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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 Receives Second Puerto Rico Puppy Transport

“Satos” in Need of Good Homes

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) received its second transport of puppies from All Sato Rescue, a Puerto Rico-based rescue organization.

Ten adorable and energetic mixed-breed pups are now in the process of being evaluated medically, and will soon be available for adoption.

“Sato” is a Puerto Rican slang term for a mixed-breed dog — or mutt. Puerto Rico has an immense population of homeless dogs, nearly 100,000 according to some estimates, and All Sato Rescue is dedicated to getting these dogs off the streets and into loving homes. A lack of spay and neuter programs and economic hardship are just some of the reasons that account for the staggering number of homeless animals on the island. The 10 puppies which arrived this week are sure to be adopted quickly, and are sure to make wonderful pets.

Why Transport?

In the Northeast, affordable spay and neuter services, like ARL’s Spay Waggin’, are readily available, and animal welfare organizations like ARL have educated the public about the importance of having animals spayed or neutered. Given those efforts, there is a large demand for puppies. What makes transport programs like this so impactful is that it allows ARL to broaden its reach in helping animals in need, helps fill the demand for puppies, and allows organizations like All Sato Rescue to continue their important work.

Additionally, ARL also transports puppies from the Southern region of the United States, where there are also high numbers of homeless animals. This year alone ARL anticipates that more than 400 dogs will be transported to our shelters!

Saving Lives

The Animal Rescue League of Boston is an unwavering champion for 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, adult dog, kitten, adult cat or small animal, ARL’s staff and volunteers at its Boston, Brewster or Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Centers are there to answer your questions to ensure that the life you save is the right animal for you and your family.

 


Spay Waggin’ Making a Difference on the South Coast

New Bedford Cat Organization Utilizing ARL Community-Based Services

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Spay Waggin’ made its usual monthly stop in New Bedford, setting up shop in front of Habitats for Cats. The nonprofit is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and has been utilizing ARL’s Spay Waggin’ for nearly a decade.

On this day upwards of 36 cats were spayed or neutered, some of which will be returned to feral colonies, while others will be put up for adoption. For the organization who specializes in trap-neuter-return or TNR, the Spay Waggin’, which offers low-cost spay and neuter services, has helped the organization tremendously in shrinking feral cat colonies and finding adoptable cats good homes.

“Without the Spay Waggin’ we couldn’t do what we do,” said Ginny McMahon-Higgins, a member of Habitat for Cats’ board. “Having ARL come to the site is a huge help, otherwise we’d have to transport our cats, and cost-wise it’s something we wouldn’t be able to do.”

“I find it very rewarding to be working with an animal welfare organization located in an area with a large population of community cats in need,” said Dr. Kate Gollon, ARL Shelter Veterinarian.  “Community cats — both feral and stray — are the primary contributors of kitten intakes into shelters. Having ongoing, active TNR programs in neighborhoods with large populations of community cats is essential in reducing shelter populations and improve individual cat welfare. ARL’s Spay Waggin’ working with Habitat for Cats has allowed these efforts to continue.”

Along with utilizing the Spay Waggin’, Habitat for Cats has also been promoting Healthy Moms, Happy Litters, a new community-based program which provides complimentary assistance to local families and their pets to help prevent animal homelessness, suffering, and neglect.

“They (ARL) are out in the community, providing services that more people should be taking advantage of,” McMahon-Higgins said. “The more people who know these services exist, the less animals there are on the streets, and that’s the goal.”

The vision of ARL is that animals are healthy in the communities where they live. Having active programs like the Spay Waggin’ and Healthy Moms, Happy Litters, gets ARL out into the communities we serve, and are certainly generating results.

“New Bedford is a working class area, and because of financial constraints, we have historically seen a drastic number of homeless animals,” McMahon-Higgins said. “Community cats are still an issue, however with the help of the Animal Rescue League of Boston, we have made significant progress in this area.”

Here to Help

If getting your animal spayed or neutered is cost-prohibitive, ARL is here to help. The Spay Waggin’ provides low cost, high-quality spay/neuter services along the South Shore, South Coast, and Cape Cod. Services also include a brief veterinary exam, vaccinations, treatment for fleas, ear mites and intestinal parasites, and a nail trim. Click here to see a complete list of services, costs, scheduled stops, and to make an appointment.


Puppies and Kittens Aren’t Right for Everyone

Why a Senior Animal May Make Sense for You

We all love puppies and kittens. They’re cute, cuddly, the subject of countless adorable viral videos. But they’re also energetic, untrained, destructive, and deserve and demand a level of commitment that some people may not be ready or willing to accept. If you’re ready to have a new best friend in your home but lack the time, lifestyle or patience to deal with the growing pains of an infant animal, then adopting a senior dog or cat may be right up your alley.

