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Category: News
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.


Press Release: Cat Abandoned at Sullivan Square T Stop

Heard crying and was found “shoved” underneath a bench

*PLEASE NOTE: Marlee has been adopted*

A two-year-old cat is lucky to be alive after being abandoned at an MBTA bus stop in Sullivan Square on Monday, when temperatures in Boston were in the single digits, and below zero with the wind chill. The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department is asking for the public’s help in finding who’s responsible.

At around 5 p.m. Monday, an unidentified female Good Samaritan heard crying and discovered the cat huddled in a carrier. Along with the frigid temperatures, the carrier the cat was in was reportedly soaked due to melting snow, making for extremely uncomfortable and dangerous conditions for the animal.

The woman described the carrier as being “shoved” under the bench, and the carrier also contained a blanket, toys, and perhaps some food.

The woman took the cat, named “Marlee”, with her to a local shelter where she is staying, and contacted ARL on Wednesday. ARL picked up Marlee and brought her to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center, located at 10 Chandler St.

Marlee was wearing a collar but does not have a microchip, and does not match any missing animal reports. Despite her ordeal she does appear to be healthy and is very friendly.

The animal has yet to undergo a physical examination by ARL’s veterinary staff, but did not suffer from hypothermia and will likely be available for adoption in the next couple of weeks.

Because ARL continuously sees cases of animals being left to fend for themselves, the organization once again reminds the public that abandoning an animal is NEVER an option – if you are unable to properly care for an animal, they can always be surrendered to ARL or any reputable rescue organization. Abandoning an animal is a felony in Massachusetts, punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Consider making a gift today. By giving to ARL, you’re providing life-saving rescue and law enforcement investigations, as well as the veterinary care that gets animals like Marlee back on their feet and ready for adoption to a safe, warm home after facing difficult ordeals. Click here to make a donation today.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact ARL Law Enforcement at (617) 426-9170 or email cruelty@arlboston.org.


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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Press Release: More than a Dozen Dogs Reported Missing from Small Swath of Dorchester

According to lost animal reports filed with the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), Boston Animal Control and Missing Dogs Massachusetts, 14 dogs have been reported missing in the Franklin Field North, Grove Hall area of Dorchester since July 2018 to the present.

The dogs reported missing are all small breeds – Chihuahuas, Shih-Tzus, Mini Pinschers – there is one confirmed case of a dog being stolen; but it is unknown why the other animals have gone missing.

Given the number of animals missing, ARL is reminding dog owners in the area to be mindful and vigilant of their surroundings while walking their dogs.

Additionally, ARL recommends that animals:

  • Be microchipped – A dog with a microchip is twice as likely to be reunited with their owner
  • Have updated tags
  • Kept on a leash
  • Not left alone outdoors
  • Not left alone in a vehicle

If your dog does go missing, it’s imperative to file a lost report with ARL, Animal Control and other organizations including Missing Dogs Massachusetts to ensure that the report is being seen by as many people possible.

It’s recommended to post missing flyers around the neighborhood as well. Flyers should include your pet’s photo, name, breed, color, weight, and any distinguishing characteristics. Ask neighbors to check their properties for your animal, and see if postal and utility workers, and anyone else who frequents the neighborhood if they have seen your missing pet. Be sure to check with other local rescue agencies as well.

Last but not least, don’t forget to harness the power of social media! Post on Craigslist, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and any other format to alert as many people as possible.

ABOUT THE ANIMAL RESCUE LEAGUE OF BOSTON:
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes. Founded in 1899, ARL provides high quality veterinary care, adoption, and rescue services; while also confronting the root causes of animal cruelty and neglect through innovative community programs, police investigations, and public advocacy. In 2017, ARL served more than 18,000 animals throughout Massachusetts. ARL is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. We receive no government grants or public funding and rely solely on the generosity of individuals to support programs and services that help animals in need.
For more information please visit us online at www.arlboston.org; and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Press Release: ARL Tallies First Cat Rescue of 2019

Feline trapped on rooftop three stories up in Dorchester

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services Department tallied its first cat rescue of 2019 Thursday afternoon, as a three-year-old male cat named Gadget managed to sneak out of his home on Wednesday and found his way atop a roof along Gaston Street in Dorchester, MA.

The rescue had a high degree of difficulty, as the cat was on a shingled area approximately two feet wide just below the jutting roof. Agents ascended the fire escape, however there was still a three-foot gap between where the cat was and the fire escape.

Attempts using nets and hook poles proved to be unsuccessful, however a narrow board placed from the fire escape to the shingled area turned out to be the best approach – particularly when Gadget’s owners came to the scene after leaving work.

Stephanie Mitchell, Gadget’s owner, conquered her fear of heights and climbed the fire escape with the cat’s favorite food. Slowly but surely the cat gained enough confidence to make it across the board and into the waiting hands of ARL Rescue Agents.

