ARL Participating in Massachusetts Lobby Day for Animals on May 9
Want to show support for improving animal welfare in the Commonwealth – and meet other animal advocates just like you?
There is strength in numbers, so join the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and other local and national animal welfare organizations for Humane Lobby Day 2017 on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at the Massachusetts State House!
Every spring, hundreds of supporters across the Commonwealth gather at the State House to ask their legislators to push for stronger animal-protection laws. On Humane Lobby Day, citizen animal advocates like you are invited to learn and practice lobbying for relevant animal welfare bills in the Massachusetts State Legislature.
Humane Lobby Day 2016
ARL will focus on informing legislators about how they can help increase awareness about important animal welfare, safety, and health issues among their constituents.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 10:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. The Great Hall at the Massachusetts State House 24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108
Attendance Fee: Please note that there is a $9 fee per attendee, which offsets the cost of lunch and materials. A formal speaking program, catered lunch, and special awards ceremony recognizing legislators for their work to help animals are also on the day’s agenda.
Registration will begin at 10:15 a.m., followed by remarks given by distinguished guests, and awards will also be handed out to certain legislators and staff for all their hard work for animal protection.
Click Here to register and get involved.
Please note: Registration for Humane Lobby Day will close on Thursday, May 4, at 6 p.m. so register today!
ARL Dedham to Offer Discounted Rabies Vaccines and Microchips
Historically an annual event, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) rabies and microchip clinic in Dedham missed 2016 due to construction. However with the state-of-the-art shelter facility completed, the clinic is ready to get back on track! From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, ARL in Dedham will offer the following discounted services:
($15 for senior citizens)
Rabies Vaccine $10
($7 for senior citizens)
Pet owners should bring the certificate from the animals’ last vaccination. If they are within the date range (before the vaccination expires), ARL can give the animal a 3-year vaccine, but without proper documentation, it will only be a 1-year vaccine. Why have these services done? Rabies vaccines are mandated by law for all dogs and cats, and having a microchip implanted greatly increases the odds of your furry friend returning home if he/she decides to wander off and is taken in by a local shelter or Animal Control Officer.
Walk-ins welcome, and for more information, call the Dedham shelter at 781-326-0729 or email at email@example.com.
Signs first partnership agreement with Codman Square Academy Public School
We are incredibly grateful to the Cummings Foundation for selecting the ARL as a recipient of their “$100K for 100”grant! This grant affords ARL with the resources to launch an exciting multi-year partnership with the Dorchester, MA community to improve the health of the animals and the people who live within it.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is pleased to formally launch the “Healthy Animals— Healthy Communities” initiative and announce its first partnership project with The Codman Academy Charter Public School (CSAPS).
The Health Animals–Healthy Communities initiative, focused on the Codman Square Dorchester community, has three components:
- Create partnerships with community-based organizations to understand and support the link between the health of animals and people;
- Identify the need for community-based animal care services, and,
- Offer community-based education in topics such as, responsible animal ownership, animal care, and civic action (reporting incidents of animal abuse or neglect).
“The Animal Rescue League of Boston is thrilled to announce this initiative and the important partnership with Codman Square Academy,” said Mary Nee, ARL President and Dorchester resident. “The Healthy Animals, Healthy Communities initiative will connect the work of ARL for animals with strong Codman Square community institutions for the benefit of animals and people.”
By establishing key partnerships with education and human service institutions in the Codman Square, the goal of the Health Animals–Healthy Communities is to establish a connections between human and animal services that benefits the community and integrates animal needs into the work of local agencies.
ARL and Codman Academy staff mark the partnership agreement between the two organizations. From L to R: Cheryl Traversi, ARL Associate Director of Community Services; Greg Carlson, CACPS Director of Instruction and Academic Enrichment; Thabiti Brown, CACPS Headmaster; Genya Mazor-Thomas, ARL Community Initiative Coordinator; Mary Nee, ARL President.
