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It’s Wicked Cold! ARL Reminds Pet Owners to Protect Animals from the chill

Winter is finally here in New England, and with a potentially historic storm on tap for the weekend, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) reminds pet owners to take cold-weather precautions to protect pets — frigid conditions can endanger the well-being, safety, and the lives of the pets we love.

Here are some things to keep in mind not just for this storm, but for the remainder of winter:

    1. Prepare your dog for the elements. If you have a longer coat dog, let it grow out for the winter; it will provide warmth and protection from the cold. For shorter coat dogs, sweaters, coats and booties can go a long way to protect your pooch.
    2. Wipe off your dog’s paws and stomach. Sidewalks are treated with a number of chemicals. These chemicals can irritate your dog’s paws, and can be poisonous if ingested. When coming in from the cold, clean and dry your dog’s stomach to keep them healthy and warm!
    3. Keep outdoor trips quick. Bathroom breaks or walks, keep it short and sweet and keep your pets indoors as much as possible.
    4. Never leave your dog alone in a cold car. Many Massachusetts residents are aware that it’s illegal to keep an animal in a hot car, under the same law it’s ALSO illegal to keep your animal in a cold car (Ma. Ch. 140, Section 174F.  (a) A person shall not confine an animal in a motor vehicle in a manner that could reasonably be expected to threaten the health of the animal due to exposure to extreme heat or cold). When going out, leave your animals at home.
    5. Pay attention to your pet’s grooming and health. An animal with a matted coat cannot keep him or herself warm! Long-haired pets especially during heavy periods of shedding, need extra help maintaining a healthy coat. Senior pets also suffer from increased arthritis pain in the cold, so check with your veterinarian on how to keep your pet comfortable.
    6. Keeping Warm During Power Outage. Provide your pets with extra bedding or blankets should the lights go out. For small animals, you can wrap a blanket around the bottom of their enclosure to add warmth but still provide ventilation.

    Additionally, it’s important to keep pets calm. The wind, cold temperatures and potential power outages can cause anxiety not only for us, but for our pets as well. Have plenty of treats and toys on hand to keep them occupied and calm.

    For more winter weather pet safety tips, please visit www.arlboston.org/winter-pet-health


    ARL Receives Transport of Dogs Removed from Kentucky Region Recovering from December Tornadoes

    This past week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), in partnership with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA), received a transport of dogs removed from an area in Kentucky devastated by a series of tornadoes in December of 2021.

    In the wake of the tornadoes, the ASPCA was immediately dispatched to assist shelters in Kentucky, relocating dogs and cats in order to free up space for owned animals impacted by the storm.

    The animals ARL received are among the dozens of homeless dogs moved to a facility outside of the impacted areas, who have been receiving care by the national organization since late December.

    ARL was honored to become a part of the ASPCA Relocation Program in 2021, and is thrilled to be able to assist in the on-going disaster relief efforts by taking in these animals in need and finding them loving homes.

    “By evacuating these homeless animals displaced by the devastating tornadoes in Kentucky, the ASPCA was able to free up critical resources for organizations in impacted communities to help save more animal lives,” said Lou Guyton, Vice President of the ASPCA Relocation and Placement team. “The ASPCA is grateful to partner with organizations such as ARL who have kindly opened their doors to find adoptive homes for these animals.”

    “The ASPCA has done a tremendous job in its disaster relief efforts in Kentucky, and ARL is happy to be able to lend a hand in the effort by taking in these wonderful dogs and finding them loving homes here in Massachusetts,” stated ARL President and CEO Dr. Edward Schettino.

    The dogs were transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, and have received thorough veterinary exams, are vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped, and are now ready to find their new families.


    ARL Announces Dr. Nicole Breda as New Director of Veterinary Medicine

    The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is thrilled to announce that Dr. Nicole Breda has been promoted to Director of Veterinary Medicine for ARL.

