Articles Tagged with: Adopt A Dog Month
Bark if You Love October

ARL Shares Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Adopt an Adult Dog

If you’ve considered adding a canine companion to your family, there’s no better time than NOW to ADOPT! October is National Adopt-a-Dog Month and the ARL has many adult dogs looking for their forever homes!

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Meet Coretta, an extra sweet 3-year-young mixed breed who would love an active home to call her own! Click her photo to learn more about her.

Many potential adopters visit animal shelters looking for a puppy. While puppies are absolutely adorable, they are also very energetic and their personalities, likes, and dislikes are still emerging.

That’s why adopting an adult dog can be a great decision for you and your family! (Hint: At ARL shelters, adult dogs are 1 year and older.)

When you come into ARL’s shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham, our knowledgeable adoption agents will ask you about what you’re looking for in a dog in terms of energy level, personality, and compatibility with children and other pets.

It won’t take long for you to realize that one of the biggest perks of adopting an adult dog is that what you see, is what you get.

Adult dogs have passed their critical development stages, so you’ll get a good idea of whether or not their personality and energy level is the right fit for your home. They may also be an easier introduction info the family, as puppies can be fragile and act quite timid in an already active household.

Not yet convinced? The ARL’s shares top 5 reasons why you should adopt an adult dog this October:

  1. You’ll save a life. When you adopt, you actually save two lives: the life of the dog that you adopted, and the life of the dog that is going to take its place at the shelter. Your new pet will thank you again and again for being their hero with slobbery kisses!
  2. You’ll meet your perfect canine companion. At the ARL, each dog is thoroughly evaluated to assess their medical history and overall temperament. They are then given a customized behavioral and enrichment plan to prepare them for life in their future home. All this information will be presented to you at the time of the potential adoption so that you and your family members can decide if the dog you’re interested in is the right match for you.
  3. You’ll find variety. If you have your mind set on a dog of a particular breed or temperament, chances are that one of ARL’s shelters will  have what you’re looking for! Various purebreds and mixed breeds come into our shelter at any given time, so we always have new dogs available! Don’t see a canine that catches your eye? Keep checking our list of current adoptables, as it changes every day!
  4. You’ll save money. Every adoptable dog at the ARL receives the following included in their adoption fee: health screening and veterinary examination; spay or neuter services; vaccinations; heartworm test and preventative; flea and tick treatment; intestinal parasite scan; microchip identification and registration; tag and collar.
  5. You’ll be doing something especially kind for animals in need. Adult dogs usually stay at our shelters much longer than puppies do. That’s why shelters usually charge a smaller adoption fee for adult dogs- to incentivize people to adopt them!

To meet our adoptable dogs, stop by our adoption centers in BostonBrewster, and Dedham on Tuesdays – Sundays from 1pm – 6:30pm. If you meet the dog of your dreams, in most cases you can take him or her home with you the same day!


DIY Dog Obstacle Course

Keep your pup in tip-top shape with this fun backyard activity

It’s National-Adopt-a-Dog month and the ARL is celebrating our beloved canine companions all October long! While summer presents us with natural opportunities to stay active with our pet, such as hiking and swimming, the fall weather often leaves us questioning how we can continue the outdoor fun.

The answer is simple and can actually be found in your own backyard: a DIY dog obstacle course! Inexpensive and easy to set up, a DIY dog obstacle course will keep Fido entertained and agile by challenging him both physically and mentally. An added bonus: it will help you and your pooch bond even more!

Is your dog a master of physical fitness? Keep things interesting by adjusting the level of difficulty or encouraging them to complete the course within a certain amount of time.

diy dog obstacle course

Placing treats inside the tunnel can help your pooch feel more comfortable when crawling through.

Gather your pup, some yummy treats, and a few basic supplies to get your dog maneuvering over, under, and through these 6 fun obstacles… READY, SET, BARK!

  • Weave poles: Evenly space out about 10-12 traffic cones, poles, or flat markers and use a treat or toy to help Spot maneuver through. Increase the wooficulty: Slide the weave poles or markers closer together.
  • Leave it: Scatter objects of temptation (extra tasty treats, a paper towel roll, an old shoe, etc.) around your yard. When your dog approaches an object, command them to “leave it”; if they look at you or walk away, immediately reward them with a treat. Increase the wooficulty: Try it without reward treats.
  • Tunnel-through: Anchor a children’s flexible play tunnel and have your pooch crawl through. Decrease the wooficulty: A tunnel can be a dark, scary environment! Place treats every 6-12” inside the tunnel and ask a second person to stand on the opposite end to call your pet’s name.
  • Hurdle jump: Place a PVC pipe on top of a couple of cement blocks and direct Rover to hop over. Increase the wooficulty: Turn the cement blocks vertically or add another set to raise the height.
  • Doggie catwalk: Place a 2×4” plank of wood on top if cement blocks (make sure it’s sturdy!) and have Fido walk carefully across the plank. Decrease the wooficulty: Place the plank of wood on the ground and see if your pup can walk a straight line.
  • Tire jump: Hang an old bike tire from a sturdy tree branch so that it’s a couple of inches off the ground and direct your dog to jump through it. Increase the wooficulty: Raise the tire another couple of inches.

