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Puppy Doe Update 10/16

Puppy Doe Investigation Making Progress

Work continues to identify who severely abused Puppy Doe, a young adult female dog dumped in a quiet neighborhood in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Norfolk County District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey and the Quincy Police Department are the only organizations releasing official details on the investigation.  To update the public on the progress of the investigation , the District Attorney released the following statement last week:

On behalf of my office, the Quincy Police Department, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston, I am grateful for the hundreds of calls and tips that have been forthcoming in the criminal investigation into the torture of Puppy Doe. We have been inundated with tips, concerns and offers of assistance from around the world.

As Paul Keenan, Quincy Police Chief, has said, “Please be assured that we are following up with each tip received even those that have taken us out of state.”

Many calls have been received requesting updated information on the status and progress of the investigation. As with all criminal investigations, we are unable to discuss publically the specifics of this very active and ongoing investigation. To do so would not only compromise the investigation, but would also violate the ethical rules to which this office is bound. The information we have received to date from the public has been invaluable in guiding our actions through the course of the investigation.

10-16 Puppy Doe Update Photo rest in peacePlease be assured that these three agencies are working in concert to identify and hold accountable the person or persons responsible for the torture of Puppy Doe. It is highly unlikely that this level of sadistic cruelty could be shown to one animal and not be part of a pattern involving other animals or perhaps vulnerable people.

Anyone with information material to the criminal investigation regarding Puppy Doe is encouraged to contact the Animal Rescue League of Boston, Law Enforcement Department at 617-226-5610, email them at cruelty@arlboston.org, or call Quincy Police Detective Thomas Pepdjonovich at 617-745-5774.

We will continue to post updates on the Puppy Doe case as we receive them from the District Attorney.


BREAKING NEWS: 12 Puppies Seized in Middleboro SWAT Team Raid Come to ARL

Our focus: getting them healthy and ready for adoption

During a drug and weapons raid on a home in Middleboro, MA, on Wednesday morning, police found 17 pit bulls–4 adults and 13 puppies–jammed into a small crate.  All the dogs were emaciated and dehydrated; the puppies covered in feces and riddled with worms.

The local veterinarian who provided urgent care to the puppies described them as “little bone racks,” and believes at least one of the puppies wouldn’t have made it through another night if authorities hadn’t found him.

Middleboro Animal Control contacted the Animal Rescue League of Boston for help, and all but one of the rescued pups checked into the three ARL adoption centers in Boston, Dedham, and Brewster.  The one puppy too sick to travel remained under the care of the local vet. (UPDATE: Once this puppy was healthy enough she was brought to the ARL and placed in our foster program. We call her Baby Bell.)

As widely reported in the media, the puppies had clearly been living in cruel conditions.

Lt. Alan Borgal, director of the ARL’s Center for Animal Protection, suspects the dogs’ previous owner, now under arrest, had a side-business selling dogs: “I think this was a case of a ‘backyard breeder’–an individual who’s not professional breeder and just trying to make a quick buck.  They don’t put a lot of care into the animal.”

Over the next few weeks, care-givers at the ARL’s adoption centers will focus on getting the pups healthy and ready for adoption.   In spite of their rough start on life, these little guys and gals are snugly, playful, and sweet-as-can-be.

We will keep you posted on their progress and when they will be ready for adoption!

 


$5K Reward for Information Leading to Prosecution in Puppy Doe Case

(photo provided by Animal Rescue League of Boston)

Boston, MA–The Animal Rescue League of Boston will offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of the perpetrator in the “Puppy Doe” fatal dog torture case.

“We have been deeply moved by the outpouring of support from people all over the U.S. , looking to help us identify who inflicted such pain and suffering on Puppy Doe,” said Mary Nee, president of the ARL.

The ARL has established a dedicated website to take donations for the reward.

Yesterday, the ARL, Quincy Police Department, and Norfolk County District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey released a public appeal for help identifying who owned and abused “Puppy Doe,” a young adult female dog pictured in the photo above.

When she was found in Quincy, MA, she weighed less than half what a normal, healthy dog of her size should. Due to the extent of her injuries, she could not be saved by veterinarians.

The ARL has received hundreds of phone calls and has received a little over $2500 in donations to support law enforcement efforts on behalf of Puppy Doe and others like her.