Through this partnership with CSAPS, a 10-week course “More than Just Pets: Animals in the Community,” will be offered at the school throughout the winter/spring of 2017. During this enrichment class, students will explore the depths of the human-animal bond and why companion animals play such a vital role in our overall mental, social, and physical wellness. Students will also interact with a variety of animals, and study animal behavior, welfare, and care.
“Animals are a part of our community and the way we interact with animals can be an example of how we treat one another,” said Thabiti Brown, Headmaster for Codman Academy. “We’re teaching students that they can make a difference in building a stronger community by helping an animal or person in need, and that’s a beautiful thing.”
Additionally, “Healthy Animals–Healthy Communities” will broaden its reach within the Codman Square community through “Let’s Talk Pets” public workshops, focusing on basic animal care and contributing to the Dorchester Sports League’s FitKitchen: Pet Edition, in which residents are taught how to prepare healthy meals for their family and their pets. ARL will also be conducting neighborhood surveys to help determine residents’ pet ownership needs. Additional partnerships with Codman Square organizations are being planned to make a greater overall impact.
The “Health Animals–Healthy Communities” initiative was made possible by a grant from the Cummings Foundation. ARL is one of 100 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 through Cummings Foundation’s “$100K for 100” program.
“We admire and very much appreciate the important work that nonprofit organizations like The Animal Rescue League of Boston are doing in the local communities where our colleagues and clients live and work,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “We are delighted to support their efforts.”
Find your lucky charm at an ARL Shelter today
All the animals at ARL shelters in Boston, Brewster and Dedham are getting into the St. Paddy’s Day spirit!
If you’re looking to add a furry addition to your family, visit our adoptable pets at our shelters from 1 pm – 6:30 pm, Tuesdays – Sundays and find your lucky charm today. (Green top hat not included.)
When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life. All adoptable animals at the ARL also receive:
- Spay or neuter services
- Health screening and veterinary examination
- Behavior screening and evaluations
- Vaccinations and flea/tick/mite treatment
- Microchip identification and registration
- And much more!
Speaking of pet-friendly holidays, St. Patrick’s Day is most definitely a festive celebration of Irish culture, music, and the opportunity to dress up in bright green and shamrock prints. (Read: fun!) As with any holiday however, remember to take precautions with food and libations which may not be safe for pets to ingest.
If you plan to celebrate the holiday in a home where a pet resides, keep in mind three safety guidelines to ensure that everyone has a good time:
- Keep the leash. If your dog is a genuinely friendly, relaxed, confident and calm dog with familiar and unfamiliar people, things and dogs, maybe he could be included in St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Still, it’s best to keep your dog leash. The smell of food, a large group of people, and other excited pets can easily overstimulate a dog, increasing the potential for poor behavior and bites.
- Watch the secret sippers. Alcohol is poisonous to cats, dogs, and other animals and can lead to severe illness or death. Do not leave alcoholic bottles, cans, etc. on the floor or in reach of a pet. Although the container may seem empty, even ingesting trace amounts can cause illness in animals. If you suspect that a pet may have ingested alcohol, look for the following symptoms and seek emergency medical treatment: excessive drooling, retching, vomiting, stomach distension, elevated heart rate, weakness, low blood pressure, hypothermia, or coma.
- Beware the sneaky eaters. We’ve all had it happen—turn your back for just a second and your pet starts to eat the food right off your plate! Keep food and snacks out of paws reach because many party foods can be hazardous to cats and dogs. Though you might be tempted to share your St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage with your furry friend, keep in mind corned beef contains a high amount of sodium, which isn’t good for cats or dogs. Onions—a frequent ingredient in many corned beef and cabbage recipes—can also damage a cat’s red blood cells, restricting their capacity to carry oxygen effectively.
Find your lucky charm today! Search adoptables
The ARL provides tips on when and how to rescue a baby bird on the ground
Spring has sprung. The sun is shining. Flowers are blooming. And baby birds are learning to fly.