DID YOU KNOW… that pet obesity is the #1 health problem for pets in the US?  Boston Veterinary Care shares 5 tips on how to manage your pet’s weight.

A big THANK YOU to our Adopt-a-Dog month media sponsor CITYSIDE SUBARU and to our media partners WCVB TV 5 and MeTV for sharing the importance of dog adoptions with our community, and your viewers!

adopt-a-dog month

October is National Adopt-A-Dog Month

When you ADOPT, you give dogs like Chicken Little a chance at a better life

Bark if you love October! The ARL is celebrating National Adopt-a-Dog Month and so should you….

If you’re already the parent of a rescue dog, then you know that the benefits of adopting are immeasurable – the love, loyalty, and feeling of truly helping is just about the best feeling in the world.

And if you’re looking for a canine companion, you’ve already heard the many reasons why adopting is a great idea for you and your family. With so many shelter dogs looking for loving homes, there’s no better time than NOW to ADOPT man’s best friend!

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adopt-a-dog month

BEFORE: Chicken Little when she first arrived at the ARL showing signs of extreme neglect and malnourishment.

When you adopt, you give an animal a chance a better life.

The animals who come to ARL shelters arrive under many different circumstances.

Sadly, many are here because they are the innocent victims of suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect.  Thanks to our generous supporters and amazing volunteers and staff, the ARL has the ability to give dogs like Chicken Little the “happy tail” and new start they most definitely deserve!

Here’s her story….

On an early August morning, a fragile 8-year-old little white dog was found abandoned in the parking lot of BJ’s Wholesale Club in Dedham, Massachusetts. Chicken Little, as she’s now called, had wandered up to a kind citizen and was whimpering in distress.

It was clear that Chicken Little was extremely malnourished, possibly as a result of neglect. In addition to being severely underweight, most of the fur had fallen out from her stick-thin frame.

“She was all skin and bones,” describes Lt. Alan Borgal, director for the center of animal protection at the ARL. “Her spine and hips were clearly visible through her skin.”

The kind citizen who spotted Chicken Little contacted Dedham Animal Control, who in turn called the ARL’s law enforcement team to ask for help.

The ARL covered Chicken Little’s initial $410 emergency veterinary bill and provided her with continued medical treatment to get her up to a healthy weight.

For several weeks, Chicken Little recovered at the ARL’s Boston Shelter.  She slowly began to put on weight and her fur started to grow back. Her spunky personality began to shine and she quickly became a staff favorite.

The Happy Tail ending….

adopt-a-dog month

TODAY: Chicken Little, pictured here with her adopter, is getting stronger every day! “She’s doing really great! Loves the Cape and her nice back yard!”

Earlier this week Chicken Little went home with her new family — we’re not sure who was more excited- Chicken Little or her new mom!


Thanks to a generous donor who has challenged us to triple a $5,000 donation during the month of October, your donation during our Cruelty Prevention Fund Drive will help protect more animals like Chicken Little from harm!

The ARL works with local authorities to prevent, investigate, and prosecute animal cruelty. The ARL receives no government funding, so your donation today will support the on-going efforts of our law enforcement team and provide animals suffering from abuse and neglect the assistance they need to recover. Visit arlboston.kintera.org/law or click the green button below to DONATE NOW.


THANK YOU to our media sponsor CITYSIDE SUBARU and our media partner WCVB Channel 5 for helping us to share the importance of dog adoptions with our community!


Dog of the Week: Carrie, a Whole Lot of Love Here

It’s the last day of Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Open your heart to Carrie!

10-31-14 Carrie PicCarrie is a fun 2-year-old dog, who loves to play and will do anything for a treats. She was surrendered to the ARL when her previous owner’s work schedule changed and she was too active for the household. She’s been at our Boston shelter since August 14 and we hope she finds the loving home she deserves, very soon.

Carrie enjoys going for walks and spending time with her human friends. She is very playful and loves to chew on stuffed toys.

Carrie can be picky of her dog friends, but has made a few in her time here at the shelter. Her best bud, Tyson, just went home last week, so she’s hoping it’s her turn now.

One of Carrie’s favorite things is to be at the center of attention, and she would prefer being the only dog in the home.