In 2012, the ARL assisted in over 1500 cases of animal cruelty and neglect across Massachusetts.  Any funds donated in excess of the $5000 reward will go directly towards preventing future cases of animal suffering, cruelty, and neglect.

Anyone with information about Puppy Doe should contact:

The Animal Rescue League of Boston
Law Enforcement Services
(617) 226-5610
cruelty@arlboston.org

 

 


Who Did This To Puppy Doe?

Appeal for help in fatal “Puppy Doe” dog torture case

Boston, MA–The Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Boston, Quincy Police Department and Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey are asking the public’s help in identifying the person responsible for a horrific case of animal torture.

“Puppy Doe,” the young adult female dog pictured in the photo above was found alive August 31, 2013, in the vicinity of Carrolls Lane in Quincy, near the Whitwell Street playground and the campus of Quincy Medical Center.

She weighed less than half what a normal, healthy dog of her size should. Due to the extent of her injuries, she could not be saved by veterinarians.

“We need anyone who knows who owned and abused this dog to contact authorities,” District Attorney Morrissey said.

“The injuries cataloged in the post-mortem examination are grotesque and indicate consistent starvation and abuse over an extended period of time,” Morrissey said. “It is highly unlikely that this level of sadistic cruelty could be shown to one animal and not be part of a pattern involving other animals or perhaps vulnerable people. We need to find the person who did this and see what else they are doing.”

“Words cannot adequately describe the shocking suffering that Puppy Doe endured or capture the urgency in identifying who did this to her,” explains Mary Nee, president of the ARL.

According to Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, vice president of animal welfare at the ARL, who performed the necropsy, Puppy Doe was likely 1 to 2 years old. In addition to being starved and beaten on many occasions, causing fractures to the head and body, she appears to have undergone some kind of crude cutting to create a serpent-like split to her tongue. The dog had also been stabbed in the eye in the days prior to being found in Quincy.

“I spoke with Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan and we share a sense of urgency here, as does the Animal Rescue League,” District Attorney Morrissey said, adding that he has assigned a prosecutor with experience and training in animal cruelty cases to assist in the investigation.

“We do not have reason to believe or disbelieve that the dog was originally from Quincy before being found near the park,” District Attorney Morrissey said. “We are asking anyone from eastern Massachusetts to contact us if they believe they recognize this dog.”

“It is prudent to proceed as if the perpetrator or perpetrators have moved on and are now aiming this cruelty and violence at another target and needs to be stopped.”

Anyone with information about Puppy Doe should contact:

The Animal Rescue League of Boston
Law Enforcement Services
(617) 226-5610
cruelty@arlboston.org

Quincy Police Department
Det. Thomas Pepdjonovich
(617) 745-5774

 

**UPDATE: We have been deeply moved by the outpouring of support for Puppy Doe and the knowledge that so many of you share our sense of shock at the pain purposely inflicted on this young dog.

The ARL relies solely on donor support to pursue cases of animal cruelty and neglect like hers.  From the law enforcement services to the veterinary forensics involved, it is highly resource-intensive work.

If you would like to help us  remain ever-ready to answer the next call to assist in a case like Puppy Doe’s, please donate now.**


Dragons at the League, Oh My!

A Stray Bearded Dragon Finds a Home

08-20 Roscoe & Lex

Roscoe with his foster, Lex.

We’ve been focusing a lot on cats and dogs this summer for the ASPCA Rachael Ray Challenge, but did you know that the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) takes in a variety of small animals including all sorts of reptiles? Thanks to our well-trained staff and volunteers we are able to care for animals that most shelters are not able to take in.

Roscoe came to our Boston Animal Care & Adoption Center a few weeks ago. A woman had found the stray bearded dragon out on the street and it was clear that he was in rough shape when he came in.

One of our animal care & adoption agents, who has a lot of experience with reptiles, knew exactly what to do. She prepared a warm habitat for him and “an epic chopped salad” to feed his appetite. She could tell that something was wrong with him and after bringing him to the vet she discovered that not only was Roscoe underweight, but he also had a serious problem with his right leg and was unable to use it. This is something that Roscoe would have to learn to live with.

Roscoe with his new family.

Roscoe with his new family.

