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Wally Says Look at Meow!

Home for the Holidays Happy Tail

Then: Wally needed over $3,000 in emergency surgery to repair wounds to his face, legs, and tail.

Then: Wally needed over $3,000 in emergency surgery to repair wounds to his face, legs, and tail.

Earlier this Fall, we shared the story of Wally.  The small grey and white cat had seriously injured himself after somehow scaling the 30-40 foot wall at Bridgewater State Prison and getting stuck in the razor wire.

Read Wally’s story

Soon after returning to the ARL’s Boston shelter to complete his recovery following surgery to repair his wounds, Wally found a wonderful new home.

Today, Wally is now known as Silvio (aka Mr. Sil).

His family reports that he continues to be a spunky little guy! He and his big sister Cleo, a Siamese mix and ARL Dedham alum (’09) became fast friends and are really enjoying having a kindred playful spirit around.

During the day, Silvio and Cleo love looking out windows together to watch the birds and squirrels. And at night, both cats snuggle up with their human companions after a long day of play.

Say Silvio’s parents, “We are so happy to have Silvio in our lives. Such a wonderful, resilient and loving animal!”

Stories like Silvio’s are truly like a holiday wish come true.  Thank you to our supporters who donated over $7,000 for medical assistance for Wally and other animals like him.

 


Piper the Kitten Getting Special Care at the ARL

“She’s like our very own Tiny Tim”

kitten being examined by ARL vetThe Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) newest addition, little Piper the kitten, is recovering from delicate surgery performed on Monday to repair her broken back leg.

Just as the cold weather hit, kind Samaritans discovered the 6-8 week-old brown tabby all alone and struggling to walk near an ice cream shop in Orleans, MA. After police brought her to the ARL’s Brewster shelter, ARL veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley recommended bringing Piper up to Boston to explore all the options for repairing her leg.

“Piper was anemic, dehydrated, and clearly in some discomfort because of her broken leg,” Dr. Quigley explained. “Because she was so little, we wanted to make sure we helped her heal with minimal pain.”

An x-ray of Piper's leg with the pins and steel plate post surgery.

An x-ray of Piper’s leg with the pins and steel plate post surgery.

The ARL funded Piper’s surgery at Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment and Specialties in Walpole, MA, where veterinary surgeons inserted a steel plate and pins to repair the serious fracture in her thigh. The organization will continue to help Piper rehabilitate over the next 6-8 weeks and begin the process of finding her a permanent home.

“She’s like our very own Tiny Tim,” said Marianne Gasbarro, the ARL’s Boston shelter manager. “She got the treatment she needed just in time and will have a much better life in the new year ahead.”

The ARL expects Piper’s medical costs will top $2,000 with surgery and after care. The organization does not receive any government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters to help stray animals like Piper recover.

Make a donation to help Piper and other animals just like her.

small tabby kitten

 


4 Years Lost and a Long Way from Home

Billy is Home for the Holidays After 4 Years Thanks to the ARL & His Microchip!

11-20-14 BillyPicWhen Billy first arrived at our Boston shelter from an animal control facility in Western Massachusetts, we could tell he was special. This handsome Bull Terrier was very friendly and seemed like he had an interesting story to tell.

After doing a quick scan, we discovered that he had a microchip… that traced back to Australia! Our intake liaison called several microchip companies, but none of them had a record for him. With only one more company on her list, were hopeful that this would be Billy’s chance for reconnecting with his family, and it was. The Canadian microchip company confirmed that Billy had been microchipped in Australia.

When Alana called his family they couldn’t believe that their Billy had been found and that he was all the way in Boston. He had been stolen from them fours years ago and they had searched for him far and near. His owner drove over from Western Massachusetts to our Boston shelter the following day and the connection was undeniable.

Billy was thrilled to see his dad! That day we learned a few things about Billy. He had been a show-dog since he was a puppy and now has 8 show-stopping grand kids who were waiting for him at home.

Watch the video of his happy reunion with his owner, below.

52% of dogs who enter a shelter with a microchip are successfully returned to their owners and Billy’s story serves as an important reminder to microchip your pets.

We’re so thrilled that Billy will be home for the holidays after all these years!

Your support makes stories like Billy’s possible.

Please help more animals find a home for the holidays this season by making your year-end donation today! Donate online.


Today! Senior Pet Health Twitter Chat

Dr. Schettino Answers Your Questions About Senior Pet Health

Senior pets require different care than young puppies and kittens. We recognize that knowing what to look for and how to respond as your pet ages can be challenging, that’s why we’re hosting a Twitter Chat this afternoon for anyone interested in learning more about caring for their aging pet. November is Senior Pet Month and ARL’s Director of Veterinary Medical Services, Dr. Edward Schettino, is here to answer your questions.

