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ARL Brewster Takes in Senior Cat When He was Surrendered to Local Vet Office

Annual exams, medications – these are costs that any pet owner can expect over the duration of an animal’s life. However, when an underlying disease or sudden injury needs attention and treatment, these costs can unfortunately be out of reach for some.

This was the case for Clyde, a 13-year-old handsome cat, who was brought to Barnstable Animal Hospital just a few weeks ago.

As with many animals in advancing years, Clyde was starting to show signs of age, confirmed with diagnostic testing, which revealed that Clyde is in the early stages of renal disease. His examination also discovered a low-grade heart murmur.

Renal disease is common in middle to older age cats and is associated with a gradual loss of kidney function. There is no cure as the kidney cannot regenerate, however the disease is manageable and Clyde is expected to sustain a high quality of life for the foreseeable future.

Clyde undergoes exam at ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Due to the cost of testing and the need for ongoing treatment, Clyde was surrendered to the animal hospital – but of course a veterinary office is not a shelter and Clyde needed a place to stay while waiting for the opportunity to find a new home.

Despite there being a number of options in the surrounding area, the staff at Barnstable Animal Hospital decided to contact the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center – located approximately 20 miles away.

Why?

Because for nearly a century, ARL has had a history of caring on Cape Cod.

Since first establishing a shelter facility on the Cape in 1921, ARL has been the go-to resource for animals in need and today the Brewster location offers much more than adoptable animals.

Community services include spay and neuter resources, pet surrender, pet after-life care, animal cruelty law enforcement investigation, among others. ARL’s staff is also on-hand to answer any animal-related questions or concerns community members may have.

Looking for a Forever Home

Clyde has established himself as an immediate favorite among staff and volunteers, and while he may be comfortable and friendly in the shelter setting, he is still awaiting his perfect forever home.

Ready to Serve

ARL’s reputation as an animal welfare leader is unmatched in Massachusetts, however, your support is critical in order for ARL’s important work to continue. Your support allows ARL to take in and treat more than 17,000 animals in need annually and to deliver services directly to communities who need them most. Please help Clyde and others like him by supporting ARL today!


Kennel Regulations, Increasing MAF Funds, Blue Hills Forest Take Center Stage at State House

ARL Addresses Joint Committee

On Tuesday, the Joint Committee of Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture convened to hear testimony on nearly two dozen bills, many of which were animal-related.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) provided testimony on six separate bills, all of which are a part of the organization’s 2019-2020 Legislative Agenda.

While S. 114/H. 1774: An Act protecting the health and safety of puppies and kittens in cities and towns encompasses several elements, including establishing state-wide regulations regarding boarding kennel and daycare facilities; S. 510/H. 3603/H. 812 are all stand-alone bills that specifically address boarding kennel regulations.

The wording of these individual bills may differ slightly, but each aims to establish regulations for boarding kennel and daycare facilities to include staff qualifications and development, provider/dog ratios and interaction, group sizes and supervision, minimum housing and care requirements, indoor and outdoor facility requirements, utilities, dog handling, emergency response protocols and training, insurance, and penalties for violation, among others.

ARL Law Enforcement Director Lt. Alan Borgal shows the committee images of an animal who was mauled at a South Shore boarding facility.

“Right now it is up to the consumer to be their own advocate and to do their own homework,” Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services, expressed to the committee. “However, most consumers are unaware of this and trust the facility that they choose to take care of their pet, unknowing of the lack of regulations.”

Earlier this year, ARL launched the Kennel-9 safety campaign, giving pet owners 9 things to consider before boarding their pet in an effort to protect animals and their owners from a potentially dangerous situation.

ARL has unfortunately been involved in numerous incidents at boarding facilities where a lack of oversite, improper facilities or protocols led to injury or even death for animals in their care. Law Enforcement Director Lt. Alan Borgal shared one of these incidents with the panel to show the need for regulations.

The organization feels state-wide regulations are critical to improve safety and quality of care for facilities across the Commonwealth.

Mass Animal Fund

ARL also testified on S.501: An Act to provide additional funding for animal welfare and safety programming.

This measure would provide additional monies to the Mass Animal Fund, an organization which strives to prevent animal homelessness by offsetting costs for vaccination and spay/neuter of homeless dogs and cats, as well as dogs and cats owned by low-income residents, and to assist with training of animal control officers.

ARL is a provider of services for the Mass Animal Fund spay/neuter voucher program and through the Community Surgical Clinic and Spay Waggin’, ARL has provided more than 200 spay/neuter surgeries in the past two years.

