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Category: Rescue
ARL Reflections: A Look Back at an Amazing 2017

The Top Rescues of the Year

As the only animal organization in Massachusetts with a dedicated technical rescue team, when a domesticated or wild animal is in distress, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services is there to help. ARL Rescue Services helps thousands of animals annually.

Whether it’s a cat in a tree, or an injured animal, ARL’s rescue agents respond quickly, and compassionately to ensure the animal is saved and given the best rehabilitation treatment possible.

Watch the Top 5 Rescues of 2017!

rv1Taunton Cat. This frisky kitty got out of the house and was stuck 50-feet up in a tree for several days. ARL scaled the tree, rescued August, and returned him safely to his owner.

 

 

rt3Quincy Squirrel. When a squirrel in Quincy became stuck in the drain of a garbage dumpster, bystanders spread butter on him to try and get him free. It didn’t work, but when ARL arrived on-scene, rescue agents quickly freed the squirrel using other methods. He was treated, cleaned up and returned to the wild.

 

rt5Woburn Raccoon. Normally when a raccoon is sitting in a tree it’s not a big deal. However this curious guy had a plastic jar stuck on his head, creating a dangerous situation. ARL rescue climbed the tree, snared the jar with an extension pole, leaving the raccoon free to enjoy his day!

 

 

rt2NEU Ducks. A mother and her 11 ducklings were trapped along a window-well on the campus of Northeastern University. With the assistance of NEU Police, the mama duck and her ducklings were netted, and brought to the Back Bay Fens, where they were released into the water.

 

 

rt2WGBH Geese. For a third straight year, ARL Rescue Services was dispatched to the WGBH building due to a family of geese on the roof. The geese were captures, and released into the nearby Charles River.

 

It’s not too late to help animals in need!

The above stories are just a tiny sample-size of the work that ARL is doing every day. Animals at ARL receive the specialized veterinary care, kind attention, and socialization they need to thrive — only because of YOUR generous donations. ARL receives no government funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals like you to keep our important work going. We need your continued support today to ensure we start the New Year fully-funded to respond to the nearly 18,000 animals who will depend on us for help. Your tax-deductible donation will provide the critical resources necessary to help thousands of homeless animals, family pets, wildlife, and communities most in need in 2018.

Thank you for being a Champion for Animals and for giving generously today!


ARL Reflections: A Look Back at an Amazing 2017

Top Animal Protection Stories of the Year!

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is a recognized leader in animal safety and is often the first organization to respond when animals are in danger. Large, small, and in-between, we remove these animals from neglect, abuse; or provide an option for an owner who can no longer care for an animal and give them the care they need and a new lease on life.

ProtectionPlayWatch the Top 5 Animal Protection Stories of 2017!

 

 

 

hoard thumbHoarding. In August, ARL removed 112 animals from separate hoarding situations over a period of just 25 days. These animals needed a myriad of care, in some cases that care lasted for several months.

 

 

diesel thumbDiesel. Diesel needed an amputation after his tether wrapped around his leg so tight it cut off circulation, causing the leg to become necrotic. ARL took him in and found him a new home.

 

 

eloise thumbWestport Goats. 1,400 animals were removed from a tenant farm in Westport, MA, in July 2016. ARL cared for more than 100 animals, including several pregnant goats. This past spring nine of these goats including baby Eloise were adopted by a local counseling center and are now part of an outpatient healing program.

 

wb thumbWater Buffalo. When the owner of two 1,000-plus-pound water buffalo could no longer care for them, ARL sprang into action. A suitable location was found quickly, and the large animals are incredibly happy in their new surroundings on a Massachusetts farm.

 

 

lars thumbRabies Quarantine. In 2016, Governor Charlie Baker revised state regulations that reduced rabies quarantine periods from six months to four. This change benefits quarantined animals in a variety of ways, and Lars and Bryan Adams were the first animals at ARL to experience four-month quarantines.

 

 

Let’s Help Even More Animals in 2018 — Together!

The above stories are just a tiny sample-size of the work that ARL is doing every day. Animals at ARL receive the specialized veterinary care, kind attention, and socialization they need to thrive — only because of YOUR generous donations. ARL receives no government funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals like you to keep our important work going. We need your continued support today to ensure we start the New Year fully-funded to respond to the nearly 18,000 animals who will depend on us for help. Your tax-deductible donation will provide the critical resources necessary to help thousands of homeless animals, family pets, wildlife, and communities most in need in 2018.

Thank you for being a Champion for Animals and for giving generously today!


ARL Reflections: Looking Back at an Amazing 2017

Community Cats Initiative Shows Immediate, Large-Scale Impact

In 2017, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) became the first organization in Massachusetts with staff specifically dedicated to helping “community cats”. These cats can be characterized as friendly strays, abandoned or feral; as well as owned cats that are allowed to roam outdoors. There are an estimated 700,000 community cats living in the state and face a variety of dangers, including starvation, illness, over-population, harsh weather, and other predators.

