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Halloween Pet Safety Tips for a Spook-Free Holiday

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.

Boston Terrier in Halloween costume

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 fans of wearing costumes and would much rather wear a festive collar or bandanna instead.

With the month of October almost half over, Halloween 2018 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 3 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.

3. 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.

No plans for Halloween? Spend the day getting to know some of our adoptable animals.

 


ARL Unveils New Transport Waggin’

Thousands of animals to benefit from mobile unit

With Animal Care and Adoption Centers in Boston, Dedham and Brewster, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) provides medical and behavioral care and adoption services for thousands of animals annually (over 18,000 in 2017), and these animals arrive at ARL in a number of ways. Owner surrenders, strays, out-of-state transports, rescues, and law enforcement cases; ARL also routinely assists local municipal and private shelters with transfers and we unfortunately also respond to large overcrowding and cruelty situations as well.

But no matter how they arrive, the goal for every animal is the same: that they are safe and healthy and returned to habitats and homes.

Each of ARL’s locations has different characteristics (urban vs. rural) and capabilities i.e. surgical suites and barns/paddocks for farm animals. Moving animals to the location that’s best suited for their needs has historically been a logistical challenge — until now.

With a most generous donation from Leadership Council members, Connie and Peter Lacaillade, ARL has purchased, outfitted and staffed a new Transport Waggin’.

Linking ARL’s locations, programs and resources, the Transport Waggin’ will serve animals and communities in a variety of ways including:

  • Ensuring proper medical care: If a shelter animal requires specialized diagnostics, surgery, or constant veterinary supervision, they have access to the care they need.
  • Matching animals with adopters more quickly: Animals may be overlooked by adopters in one Adoption Center base on their size, temperament or needs, so a change in location can be beneficial.
  • Enhancing behavior and enrichment: Different ARL Adoption Centers offer different volunteer expertise and amenities, like outdoor runs.
  • Allowing ARL to help out-of-state animals: ARL receives regular transports from high-kill areas of the country and Puerto Rico. These life-saving transports broaden ARL’s reach in helping animals in need, while meeting local adoption needs.
  • Increasing ARL’s ability to be a community resource: ARL can better assist municipal shelters, animal control facilities, and smaller rescue groups in transporting animals to get the care they need.

Press Release: ARL Sees Uptick in Leptospirosis

With a recent uptick in positive cases of Leptospirosis, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is alerting the public about the potentially life-threatening bacteria.

Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) has seen two positive cases in the past two weeks, the latest coming during the past holiday weekend.

Leptospirosis is spread through the urine of infected animals, and can infect animals and humans through contact with the contaminated urine, water or soil. In a city setting, it’s most commonly spread through the rodent population and it’s easily spread to humans, and can cause liver and kidney failure.

Common symptoms include: fever, increased drinking and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, and weakness.

Early treatment is critical for Leptospirosis, and if your dog is exhibiting any combination of these symptoms, seek medical treatment immediately.

There is a vaccine for Leptospirosis, and if you feel your dog may be at risk to contract the bacteria, ARL urges you to discuss the vaccine with your primary veterinarian.


Abandoned Dogs Found with Striking Similarities

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently took in a small, terrier-type dog that was found abandoned in Beverly, MA. ARL’s Law Enforcement Department joined police in Beverly to ask the public to come forward with any information to ascertain where the dog (named Angel) may have come from. Shortly after that public plea, ARL was contacted by animal control in Brookline, MA and is now caring for a second abandoned dog, who bears a striking similarity and found around the same time as Angel.

“Chester” is an intact male, estimated to be about four-years-old, and was found in poor and neglectful condition. As with the case of Angel, this animal was not microchipped, and his fur was extremely matted and urine-soaked. The dog is also underweight and suffering from painful, advanced dental disease.

To see news coverage of Chester’s story, click here!

Chester’s entire coat has been shaved, and he has received a thorough veterinary exam at ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center – he will continue to be monitored and will also be neutered. Although agitated upon intake, Chester’s demeanor has greatly improved, as he is now soliciting attention and accepting treats from staff.

