ARL partners with other local organizations to help Pembroke cat colony
In early November 2016, a colony of community cats in Pembroke, Massachusetts found themselves in a dire situation; they lost their feeder and the property where they had been living was sold.
While there is no easy solution to helping community cats in this situation, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), along with many other animal welfare organizations, quickly rallied together to make sure that these cats had the best possible outcome.
Community cat colonies usually form due to a conducive environment, however, since a new caretaker could not be secured in their neighborhood, all efforts were focused on finding other alternatives for these cats.
Independent trappers began the process of trapping cats on this property (a procedure normally referred to as T-N-R, trap, neuter, return). However, with this particular colony, the goal was to see how many cats exhibited friendly behaviors*. If determined as friendly, the cats would either be adopted out as indoor companion animals, or could live safely outside on a barn property as a barn cat.
Cats like Bella, Namara, and Thumbelina, were spayed on ARL’s Spay Waggin’, discovered to be friendly, and transferred to ARL’s Safford Memorial Shelter in Dedham where they were adopted out to their forever homes.
A great outcome for these sweet cats!
Thumbelina is one of the many community cats who benefited from the swift help of the ARL and other local organizations, when her neighborhood feeder could no longer care for her.
Bella, formerly a community cat of Pembroke, waiting to be adopted at ARL’s Safford Memorial Shelter in Dedham, MA. It wasn’t long before this sweet kitty found her forever home!
Cats like Namara, pictured here with her new family, were determined friendly enough to be adopted!
THANK YOU to everyone who was involved with the plight of these cats, including the MSPCA, Standish Humane Society, independent trappers, and the State of Massachusetts, who provided funding for the spays, neuters, and vaccinations of these cats through the Massachusetts Animal Fund.
YOU CAN HELP TOO! Keep community cats safe this winter by building your own DIY cat shelter in your yard or to donate to a local rescue. Click here for a basic how-to video.
*Friendly cats show signs of wanting to interact with people, feral cats do not.
In July of this year, ARL’s Law Enforcement team, staff, and volunteers, along with other humane organizations and law enforcement departments, went to the aid of and helped remove more than 1,400 animals living in deplorable conditions on a 70-acre property located at 465 American Legion Road in Westport, MA.
Last month, many people were dismayed to learn that farm animals were being reintroduced to that same property.
Fortunately, on November 9, 2016, Superior Court Justice Renee Dupuis issued an Order which, for the time being, prohibits Medeiros from returning any animals to the property and orders him to remove any animals owned by him from the property.
To the extent that Medeiros has authority over third parties using the property, animals belonging to the third parties cannot be returned and any animals on the property now must be removed.
The Court further ordered that Medeiros allow the Westport Animal Inspector access to inspect the animals; retain a pest control expert to address the need for rat control; retain a disposal service to address the issues of “solid waste” removal; and prohibits the use of all structures on the property.
The Court will hold a further hearing on December 7, 2016.
Make a donation before midnight and we’ll match it for #GivingTuesday
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Only because of YOUR support are animals like Izzy able to get through a life-threatening experience!
Earlier this year, a stray black cat arrived at ARL’s Boston shelter with dislocated tarsal (ankle) joints. Izzy, as she came to be known, had a noticeably wobbly walk and a limited gait.
Because her legs were not stable enough to maintain a normal lifestyle, ARL’s veterinarians determined that Izzy would have to undergo major surgery to help her walk properly.
A $3,000 procedure was performed on both hind legs to correct Izzy’s joints by removing the affected bone and placing bone grafts and metal plates to stabilize the leg. Despite her postoperative discomfort , Izzy was the perfect patient and remained exuberantly friendly to her caretakers
Izzy recovering after her surgery at ARL’s Boston shelter.
While surgery was the first step to getting Izzy back up on her paws, her recovery process afterward was just as critical. Not only did Izzy benefit from ARL’s shelter and veterinary staff, but also from our foster care program – made up entirely of volunteers. ARL’s foster care program enables trained volunteers to bring animals into their home and rehabilitate them away from the stressful shelter environment.
For two months, Izzy’s foster mom, Angela Wehr, carefully monitored the recovering feline’s movements by lifting her, so she wouldn’t jump, and by only using toys that Izzy could swat at while remaining stationary. Big movements during this phase can cause long-term damage, so this special program was vital to her recovery.