As an unwavering champion for animals in need, ARL decided that the challenges community cats face required our attention and action.

CommCatsVid_PlayWatch a 2017 recap video of ARL’s Community Cats Initiative

ARL’s Community Cats Initiative is a two-pronged approach. Our rescue agents respond to calls regarding community cat colonies, and after an initial assessment, a TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) plan is formulated for that particular colony.

Once trapped, these animals are brought to the Community Surgical Clinic at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center for treatment and surgery.

TNR is one of the most humane and effective ways to stop the cycle of homelessness among cats. Along with surgery, the TNR plan includes vaccines, and whether each cat will be returned to the colony, returned to their owner if they are microchipped, or be put up for adoption at ARL’s Boston, Brewster, or Dedham shelters if they are deemed friendly.

Throughout the year, ARL’s Community Cats Initiative rescued more than 600 homeless cats, and astonishingly just 18 percent were returned to their habitat. That means that more than 400 cats have been taken off the streets and adopted into loving homes!

Let’s help even more animals in 2018 — TOGETHER!

We are excited about our commitment to help keep community cats safe and healthy in the habitats in which they live but we need your investment in order to provide the best outcome for these cats. To fully support these innovative programs and help more than 1,500 cats lead healthier lives, we need to raise $204,000 annually. Thank you for supporting ARL and being a champion for animals!


UPDATE: ARL’s Preparedness Provides Quick Turnaround

Dogs Rescued on Thanksgiving Eve Ready for Adoption

Update! Two of the six cats rescued from unsanitary conditions are now up for adoption at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

On Thanksgiving Eve, while many of us were busy travelling or preparing for the holiday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) was assisting authorities in Middlesex County, removing animals from a hoarding situation.

In all, 26 animals were removed from the home, including 20 Shih Tzu dogs and puppies and six Siamese cats.

The animals were thin, dehydrated, and hungry. Additionally, many of the animals were unkempt and had feces and urine stuck in their matted fur.

ARL Rescue Services, Law Enforcement, Shelter Operations and Shelter Veterinary Medicine collaborated for a quick response, removing the animals and shuttling them to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, where they were triaged, examined, fed, and kept warm.

The dogs and cats were monitored by staff on Thanksgiving and into the weekend. The animals quickly put on weight, and just seven days after being removed from the situation, six of the dogs are now being made available for adoption!

“I’m proud of the collaborative efforts that were made by a number of ARL programs in order to have this positive outcome,” said Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services. “Our preparedness to deal with emergency situations has been tested many times and this was no exception; and once again ARL responded quickly to help these animals in need.”

The remaining 14 animals are receiving on-going treatment, and will be made available once they are medically cleared, and it’s hopeful that all of these animals will have new homes for the holidays!


An Early Holiday-Season Miracle

Abandoned Kitten Brought Back from Brink of Death

‘Tis the season of miracles, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently witnessed one in the form of an 11-week-old kitten who was found on the campus of Mount Ida College.

Mount Ida employees had recently contacted ARL Rescue Services after seeing a mother cat with her litter around one of the campus buildings. Separate trips to the campus yielded no results in finding the kitty family; however about a week later, employees heard a kitten in a basement stairwell crying for help. Attempting to aid the kitten, he got spooked, and scampered off into the darkness.

Scared, dehydrated, hungry, and alone after being abandoned by his mother, the kitten curled up in the corner of the basement to die. When ARL arrived on-scene, the kitten was seemingly lifeless (the responding agent even checked for rigor mortis), when suddenly the kitten gasped for breath. He was alive — barely — and it was now a race against the clock to save his life. Thankfully the campus sits just five miles from ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Emergency Measures

Upon arrival in Dedham, his temperature did not register via rectal thermometer, he was taking agonal breaths — the body’s last-ditch effort to deliver oxygen to vital organs — and had a faint heartbeat.

ARL’s shelter and community veterinary staff placed the kitten (later named Lawrence) on a towel wrapped in a heating pad to warm him up, then were able to place an IV catheter in him to deliver subcutaneous fluids and dextrose. Despite having a series of seizures (likely related to low blood-sugar levels), over the next few hours the kitten gradually pepped up and eventually was able to eat.

A Life Saved

Lawrence has been making steady progress, and the grit and toughness shown by this little miracle has been awe-inspiring to everyone involved in the collaborative life-saving effort.

“The way he has responded is remarkable,” said ARL Veterinarian Dr. Kate Gollon. “It’s a nice reminder how resilient many animals are if you simply give them the basics — water, warmth, food, and a little TLC. It’s definitely been one of the most rewarding cases in my career as a veterinarian.”