Senior pet for BVC PageHere are a few of the many questions Dr. Schettino will be answering this afternoon.

1) When is a pet considered to be a senior?

2) What kinds of health problems can affect older pets?

3) How do you know if a senior dog needs hip and joint supplements? Will glucosamine help?

4) Is all the testing veterinarians recommend necessary? What tests should be done and how often?

5) Should senior pets see a veterinarian more often?

If you’re worried about your pet getting old, just keep this in mind: Due to improved veterinary care and dietary habits, pets are living longer now than they ever have before. We hope you’ll join us for the conversation!

What: Senior Pet Health Twitter Chat

When: Wednesday, November 12, noon – 1pm

Where: Twitter

To participate in the conversation, follow the ARL on Twitter (@arlboston) and submit your questions using the hashtag #ARLAskaVet. Questions may be submitted on Twitter real time or in advance.


Thank You Thursday: After 6 Years at ARL, CSD Moves to Tufts

A New Direction for the Center for Shelter Dogs

After six years with the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the Center for Shelter Dogs (CSD) has transitioned to the Shelter Medicine Program and Center for Animals and Public Policy at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

If you’re not familiar with the Center for Shelter Dogs, it started with a simple mission: to improve the welfare and successful placement of homeless dogs. By providing resources, training, and scientifically-validated behavior assessment and modification tools, CSD worked to ensure adoptable dogs found homes that matched the personalities and needs of both dog and owner.

10-16-14 CSD Thank You_Pic 2Thanks to generous funding from the Stanton Foundation, CSD built an impressive body of work, including:

    • An information-rich website viewed by over 49,000 visitors
    • Educational seminars and institutes reaching over 3,500 animal welfare practitioners
    • Behavioral assessments of over 15,000 dogs
    • Ground-breaking research on problem behavior, stress and enrichment, and canine personality

So, why the transition?

We recognized that to grow and sustain the program over the long term, it would require greater organizational capacity and reach. This new home for the Center will enrich both CSD and Cummings School programs by building on past research collaborations, and providing new educational platforms for addressing the welfare and adoptability of shelter dogs. It will also allow CSD to have greater impact across the country.

10-16-14 CSD Thank You_Pic 1Here at the Animal Rescue League we feel truly honored to have served as the incubating organization for such a tremendous asset to the field of animal welfare. Thank you to the Center for Shelter Dogs for 6 years of incredible work that has helped more homeless dogs get a chance at a better life. This work will not only continue, but will also have an even greater impact on the well-being of dogs in the future.

The ARL will continue to support its ground-breaking behavior evaluation program, the Match-Up II Shelter Dog Rehoming Program and the online portal Match-Up II Online.
Match-Up II Online can still be reached at matchupii.arlboston.org
For Match-Up II support, please contact csdtechsupport@arlboston.org.

 


Happy Tail Tuesday: Tuukka a Middleboro Puppy

1 Year Later, Tuukka’s One of the Kids

Tuukka today.

Tuukka today.

During a drug and weapons raid on a home in Middleboro in October of 2013, the police found 13 puppies in a small crate. The tiny puppies were rescued and brought to the Animal Rescue League.

After extensive time with our foster volunteers, where they grew strong enough to come to our adoption centers, the puppies were all adopted out to loving homes.

Their story touched the hearts of people across Eastern Massachusetts and their photos graced the cover of the Fall 2013 edition of the ARL’s magazine.

One year later, we are happy to report that the puppies are healthy and doing well. We have a very special update on one of the puppies named Tuukka (f.k.a Ollie).

Celebrating his 1st birthday.

Celebrating his 1st birthday.

According to his new family, Tuukaa is “the biggest love. He needs to be next to someone at all times.” Hi mom said, he “literally is our ‘baby’.”

It’s been an exciting year for Tuukka between fun with kids, vacations and his first birthday, he’s been a busy pup. He took his first vacations this summer to Newport, RI and New Hampshire and loved exploring the new places. On August 27 he turned one and his family celebrated in style by taking him to Petco and spoiling him with gourmet treats, new toys and a goofy birthday hat.

Tuukka absolutely loves children and is a big cuddle bug whenever someone comes over to pet him. According to his owners, “he is definitely the best dog ever.”

Not only does Tuukka have a great new family, but he actually gets to see his real dad. A relative of the family adopted Tuukka’s father, named Dante, also seized during the Middleboro raid.