Izzy recently came back to the ARL for her follow-up appointment—the last hurdle before being cleared for adoption– and passed her veterinary exams with flying colors! Her gait is nearly normal and she’ll be able to function perfectly well as an indoor cat, pain-free in her affected joints… and NO long-term medical issues!
Thanks to supporters like YOU, Izzy is now safe and healthy in her permanent home!
Over 14,000 animals come through ARL every year seeking immediate attention just like Izzy.
Because ARL is an essential resource for animals in need and the people who care about them, ARL’s Board Chair Malcolm McDonald and an anonymous donor have teamed up to offer this exciting #GivingTuesday challenge:
That means your donation TODAY can go twice as far.
Donate now for 2x the impact
THEY COUNT ON US, SO WE COUNT ON YOU: When you express your love for animals, compassion, and kindness with a gift of $100 or more for #GivingTuesday, we’ll feature your and/or your pet’s name on our Wall of Honor online at arlboston.org, available for viewing on December 6; just type your pet’s name into the ‘Additional Comments’ section of our online donation form.
*All money raised will go toward direct animal care; however the match will apply to the first $25,000 to be donated.
Donate on #GivingTuesday and make 2x the impact for animals like Mayfield
Donate now for 2x the impact
Your unwavering support helps prevent the cruelty, suffering, and neglect of over 14,000 animals every year. Without you, ARL would be unable to provide the special police investigation necessary to protect animals across the Commonwealth.
All thanks to friends like YOU, animals like Mayfield now have a bright future ahead of them…
Earlier this year, a concerned citizen noticed something odd with the trash put out around Norfolk Street in Dorchester, MA. In the middle of the garbage to be collected was a birdcage filled with maggots and cockroaches– and an Umbrella Cockatoo.
ARL quickly responded to the call to help the discarded bird, later named Mayfield, and brought her in for immediate veterinary care. Weak and emaciated, it was determined that Mayfield had a serious medical condition and would require emergency surgery.
The concerned citizen reported finding Mayfield’s birdcage filled with maggots and cockroaches.
Despite all she’d been through, Mayfield maintained an upbeat attitude while she recovered in foster care post-surgery. Several weeks later, Mayfield was healthy enough for adoption.
Today, we’re happy to share that Mayfield is doing well by all accounts. “We took her to see the veterinarian for a check-up and received uplifting news,” says Mayfield’s owner. “Her incision is healing incredibly well and she’s finally gaining weight.”
Mayfield, pictured above, healing at ARL Boston after her emergency surgery.
Thanks to supporters like you, Mayfield was able to fully recover and enjoy a safe and healthy life with her adopters.
Sadly, Mayfield is not the first animal we’ve seen abandoned in the trash or on the streets. Your donations today allow us to continue our important work so that we can prevent cases of animal neglect from happening in the future.
Because ARL is an essential resource for animals in need and the people who care about them, ARL’s Board Chair Malcolm McDonald and an anonymous donor have teamed up to offer this exciting challenge:
That means your donation for #GivingTuesday 2016 can go twice as far.
Donate now for 2x the impact
WE’RE HONORED BY YOUR GENEROSITY: When you express your love for animals, compassion, and kindness with a gift of $100 or more for #GivingTuesday, we’ll feature your and/or your pet’s name on our Wall of Honor online at arlboston.org, available for viewing on December 6; just type your pet’s name into the ‘Additional Comments’ section of our online donation form.
*All money raised will go toward direct animal care; however the match will apply to the first $25,000 to be donated.
Check out the many ways YOUR support helped animals in need in 2016
Click the image above to read the Fall/Winter 2016 edition of Our Four-Footed Friends.
The Fall/Winter 2016 edition of Our Four-Footed Friends (OFFF) is here!
For more than 100 years, ARL has responded to the needs of animals and the people who care about them. In fact, we are often the first to respond, as seen in the recent Westport farm animal cruelty case, featured on Page 10.
All thanks to YOUR critical support, this year we served thousands of animals through our outstanding veterinary care, adoption, rescue services, special police investigation, and advocacy.
Read the incredible stories about what you helped make possible…
Today, we increasingly focus on prevention and the impact we can have on more animals; keeping them out of shelters and in the communities where they belong.
YOU make our important work possible – THANK YOU!
Stay in touch between editions: visit arlboston.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
THANK YOU to everyone who voted YES ON 3!
It’s official: Massachusetts voters said YES to stopping farm animal cruelty in last night’s historic election. An incredible 77.7% of Bay State residents voted yes on ballot Question 3, The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals.