    Dr. Nicole Breda

    Dr. Breda joined ARL in 2015, as Lead Veterinarian for Boston Veterinary Care (BVC), a full-service veterinary clinic with a mission, as all profits benefit ARL’s shelter animals.

    In 2018, Dr. Breda transitioned to BVC’s Medical Director, and through her leadership, BVC has become a premier veterinary clinic in the City of Boston.

    Dr. Breda’s passion in caring for animals in unparalleled, and in her new role she will oversee all aspects of veterinary medicine for both BVC and ARL’s Shelter Medicine team.

    “I am very excited to get to work in this new role,” Dr. Breda said.  “Over the last six-plus years I have developed deep rooted relationships with the entire veterinary team here at ARL, not only at Boston Veterinary Care, but also with the Community and Shelter Medicine Team. I know I can use my experiences in both management and in veterinary medicine to lead ARL’s veterinary teams, and provide high-quality care to the animals in our care, and to foster an environment of collaboration and success.”

    BVC clients who have come to know and depend on Dr. Breda to care for their furry loved ones over the years will be pleased to know that she will continue to see clients at BVC and, in addition, will also treat animals in the care of ARL.

    Join ARL in congratulating Dr. Breda!


    ARL Appears on Good Morning America as Part of Betty White Challenge Coverage

    On Monday, January 17, 2022, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) was featured on ABC’s Good Morning America, as part of the program’s coverage of the Betty White Challenge – which asked animal lovers to donate $5 to humane organizations across the country in recognition of the late actress’s fondness for animals.

    During the nationally televised segment, ARL discussed several aspects of the organization, including programs that have developed during the Covid-19 pandemic, with GMA correspondent Will Reeve.

    Additionally, the segment showcased Oliver Twist and Adeline, a pair of adorable piglets, currently in ARL’s care and will soon be available for adoption.

    ARL was truly honored for the opportunity to discuss the organization in front of a national audience, and to commemorate what would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday.

    And a special thank you to all who donated during the special day as the funds raised will help countless animals in need!


    January is Adopt a Rescued Bird Month

    5 Reasons to Adopt a Feathery Friend!

    January is national Adopt a Rescued Bird Month and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to spread the love! Often overlooked in animal shelters, these beautiful and majestic creatures can make great pets, especially for families with limited living space or allergies.

    Here are 5 other reasons why YOU should branch out and adopt a bird this month:blue parakeet

    1. You’ll have someone to talk to. Because of their above average intelligence, birds are very communicative and love to socialize with humans. Birds have wonderful personalities and will often make you laugh by doing silly things like dancing and singing to themselves in a mirror.

    2. You’ll have fun training them. Since most birds are relatively small, training them can be less physically demanding than working with larger creatures, making them a good choice for the young, elderly, or disabled.

    3. You’ll have a loyal friend for the long-run. Many bird species have extraordinarily long life expectancies, some living more than 100 years! This often eases the concerns of people who want to make sure they adopt a pet that they can love and enjoy for a very long time.

    4. You’ll have more space. A bird’s, food, water, and toys are typically self-contained in their cage, so smaller households will still have plenty of room to move around.

    5. You’ll save money. Most landlords only charge “pet fees” to tenants with cats or dogs.

    DON’T FORGET… to bring a photo! If you’re interested in adopting a bird or other small animal, the ARL requires that you bring a picture of the cage that your new companion will be living in to ensure it’s adequate. Click here to meet our adoptable birds. 


    Sandwich, MA Resident Reunited with Cat Missing Since August

    This past week, a family in Sandwich, MA, received the best gift they could’ve wished for – to be reunited with their family pet who had been missing for nearly four months.

    Neville reunited with his family.

    Neville, a five-year-old male cat, was recently brought into the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center, by a Good Samaritan from Sagamore Beach.

    The cat’s finder noticed him around their property in early November.

    Neville would steal bread that was tossed for the crows and would stare into the window of the finder’s home looking for food!

    The finder realized the cat seemed friendly, and concerned that there was a family out there missing him, the Good Samaritan was eventually able to trap the cat and bring him to ARL.

