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Category: Rescue
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!

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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.

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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.


Hoarding Update: 25 Days, 112 Animals

ARL Veterinary and Shelter Staff Taking Extraordinary Measures

The month of August proved to be unprecedented for veterinary and shelter staff at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). In just 25 days, 112 animals were removed from several different hoarding situations, 62 cats on one property alone. In the weeks that have followed, incredible measures have been taken to ensure the animals are safe and on a path to good overall health.

Nearly 40 cats are currently in isolation for treatment of zoonotic fungal infections, and must be handled delicately. Fulfilling basic tasks for the animals i.e. feeding, cleaning litter boxes and cages, requires Tyvek haz-mat suits, gloves, masks and other safety precautions. The treatment is extensive, and may last up to six weeks.

“It involves twice weekly baths, daily oral medications, and weekly fungal cultures,” said ARL veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley. “This process will need to continue for at least 30 days and may take longer to clear the infection.”

ARL’s MASH Unit

At least 15 cats that were removed were community or under-socialized outdoor cats. These cats had to be trapped and removed from the property by ARL due to the conditions on the property. While these cats had not been diagnosed with a fungal infection, ARL veterinary staff had to consider that they were exposed to it. Posing less of a risk to animals and people if they were spayed/neutered and released as quickly as possible, special arrangements needed to be made.

To eliminate the threat of spreading any possible infection, an outdoor spay and neuter clinic was set up at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center. Utilizing a simple camping tent, Dr. Quigley and staff examined, and spayed/neutered the cats. The animals were also given flea treatments and deworming medication. The MASH-type clinic reflects the challenges ARL staff has been presented with in treating these animals.

“Performing these surgeries in a tent isn’t exactly unorthodox, but it does present challenges,” Dr. Quigley said. “The outdoor process takes more than twice as many people as an indoor facility and requires extensive personal protection and disinfection protocols. The tent and any items that were not able to be sanitized were discarded at the end of the day.”

A Life-Saving Approach

For many years, shelters have had to make tough decisions regarding animals diagnosed with or exposed to fungal infections. These decisions have historically been life or death. Unfortunately, cats were often euthanized due to the risk to other animals, people, and the cost associated with treatment. ARL has decided to take another approach — a life-saving approach.

“ARL is treating nearly 40 cats for this infection, and all of these efforts take an extraordinary amount of time and resources,” Dr. Quigley said. “Staff and volunteers must wear personal protection to limit their exposure to the fungus and we must take every precaution not to expose healthy animals in our care. Our dedicated staff and volunteers must spend countless hours working with these cats to give them the best quality of life whey they’re in our shelter, and the best chances we can provide them to find new homes after treatment — that is our charge and one we take very seriously.”

Your Support is Critical

As stated above, caring for these animals has required extraordinary measures, and will also require an enormous time and financial commitment. We need your help. By donating today, you will help:

  •       Support our special investigations and on-going rescue efforts
  •       Provide sanctuary and continued, extended care for these animals
  •       Help rehabilitate and prepare these animals for adoption

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes. Our mission is made possible by your generosity and on behalf of every animal ARL serves — WE THANK YOU.


Update: Ted Williams Tunnel Kitten Does Not Need Quarantine Period

“Ted” Currently in Foster Care

When Ted was rescued from the Ted Williams Tunnel during Labor Day Weekend, injuries to his tail suggested that he was headed toward a four-month rabies quarantine period due to a wound of unknown origin. That however is no longer the case.

Ted did indeed suffer an injury to his tail, which needed to be amputated, but while he was under anesthesia, it was determined that no quarantine was necessary. That being said, Ted is currently not up for adoption, he is in foster care to work on his social skills.

While still a little fearful following his ordeal, Ted is doing well and will be up for adoption soon — stay tuned for updates!

ORIGINAL POST: 

For the second time this summer, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) joined forces with the Massachusetts State Police to save the life of a kitten on the side of a busy Massachusetts highway.