10-31-14 Carrie Pic 2You’ll notice that Carrie is a bit on the tubby side, and while she looks adorable as she is, she would benefit from a diet. Luckily, she loves to run and play so helping her trim down will be a breeze for someone who has the time to dedicate to her.

A generous adopter has paid part of Carrie’s adoption fee forward to help her find a home during Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, so her fee is discounted by $125.

If Carrie sounds like the dog for you, please visit the ARL’s Boston shelter to meet her! She’d love to be your new best friend!

Read Carrie’s profile.

Carrie being a goofy girl with shelter agent, Laura.

Carrie being a goofy girl with shelter agent, Laura.

Dog of the Week: Louisa, Tiny Lap Dog with a Big Personality

 October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month! Open Your Heart to Louisa.

Louisa_for_web_1Louisa is a gal who knows what she wants – a human to call her very own. She’s a tiny 5-year-old chihuahua who came to the Animal Rescue League from another shelter after having puppies and has been waiting for a home since September 5.

She can be shy with strangers, but once she knows you’re here to stay, she’ll be your shadow. She gets very attached to her person and would be happy to hang out with you all day and snuggle. But, as much as she enjoys staying at home, the moment she sees her leash and you tell her she’s going for a walk, she gets very excited and dances in circles all around you! Watch her video below to see what we mean.

While she is very small, Louisa does have a mighty bark and will sound the alarm when you aren’t by her side, so she’ll need a little help working on her separation anxiety. Because she can be a little nervous, we think she would prefer a quiet home without a lot of visitors and activity, so a home with small kids would not be ideal.

Louisa would make the perfect lap dog for someone who spends a lot of time at home and can give her all the love and attention she needs. She wouldn’t mind being your spoiled little princess!

If Louisa sounds like the perfect dog for you, come meet her at our Boston adoption center and help make this a fantastic Adopt-a-Dog Month for Louisa!

Read Louisa’s online profile.

Dog of the Week: Rita Has a Reduced Adoption Fee

October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month! Open Your Heart to Rita.

Rita is an approximately 10-year-old rat terrier mix who came to us after being found as a stray. Don’t let her age fool you – Rita is very active and full of spunk! She is curious about everything and gets very excited when she see squirrels. Despite being very energetic, she also has a cuddly side to her too and will enjoy hanging out with you on the sofa after a long walk.

Rita is a bit overweight, so she’ll need a home where she’ll receive regular exercise along with a proper diet to get back down to a healthier weight.

Rita_Close_upRita loves to go for walks and play with her toys. She gets along well with some dogs, but can be a bit choosy. If you have any dogs at home, be sure to bring them along with you to meet Rita. 

Thanks to a very generous donor, Rita’s adoption fee is only $100 and includes:

  • Spay services
  • Health screening and behavioral evaluation
  • Vaccinations
  • Heartworm test and preventative medication
  • Microchip identification and registration
  • Collar and leash

If Rita sounds like the perfect dog for you, come meet her at our Boston adoption center and help make this a fantastic Adopt-a-Dog Month for Rita!

Read Rita’s online profile.


Please Help Two Sisters Find a Home Together

Debra & Zera Have Discounted Adoption Fees Thanks to Generous Sponsors

These two big girls have been at the ARl for two months and it’s about time they went home! Debra and Zera are five-year-old dogs who are housebroken, and get along well with other dogs. They started out at our Boston shelter and are now patiently waiting at our Brewster shelter. We are determined to find them the right home, but we can’t do it without your help. Their adoption fee has a $100 discount, thank to generous donors.

Debra and Zera may look similar, but each has her own unique personality. Debra is very outgoing, while Zera is a bit more shy. Both are incredibly sweet dogs, and would likely do well in almost any home, though we don’t know how they would be with cats. They are laid back and will never say no to a belly rub. They enjoy spending time outside, but most of all they want to to feel loved.

They have been together through thick and thin and we are going to do everything we can to make sure they go home together. Thanks to generous donors, their adopters will save $100 on each of their adoption fees. Visit our Brewster shelter to meet them and ask one of our adoption agents for more information.

You can make this the best Adopt-A-Dog Month for Debra & Zera.

Please help these wonderful dogs find a home together and share their story with your friends.

10-24 Debra & Zera Photo

The Chase Game for Dogs

A Game for Dogs Who Just Don’t Want to Play Fetch

Have you tried playing fetch with your dog, but he just doesn’t seem interested in returning the toy? We have just the game for your pup! Next time your canine companion is in the mood to play, try the “Chase Game.”

Reblogged from the Center for Shelter Dogs – a program of the Animal Rescue League of Boston

GOAL: To play a game with the dog which incorporates fun, training, and exercise.