This groundbreaking ballot question is a great first step towards animal welfare protection in the Commonwealth. By 2022, highly-restrictive cages must be phased out giving farm animals enough space to turn around and extend their limbs. The ballot question will also protect Massachusetts families from substandard and unsafe food products.
Click here to read more via The Boston Globe.
Animal welfare supporters from all over Massachusetts made last night’s vote a resounding victory. The ARL offers our sincerest thanks to the MSPCA, Franklin Park Zoo, The Humane League – Boston, Mercy For Animals, Farm Forward, Compassion in World Farming (USA), Animal Equality, Farm Sanctuary, the Mass Sierra Club, HSUS, ASPCA, and the hundreds of other animal welfare groups, farmers, veterinarians, local businesses, and individuals who helped support this momentous effort to end the extreme confinement of farm animals!
Since the Summer of 2015, ARL’s volunteers and staff spent countless hours helping to collect over 170,000 signatures to get The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals on the 2017 ballot, as well as educating Massachusetts consumers about the importance of voting YES ON 3.
“When there’s an effort to improve the protection and treatment of animals – whether they are companion, working, or farm animals – the ARL is here to help,” says ARL’s President Mary Nee.
Massachusetts isn’t alone… Ten states have already passed similar laws and nearly 200 major food retailers, such as McDonalds’s, Walmart, and Dollar Tree, and restaurant chains have policies phasing them out as well.
Prevent farm animal cruelty with just one vote: YES on Question 3!
With Election Day only a few short days away, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to remind you why this is such an important election year. Sure, you’re voting for the next President of the United States — but you’re also voting YES to stop unnecessary farm animal cruelty and YES to protecting Massachusetts families from unsafe food products.
Endorsed by the ARL and all of Massachustts’ major animal welfare groups, The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals, ballot Question 3, is a modest animal protection and food safety measure that will prevent breeding pigs, chickens, and calves from being confined in cages so small they can’t even turn around or extend their limbs.
Here are 3 reasons to vote YES on 3:
- Promotes responsible farming. Question 3 phases out the use of highly-restrictive cages by 2022, giving producers and retailers ample time to comply with the modest requirement that farm animals have enough space to turn around and extend their limbs.
- Protects food safety. Industrial animal operations put consumers’ health at risk. Unable to move and constantly stressed, confined animals suffer from weakened immune systems that lead to illness. The Center for Food Safety endorses Question 3 because numerous studies show that egg operations that confine hens in cages have higher rates of Salmonella, the leading cause of food poisoning-related death in humans in America.
- Makes economic sense. Most Massachusetts farmers are already cage-free and have shown that affordable food can be produced with animal welfare in mind. According to a study conducted by the egg industry itself, it costs just a penny per egg to produce cage-free eggs rather than battery cage eggs. The pork industry published a study that determined it can cost 11 percent less not to use gestation crates. In addition to the ten states that have passed laws prohibiting certain types of extreme confinement, nearly 200 major food retailers, such as McDonalds’s, Walmart, and Dollar Tree, and restaurant chains have policies phasing them out.
When you hit the polls on Tuesday, November 8, don’t forget to vote YES on Question 3 to prevent farm animal cruelty!
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8 – Don’t forget to vote YES on ballot Question 3 to prevent farm animal cruelty!
The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals, on the ballot as Question 3, is a modest animal protection and food safety measure that will prevent breeding pigs, chickens, and calves from being confined in cages so small they can’t even turn around or extend their limbs. A YES vote on Question 3 will also protect Massachusetts families from substandard and unsafe food products.
Question 3 is endorsed by all of Massachusetts’ major animal welfare groups, including the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), MSPCA, Berkshire Humane Society, Dakin Humane Society, and Zoo New England, as well as national charities like the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States and more than 500 Massachusetts veterinarians.
The amount of “personal space” each hen has is smaller than an iPad.
Why Vote YES on Question 3?
- The vast majority of pork sold in the Commonwealth comes from industrial factory farms where pigs used for breeding are confined in narrow crates so small they can’t even turn around. This limitation in movement results in a lifetime of crippling pain and emotional distress. Calves raised for veal are often confined in similar conditions.
- Most of the eggs sold in Massachusetts come from industrial egg producers that cram hens into cages so small the birds can’t even spread their wings. Packed five or more to a cage, each hen spends her whole life in a space smaller than an iPad. Chickens often suffer from bone fractures, feather-loss, and can die from starvation or dehydration.
Your vote counts, so please vote YES on Question 3 this Election Day!
