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Category: Rescue
ARL Field Services Hosts Cat Handling Training Session for Animal Welfare Professionals

Cat handling session continues ARL’s commitment to educational opportunities for animal welfare professionals

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department hosted a cat handling training session for more than two dozen animal welfare professionals from throughout Massachusetts.

Over two dozen animal welfare professionals attended this week’s training session.

ARL is the only large animal welfare organization with dedicated staff to address community cats, and Field Services also responds to countless calls to help animals, including cats, who are in distress and need immediate assistance.

Animal control officers, shelter workers, among others, attended the informative training session which covered a variety of cat-related topics including safe-handling, trapping, overcrowding situations, and other scenarios where knowledge can go a long way to ensuring safety for the animals and people involved.

Whether it’s saving a cat from a tree, assessing and trapping in a large colony of homeless cats, addressing animal overcrowding or situations that involve cats finding themselves in precarious situations like a stray cat with a light fixture stuck on its head, or a mom and babies hiding in a crawl space – ARL Field Services agents have a wealth of knowledge and routinely collaborate with animal control officers to safely remove the animals from these situations.

ARL has a commitment to education and this training session is just one of an ongoing series of training sessions the organization holds throughout the year for animal welfare professionals.

About ARL Field Services

As part of its Community Outreach programs, ARL’s Field Services provide technical (tree climbing and swift/ice water) and non-technical rescues for injured domestic animals – including community cats – livestock, and raptors (turkey vultures, ospreys, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls).

Field Services also assists governmental agencies with equipment and training, and plays an essential role in supporting ARL’s Law Enforcement Department in cases of animal abuse, cruelty, and neglect.

To contact Field Services, call (617) 426-9170 x563.


ARL Caring for Stray Rabbit Found in Cape Cod National Seashore

Stray rabbit lucky to have been spotted by Good Samaritan

A one-year-old rabbit is on the mend at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Cape Cod Tom Kingman Memorial Campus, after being found as a stray in the Cape Cod National Seashore in the vicinity of Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, MA.

The rabbit, named Eeyore, was discovered along Doane Rd. in late April by a trail-walker who noticed that the rabbit did not look wild and then notified a nearby park ranger.

The ranger trapped the rabbit and contacted Eastham Animal Control who then transported Eeyore to ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Eeyore was very thin and had numerous abrasions and healing lacerations, signs that he had likely come in contact with wildlife and was also having difficulty discovering a food source.

He is currently unavailable for adoption as he continues to recover and gain weight, and there is no timeline on when he may be made available.

Despite his medical ailments, Eeyore is incredibly friendly, social, and easy to handle.

Although it is unknown how he wound up on his own, ARL thanks all those involved in rescuing this animal, and reminds the public that domesticated animals cannot survive on their own in the wild.

If you are no longer able to care for an animal, contact your local animal control office, ARL, or local animal shelter to surrender the animal.

ARL understands pet ownership can be difficult, and offers a judgement-free environment for anyone looking to surrender.

For more information on animal surrender, visit arlboston.org, or contact an ARL Animal Care and Adoption Center by calling (617) 426-9170.


ARL Caring for Stray Puppy with Severe Mange

Puppy with severe mange found wandering along Boston highway

A 4-month-old puppy with severe mange is receiving treatment at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), this after being found this past week as a stray who was roaming along the busy Cummins Highway in Roslindale.

For local media coverage of this story click here!

The puppy, named Petunia, was found last week along the Cummins Highway and taken to an emergency veterinary hospital for assessment and then transported to Boston Animal Control the next day.

Given the puppy will require long-term treatment, Boston Animal Control contacted ARL and brought Petunia to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center.

While it is unknown where she came from or how she found her way to the busy roadway, ARL’s focus right now is getting this helpless puppy on the path to recovery.

Petunia is suffering from severe demodectic mange, which is caused by mites living in the hair follicles of an animal, and results in fur loss and itchy skin.