You are the source of fun! Play energetically with your dog with the chase toy (lunge whip or tether with a lightweight stuffed toy tied to the end like this one from KONG). The dog should never make mouth contact with your hands or other body parts, must always drop the toy when asked, and must not ‘take’ the toy until the cue is given. Breaking the rules results in a temporary end to the game (and fun), for a minimum of one minute. Put the toy out of reach of the dog, and ignore the dog during the break.

1. Say ‘take it’ and then begin flinging and moving the toy around so that your dog can jump
at, chase, and attempt to catch the toy.
2. After some running, leaping, and chasing, allow the dog to catch the toy.
3. Cue the dog to ‘drop it’.
4. If the dog won’t release the chase toy, try:
– Putting a tasty treat right in front of the dog’s nose
– Tossing several treats onto the ground
– Squeaking a squeaky toy (which is kept in your pocket for this purpose)
– Dropping the chase toy
5. When the dog releases the toy, give the dog a treat and immediately encourage the dog to
‘take it’ again!

Download the Chase Game PDF

Reminder: October is Adopt-A-Dog Month! Here at the ARL we have many extraordinary dogs waiting for loving homes. Search our adoptable dogs now.

Throwback Thursday: Dogs at Play

Historic Photos of Dogs Playing for Adopt-A-Dog-Month

Most dogs love any opportunity to play. At the ARL we hold dog playgroup for our shelter dogs every morning, so they can get their exercise and socialize with one another. Here are some fun photos of playful dogs who were a part of the ARL’s history.

October is Adopt-A-Dog-Month and we’re celebrating all month long! View the dogs that are currently waiting for loving homes on our website.

Learn more about ARL history: https://arlboston.wpengine.com/history/

Dog Parks and the Adopted Dog

Some helpful tips from the ARL’s Center for Shelter Dogs for Adopt-A-Dog Month about taking your newly adopted pup to the dog park.

Reblogged from the Center for Shelter Dogs

OWEN loves to play and is available for adoption at our Brewster Adoption Center!

OWEN loves to play and is available for adoption at our Brewster Adoption Center!

Many adopters want to be able to enjoy dog parks with their new companion. Dog parks can be a great opportunity for dogs to play off leash (especially in a city environment) and to enjoy some social time with their own species. Dog parks can also help high energy dogs to burn off some energy so they can be more relaxed in the home.
Here are some carefully crafted tips from the Center for Shelter Dogs that might help you when you visit dog parks with your dog.

  1. Recognize that not all dogs like dog parks! Learn your dog’s preferences for doggy companions and respect his or her space, if needed. Like humans, mature dogs often don’t enjoy rambunctious, adolescent play. Many dogs, especially adult dogs, prefer to have just two or three good dog friends that have similar play styles for structured play dates. Going to the park at off-peak hours can also help a new dog to adjust and not be overwhelmed by large crowds of dogs.
  2. Stay in tune with your dog during dog park visits. Just because your dog is off leash doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay attention to your dog. Recalls and time outs can keep your dog connected to you and paying attention. Time outs, away from rough play, can also help to keep play from escalating into over-arousal. Don’t use this time to catch up on your reading or chat on your cell phone. And be sure to work with your dog on a good recall command before visiting dog parks.
  3. Keep your dog vaccinated and on a regular de-worming schedule. Just like highly populated human areas, dog parks can harbor transmissible diseases from the wide variety of dogs who frequent them. Keeping your dog up to date on vaccinations, including Bordetella, can help reduce their risk of getting sick. Worms can also be prevalent at dog parks so speak to your veterinarian about getting on a de-worming schedule along with monthly heartworm preventative.
  4. Find a well-set-up and appropriately-sized dog park. Try to find a dog park with ample room for the number of dogs in attendance. There should be areas where your dog can move away from the group and go off on his own if he chooses. Bringing leashed dogs into dog parks can cause trouble. Good dog parks should have double gates that prevent escapes and allow owners to take off their dog’s leash before entering the park. Some dog parks have a trail system which allows dogs and owners to keep moving, cutting down on altercations and tense greetings.
  5. Avoid carrying food or other high-value items in parks. Food and treats can cause dogs to fight during times that they might otherwise not. If your dog is highly toy-motivated, toys can also become a source of competition and lead to resource guarding in the park.

Watching dogs play can be a great source of joy for many dog owners. Owners can find play opportunities in dog parks, dog daycares, or in small playgroups. Taking the steps above can ensure that the dog park experience is right for the dog and enjoyable for all involved. If your dog is not a fan of dog parks, enjoying a nice walk on a summer evening can be wonderful too!

Learn more about the Center for Shelter Dogs at: centerforshelterdogs.org