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Category: Rescue
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.


ARL Teams Up with Puerto Rico Dog Rescue Organization

10 Puppies to find Forever Homes

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston partnered with Puerto Rico-based All Sato Rescue, transporting 10 puppies from the U.S. territory island to Boston.

It was quite a journey for the puppies, as weather and mechanical issues delayed their arrival into Logan International Airport, but despite the delays, once on the ground the puppies put on a cuteness display for local media, showing their personalities and putting smiles on the faces of anyone in the vicinity.

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A cute “sato” is ready to find his forever home!

The pups are now in a mandatory 48-hour quarantine period, and will be checked by ARL shelter veterinary staff to ensure the puppies are ready to go home. Click here to see video of the puppies getting their first glimpse of Boston!

Why Puerto Rico?

“Sato” is a slang term in Puerto Rico for a mixed-breed dog — or mutt. All Sato Rescue is dedicated to finding these forgotten dogs homes and estimates there may be more than 100,000 stray and abandoned dogs on the island, and shelters are simply overwhelmed. Lack of spay and neuter programs and economic hardship are some of the reasons that account for the staggering number of homeless animals on the island.

Here in the Northeast, spay and neuter programs and public awareness campaigns are extremely effective and there is a strong demand for puppies, which allows ARL to broaden its reach to help animals in need. By partnering with organizations like All Sato Rescue, ARL is able to find these puppies loving homes, while at the same time help free up space for other homeless animals on the island.

Saving Lives

ARL is committed to helping animals in need, and remember that when you adopt you save not one but two lives — the animal you adopt and the animal that can take its place. Whether it’s a puppy, an adult dog, cat or small animal, ARL’s staff and volunteers at its Boston, Dedham, and Brewster Animal Care & Adoption Centers are there to answer your questions to ensure that the life you save is the right animal for you and your family.

 

 


Update on Westport Farm Animal Cruelty Case

UPDATE: Arraignments Begin for 27 Individuals in New England’s Largest Animal Cruelty Case

In late March, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced indictments against 27 people facing a collective 151 counts of animal cruelty, stemming from the horrific discovery of 1,400 animals living in squalid conditions on a 70-acre tenant farm in Westport, Mass. in July 2016. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) was at the forefront of this unfathomable incident. This week arraignments got underway at Fall River Superior Court.

On Wednesday, property owner Richard Medeiros, who’s facing 21 counts of animal cruelty, was arraigned, and according to published reports “absolutely denies” each and every count against him.

Medeiros’ attorney stated that her client allegedly offered to help law enforcement when the investigation began last summer, but received no reply, and added that she believes that the 83-year-old will be cleared of all charges.

Every defendant who has appeared thus far has pleaded not guilty.

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ARL team on site rescuing animals in Westport, July 2016.

The Westport incident unfolded in July 2016, when local law enforcement, aided by ARL’s Law Enforcement Services, discovered 1,400 animals living in unimaginable conditions.

“This situation is unparalleled to anything I’ve seen in my 37 years as an animal law enforcement officer,” ARL Investigator Lt. Alan Borgal said at the time. “The sheer number of animals in dire need of care, and the cruel and unsanitary conditions we found were deplorable. It took an all-out effort of state and local officials along with multiple humane organizations to get all those animals out of that horrible situation.”

ARL confiscated and cared for 124 animals from Westport, who desperately needed treatment for a variety of health and behavioral issues — nearly all of these animals have been rehabilitated and are living in new homes.


ARL Rescues Ducklings on Northeastern Campus

NEU Police assist in rescue

Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) Rescue Services were dispatched Monday afternoon to the campus of Northeastern University in Boston to rescue a female black duck and her 11 ducklings that had become boxed-in near a building window well along World Series Way.

ARL rescue agent Mike Brammer got an assist from Northeastern Police Officers Alexandra Boudreau and John Sweeney, who helped keep the ducklings safe by blocking off a storm drain, and also kept onlookers out of the area.

Brammer was able to capture the mother duck and her young with nets, and once placed in transport crates, officers gave ARL an escort to the Back Bay Fens, where the ducks were released into the water.

ARL receives many calls during the spring for baby birds in possible distress, and here are tips to follow should you come across a bird who may be in need of help.

Ready to Respond

ARL is the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with a technically-trained rescue team that responds to animal-related emergencies and rescue situations. ARL Rescue Services can be contacted at (617) 426-9170.


Trauma to Triumph: A Rough Road for a Boston Stray

Three-Legged Cat Ready for Puurfect Home

In his first year of life, “Sal” has endured quite a lot, but with perseverance and the help of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), the rest of this handsome tabby’s years should be smooth sailing.

Sal was in rough shape when he came to ARL’s Boston Animal Care & Adoption Center in late February; he was thin, his fur was grungy, and he was noticeably limping. An initial exam revealed previous trauma consistent with being hit by a car. Multiple fractures on Sal’s right front leg hadn’t healed correctly, and he had also suffered a left hip dislocation. Despite all the injuries and chronic pain, Sal was in good spirits and very friendly. His road to recovery however, would not be an easy one.

“Because of the poor healing of the fractures and his complete disuse of his right front limb, it was decided that the best (surgical) plan would be to amputate Sal’s right leg,” said Dr. Chelsea Reinhard, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Resident.

Additionally, Sal needed surgery to address the hip dislocation. A femoral head and neck ostectomy, or FHO was performed, and is a procedure that includes removing the top part of the thigh bone involved in the ball-in-socket hip joint. This helps relieve the pain, and will allow Sal to form a false hip joint and improve mobility. The two surgeries were performed at a partner organization simultaneously, which meant less time on the operating table, but a more difficult recovery.

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Sal just after surgery.

Needing a quiet place and constant monitoring to heal, Sal has been in foster care for nearly two months, and because of his grit and determination, has made tremendous progress.

“He’s made a slow but steady recovery from surgery,” said Dr. Erin Doyle, ARL’s Lead Veterinarian for Shelter Veterinary Services. “Having both surgeries at the same time was necessary medically, but made for a bit of a challenging recovery despite extensive pain management. Thankfully he did steadily improve with his function of his three remaining legs over the time he’s been in foster care.”

Ready to go Home

It’s been tough couple of months, but Sal has shown his resiliency and remains a bright-eyed, loving young adult; and after just a few days, he has found his forever home and will join a family that already has a three-legged kitty! A happy ending for Sal, and you can help an animal find his/her own storybook ending by vising an ARL shelter and adopting! For more information, head to our adoption page.