In June it was along Route 128 near Canton, over Labor Day Weekend, it was on the westbound side of the Ted Williams Tunnel.

State Police received a number of calls from passing motorists concerned about the little grey kitten who was seen wandering along the side of the road. Surveillance cameras zeroed in on the wayward kitty, giving Troopers a better idea of where he was located inside the 8,448-foot long tunnel. Once on-scene, Troopers closed one lane of traffic to keep not only the kitten safe, but ARL’s Assoc. Director of Law Enforcement Darleen Wood safe as well when she arrived to rescue the little guy. The rescue unfolded as a game of hide-and-seek.

“The kitten was roaming in and out between barriers along the side of the tunnel,” Wood said. “I was able to get on the service walkway above the barriers so he didn’t know I was there. When he stuck his head out, I was able to grab him by the scruff and bring him to safety.”

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A spitfire, but he is adorable and friendly!

The rescue of Ted has made him a national star, as media outlets throughout the United States have covered this mischievous kitten’s journey from one Boston icon (Ted Williams Tunnel) to another (Animal Rescue League of Boston).

Medical Evaluation

The 12-week-old kitten was brought to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center where he was evaluated by shelter veterinary staff. Aside from being dehydrated and hungry, Ted also had visible injuries. His tail was void of fur, and the tail itself was described as being “necrotic and mummified” meaning that the injury likely happened several weeks prior to his rescue. Because of the condition of the tail, it will need to be amputated. Ted also had some fur loss around his left ear, indicating another injury that may have been caused by an altercation with another animal.

Because it is currently unknown how these injuries were sustained, Ted will be neutered, have his tail amputated, and then be placed into a four-month rabies quarantine, which is required by state law.

It should be noted that this past year Governor Charlie Baker changed state regulations to reduce rabies quarantine periods from six months to four. ARL lobbied for and strongly supported this change.

Because of the potential for a four-month quarantine, Ted is NOT currently available for adoption, and cannot be visited by members of the general public.

Thank You

ARL would like to thank the Massachusetts State Police for collaborating on another successful rescue operation, as well as all the passing drivers who alerted authorities of the situation. ARL’s rescue and law enforcement work depends upon the compassion of citizens who want to help animals in need. By phoning or emailing tips, you help save lives!


Animal Hoarding: 10 Days, 80 Animals

Please Consider Helping Animals in Need

In the past two weeks, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has rescued 80 cats and dogs from hoarding situations in the central and southern parts of Massachusetts.

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, and we have the expertise needed to address the complexities of animal hoarding BUT we are only able to answer the call for help because of YOU.

And these animals desperately need you now.

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Just two of the nearly 50 cats removed from a recent hoarding situation.

Animals removed from hoarding situations face a number of challenges, including severe health and behavioral issues. By donating today you will help:

  • Support our special investigations and on-going rescue efforts
  • Provide sanctuary for the sudden influx of animals
  • Provide much needed medical care (wellness exams, treatment for respiratory infections and zoonotic disease, dental procedures)
  • Help rehabilitate and prepare these animals for adoption

Please consider making a gift today to support these animals and the on-going work that’s being done by ARL to combat animal hoarding and rescue animals from unhealthy and hazardous conditions.

ARL’s Law Enforcement Department is here to help, and if you know of or suspect a hoarding situation you can call 617-226-5610 or email cruelty@arlboston.org.

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Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) Removes 25 Dogs from Hoarding Situation

Animal abuse is cruel – but it is not always intentional – It can be a sign or product of Human illness

ARL’s Law Enforcement Department is committed to preventing animal cruelty, neglect and suffering in Massachusetts. This is achieved in numerous forms: from citations and filing animal cruelty charges, to working with, and educating pet owners. The latter played a large role during a recent hoarding incident.

Assisting local officials, ARL Law Enforcement recently removed 25 dogs from a Central Massachusetts property, which are now in the care of ARL. DUE TO THE SENSITIVE NATURE OF THE CASE, ARL WILL NOT BE RELEASING THE LOCATION OR NAMES OF THE PARTIES INVOLVED.