YOU Make our Work Possible

While still on the mend, Lawrence is amazingly friendly and will likely be ready to find a forever home in time for the holidays! Without your support, this heart-warming outcome may not have been possible. ARL receives no government funding, and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to be an unwavering champion for animals.

If you support ARL now, your contribution can be tripled! ARL is thrilled to be a part of the launch of HippoGive — a new app powered by Network for Good which makes donating simpler.  HippoGive will match up to $100 of your gift so now through #GivingTuesday, your gift can be tripled when combined with our match! Click here to make your gift X3!


Low-Stress Approach Used for Removing Jar from Raccoon’s Head

ARL Rescue Services Assist Woburn ACO

Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) Rescue Services has certainly had its share of calls to help animals in strange predicaments — a squirrel with its head stuck in a dumpster drain or animal bone, cats in walls, and this week we add a raccoon in a tree with a plastic jar stuck on its head.

On Tuesday, Woburn’s Animal Control Officer contacted ARL regarding the raccoon. He appeared to be healthy and uninjured, but the jar posed a number of dangers — induced panic from the enclosed space, inability to eat or see, and the possibility of falling out of the tree. A trap had been set at the base of the tree, but it was clear that responders had to go to the animal, not wait for him to come down.

The raccoon was about 25 feet up in the tree, which made him accessible, but understandably the raccoon was stressed. The goal of rescuers was to try and remove the jar without having to snare the raccoon and bring him to the ground — easier said than done.

Climbing about 15 feet up in to the tree and using an 11-foot extension pole, ARL Senior Rescue Agent Mike Brammer essentially had to play ring-toss with the jar, positioning it just right to pull it off the raccoon’s head without making him panic.

After several attempts, the jar came off, fluttered to the ground and was disposed of properly (just in case the raccoon didn’t learn his lesson) and the animal remained free in the tree without injury!

Make Double the Impact 

In the past year, ARL Rescue Services has responded to well over 1,500 wildlife rescue calls. ARL receives no government and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to make our work possible. As part of Giving Tuesday, your support can now have double the impact.

#GivingTuesday is an international movement created to encourage giving back to the charities nearest and dearest to your heart during the busy holiday season.

Because ARL is committed to keeping animals safe and healthy in their habitats and homes, our Board of Directors and President have teamed up to offer this incredible challenge:

Raise $100,000 and they will double it.*

That means any gift you make now through November 28 will be matched dollar for dollar to help us reach our total goal of $200,000 for animals in need! Donate $100 or more and you or your pet will be acknowledged on ARL’s #GivingTuesday Wall of Honor.

*The match only applies to the first $100K in donations ARL receives but all gifts will go to help animals in need.


Good Samaritan’s Quick Actions Saves Lives of Two Stray Kittens

ARL Shelter Staff, Volunteers Take Extraordinary Measures

This past weekend, shelter agents at ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center received a call from a woman in Hyde Park who had found two kittens small enough to fit in the palm of her hand, but their mother and rest of the litter were nowhere to be found. Left to fend for themselves, quick action needed to be taken in order to give these kittens a chance of surviving.

ARL volunteer Stacey Coyne hopped in the car and drove to the woman’s address, and found that while the male kitten was alert, responsive and hungry, the female kitten was ice cold, lethargic and had labored breathing. The stray kittens were estimated to be about two weeks old, and with their mother abandoning them for some reason, it was a race against the clock to get them stabilized. For the ride back to the shelter, the kittens were wrapped in a blanket and placed on top of a bottle filled with warm water, in an effort to raise their body temperatures.

Once back at the shelter, the kittens continued to be warmed up, were given subcutaneous fluids, and were bottle fed with kitten milk formula. Although warming up and eating, a short time later the female kitten began to crash once again — while coordinating efforts with ARL veterinary staff, it was unclear whether she would make it through the night.

 Volunteer Dedication

With the kittens needing special attention, Stacey volunteered to take them home for the night. She tended to their needs, kept a close eye on their condition, and continued to bottle-feed them. It was an all-night effort, as Stacey stayed awake with the kittens until 5 a.m.

In the 12-18 hours after being found, the condition of the female kitten vastly improved, and while not out of the woods, the little ones are on the road to recovery, and will remain in foster care for several more weeks so stay tuned for updates!!

 The Importance of Fostering

Sometimes shelter animals need a little extra attention and TLC outside of the shelter environment. ARL is always looking for responsible and loving individuals willing to open their homes for animals in need — of critical need right now are volunteers to help with shy cats at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, and behaviorally-challenged dogs. Fostering depends on the animal’s needs, and can range from several days to several weeks. Additionally, our Roving Rovers program is perfect for working families and professionals. This unique foster experience allows you to take one our shelter dogs home overnight, while the shelter is closed. Get involved today!