If passed, this bill would direct funds collected through administrative fines pursuant to Section 37 of Chapter 129. This would be in addition to donations currently generated through Line 33f on the state income tax form.

Blue Hills Reservation

Finally, ARL also testified on H. 757: An Act to study the health of the Blue Hills Forest and ecology to inform long-term reservation management.

This bill would commission a study and scientific survey on the Blue Hills Reservation to determine why the forest health is in decline.

Be an Advocate for Animals

With more than 90 animal-related bills filed for this legislative session, this hearing was critical to help move these important animal protection bills forward in the legislative process.

But we can’t do it alone. Your elected officials work for you, so please take a look at ARL’s 2019-2020 legislative agenda, and contact your representatives to show your support for improving laws to protect animals in Massachusetts.


Massachusetts Animal Control Officer of the Year

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Animal Rescue League of Boston are pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for the annual Massachusetts Animal Control Officer (ACO) of the Year award.

The award was established to honor an animal control officer whose efforts in his/her local community throughout the year demonstrate:

  • A dedicated, humane attitude toward the treatment and well-being of all animals
  • Effective enforcement of pet responsibility laws;
  • Commitment to public awareness and humane education programs
  • Cooperative working relationships with other agencies, such as state and local government departments, other ACOs, and animal protection groups.

Nominations should be submitted in writing and may come from government officials, other officers, animal protection organizations, or private citizens.

Submissions should explain how the nominee has met the above criteria and should be sent to both:

Alan Borgal
Animal Rescue League of Boston
10 Chandler Street
Boston, MA 02116
ABorgal@arlboston.org

Kara Holmquist
MSPCA
350 South Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02130
kholmquist@mspca.org

The deadline for nominations is September 24, 2019.


September is Champions Circle Month!

All month long we’re celebrating our Champions

In honor of our monthly donors and their ongoing support, ARL is celebrating our Champions Circle members!

The Champions Circle is a special group of friends who support animals as recurring donors. Though we are celebrating them this month, our community of monthly givers provide the critical support needed to keep animals safe and healthy all year long.

Thank you to all our Champions Circle members for your loyal support!

Not yet a member? Now is the perfect time to join! 

Monthly giving is a convenient, affordable, and efficient way to provide help where it’s most needed.

When you join, your gift each month will provide animals with:

Champions Circle - membership perks

In exchange for your generosity, you can expect:

Champions Circle Membership Perks

There are many way to join…

Use our secure online form by clicking here

Or call Derek at (617) 426-9170 x162 to set up your monthly gift over the phone

Join the Champions Circle before September 30 and receive a special 2020 Champions Circle calendar!

*Please allow 4 weeks for delivery

 


ARL Field Services Conducts Rappelling Training

Rescue Situation Simulated in Quincy Quarries

For any technical rescue situation, two things are paramount to success – teamwork and safety.

For these reasons, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department has been conducting weekly training for several months, and this past week the team tackled rappelling at a historic site just on the outskirts of Boston.

The Quincy Quarries, once the most prominent source of granite in the country and even providing stone for the Bunker Hill Monument, offers the perfect terrain and surroundings for training; with uneven hiking trails, thick woods and plenty of rock faces for rappelling.

Once the team hiked into the woods carrying heavy equipment, it was time to put teamwork and safety to the test.

Before scaling the 35-foot rock face, ARL’s most experienced Field Services agent led the team in an extensive session of getting familiar with climbing gear, knowing what individual responsibilities would be for every climbing line, learning to work in unison, and participating in a 35-foot confidence rappel.

Once this was completed, the team simulated a rescue situation where participation from every team member was essential.

The exercise involved hauling a team member (in this case an 80-pound dog mannequin named Fetch) from the quarry floor back to the top. One team member manned the belay line, another on the haul line, and two members on a pulley system to bring the mannequin up quickly.

While team members were excited to experience rappelling, everyone involved understood that in a real-world situation, the rescuer scaling down would be hauling a carrier, equipment and a distressed or injured animal.

In order to get the rescuer back to safety and the animal the help it needs, teamwork is crucial to ensuring a successful rescue.

With this exercise successfully completed, Field Services will continue its training to be able to assist in endless scenarios where technical rescue skills can mean the difference between life and death for an animal in need.

ARL Field Services

ARL Field Services provides technical and non-technical rescue operations for injured or lost domestic animals, livestock, and raptors (turkey vultures, osprey, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls).

