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Home for the Holidays: Cuddy’s Story

In early November, Cuddy, a vocal and fluffy 13-year-old cat, was transferred to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center from Boston Animal Control.

For many senior animals, initially entering a shelter environment can be an overwhelming, fear-inducing experience – but for Cuddy, he was already familiar with ARL.

Originally adopted from ARL in 2010, Cuddy returned a little older, and a little wiser. Additionally, like many senior animals, Cuddy had advanced dental disease and had put on a few pounds.

While the majority of senior animals are surrendered due to an owner’s declining health or unfortunate passing, some, like Cuddy, are the victims of circumstance. Cuddy was surrendered to Boston Animal Control due to an eviction.

In a shelter environment, puppies and kittens typically get top billing because let’s face it – they’re adorable! The unfortunate reality is that sometimes senior animals can be overlooked simply based on their age.

At ARL, our Adoption Forward philosophy aims to match the adopter with the perfect animal – and for some senior animals better fit the person’s lifestyle or needs as their personalities are fully formed, they will be housebroken more often than not, and tend to be less active.

Cuddy Finds His Forever Home

Cuddy’s return stay at ARL was brief, as he was adopted in less than 3 weeks! His outgoing but relaxed personality was the perfect fit for his new owner, his adopter tells us, “Cuddy is a such a good boy – I awakened the morning after his very first night here to find him deep under the covers of my bed, nestled against my feet!” We’re beyond happy that Cuddy will be spending the holidays in his new forever home!

Help Even More Animals in 2019

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes – and our work is not possible without YOUR support! ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals to support our shelter, rescue, law enforcement and community programs.

As we look ahead to 2019, ARL will continue to be at the forefront of confronting the root causes of cruelty and abuse, and to help animals in need throughout Massachusetts.

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Halloween Pet Safety Tips for a Spook-Free Holiday

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) share important tips to keep your pets safe and happy this Halloween season.

Boston Terrier in Halloween costume

Tip: If it’s your pet’s first time wearing a costume this Halloween, spend a few days before the big holiday getting them acclimated to wearing it. Keep in mind, some pets are just not fans of wearing costumes and would much rather wear a festive collar or bandanna instead.

With the month of October almost half over, Halloween 2018 is right around the corner! You may be a fan of the spookiest time of year, but for your pet, this haunting holiday can be truly scary.

Not to worry though, enjoying the festivities and keeping your pets safe is easier than you think – Follow these 3 tips to ensure your pet has a spook-free Halloween this season:

1. Keep your pets inside. The Halloween season often brings out tricksters who might taunt or harm an animal left outdoors. It’s always a good idea to keep pets inside with proper, up-to-date identification. If your pet must be outdoors, be sure to keep them leashed and an eye on them at all times.

2. Stash the sweet treats. Chocolate, especially darker chocolates, are highly toxic to cats and dogs. Additionally, many candies and gums contain Xylitol. This sugarless sweetener is highly toxic to pets. Always keep chocolate and candies out of your pet’s reach.

3. Be careful with costumes. If you decide to dress your pet up for this festive holiday, costume safety is key. Keep these costume safety tips in mind:

  • Always supervise your pet while they’re wearing a costume.
  • Make sure your pet’s costume fits properly and does not restrict their movement.
  • Be cautious of loose or dangling pieces that pets could potentially choke on.
  • Ditch the masks or other accessories that could potentially make it difficult for your pet to breath or obstruct their vision.

No plans for Halloween? Spend the day getting to know some of our adoptable animals.

 


You Saved over 700 Animals From Deplorable Conditions, Help Us Continue this Life-saving Work!

This summer, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department assisted in the rescue of over 700 cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, reptiles, and rodents involved in animal hoarding-type situations in the towns of Norwood, Whitman, Hingham, Taunton, Plymouth, and New Bedford.

Animal hoarding is a serious community problem that can also place children, the elderly, dependent adults, property, and public health at risk. These types of cases are complex and put an immense strain on our resources.

ARL is only able to answer the call for help because of YOU. And these animals like Bella the Bulldog, pictured above, desperately need you now.

I WILL SUPPORT THIS LIFE-SAVING WORK

Animals rescued from cases of extreme neglect face a number of behavioral challenged and health concerns, including respiratory distress, malnutrition, parasites, and other illness.

I urge you to consider joining the Champions Circle today and provide the critical support needed to respond to emergencies like these and provide the critical support needed to keep animals safe and healthy all year long.

Your gift each month will:

    • Support our special investigations and on-going rescue efforts
    • Treat the sudden influx of animals with the extensive medical care they urgently need
    • Help these animals heal from the trauma of neglect and help them find forever homes

Monthly support from Champions Circle donors provides animals with care and assistance when they need it most. Join before September 30 and receive a special Champions Circle Calendar*!