Gadget was hungry and scared, but was not injured during his adventure. Upon getting the cat home Mitchell replied “I’m so grateful and so happy to have Gadget back home!”

Answering the Call

ARL is the only animal welfare organization in Massachusetts with a dedicated technical rescue department and rescues thousands of animals annually, including more than 200 cats being trapped in trees and other precarious places.


Home for the Holidays: Shelley’s Amazing Story

Community Cat with Cerebellar Hypoplasia Finds a Home

For about a year, Shelley had been spotted in a Boston neighborhood and was described as having an “unsteady gait”. Shelley was one of the estimated 700,000 community cats living in Massachusetts, 70,000 in Boston alone – and now she is off the streets and in a loving forever home!

When Shelley was taken into the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center in September, she was diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH), which explained her unsteady gait.

CH is a condition where parts of the cerebellum aren’t fully developed. Since the cerebellum is responsible for movement and coordination, animals born with CH have tremors, uncoordinated movements and frequent loss of balance. To see a short video of Shelley click here!

While there is no treatment for CH, it is not contagious or painful – the animals simply learn to adapt to their condition.

However given the fact that Shelley has CH, it is remarkable that she was able to survive on her own for over a year on the streets and given her sweet demeanor, the immediate plan upon arrival at ARL was to find her the perfect home.

Shelley was a staff favorite during her time at ARL, making feline friends along the way, and although it took a couple of months, in early December, Shelley found her match.

In 2017, ARL’s Community Cat Initiative assessed 102 cat colonies, serving more than 600 cats. Nearly 80 percent of those cats were adopted into loving homes, and Shelley was just one of the hundreds of community cats ARL has helped in 2018.

Help Even More Animals in 2019!

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes – and our work is not possible without YOUR support! ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals to support our shelter, rescue, law enforcement and community programs.

With just days until the end of 2018, we need to raise $42,000 by December 31 to ensure we are fully funded to help even more animals in 2019. Please help us reach our goal and donate today!

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Home for the Holidays: Priscilla’s Story

On her own for some time and wandering the streets of Roxbury, it’s amazing that Priscilla, an 8-pound Shih-Tzu, found her way to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). Like many homeless animals, Priscilla showed a tremendous amount of resilience.

On a cold September night, Priscilla was discovered underneath a vehicle along Dudley Street – a busy thoroughfare in Roxbury. The 3-year-old pup was shivering and huddled underneath the car, and she clearly was not well.

The Good Samaritan who found Priscilla brought her to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center after showing signs of sickness.

Not only was she ill, but she had the typical conditions of a dog found living on the streets – underweight, matted fur and muscle wasting.

Despite her ordeal, Priscilla rebounded quickly and given her friendly and playful nature, she was quickly made available for adoption.

Going Home

An ARL volunteer instantly fell in love with Priscilla and decided to adopt. Changing her name to Ladybird, She became an immediate member of the family and is one of thousands of success stories ARL sees annually.

“Ladybird was a perfect addition to my family the instant she romped into my home. She is happy, playful and very smart. She isn’t demanding of attention and is happy to amuse herself sitting near me and chewing on one of her Nylabones. She has increased the quality of my life immeasurably and is a total hit to all who know her. A real favorite from the start.”

Help Even More Animals in 2019!

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes – and our work is not possible without YOUR support! ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals to support our shelter, rescue, law enforcement and community programs.

With just days until the end of 2018, we need to raise $50,000 by December 31 to ensure we are fully funded to help even more animals in need in 2019. Please donate today!

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Home for the Holidays: Bodhi’s Story

Bodhi, a five-year-old Saint Bernard/Cocker Spaniel mix, came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center under unfortunate circumstances – his owner was facing financial hardships that made it impossible to properly care for him. Two things about Bodhi immediately stood out – his fear and health issues.

A picture says a thousand words, and Bodhi’s intake photo spoke volumes. His face was sunken, eyes filled with sadness and discomfort, and he wore an expression that would shake anyone who cares about animals to the core.

For several days, Bodhi needed to be hoisted to walk, which he then did reluctantly. He was not interested in treats, food, and had trouble going to the bathroom.

Every animal that come through ARL’s doors receives a thorough veterinary exam as well as a behavioral evaluation. Bodhi’s initial veterinary exam revealed a number of underlying issues, which were certainly contributing to his lack of enthusiasm.

Bodhi was suffering from ear infections, and a skin condition had caused loss of fur and scabbing all over his body. He was also overweight, and subsequent bloodwork revealed his weight gain was the result of hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid.

When the metabolic rate slows down due to hypothyroidism, it can literally affect every organ in the body. Symptoms include:

  • Weight gain (without increase in appetite)
  • Lethargy
  • Dry and dull fur with excessive shedding
  • Increased susceptibility to skin and ear infections
  • High cholesterol
  • Slow heart rate

Along with medication to reduce Bodhi’s anxiety, he was also started on thyroid medication, antibiotics for his ear infections and skin issues – he was also given medicated baths twice a week. Shelter staff also discovered an important tool to get Bodhi moving – tennis balls!