This time of year, The ARL receives phone calls from concerned citizens who come across baby birds on the ground. Although this sight may seem alarming, remember that part of the process of learning to fly comes with being on the ground. It’s typically best to keep a safe distance and not to intervene unless you’re sure the bird is orphaned or is in immediate danger.
To decide whether or not to step in the next time you spot a baby bird on the ground, follow this helpful flow chart:
If the flow chart points you toward intervention, follow these 11 steps to ensure a safe rescue:
How to rescue a baby bird*†:
- Grab clean container with a lid and line the bottom with a soft cloth. Poke air holes if there are none.
- Wear gloves to protect yourself from the bird’s beak, talons, wings, and any potential parasites.
- Cover the bird with a light sheet or towel.
- Gently pick up the bird and place it in the prepared container.
- Warm the bird if it’s chilled by placing one end of the container on top of a heating pad (low setting) or in a shallow dish of warm water. You can also wrap the container with the warm cloth.
- Tape the container closed.
- Note exactly where you found the bird. This will be very important for release.
- Keep the bird in a warm dark quiet place away from children and animals. Do not give it food or water.
- Wash your hands and any clothing and objects that were in contact with the bird to avoid spreading any potential parasites.
- Contact a wildlife rehabilitator, state wildlife agency, or wildlife veterinarian.
- Get the bird to the wildlife expert as soon as possible. It is against the law in most states to keep wild animals in your home if you do not have a permit, even if you plan to release them.
To find a wildlife expert in your area, contact the New England Wildlife Center.
*Only adults should rescue baby birds. Before rescuing an adult bird, seek guidance from a wildlife expert.
†Source: Healers of the Wild: People Who Care For Injured and Orphaned Wildlife, By Shannon K. Jacobs
Funding Provided Through Line 33F Campaign
It’s the height of tax season, and Massachusetts residents once again have the opportunity to donate to the Massachusetts Animal Fund (MAF); an organization dedicated to eradicating animal homelessness through spay and neuter programs. This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and MAF officials gathered at ARL’s Dedham Shelter to discuss the importance of expanding this highly successful program.
“Right now there are 256 municipalities and about 30 veterinarians participating in the program statewide,” said Lauren Gilfeather, Coordinator for MAF. “It’s a safety net for people who are enrolled in state-funded assistance programs, and who may not be able to afford to have their pet spayed or neutered.”
Animal Rescue League of Boston and Mass Animal Fund staff gather at ARL’s Dedham shelter.
The MAF was created in 2012, is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, and funded through the voluntary tax check-off (Line 33f) on the Massachusetts resident income tax form as well as monetary donations. With current funding levels, MAF can provide vouchers for about 1,100 surgeries annually. However, with just a minimal donation amount, that number could increase dramatically.
“If every Massachusetts taxpayer donated just $1, we could help up to 40,000 animals a year,” Gilfeather said.
Local animal control officers may request vouchers for dogs and cats held in their respective municipal shelters, or on behalf of low-income residents or feral trappers who request them. Since the first vouchers were disseminated in July 2014, more than 7,500 surgeries have been performed state-wide, nearly 800 by ARL alone.
“The Animal Rescue League of Boston was one of the first providers to sign on and through the Spay Waggin’ has been able to get to areas on the South Shore where we don’t have providers,” Gilfeather said. “ARL has been always been supportive and is a big reason for the program’s success.”
Two kittens await surgery during ARL Community Surgical Clinic in Dedham.
In conjunction with MAF, ARL is currently operating a Community Surgical Clinic at its Dedham location every Friday. The clinic offers low-cost spay and neuter services for pet owners who have received an MAF voucher from their local animal control officer and area animal shelters that need assistance for animals in their care. In addition, the clinic will soon be able to offer other services as well, including dental procedures. Appointments can be made online, and you MUST have an MAF voucher to receive services.