*Please allow 4 weeks for delivery


Guilty Verdict for New York Man Accused of Killing Two Puppies

Verdict marks third high-profile case in 2018 involving ARL to be closed

In November 2014, the bodies of two 20-week-old puppies were found in a dumpster at a gas station in Revere. The puppies had been placed in a black garbage bag and thrown away like common house trash.

Nearly 4 years later, Dominick Donovan, the man charged with killing the puppies has been found guilty of 6 counts of animal cruelty and was sentenced to four years in jail. A co-defendant in the case previously pleaded guilty and testified against Donovan. He will be sentenced in late August.

The verdict and sentencing was the end of a long, multi-jurisdictional and collaborative investigation, and is the third high-profile animal cruelty case that has come to a conclusion this year. All three cases have two things in common — a commitment for justice from prosecutors and law enforcement against those who abuse animals; and the assistance of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department.

For the Donovan case, ARL Law Enforcement Director Lt. Alan Borgal was vital in the inspection and shut down of the co-defendant’s unlicensed kennel in Lynn. With 40-plus years of experience in animal welfare, Lt. Borgal also extended assistance and advice when needed during all phases of the investigation, filing of charges and prosecution of this case.

ARL President Mary Nee and Director of Law Enforcement Lt. Alan Borgal address the media following Radoslaw Czerkawski sentencing.

The first of 2018’s triad of victories was the now infamous Puppy Doe case. In late March, 35-year-old Radoslaw Czerkawski was found guilty of 12 counts of animal cruelty for the vicious cycle of torture and pain inflicted upon Puppy Doe, who needed to be humanely euthanized due to the extent of her injuries. Czerkawski will serve 8-10 years in prison for his crimes.

Also in March, a 33-year-old Salem man pleaded guilty to pending animal cruelty charges, during jury deliberations on a separate case. In January 2017, ARL Law Enforcement seized Luke, the defendant’s 11-month-old Pitbull, and the defendant was charged with animal cruelty for several documented instances of abuse. Luke needed extensive training and care and was with ARL for more than 500 days until he was adopted.

On the Front Lines

ARL’s Law Enforcement Department investigates crimes against animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect. We employ Special State Police Officers, with the authority to enforce animal protection laws; these dedicated officers work closely with local, state and federal agencies, prosecutors and animal control officers throughout the Commonwealth.

In 2017, ARL investigated cruelty and neglect cases involving 2,966 animals, resulting in 84 law enforcement prosecutions. DONATE NOW

 


Governor Baker and MSP Join ARL for Too Hot for Spot Demonstration

ARL’s fifth annual public awareness campaign

This past Friday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) was joined by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, legislators, and the Massachusetts State Police Major Richard Ball to once again remind pet owners of the dangers of heat stroke for pets, particularly in hot cars.

It is the fifth year ARL has imparted the “Too Hot for Spot” summer pet safety message throughout the Commonwealth. ARL is spreading this message through social media, flyers, car magnets, media partnerships, and digital billboards throughout the state thanks to billboard space generously donated by MassDOT and IBEW Local 103.

The event took place in front of the Massachusetts State House, and included a demonstration with ARL’s stuffed dog “Spot” to show how quickly the inside of a car can heat up – even with seemingly mild temperatures and the windows cracked.

It was a perfect summer day with temperatures hovering around 80 degrees. In just 10 minutes the temperature inside ARL’s Rescue Services vehicle rose to well over 120 degrees. It’s important to remember that animals do not sweat like humans do, and cannot efficiently regulate their body temperature in an environment such as a hot car.

Massachusetts General Law Ch. 140, Section 174f was signed by Governor Baker in 2016, and prohibits confining an animal “in a motor vehicle in a manner that could reasonably be expected to threaten the health of the animal due to exposure to extreme or cold”. The law also allows first responders and ordinary citizens to enter a vehicle to remove an animal if it’s deemed that its life is in imminent danger.

“While our hope is that no one ever has to rescue an animal from a hot car, we understand those situations unfortunately do arise and lives can depend on a quick response,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Educating the public on the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars and the measures they can take to rescue an animal in need is a key prevention tool, and I thank the ARL for once again launching this important campaign.”

“Our pets provide limitless love and companionship, and we must do everything to protect them from neglectful owners who time and time again have shown a cruel disregard for their welfare,” said State Senator Mark Montigny, lead sponsor of the 2016 law penalizing the leaving of pets in hot cars.

Despite having a law on the books in Massachusetts, unfortunately Animal Control Officers and law enforcement are still seeing a high number of incidents where animals are left in hot vehicle and enduring needless suffering.

