fbpx
Category: Rescue
Former Injured Stray Ready to Find Forever Home

Nikki suffered from embedded collar injury

**Update 7/27/20: Nikki has been adopted!**

For Nikki, since being found as a part of a stray cat colony, the last five months have been a long, arduous journey.

When she was found, Nikki was suffering from wounds caused by an embedded collar, a not uncommon injury where a cat tries to remove a collar and it typically gets caught around the animal’s armpit.

Nikki receives treatment for injuries caused by an embedded collar.

If not treated immediately the collar can dig into the skin, causing severe irritation and a high risk of infection. If Nikki had not been rescued, her injuries may very well have been fatal.

After being rescued from the streets, Nikki was brought to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center for medical treatment.

The one-year-old cat’s injuries from the embedded collar were extensive, and surgery was needed to remove the collar and to stitch up the open wound. From there Nikki began the slow process of recovery.

The next five months for Nikki consisted of antibiotics, a number of rounds of wound debridement, rebandaging, and constant monitoring.

But despite her injuries and slow recovery, Nikki has shown all who have come into contact with her that she has nothing but love to give, and after months of medical treatment, she is now ready to find her forever home.

Interested in Adoption?

While Nikki’s wounds have healed nicely, her new family will need to continue her wound treatment and should establish a plan with her new veterinarian.

If you are interested in meeting Nikki and believe she may be a perfect fit for you and your family, contact ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center at (617) 426-9170 x604. ARL staff will be happy to conduct an adoption interview via phone and arrange a meeting, if both parties think it’s a good match.

Please note:

  • With the exception of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York or New Jersey, we are unable to conduct out-of-state adoptions at this time.
  • The public will not be permitted in the shelter or lobby waiting areas without an appointment and will be asked to limit the number of visitors.
  • Everyone must wear a protective face covering or mask that covers both the nose and mouth while at ARL facilities by order of the State of Massachusetts.
    • Please alert our staff if you need to request accommodation due to a medical condition by calling: (617) 426 – 9170 and dialing the appropriate extension: Boston press “0”, Dedham x605, or Brewster x305;
    • For more information on these safety requirements, visit mass.gov.

ARL Caring for Lost Puggle and Puppies

This past week a two-year-old puggle and her five puppies were discovered in a wooded area along Route 3A in Weymouth, MA, this after the mom had been missing for some time.

Since going missing the puggle had been spotted a number of times, but remained elusive.

While difficult to survive on her own in the wild, the puggle was resourceful and had been living in an area close to a fast food restaurant so she would have an ample food supply.

Weymouth Animal Control Officer Mike Parker was able to trap the mom, and after her owner relinquished custody of the dog and puppies, they were brought the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Robin and her puppies

Robin's Puppies

Despite some scratches, scrapes and a number of insect bites from living in the wild, the mom and her four-week-old puppies are in good health.

Given the age of the puppies, the family will be placed into foster care until the pups and mom are ready to find their loving forever homes.

How You Can Help

A gift to ARL today ensures this puggle family and others like them receive the care and support they need to be healthy, happy and to find their forever homes!

To support the care of these animals click here, and thank you for being a Champion for Animals!


Updated: ARL Caring for 80 Cats from Edgartown Law Enforcement Case

Breeder facing animal cruelty charges

This past week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department, along with Edgartown (Martha’s Vineyard) Police and Animal Control and Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) personnel, executed a search warrant at an Edgartown home and removed 65 cats from the property.

The cats were transferred to ARL’s care for veterinary care and will likely need weeks of treatment.

Update: Two litters of kittens have been born and ARL is now caring for approximately 80 cats and kittens.

The cat breeder, Jennifer Winsper, 48, will be charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty (MGL.272/77/B: Animal Cruelty by a Custodian).

ARL Law Enforcement inspected the property in 2019 following complaints of sick cats being sold off island. A similar complaint was lodged with Edgartown Animal Control in late June 2020. Edgartown Animal Control Officer Betsy Buck and MDAR personnel inspected the property following the complaint and determined the conditions were detrimental and dangerous for the animals.

ARL Law Enforcement sought and was then granted a search warrant for the property to take custody of the cats.

With the help of Edgartown Police and Animal Control and MDAR, 65 cats were safely removed from the property. Conditions inside the building where the cats were being kept had poor air quality, an overwhelming odor of animal waste, and was incredibly hot.

“We are very appreciative of the strong partnership we have with the Animal Rescue League of Boston,” said Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee. “Their resources and expertise are invaluable to a small police department, especially one out here on Martha’s Vineyard, in cases like these.”

ARL wishes to thank Edgartown Police and Animal Control and MDAR for their assistance and resolve in rescuing these animals from difficult circumstances.

