Articles Tagged with: Home For The Holidays
Pets As Gifts… CAN Be a Good Idea!

5 factors to consider before you give pets as a holiday gift

It seems like a no-brainer… Giving a pet as a present can be a win-win situation for everyone involved: the animal has a cozy home to call its own, the recipient is in a state of awe, and the giver (you!) has made your loved one’s holiday even more joyful.

While this is the gift-giving scenario that every animal lover dreams of, make sure it really is the purr-fect present for the person on your list.

If giving your loved one a new pet as a present is on your mind, here are 5 things to consider:

  1. Manage the surprise. Even at the risk of spoiling the surprise, make sure that the intended recipient wants a new pet. Check in with someone who currently has pets or has recently lost one to make sure they are ready.
  2. Don’t make them sneeze. That’s not a twinkle in their eye; it’s allergies. Confirm any allergies among all household members. No one wants to go get an allergy shot after opening what’s supposed to be an extra special gift, after all.
  3. Know where they live. Even if you know your intended recipient really wants a pet, ensure that their building and development allows them. If their home is pet-friendly, be sure to confirm any weight or breed restrictions.
  4. Find out what they can handle. You want to know that the animal you are getting matches the lifestyle, physical limitation, ages, and personalities in the household.
  5. Adopt from a shelter.  When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  Adopting from a reputable animal shelter like the ARL’s adoption centers, also has many practical benefits. All our adoptable animals, for example, receive spay/neuter services, vaccines, and a health and behavioral screening.

Keep in mind… It never hurts to run the idea by your loved one beforehand or take them along to pick out their new pet. They and their new furry friend will be thanking you for many years to come!

ARL has many deserving animals looking for a home!

It’s not just snowing cats and dogs here at ARL’s shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham. We have many special small shelter pets like birds and rabbits who are looking for loving homes!

Search all adoptables

Your Donations Gave Pearce a Chance at a Better Life

5 days and $763,300 left to help animals like him in 2016 – DONATE NOW

Only because of YOUR generous donations are special animals like Pearce able to find a home for the holidays!

In March of this year, 7-month-old Pearce arrived at the ARL’s Boston shelter.

Adorable and playful, the tortoise shell-colored Pittie-mix was adopted quickly despite his jumpy-mouthy behavior. Confident that he would outgrow this puppy-like demeanor, his new family enrolled him in ARL’s training courses. Unfortunately, after a few weeks without improvement, his owners made the difficult decision to return him to the ARL.

home for the holidays

Thanks to your incredible support, Pearce will enjoy many years of nature hikes with his forever family! Click his photo to DONATE to the ARL and help other animals like him.

Two weeks later, Pearce’s beaming smile won the hearts of an optimistic young couple. Up for the challenge, the duo brought the lovable, but over-the-top dog home. Within 48 hours, however, they were forced to return Pearce to the shelter after he mouthed at them so intensely that he caused bruising.

A couple of weeks after that, the strong-willed pup was adopted by a third family. Despite counseling and behavioral training, Pearce was returned within 24 hours for exhibiting the same rough behaviors.

At this point it was clear to ARL’s behavior and enrichment manager, Dot Baisly, that Pearce’s behavior was not that of “typical” puppy, but instead stemmed from a serious underlying issue.

“This poor dog had no stability in his life and displayed the tendencies of dogs that are weaned away from their mother and littermates too young to help them learn mouth control,” explains Dot. “Anytime Pearce changed his surroundings, he experienced feelings of intense anxiety. These nerves manifested into temper tantrums, which made the forceful mouthy behavior more pronounced.”

YOUR generous donations gave Pearce hope for the future… DONATE NOW

Every day for the next 5 months, Pearce underwent intensive training to teach him how to appropriately interact with people and other dogs. Dot in conjunction with ARL’s Behavioral Modification (MOD) Squad, volunteers, staff, and outside professionals dedicated over 100 hours to rehabilitate him.

Pearce’s extensive enrichment and behavioral program consisted of nose work and agility training, social activities with other dogs, such as walks and playgroup, kennel enrichment and obedience training, and office and home fostering to help him decompress from the busy shelter environment. Pearce even attended an off-site 3-week board, train, and daycare program- and did wonderfully!

home for the holidays

“He makes us laugh daily,” exclaims Pearce’s new mom! Oh, and his favorite time of the day? Snuggle time with his dad Jon, of course!

8 long months after he arrived at the ARL, Pearce found a home for the holidays!

The snuggly pup has been in his new home with his mom, dad, and feline brothers for just over a month now and has adjusted very well!

Pearce is also making big strides in his obedience training with a professional trainer and is a favorite at the daycare he attends 4 times a week!

