fbpx
Blog
Governor Baker and MSP Join ARL for Too Hot for Spot Demonstration

ARL’s fifth annual public awareness campaign

This past Friday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) was joined by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, legislators, and the Massachusetts State Police Major Richard Ball to once again remind pet owners of the dangers of heat stroke for pets, particularly in hot cars.

It is the fifth year ARL has imparted the “Too Hot for Spot” summer pet safety message throughout the Commonwealth. ARL is spreading this message through social media, flyers, car magnets, media partnerships, and digital billboards throughout the state thanks to billboard space generously donated by MassDOT and IBEW Local 103.

The event took place in front of the Massachusetts State House, and included a demonstration with ARL’s stuffed dog “Spot” to show how quickly the inside of a car can heat up – even with seemingly mild temperatures and the windows cracked.

It was a perfect summer day with temperatures hovering around 80 degrees. In just 10 minutes the temperature inside ARL’s Rescue Services vehicle rose to well over 120 degrees. It’s important to remember that animals do not sweat like humans do, and cannot efficiently regulate their body temperature in an environment such as a hot car.

Massachusetts General Law Ch. 140, Section 174f was signed by Governor Baker in 2016, and prohibits confining 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 or cold”. The law also allows first responders and ordinary citizens to enter a vehicle to remove an animal if it’s deemed that its life is in imminent danger.

“While our hope is that no one ever has to rescue an animal from a hot car, we understand those situations unfortunately do arise and lives can depend on a quick response,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Educating the public on the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars and the measures they can take to rescue an animal in need is a key prevention tool, and I thank the ARL for once again launching this important campaign.”

“Our pets provide limitless love and companionship, and we must do everything to protect them from neglectful owners who time and time again have shown a cruel disregard for their welfare,” said State Senator Mark Montigny, lead sponsor of the 2016 law penalizing the leaving of pets in hot cars.

Despite having a law on the books in Massachusetts, unfortunately Animal Control Officers and law enforcement are still seeing a high number of incidents where animals are left in hot vehicle and enduring needless suffering.

“The Massachusetts State Police and all law enforcement agencies consider animal cruelty and neglect to be serious crimes and assist animal rights organizations in investigating such crimes aggressively,” said Major Richard Ball, commander of MSP Troop H. “We urge the public to be familiar with the law that allows them to take action to rescue an animal confined in a hot car, and to tell law enforcement about any type of animal abuse they see or suspect. If you see something, say something.”

“The ‘dog days’ of summer are the perfect time to keep the safety of our pets in mind,” said State Representative Lori Ehrlich. “I hope this law never has to be used, but everyone should know the dangers of a hot car and what to do if you see an animal in danger. Prevention is best so I’m grateful to the Animal Rescue League of Boston for raising awareness.”

Prevention is Key

ARL’s “Too Hot for Spot” campaign is focused on reminding the public that prevention is always the best solution. When temperatures rise, ARL urges pet owners to leave their animals at home.


ARL Caring for Stray Peacock Found on Cape Cod

Not an everyday occurrence

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently took in a stray peacock who was found as a stray in the Greenland Pond/Long Pond area of Brewster, MA. While ARL takes in thousands of stray animals annually, a peacock is certainly something the organization doesn’t see every day.

This stray peacock is absolutely stunning!

For more than a week in late June, ARL, Brewster Police and Animal Control had received numerous reports of the bird in that area; Brewster Animal Control was able to capture the peacock, and brought it to ARL Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center. Due to limited livestock space in Brewster, the bird was then brought to ARL’s Dedham facility.

His arrival in Dedham has even attracted local media attention!

Peacocks, which are not native to North America but gained popularity as a status symbol in the early 1900s, are legal to own in Massachusetts.

Despite the fact that they’re prone to wandering, nobody has stepped forward to claim ownership of this beautiful bird – opening up the possibility that he was abandoned in the area he was found.

The two-year-old male is settling into his new surroundings, and while being in the wild for a unknown amount of time, he is in remarkable shape and healthy.

The peacock will soon be available for adoption – anyone interested must demonstrate that they have the proper set up to house a peacock – ample space with a proper enclosure. ARL will also be reaching out to area zoos to determine if anyone would be willing to take in this striking animal.

More than dogs and cats

While the vast majority of animals ARL takes in are dogs and cats, from livestock to zoo animals, for decades the organization has demonstrated time and time again that it can handle a wide variety of species and give them the same level of care and affection that’s afforded to every animal that comes through our doors. ARL receives no government funding and our work is made possible only through your generous support.