How You Can Help

An influx of this many animals causes a strain on ARL’s resources, and an emergency gift today can support:

  • Veterinary care and rehabilitation for the sudden influx of animals that have suffered
  • On-going investigations of cruelty to pursue justice for animals
  • Emergency response when crisis strikes and animals are in dire need

Thank you for supporting ARL’s ongoing efforts to combat animals suffering cruelty, neglect and abuse.

red donate button


    Press Release: Rescued Mini Donkeys Seek New Home

    Bonded pair seized from hoarding-type situation

    A pair of mini donkeys who have come from previously traumatic situation were recently transferred from foster care to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center, and are now searching for a new home.

    The donkeys, Brownie and Marshmallow, were seized from a hoarding-type situation in Plymouth County in late 2019 and were two of approximately 50 animals taken from the unsanitary conditions on the property.

    The former owner is facing animal cruelty charges, and the property has since been condemned.

    Twenty-year-old Brownie, and 13-year-old Marshmallow are neutered males, and because of their bond, ARL is seeking to adopt the donkeys as a pair.

    While initially shy and despite the terrible conditions they were previously living in, they are extremely friendly, comfortable around people of all ages, including children, and have outgoing personalities.

    With many livestock owners on Cape Cod, ARL is hopeful that Brownie and Marshmallow will find the type of loving home they deserve quickly, and reminds the public that all animal adoptions are currently by appointment only.

    Interested parties should call (617) 426-9170 x305 to schedule an appointment, and will also be required to show a photo of the enclosure the donkeys would be living in to ensure it’s appropriate.


    ARL Assists Woburn ACO in Swan Rescue

    Swan injured by fishing hook; reunited with family quickly

    On Wednesday afternoon, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department assisted Woburn Animal Control in capturing a swan on Horn Pond, who had been suffering for a number of days.

    The male swan was injured by a small fish hook caught in his right foot which was also wrapped in fishing line.

    A local favorite among those who frequent Horn Pond, the male and his mate are caring for their offspring, and both are protective and leery of unknown humans – this added an additional challenge to the rescue effort despite being close to the shore line.

    With a number of bystanders looking on, ARL’s Field Services agent carefully snared the swan with a humane net, pulled him to shore and, with the help of Woburn Animal Control and a bystander who has an affinity for the swan family, able to safely place the injured animal into a crate for transport.

    The swan was taken to New England Wildlife Center in Weymouth, and after a quick treatment of removing the hook, cleaning the wound and administering antibiotics and pain medication, ARL returned to Horn Pond to reunite the swan with his family just a few hours later.

    Given that swans are territorial, ARL believes this is not the first time this swan has needed assistance, as Field Services rescued a swan in the same area several years ago.

    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.

    ARL relies on the generosity of compassionate individuals (like you!) to carry out our important work to help animals and communities in need — please help us continue this lifesaving work by making a donation.

    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 Continues its Mission During Shutdown

    When the impacts of COVID-19 began to be severely felt in Massachusetts, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) did what so many other organizations and businesses did across the state – altered day-to-day operations for the health and safety of staff, volunteers, clients and the animals we care for.

    While ARL placed more than 200 animals into foster care in mid-March and suspended adoption services, as an organization ARL was extremely active in helping animals in need and caring for the communities we serve.

    Placing animals in foster care had multiple benefits.

    First, it allowed the animals to be removed from the shelter environment, which can be stressful for some, and into a home setting.

    A home setting is not only less stressful, but it also gives ARL’s Animal Care Associates a better understanding on what these animals are like in a home, making it easier to find their perfect match.

    Another benefit was creating open kennel space at ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Centers, in the event that emergency animal intakes became necessary for pet owners.

    Intake

    From March 16 to May 31, ARL did see a surge in intake, as 286 animals came through ARL’s doors – 134 in Boston alone.

    These animals came to ARL in a variety of ways – emergency owner surrenders primarily due to COVID-19-related hardship, adopted animals returned, law enforcement cases, transport from other municipalities, among others.

    The majority of the animals were cats, with 180 felines coming into ARL’s Boston, Dedham and Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers.

    There were 72 dogs that came through intake, the remaining 34 animals were small animals and livestock.

    Law Enforcement

    While adoption services were suspended, ARL’s Law Enforcement Department remained busy during the past two-and-a-half months.

    From January 1, 2020 through May 15, ARL’s Law Enforcement Department had 128 new cases reported, involving 600 animals.

    However, over the past two months alone, ARL Law Enforcement opened 56 new cases, involving 189 animals.

