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Boston “Puppy Mill Bill” Takes Effect

Ordinance Prohibits Sale of Puppies, Kittens and Rabbits in Boston Pet Shops

In March 2016, Boston City Council voted unanimously on an ordinance to ban the sale of puppies, kittens and rabbits in Boston pet shops, as well as in public parks and city streets. The ordinance took effect on December 31, 2017.

The ordinance was introduced by City Councilor Matt O’Malley and garnered tremendous support from the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and other local and national animal welfare organizations.

“We are grateful to the Boston City Council for taking action for animals,” Mary Nee, President of ARL, said at the time of its passage. “The more we do to prevent inhumane breeders from growing their business in Massachusetts, the more we improve the safety and health of animals in our communities.”

Under the “Puppy Mill Bill” a pet shop within the city limits cannot sell, deliver, give away or transfer any commercially-bred dogs, cats, or rabbits. Additionally, citizens are prohibited from selling, exchanging, trading, or displaying for commercial purposes any dog, cat, or rabbit on any city street or public park. Animals for sale can however be displayed by animal organizations like ARL, or as part of an exhibition or educational program.

Puppy mills support the breeding of animals, and many of these animals are kept in unthinkable conditions, treated inhumanely, and suffer from disease; in an act to combat these operations ARL once again salutes Boston City Council and Mayor Marty Walsh for being champions for animals!

 


ARL Reflections: A Look Back at an Amazing 2017

The Top Rescues of the Year

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

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

Watch the Top 5 Rescues of 2017!

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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


ARL Reflections: A Look Back at an Amazing 2017

Top Animal Protection Stories of the Year!

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

ProtectionPlayWatch the Top 5 Animal Protection Stories of 2017!

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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


ARL Alum Providing Life-Altering Assistance to Braintree Teen

“Joey” In the Midst of Being Certified as a Therapy Animal

In the case of “Joey”, a two-year-old rabbit, good things do indeed come in small packages. Joey, formerly Thumper, was adopted at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center this past spring, and has literally changed the life of his owner.

17-Year-Old Kelsey has been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and high-functioning autism. She did not deal well with crowds, but with Joey in her life, all that has changed.

“Just holding him makes me more confident and calm,” Kelsey said.

On the weekends Kelsey spends a lot of time at a local pet store, and of course has Joey by her side. With a cute collection of sweaters, tranquil demeanor (and did we mention he’s a fluffy rabbit?) Joey and Kelsey get lots of attention, and because of the impact he’s had on her, she wants to share Joey with others who also need the calming effect of an animal.

“I’m in the process of having him certified to be a therapy animal,” Kelsey said. “He’s done so much for me, I know he can help others as well.”

Life-Changing Impact

At 17, Kelsey is faced with the question that haunts many in her age bracket — what do I want to do when I grow up? Joey has not only helped Kelsey in her everyday life, but he has also helped answer the aforementioned question as well.

“I have always had a passion for animals, but Joey has shown me how much I enjoy working with animals and how they can help people, and that’s what I want to do,” she exclaimed.

Why Adopt a Rabbit from ARL

Joey and other rabbits like him can make excellent pets, especially for those who don’t have the space or time for a dog or cat.

Here are 5 reasons why animal lovers should consider adopting a rabbit:

  1. Bunnies spend the majority of their day quietly inside their cage, making them the perfect companions for apartment dwellers.
  2. Cottontails can be trained to use a litter box, so you won’t have to rush home from work to let them out.
  3. Hares need minimal exercise every day, so they require less attention than cats or dogs.
  4. Rabbits are curious, friendly, and will entertain you for hours with their silly antics.
  5. Hop-a-longs keep themselves tidy and are all about “clean eating”, snacking on salad, hay, and carrots as treats.

YOU Make Human-Animal Connections Like Kelsey’s Possible

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, and with your help we can help more animals like Joey find the perfect home and change lives. Animals at ARL receive the specialized veterinary care, kind attention, and socialization they need to thrive — only because of YOUR generous donations. We receive no government funding and rely solely on generous individuals like you to keep our important work going. Please support ARL today, and thank you for being a champion for animals!


ARL Reflections: Looking Back at an Amazing 2017

Terrific Transformations!

Stray, abandoned, surrendered, rescued, law enforcement cases — Animals arrive at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) a variety of ways, and when they come to us, they need an abundance of care, support, and love — but some need more than others. It’s astounding to chart the progress of some of these animals, and when you can see a marked improvement, it’s proof-positive that ARL is truly a Champion for Animals.

Pictures say a thousand words, so WATCH these transformations unfold before your eyes!TransformationVid_Play

 

 

 

maybelle 8.2.3

Maybelle, May, 2017. Maybelle, a one-year-old pot-bellied pig was in the care of ARL for more than six months. What began as a tale of woe, turned into a tale of triumph!

 

 

eleanor blog thumbEleanor, May 2017. Eleanor, an 11-year-old Lhasa Apso mix, is lucky to be alive. Found wandering along with side of a busy road, Eleanor’s turn-around was awe-inspiring and emotional.