In this particular case, there were no signs of intentional or egregious levels of neglect or abuse; due to extenuating circumstances the animal owners were simply overwhelmed.

Hoarding situations are delicate, and ARL’s law enforcement officers recognize that compassion must be given to both the animal and human players involved.

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One of 25 dogs removed from hoarding situation.

“Any time we have a hoarding case, we are cognizant to both the animal concentration and the owner awareness,” said Darleen Wood, ARL’s Associate Director of Law Enforcement. “As much as we consider the mental and emotional state of each animal, we duplicate this concern for the animal owner. We do not approach any of these cases with judgement or insolence and each case is unique and each animal owner requires individualistic services which could include elderly, veterans or addiction services.”

Along with contacting human service agencies, ARL Law Enforcement has also coordinated an effort to help the animal owners clean up their property in order to retain ownership of several dogs.

Animal Hoarding Explained

Animal hoarding is a serious, yet under-recognized community issue in Massachusetts that is responsible for extensive animal suffering. It can often be associated with adult self-neglect and/or mental illness, and animal hoarding can also put children, the elderly, dependent adults, property, and public health at risk. Unfortunately, the hoarding situations that ARL encounters are becoming more frequent, and increasingly complex.

Animal hoarders typically fall into one of the three following groups:

  1. Overwhelmed caregivers are often well-intentioned in their behavior and experience a steady decline in animal caretaking ability due to changes in financial or medical circumstances.
  2. Rescue hoarders are those who acquire animals due to their strong sense of mission to save animals from death or other circumstance and will not seek the assistance of animal welfare agencies or authorities.
  3. Exploiter hoarders acquire animals to serve their own needs and lack guilt and remorse for the harm that their actions may cause animals or other humans.

The four main characteristics of animal hoarding are:

  1. Failure to provide minimal standards of sanitation, space, nutrition, and veterinary care for animals.
  2. Inability to recognize the effects of this failure on the welfare of the animals, humans in the household, and environment.
  3. Obsessive attempts to accumulate/maintain a collection of animals in the face of progressively deteriorating conditions.
  4. Denial or minimization of problems and living conditions for people and animals.

ARL’s Law Enforcement Department is here to help, and if you know of or suspect a hoarding situation you can call 617-226-5610 or email cruelty@arlboston.org.

Support ARL’s Law Enforcement Efforts

In 2016, ARL’s Law Enforcement Department inspected nearly 2,300 kennels, farms and pet shops; assisted 151 local police and state agencies; prosecuted 68 individuals involved or accused of animal cruelty/neglect; and was the lead agency on the Northeast’s largest animal cruelty case in Westport, MA, which involved more than 1,400 animals.

ARL does receive any government funding and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to continue our important work. Please donate today to help animals in need!


ARL Recognizes State Trooper for Life-Saving Actions

Kitten Found Along I-93, Suffering From Severe Heat Exhaustion

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) reunited Massachusetts State Trooper John DeNapoli with a kitten he helped save several weeks earlier, and also presented the trooper with a certificate of recognition for his life-saving actions.

Everything unfolded on the afternoon of June 13. ARL’s Rescue Department received a call from a concerned motorist about a kitten along the median of I-93 northbound, just before the exit for Route 138 in Canton. ARL Rescue Agent Theresa Vinic proceeded immediately towards the area.

“We’re close to that area, so I drove out from the opposite direction to get a visual on the kitten, but was directed not to stop along the roadway for safety reasons,” Vinic said.

Once spotting the kitten, ARL dispatch coordinated with the Massachusetts State Police, and Trooper DeNapoli responded with the hopes of finding the kitten.

“I pulled in nice and slow to not scare him. He was scratching and biting a bit, he was definitely freaking out,” DeNapoli told the Boston Herald. “So he wanted out as soon as I grabbed him, then animal rescue was already on their way.”

