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Category: Rescue
It’s National ‘Check the Chip’ Day!

Sharon resident reunited with cat thanks to microchip

Today is National ‘Check the Chip’ Day, a day to remind pet owners of the importance of not only having a microchip implanted, but to make sure that all contact information is up to date. While not replacing a collar and tags, a microchip drastically improves the chances of being reunited with a pet should they become lost.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, a dog with a microchip is twice as likely to be returned to their owners, while a cat with a microchip is 20 times more likely to be returned.

Microchip Success Story

In February, Sharon resident Tyler Martin’s four-year-old brown tabby Bailey went missing. Bailey’s owner posted flyers around his neighborhood, but as the days and weeks passed, the hope for a reunion dwindled and the belief was that Bailey was gone for good.

Fast forward six months to August – the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services received a call from a resident in Norwood about a possible stray cat in their yard. Rescue agents responded to the scene and were able to corral the friendly cat, transporting the animal to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Bailey was scanned for a microchip and the information led ARL to Martin. When contacted, he was emotional and ecstatic to hear the news, but shocked that Bailey had been found on the other side of Route 95 in another town! He left work and was in Dedham in less than 30 minutes.

At the shelter, Bailey was shy and wasn’t looking to interact with anyone, however when his owner arrived, a quick sniff of the hand created an instant reconnection, and the reunion was complete.

A happy reunion to say the least, and if Bailey had not been microchipped, it’s unlikely this reunion would’ve happened.

How the Microchip Works

A microchip is a tiny computer chip, about the size of a grain of rice, programmed with an identification number that is unique to your pet. It is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and will last the life of your pet with no maintenance required. The microchip is injected with a needle beneath the skin between the shoulder blades and is anchored in place as a thin layer of connective tissue forms around it.

Your pet’s identification number is entered into a national microchip registry, and you can think of the microchip as a permanent ID tag for your pet – but if you move or change phone numbers it’s important to make sure that your contact information is updated to increase the chances of a reunion.

When you adopt a dog or cat from ARL, along with being vaccinated, spayed or neutered, medically and behaviorally evaluated, the animal will also have a microchip implanted before you take them home.

Take Advantage of Boston Veterinary Care’s Special August Promotion!

This month, BVC clients will receive 25% off microchipping — registration included — with an exam or procedure; not to be combined with any other offer. Click here or call (617) 226-5606 for more details or to make an appointment.


ARL Executes Seaport Rooftop Rescue

Injured seagull trapped on roof for several days

Employees at John Hancock on Congress St. in Boston got a mid-afternoon show this week, as the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services Department was dispatched to rescue an injured seagull that had been trapped on the rooftop for several days.

Ten stories up, the seagull was huddled in a corner and in a precarious situation. With an injured wing, it wasn’t able to fly and had no access to food or water – given the height, the rescue effort had to be performed delicately to not frighten the bird.

Accessing the glass rooftop from a conference room window, ARL rescue agents crept across the roof, slowly and silently approaching the seagull to make an attempt to snare the injured bird.

With John Hancock employees looking on from their windows, the actual rescue was an example of ARL’s experience and expertise. It was precise and only took a matter of seconds — the agent came around the corner with a net, and was immediately able to capture the startled bird.

Once netted, the bird was safely placed in a transport carrier, and brought to a local animal hospital for evaluation and treatment.

A Vital Resource

In 2017, ARL Rescue Services helped nearly 3,000 animals. As the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with a dedicated technical rescue department, these services are only possible thanks to your support.


ARL Caring for Stray Peacock Found on Cape Cod

Not an everyday occurrence

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently took in a stray peacock who was found as a stray in the Greenland Pond/Long Pond area of Brewster, MA. While ARL takes in thousands of stray animals annually, a peacock is certainly something the organization doesn’t see every day.

This stray peacock is absolutely stunning!

For more than a week in late June, ARL, Brewster Police and Animal Control had received numerous reports of the bird in that area; Brewster Animal Control was able to capture the peacock, and brought it to ARL Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center. Due to limited livestock space in Brewster, the bird was then brought to ARL’s Dedham facility.

His arrival in Dedham has even attracted local media attention!

Peacocks, which are not native to North America but gained popularity as a status symbol in the early 1900s, are legal to own in Massachusetts.

Despite the fact that they’re prone to wandering, nobody has stepped forward to claim ownership of this beautiful bird – opening up the possibility that he was abandoned in the area he was found.

The two-year-old male is settling into his new surroundings, and while being in the wild for a unknown amount of time, he is in remarkable shape and healthy.

The peacock will soon be available for adoption – anyone interested must demonstrate that they have the proper set up to house a peacock – ample space with a proper enclosure. ARL will also be reaching out to area zoos to determine if anyone would be willing to take in this striking animal.