 

 

Phil ThumbPhil, February 2017. Phil, a two-year-old Maltese, was discovered abandoned along the side of the road in Hingham. He was an instant media sensation, and his transformation broke the cuteness scale!

 

 

Zim is ready to go to his forever home!

Zim, February 2017. Zim, an 11-month-old tabby classic, went from a stray, to a rescue, to a surgical patient, to adopted! His transformation was all about improving his quality of life.

 

 

sal blog 500x500Sal, May 2017. In his one year of life, Sal had endured quite a lot. Suffering a series of traumas, Sal needed a lot of TLC but in the end he found his perfect forever home.

 

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

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

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


UPDATE: Cats Rescued From Hoarding Situation Progressing

Extraordinary Measures Taken by ARL Volunteers and Staff

In late August, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) rescued nearly 50 cats from a hoarding situation in Bristol County. Many of these animals were in rough shape, and more than three dozen tested positive for a fungal infection that is transferable to other animals and humans as well. Extraordinary measures had to be taken to rehabilitate these cats, while keeping our staff, volunteers, and other animals safe from infection.

For the past seven weeks, the cats have been given daily medication, weekly cultures, and donning Tyvek suits and other protective gear, a dedicated group of volunteers bath the cats with pure oxygen twice a week. Additionally, while bathing the cats, our amazing volunteers also play with the kitties, improving their social skills and helping their true personalities come out. Most of the cats have shown to be very outgoing and regularly solicit attention.

Treating these cats has been an expensive endeavor and has presented logistical challenges as well.

“We decided with the number of cats to actually shut down an entire room in our holding area to treat these animals,” said Jessica Wright, ARL Veterinary Technician. “It wasn’t a decision that was made lightly because it impacts the rest of our shelter operations.”

A number of these cats have already found forever homes, and more are expected to be medically cleared and available for adoption soon. It’s truly been a group effort, and these animals have come a long way in the past month and a half. Click here to see a special report by WFXT in Boston on these ongoing efforts.

jazzy baby butch blog body

Jazzy (L) was recently cleared medically and has found her forever home, while Baby Butch (R) is currently available!

“It’s really satisfying to see how different they look,” said Jane Urban, an ARL volunteer. “At the end of the day, these cats are going to good homes, so it’s extremely rewarding.”

Get Involved

ARL volunteers are special, and with nearly 550 individuals donating their time to help animals in need, they are the oil that keeps the ARL engine running. There are constantly volunteer opportunities available, please check our website often to get involved!


ARL President Testifies at State House in Support of Animal Protection Legislation

Proposed Legislation Would Have Wide-Ranging Impacts

This week Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) President Mary Nee and Law Enforcement Lead Investigator Lt. Alan Borgal appeared in front of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government at the Massachusetts State House, urging further discussion and ultimate passage of several important pieces of animal protection legislation.

The Bills

S. 1159 and H. 2419 — An Act to protect animal welfare and safety in cities and towns (PAWS II), builds upon the original PAWS Act of 2014, and incorporates a number of recommendations made by the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force — which was born out of the PAWS Act.

PAWS II has many elements, from prohibiting discrimination against dog breeds, to mandating cross-reporting between human and animal service agencies. President Nee emphasized the latter to the committee.

State House Blog Thumb

ARL President Mary Nee addresses Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government.

“I believe this bill is an important tool for human service investigators,” Nee said. “Often victims are reluctant to speak about abuse directed at them but are more comfortable talking about their pets. In this way, it may facilitate the discussion about the larger violence or exploitation happening. Animal abuse is often the red flag warning sign of concurrent and future violence and the earlier professionals can intervene, the higher the rate of success for both the victims and the animals.”

To read President Nee’s entire statement click here.

S. 1145 and H. 416 — An Act enhancing the issuance of citations for cruel conditions for animals, expands current law against cruel conditions to include farm animals. This proposal stems directly from the 2016 Westport animal cruelty case, which involved 1,400 animals. ARL was at the forefront of the coordinated rescue effort and law enforcement investigation.

“S. 1145 and H. 416 allows humane law enforcement to tackle misconceptions head-on by giving them and animal control officers an additional tool, and the people who own the animals a possible solution,” Nee said.

To read President Nee’s entire statement click here.

S. 1155 and H. 1080 — An Act relating to puppies & kittens also received a large amount of attention during this week’s hearing, and the bill would protect puppies, kittens, and consumers in a number of ways:

  1. Prohibit the sale of puppies and kittens under eight weeks of age;
  2. Improve the “puppy lemon law” to better protect and provide recourse for families who unknowingly purchase a sick puppy or kitten;
  3. Require the promulgation of rules and regulations for certain Massachusetts breeders;
  4. Ensure that Massachusetts pets at pet shops only sell puppies and kittens from breeders who adhere to minimum animal health and welfare standards.