    The cat was given a thorough veterinary exam and found to be in good health. He did not have a collar or identification tags, and was not microchipped.

    Neville’s finder had posted a photo of the cat on a Facebook lost pet community page, and when his owner Moira saw his photo, she reached out immediately.

    Once confirming the cat had been taken to ARL, Moira contacted the shelter and promptly made the trip from Sandwich to Brewster with high hopes of being reunited with her lost animal.

    With documentation and photos in hand, it was quickly determined that Neville was indeed the missing cat and was soon back in his home where he belongs – just in time for Christmas!

    Is your pet lost?

    ARL is thrilled Neville was able to be reunited with his family, and encourages pet owners to have their animals fitted with a collar, and ID tags.

    In addition, a microchip drastically increases the chances of being reunited with a lost pet.

    Should your pet go missing, ARL urges pet owners to report the lost pet to local animal control, local humane organizations like ARL, as well as social media pages dedicated to finding lost pets.

    You can also alert neighbors, and post missing animal posters in your neighborhood and surrounding areas.

    For more tips regarding a lost pet, log onto arlboston.org/ilostmypet/.


    2021 Flashback: 24 Dogs Rescued from Randolph Home

    In early August, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department collaborated with the Randolph Police Department to remove 24 dogs, mostly puppies, from a home in Randolph, MA.

    The Pitbull-type dogs were removed due to unsanitary conditions and inadequate access to food and water.

    Randolph Police responded to the home for an unrelated matter, but when the four adult dogs and 20 puppies were discovered, the responding officers realized the animals were in need and immediately took action.

    ARL Law Enforcement was contacted and responded to the scene, coordinating with ARL Field Services to safely remove the dogs and transport them to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

    ARL’s shelter medicine team provided vaccinations, thorough exams, and medical care for the animals; one puppy did have a fractured leg, several others had umbilical hernias which required surgery, and heart murmurs were detected in a few of the dogs as well.

    The dogs were placed into foster care and many found their perfect matches quickly.

    “The Animal Rescue of Boston cannot commend Randolph Police and Animal Control enough,” stated ARL Law Enforcement Senior Investigator Lt. Alan Borgal. “Everyone involved in this situation demonstrated a high level of professionalism, compassion and the steadfast commitment to removing these animals from the residence quickly and getting them the care they needed.”

    Randolph Police Commander Robert Emerson said, “We are pleased to have been able to remove these animals from the poor conditions they were living in. I would like to thank the ARL Law Enforcement and Field Services teams for their quick response and assistance at the scene, as well as the shelter medicine teams and foster care network for their dedication to caring for the dogs. I would also like to praise our responding officers who were called to the house on an unrelated issue and noticed that the situation the animals were living in was not acceptable.”

    The rescue of these animals is a shining example of ARL’s work in action. Through ARL Law Enforcement, Field Services, Shelter Medicine, Shelter staff and volunteers, these wonderful dogs received the love, care and support they needed to get well and find their perfect homes to spend the holidays in!

    There’s still time to make a difference for animals this year!

    Your generous year-end gift will ensure that animals in need like all 24 of these pups can get the care they count on including, food, sanctuary, medical care, love, and emergency rescue if they are in danger.

    We hope we can count on your support by making a gift today, as we continue to work to keep pets in homes and out of shelters.


    2021 Flashback: Diggersby Hops into ARL’s Heart

    A few months ago, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center took in a litter of two-month-old rabbits in need of loving care and new homes.

    ARL typically adopts out hundreds of rabbits annually, but Diggersby, with his adorable markings and sweet demeanor, quickly became a favorite for ARL’s Dedham staff.

    Because he was only two-months-old at the time, he needed to spend some time in foster care before being made available for adoption.

    Once in his foster home, Diggersby quickly adapted to his surroundings and was extremely social right out of the gate.

    He loved hanging out with people, but was also introduced to a number of different animals.

    Diggersby met dogs, cats, hamsters and guinea pigs and took an immediate liking to everyone he met.