Keep Your Pet Safe This Fourth of July

Some things to keep in mind while celebrating

This year, the Fourth of July holiday falls in the middle of the week – and in the middle of a string of hot and humid weather. It’s a time to celebrate, but it’s also a time to remember that the sun, crowds, and loud noises can lead to over-stimulation, fear, and a potentially harmful situation for your pets.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) asks that you keep these five simple, but important tips to create a safe environment for your dog if they must be with you.

  1. Keep your dog away from potentially hazardous objects. BBQ’s are a source of tempting smells, and obvious danger. Fireworks – a sudden bang and a flash of light: these are ingredients for striking fear into your dog and could also illicit “fearfully aggressive” behavior. Keep your animal away from fireworks or even sparklers.
  2. There’s no place like home. Who doesn’t enjoy the comforts of home? And during the Fourth of July holiday, it may just be the perfect place for your pup. Turning a TV or radio on at low volume can distract your dog from all the outside noise, and they can also be in a cool, temperature and humidity controlled environment with access to water to keep them comfortable.
  3. If they must be outside, keep your dog in a carrier or on a leash. While outdoors, set your dog up in style, with shade, ample air-flow, and plenty of cold water.
  4. Never leave your animal alone in a parked car if they must travel with you. When the temperature rises it’s Too Hot for Spot! Animals don’t sweat like we do and can overheat easily. Even with seemingly mild temperatures outside, the inside of a car can heat up to well over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, which can lead to deadly heat stroke. Massachusetts law also prohibits leaving an animal in a parked car; owners can face fines or even forfeiture of the animal.
  5. Make sure your dog’s microchip and ID tag information is current. Many animal shelters report an uptick of stray animals after July 4th due to the number of pets running away from the noise and excitement. Be sure your contact information is correct and up to date, and always have your information on your dog’s collar to ensure an easy reunion should they become separated from you.

Play it Safe

ARL wants you to enjoy the holiday as we celebrate the birth of our nation, and remember that prevention is always the best course of action for you and your pet. When possible, leave your pet at home to avoid a possible dangerous and stressful situation!


ARL Rescue Services Called to Power Plant Twice in One Week

Cormorant trapped in water inlet

This week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services Department was called to the Mystic Generation Station in Charlestown, MA, for two separate incidents of a cormorant being trapped in a water inlet at the power plant.

While cormorants are aquatic birds, their short wings make it necessary for them to get some running room to take off – which was all but impossible in this confined space.

Trying to snare the cormorant.

Due to the high tide, wet conditions and tight space the aquatic bird was trapped in, rescue agents needed to suit up with climbing gear, scale a ladder, and try to snare the bird using a wide catch net. Passing rain showers added to the degree of difficulty, as did the cormorant’s frightened state.

To see a video of this rescue click here!

As the cormorant dove and resurfaced, agents were able to get the bird into the net, and slowly and safely bring it out of the water and into a carrier for transport and release.

Both rescues happened in the same spot, making it possible that the same bird was involved in both incidents! Because of this, ARL wanted to release the bird farther away from the area, choosing a section of the Mystic River in Everett.

The cormorant took to his new home quickly, and was grateful to be back on the open water.

A Vital Resource

In 2017, ARL Rescue Services helped nearly 3,000 animals. As the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with a dedicated technical rescue department, these services are only possible through your generous support.


Triumphing Over an Abusive Past

“Luke” with ARL for 518 days, recently finds perfect forever home

In early January 2017, Luke, then an 11-month-old puppy, was seized by the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department, when his owner was arrested on animal cruelty charges for allegedly beating the dog on multiple occasions.

Luke recently found his forever home, but was with ARL for more than 500 days – and during that time ARL staff and volunteers witnessed his awe-inspiring evolution from a puppy into a young adult dog. It was also a journey with plenty of bumps along the way.

To see a video of Luke’s story click here!

When Luke first arrived at ARL, he was scared, confused, and based on his former situation, he was understandably fearful of strangers – it was a hurdle.

“When Luke first came here, he didn’t want to trust anybody,” said ARL Animal Care Associate Anna Chaletzky. “He would bark, and while it would seem aggressive, he was just so afraid of everything.”

Building Trust

It took patience, but the more time ARL staff and volunteers spent with Luke, he slowly began to trust. And once that trust was established, Luke truly began to blossom. Showing his intelligence and love of learning, he went beyond basic commands, broke out of his shell and was soon showing off his playful personality.

