be heading to a property in Southeastern Massachusetts with more than 20 other peacocks.

While ARL serves thousands of animals annually, a peacock is something the organization doesn’t see every day, however the adoption process was like any other with the end goal of finding the right match and the right home for the animal.

Dighton resident Jeff Fisk turned out to be the right match, as he is an experienced peacock owner and has been partial to the birds from a young age.

“They’re fascinating creatures and make great pets,” Fisk said. “I was so excited when I was contacted about Derek, knowing that he would be going to a good home.”

ARL and Brewster Animal Control had received a number of reports in June of the stray bird, and he was captured in the Greenland Pond/Long Pond area of Brewster. Due to limited livestock space, Derek was transferred to the iconic red barn at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

While in the wild for an unknown amount of time, the stunningly beautiful bird was in good shape; and the fact that no one stepped forward to claim ownership makes it likely that he was dumped or abandoned in the area he was found.

Adoption Forward

ARL is committed to matching adoptable animals with a permanent home. Adoption Forward — our conversation-based, application-free adoption process is designed so that the needs of both the animal and the adopter are understood and compatible with one another. We do this to achieve our vision that we will be a resource for people and an unwavering champion for animals most in need. Ready to adopt? Visit ARL’s Boston, Dedham, or Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers today!