More than dogs and cats

While the vast majority of animals ARL takes in are dogs and cats, from livestock to zoo animals, for decades the organization has demonstrated time and time again that it can handle a wide variety of species and give them the same level of care and affection that’s afforded to every animal that comes through our doors. ARL receives no government funding and our work is made possible only through your generous support.


ARL Rescue Services Called to Power Plant Twice in One Week

Cormorant trapped in water inlet

This week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services Department was called to the Mystic Generation Station in Charlestown, MA, for two separate incidents of a cormorant being trapped in a water inlet at the power plant.

While cormorants are aquatic birds, their short wings make it necessary for them to get some running room to take off – which was all but impossible in this confined space.

Trying to snare the cormorant.

Due to the high tide, wet conditions and tight space the aquatic bird was trapped in, rescue agents needed to suit up with climbing gear, scale a ladder, and try to snare the bird using a wide catch net. Passing rain showers added to the degree of difficulty, as did the cormorant’s frightened state.

To see a video of this rescue click here!

As the cormorant dove and resurfaced, agents were able to get the bird into the net, and slowly and safely bring it out of the water and into a carrier for transport and release.

Both rescues happened in the same spot, making it possible that the same bird was involved in both incidents! Because of this, ARL wanted to release the bird farther away from the area, choosing a section of the Mystic River in Everett.

The cormorant took to his new home quickly, and was grateful to be back on the open water.

A Vital Resource

In 2017, ARL Rescue Services helped nearly 3,000 animals. As the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with a dedicated technical rescue department, these services are only possible through your generous support.


Orphan Ducklings Find New Family

If at first you don’t succeed, ARL Rescue Services tries and tries again

This week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services rescued nine orphaned ducklings in Hyde Park at the Channing Elementary School. Once safe, the next mission was to find these fragile little ones a new family.

On the day of the initial rescue, ARL rescue agents made several attempts along local waterways to find and introduce the ducklings to duck families, hoping they would be welcomed. Unfortunately they were refused and it was back to the drawing board.

The following day, ARL tried an area at Spy Pond in Arlington, and discovered another duck family who needed help – a family of six (mom and five ducklings) were stuck behind a wall that the ducklings couldn’t navigate around.

Once helping the family around the wall, as they were ambling towards the water, agents slyly added the nine ducklings to the brood – lucky for us mama ducks can’t count! The brood swam off to a papa duck already on the water, and are now one big happy family.

Experience, patience and dedication led to this happy outcome!

A Vital Resource

In 2017, ARL Rescue Services helped nearly 3,000 animals. As the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with a dedicated technical rescue department, these services are only possible thanks to your support.


In a Tree to Underground – An Afternoon Rescue Adventure

When the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services responded to a quiet neighborhood in Plymouth this week, Minerva, an indoor/outdoor cat, had been about four stories up in an evergreen tree for four days. Aside from her owners worrying, the cat was scared, hungry, and needed to get back on solid ground.

ARL rescues approximately 200 cats out of trees annually, and each rescue presents unique challenges. This rescue was no different.

With nets, rigging and other climbing gear ready to go, rescue agents ascended the tree to get the nervous but friendly cat safely back to the ground. The climb was smooth, and Minerva came willingly to be rescued. Smooth sailing – until Minerva got closer to the ground.

Not ready for her rescue to be over, Minerva wriggled out of the carrier bag she was in and bolted into a wooded area at the front of the residence. The woods were dense, and the cat had plenty of places to hide.

Minerva’s owner and rescue agents walked through the woods with food and shaking bags of treats, but the cat would not show herself. Adding to the cat’s anxiety were the sounds of a landscaping crew working nearby.

During a final pass through the woods, a rescue agent noticed a hole in the ground at the base of a tree that was about the size of a bowling ball. Fixated on the hole, there was movement, and two green eyes suddenly appeared. Minerva had gone from in a tree to underground!

Calling her name gently, Minerva emerged from her hiding place, took a few nibbles of food and was again placed in a portable carrier. From there she was brought out of the woods to her owner, who gratefully took her inside.

A Vital Resource

In 2017, ARL Rescue Services helped nearly 3,000 animals. As the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with a dedicated technical rescue department, these services are only possible thanks to your support.


ARL Rescues Geese Family Atop WBGH Building – Again

Fourth straight year geese have nested on rooftop

It’s becoming a spring tradition, as for a fourth year in a row, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services Department was called upon this week to rescue a family of geese from the roof of the WGBH building in Brighton, MA.

For a video recap click here!

The rooftop is a seemingly perfect place to nest for these geese. There’s a garden, grass, and the birds are safe from other predators. However the danger lies in the fact that goslings can’t fly – there’s risk of falling, and if something were to happen to the adult geese, the goslings would have no direct access to a food source and would be unable to get off the roof on their own.

On this day, ARL rescue agents quickly corralled the female goose and her five goslings, but while it took several attempts to reel in the male, the family was soon ready to be relocated to a more suitable location.