Tuukka (L) with his father Dante (R)

Tuukka (L) with his father Dante (R)

Dante is doing great as well. He’s a big couch potato and loves lounging around. He and Tuukka are the best of friends and enjoy playing together. Tuukka loves to antagonize his dad, as all sons do, and Dante is so good with him, as if he knows that his son is just a baby and must be handled with patience and care.

Tuukka’s owners just had a baby and report that Tuukka has adjusted great around the newborn. He gets very concerned when he cries and tries comforting him by licking him. Congratulations, to Tuukka’s family on their newest addition! We’re so happy that Tuukka found such a loving family who clearly cares so much about him! Everyone at the ARL wishes you all the best.

Read more about the Middleboro puppies and view photos of Tuukka as a puppy.

Tuukka and the kids, including the family's new baby.

Tuukka and the kids, including the family’s new baby. Congrats!


Madeline Update: Sweet Survivor Cat is the Princess of the House

A Happy Tail for Your Caturday

10-2-14-Madeline

Madline enjoys spending time gazing out the window.

We just got an update on Madeline, the sweet survivor cat we told you about back in June!

Madeline’s fur had been so thickly matted that she had lost the ability to walk. Thanks to the dedicated staff at our Dedham shelter, Madeline made a great recovery.

Read Madeline’s story.

Today Maddie, as her new family calls her, is definitely the princess of the house! She is walking well, given her mobility issues, and can climb up and down the stairs in her home.

Maddie’s new-found joy is playing with catnip toys and a fluffy mouse on the end of a string. She plays with both the mouse end and the string end and gets very excited when the string twirls around and she has to grab it.

Her fur is growing back, slowly, but surely. The fur around her face is now very full, and she loves sitting up straight and puffing up a bit to get admiration from anyone looking in her direction! Her adopters say that “Maddie is a wonderful addition to our family and we love her very much!”

Thanks to you, Maddie is clearly getting the royal treatment in her new home!

maddie 3

Maddie plaing with one of her many feather toys.


Deaf Dog Wiggles Her Way into Staff Member’s Heart

Bringing Awareness to Special Needs Pets

Here at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, our staff have all sorts of pets, and among them is a deaf dog named Tippy. What better time to share her story with you than during Deaf Pet Awareness Week? Read on to learn about Tippy.

Tippy1

Tippy

A little over 8 years ago, Maryann Regan, director of shelter operations at the ARL, was managing the animal intake office of our Boston adoption center when a local animal control officer brought in an extremely wiggly and happy white dog.

The officer explained that the municipal shelter had no room and wanted to know if we had kennel space to house this stray dog. “Almost the moment the officer handed the leash over to me,” says Maryann, “this dog was tugging at my heart strings.  She immediately began to give me kisses and her wiggles were out of control- she seemed like a very happy, sweet girl!”

Maryann found herself spending extra time with her, –going for long walks, giving her extra play time in the play yard, and sharing a few extra treats. Something told her that this dog was meant for her family.

“I introduced her to my husband and it was love at first site. We decided, after her medical exam and behavior evaluation, we would adopt her as long as she and the other family members got along.  The other family members are two senior cats that also have a very special place in our hearts.”

During her behavior evaluation, the wiggly white dog performed true to form–high energy, playful, happy, and sweet!

As affectionate and people-oriented as she behaved, however, she also tended to ignore us when we called for her.

Maryann explains: “It wasn’t consistent with what she was typically displaying in her personality because she was usually very concerned or interested in being near every person she met.  She loved people!  Then, why was she ignoring us?”

The pre-adoption medical evaluation identified the issue: this dog was deaf.

“It’s not uncommon for white animals to be deaf.  This dog was all white, with the exception of a few, adorable black dots here and there bounced around on her body,” says Maryann.  “All the times we called for her attention that she did not respond to was not her ignoring us, she simply couldn’t hear us.”

Neither Maryann or her husband had experience with a deaf dog, but Maryann felt confident that they could educate themselves on how to handle her appropriately.  “I had such a strong bond with this dog, I had no reservations about doing all the homework necessary to make this a successful adoption for us, the cats and for her.”

So, if you’re considering adding a pet to your family, don’t overlook deaf pets in your search.


Remembering Puppy Doe

Momentum growing in efforts to prevent animal cruelty

One year ago today, the Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Boston, Quincy Police Department, and Norfolk County District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey issued a public appeal for help identifying the person responsible for abusing Puppy Doe, a young adult dog found tortured, starved, and left for dead near a park in Quincy.

10-16 Puppy Doe Update Photo rest in peace

Moved by her story, people created a temporary memorial for Puppy Doe near the park where she was found in Quincy.

Her case captured the attention of animal welfare advocates and concerned citizens around the world as investigators diligently worked through the hundreds of leads brought forward to police.