“The Dedham Community Surgical Clinic will provide much needed surgery space for clients with MAF vouchers that are not able to schedule elsewhere for their pet’s surgery,” said Cheryl Traversi, ARL Associate Director of Community Services. “By operating this clinic, ARL is ensuring that we are providing even more spay and neuter surgeries to the pets and pet owners in the greatest need.”
Your Donations Matter
Homeless Animal Prevention and Care is one of six causes listed on Line 33 of the Massachusetts resident income tax form, and taxpayers can contribute any amount they choose. ARL encourages any Massachusetts taxpayer who has a compassion for helping animals in need to contribute to the cause, and help us ensure that animals are safe and healthy living in communities and out of shelters.
Good for Pets & the People Who Love Them
Today marks the 22nd anniversary of World Spay Day. Originally created by the Doris Day Animal League in 1995 it became a program of the Humane Society of the United States when they combined operations in 2006. World Spay Day is the first and only international day of action to promote spaying and neutering of pets.
If you don’t have a pet you might be wondering why you should care about spay and neuter. Here are a few factors to consider:
- All of us are affected by animal overpopulation
- Millions of tax dollars are spent annually to shelter and care for stray, abandoned and unwanted pets (the ARL is privately funded and does not receive any of those tax dollars)
- Property damaged and livestock killed when pets roam
There are numerous reasons to spay/neuter your pet. Here are just a few of the most important ones:
- Curb pet overpopulation and make your pet healthier
- Reduce the number of homeless pets euthanized – In the U.S. estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year
- Neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered male dogs
- Spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs
- Increased longevity of altered pets involves the reduced risk of certain type of cancers including uterine cancer and cancers of reproductive tract
- Spaying females prior to their first heat cycle nearly eliminates the risk of breast cancer (decreases the chance by over 98%) and totally prevents uterine infections and uterine cancer
- Reduce unruly behavior
- It is good for the community
If you’re concerned about the cost of of spay/neuter surgery, low-cost options are available in most areas. The ARL established the Spay Waggin’ in 2000, in recognition that basic veterinary services, including spay/neuter, were financially out of reach for many pet owners who wanted to do the responsible thing, but could not afford to. Keep in mind that the cost associated with providing adequate care for just one litter of puppies or kittens is often more than the cost of spaying or neutering
Phil Set to Begin New Life
The maltese-type dog that was found abandoned and shivering inside a crate along the side of Downer Avenue in Hingham several weeks ago has found his forever home. Renamed Phil by shelter staff, he was adopted on Thursday at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Chandler Street shelter.
Phil became a media sensation when he was found, as both the ARL and the Hingham Police Department received thousands of inquiries from animal lovers throughout the state and the nation as well. During his initial intake exam, ARL shelter veterinarians determined Phil to be about two-years-old and, despite his harrowing ordeal, was in excellent overall health.
Like every animal available for adoption at ARL, Phil was neutered, microchipped, fully vaccinated, and evaluated through the organization’s shelter behavior and enrichment program. Because of his shaggy appearance he was also groomed. While skittish upon intake, the friendly pup was quick to warm up, showing off his energetic personality to ARL staff and volunteers. The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Law Enforcement Services had been assisting Hingham Police in its investigation to discover who left Phil on the side of the road, as under Massachusetts law, abandoning an animal is a felony offense. Because there were no credible witnesses and Phil was not microchipped, all leads have been exhausted and the person(s) responsible have not been found.
The ARL wants to remind the public that if they are no longer able to care for an animal, they can be surrendered to organizations like ARL, or a local shelter, or even a local police or fire department. There are resources available, and abandoning an animal is NEVER an option.
These 5 cold weather habits will help keep animals safe
Let’s face it: residents of New England are no stranger to the frigid temperatures and harsh precipitation that winter can bring. Whether it’s salting our walkway, defrosting our car windows, or layering ourselves with heavy fabrics, we are quick to adapt to the changing elements.
