Cat rescued from shaft in Dorchester

DORCHESTER (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – A very lucky cat downed one of its nine lives after rescuers pulled it to safety in Dorchester.

Tuesday afternoon, crews had to climb down into an abandoned air shaft of an older building on Devon Street.

Somehow, the cat fell through the roof, down into the shaft and was stuck at the bottom.

A technician from the Animal Rescue League of Boston was able to climb down and make the rescue.

Rescuers have nicknamed the cat “Shaft.”

To see the Fox News coverage of this rescue please click here

FDA cautioning dog owners on chicken jerky products

Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, director of Veterinary Medical Services for the Animal Rescue League of Boston, warns that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is again cautioning consumers that chicken jerky products for dogs (also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be associated with illness in dogs.
“In the last 12 months, the FDA has seen an increase in the number of complaints reported by dog owners and veterinarians of dog illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China,” says Dr. Smith.
The FDA issued a cautionary warning regarding chicken jerky products to consumers in 2007 and a Preliminary Animal Health Notification in 2008. After seeing the number of complaints received drop off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010, the FDA is once again seeing the number of complaints rise to the levels of concern that prompted release of our earlier warnings.
Dr. Smith notes that FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely for any of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products: decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination.
“If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding it the chicken jerky product, and consult your veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours,” she advises, adding that although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.
The FDA, in addition to several animal health diagnostic laboratories in the U.S., is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses. FDA continues extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified a contaminant.
The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem and its origin and notes that many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky. Veterinarians and consumers alike should report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Have a pet-safe holiday (Food alert!)

The last thing we want to do during the seasonal holidays is rush our pet to the animal emergency room. Unfortunately many pets are injured or become sick because of exposure to toxins or rich foods during this time. Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, Animal Rescue League of Boston’s director of Veterinary Medical Services and Dr. Amy Marder, director of the Center for Shelter Dogs offer some suggestions to help keep your holiday meals from ending in disaster.

Just because it tastes good to you doesn’t mean it’s good for your pet.
Although 60% of pet owners will share a holiday meal with our pets, there are a few basic guidelines to follow.

“This time of year, most animal related emergency room visits are due to eating something inappropriate, says Dr. Smith. “Some foods cause upset stomachs, some are poisonous, and some can cause life-threatening obstructions or perforations.”

A small amount of white turkey is an acceptable treat but definitely avoid turkey skin and bones! “The skin is often fatty and can cause pets to develop pancreatitis, a painful, serious and sometimes deadly illness that can cause costly hospital stays,” explains Dr. Smith. “In addition, poultry bones, both cooked and raw, can break off and puncture the digestive tract or, if large amounts or chunks are swallowed, cause an obstruction. Raw or undercooked meat poses the same salmonella and parasite risks to our pets as it does to people.”

Other foods to keep away from pets include: grapes and raisins, excessively salty foods, foods flavored with onion or garlic powder, desserts and sweets containing xylitol (found in some sugar free candies and chewing gum).

Chocolate alert!
Dog owners in particular should also be especially alert to the presence of chocolate, says Dr. Marder. “Chocolate, which contains theobromine, is especially dangerous for dogs and may cause vomiting, diarrhea, excitability, heart arrhythmias, increased body temperature, wobbliness, muscle tremors, seizures and coma. As little as two to three pounds of milk chocolate or four ounces of baking chocolate can poison a 30-pound dog.”

She advises that if your dog accidentally eats chocolate, contact your veterinarian immediately. And while cat owners, also need to be alert, she notes, “Cats are rarely poisoned by chocolate due to their more discriminating feeding habits.”

Take out the garbage and lock up the leftovers!
Food preparation and leftovers disposal also require careful supervision.

“All leftovers should be secured behind a pet-proof door and your trashcan should also be secure. “Many items used in the meal preparation and then thrown away can be dangerous,” notes Dr. Smith.” A turkey string, foil wrappers, etc may smell like food and be eaten by a curious pet. These items can cause gastritis, enteritis and colitis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines) or worse, intestinal obstruction or a deadly condition known as ‘string foreign body.’”

Keep your vet’s and local animal emergency hospital’s numbers handy.

Last but not least, keep your veterinarian’s phone number and the local animal emergency hospital handy in case your pet should become ill. A quick call to either of them can give you life-saving advice or even help you avoid a trip to the ER.