Whether there is a connection between the two animals is currently unknown, however the timeframe, breed and conditions in which they were found are too similar to ignore. While the neither animal is currently available for adoption, the dogs are moving in that direction as they continue to make positive progress.

ARL Law Enforcement is again urging anyone with information regarding either of these animals to come forward – any information can be directed ARL Law Enforcement at (617) 426-9170, or email cruelty@arlboston.org.


Press Release: Law Enforcement Seeking Public’s Help in Identifying Abandoned Dog’s Owner

This past week a small, terrier-type dog was found in appalling condition and wandering the streets of Beverly, MA. Now, the Beverly Police Department and the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Law Enforcement Department are asking for the public’s help in finding the dog’s former owner/caretaker.

The 10-year-old male dog, named Angel, was found at the intersection of Charnock and Prospect St. and was severely matted, dirty, underweight, and malnourished. Additionally, extremely overgrown and curled nails were causing the dog pain and discomfort when walking.

See media coverage of Angel’s story here!

While neutered, the dog is not microchipped, making the public’s help critical to helping law enforcement find who was responsible for the dog not only being on the streets, but also being in such poor and neglectful condition.

Angel was initially in the care of a local veterinarian in Peabody, but is now with ARL where he will continue to receive the care he needs to improve. While skittish and possibly deaf, Angel is extremely friendly and has already gained a couple of pounds!

ARL is also an assisting agency in this investigation, and anyone with information can contact Beverly Animal Control (mlipinski@beverlyma.gov; (978) 605-2361), or ARL Law Enforcement (cruelty@arlboston.org; (617) 426-9170).


You Saved over 700 Animals From Deplorable Conditions, Help Us Continue this Life-saving Work!

This summer, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department assisted in the rescue of over 700 cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, reptiles, and rodents involved in animal hoarding-type situations in the towns of Norwood, Whitman, Hingham, Taunton, Plymouth, and New Bedford.

Animal hoarding is a serious community problem that can also place children, the elderly, dependent adults, property, and public health at risk. These types of cases are complex and put an immense strain on our resources.

ARL is only able to answer the call for help because of YOU. And these animals like Bella the Bulldog, pictured above, desperately need you now.

I WILL SUPPORT THIS LIFE-SAVING WORK

Animals rescued from cases of extreme neglect face a number of behavioral challenged and health concerns, including respiratory distress, malnutrition, parasites, and other illness.

I urge you to consider joining the Champions Circle today and provide the critical support needed to respond to emergencies like these and provide the critical support needed to keep animals safe and healthy all year long.

Your gift each month will:

    • Support our special investigations and on-going rescue efforts
    • Treat the sudden influx of animals with the extensive medical care they urgently need
    • Help these animals heal from the trauma of neglect and help them find forever homes

Monthly support from Champions Circle donors provides animals with care and assistance when they need it most. Join before September 30 and receive a special Champions Circle Calendar*!

*Please allow 4 weeks for delivery


Too Many Animals Being Abandoned Outside Shelters

ARL teams with Quincy Animal Control to urge proper pet surrender

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) joined with Quincy Animal Control to issue a public reminder that if you need to surrender an animal, to please do so properly – this after four rabbits were found abandoned in a carrier outside the Quincy Animal Shelter. The rabbits are now in the care of ARL and will soon be made available for adoption.

To see media coverage of this story click here!

Over the past few months there have been several instances involving animals being left outside of shelters or animal control facilities, ARL included – not only is this irresponsible, it’s also against the law.

One of four rabbits recently abandoned outside the Quincy Animal Shelter. They are in the care of ARL and will be available for adoption soon.

Abandoning an animal in Massachusetts is a felony, and each instance is thoroughly investigated by law enforcement.

Pet surrender isn’t easy. We understand that some pet owners feel guilt, shame, embarrassment, fear judgement or condemnation for surrendering an animal – and choose abandonment instead. This is never a viable option.

When surrendering an animal, it’s critical to meet with someone face-to-face. ARL is committed to keeping animals safe and healthy in their homes, and are willing to explore every option to see if there’s a way to keep the animal with the owner and out of the shelter. When you surrender properly, you’re also helping shelter and medical staff better understand the animal and what they may need before being rehomed.