“A puppy or kitten will definitely give you a run for your money,” said Carolyn Curran, Manager of ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center. “Adult and senior animals are just looking to enjoy life and make wonderful companion animals.”

Lifestyle

A senior dog requires less walking and exercising, sleeps a lot, and can be left alone for longer periods of time, which may fit the bill for many working professionals. Puppies require constant exercise, supervision, socialization and training.

Joy is spoiled in her kennel, but she’d rather have a home and loving family to spend her golden years.

Training

Speaking of training, when adopting a senior dog, more often than not, the animal will be house-trained and know basic commands. While training is beneficial for an animal at any age, a senior animal will most likely need less of it.

Behavior

A sunny spot, warm couch, a comfy lap, or a nice blanket. That’s what a senior animal is looking for. Senior animals tend to be more mellow, and simply want to enjoy the space they’re in. In terms of behavior, when you adopt a senior animal, their personalities have developed, so you know what you’re getting when you get the animal home. Senior animals typically are just happy to be around you and tend to fit into their new homes easily.

“In puppies and kittens, their personalities develop over time, but for senior animals, they are who they are,” Curran said.

What to Prepare For

Because of age, you can anticipate more frequent visits to your veterinarian. Like humans, animals tend to develop medical issues as they get older, so that’s something to prepare for. Many people also shy away from senior animals because they’ll have less time with the animal because of their age. Losing a pet is heart-breaking. However no matter what age, it’s important to enjoy each day you have with your animal, and to ensure that they’re healthy and happy.

Ready to Adopt?

When you adopt a senior animal, you can feel good that you’re opening up your heart and home for an animal during their “retirement years.” Adoption fees for older animals are less than that of a puppy or kitten, and when you adopt an animal at any age, you’re not saving one life but two — the animal you’re adopting, and the animal that will take its place. ARL wants you to go home with the right pet for you, so if you’re ready to adopt, visit our Boston, Brewster or Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Centers today and find your perfect match!


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.

 

 


ARL Caring for Stowaway Kitten

Coffee” Found Under Hood of SUV During Washington D.C. to Boston Trip

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is caring for a two-month-old stray kitten that is lucky to be alive after stowing away under the hood of an SUV while a couple drove from Washington D.C. to Boston.

While stopping at a Starbucks in Arlington, Virginia, Michael Waters and Aiesha Dey noticed the black kitten scurrying down the sidewalk, then underneath their SUV. After checking all around the vehicle for signs of the kitten, they thought he had moved on, and continued on their way.

Nearly 250 miles later on the outskirts of New York City, the couple heard meowing. Alarmed, they pulled over, and when they popped the hood, the kitten was found nestled between the grill and the radiator.

“It was amazing, the kitten was in front of the radiator,” Waters said. “It was scared and it took 15-20 minutes for me to pull him out, but he was friendly. He must have found the perfect spot too, because it wasn’t hot where he was and I didn’t get burned when I reached in to grab him. Once we got him in the car we settled him down and tried to give him some milk and then continued on to Boston.”

Because he was first seen outside of a Starbucks, the couple thought “Coffee” was a fitting name. How did Coffee manage to get under the hood? The SUV has a uni-body construction, so it’s likely that Coffee got into the engine compartment through the wheel-well, and thankfully was able to find a relatively safe place to stowaway.

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Coffee relaxing at ARL.

Upon arriving in Boston, Waters and Dey brought the kitten to ARL for treatment and rehabilitation. Coffee was placed into foster care following his initial exam, and the couple have since returned to Washington D.C.

Stress-Related Issues

In addition to being thin and having fleas, Coffee developed some other problems in the aftermath of his journey. Coffee is currently dealing with ear and repertory infections, due to the environment and the stress of the trip. There was also some scarring on his paws and underside. For ARL shelter veterinary staff, the circumstances in which Coffee came into ARL’s care was something they “had never seen before.”

Coffee may have spent one of his nine lives, but his rehab continues, and veterinary staff add that in a couple of weeks he should look like a completely different cat and also be ready to find a home.

 


UPDATE: Maybelle Gets First Measurement

Weight Loss to be Gauged by Inches Lost

When Maybelle the pot-bellied pig first came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) several months ago, she weighed 196 pounds and could barely stand, let alone walk; and her overgrown hooves were causing severe discomfort. While she is still grossly overweight, Maybelle is making progress.

Because she is still relatively immobile, getting Maybelle on a scale is a difficult task. So this week Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center staff recorded her first waist measurement, and will chart Maybelle’s progress in the coming months by the number of inches she loses.

Currently Maybelle’s waist measures 48 inches– that’s 4 feet round!