Thank you for your support of the Animal Rescue League of Boston

The Animal Rescue League of Boston has so much to be thankful for this year. Our success in giving animals a life they deserve depends on the passion and motivation of people like you. We are so grateful to have you as part of our community. Thank you for your support!

Wishing you and yours a joyous Thanksgiving!

Please click here to read the Fall/Winter issue of Our Four-Footed Friends,
to find out how your support helps animals every day.

I played ball with Big Papi

Nana, a 10 month old spayed female pit mix is looking for a new home. She has been a shelter resident for a few months now and has won one of the staff’s ‘most improved’ awards.

She’s a friendly and loveable lady whose activities in the shelter include playing fetch with her human friends and romping around with her fellow shelter dogs in our play yard. In fact, Nana was able to combine her favorite activities during a visit from David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz, a member of the Boston Red Sox. She was the star that day, she loved running to the fence to retrieve the ball and would immediately give it back to Ortiz. Nana was not phased by all the cameras, other dogs, or people, she just really loved having a chance to play ball in the yard.

Nana would love to go to a home where she can play fetch regularly and cozy up on a warm bed at the end of the day. Being a young lady, she’s still learning her manners and would benefit from continuous daily obedience training. Stop by South End shelter on 10 Chandler Street or call our Adoption Center at 617-226-5602 for more information about Nana.

David Ortiz Meets Young Donor

November 15, 2011: Red Sox star David Ortiz spends some time with Josselyn Siegel of Wilmington, a young philanthropist who donated $100 to the League by selling her handmade clay creations.

“We were so touched by her wonderful gift from the heart,” says Melanie Sheffield, director of the President’s Council at the Animal Rescue League of Boston. “It’s especially meaningful to see philanthropy begin at such an early age. It says a lot about the kind of person Josselyn is, and the adult she will someday become.”

Video courtesy of Matt Schooley, Wilmington Patch


Pet Photos with Santa

Santa’s coming to the Agway of Orleans at 20 Lots Hollow Road, Orleans on Saturday, December 17th from 12 – 2 pm and he wants to know what your pets want in their stockings!

Bring the kids and your furry friends to have their photos taken with Santa. Volunteers from the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Brewster Branch will be taking the photos.

Your $5 donation (per picture) will directly benefit the animals at the Brewster shelter, so come support a great cause.

Enjoy some cookies and warm cider while you pick out your Christmas Tree and have pet portraits with Santa taken.

If you can’t make it but would like to support the League’s Brewster Branch, click here to make a donation.

For more information please call (508) 255-8100 or log on to www.agwaycapecod.com

Thank you Big Papi

Yesterday was a great day for the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Big Papi’s visit inspired and uplifted the League’s staff and garnered extensive coverage on the evening news. This event will attract many more adopters to our shelter and help find forever homes for needy animals.

Big Papi enjoyed a tour of the Boston Shelter where he met the cats, dogs and other animals that are available for adoption. Afterwards, he revealed his genuine care and concern for animals as he played ball with the dogs in the yard.

My special thanks go to Big Papi, event sponsor PopChips, to the staff and volunteers who worked so hard to make this event a success, and to the many League supporters who came to the shelter to meet Big Papi and bring attention to the needs of the animals in our care.

Jay Bowen

Our Shelter Tour with David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz

Hey guys,

Caitlin and Michelle here, we work for the Animal Rescue League of Boston and had the pleasure of taking David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz on a quick tour of the Boston shelter yesterday.

He was greeted in the lobby, by long time resident, Sapphire and Shelter Agent, Hannah Harvey. “Oh you like me little girl” – Ortiz said to Sapphire, the two bonded quickly.

He also spent time with a kitten, named Francis, who was recently rescued from a drain pipe by the League. Francis, whose fur resembles a Lion’s main, impressed Ortiz, he told Veterinary Technician, Jessica Wright, that as a child he always wanted to adopt a Lion but now he is happy with his 3 year old Terrier, Foxy.

The tour was full of moments of laughter, Ortiz was down-to-earth, friendly and funny! When we took him to see the dogs, he took his time making sure each dog received a treat and some special attention. Ortiz immediately gravitated to our largest resident commenting on his size and how similar they were.

When we told Ortiz about our Rescue Department, he was impressed by the scope of our services. As an animal lover, he recognizes the importance of the work that the League does and told us how much he appreciated the opportunity to get to meet the animals and see behind the scenes. Everyone at the League is so thankful for him taking the time out of his busy schedule to visit.