The Importance of Advocacy

Part of being a Champion for Animals means being a voice for animals. ARL will continue to support legislation that improves the protection, safety, and well-being of animals, and oppose reforms that will endanger the welfare of animals in Massachusetts. Check back often for updates on the legislative process!


Thank You Thursday: From Stray, to Surgery, to Adopted!

ARL’s Cape Cod Branch Gets Helping Hand from Veterinary Partner

In late August, “Gus” was transferred to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center from Friends of Carver Animals. It’s estimated that Gus had been dumped into a feral colony about 10 years ago, and when he was recently trapped and neutered, because he was so friendly, it was decided he should be placed into a loving home, not returned to the colony.

Gus Thumb

Gus following cleft palate repair.

When examined by ARL veterinary staff, it was noted that Gus had a cleft palate that was likely the result of an old injury rather than congenital, as well as a fractured upper canine tooth. A cleft palate for a cat can cause problems eating and swallowing, as well as respiratory complications.

 

Needing surgery, ARL teamed with Eastham Veterinary Hospital, with Dr. John Kelly performing the cleft palate repair, while extracting five teeth as well. Gus was returned to ARL to recover and was fed canned cat food diluted with water, and treated with antibiotics to prevent infection. Gus recovered quickly, and has since been adopted!

In one month, Gus went from a stray, to a rescue, to a patient, and finally to adopted! ARL wants to thank Eastham Veterinary Hospital for its partnership, and for giving Gus the chance to find a forever home.


Adopt a Shelter Dog Month: Why Adopt?

Special Study Highlights Why People Adopt Rescue Animals

It goes without saying, but we at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) love each and every rescue animal that comes through our doors. But what motivates the general public to adopt shelter animals, and why would they recommend adoption to others? A recently published study sheds some light on those questions.

The survey study of 1,400 people was conducted by the Shelter Pet Project, an Ad Council public service advertising campaign promoting pet adoption; and was funded by Maddie’s Fund and ARL national partner the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

That face and a handshake, how could you say no? Apollo was adopted this past spring.

That face and a handshake, how could you say no? Apollo was adopted this past spring.

 

So what motivates an adopter?

  •         Adopting a rescue animal is the right thing to do. According to this study, adopters feel good about saving a life and finding a companion in the process. A number of respondents also said adopting a rescue animal “saved them.”
  •         Joining a special group. One-third of respondents loved the idea of joining the passionate and special community of shelter-pet adopters.
  •         Great experience. This is something we hear a lot of at ARL. Survey respondents felt the adoption process was smooth, things were organized, and staff was knowledgeable. One-third said the process was fun!

Recommending adoption to others

  •         71 percent of respondents passionately recommend shelter/rescue animals — compared to 41 percent of those acquiring an animal from a breeder, and 21 percent acquiring from a pet store.
  •         Respondents felt adoption evokes a strong sense of pride, kindness and social responsibility to a degree not displayed among the breeder and pet store segments.

The complete study can be read here.

Saving Lives

When you adopt, you are giving your new companion a second chance, and are saving two lives — the animal you adopt, and the one that takes its place in our shelter. Create your own success story and visit ARL’s Boston, Brewster, or Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Centers today!


How Maybelle the Pot-Bellied Pig Got Her Groove Back

A Much-Anticipated Weigh-In

You may remember Maybelle. The obese one-year-old pot-bellied pig has been in the care of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) since May and the main goal for her rehabilitation has been simple — to lose weight. Maybelle has made tremendous progress during the summer months, and this week ARL staff decided it was time to get her on a scale to really see how much weight she has lost.

Maybelle came to ARL weighing 196 pounds, but is now down to about 175!

Twenty pounds may not seem like a lot, but for Maybelle’s overall status, losing 20 pounds has been transformative.

Maybelle scale body pic

A tale of two pigs.

Strutting Her Stuff

Pigs are highly intelligent animals, and when Maybelle arrived at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, she was very depressed. Her depression stemmed from not only her obesity, but her lack of mobility and extreme discomfort. However over the last few months, and particularly in the past few weeks, we have seen a remarkable change.

Maybelle has made ARL’s iconic Dedham barn into her own personal walking track. She’s moving freely and on the day she was weighed, she put on quite a show for staff, volunteers, and media members in attendance. While showing off her mobility, she was playful, happy, and interactive, which is a great sign moving forward. Click here to see video of Maybelle strutting her stuff!

While continuing her weight-loss program, Maybelle is currently up for adoption, however any potential adopter would have to be able to provide a sufficient environment to house a pig, and be committed to her continued rehabilitation.

Long-Term Commitment

Despite the weight-loss, Maybelle still has a ways to go. She should weigh somewhere between 120-130 pounds, so her diet of six small meals a day will continue, and ARL staff and volunteers will give this famous pig all the support and encouragement she needs until the goal is reached. ARL’s veterinary team estimated that Maybelle’s weight-loss will take nine months to a year to complete, so stay tuned for updates on her progress!