ARL Field Services also assists governmental agencies with equipment and training; and plays an essential role in assisting ARL Law Enforcement in cases of animal cruelty, neglect, and abuse.

If you need assistance, call (617) 426-9170 to reach ARL Field Services dispatch, which operates from 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM Tuesday-Saturday.


Update: All Cats Removed from April Hoarding-Type Situation Adopted

When the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department removed 50 cats from a home in the Metro Boston area during Easter weekend, it was immediately clear that many of the animals had a long road ahead of them – given their lack of meaningful interaction with humans.

Aside from a host of medical concerns, the majority of the cats were extremely under-socialized and at times standoffish with staff and volunteers.

However, thanks to an amazing and collective effort by ARL staff and volunteers, over time the walls of mistrust were razed and nearly three months later, the last two cats (Clarence and Moe) have found their forever homes!

Slow and Steady

The socialization process was extraordinarily slow. With many of these animals, volunteers and staff would begin by just talking softly to the cat. From there it would escalate to making eye contact, offering treats, and when a small semblance of trust was established, the cat would sniff the hand and eventually accept pets.

Clarence, an 8-year-old cat, came to ARL obese and in need of medical care and diagnostics. Unlike many of the other cats from this hoarding-type situation, he was friendly right from the start, but was shy and lacked confidence.

Clarence had advanced dental and was already missing 10 teeth. Unfortunately 8 additional teeth needed to be extracted.

Through diagnostic testing, the tough 8-year-old also showed early signs of renal disease.

Moe, a 4-year-old cat, was thin, scared and spent much of his time hiding upon arrival at ARL. Moe weighed just 6 pounds, had urine-stained paws and dirt was embedded around his nose.

The cat needed time to settle in to his new surroundings, and seemed to do best when paired with another cat from his previous situation – in Moe’s case he was paired with Clarence.

The two spent time as office fosters, which offers a more real-life experience and is less stressful than being in a kennel full time.

The pair came out of their shells and didn’t just find a forever home, they found a forever home together!

Extraordinary Measures

Before arriving at ARL, these animals suffered an enormous amount of physical and mental trauma. ARL was able to remove these cats from a difficult situation, provide much needed medical care, and socialize and recondition these animals to become the loving pets they are today!

Hoarding-Type Situations Increasing

The number of hoarding-type incidents involving large numbers of animals is unfortunately on the rise. In 2018, ARL handled 16 of these incidents, which involved 1,024 animals.

With hoarding-type situations, ARL is ready to help both the animals and people involved. If you are aware of such a situation, please contact ARL Law Enforcement or your local Animal Control Officer immediately.


ARL Assists in Wrangling Dog Missing for a Week

When New Bedford Animal Control reached out to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services, it was the perfect opportunity for a field-training exercise. However, the exercise turned into a rescue!

According to New Bedford Director of Animal Control Manny Maciel, “Cyrus” had recently been adopted from a Texas-based rescue group, but had escaped and was on the loose for a week.

The owner of Cyrus was understandably distraught, and despite deploying traditional traps, the dog showed off his intelligence by being able to eat the food in the trap, but cunningly backing out before the trap could be sprung.

Click here to see a video of the rescue!

ARL Field Services has a number of technological tools in its arsenal to aid in catching lost animals, including a 30-foot drop-net trap, which is essentially a suspended net attached to four poles and remotely triggered when the animal is underneath.

ARL responded to the area where the dog has been seen to assist in the setup and to instruct New Bedford Animal Control on how to use the device.

The process took approximately 8 hours, and then Cyprus gave a sign that he was ready to go home.

Just 10 minutes after the trap had been set, Cyrus wandered out of the woods and advanced towards the bait underneath the drop-net.

Cyrus was captured, transferred into a portable crate and reunited with his owner, who was ecstatic to be reunited with the adventurous boy!

Ready to Respond

ARL Field Services provides technical and non-technical rescue operations for injured or lost domestic animals, livestock, and raptors (turkey vultures, osprey, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls).

As in this case, ARL Field Services also assists governmental agencies with equipment and training; and plays an essential role in assisting ARL Law Enforcement in cases of animal cruelty, neglect, and abuse.

If you need assistance, call (617) 426-9170 to reach ARL Field Services dispatch, which operates from 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM Tuesday-Saturday.


ARL Brewster Partnering with Agway of Cape Cod to Offer Supplies for Residents Affected by Storm

In the aftermath of Tuesday’s devastating storm that left a wide array of damage on the mid, lower and outer Cape, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center is partnering with Agway of Cape Cod to help those impacted by the storm by offering free pet supplies.

