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Category: Rescue
Press Release: ARL Caring for Abandoned Chihuahua

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

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

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

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

More Than a Century of Assistance

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

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


Kitten Season is in Full Swing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping an Eye Out

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


Cat Family Rescued in Mattapan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YOU Can be a Champion for Community Cats

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


Update: 50 Cats Removed from Metro Boston Home Easter Weekend

Cats are slowly gaining trust and settling in

During the Easter holiday weekend, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department was busy removing 50 cats from a Metro Boston home, which has since been condemned due to deplorable and uninhabitable conditions.

We’re made aware when these animals are removed from these difficult situations, but what happens then?

These animals have needed extensive medical treatment over the last three weeks, but perhaps more importantly, the majority of these cats are traumatized and shut down emotionally.

This unfortunately is a common byproduct of animal hoarding and one ARL sees too often.

The cats need constant interaction with humans to break free of the trauma, learn to trust, and to take the next step – which is finding a forever home.

ARL volunteers and staff have taken extraordinary measures to get these cats to break free of their fear by talking softly with encouragement, offering treats, using backscratchers to simulate petting, playing purring sounds – and finally when the cat is ready to move on to the next step, a reassuring hand is slowly extended towards the animal.

To see local media coverage of this story click here!

These measures are used to break through the wall of fear, but it’s done on the cat’s own terms.

It’s a painstaking process where there is no timeline on when a break-through may occur. ARL is committed to making these animals whole, and to give them the second chance they deserve.

So far one of these cats has been adopted, while another is waiting to find their forever home, sure signs that these animals are progressing with each passing day.

Hoarding-Type Situations Increasing

The number of hoarding-type incidents involving large numbers of animals is unfortunately on the rise. In 2018, ARL handled 16 of these incidents, which involved 1,024 animals.

As spring melts into summer, warm temperatures bring a surge in the animal population and ARL expects to respond to more hoarding-type incidents over the next few months.

With hoarding-type situations, ARL is ready to help both the animals and people involved. If you are aware of such a situation, please contact ARL Law Enforcement or your local Animal Control Officer immediately.


ARL Rescue Conducts Tree Training

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

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

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

To see local news coverage of the training click here!

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

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

Help is on the way

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


Press Release: Lactating Female Dog Found Roaming Busy Route 9

Dog not microchipped, whereabouts of litter unknown

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is asking for the public’s help in finding who was responsible for recently abandoning a 3-year-old pitbull-type dog along busy Route 9 between Worcester and Framingham.

Maizel is making progress, but was clearly neglected for some time in her previous situation.

The dog was found by a passerby and was brought to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center. She was lactating and had recently given birth, but information on where along Route 9 she was found was vague, and unfortunately, despite a thorough search, her puppies have not been located.

ARL Law Enforcement speculates the puppies were likely kept by whoever abandoned her.

Maizel was also emaciated and severely dehydrated, indicating she had been neglected for some time.

ARL Law Enforcement is working with authorities in Framingham to try and not only locate Maizel’s puppies, but to discover who left her along the heavily-traveled roadway.

Maizel has put on a few pounds while she’s been with ARL, is extremely friendly, and continues to make progress – she’ll be made available for adoption hopefully in the next week.

Abandoning an animal is a felony crime in Massachusetts, punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Anyone with information is asked to contact ARL Law Enforcement at 617-426-9170, or Framingham Animal Control at 508-532-5870.


Stray Cat Rescued in Dorchester, Badly Injured but on the Mend

For 120 years, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has been a lifeline for thousands of domestic animals annually, and a cat that was recently rescued on the streets of Dorchester is another example of this vital service.

A Good Samaritan alerted ARL Rescue Services this past week about a cat that was seen near a garbage dumpster and wasn’t moving. When ARL arrived on-scene, the cat was able to move, and was found inside the dumpster, lying atop a cardboard box.

He was evaluated on-scene, then brought to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center for medical treatment. The cat would likely have succumb to his injuries sooner rather than later and needed immediate treatment.

Gryffindor, who’s approximately 2-years-old, had suffered a broken jaw, was emaciated, and was in poor overall condition. While he was given a fictional namesake – the name itself represents courage, bravery and determination, which this suffering animal has in vast quantities.

His injuries were likely sustained in traumatic fashion i.e. struck by a car, and x-rays confirmed the cartilage piecing together the lower half of the jaw had separated, making it all but impossible to eat solid or even soft food.

The cat also had a puncture wound likely caused by another animal.