“He makes us laugh daily,” says Pearce’s new mom Katy Hayes. Thank you to the ARL for all of your work with Pearce and giving him a chance to find his forever home. We really appreciate the hours upon hours you gave to him and to us to ensure he transitioned and adjusted in a healthy and productive manner!”


The clock is ticking and we still need to raise$763,300 by December 31!

At the ARL, a love for animals inspires us to do more. We receive no government or public funding and rely entirely on the support of people like you to give deserving animals like Pearce the chance at a better life!

Visit arlboston.kintera.org/donate or click on the DONATE button below to make a donation to the Animal Rescue League of Boston!


A big THANK YOU to Macy’s for helping to more animals like Pearce find a home for the holidays, and to everyone who has donated to the ARL to help animals in need!

Nina is Home for the Holidays!

Give a shelter pet the perfect holiday gift, a home

At the ARL, our biggest holiday wish is for the animals in our care and the individuals willing to open their hearts to find one another! Every year, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) unites over 3,000 deserving animals with families and places another 850 with dedicated ARL foster volunteers.

home for the holidays nina

ARL shelter veterinarians discovered large mast cell tumors all over Nina’s body during a routine spay surgery. Thanks to their thorough medical attention, the tumors were removed and Nina was able to go home for the holidays!

Special animals like Nina will have a season that’s merry and bright now that she’s home for the holidays!

Nina, a gorgeous 3-year-old boxer mixer, came into ARL’s Boston shelter earlier this fall when her family was forced to give her up due to landlord restrictions. Up until that point, she had been living with her family, including one child, her entire life.

When Nina arrived at the ARL’s Boston shelter, she instantly became a staff favorite! Anyone who glanced into her big round chocolate brown eyes instantly fell in love and came in closer for a snuggle.

Nina couldn’t get enough attention from her human friends and was was always eager to show off her basic commands for some tasty treats and a generous scratch in her favorite spot- right behind her floppy ears!

It was clear that Nina was ready for a permanent home, but first she would need to be spayed in order to meet potential adopters.

Unfortunately for Nina, things took an unexpected turn. During the routine spay surgery, ARL shelter veterinarians Dr. Quigley and Dr. Doyle came across several large mast cell tumors that were unknowing growing inside of Nina’s legs, back, shoulders, and stomach.

ARL’s veterinarians carefully scanned her body to locate and remove all the tumors and immediately send them out to be biopsied. Several hours and $1,500 worth of procedures later, Nina was awoke from surgery.

home for the holidays nina

Nina happy and settling into her new waterfront home. Something tells us she’ll become a beach bunny in no time at all!

Tired and weak, Nina patiently waited for the results of her biopsy while resting alongside ARL’s wonderful volunteers and staff. Everyone knew that she was one tough cookie, so there was no doubt that Nina would be back on her feet in no time!

A couple of weeks later, Nina received the good news she’d be hoping for! Her tumors were benign and she was medically cleared for adoption!

Shortly thereafter, Nina got her holiday wish and went home with her forever family. By all accounts, she is doing great and hasn’t let her surgery hold her back one bit!

Nina’s new dad was happy to report that, “everything has been so much fun thus far! Nina is adjusting well and is already excited to go running on the beach!”

YOU can help deserving shelter pets like Nina find a home for the holidays by…

  1. ADOPTING from the ARL! Search adoptables
  2. Checking out the wishlists at our shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham
  3. Using Amazon Smile when you shop and select the Animal Rescue League of Boston as the charity you support
  4. Giving a donation to the ARL in honor of an animal-friendly friend or family member.  With a donation of $25 or more, you can select a special card, too!  Learn more

THANK YOU to Macy’s Boston for helping more ARL shelter animals find a Home for the Holidays!

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.


Bring Greg Home for the Holidays

Pet of the Week: Greg has been waiting since October

12-12-14 Greg_PicGreg is a goofy and active 2-year-old pup who loves a good squeaky toy! He’s been patiently waiting for a home since October and would like nothing more than to go home with you for the holidays!

He was a long-term stray before being transferred to us from a local animal control facility, so he is thrilled to have recently discovered squeaky toys. Because he is so playful, he can sometimes become overexcited and grab for his toys, so he would do best in a home without small children.

He’s a very clean dog and doesn’t make a mess in his kennel in between walks.

Greg’s ideal home would have a large fenced yard where he can run around during supervised time outside and play fetch or catch a Frisbee

After enough exercise, Greg likes to be a couch potato and settle down inside. He is also treat motivated and would be a great candidate for obedience classes, which are offered here at ARL, which are discounted for adopters. 