With the Charles River close by, ARL rescue brought the family to the shore line right at the base of the Eliot Bridge and the family was reunited in the cool waters of Boston’s iconic river.

This type of rescue is common during the spring. Just this past weekend ARL Rescue Services relocated another family of geese in Brighton from a seven-story building – as with the WGBH geese, the geese were removed safely, the goslings were protected and are now living in their natural environment.

At the Ready

In 2017, ARL Rescue Services helped nearly 3,000 animals. As the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with a dedicated technical rescue department, these services are only possible thanks to your support.


Our Trash: Tantalizing and Dangerous

Skunk Rescue Just One Example of a Disturbing Trend

Recently, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services responded to a call in Melrose to help a skunk in distress. A plastic cup ring had become lodged around its neck, forcing the skunk to walk on its hind legs.

ARL Rescue Services was able to cut the ring from its neck, freeing the skunk and allowing it to continue on with the day. Unfortunately these types of rescues are becoming more common.

ARL spoke with the Washington Post recently, and the ensuing article described similar examples from around the nation, Canada and Great Britain. Drawn to the lure of meaty morsels or sugary sweetness, our trash is causing harm to wildlife — but it doesn’t have to.

Simple Solutions

We’re taught at a young age not to litter, and that’s a perfect place to start. Trash along our roadways isn’t only an eyesore and harmful to the environment, it’s also a perfect hunting ground for wildlife to sift through for sweet treats. Keep a bag for your auto-trash, and discard at home.

Before throwing away plastic or paper containers (yogurt, the dish your ice cream came in etc..) give them a rinse before discarding – and if it’s something an animal may get stuck in, crush or cut up the container.

Back in November 2017, ARL Rescue Services helped a poor raccoon that had its head stuck in what appeared to be a peanut butter jar. To avoid these situations, similar jars should also be rinsed, then tightly sealed before being thrown away.

When it comes to trash containers, make sure they’re shut tightly. Raccoons and other animals can show extreme determination if they smell something good inside, so using bungee cords can serve as a great deterrent.

At Your Service

ARL is the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with technical rescue capabilities, and rescued nearly 2,000 animals in 2017. Should you see an animal in distress, please contact ARL Rescue Services at (617) 426-9170.


ARL Caring for Nearly 60 Animals from Alleged Cruelty Situation

Please note: The animals involved in this case are not available for adoption.

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) assisted law enforcement in Auburn, MA, with the rescue of 60 animals from a residence. According to police, the conditions inside the home were unsanitary, deplorable and unsafe for inhabitance by animals and humans.

One of the animals in ARL’s care.

Almost all of the animals removed from the home are now in the care of ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center. The animals consist of 28 cats/kittens, and 26 dogs/puppies.

Each cat and dog has been thoroughly examined and vaccinated by ARL’s Shelter Veterinary staff. Unfortunately, a significant number of these animals show signs of respiratory infection, flea infestation, urine-stained and matted fur, as well as varying degrees of dental disease.

As authorities in Auburn work on the legal aspects of this case, ARL will continue to ensure that these animals are healthy and happy until the situation is resolved.

Animals need your support now!

The sudden influx of nearly 60 animals puts a heavy strain on ARL’s resources. Please consider making a donation today so that we can continue to provide each and every animal in our shelters with the kindness, care, and compassion that they need and deserve.

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Thank you for being a champion for animals in need!


Press Release: Good Samaritan Helps Save a Life

ARL-Boston Reminds Public to Take Action when Seeing an Animal in Distress

With New England still in the grips of a brutal winter, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to remind the public to be mindful and to take action when seeing an animal in distress.

Such actions recently helped save the life of a female stray cat in Dorchester.

The Good Samaritan got a backyard surprise when pulling off the cover to an outdoor grill. Underneath was a shivering cat who was trying to get out of the cold and hadn’t been seen in the neighborhood before. The cat had suffered a devastating injury to her front left leg, and was very thin. Concerned for the animal, the resident took the cat in and contacted ARL Rescue Services.

Upon arrival at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, an examination by ARL veterinary staff noted that many of the cat’s toes on her left front leg were missing and the bones of her paw were exposed; a condition that was causing the animal severe pain. Additionally she was also dehydrated, anemic, severely underweight, and had an upper respiratory infection.

The cat, later named “Addie”, underwent amputation surgery this past week, is ravenously eating to put on weight, and is making continuous progress. She’s incredibly friendly and will be available for adoption when she’s back to 100 percent.

“Considering her situation, she’s doing remarkably well,” said Dr. Kate Gollon, ARL Community and Shelter Veterinarian. “When she came to ARL she weighed about half what a cat her age should weigh and she’s already put on half a pound, so she’s definitely trending in the right direction.

Addie’s case serves as a reminder that if the public spots an animal in distress, calling ARL Rescue Services at 617-426-9170 or local animal control can be the difference in an animal’s demise or survival.