    During the past two months, ARL Law Enforcement has responded to hoarding-type situations, a number of animal cruelty situations including a cat in Framingham that was shot with a high-powered pellet gun, several instances of animal abandonment, and also assisted in a number of non-cruelty cases including the return of a geriatric stray cat to its family in Winchendon.

    Serving Communities in Need

    Along with suspending adoption services, an additional byproduct of COVID-19 was the suspension of ARL community services, primarily the Wellness Waggin’ and Spay Waggin’ – two programs that bring veterinary services directly into the communities ARL serves.

    The question was how can we still serve our communities in spite of stay at home orders and the growing impacts of COVID-19?

    The answer came in the form of ARL’s Keep Pets S.A.F.E. (Supporting Animals Facing Emergencies) Program.

    The program, initially funded by a $30,000 grant through PetSmart Charities®, has allowed ARL to support community partners Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) and Boston Senior Home Care (BSHC), by providing their clients with pet food and supplies and other urgent assistance.

    Clients of ARL’s Wellness Waggin’ are also eligible for assistance.

    ARL has provided the following services to clients who qualify for the program:

    • Deliver pet food and other essential pet supplies to clients’ homes and partner-supported community housing;
    • Pick up pets to provide critical veterinary care and return them to their owner;
    • Provide temporary emergency shelter for pets and offer pick up and return of the pet to their owner or a designated caregiver;
    • Arrange for emergency and essential surrender of pets with pick up service.

    To date, the Keep Pets S.A.F.E. Program has received more than 300 requests for assistance, secured more than 75,000 individual healthy meals for pets, delivered essential supplies and pet food to more than 160 clients, and provided telemedicine or critical veterinary care to more than two dozen clients.

    While Massachusetts slowly reopens, the need remains, and ARL is committed to keep this program running for as long as it’s needed to assist the communities we serve in the Greater Boston area.

    For more information on ARL’s Keep Pets S.A.F.E. Program, and to see if you qualify, log onto arlboston.org/safe.

    Thank you!

    This important work is made possible by the generosity of people like you.

    While it is difficult to predict the long-term impact of this global crisis, one thing remains constant—animals are still in need.

    By lending your support, you ensure that animals in Massachusetts can get the care they count on including food, sanctuary, medical care, love, and emergency rescue if they are in danger.

    red donate button 


    Press Release: ARL Field Services Rescues Cat Caught in Fence

    ‘Margot’ safe and sound and will be available for adoption soon

    This past week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department came to the aid of a friendly neighborhood stray cat in Dorchester, who found itself stuck in a chain-link fence.

    A resident who regularly feeds the cat, named Margot, went into her backyard and discovered Margot stuck in the fence and crying.

    She called ARL, and once agents Mike Brammer and Paul Luongo arrived on-scene, one agent held the cat still, while the other cut away a piece of the fence to free the cat. Not only was the cat uninjured, but surprisingly she was also thankful and wanted to be petted by her rescuers.

    Although sad to see Margot go, the resident asked the agents if ARL would take Margot and find her a permanent home.

    Margot was transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center for evaluation and the four-year-old cat will be made available for adoption after putting on a little weight and being spayed.

    Clearly having an attachment to Margot, once she was freed from the fence the resident and her family spent some time with a friendly stray before saying goodbye.

    “Huge thanks to ARL for saving Margot,” the resident wrote in a social media post. “She was stuck with the fence piercing her neck and I tried tirelessly to cut the fence with no luck (and) tears streaming down my face. We called ARL and received the best support! The team rushed out and saved her in minutes…we can’t thank you enough the boys were so happy!”

    ARL will reopen for appointment-only adoption services beginning June 1. ARL Field Services has also remained busy during the pandemic, delivering food and supplies to pet owners in the Greater Boston area, as well as transporting animals in need of veterinary attention.


    Press Release: Week-Old Kitten Abandoned in Dorchester – ARL Law Enforcement Investigating Incident

    Disclaimer: This news release contains details about an alleged instance of animal cruelty that may be upsetting to some readers. 

    This past weekend, a concerned citizen helped rescue an abandoned kitten who was found in a residential neighborhood in Dorchester.

    Unfortunately the kitten was unable to survive.

    The male kitten, estimated to be just 1-2 weeks old, was found with a plastic bag covering his head and cinched around his neck, and the resident who found him needed a knife to cut the bag in order to free the kitten.

    The resident contacted the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department, who immediately responded to the area on Norfolk St.

    Sadly, just days after being rescued, the kitten developed Fading Kitten Syndrome, and did not survive.

    ARL’s Law Enforcement Department is investigating the matter as an act of animal cruelty and abandonment, as it’s believed the bag was placed over the kitten’s head intentionally.

