DON’T FORGET… to help your pet have a furry and bright holiday too!
7 holiday pet safety tips to guarantee a celebratory season for everyone in your family:
Ditch the tinsel. Our feline friends often think this eye-catching decoration is a toy. Ingestion of this seemingly harmless material can lead to a obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery.
1. Decorate with care. Ribbons and tinsel are especially attractive and hazardous to cats, as they can end up their intestinal tract, causing string foreign body blockage. Holiday plants like mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias can cause vomiting, upset stomach, and blisters in your pet’s mouth. Avoid placing lit candles anywhere your pet can reach or on a surface that can be toppled over.
2. Secure your Christmas tree. Your frisky feline won’t be the first to topple over a 6-foot fir! Support your tree with a sturdy stand and wires to prevent tipping, should they decide to make a leap for it. For your canine companions, consider surrounding the base with a baby gate and hanging fragile ornaments higher on your tree.
3. Watch out for wires. Chewing on electrical cords can cause severe oral burns and even fatal shocks for cats and dogs. Secure cords with plastic casing you can find at a hardware store, or cover with a bitter-tasting, non-toxic product from your local pet supply shop.
4. Toss out table scraps. Although it’s tempting, avoid giving your dog any meat bones that can become lodged in their throat, stomach, or intestinal tract. Also steer clear of sugary or alcoholic beverages, fat trimmings, raw dough and cake batter, onions, mushrooms, and grapes, which can cause severe abdominal issues, organ failure, toxicity, and even death. Allow your furry friend to indulge with extra tasty pet treats instead!
5. Travel safely. If your entire family is making the trip to grandma’s house, securing your pet in a crate or seat belt harness may save their life should you get into an accident. If your pet isn’t used to being on the road, place treats and toys in and around your parked car a few days before your travels to let them sniff around. Then take a spin around the block to get them comfortable in the moving vehicle. You don’t want to begin a two hour trek only to find out that they become easily carsick!
6. Keep your pet stress-free. The holidays can be a stressful time of year for everyone- including your pets! If your pet is timid around new people or those they rarely see, it may be best to keep them in a separate quiet room with toys and treats to keep them occupied.
7. Check the (micro)chip. Many animal shelters report increases of “stray” animals during the holidays when pets are more likely to escape as visitors go in and out of the front door. Be sure your microchip contact information is current and that your pet’s collar is always on to ensure an easy reunion.
From everyone at ARL,
For more pet owner resources, click here.
Energetic 10-Year-Old Podengo Portugueso Pequeno Waiting for His Forever Home
Matty came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center from another shelter in October, and while he has garnered interest with his stunning looks and energetic personality, nearly two months later he’s still awaiting his new family.
A Dedham staff favorite, Matty is the best of both worlds — he loves his outdoor time and long walks, but is just as happy to curl up and cuddle. And when it comes to petting, Matty will actually stare at you until you pet him! Click here to see Matty in action!
Matty is more than just a handsome face, he's housetrained and knows all his basic commands.
Matty loves his outdoor time.
But Matty also loves to cuddle up with loved ones!
Please help us give Matty a home for the holidays!
The 10-year-old Podengo Portugueso Pequeno was surrendered for displaying stressing behaviors around small children when his personal space was invaded — a common issue for some dogs. He also has a tendency to chase small animals and cats, and will bark at strangers entering the home or yard.
Matty is however housetrained, and knows basic commands.
With all these behavioral factors, Matty would prefer to be in an adult home without children, and be the king of the castle i.e. no other pets in the home!
Why Matty Needs a Home for the Holidays
Even with regular human socialization, the shelter environment can increase stress levels and even cause an animal to become depressed. While ARL’s dedicated staff and volunteers make sure that each individual animal gets the love, support and attention they need, what Matty really needs is a home to call his own.
The greatest gift for Matty this holiday season is a forever home, and if you can’t provide a home for him, you can always support ARL to allow us to continue to care for animals like Matty. ARL receives no government funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals like you to keep our important work going. We need your continued support today to ensure we start the new year fully-funded to respond to the nearly 18,000 animals who will depend on us for help. Your tax-deductible donation will provide the critical resources necessary to help thousands of homeless animals, family pets, wildlife, and communities most in need in 2018.