Our animal care & adoption agent took him home for a week of foster care and much needed TLC. He didn’t have an appetite, so she had to force feed him food, water and medication. After a few days Roscoe’s condition improve significantly and he was soon available for adoption.

We luckily found him a wonderful home with a father-daughter duo who is well versed in sick and injured bearded dragons.  It is satisfying to know that another life was saved!

If you’re thinking about getting a reptile for your family, please call us first at 617-426-9170 or visit our adoptables page, we just might have the pet you’re looking for.

 


Billerica Goat Rescue

Goat on the Loose Caught by ARL’s Field Services Team

Thanks to a job well done by our Field Services Team, a goat from Billerica was caught on Wednesday, after running on the loose for two days. The goat is now safe and has been transported to our Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center where she will remain until an owner comes forward. If no owner is found, then she will be available for adoption soon!


Animal Art is Here to Stay

Local Artist Gives Lobby Art on Permanent Loan

Mildred, an ARL alum.

Mildred, an ARL alum.

Thanks to South End artist, Paula Ogier, the art in our Boston lobby will be staying up indefinitely!

Paula dropped in at the Animal Rescue League of Boston one day in January 2013, just to take a breather from her work and visit the kitties, and she ended up adopting Tippi. “Tippi was a cautious stray who has blossomed into a playful spirit,” says Paula. “The transformation you make in an animal’s life with the gift of a home is more than matched by the magic they bring as a friend and family member.”

Her artwork was originally displayed at the League as part of Washington Gateway Main Street’s temporary Moving Gallery. The goal of displaying artwork here was to liven up the space and create an instant connection with animals before entering the adoption center. After seeing how her art transformed the lobby and receiving so much positive feedback about her artwork, Paula decided to give the collection on permanent loan to the League.

Thank you, Paula for brightening up our lobby and warming the hearts of our visitors, before they even step foot into our adoption center.

Paula paints pet portraits, and also creates art for use on products. View her art or schedule your pet portrait session.


Dog Bite Prevention: Advice and Signs to Look for in Dogs

May 19-25th marks National Dog Bite Prevention Week, a week designed to help educate the public about the nearly 5 million dog bites that happen every year.

A few facts from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA):

    • 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites every year
    • Of those, about half are children
    • The age most at risk are children age 5-9
    • Senior citizens are the second most commonly affected group

We interviewed Dr. Amy Marder, VMD, CAAB, Director of the Center for Shelter Dogs at the Animal Rescue League of Boston to get some advice on dog bite prevention.

Q: According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 4.7 million dog bites occur annually, with approximately 60 percent of the victims being children. What tips can you give to help us educate our children about the prevention of dog bites?

A: Most dog bites are not reported, but statistics of the ones that are reported show that children, especially little boys, are the most common victims. Most dogs do not bite! But if they need to protect themselves or their property from what they think is dangerous, they may. It’s important that children learn about dog behavior and how to interact appropriately with a dog so that bites can be avoided. Some of those tips are as follows:

  1.  Never approach or reach for an unfamiliar dog with no owner present, especially if the dog is tied, behind a fence or in a car.  If an owner is present, always ask if the dog likes children.
  2. Never bother dogs when they are eating, chewing a toy, sleeping or caring for puppies.  Just think about how you feel when your brother or sister takes your food or toys away or wakes you up in the middle of a sleep.

Q: What is the most appropriate way to greet a dog?

A: Always let a dog, even one you know sniff you before you pet.  Watch the dog to see if he likes you for a few seconds before you pet.  If the dog wags his tail and stays with you, then it’s OK to pet, but do so under the dog’s chin instead of on his head.  If the dog backs away, he probably doesn’t want you to pet him, so don’t pet.

Q: What should you do when a strange dog approaches you?

A: If a dog is alone, stand perfectly still, do not pet.  Allow the dog to sniff and wait for him to go away.   Do not start running, as the dog will probably chase.  If the dog is with an owner, ask the owner if the dog likes children (then do as above).  

Q:What advice do you have for behaving around unfamiliar dogs? 

A: Unless there is an owner with the dog, I would ignore them.

Q: What are warning signs to look for in a dog who may bite?

