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Category: Rescue
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!


Press Release: Cat Abandoned at Sullivan Square T Stop

Heard crying and was found “shoved” underneath a bench

*PLEASE NOTE: Marlee is not currently available for adoption and we ask that you please refrain from calling to inquire about her as these calls quickly overwhelm our phone lines. Thank you for your patience!

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.


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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Abandoned Beverly Dog Taken in by Couple Who Found Him

Angel thriving with his new family

In late September, Angel, a small, partially blind and deaf terrier-type dog was found in appalling condition and wandering the streets of Beverly, MA. A heart-warming example of the human-animal bond, the couple who took Angel off the streets has now taken him into their home.

The meeting between Angel and his finders was fate. Returning from an evening run, Beverly residents Dan Boschen and Liz Sweetman saw Angel ambling around the intersection of Charnock and Prospect Streets, and aside from his filthy appearance, it was clear he needed help.

“I’ve never seen a dog in such bad shape, and he was hobbling down the street towards a busier street,” said Boschen. “We were able to corner him and pick him up.”

From there, Angel was brought to a nearby veterinary clinic where he received emergency treatment. He was severely matted (a pound of fur was removed), emaciated and overgrown and curled nails were causing him pain and discomfort when walking.

While at the veterinary clinic, Boschen and Sweetman, who had only recently brought a second dog into their home, came to a realization.

“He was so sad, like his whole life was pain,” Sweetman said. “Once we got into a room with him they didn’t know if he would make it and we said we’ll do whatever we can. We looked at each other and knew we wanted to take him if he was going to be alright.”

From Beverly, the 10-year-old Angel was put into the care of the Animal Rescue League of Boston where his medical care continued and a joint investigation between Beverly Police and ARL Law Enforcement ensued.

Slowly but steadily Angel made progress and Boschen and Sweetman were able to take him into their home for foster care after several weeks. With medical care, proper diet, shelter and love, Angel, now appropriately named Lucky, is now thriving with his new family and will be enjoying his new home for the holidays.

While ecstatic that Angel has found a new home, unfortunately law enforcement officials have been unable to discover who left this animal to fend for himself on the streets. ARL continues to be an assisting agency to the Beverly Police Department and anyone with information can contact Beverly Animal Control (mlipinski@beverlyma.gov; (978) 605-2361), or ARL Law Enforcement (cruelty@arlboston.org; (617) 426-9170).

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

 


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.