    Rabbits are very intelligent, and while in foster care, Diggersby learned to use a litter box in no time, and also learned to eat his food out of food puzzles.

    When he was made available for adoption in September, he found his perfect match quickly and is thriving with his new family!

    As mentioned, Diggersby made quite the impression on everyone he met during his time with ARL, and when the holidays rolled around, ARL’s marketing staff honored the cute bunny, by including him in ARL’s annual holiday coloring contest!

    There’s still time to make a difference for animals this year!

    Your generous year-end gift will ensure that animals in need like Diggersby can get the care they count on including, food, sanctuary, medical care, love, and emergency rescue if they are in danger.

    We hope we can count on your support by making a gift today, as we continue to work to keep pets in homes and out of shelters.


    Home for the Holidays: Abandoned Doves Land a Loving Home

    In late October, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) assisted Chelsea Animal Control with four doves who were abandoned at a busy shopping plaza along the Revere Beach Parkway.

    ARL Field Services transported the doves to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, while ARL Law Enforcement launched an investigation to ascertain who may have left the birds.

    The doves were left in a remote area of the shopping plaza in a cage, and while the birds were in overall good health, the question remains: who would simply leave these defenseless animals?

    Whether furry or feathered, ARL is committed to helping animals in need, and these doves soon made themselves at home in ARL’s iconic Dedham barn, received veterinary care, and awaited the day where they could find a loving family.

    ARL Law Enforcement continues to investigate this case of animal abandonment, and asks anyone with information regarding these animals to contact ARL Law Enforcement at (617) 426-9170 x110, or email cruelty@arlboston.org.

    Going Home

    That day came in early December, when the doves were adopted by a bird enthusiast.

    The doves, now named Ghandi, Lennon, King, and Mandela, have overcome their ordeal and are now thriving in their new home.

    There’s still time to make a difference for animals this year!

    Your generous year-end gift will ensure that animals in need like Ghandi, Lennon, King, and Mandela, can get the care they count on including, food, sanctuary, medical care, love, and emergency rescue if they are in danger.

    We hope we can count on your support by making a gift today, as we continue to work to keep pets in homes and out of shelters.


    Finding Violet a Home for the Holidays

    Adoptable Pig Continues to Overcome Behavioral Hurdles

    We first introduced Violet, an adorable four-year-old pig, back in November and her heart-warming story touched many people.

    Unfortunately, Violet remains at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, still looking for perfect match – but we’re hopeful she will find her new home during the holiday season!

    If you don’t remember, Violet was raised as a house pet, spending her days inside and constantly around people. Unfortunately, her family was no longer able to care for her, and she was surrendered to ARL.

    Violet is still looking for her perfect match!

    Although set up comfortably in an outdoor paddock and enclosure, it was not what she was used to. Violet did not have the constant companionship and interaction with people she was used to, and out of frustration, she began acting out.

    During feeding or enrichment time, Violet would charge, bark or nip at the ARL staff member of volunteer in the paddock, and not allow them to leave.

    ARL consulted an outside pig expert to better understand the behaviors Violet was displaying and to formulate a plan to curb said behaviors.

    It was surmised that Violet was exhibiting signs of depression, and was fearful about being alone. When she would charge or nip a staff member or volunteer, it was her way of expressing that she did not want the person to leave. To help Violet overcome her depression and anxiety, she was taught a “back-up” cue using positive reinforcement to teach her that she needs to give space to anyone interacting with her.

    Pigs are incredibly intelligent, and learning this cue has positively altered Violet’s behavior and she is once again ready to find her new home.

    To see Violet’s profile on ARL’s website, click here, and let’s find her a home before the New Year!

    There’s still time to make a difference for animals this year!

    Your generous year-end gift will ensure that animals in need like Violet can get the care they count on including, food, sanctuary, medical care, love, and emergency rescue if they are in danger.

    We hope we can count on your support by making a gift today, as we continue to work to keep pets in homes and out of shelters.