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) share important tips to keep your pets safe and happy this Halloween season.
Tip: If it’s your pet’s first time wearing a costume this Halloween, spend a few days before the big holiday getting them acclimated to wearing it. Keep in mind, some pets are just not big fans of wearing costumes and would much rather wear a festive collar or bandanna.
With October coming to an end, Halloween 2016 is right around the corner! You may be a fan of the spookiest time of year, but for your pet, this haunting holiday can be truly scary.
Not to worry though, enjoying the festivities and keeping your pets safe is easier than you think – Follow these 5 tips to ensure your pet has a spook-free Halloween this season:
1. Keep your pets inside. The Halloween season often brings out tricksters who might taunt or harm an animal left outdoors. It’s always a good idea to keep pets inside with proper, up-to-date identification. If your pet must be outdoors, be sure to keep them leashed and an eye on them at all times.
2. Stash the sweet treats. Chocolate, especially darker chocolates, are highly toxic to cats and dogs. Additionally, many candies and gums contain Xylitol. This sugarless sweetener is highly toxic to pets. Always keep chocolate and candies out of your pet’s reach.
4. Be careful with costumes. If you decide to dress your pet up for this festive holiday, costume safety is key. Keep these costume safety tips in mind:
- Always supervise your pet while they’re wearing a costume.
- Make sure your pet’s costume fits properly and does not restrict their movement.
- Be cautious of loose or dangling pieces that pets could potentially choke on.
- Ditch the masks or other accessories that could potentially make it difficult for your pet to breath or obstruct their vision.
5. Play it safe with decorations. Discarded ribbons and packaging can be toxic and even deadly to pets if they are ingested. Balloons and glow sticks also pose a big risk to our furry friends. If swallowed, balloons can cause choking or blocked airways. Keep your four-legged friends safe by keeping decorations and wires out of reach.
No plans for Halloween? Spend the day getting to know some of our adoptable animals at www.arlboston.org/adopt.
3 techniques used by Shelter Veterinary Services to keep cats happy and healthy during exams
At the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) our Shelter Veterinary Services provide high quality, compassionate care to a variety of species. Cats, however, continue to comprise the greater part of our shelter population.
In an effort to expand our Shelter Veterinary Services’ ability to provide care that not only addresses the medical health of our cats, but also their behavioral well-being, Jessica Wright, ARL’s Lead Veterinary Technician, recently became certified in “Low Stress Handling Techniques” via Dr. Sophia Yin’s online course. The certification process required a commitment of at least 20 hours, during which online lectures and labs were viewed and follow up discussion questions and exams were completed.
As an organization, the ARL strives to reduce the stress that our shelter cats inevitably experience while in our care. These efforts can be seen in the double sided cages that the cats reside in, and the hiding boxes that each cat is offered. Upon completion of the Low Stress Handling course, Jessica was excited to incorporate the new techniques she had learned into the Shelter Veterinary Services’ daily rounds.
The 3 Low Stress Handling techniques that the ARL uses for felines are:
- Adjusting the methods by which a cat is moved between the cage and the exam room. To avoid exposing the cat to any number of stressors that may be encountered while moving between spaces, cats are now wrapped in a towel for transport. Some cats prefer to have their head exposed allowing them to look about whereas others prefer to have their head covered. This use of the towel allows the removal of potentially stressful visual stimulation and provides the cat with the feeling of being adequately supported.
- Incorporating the use of towels for comfort. Rather than sitting on a cold metal exam table, the cats now sit on the towel they were brought to the exam room with. This provides a sense of comfort for each patient. In addition, depending upon the behavior of each cat, a second towel may be placed over the cat. This again removes any potentially stressful visual stimulation and allows for more ease of handling of the cat during examination.
- Introducing food during examination. As surprising as it may be, many cats will often eat a snack during an exam or vaccination. Providing food to the patient can act as a distraction from any potentially negative or stressful event that may occur. In addition, if the cat chooses to eat during these procedures, a positive emotional response is encouraged rather than the typical fearful or stressed response often associated with veterinary care.
As a result of the introduction of Low Stress Handling Techniques, our shelter cats are that much more happy and healthy!
YOU can help keep shelter cats low-stress too: Please consider making a donation of regular sized bath towels to enable the ARL to continue our Low Stress Handling efforts! Donations can be dropped off at our Boston Adoption Center lobby located at 10 Chandler Street in Boston, Tuesday through Sunday, 7:30AM – 6:30PM.