Thank you for being a Champion for Animals and for giving generously today!
5 factors to consider before you give pets as a holiday gift
It seems like a no-brainer… Giving a pet as a present can be a win-win situation for everyone involved: the animal has a cozy home to call its own, the recipient is in a state of awe, and the giver (you!) has made your loved one’s holiday even more joyful.
While this is the gift-giving scenario that every animal lover dreams of, make sure it really is the purrfect present for the person on your list.
If giving your loved one a new pet as a present is on your mind, here are 5 things to consider:
- Manage the surprise. Even at the risk of spoiling the surprise, make sure that the intended recipient wants a new pet. Check in with someone who currently has pets or has recently lost one to make sure they are ready.
- Don’t make them sneeze. That’s not a twinkle in their eye; it’s allergies. Confirm any allergies among all household members. No one wants to go get an allergy shot after opening what’s supposed to be an extra special gift, after all.
- Know where they live. Even if you know your intended recipient really wants a pet, ensure that their building and development allows them. If their home is pet-friendly, be sure to confirm any weight or breed restrictions.
- Find out what they can handle. You want to know that the animal you are getting matches the lifestyle, physical limitation, ages, and personalities in the household.
- Adopt from a shelter. When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life. Adopting from a reputable animal shelter like the ARL’s locations in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham also has many practical benefits. All our adoptable animals, for example, receive spay/neuter services, vaccines, and a health and behavioral screening.
Keep in mind… It never hurts to run the idea by your loved one beforehand or take them along to pick out their new pet. They and their new furry friend will be thanking you for many years to come!
ARL has many deserving animals looking for a home!
It’s not just snowing cats and dogs here at ARL’s shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham. We have many special small shelter pets like birds and rabbits who are looking for loving homes!
Search all adoptables
Special Kittens Require Special Accommodations
Fifteen-week-old Baxter and Suzie recently came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) as owner surrenders and are like typical kittens in many ways. They’re energetic, spunky, and are just starting to learn their way in the world. However these siblings are also unlike many other kittens, as they were born with a rare congenital defect that prohibits normal ambulation; and will need to be adopted into homes able to accommodate their limitations.
Radial Agenesis is an orthopedic condition were the radius — the bone that goes from our elbow to our wrist — did not form properly. These kittens are essentially missing bones in their front limbs, as well as one hind leg. The condition results in bowed-in front legs, where the kittens walk on their wrists instead of their paws. Click here to see video of these siblings in action!
Baxter and his sibling Suzie were born with Radial Agenesis, a rare congenital abnormality.
Like any kitten, Baxter has a playful and funny side!
Suzie is a little more subdued, but she can be playful as well.
Dr. Kate Gollon introduces Baxter and Suzie to members of the media.
Suzie is a little camera-shy.
Baxter on the other hand loves attention!
While little can be done to correct this condition, many cats, including Baxter and Suzie, with Radial Agenesis can have an excellent quality of life and have no idea that they are not “normal”. Potential adopters will have to keep the following accommodations in mind:
- Carpeted Floors. For Baxter and Suzie, carpets give them the necessary traction to get around — especially stairs.
- Easily Accessible Basics. Providing food and water dishes that don’t tip over and a litter box with a lowered opening are key.
- Indoor only. Baxter and Suzie should be indoor animals only, as they lack the ability to quickly flee from outdoor dangers.
- Weight Management. Because of their abnormal gait, there is a greater risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life. Keeping them at a healthy weight along with regular veterinary visits is recommended.
A Home for the Holidays
Suzie and Baxter have done well in separate foster homes, and will soon be ready to find their forever home so stay tuned! If you are ready to open up your heart and home for an animal in need this holiday season, please check ARL’s adoption page to find your perfect match or visit our Boston, Dedham, or Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers to meet your next furry friend in person.
Special Needs Puppy Looking for Her Forever Home
Ellen, a beautiful four-month-old Feist-mix, came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) as part of a transport from our partners in North Carolina in November.
A few days after arriving at ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center, Ellen suffered a seizure, and has since shown mild neurologic symptoms including a spastic nature to her gait while playing and a lack of coordination.
Preliminary exams and diagnostic tests have not pinpointed the root cause of the seizure or the ongoing issues that have followed.