The puppy has fur loss on the majority of her body, but it’s important to note that her condition is not contagious to other dogs or people.

The puppy’s course of treatment will involve medicated baths twice-a-week to help soothe her skin and oral medications to clear the mange.

Her treatment is expected to last 3-12 weeks and additionally, she will spend this time in foster care to provide her a quiet and calm environment to recover.

How you can Help Petunia and Animals Like Her

Petunia is going to need extensive and long-term care, and your emergency donation today can give Petunia and animals like her everything they need including emergency response when they are in danger, veterinary care to treat their health issues, and all the time they need to heal.

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Transport Puppy with Gunshot Wound Seeking New Home

Puppy suffered gunshot wound at former home in Mississippi

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is ready to find a special home for a puppy transported from a shelter in Mississippi who is lucky to be alive after suffering a gunshot wound at his former home and ready for his next chapter.

Biscuit, a 6-month-old male Lab-mix, was transported to ARL as part of the organization’s partnership with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Relocation Program, where animals are transferred from overcrowded shelters to organizations that have the capacity to take in the animals and find them permanent homes.

Biscuit’s wound was certainly noticeable, but because is was unknown how the wound happened, he was facing a state-mandated four-month quarantine for a wound of unknown origin.

Given his age, a four-month quarantine would have stunted his ability to properly socialize with other animals, so ARL shelter staff went to work to see if it was possible to confirm how he was wounded.

The source shelter in Mississippi confirmed that Biscuit’s wound was the result of a gunshot.

His former owner brought the puppy to the shelter for his safety, saying that their neighbor was discharging a firearm at the property, and that a bullet had grazed the puppy’s head.

Biscuit is lucky to be alive, however, he was likely traumatized by the event.

While friendly and playful, the puppy is very nervous with new people and situations.

He will make for a wonderful pet and his new family will need to exercise patience with Biscuit to help him work through the trauma, let him know he’s safe, and take the steps necessary to help him become a well-mannered young adult dog.

Biscuit is currently available for adoption at ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center.


ARL Caring for Injured, Abandoned Rabbits

Abandoned rabbits found Easter weekend

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is currently caring for four injured, and abandoned rabbits that were found in a Northborough, MA, neighborhood on Easter weekend.

The rabbits, all estimated to be about a year old, were discovered on Easter weekend on Shady Lane in Northborough, MA, and initially taken in by a wildlife rehabilitator.

Northborough Animal Control contacted ARL seeking assistance with the animals, and the four rabbits were transported to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Several of the rabbits were found with healing wounds, and while it’s unknown how the rabbits ended up on their own, ARL reminds the public that abandoning an animal is never an option.

Not only is abandoning an animal in Massachusetts illegal, but it can endanger the lives of the animals involved.

Domesticated animals like these rabbits cannot survive on their own in the wild.

If you are unable to care for an animal, you are urged to contact local animal control or an organization like ARL to facilitate surrender.

ARL understands that pet ownership can be difficult, and all three ARL Animal Care and Adoption Centers offer a compassionate, judgement-free environment to answer any and all questions and ensure that surrender is the best option for both the animals involved and their caretaker.

These rabbits are incredibly friendly and once their stray period is over they will be made available for adoption.


ARL Rescues Rain-Soaked Stray Cat at Busy Dedham Shopping Center

Stray cat found huddling under parked car

This past weekend, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department rescued a scared, cold, and rain-soaked stray cat found hiding under a car in the parking garage at Legacy Place, a busy shopping center in Dedham.

A shopper spotted the male cat and contacted Dedham Animal Control and ARL, but also tried luring the cat from underneath the car with a can of tuna fish, but while the cat sniffed at the food he did not move from beneath the vehicle.

Oskar taking it easy at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Once on-scene, the ARL Field Services agents also tried luring the cat with food but also had no luck.

The frightened feline remained steadfast by hissing and growling, but when one ARL agent tried to get closer to the animal, the cat darted out from underneath the car, and ran to a lower level of the garage, finding a garbage dumpster to hide behind.