Agway’s Dennis and Orleans stores will be accepting donations of food, litter, treats and other supplies (disposable litter boxes, bottled water, toys), and those supplies will then be delivered to ARL’s Brewster facility to be given to those who need them.

Supplies will be available during a pick-up window of 10:00AM to 1:00PM beginning Thursday, July 25, 2019, through Friday, August 2, and those in need can simply show up during this window to receive supplies.

ARL Brewster is located at 3981 Main St. (Route 6A) in Brewster, Agway in Orleans is located at 20 Lots Hollow Rd, and Agway in Dennis is located at 686 Route 134.

Such wide-spread devastation hasn’t been seen on this part of the Cape since Hurricane Bob in 1991, and ARL wants to extend a huge thank you to Agway of Cape Cod for their partnership to help fellow Cape Codders and their pets in an hour of need.


ARL Advocates for Banishment of Retail Sale of Dogs/Cats in Pet Shops

On Monday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) joined fellow animal welfare organizations to address the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure on two pieces of legislation that ARL is actively supporting.

The hearing chambers were standing room only, indicating the passion behind these bills.

The bills were part of a lengthy agenda at the Massachusetts State House, and address two important issues: the retail sale of animals at pet shops, and the inhumane practice of declawing.

For WFXT’s coverage of the hearing click here!

S.175 and H.800 – An Act Banning the Retail Sale of Dogs and Cats in Pet Shops aims to cease the operation by pet stores of obtaining animals from “puppy mills” because they allow the cruelty at the mills to remain hidden from consumers.

“Plain and simple, where pet shops acquire their animals are inhumane,” stated Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services. “Although these breeding facilities are inspected by the USDA, the standards are extremely low and continually allow for this inhumane treatment.”

The legislation does not prevent consumers from acquiring a dog, cat, or rabbit from a responsible breeder or shelter or rescue organization. Further, it does not prohibit pet shops from partnering with shelters or rescues to provide animals in their store.

ARL also made public comment on S.169 – An Act Prohibiting Inhumane Feline Declawing.

This proposed bill would prohibit declawing as an elective procedure, simply for the purposes of convenience or to mitigate property destruction.

Under the proposed bill, declawing would only be allowed for “therapeutic purposes”. These would include addressing an existing or recurring infection, disease, injury, or abnormal condition in the claw that jeopardizes the cat’s health as a medical necessity.

Violations of the proposed bill would include fines upward of $2,500 for repeated offenses and the possibility of forfeiture of the animal as well.

ARL believes that declawing a healthy cat is not only inhumane, but may cause the cat a multitude of long-term medical issues.

“We (ARL) are opposed to these needless, elective surgeries which can and do cause unnecessary pain and discomfort that can affect the cat for its entire life,” Dr. Schettino testified.

Get Involved

Government is of course “of the people, by the people, and for the people” and you can have a direct impact on these important bills moving forward in the legislative process.

If you support these measures, contact your elected officials and urge them to further animal protection law in Massachusetts by supporting the proposed bills.

We encourage you to read ARL’s 2019-2020 legislative agenda. See what bills ARL supports and opposes and what you can do to make sure your voice is heard!


Press Release: ARL and Malden Police Investigating Abandoned Kitten Case

Kitten discovered in sealed cardboard box

The Malden Police Department and the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying who may be responsible for dumping a two-month old kitten along a busy street in the city on Wednesday afternoon.

For ARL, this case represents a disturbing trend. This kitten is one of a handful of animals that have discovered abandoned in just the last week alone.

Around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, a driver with the MBTA’s The Ride noticed a cardboard box along Hawthorne St. The box had holes punched into the sides, but the top was sealed with packing tape.

Inside the box was a two-month-old female kitten. Despite being discarded in stifling heat and humidity, the kitten did not suffer any heat-related medical issues and appears to be in good overall health.

This is a clear case of animal cruelty and abandonment. The fact that holes were cut into the box shows that this kitten was left on the side of the road intentionally.

Abandoning an animal is never an option. Besides being cruel, it is illegal in Massachusetts and punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If you are unable or even unwilling to properly care for an animal, you can contact your local animal control officer or an organization like ARL to ensure that the animal is properly taken care of and rehomed.

This investigation is ongoing, and the kitten, now named Millie, will remain in the care of ARL. There is no timeline on when she may be available to find her forever home.

Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to contact Malden Animal Control at 781-397-7171 x1302, or ARL Law Enforcement at 617-426-9170.