With DeNapoli’s cruiser stopped on the median, Vinic was able to safely pull up in front of the vehicle to gather up the kitten. DeNapoli had placed the kitten in an empty flare box, and in a situation where every second counted, these actions truly were life-saving.

“We didn’t have to spend time locating and trapping the kitten, he was ready to go,” Vinic said.

Kitten in Trouble

When Vinic returned to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center, the kitten, named “Trooper” by Vinic, was in serious trouble as temperatures that day soared into the 90s and the heat coming off the roadway only made matters worse. He was frothing at the mouth and panting excessively — a clear sign of heat exhaustion. With a body temperature of 106 degrees and climbing (normal temperatures range from 101-103 degrees), he quickly needed to cool down. ARL staff placed the little guy on an ice pack, poured alcohol on his feet pads, and gave him subcutaneous fluids.

Twenty minutes later Trooper’s temperature dropped, and staff was able to begin working on the rest of the kitten’s issues. Trooper was covered in dirt, had ants crawling on his fur, and also had abrasions on his nose, mouth, and around his left eye. Additionally he weighed just 1-pound-9-ounces.

Showing his toughness, Trooper rebounded quickly and was adopted by a woman who actually witnessed Trooper DeNapoli rescue the kitten on that busy highway.

Happy Reunion

During a special ceremony at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center, Trooper DeNapoli was reunited with the kitten, and was amazed at how Trooper, now named “Basil,” has rebounded.

“It feels good to see the comparison to recovery from when he came in,” DeNapoli said.

Getting a Second Chance

Basil is happy and thriving in his new home, and it took an amazing collaborative effort from not only ARL and State Police, but also from the compassionate people who contacted dispatch to report the kitten’s location. While a positive outcome, this incident also has a troubling element, because it’s likely that Basil was abandoned.

“We’re not certain how it ended up in the middle of the freeway,” Vinic told the Boston Herald. “No dwellings appear to be around and when he arrived he appeared to be social, he was rolling around and purring, which leaves us to believe that he did have human contact prior.”

ARL wants to remind you that if you are no longer able to care for an animal, they can be surrendered to organizations like ARL, or a local shelter, or even a local police or fire department. There are resources available, and abandoning an animal is ILLEGAL and NEVER an option.


Cape Cod National Seashore Rangers Assist in Cat Rescue

Cat in Desperate Need of Medical Attention Discovered at Marconi Beach

Thanks to the life-saving efforts of three Cape Cod National Seashore employees, a former stray cat is now on the mend and in the care of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL).

The rescue occurred on the day Marconi Beach opened for the summer season. An off-duty National Park Service employee was showing his family the work that had been done at the beach following a harsh Cape Cod winter, and noticed a calico cat, who looked like she needed assistance, taking shelter under a bench.

Park Rangers Meghan Farrell and Tyler Paul responded to the call and began searching for the cat. Outside one of the Marconi Beach bathrooms, the rangers heard a pleading meow.

“We entered the bathroom, and found the cat wedged between a toilet and the wall,” Farrell said. “She was in really rough shape, was soaking wet from the rain, was covered in ticks, and looked very thin.”

With the cat secured, the rangers contacted the Wellfleet Animal Control Officer, who contacted ARL. Aptly named “Marconi” was then brought to ARL’s Animal Care & Adoption Center in Brewster. She was indeed in rough shape.

“Marconi arrived at the shelter hypothermic and dehydrated,” said Dr. Erin Doyle, ARL’s Lead Veterinarian for Shelter Veterinary Services. “She clearly didn’t have appropriate access to food or water, but she was treated by the Brewster staff with supportive care immediately after intake and quickly began improving.”

Additionally, dozens of ticks needed to be removed, and Marconi had ulcerations to her pads that were likely related to a viral illness induced by the stress of her situation. Her injuries have been treated, and since being in foster care she has gained two pounds. Once Marconi is given a clean bill of health, she will be available for adoption.

 Take Action

ARL wants to remind you that if you see a stray or any animal in need, to please contact your local animal control officer, and/or ARL’s Rescue Services immediately.