An extended stay in a shelter environment can be difficult for some animals, and it was important to keep Luke engaged and focused and in turn he progressed forward and gained confidence.

Time to Find a Home

In the spring of 2018, Luke’s former owner pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, and he was finally ready to find his forever home. While it took a bit of time, Luke found his perfect match in a couple who came all the way from Maine to adopt him!

From intake to adoption took 18 months, and while saying goodbye was difficult, seeing him walk off into his new life happy and full of confidence was a proud moment for anyone who witnessed Luke’s progression.

It also highlighted the effectiveness of ARL’s enrichment program, which is tailored to the needs of each individual animal.

“He matured here with us and we worked every day at keeping him in a good place mentally,” ARL Pet Placement Supervisor Alicia Muller said. “Enrichment for Luke was incredibly important and a focus for all staff. We were always looking for new ways to show him he was cared for and loved, and to see him go from scared little pup to a confident young adult was incredible.”

It Takes a Village

While the length of stay for Luke isn’t typical for an animal in ARL’s care, the collective efforts from numerous ARL programs is. From law enforcement to shelter medicine and daily shelter care, Luke was impacted by a wide swath of ARL services, and we as an organization strive to give each individual animal the same care, attention and love that was given to Luke. That being said, our work is not possible without your generous support – thank you for being a champion for animals!


Cat with Myriad of Medical Issues Finds Forever Home

June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month

June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently found a forever home for one amazing cat with a number of health concerns.

Rhade, a 10-year-old domestic shorthair, came to ARL when her previous owner was moving and presented with quite a few common and uncommon conditions.

Rhade undergoing a medical evaluation.

Rhade’s most noticeable issue is neurological, as she was born with the congenital abnormality called cerebellar hypoplasia. The condition affects her coordination and balance.

She also tested positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which was likely contracted via a bite from another infected cat. An offshoot of Rhade’s FIV was swelling to her lip, commonly known as a rodent ulcer. A biopsy did not reveal any underlying issues, but her lip is permanently deformed.

Previous ear mite infections has caused what’s commonly known as “cauliflower ear”, and finally, Rhade has developed Horner’s syndrome in her right eye. This condition is due to an unknown impairment to her sympathetic nervous system – which is responsible for the normal fight or flight reaction.

Despite all these issues, Rhade persevered and does have a good quality of life. Rhade responded well to all her treatments at ARL, however it’s hard to know what her medical future holds, and it’s important for her new family to monitor her closely.

“She’s Amazing”

This past week, Rhade found her forever home, and for all parties involved, it was love at first sight. Because of her medical issues, her new owners had a long medical consult with ARL’s shelter medicine staff and at the end summed up this sweet girl by saying “So basically she’s perfect from the neck down?”

“She’s amazing,” her new owner said. “We fell in love as soon as we saw her.”

Love at first sight! Rhade getting to know her new family.

Extraordinary Care

As with any animal that comes through our doors, ARL’s veterinary medicine staff spent an enormous amount of time diagnosing and treating all of Rhade’s health issues to ensure that any potential adopter would be as informed as possible before taking her home.
Rhade has been given a second chance and is ready to thrive in her new home.

At the Core of ARL’s Mission

Part of ARL’s core values are compassion and commitment – and while this extends to every one of the animals we serve, a cat like Rhade needs that compassion and commitment to live to her full potential with the greatest quality of life possible. ARL’s mission is to ensure that animals are safe and healthy in the communities they live, and our success in this mission could not be possible without your support.


Orphan Ducklings Find New Family

If at first you don’t succeed, ARL Rescue Services tries and tries again

This week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services rescued nine orphaned ducklings in Hyde Park at the Channing Elementary School. Once safe, the next mission was to find these fragile little ones a new family.

On the day of the initial rescue, ARL rescue agents made several attempts along local waterways to find and introduce the ducklings to duck families, hoping they would be welcomed. Unfortunately they were refused and it was back to the drawing board.

The following day, ARL tried an area at Spy Pond in Arlington, and discovered another duck family who needed help – a family of six (mom and five ducklings) were stuck behind a wall that the ducklings couldn’t navigate around.

Once helping the family around the wall, as they were ambling towards the water, agents slyly added the nine ducklings to the brood – lucky for us mama ducks can’t count! The brood swam off to a papa duck already on the water, and are now one big happy family.

Experience, patience and dedication led to this happy outcome!