Helping Animals and Communities in Need

Community Cats Initiative Surpasses 500 Rescues

Back in the early spring, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) hired the organization’s first dedicated Community Cat Rescue Agents, and in just a few short months, more than 500 cats have been rescued through the Community Cat Initiative!

comm cats blog thumb

ARL Rescue Agents Suzanne Trasavage (L), and Theresa Vinic with two rescued kittens.

Community cats include friendly strays, feral, abandoned, and owned animals that are allowed outdoors to roam. Living outdoors they face many challenges, including risk of illness and injury. Additionally, without spay/neuter surgery, these cats can produce many litters, continuing the cycle of large colonies of unowned and unwanted cats.

Through ARL’s Community Cat Initiative and Community Surgical Clinic, these animals are trapped, given veterinary exams, and spayed/neutered. Only 18 percent have been returned to their respective colonies, while those deemed friendly and adoptable have been placed into loving homes — including 270 kittens!

In September, ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center found homes for 105 cats, more than any month over the past decade, a sign that the program is indeed working.

“While we knew there was a need for this important work, we have all been surprised at the number of kittens that otherwise would have grown up in the streets, and now they can be adopted into loving homes,” said Cheryl Traversi, ARL’s Associate Director of Community Services.

Changing Lives

ARL has only scratched the surface on the community impact the Community Cat Initiative can have in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. We are excited for the opportunity to keep animals safe and healthy in the habitats in which they live, however this initiative needs your support in order to be a success. To fully support these innovative programs and help more than 1,500 cats lead healthier lives, ARL needs to raise $204,000 annually. For more information, contact Rick Tagliaferri at rtafliaferri@arlboston.org.


Happy Tails Tuesday: Collaborative Rescue Effort Saves Lost Dog in Blue Hills Reservation

Thanks to a collaborative effort between the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement and Rescue Departments, Quincy’s animal control officer, and two rangers with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (MDCR), a lost dog in the Blue Hills area in Quincy is home — safe and sound.

While driving through the Blue Hills recently, ARL Law Enforcement Investigator Lt. Alan Borgal noticed people on the side of the road interacting with a young pit bull-type dog. For Lt. Borgal, the job doesn’t stop, so he pulled over to offer assistance.

“The dog seemed friendly, but frightened, so he wouldn’t come,” Lt. Boral said. “At one point I turned around and just like that he was gone into the woods. There are all sorts of dangers in that area for domesticated animals, from wildlife and treacherous terrain to traffic congestion, so it was imperative to find this dog before something tragic happened.”

Lt. Borgal contacted MDCR Rangers Tom Bender and Lawrence Walsh as well as Quincy ACO Don Conboy to come up with a plan to capture the dog safely, with the hopes of returning him to his owner. It turns out the rangers had interacted with the dog, but had been unable to catch him so the best solution was to set a trap for the pup.

Lt. Borgal provided a humane trap, and once the rangers set it up, within hours the dog was captured!

Once on-scene, Lt. Borgal ARL Senior Rescue Agent Mike Brammer, and MDCR Ranger Walsh lugged the trap through the woods and transported him back to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center. It turns out that “Cezar” was microchipped, however the information hadn’t been updated in some time.

“It took a bit of detective work to find the owner of the dog,” Lt. Borgal said. “The owner brought Cezar to work with him and he wound up slipping away and was on his own for about three days.”

Cezar has been reunited with his owner, and is back to curling up in his favorite spot — under the bed. ARL would like to thank all those involved who made Cezar’s safe return possible and if you see a lost or frightened dog on a roadway, contact local police, animal control, or ARL so that animals like Cezar can be rescued out of harms way.

Update Your Information

Having a microchip implanted in your animal is important just in case he or she strays off. But it’s equally as important to make sure your information is updated whenever you move or change your contact information. Preparedness is responsible pet ownership!


ARL Takes in Kittens from Irma-Impacted Florida Shelter

On Thursday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) received an emergency transport of 10 kittens from the Palm Beach, FL-based Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, who was directly impacted by Hurricane Irma.

irma body thumb


An ARL new edition.

In the days following both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, ARL has been in constant contact with individual shelters as well our national partners, and has made it known that if animals need to be transported from Texas, Florida, or other areas, ARL will make space available.

 

“By taking in these animals who were in Peggy Adams’ shelter, it allows that organization to open up space to be able to assist stray, hurt or abandoned animals that need treatment and shelter in the wake of the storm,” said Caitlin Tomlinson, ARL’s Associate Director of Shelter Operations.

ARL recently partnered with Peggy Adams in a transport of 60 kittens in August, and was happy to be involved in the organization’s transport of about 100 animals to the Northeast. As cleanup efforts continue in all the storm-ravaged areas, ARL may be taking in more animals in the days and weeks ahead.

The kittens will undergo medical evaluations, and should be available to find forever homes by early next week.