“The Massachusetts State Police and all law enforcement agencies consider animal cruelty and neglect to be serious crimes and assist animal rights organizations in investigating such crimes aggressively,” said Major Richard Ball, commander of MSP Troop H. “We urge the public to be familiar with the law that allows them to take action to rescue an animal confined in a hot car, and to tell law enforcement about any type of animal abuse they see or suspect. If you see something, say something.”

“The ‘dog days’ of summer are the perfect time to keep the safety of our pets in mind,” said State Representative Lori Ehrlich. “I hope this law never has to be used, but everyone should know the dangers of a hot car and what to do if you see an animal in danger. Prevention is best so I’m grateful to the Animal Rescue League of Boston for raising awareness.”

Prevention is Key

ARL’s “Too Hot for Spot” campaign is focused on reminding the public that prevention is always the best solution. When temperatures rise, ARL urges pet owners to leave their animals at home.


ARL Caring for Stray Peacock Found on Cape Cod

Not an everyday occurrence

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently took in a stray peacock who was found as a stray in the Greenland Pond/Long Pond area of Brewster, MA. While ARL takes in thousands of stray animals annually, a peacock is certainly something the organization doesn’t see every day.

This stray peacock is absolutely stunning!

For more than a week in late June, ARL, Brewster Police and Animal Control had received numerous reports of the bird in that area; Brewster Animal Control was able to capture the peacock, and brought it to ARL Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center. Due to limited livestock space in Brewster, the bird was then brought to ARL’s Dedham facility.

His arrival in Dedham has even attracted local media attention!

Peacocks, which are not native to North America but gained popularity as a status symbol in the early 1900s, are legal to own in Massachusetts.

Despite the fact that they’re prone to wandering, nobody has stepped forward to claim ownership of this beautiful bird – opening up the possibility that he was abandoned in the area he was found.

The two-year-old male is settling into his new surroundings, and while being in the wild for a unknown amount of time, he is in remarkable shape and healthy.

The peacock will soon be available for adoption – anyone interested must demonstrate that they have the proper set up to house a peacock – ample space with a proper enclosure. ARL will also be reaching out to area zoos to determine if anyone would be willing to take in this striking animal.

More than dogs and cats

While the vast majority of animals ARL takes in are dogs and cats, from livestock to zoo animals, for decades the organization has demonstrated time and time again that it can handle a wide variety of species and give them the same level of care and affection that’s afforded to every animal that comes through our doors. ARL receives no government funding and our work is made possible only through your generous support.


Cat with Myriad of Medical Issues Finds Forever Home

June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month

June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently found a forever home for one amazing cat with a number of health concerns.

Rhade, a 10-year-old domestic shorthair, came to ARL when her previous owner was moving and presented with quite a few common and uncommon conditions.

Rhade undergoing a medical evaluation.

Rhade’s most noticeable issue is neurological, as she was born with the congenital abnormality called cerebellar hypoplasia. The condition affects her coordination and balance.

She also tested positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which was likely contracted via a bite from another infected cat. An offshoot of Rhade’s FIV was swelling to her lip, commonly known as a rodent ulcer. A biopsy did not reveal any underlying issues, but her lip is permanently deformed.

Previous ear mite infections has caused what’s commonly known as “cauliflower ear”, and finally, Rhade has developed Horner’s syndrome in her right eye. This condition is due to an unknown impairment to her sympathetic nervous system – which is responsible for the normal fight or flight reaction.

Despite all these issues, Rhade persevered and does have a good quality of life. Rhade responded well to all her treatments at ARL, however it’s hard to know what her medical future holds, and it’s important for her new family to monitor her closely.

“She’s Amazing”

This past week, Rhade found her forever home, and for all parties involved, it was love at first sight. Because of her medical issues, her new owners had a long medical consult with ARL’s shelter medicine staff and at the end summed up this sweet girl by saying “So basically she’s perfect from the neck down?”

“She’s amazing,” her new owner said. “We fell in love as soon as we saw her.”

Love at first sight! Rhade getting to know her new family.

Extraordinary Care

As with any animal that comes through our doors, ARL’s veterinary medicine staff spent an enormous amount of time diagnosing and treating all of Rhade’s health issues to ensure that any potential adopter would be as informed as possible before taking her home.
Rhade has been given a second chance and is ready to thrive in her new home.

At the Core of ARL’s Mission

Part of ARL’s core values are compassion and commitment – and while this extends to every one of the animals we serve, a cat like Rhade needs that compassion and commitment to live to her full potential with the greatest quality of life possible. ARL’s mission is to ensure that animals are safe and healthy in the communities they live, and our success in this mission could not be possible without your support.


Orphan Ducklings Find New Family

If at first you don’t succeed, ARL Rescue Services tries and tries again

This week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services rescued nine orphaned ducklings in Hyde Park at the Channing Elementary School. Once safe, the next mission was to find these fragile little ones a new family.