It should be noted that while exhibiting neurological symptoms, Ellen is also displaying typical puppy behaviors. She’s energetic, loves attention and playtime, and is absolutely adorable! To see Ellen being playful click here.
Ellen was adopted and will be spending the holidays in her new forever home!
Ellen having an examination.
Ellen had a seizure and has since been displaying neurological symptoms.
Ellen undergoing examination.
Symptoms have included lack of coordination and an awkward gait.
Ellen is looking for a home for the holidays!
Needing Extra Care
Adopting a puppy is an extraordinary commitment, but in Ellen’s case she may need more than learning manners, house training, and everything else puppies need to become well-adjusted adult dogs.
“There is a fair chance that her symptoms are caused by hydrocephalus, a congenital defect in which excess fluid accumulates around the brain,” said Dr. Erin Doyle, Lead Veterinarian for ARL Shelter Veterinary Services. “The prognosis for hydrocephalus is very dependent on its severity. In some cases, hydrocephalus can be treated surgically or managed medically to control symptoms. Ellen’s lack of any further seizures and the mild nature of her ongoing symptoms are positive indicators, but unfortunately do not guarantee a good long term prognosis.”
The best way to determine her diagnosis and prognosis would be through a referral to a veterinary neurologist and an MRI. An MRI can run $1,500-3,000, however, whether this is necessary will be determined by Ellen’s ongoing symptoms. Ellen’s new family will have to monitor her closely and establish a plan with their regular veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment.
Have Some Love to Give?
Ellen is waiting for her forever family, and so are many others. If opening your heart and home to an animal in need this holiday season is up your alley, we encourage you to visit ARL’s Boston, Dedham or Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers to find your perfect match!
November 30, 2017 — BOSTON, MA — Today, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) announced its receipt of a new $20,000 grant from PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America. The new grant will support the daily operations of ARL so they can continue their efforts to help local shelter pets thrive as they await adoption.
In addition to providing funding for general shelter needs, ARL’s grant will help to cover some of the costs associated with providing much needed dental procedures for 102 senior shelter animals.
“Providing dental cleanings and necessary tooth extractions allows these animals to enjoy a better quality of life and improves their overall health,” said Caitlin Tomlinson, ARL’s Associate Director of Shelter Operations. “This translates into a higher degree of adoptability and shorter shelter stays. Our goal is to get these animals into loving homes, and the generosity of Pet Smart Charities is allowing us to do just that.”
In animal welfare, funding for general shelter operations can be hard to come by. That’s why PetSmart Charities identified this as an area of great need to its adoption partners and grantees and developed this new grant category.
“Shelter operations grants are helping to ensure organizations like the Animal Rescue League of Boston have access to the funding and resources they need,” said Sima Thakkar, regional relationship manager at PetSmart Charities. “Together, we’re helping to reduce the length of time pets will need to be in the care of the ARL and increasing the likelihood they’ll soon find the forever home they deserve.”
Shelter Operations is just one of PetSmart Charities ten grant categories designed to support animal welfare organizations and nonprofits as part of their newly expanded mission to find lifelong loving homes for all pets by supporting programs that bring people and pets together. Funding from PetSmart Charities supports best practices that help pets thrive in a shelter environment until they find their forever family and offers funding for shelter-based programs that improve adoptions, reduce pets’ length of stay and strengthen shelter infrastructure.
About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization with a mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. In addition to finding homes for almost 500,000 shelter pets each year through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities provides funding to non-profits aligned with its mission through four key areas of grant support: Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets; and Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the pin pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses 90 cents of every dollar donated and has become the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, donating about $300 million to date. PetSmart Charities, a 501(c)(3) organization, has received the Four Star Rating from Charity Navigator, an independent organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 14 years in a row — placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org
Follow PetSmart Charities on Twitter: @PetSmartChariTs
Find PetSmart Charities on Facebook: Facebook.com/PetSmartCharities
See PetSmart Charities on YouTube: YouTube.com/PetSmartCharitiesInc
Dogs Rescued on Thanksgiving Eve Ready for Adoption
Update! Two of the six cats rescued from unsanitary conditions are now up for adoption at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.
On Thanksgiving Eve, while many of us were busy travelling or preparing for the holiday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) was assisting authorities in Middlesex County, removing animals from a hoarding situation.