As his ear infections and skin condition improved, Bodhi broke out of his shell and began showing off his true personality.

He was accepting to new people, enjoyed being outdoors and especially loved getting his exercise by endlessly chasing tennis balls in Brewster’s large paddock area.

Going Home

Many animals who come into a shelter environment have behavioral hurdles to overcome, but for Bodhi, it was all about properly diagnosing his medical issues. Once these were identified and brought under control, Bodhi’s energy, comfort and happiness increased exponentially – and he was ready to find his forever home.

Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long. A local resident who has adopted from ARL in the past spent some time outdoors with Bodhi, and knew he was the one.

Bodhi now has ample space to run outdoors and is in a home filled with love and support and was able to spend the holidays with his new family!

Help Even More Animals in 2019!

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes – and our work is not possible without YOUR support! ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals to support our shelter, rescue, law enforcement and community programs.

As we look ahead to 2019, ARL will continue to be at the forefront of confronting the root causes of cruelty and abuse, and to help even more animals in need, like Bhodi, throughout Massachusetts.

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Home for the Holidays: Phinney’s Story

Senior Dog Afflicted with Enlarged Heart

In late October, Phinney, an 11-year-old Chihuahua, was brought to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center, when his former owner could no longer care for him. Like every animal who comes through ARL’s doors, Phinney underwent a comprehensive medical examination, and unfortunately, some irregularities were found.

During Phinney’s exam, a heart murmur, a sound generated by the flow of blood to the heart, was noted.

Chest x-rays and an echocardiogram were performed, and discovered that Phinney has mitral valve regurgitation secondary to chronic valvular disease and mild left ventricular enlargement.

With an enlarged ventricle, its ability to pump blood out into the lungs and body deteriorates.

For Phinney, his heart disease has been deemed mild, however he will be on a medication called Pimobendan for the rest of his life.

Phinney was also diagnosed with MLP, or medial luxating patella. Lameness can occur as the patella (kneecap) slips out of position but slips back into position on its own. Both of Phinney’s patella’s are affected by MLP, however surgery has not been recommended. It is likely though that over time Phinney will develop arthritis as a result.

Despite his afflictions, Phinney has persevered and all he wanted for the holidays was a loving home and a cozy spot to curl up in.

Going Home

In early December, Phinney’s holiday wish came true, as he was adopted by a local resident who had adopted previously from ARL!

Given his medical condition, Phinney will need regular visits to his veterinarian, however the confirmed diagnosis by ARL’s shelter medicine staff and prescribed medication will certainly extend Phinney’s time with his new owner and improve his quality of life as well.

Help Even More Animals in 2019!

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes – and our work is not possible without YOUR support! ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals to support our shelter, rescue, law enforcement and community programs.

As we look ahead to 2019, ARL will continue to be at the forefront of confronting the root causes of cruelty and abuse, and to help even more animals in need, like Phinney, throughout Massachusetts.

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Home for the Holidays: Etha’s Story

Animals come to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) in a variety of ways: stray, rescue, law enforcement, transport – as well as owner surrender. There are a plethora of reasons why animals are surrendered, and for Etha, a one-year-old female cat, it was due to prohibitive medical cost.

In her former home, Etha had managed to slip a front leg through her collar, causing irritation in her armpit region. This went unchecked for a number of weeks, getting to the point of the collar being embedded in her skin. The wounds underneath were open, infected and painful for the young cat.

Her former owner brought Etha to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center for surrender in mid-November, and as soon as her intake was complete, ARL’s shelter veterinary staff went to work to remove the collar and treat her wounds.

Etha was spayed, and the wounds from the collar needed several rounds of cleaning and treatment with antibiotic ointment.

For many animals recovering from traumatic or serious injuries, foster care provides an environment where the animal can heal in relative quiet and receive the constant attention and care they need.

Given her amazing temperament, Etha was quick to heal and although shy at first, she was quick to warm up and showcase her sweet personality.

Within two weeks of being surrendered, Etha was rehabilitated and ready to find her forever home!

Home for the Holidays

ARL is proud that the median length of stay for dogs and cats in our shelters is 10 days or less, and for Etha, she was adopted just one day after being made available!

Etha has found her Home for the Holidays and has adapted very quickly to her new surroundings.

“We’re so happy having Etha around,” said her new owners. “It took all of one day for her to stop hiding now she’s a serious lap cat!”

Help Even More Animals in 2019!

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes – and our work is not possible without YOUR support! ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals to support our shelter, rescue, law enforcement and community programs.

As we look ahead to 2019, ARL will continue to be at the forefront of confronting the root causes of cruelty and abuse, and to help even more animals in need, like Etha, throughout Massachusetts.

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