On the day of the initial rescue, ARL rescue agents made several attempts along local waterways to find and introduce the ducklings to duck families, hoping they would be welcomed. Unfortunately they were refused and it was back to the drawing board.

The following day, ARL tried an area at Spy Pond in Arlington, and discovered another duck family who needed help – a family of six (mom and five ducklings) were stuck behind a wall that the ducklings couldn’t navigate around.

Once helping the family around the wall, as they were ambling towards the water, agents slyly added the nine ducklings to the brood – lucky for us mama ducks can’t count! The brood swam off to a papa duck already on the water, and are now one big happy family.

Experience, patience and dedication led to this happy outcome!

A Vital Resource

In 2017, ARL Rescue Services helped nearly 3,000 animals. As the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with a dedicated technical rescue department, these services are only possible thanks to your support.


Memorial Day Weekend Travel Tips to Keep Your Dog Cool and Calm

Things to keep in mind if you’re bringing your furry friend along for the ride

Memorial Day Weekend is here, and for many of us it means three things — Honoring our service men and women; spending time with friends and family and; travelling!

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) want to remind you that busy holiday weekends can be stressful and dangerous for your pup.

While temperatures during Memorial Day Weekend are expected to be seasonal, even when the outside temperature is 70 degrees, the inside of a car can heat up to more than 100 degrees in a matter of minutes — even with the windows left partially opened! That’s why leaving your pet inside of a hot car is the most common cause of deadly heat stroke — it’s just TOO HOT FOR SPOT! Remember, pets don’t sweat like humans do and cannot cool their bodies efficiently in hot temperatures.

If you plan on taking your best friend along for the ride this weekend, here are some tips to help keep your dog safe:

  1. Never leave your pup alone in a parked car if they must travel with you. Not only are hot cars the most common cause for heat stroke, but leaving an animal inside a parked car is ILLEGAL in Massachusetts.
  2. Just like us, dogs need bathroom breaks! When driving long distances, be sure to periodically find a safe area to pull over to allow your pup to do their business, and get a little fresh water and perhaps some food.
  3. Always keep your canine on a leash or in a carrier if they must be outside. Find a shady spot with plenty of air flow and lots of fresh water.
  4. Keep them away from dangerous objects. Secure your pet a good distance from sparklers, BBQs, and pools. Additionally, there are many plants and flowers that can be toxic to dogs, so make sure your pet is under constant supervision while outdoors.
  5. Loud noises can be spooky! Things like fireworks and other loud noises can make a dog “fearfully aggressive,” so monitor your dog and keep them calm, especially around children.
  6. Make sure your dog’s microchip and ID tag information is current. Many animal shelters report increases of “stray” animals during holidays due to the number of pets running away from the noise and excitement. Make sure your contact information is current and always on your dog’s collar to ensure an easy reunion should they be separated from you.

Prevention is responsible pet ownership. When in doubt, leave your pet at home in a quiet, cool room. Turn on a TV or radio to help distract from outside noises and leave them free to roam around so they don’t feel too confined.


Our Trash: Tantalizing and Dangerous

Skunk Rescue Just One Example of a Disturbing Trend

Recently, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services responded to a call in Melrose to help a skunk in distress. A plastic cup ring had become lodged around its neck, forcing the skunk to walk on its hind legs.

ARL Rescue Services was able to cut the ring from its neck, freeing the skunk and allowing it to continue on with the day. Unfortunately these types of rescues are becoming more common.

ARL spoke with the Washington Post recently, and the ensuing article described similar examples from around the nation, Canada and Great Britain. Drawn to the lure of meaty morsels or sugary sweetness, our trash is causing harm to wildlife — but it doesn’t have to.

Simple Solutions

We’re taught at a young age not to litter, and that’s a perfect place to start. Trash along our roadways isn’t only an eyesore and harmful to the environment, it’s also a perfect hunting ground for wildlife to sift through for sweet treats. Keep a bag for your auto-trash, and discard at home.

Before throwing away plastic or paper containers (yogurt, the dish your ice cream came in etc..) give them a rinse before discarding – and if it’s something an animal may get stuck in, crush or cut up the container.

Back in November 2017, ARL Rescue Services helped a poor raccoon that had its head stuck in what appeared to be a peanut butter jar. To avoid these situations, similar jars should also be rinsed, then tightly sealed before being thrown away.

When it comes to trash containers, make sure they’re shut tightly. Raccoons and other animals can show extreme determination if they smell something good inside, so using bungee cords can serve as a great deterrent.

At Your Service

ARL is the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with technical rescue capabilities, and rescued nearly 2,000 animals in 2017. Should you see an animal in distress, please contact ARL Rescue Services at (617) 426-9170.