Within a few weeks, the police arrested a suspect and the district attorney formally charged him with 11 counts of animal cruelty.  The prosecution of the case continues as we speak.

Puppy Doe and the extreme level of abuse she suffered also inspired new conversation on the topic of animal cruelty and how to prevent it.

Massachusetts lawmakers began to consider ways to update and evaluate existing laws relating to the protection of animals in the state.

One year later, S2345 – a bill passed by both the Massachusetts House and Senate at the end of the 2014 session – will become law within a few weeks.

The bill increases penalties for animal cruelty substantially, requires veterinarians to report abuse, and creates a task force to comprehensively review all animal-related laws in Massachusetts.

The ARL is especially pleased about the impact S2345 makes on the issue of animal cruelty:

  • Massachusetts has gone from a state with one of the most lenient fines for animal cruelty to one more in line with – and in many cases stricter – than other states.
  •  The law establishes a legal obligation for veterinarians to bring suspicions of abuse to authorities for further investigation.
    Consider this: If the veterinarian who initially treated Puppy Doe had not taken the initiative to report concerns to the ARL, the world might never have known about her case.
  • The formation of a task force of experts in law enforcement, animal protection, veterinary medicine, and the legal profession holds promise for more progress on the issue.

Outside the state on a national level, the National Sherriffs’ Association (NSA) and the Animal Legal Defense Fund launched the National Law Enforcement Center on Animal Abuse in August.  The Center provides resources to the law enforcement community to assist with animal cruelty prevention and investigation strategies.

Inspired by Puppy Doe's case, the ARL has issued a public call-to-action to report concerns about animal cruelty to local authorities.

Inspired by Puppy Doe’s case, the ARL has issued a public call-to-action to report concerns about animal cruelty to local authorities.

And as of earlier this week, the FBI will begin tracking animal cruelty cases as a separate category of crimes.  Law enforcement for the first time will have a way to track the number of reported incidents of animal cruelty cases each year to better channel resources and violence prevention programs.

Perhaps most importantly, public awareness of the role we can all play in preventing horrific cases like Puppy Doe’s is growing.

The fact remains that 4 out 5 cases of animal cruelty remain undiscovered by authorities, so public awareness and action will play a critical role in making our community a safer, more humane place for animals and people.

One year on, Puppy Doe’s case continues to inspire conversation and activity.   At the ARL, we look forward to pushing for progress and change.

We remain ever-grateful to our supporters and animal-lovers everywhere who are speaking up and out about the importance of preventing cruelty to animals!

Visit arlboston.org/take-action to learn more about how you can prevent animal cruelty.

 


Wally the Cat Recovering from Serious Injuries

Beloved cat survives a perilous walk on prison wall

Last week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston received a call about Wally, a fluffy gray and white cat badly injured during a dangerous walk along the razor wire that lines the top of the wall at Bridgewater State Prison.

09-15-14 Wally PicWally’s mom had given birth to him and his siblings about two years ago outside the prison, and continued to live in the vicinity as her family grew up.  Prisoners and guards had kindly fed and cared for the cats ever since.

The very friendly and sweet Wally had endeared himself to his caregivers who watched him grow from a rambunctious kitten into a particularly curious cat.

No one is quite sure how he did it, but Wally managed to climb 30-40 feet up the prison wall and gotten himself stuck.

For two days he walked along the razor wire line, becoming more frantic as staff, the fire department, and animal control officers from Bridgewater and Halifax tried to rescue him.  The frightened cat injured himself very seriously in the process, cutting himself repeatedly all over his body on the sharp, jagged wire barbs.

A determined prison maintenance worker finally cornered Wally along the wall, threw a blanket over him, and – to echoing cheers from guards and prisoners alike – brought him down to Lisa McKay, the animal control officer in Bridgewater.  She immediately brought Wally to New England Animal Medical Center where veterinarians determined he needed over $3,000 in surgery to repair the damage from his wounds.

Desperate to find an organization willing to cover Wally’s medical costs, help him recuperate, and ultimately find him a new home, McKay called the ARL.

The ARL answered “yes” to the call for help!

Wally sadly lost his tail to his injuries, but thankfully surgeons mended the deep cuts in his back leg and above his eye.  He is now recovering in the care of a dedicated foster volunteer and will eventually come to the ARL when he is ready for adoption.

Very importantly, Wally will survive.  The kindness, compassion, and love so many have shown him will continue to carry him through.

Would you like to help Wally and other animals like him?

Only with your support can animals like Wally get emergency medical assistance when they need it most.

Click here to make a donation to help pay for the care and treatment of Wally and other animals like him.