In all, 26 animals were removed from the home, including 20 Shih Tzu dogs and puppies and six Siamese cats.
The animals were thin, dehydrated, and hungry. Additionally, many of the animals were unkempt and had feces and urine stuck in their matted fur.
ARL Rescue Services, Law Enforcement, Shelter Operations and Shelter Veterinary Medicine collaborated for a quick response, removing the animals and shuttling them to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, where they were triaged, examined, fed, and kept warm.
The dogs and cats were monitored by staff on Thanksgiving and into the weekend. The animals quickly put on weight, and just seven days after being removed from the situation, six of the dogs are now being made available for adoption!
Holly is a gorgeous 5-year-old Siamese. Look at those eyes!
Strudel is a bit shy, but a handsome 5-year-old Siamese.
Many of the dogs rescued were unkempt and in need of grooming.
Teresa needing some attention.
Teresa is now ready to find her forever home!
Pam is adorable, and ready to find a home for the holidays!
Martha awaiting an adopter.
Aiden was put up for adoption today!
“I’m proud of the collaborative efforts that were made by a number of ARL programs in order to have this positive outcome,” said Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services. “Our preparedness to deal with emergency situations has been tested many times and this was no exception; and once again ARL responded quickly to help these animals in need.”
The remaining 14 animals are receiving on-going treatment, and will be made available once they are medically cleared, and it’s hopeful that all of these animals will have new homes for the holidays!
Abandoned Kitten Brought Back from Brink of Death
‘Tis the season of miracles, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently witnessed one in the form of an 11-week-old kitten who was found on the campus of Mount Ida College.
Mount Ida employees had recently contacted ARL Rescue Services after seeing a mother cat with her litter around one of the campus buildings. Separate trips to the campus yielded no results in finding the kitty family; however about a week later, employees heard a kitten in a basement stairwell crying for help. Attempting to aid the kitten, he got spooked, and scampered off into the darkness.
Scared, dehydrated, hungry, and alone after being abandoned by his mother, the kitten curled up in the corner of the basement to die. When ARL arrived on-scene, the kitten was seemingly lifeless (the responding agent even checked for rigor mortis), when suddenly the kitten gasped for breath. He was alive — barely — and it was now a race against the clock to save his life. Thankfully the campus sits just five miles from ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.
Upon arrival in Dedham, his temperature did not register via rectal thermometer, he was taking agonal breaths — the body’s last-ditch effort to deliver oxygen to vital organs — and had a faint heartbeat.
ARL’s shelter and community veterinary staff placed the kitten (later named Lawrence) on a towel wrapped in a heating pad to warm him up, then were able to place an IV catheter in him to deliver subcutaneous fluids and dextrose. Despite having a series of seizures (likely related to low blood-sugar levels), over the next few hours the kitten gradually pepped up and eventually was able to eat.
Lawrence getting warmed up and given fluids.
Perking up, but still an uphill battle.
Two weeks later, Lawrence is improving and loves attention!
Lawrence giving a special thank you to ARL Veterinary Technician Lauren Litif.
A Life Saved
Lawrence has been making steady progress, and the grit and toughness shown by this little miracle has been awe-inspiring to everyone involved in the collaborative life-saving effort.
“The way he has responded is remarkable,” said ARL Veterinarian Dr. Kate Gollon. “It’s a nice reminder how resilient many animals are if you simply give them the basics — water, warmth, food, and a little TLC. It’s definitely been one of the most rewarding cases in my career as a veterinarian.”
YOU Make our Work Possible
While still on the mend, Lawrence is amazingly friendly and will likely be ready to find a forever home in time for the holidays! Without your support, this heart-warming outcome may not have been possible. ARL receives no government funding, and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to be an unwavering champion for animals.
If you support ARL now, your contribution can be tripled! ARL is thrilled to be a part of the launch of HippoGive — a new app powered by Network for Good which makes donating simpler. HippoGive will match up to $100 of your gift so now through #GivingTuesday, your gift can be tripled when combined with our match! Click here to make your gift X3!
Keep your pup joyful and healthy this holiday with these helpful tips
Thanksgiving is a time to savor delicious food, enjoy the company of our family and friends, and to show gratitude for all that we are thankful for in our lives.