A Vital Resource

In 2017, ARL Rescue Services helped nearly 3,000 animals. As the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with a dedicated technical rescue department, these services are only possible thanks to your support.


Massachusetts House Passes PAWS II

Historical animal protection legislation closer to becoming state law

This week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed H.4565 – An Act to Protect Animal Welfare and Safety in Cities and Towns (PAWS II). The measure passed unanimously 145-0.

“The Animal Rescue League of Boston is thrilled with the outcome of this vote and offers heart-felt congratulations to the House of Representatives, particularly Representative Lou Kafka for sponsoring this bill, House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez, and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo for their continued efforts to further protect animals throughout the Commonwealth,” said ARL President Mary Nee.

The House and Senate will work together to prepare the bill for Governor Baker’s desk.

PAWS II is a far-reaching piece of animal protection legislation and includes the following provisions:

  • Ensure that property owners check vacant properties for abandoned animals
  • Prevent the automatic euthanasia of animal fighting victims
  • Prohibit the drowning of animals
  • Ensure efficient enforcement of animal control laws
  • Prohibit sexual contact with an animal

PAWS II extends from the original PAWS Act which was passed in 2014 on the heels of the horrific 2013 discovery of a tortured dog in Quincy who would forever be known as Puppy Doe.

Along with increasing cruelty penalties and strengthening Massachusetts law, the original PAWS Act also created the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force. The Task Force examined areas of Massachusetts animal law that needed to be updated. PAWS II is the culmination of the task force’s work and recommendations.


Hurricane Season has Officially Begun

Make sure to include animals in any emergency plan

The 2018 hurricane season officially began on June 1, and it’s a perfect time to review and possibly revise the emergency plans for you, your family, and your pets – yes your pets.

Imagine: A storm on the horizon, people are scrambling in grocery stores for food, water and supplies, your neighbors are boarding up windows and making preparations, everyone around you is anxious – this is when your pets need you most and it’s up to you to ensure they’re safe.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a near-or-above-normal hurricane season that could include 10-16 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes, and 1-4 major hurricanes.

The threat is there and here are some things to keep in mind when planning for an emergency:

1. Disaster Kit. Each animal in your household needs their own kit and should include at least a one-week supply of food and water, along with collapsible dishes; a week supply of medication; photographs, tags, and other identification; leash, harness, crate/carrier; toys, blankets and treats; poop bags, litter and litter tray
2. Pet-Friendly Evacuation Centers. Many, but not all, evacuation centers allow pets. Check your area for not only evacuation centers, but pet-friendly hotels, boarding facilities, and even friends or relatives that would allow you and your pets to stay.
3. Make Sure Your Pet is Microchipped. It’s the simplest way to be reunited with your pet should you become separated. If your pet is already microchipped, make sure all contact information is correct and up to date.
4. The Buddy System. Connect with friends and neighbors to ensure that someone is willing to evacuate your pets if you are unable to.

Preparedness is responsible pet ownership! For more useful pet safety advice, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips.


Dedication and Love Help Former Stray Find Forever Home

Dean Overcoming Behavioral Challenges

In September 2017, Dean, a two-year-old Pitbull-type mix, came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) as a stray who was found in West Bridgewater, MA. This past week Dean found his forever home, and for this energetic boy, it’s been a long road home.

When Dean arrived at ARL, he was a whirlwind of energy and presented with a number of behavioral issues – jumpy/mouthy, severe over-arousal, inability to focus, and resource guarding. While friendly, working on these issues simultaneously was a tremendous challenge.

Over a period of days and weeks, Dean began to bond with staff and volunteers, which helped him find focus. From this foundation, Dean started learning basic commands, making eye contact, focusing on his handler, looking to humans for attention, among other things.

Additionally, because Dean was still having high-arousal issues, he was sent to a train and board facility for two weeks to intensely focus on training.

“When Dean came to ARL he knew nothing,” said ARL Animal Care Manager Carolyn Curran. “We saw the potential in him and knew that with time, dedication and love, we would be able to find him his perfect home.”

As weeks turned into months at the shelter, Dean persevered and continued to learn — staff’s hopes for him never wavered and knew the right situation for him would present itself eventually.

It took nearly eight months, but Dean has met his perfect match and is now enjoying his forever home!

Catering to Individual Needs

Every animal that comes to ARL receives not only a medical evaluation, but a behavioral evaluation as well — it’s through this process that an individualized plan is developed based on that animal’s specific needs. Dean is just one of the thousands of success stories ARL sees annually, and we cannot do our important work without your support!