The two ARL agents on-scene blocked all passageways around the dumpster and were able to catch the cat using nets, and once he was secured in a carrier, the animal was transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Although clearly scared and agitated, he did allow pets and ravenously ate when presented with food.

The cat, now named Oskar, is estimated to be 2-years-old, did not have a collar, ID tags or a microchip.

And while in overall good health, ARL’s veterinary team did notice a puncture wound on one of his legs.

He is currently on a stray wait and if anyone does recognize the animal, they should contact ARL’s Dedham location at (617) 426-9170 x605.

 If the cat is unclaimed, he will need to undergo a state-mandated 4-month quarantine due to the wound of unknown origin.

About ARL Field Services

ARL Field Services provides technical and non-technical rescue operations for injured or lost domestic animals, livestock, and raptors (turkey vultures, osprey, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls).

ARL Field Services also assists governmental agencies with equipment and training; and plays an essential role in assisting ARL Law Enforcement in cases of animal cruelty, neglect, and abuse.

If you need assistance, call (617) 426-9170 to reach ARL Field Services dispatch, which operates from 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM Tuesday-Saturday.


ARL Rescues Community Cat and Kittens from New Bedford Restaurant Ceiling

Community cats savvy at finding warm and safe spaces

This past week the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department rescued a community cat and her neonatal kittens who found themselves in a safe but precarious place – the ceiling of a New Bedford restaurant.

ARL has not received permission from the establishment and will be omitting the name of the restaurant.

According to staff and a local community cat feeder, the mom cat had shown up a couple of weeks earlier, however, concern began to grow once staff started to hear kittens mewing.

Due to the concern, the establishment contacted ARL.

Once on-scene, ARL Field Services agents were able to spot the kittens through a space between walls and a hole in the ceiling.

With one agent acting as a spotter, the second agent was able to reach into the space to scoop up the four neonatal kittens, and safely secure them for transport.

Once secured, agents worked to capture the mom cat by luring her with food and kittens sounds, but while she came near, she wouldn’t come close enough to trap.

Agents placed a humane trap in the ceiling space, and transported the kittens to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center for veterinary care and treatment.

Staff at the restaurant reported the mom cat went into the trap at around 11 p.m., and agents returned the next day to pick up the mom cat, transporting her to Boston to be reunited with her kittens.

The cat family has been placed into foster care to allow the mom cat a quiet environment to care for her kittens.

At just three-weeks-old, the kittens need time before they can be weened from their mother and find forever homes.

The mom cat will be spayed and will also be made available for adoption in the near future.

Community Cats

Community cats are incredibly resilient, and have a knack to find shelter for themselves and their offspring.

However, kittens born this time of year are incredibly vulnerable to the elements and other potential dangers and ARL urges the public that if a cat with offspring are discovered, to contact ARL Field Services for assistance.

ARL Field Services can be reached by calling (617) 426-9170 x563.


Severely Burned Cat Continues to Recover

Burned cat suffered second/third-degree burns covering more than 50 percent of body

We first introduced Era in December, a severely burned cat who was facing a long road to recovery, and her ongoing journey to heal continues at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL).

The cat suffered burns covering over half her body, and has endured months of painful and invasive treatments to promote healing — and her progress has been amazing.

a gray and white cat wearing a veterinary cone

a gray and white cat lying down wearing a veterinary cone

Era was found in a work shed in Oxford, MA, in November, and once the extent of her injuries was realized, Oxford Animal Control contacted ARL for assistance and the cat was transported to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center for treatment.

ARL’s veterinary team assessed that second and third-degree burns were covering over half her body, and treatment has consisted of pain management and twice-weekly wound debridement to remove dead skin and exposing the new skin underneath to promote healing.

Initially it was unknown whether Era would be able to overcome her injuries, however, she is incredibly resilient and has responded very well to treatment, and will indeed get the second chance at life that she deserves.