Be sure to also keep pets away from food wrappings and decorations, as these items can cause intestinal obstructions!
While it’s wonderful to include your pets in your holiday traditions, it’s important to remember that our furry companions cannot indulge in the same feasts that we prepare for ourselves. Some of the common Thanksgiving foods that fill our plate can actually be very dangerous for your pet to ingest.
Here are the 5 Thanksgiving foods that your dog should avoid:
- Turkey bones are small and can become lodged in your dog’s throat, stomach, or intestinal tract. They may also splinter and cause severe damage to the stomach or puncture the small intestine.
- Fat trimmings and fatty foods like turkey skin and gravy are difficult for dogs to digest. In fact, consuming turkey skin can result in pancreatitis. Symptoms for this serious disease can include vomiting, extreme depression, reluctance to move, and abdominal pain.
- Dough and cake batter contain raw eggs, so the first concern for people and pets is salmonella bacteria. What’s more, dough may actually rise in your dog’s belly, which can lead to vomiting, severe abdominal pain, and bloating.
- Mushrooms can damage your dog’s internal organs, including kidneys, liver, and central nervous system. Symptoms can include seizures, coma, vomiting, and possibly death.
- Raisins and grapes, although the causes of their toxicity are unknown, can cause kidney failure in dogs.
The best way for your pet to partake in the holiday cheer? Stick with traditional treats that are safe for dogs and cats! Food puzzles and interactive toys like a Kong filled with peanut butter are a great way to keep your canine entertained and feeling satisfied all holiday long.
Bonus tip: Keep your vet’s emergency number handy. Should your pet become ill, contact your pet’s veterinarian or the local animal hospital’s number! A quick call to either of them can give you life-saving advice or even help you avoid a trip to the ER. You can also reach Boston Veterinary Care at (617) 226-5605.
For more helpful tips about dog and cat health and behavior, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips
ARL Rescue Services Assist Woburn ACO
Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) Rescue Services has certainly had its share of calls to help animals in strange predicaments — a squirrel with its head stuck in a dumpster drain or animal bone, cats in walls, and this week we add a raccoon in a tree with a plastic jar stuck on its head.
On Tuesday, Woburn’s Animal Control Officer contacted ARL regarding the raccoon. He appeared to be healthy and uninjured, but the jar posed a number of dangers — induced panic from the enclosed space, inability to eat or see, and the possibility of falling out of the tree. A trap had been set at the base of the tree, but it was clear that responders had to go to the animal, not wait for him to come down.
Raccoon about 25 feet up in tree with jar on its head.
The animal was stressed and rescuers could not wait for him to come down on his own.
ARL Senior Rescue Agent Mike Brammer climbing towards the raccoon.
Success! With the jar removed, the raccoon remained in the tree and went about his day.
Once removed, the jar was disposed of properly.
The raccoon was about 25 feet up in the tree, which made him accessible, but understandably the raccoon was stressed. The goal of rescuers was to try and remove the jar without having to snare the raccoon and bring him to the ground — easier said than done.
Climbing about 15 feet up in to the tree and using an 11-foot extension pole, ARL Senior Rescue Agent Mike Brammer essentially had to play ring-toss with the jar, positioning it just right to pull it off the raccoon’s head without making him panic.
After several attempts, the jar came off, fluttered to the ground and was disposed of properly (just in case the raccoon didn’t learn his lesson) and the animal remained free in the tree without injury!
Make Double the Impact
In the past year, ARL Rescue Services has responded to well over 1,500 wildlife rescue calls. ARL receives no government and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to make our work possible. As part of Giving Tuesday, your support can now have double the impact.
#GivingTuesday is an international movement created to encourage giving back to the charities nearest and dearest to your heart during the busy holiday season.
Because ARL is committed to keeping animals safe and healthy in their habitats and homes, our Board of Directors and President have teamed up to offer this incredible challenge:
Raise $100,000 and they will double it.*
That means any gift you make now through November 28 will be matched dollar for dollar to help us reach our total goal of $200,000 for animals in need! Donate $100 or more and you or your pet will be acknowledged on ARLâ€™s #GivingTuesday Wall of Honor.
*The match only applies to the first $100K in donations ARL receives but all gifts will go to help animals in need.