Organizations like ARL exist to help animals, as well as the people who care for them. Moving, financial struggles; pet surrender is sometimes necessary, and ARL’s intake staff is ready to guide you through the process. If you need to surrender an animal, please make that phone call today.


Massachusetts Animal Control Officer of the Year

The Animal Rescue League of Boston and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for the annual Massachusetts Animal Control Officer (ACO) of the Year award.

The award was established to honor an animal control officer whose efforts in his/her local community throughout the year demonstrate:

  • a dedicated, humane attitude toward the treatment and well-being of all animals
  • effective enforcement of pet responsibility laws
  • a commitment to public awareness and humane education programs
  • cooperative working relationships with other agencies, such as state and local government departments, other ACOs, and animal protection groups

Nominations should be submitted in writing and may come from government officials, other officers, animal protection organizations, or private citizens. Submissions should explain how the nominee has met the above criteria and should be sent to both:

Alan Borgal
Animal Rescue League of Boston
10 Chandler Street
Boston, MA 02116
aborgal@arlboston.org

Kara Holmquist
MSPCA
350 South Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02130
kholmquist@mspca.org

The deadline for nominations is September 27, 2018.


September is Champions Circle Month!

All month long we’re celebrating our Champions

In honor of our monthly donors and their ongoing support, ARL is celebrating our Champions Circle members!

The Champions Circle is a special group of friends who support animals as recurring donors. Though we are celebrating them this month, our community of monthly givers provide the critical support needed to keep animals safe and healthy all year long.

Thank you to all our Champions Circle members for your loyal support!

Not yet a member? Now is the perfect time to join! 

Monthly giving is a convenient, affordable, and efficient way to provide help where it’s most needed.

When you become Champion Circle member, your gift each month will provide animals with…

  • Emergency rescue, anti-cruelty efforts, and advocacy to keep them safe
  • High-quality veterinary care to get them healthy and keep them that way
  • Shelter and adoption services to find them permanent homes

In exchange for your reliable generosity, you will receive…

  • Opportunities to receive a behind the scenes tour of our shelter to see your gift in action
  • Annual giving statements each January for tax purposes
  • Membership gifts

There are many way to join…

  • Use our secure online form by clicking here
  • Or call Derek at (617) 426-9170 x162 to set up your monthly gift over the phone

Join the Champions Circle before September 30 and receive a special 2019 Champions Circle calendar!

*Please allow 4 weeks for delivery

 


What to Know About Canine Influenza

This past week, the first case of canine influenza of the year in Massachusetts was confirmed, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to remind dog owners that canine influenza is highly contagious and precautions should be taken.

What is Canine Influeza?

Canine influenza is a respiratory infection – highly contagious – and spread by nose to nose contact or coughing.

There are two strains, H3N8 and H3N2, the latter of which was responsible for a 2015 outbreak that was believed to have resulted from the direct transfer of an avian influenza virus. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), since 2015 thousands of dogs in the U.S. have tested positive for the H3N2 strain of canine influenza.

What to Look For and Who’s At-Risk

Clinical signs of canine influenza are similar to human flu and consist of:

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Lethargy

Dogs can have the virus up to two weeks before displaying symptoms, and puppies and older dogs are most susceptible to developing more severe disease like pneumonia.

According to the AVMA, there is no evidence of transmission of canine influenza from dogs to humans or to horses, ferrets, or other animal species. It should be noted however, that in 2016 cats at an Indiana animal shelter were infected with canine influenza from dogs and cat to cat transmission is possible.

Lifestyle

Do you go to dog parks, use a dog-walking service or belong to dog social circles? If so, one preventative measure to consider is vaccination.

“Dogs that have contact with other dogs on walks, in daycare, or go to dog parks are at an increased risk and should definitely be vaccinated with the bivalent vaccine,” said Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) Lead Veterinarian Dr. Nicole Breda.

The vaccine won’t prevent every infection, but can reduce the clinical symptoms. Vaccinations are available at BVC or your regular veterinarian’s office.

See Signs, Take Action

Vigilance is responsible pet ownership. Canine influenza is rarely fatal, however should you notice any symptoms, contact your regular veterinarian immediately. With treatment, most dogs recover in 2-3 weeks.