ARL’s medical staff surgically wired his lower jaw and the cat will be monitored to ensure no complications arise. Because of the puncture wound, the cat will also need to be quarantined for four months for a “wound of unknown origin” per state law.

Like many injured animals that come into the care of ARL, Gryffindor has displayed amazing perseverance and is incredibly friendly to all who come in contact with by revving up his gravely purr.

He is expected to make a full recovery and when his quarantine period is over, he will be available for adoption.

Extraordinary Care

From routine exams, dental work x-rays and diagnostic testing to complex surgeries, ARL’s Shelter Medicine staff provides high-quality care to every animal that comes through our doors.

Cost of such extraordinary care exceeds $600,000 annually, and ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals like you to continue this high level of care. Please consider donating today to help animals in need!


Senior Stray Finds Perfect Forever Home

“Frankie” required extensive medical care at ARL

In early January, 2019, Frankie, an 11-year-old Shih-Tzu, was found wandering the cold streets of Boston.

Given Frankie’s hearing and vision impairments, amazingly he wasn’t injured while living on the streets.

He was however, in dire need of medical attention.

Frankie’s initial veterinary exam revealed a handful of masses (both epidermal and oral), dental disease, and hearing loss. Additionally, x-rays were taken and blood was drawn for additional diagnostic testing.

The masses were removed and determined to be benign, however Frankie’s bloodwork revealed abnormalities which pointed to possible renal disease and pancreatitis.

The next month for Frankie would consist of more testing, frequent veterinary rechecks, and unfortunately additional findings.

While Frankie’s ongoing diagnostic testing showed improvement, there were further developments — the 11-year-old pup was diagnosed with glaucoma in one eye which needed to be removed; and a heart murmur was also discovered.

A Long Road Home

Despite all the testing and continuous discoveries, Frankie maintained a wonderful, friendly demeanor and was finally ready to find his forever home.

Frankie quickly found his perfect match, and will spend his golden years in a quiet home along the scenic North Shore.

Extraordinary Care

From routine exams to complex surgery, ARL’s shelter medicine staff provides extraordinary care for every animal that comes through ARL’s doors. Last year alone, more than $550,000 was spent to ensure these animals were healthy and happy. ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals like you to make our important work possible.

Please consider donating today to ensure these animals get the medical treatment they need!


Press Release: Microchip Helps Reunite Lost Cat with Owners

Family notified of cat being found on Valentine’s Day

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is once again reminding the public of the importance of having pets microchipped – this after recently reuniting a Stoughton, MA, family with their cat who went missing shortly before Christmas.

Four-year-old Tigger snuck out of his Stoughton home on December 23, 2018, to explore the outdoors. Perhaps spooked by his surroundings, Tigger ran when his owners tried to get him back inside and unfortunately did not return.

In the following days and weeks, Tigger’s family posted the cat’s picture on social media and posted flyers in their neighborhood and nearby businesses – but still Tigger was not found.

Tigger back in the comforts of home but with a reminder of the elements — note the frostbite on his left ear.

On February 10, a local resident brought a stray cat to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center. The cat was emaciated, dehydrated, and had suffered from frostbite on its left ear and front paw due to long-term exposure to the elements.

The cat received fluids and was checked by ARL staff and was also scanned for a microchip. The chip was registered to a Florida resident, however after a little detective work, ARL tracked the owner from Florida to Stoughton.

A certification letter was sent to the Stoughton address, and owner Jackie Rhone tells ARL the cat was originally a gift for her 17-year-old daughter, and after two months had given up any hope of finding Tigger.

“That evening (Valentine’s Day) we went out for an errand and when we returned home my husband checked the mail, and when he came inside he screamed “read this Jackie quick”! I started reading it out loud with tears rolling down my face and said “they found our Tigger!”’, Rhone said.

Tigger was reunited with his family two days later and is now strictly an indoor cat.

This reunion would not have been possible if Tigger hadn’t been microchipped.

A Permanent ID

A microchip is a computer chip about the size of a grain of rice, programmed with an identification number unique to your pet. It is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and will last the life of your pet with no maintenance required.

A microchip greatly increases the likelihood of being reunited with a lost pet – an AVMA study shows 52 percent of dogs with microchips are reunited with owners, versus just 21 percent with dogs with no microchip. Owner return rates for cats with microchips is 38 percent versus 1.8 percent for cats without the chip.

ARL recommends pet owners to ensure their animal is microchipped, and to also keep contact information up to date.


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!