Community cats overcome social and medical hurdles

When community cats come into the care of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), the road to finding a permanent and loving home is often paved with challenges, whether it be a medical condition or a need for socialization.

For six-year-old Jacob and eight-year-old Peanut Butter, they found more than shelter, medical treatment, and caring staff at ARL – they found each other.

Jacob was found as a stray in Fall River, and upon his arrival at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, it was clear he needed medical attention.

Although showing some social behavior, he had two ailments causing him discomfort and pain that needed to be addressed – severe dental disease, and an infection that had all but destroyed his right eye.

ARL’s shelter medicine team proceeded to remove the eye, and with the extent of the dental disease, performed a full-mouth extraction, removing all of his remaining teeth.

Jacob and Peanut Butter.

Jacob was placed in an office to recover, and there is where he found Peanut Butter.

Peanut Butter was also a stray and was living in Hyde Park.

She had a feeder to depend on, and her ear tip showed that she had been spayed and released at some point in her life.

Unfortunately, her feeder was moving, and could no longer monitor the aging cat.

When Peanut Butter was trapped and brought to ARL, she was found to be in good overall health, however, she was suffering from severe dental disease.

She was missing a handful of teeth, and 15 teeth that were causing her pain were removed.

With surgery complete, she was placed in the same office as Jacob to recover.

Over a short period of time, the two became fast friends, and soon were spotted together in a plush cat cubby and that is where you can find them curled up together for most of the day.

While the cats are still working on their social skills with humans, with their bond forged, they will find a new home together and will lean on one another to acclimate to their new surroundings.

*Update 3/14/23: Jacob and Peanut Butter have been adopted together!** 

ARL’s Community Cat Program

It is estimated that there are more than 700,000 community cats throughout Massachusetts, 70,000 in Boston alone.

Community cats face many challenges living outdoors. Without proper shelter and care, they are at risk of illness and injury.

Additionally, without spay/neuter surgery, these cats can produce many litters and continue the cycle of large colonies of unowned cats.

ARL’s Community Cat Program tackles this issue by working with individuals who take it upon themselves to feed and monitor these animals, as well as animal control officers to assess a colony and formulate a TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) plan.

Spay and neuter surgeries are low risk and proven to improve the safety and health of these cats as well as the community as a whole. The plan also includes vaccines, and whether each cat will be returned to the colony, returned to their owner if microchipped, or admitted to an ARL shelter to be put up for adoption if they are friendly, just like Jacob and Peanut Butter.

More information about ARL’s Community Cat Program.