When the blustery weather hits, adjusting a few more of your daily habits can actually help protect your pet and the animals in your community too! Just add these 5 Dos and Don’ts to your winter safety routine:
1. DO watch the thermometer. Although some animals are conditioned for cold weather, many are not. Whenever possible, bring all pets indoors when the temperature plummets below 20 degrees. Animals with short hair, puppies and kittens, senior pets, and those that have a lowered immune system are most at risk and should be moved inside when the mercury drops below 40 degrees.
2. DON’T forget to check under the hood. Cats love to warm up underneath the hood of a car, as the residual heat from the engine burns off. Unfortunately, this method of warming up can have dangerous consequences, such as severe burns and other grave injuries. Always pound on the hood of your vehicle and do a quick visual check to wake a napping kitty before you stick the key in the ignition.
3. DO winterize outdoor accommodations. If your livestock or neighborhood feral can’t be moved into a warm garage or basement, ensure that they have adequate protection against the elements. A winter-friendly outdoor shelter should have three enclosed sides, be raised off the ground, have heated water bowls to prevent freezing, and contain bedding, such as clean straw. The space should be big enough for the animal to lay down, stand, and turn around, but small enough to help trap the heat.
4. DON’T leave flames unattended. Pets gravitate toward warm spaces when they’re cold, just as humans do. If you have a working fireplace, wood stove, space heater, candles, or other heat source supervise your pet at all times to keep them a safe distance from hot surfaces and to avoid serious burns.
5. DO 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..
For more helpful tips about dog and cat health and behavior, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips.
Meet Zim: From a Rescue, to Patient, to Adopted!
Zim, an 11-month-old tabby classic, came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) after being trapped for more than two days nearly 50 feet off the ground in a tree in Brockton, MA. Responding to calls from surrounding neighbors, ARL’s Rescue Services was able to scale the tree and save the scared and vocal stray.
“He was certainly happy to be out of that tree,” said Mike Brammer, ARL’s Assistant Manager of Rescue Services. “Almost immediately you could tell that he’d been around people and was very friendly.”
Zim’s beautiful markings and sweet demeanor garnered instant attention, but so did a congenital defect called Eyelid Agenesis that was discovered during his intake exam. It’s a condition where part of the eyelid doesn’t form properly, causing fur to rub up against the cornea, resulting in chronic irritation. For Zim, both eyes were affected, increasing the concern.
“If the condition is left untreated, this chronic irritation can permanently damage the cornea and cause vision impairment,” said Dr. Erin Doyle, ARL’s Lead Veterinarian for Shelter Veterinary Services. “This chronic irritation also causes significant discomfort.”
The only way to truly fix the condition is with a skin graft; however the surgery is complicated and requires extensive post-operative care. While Zim’s condition affected both eyes, it wasn’t extremely severe, making cryosurgery an option. Zim had the procedure done by an ophthalmologist at a partner organization less than a week after being rescued out of the tree in Brockton.
“Cryosurgery does not fix the eyelid, but is used to freeze the hair follicles of the fur that is rubbing on the cornea,” Dr. Doyle said. “As such, the cryosurgery removes the chronic irritation caused by the fur and restores comfort to the eyes.”
Zim recovers from cryosurgery wearing a protective cone.
ROAD TO RECOVERY
With the surgery complete, Zim settled in for a few days to recover. Despite undergoing the procedure and being placed in a protective cone, he continued to showcase his personality, purring almost immediately for all the shelter staff and volunteers who would check on the handsome tabby.
Making an excellent recovery, ARL’s veterinary staff determined exactly one week following his surgery that Zim was ready to find his forever home. Certainly not a surprise to anyone at ARL who came in contact with Zim, just a few days after being made available, he has been adopted!
Zim is ready to go to his forever home!
DOING THE WORK ONE ANIMAL AT A TIME
Zim represents the collaborative effort that is necessary to fulfill ARL’s mission of being an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes. No matter how they come into our shelters, all animals are treated with kindness and compassion, but we cannot do the work alone.
ARL receives no government funding, and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to support programs that help animals in need. Please lend your support so ARL can continue to give animals like Zim a second chance at life.