It is still unknown what caused the burns and whether it was an intentional act, but ARL’s primary focus has been saving the animal’s life and preparing her for the next chapter in her life.

Era’s path to recovery is nearly complete, but with her healing at about 80 percent, she still has a way to go before going home.

How You Can Help

Era’s cost of care has exceeded $20,000, and ARL is asking the public for their continued support in helping Era and animals like her.

The cost of her care is roughly $1,000-1,500 per week and it is likely she’ll have to undergo at least another month of treatment before being adopted.

Anyone interested in supporting Era and animals like her can visit arlboston.org/donate.


Stray Puppy Found on Busy Neponset Circle

Stray puppy lucky to escape life-threatening circumstance

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently took in a 10-week-old stray puppy who is lucky to be alive after being found along a high-traffic area in Boston.

The 10-week-old Chihuahua named Sparkle, was found this past week in the Neponset Circle area, along the on-ramp heading towards I-93.

The Good Samaritan who rescued her had seen the dog in the area for several days, however, when the small dog wandered towards the busy roadway, her rescuer sprang into action to save the dog.

Weighing just 3 pounds and being an all-black dog, Sparkle is incredibly lucky she wasn’t struck by a vehicle, and ARL is extremely grateful to her rescuer.

The Good Samaritan is a resident at the Pine Street Inn, and once brought to the inn, staff then took the puppy to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Sparkle was frightened upon intake, and ARL’s veterinary team quickly gave her a thorough veterinary exam to make sure she was not injured and in sound health.

While she presented with an abnormal gait, the friendly and sweet puppy was determined to be in good overall health.

Sparkle was recently spayed, and was made available for adoption this past weekend.

Unsurprisingly, Sparkle quickly found her new family and is now thriving in her new home.

ARL again wishes to thank both the resident and staff at the Pine Street Inn for their actions in rescuing and likely saving the life of this young dog, who now has the forever home she deserves.

This rescue continues an amazing trend that ARL has seen in early 2024, as Good Samaritans have taken time out of their busy days to stop and help an animal in distress.

ARL salutes these acts of kindness, and thanks these Good Samaritans for being Champions for Animals in need!


ARL Sees Record-Setting Community Cat Intake

ARL only large MA animal welfare agency with dedicated Community Cat program

Following a record-setting 2023, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) continues to see a dramatic increase in the intake of community cats.

In 2023, ARL took in nearly 900 cats through the Community Cat Program, including more than 400 kittens, which is the highest number of cats to come in through the program since its inception in 2017.

2024 has already been extremely busy, as ARL took in 68 community cats, including 22 kittens, in January – a 75 percent increase over the first month of 2023.

ARL is seeing dozens of community cats coming through its doors on a weekly basis, and is working to provide medical care, behavioral assessments and placing these animals into homes as quickly as possible.

ARL is the only large animal welfare organization in Massachusetts directing resources to help community cats, and thus far in 2024, ARL has taken in more than 100 community cats from areas throughout the state.

Current data estimates there are approximately 700,000 community cats living in communities across the Commonwealth, 70,000 in Boston alone.

While community cats are incredibly resilient, kittens born outdoors are extremely vulnerable to fluctuating weather conditions, predators, illness, among others, and sadly many don’t survive.

Community cats and kittens can be found literally anywhere – under decks, in basements, woodpiles, dog houses – anywhere a mother cat can provide relative safety and warmth for her offspring.

ARL is committed to caring for these animals and reminds the public to be on the lookout for community cats and kittens.

If you come across these cats and kittens, it’s important not to attempt to move them, instead contact ARL’s Field Services Department for assistance at (617) 426-9170 (option 1).

Once the cats and kittens are rescued, ARL provides veterinary care, including vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery, and the cats are also assessed behaviorally to determine adoption potential.

Adult cats who are truly feral and do not want to rely on humans for care are returned to the field.