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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.


When the Temperature Rises — It’s TOO HOT FOR SPOT

ARL Wants Your Pet to be Safe and Comfortable All Summer Long

In typical New England fashion, this week spring suddenly turned into summer, with heat, humidity and near record-setting temperatures forecasted. As part of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) annual safety campaign, “Too Hot for Spot”, ARL wants to remind pet owners about the dangers of leaving an animal in a hot car.

As temperatures rise, so do concerns about animal safety. Even with temperatures below 80 degrees, the threat for heat stroke still exists. Remember, pets don’t sweat like humans do, making them unable to cool their bodies efficiently in the heat.

Keep your pet safe and healthy by following these important guidelines:

  •      Prevention is always your best bet. Whenever possible, leave your pet at home in a low humidity and temperature-controlled room.
  •      If your pet must be outdoors, find a shady spot with ample air flow to prevent overheating.
  •      Hydration. This is key, so keep a bowl of cold water accessible at all times.
  •      Exercise wisely. Limit exercise to the morning or evening hours when temperatures are at their coolest.
  •      Never leave your pet alone in a parked car. When the outside temperature is just 80 degrees, inside a parked car, the temperature can rise to more than 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, leaving your pet susceptible to deadly heat stroke. It’s also illegal in Massachusetts, thanks to the passage of S. 2369.

Prevention is Responsible Pet Ownership

By following these simple guidelines, you can help your pet limit the possibility for any heat-related health issues. However, if you notice excessive panting, weakness, rapid breathing or balance issues, and suspect a heat-related problem, bring your pet to a veterinarian immediately.


ARL Rehabbing Morbidly Obese Potbellied Pig

Maybelle Allegedly Fed Dog Food, But Now is Eating Her Vegetables

When one-year-old Maybelle came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) about six weeks ago, she was more than just a robust 196 pounds. She was also immobile, being able to stand on her legs for mere seconds at a time and suffered from several pressure sores attributed to her lack of movement. Her hooves were also overgrown and causing discomfort. Because of her size, Maybelle also couldn’t see because a roll of fat was, and still is, covering her eyes.

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Maybelle in her stall at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center.

ARL’s veterinary staff jumped in with both feet to formulate a plan to get Maybelle back to being a fully-functional animal.

“It was a collaboration and it took some research,” said ARL Veterinarian, Dr. Kate Gollon. “She needs to lose about 80 pounds and regain her strength, so once we had all the information, we decided to take a number of steps to begin moving Maybelle in the right direction.”

Because Maybelle was allegedly fed only dog food in her previous situation, the first step was to drastically decrease her caloric intake. ARL is now giving her six small meals a day, consisting of feed and vegetables, and already Maybelle has lost some weight and is improving her mobility daily.

Additionally, Maybelle has had her hooves trimmed, and is receiving plenty of attention and love.

“Enrichment has been so important and the staff has been great,” Dr. Gollon said. “The staff are sitting with her, comforting her, and she enjoys petting and being scratched, it’s made a tremendous difference.”

Along with receiving plenty of love from staff and volunteers, Maybelle has also garnered public support, as her story has been publicized nationally in the media. While trending in the right direction, Maybelle’s rehab is going to be a lengthy, and costly process. It’s estimated that it will take 9-12 months for the potbellied pig to return to a normal weight, and the goal for this summer is to have Maybelle hopefully be able to get outside and have to opportunity to act like a pig, which will aide in her weight loss.

No Scale — No Problem!

Maybelle is making progress, but because of her size and immobility, ARL is unable to get her on a scale to monitor her weight loss. However, staff will be using a fabric tape measure to track her weight loss in inches, so make sure you check back often for updates!

Overfeeding is an Act of Cruelty

Maybelle’s situation has been deemed an act of cruelty, and police in Billerica have charged Maybelle’s former owner with animal cruelty. A court hearing is scheduled for mid-August.

“It’s not healthy,” said Darleen Wood, ARL’s Associate Director of Law Enforcement. “It’s cruel for an animal to be malnourished, but it’s also cruel to overfeed an animal to the point of morbid obesity.”

 

 

 

 


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.

ARL team on site rescuing animals in westport

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.