While it may be difficult to physically see her weight loss, Maybelle has shed some pounds, and is able to stand and move around a little easier–a roll of fat is unfortunately still blocking her eyes so she can’t see. A secondary concern for the pot-bellied pig was her mental state. Maybelle was depressed when she came to ARL, however she seems to be turning a corner, thanks to constant visits and encouragement from ARL staff and volunteers. She has also grown a fan-base, as many people who come to the Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center ask to see her. Overall, there’s a long road ahead, but Maybelle is certainly trending in the right direction.

ARL’s veterinary staff want Maybelle to lose weight safely–meaning it will be a slow and steady process. She is still receiving 6 small meals a day and has drastically reduced her caloric intake. Make sure to check back often to see Maybelle’s progress!

Extended Care

It’s expected that Maybelle’s weight loss and rehabilitation will take up to a year, meaning she will be in the care of ARL much longer than a typical shelter animal. From food and shelter, to on-going veterinary care, costs to take care of Maybelle will run in the thousands. ARL does not receive government funding, and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to help animals in need like Maybelle. Please donate today by clicking the icon below to help Maybelle and animals like her.

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City of Boston Cements Catie Copley’s Legacy

June 23 Declared “Catie Copley Day”

Since 2004, Catie Copley, a loveable black lab, served as the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel’s Canine Ambassador and became a Boston icon. Guests missing their own furry friend were encouraged to take her for walks, she was the subject of a children’s book and was known as a community liaison. Catie passed away in May at the age of 16, and this past week, the City of Boston ensured that her legacy will live on. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) participated in a special ceremony celebrating Catie’s life during which a plaque was unveiled on the hotel’s iconic exterior to honor her, and the Mayor’s office also proclaimed June 23, 2017 as “Catie Copley Day” in honor of her meaningful impact in the city of Boston.

Strong Ties to ARL

For many years, Catie’s veterinary care was provided by Boston Veterinary Care (BVC). Attached to ARL’s Chandler St. location, it’s a clinic with a mission, with proceeds benefitting ARL’s shelter animals. Because of Catie’s strong relationship with ARL, the hotel generously donated $1,000 to the organization in her memory. ARL is grateful for the Fairmont Copley’s support, and also for trusting our organization with Catie’s care over the years.

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L to R: Amanda Kennedy, Director of Animal Care and Control, City of Boston; Mary Nee, President of ARL; Joe Fallon, caretaker and Concierge, Fairmont Copley Plaza; and George Terpilowski, GM and Regional VP, Fairmont Copley Plaza.

ARL’s relationship with the Fairmont Copley Plaza continues to grow, as its current Canine Ambassador “Carly Copley” was adopted from ARL, and like Catie, is a client at BVC.

How You Can Honor Catie’s Memory

Whether you’re looking to take a vacation to Boston, maybe a staycation, or just want to head out for a cocktail, you too can honor Catie Copley’s memory. The Fairmont Copley Plaza has announced a special Remembering Catie Copley package that will be available through the end of the year. The package includes a stuffed Catie Copley doll, a copy of Catie Copley’s Great Escape, a walk with Carly Copley, and $16 will be donated to ARL per night. The OAK Long Bar+Kitchen has also debuted the “Catie’s Cooler” cocktail, and $1 from each drink sale will be donated to ARL in Catie’s name. The drink will be available through the end of July.


Understanding Too Hot For Spot

Heat Stroke is NO Joke and Can be Deadly

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Too Hot for Spot annual campaign kicks off this month, and this week we’re focusing on heat stroke. Heat stroke is potentially fatal, which is why you should never leave your animal in a hot car as temperatures can soar to well over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes. Here’s some Q & A on heat stroke basics.

Q. What is heat stroke?

A. Heat stroke is a serious condition caused by your pet’s body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures.

Q. What makes cats and dogs susceptible to heat stroke?

A. Pets don’t sweat the way humans do, which makes them unable to cool their bodies efficiently in the heat. If their core body temperature rises too high, they run the risk of going into shock or organ failure.

Q. Which symptoms should I look for when trying to diagnose heat stroke in my pet?

A. More obvious symptoms include: difficulty breathing, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness. More subtle symptoms include: heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, excessive thirst, and lethargy.

Q. Is there anything I can do until my pet receives veterinary attention?

A. While you wait for assistance, apply cool wet towels to the groin and “underarm” areas. If your pet is alert enough, try having them slowly sip cold water.

Q. How can I protect my cat or dog from getting heat stroke altogether?

A. Prevention is always your best bet. On hot days, leave your pet at home in a cool room with an accessible bowl of cold water. If your pet must be outdoors, find a shady spot with ample air flow and limit exercise to the morning or evening hours.

Every Second Counts

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heat stroke, seek IMMEDIATE medical attention from a veterinarian.