A: Look at what the dog is saying to you.  Dogs use sounds and body language to communicate how they feel.  Just like us!  If you hear a dog growl, or show his teeth, don’t proceed.  If you see a dog stiffen his body, tuck his tail, move away from you, yawn, lick his lips, or stare at you, don’t proceed!  Additionally, if a dog shows signs of being fearful you should not proceed.

Q: Do you have any additional tips for preventing dog bites? 

A: Not all dogs behave in the same ways. Every dog is different. Just because your dog enjoys the things that you do, it doesn’t mean that all dogs will. If you follow these guidelines, chances are dogs will like you and you won’t get bitten.


Feline Focus: How to Choose the Right Companion Cat

Living in a multi-cat household can be extremely rewarding. Contrary to popular belief, cats are highly social creatures that benefit from feline companionship. Cats will often play together, groom each other, and give each other much-needed socialization. So if you’re considering adopting a new feline pal, here are some tips for finding the “purrfect” match:

A New Cat or a Companion Cat?

It is important to know the reason why you’re looking to adopt a new cat. Is the cat for you, or is it a friend for your resident cat? If the former, then the cats only have to tolerate each other and be able to share territory peacefully. If the latter, then you’re looking for a cat who will be interacting with and getting along with your resident cat. If that is the case, then whichever feline you choose must be a good match for your cat, with your own preferences coming in second.

Kitten or Adult?

Age isn’t so important. It’s often thought to be easier to integrate a kitten into a household simply because they are less threatening to a resident cat than an adult. However, there are plenty of adult cats who would make great companions, and because feline personality doesn’t begin to solidify until a cat is about 8 months old, it is easier to make a good match with an adult.

The most important thing is to match energy level/playfulness and personality. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How energetic is my cat? How often does he/she need to play?
  2. What type of play does my cat like? Is he/she very athletic, or more mellow during playtime?
  3. Is my cat outgoing or shy?
  4. Has my cat had previous experience living with or meeting other cats? How has he/she reacted?

For older, less playful cats, a kitten might not be the best choice. Kittens are in constant motion and might aggravate a mellower cat. A kitten might also not do well with an extremely active resident cat who could accidentally hurt a kitten during play.

Male or Female?

With spayed and neutered pets, certain pairings are easier, in general, to integrate. In order:

  • Male/Male companionship is the easiest
  • Male/Female is intermediate
  • Female/Female is more difficult

Female cats can sometimes be more territorial with each other than (neutered) male cats. However, there are always exceptions. There are female cats who come into the shelter who are wonderful with other cats, and there are males who refuse to like other cats, so always ask a staff member or volunteer about a particular cat you’re interested in!

At the Adoption Center

When you’re adopting a companion cat, it’s important to let a volunteer or staff person know about your resident feline. We’re happy to help you pick out the best match and we know our cats pretty well!

Making your home a multi-cat home can be a great experience, and can add enrichment and socialization for your resident cat. But for the best chance of success it’s important to make a good match.


Welcoming Your Adopted Dog Into Your Home

Congratulations! You’ve adopted a dog and they’re going home with you, so what’s next? After dog-proofing your house and gathering the necessary supplies (collar, ID tag, water bowl, crate, food, toys, and cleaning products), you’ll need to think about how to acclimate your dog the moment their paws walk through your front door.

Before You Bring Your Dog Home:

  • Gather Needed Supplies – Leash, Collar, ID Tag, Crate or Gates (if needed), Bed, Bowls, Food, Treats, Toys, Grooming Supplies, and Waste Bags.
  • Dog-Proof your house, look for and remove hazardous items and valuable items that your newly adopted dog could chew.
  • Setup your house for your dog’s arrival. Determine where your dog’s crate, bed, and food and water bowls will be placed. Decide where food, treats, and supplies will be stored. Determine the house rules for your dog and make sure all family members know what they are.
  • Decide what your dog’s schedule will be for walks, playtime, training, feeding, and potty time, and who will be responsible.