Greg is a fast learner and a pro at playing fetch. Watch the video below to see his skills!

View his online profile to see more videos of Greg.

Will you bring Greg home for the holidays? If you’re interested in meeting this playful pup, please stop by ARL’s Boston shelter during our open hours.

Not able to adopt, but still want to help? Please share Greg’s story with your friends and family!

Greg trying catch snowflakes.

Greg trying to catch snowflakes.



Bring Prince Home for the Holidays

Pet of the Week: 1-Year-Old Prince

Prince Buny earsMeet Prince! This handsome 1-year-old pup has been at our Boston shelter since October 2 and would love to come home with you for the holidays.

Prince is a sweet boy who loves people and playing with toys. He’s eager to please and wants to learn as much as you’re willing to teach him.

He is very intelligent and responds to his name, as well as come basic commands – “sit”, “look”, and “touch.” Prince can be a lot for another dog to handle, as he is quite pushy and will get in their face; therefore, he will need to go to an experienced owner who will be able to manage his dog-to-dog interactions well.

Prince is still a young boy and he needs lots of exercise, play time, and training. If you’re interested in meeting him, please stop by our Boston shelter!

Read Prince’s profile.



Oliver Twist: One “Sweet Baby” Home for Holidays

The once frail puppy now specializes in fetching sticks in the woods

This is what poor little Oliver Twist looked like when our Senior Rescue Technician, Danielle, first brought him in.

This is what poor Oliver Twist looked like when our Rescue Team first brought him in.

One chilly morning in early this past April, Jeff, a driver for FedEx, was making deliveries in Boston when he discovered a beyond-skinny 6 month-old puppy wandering the streets and shivering in the cold. He immediately contacted the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), and our Rescue Services Team went to work to find the dog.

The frail puppy stumbled over to the Rescue Team, he was so weak. His body was severely emaciated—lacking any fat and muscle, his bones jutted through his skin.  He was covered is his own urine and feces and had long overgrown nails.

At the ARL’s Boston adoption center, he received immediate medical attention along with the name, Oliver Twist.  On the Purina body condition scale a score of “9” is considered obese and “1” is extremely lean; Oliver scored less than 1. He was also diagnosed with a bacterial infection.

Over the next few weeks, Oliver’s condition stabilized. He was placed on a progressive re-feeding schedule and soon began to eat on his own. ARL veterinarians checked him daily to ensure that he was gaining the expected amount of weight and treated his infection. He also received lots of love and attention from adoption center staff.

Oliver Twist now getting love at home.

Oliver Twist now getting love at home.

Meanwhile, the ARL’s Center for Animal Protection put out requests for information to identify who severely neglected Oliver.  To date, a suspect has not been found.

With the special care and attention he received, Oliver was ready for a home just a few weeks after his rescue.  Well on his way to recovery, he had become a playful, loving puppy who adored attention from people.

And attention is what he gets from his new family! Grieving the loss of their 13-year-old boxer, Billie Jean Nebesky and her daughter saw Oliver’s story on the news.  They instantly felt a connection: “We knew he needed us and we needed him.”

Today, they happily report Oliver has made himself completely at home and loves to fetch big sticks in the woods.

“If we sit down in a chair, Oliver will immediately join you and cuddle,” smiles his new mom.  “He clearly knows he is part of our family.  He is handsome, smart, friendly and very affectionate. He is just a sweet baby!”

Everyone at the ARL is grateful for the outpouring of donations to assist Oliver Twist as he recovered from severe neglect.  Thanks to you, he is happy, healthy, and home for the holidays!

To learn more about other animals like Oliver Twist who are home for the holidays after recovering from cruelty and neglect, visit arlboston.org/take-action/#BeforeAfterSlideshow

You can make a donation today to help animals at the ARL find loving homes, just like Oliver Twist did.

Please make your gift now. Every dollar makes a difference.

Oliver Twist today. Healthy and strong!

Oliver Twist today, healthy and strong, fetching an enormous stick!


Athena, The One-Eyed Dog Has A Home!

Athena1Someone found a home for the holidays!  Athena, the loving 1.5-year-old, one-eyed female dog, who was transferred to the Animal Rescue League of Boston from a shelter in Vermont, because they could not afford her eye surgery was adopted from our Brewster Adoption Center earlier this week!

Thanks to all of you we were able to provide a life changing laser eye procedure that saved Athena remaining eye and now this wonderful dog will be able to see the world around her as she settles into her new home!

We are beyond excited that Athena found her forever home in time for the holidays. Congrats Athena! Happy holidays to you Steve and David!

To read Athena’s whole story, visit our website.