    This action is also believed to have directly contributed to the animal’s decline and untimely death.

    “This is a sad day at ARL, however we remain steadfast and committed to discovering who may have committed this act of cruelty on a defenseless kitten,” said ARL President Dr. Edward Schettino. “If anyone has any information, we plead for you to reach out so we may give this kitten some peace and perhaps save the lives of more vulnerable animals.”

    Animal cruelty is a felony in Massachusetts, punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

    Anyone with information on this act of animal cruelty is urged to contact ARL Law Enforcement at 617-426-9170, or via email cruelty@arlboston.org.


    ARL Conducts National Animal Cruelty Conversation

    Dr. Edward Schettino Presents During AAWA Webinar

    While many things in our daily lives have been altered, suspended, or cancelled, the battle to end animal cruelty, neglect, and abuse continues unabated.

    This past week, Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services, presented a webinar hosted by The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement (AAWA) to discuss the importance of professionals having the tools to not only recognize animal abuse, but who to report it to.

    The webinar was attended by more than 100 animal welfare and veterinary professionals from across the country.

    Currently, only 16 states, including Massachusetts, categorize veterinarians as mandated reporters of animal cruelty and abuse, while just six states mandate non-veterinarians (typically Animal Control Officers) to report – again, Massachusetts is one of these states.

    The information discussed during the webinar will hopefully bring new ideas and action to regions of the country that do not mandate reporting of suspected animal cruelty.

    Cruelty Manual

    In 2018, a collaborative effort between ARL, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and Animal Folks (MN) resulted in the creation of Reporting Animal Cruelty the Role of the Veterinarian: Establishing Protocols to Identify and Report Suspected Animal Cruelty in Massachusetts.

    This manual was at the center of Dr. Schettino’s presentation.

    “The manual provides guidance for veterinarians to establish protocols at clinics and practices, and help them really understand why it’s so important to report animal cruelty – even though it’s already mandated in Massachusetts,” said Dr. Schettino during the webinar presentation.

    Veterinarians are at the forefront of every day animal care, and the manual covers all aspects of animal cruelty including: veterinarian’s roles and responsibilities and documentation and reporting procedures; overviews of the “link” between animal abuse and human abuse, and current Massachusetts law.

    In 2019, ARL also partnered with the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) Division of Professional Licensure, to include the information during the mandated annual license renewal process for every veterinarian in the Commonwealth.

    A Leader in Training

    Dr. Schettino’s webinar is just the latest in ARL’s efforts to train those who are in the greatest position to identify and take proper actions to ensure both the safety of the animal and perhaps other members of the household who may also be subjected to violence and abuse.

    Over the past year, ARL has conducted training sessions with the Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts Police Chiefs Association, dozens of local Animal Control Officers, and the Massachusetts Disabilities Commission.

    ARL is often the first to respond in instances of animal cruelty or abuse, but we cannot do it alone. Ongoing training for those in law enforcement and other disciplines are vital to combat abuse and advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.


    ARL Assists Winchendon ACO Reunite 22-Year-Old Cat with Owners

    This week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department had the pleasure of assisting Winchendon, MA, Animal Control in a heart-warming reunion between a curious 22-year-old cat, and her family.

    This reunion may not have been possible if the family had not filed a missing pet report.

    Earlier in the week, the cat, named Tips, was found along a main road in the town that borders New Hampshire, and taken into the care of Winchendon Animal Control Officer Suzie Kowaleski, who then contacted ARL for assistance.

    ARL brought Tips to its Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center, where the cat received a thorough veterinary exam, blood work, as well as some medication and ointments.

    Other than typical signs of advanced age, Tips had no injuries, was in good spirits, friendly, and was clearly being missed by someone.

    Tips wasn’t microchipped, however, her family had fortunately filed a lost report, making this reunion possible.

    Welcome Home

    Cats, no matter their age, are naturally curious and it seemed that Tips simply slipped out the door and was on her own for several days.

    Tips’ family had actually seen her born and had cared for her ever since and was understandably worried that the 22-year-old cat was out in the world on her own.

    Her family was absolutely thrilled to have her home, and ARL is proud to have played a small role in caring for the animal and reuniting Tips with her family.

    ARL thanks Winchendon ACO Suzie Kowaleski and everyone involved for making this happy ending possible!

    If A Pet Goes Missing

    The American Humane Association estimates that 1 out of every 3 pets will go missing at some point in their lifetime.

    A shocking statistic for sure, but remember, if your animal has gone missing, there are many resources available, including ARL, to help locate your beloved pet.

    Filing a lost report with your local animal control, ARL, and other animal welfare organizations is a critical first step.

    For other tips on how to handle a missing pet situation, click here.