The First Day:

  • Determine ahead of time where your dog will ride on the way home. It’s best to have two people if possible; one to drive and the other to pay attention to the dog. For safer travels, consider setting up a travel crate in your vehicle. Bring towels just in case your dog gets car sick.
  • Bring your dog straight home – try not to run errands on the way.
  • No welcome-home parties. Limit/discourage visitors for the first few days so that your new dog isn’t overwhelmed.
  • When you arrive at home let your dog sniff around the yard or outdoor area near your home on a leash. Bring your dog to their designated potty spot and reward them with a treat and praise for going there.
  • Introduce your dog to your family members outside, one at a time. Keep it calm and low-key. Let your dog be the one to approach, sniff and drive the interaction. Offering a treat can help your dog to associate family members with good things (food!). No hugging, kissing, picking up, staring at, or patting on the top of the head during the initial introduction – these things can be scary for some dogs.
  • Stay close to home initially. No major excursions. You need to learn your new dog’s behavior before you can predict how they will respond to different stimulus. Establish a walk routine in an area you are familiar with. Structured playtime in the yard is also a good form of exercise, bonding, and training.
  • Bring your dog into the house on a leash and give them a tour of the house. Try keeping the mood calm and relaxed and redirect any chewing or grabbing of objects with a “leave-it” command and offering an appropriate toy.
  • Bring your new dog outside often. Dogs don’t generalize as well as humans do, so even though your dog may have been house trained in their previous home, your dog needs to learn your house rules, which includes a house training refresher.
  • Make sure your new dog gets ample “quiet time” so that your dog can acclimate to their new surroundings. Be observant of your dog’s responses and go at your dog’s pace.
  • If you have a resident dog(s), have the initial meeting outside (one dog at a time if you have several). Don’t rush it. Keep the leashes loose with no tension.  Make sure they meet in a food-free, toy-free zone. Don’t leave them alone together until you are absolutely sure it is safe to do so. Watch and manage all interactions between the dogs initially. When walking the dogs, there should be a person for each dog. 
  • If you have a resident cat(s), keep the cat secure until you know how your dog will react to them. Use doors, pet gates, and leashes to prevent contact initially. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to chase the cat. Make sure the cat has escape options. Keep initial encounters brief. Manage all interactions.

Establish Daily Routines:

  • Sleeping: Initially the crate or bed should be in the room you would like your dog to sleep in eventually. The area should be safe, dog-proofed, easily cleaned, cozy and quiet, with familiar scents. Don’t put your new dog in an uninhabited area like the garage or basement.
  • Feeding: Check with your vet about what the recommended food and amounts that should be fed to your dog based on breed, size, age, activity level, and health. If possible, feed two smaller meals per day rather than one large meal. You may need to reduce the meal size to allow for treats during training. Make sure your dogs food dish is in a safe, out of the way area.
  • Walks: Keep your walks short at first (5-10 minutes) until you get to know your new dog’s behavior and how they responds to different stimuli. Keep to relatively quiet places at first. Avoid interaction with other dogs and unfamiliar people until you and your dog are comfortable.
  • Chew Toys/Interactive Toys: Use of the crate and appropriate toys are great ways to keep your new dog out of trouble. Management of your dog and the environment prevents problem behaviors. Chew toys are a great way to direct your dog’s attention to appropriate toys, and away from objects that you don’t want your dog to destroy. Interactive toys help your dog to use their mind and tire them out, mentally. With a new dog, avoid rough and tumble and chase games when playing.
  • Prevent separation anxiety: Starting the first day, use a crate and a toy in combination with leaving for short periods and coming back several times a day. Don’t make a big fuss of coming or going.

Relationship Building:

Patience: Have patience with your new dog’s behavior, level of training, and the time it takes them to establish a bond with you. Give your new dog time and space to adjust. During the first few days, commit time to get to know your dog’s habits and personality. Establish a routine for your dog and balance interaction and down-time. This is a period of trust-building, so don’t scare or yell at your dog or try to force close contact. Watch your dog’s postures and expressions. Learn to read them. It may take even up to several months for you to get to know your dog’s true nature. And don’t forget, your new dog is trying to do the same with you!

Training: Physical and mental stimulation are necessary parts of your dog’s well-being. Training helps your dog settle into a new home, teaches your dog how to fit into a new family, and strengthens the relationship between you and your dog. Once your dog has settled in and you are familiar with your dog’s responses, take a positive reinforcement style training class (avoid dominance-based methods). You can sign up for humane dog training classes at the Animal Rescue League’s Boston or Dedham’s Branches.

Last: Remember to manage your dog’s environment so that you set them up to succeed. Be proactive, not reactive. In other words, prevent inappropriate behavior from happening, and then you won’t have to correct it.