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Articles Tagged with: Pets
March is Adopt A Rescued Guinea Pig Month!

There’s more than just cats and dogs at ARL

Many people assume that animal care & adoption centers only have cats and dogs, but here at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) we have a knowledgeable staff and are able to accommodate a variety of animals including guinea pigs.

guinea pig

And they are just waiting for to find their perfect match!

If you’d like to adopt a guinea pig (or other small animal) from the ARL, make sure to bring a photo of the cage that your new pet will live in to make sure it’s a good size and shape for a guinea pig.

Just like any other pet, guinea pigs require special care and attention. Familiarizing yourself with their daily and long-term needs before adding one to your family is also an important step in the adoption process.

Learn more about guinea pigs

Guinea pigs can make great companions for both first-time or experienced pet owners, however they require a bit of patience and a gentle hand.

Once they are comfortable with you and their new surroundings, their personalities really shine through!

ADOPT A RESCUE GUINEA PIG MONTH FUN FACT Guinea pigs communicate through a variety of behaviors and sounds. These small animals will make a squealing or whistling sound, for example, to communicate anticipation or excitement–usually before they eat!  Meanwhile, a deep sounding purr indicates your guinea pig is comfortable and content.

 


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 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.

To learn more about Deaf Pet Awareness Week visit trupanion.com/deaf-pets.


Camping with Your Dog

Too Hot for Spot Tuesday: Tips for Safely Camping with Your Dog

Labor Day weekend is just around the corner! For those of us trying to squeeze in a last minute weekend trip before the dog days of summer slip away, it’s important to keep our pet’s safety in mind if we plan on bringing the pup along for the adventure.

Photo: Petswelcome.com

Photo: Petswelcome.com

Here are 6 tips that will help keep your dog safe during your next over-night camping trip :

  1. If your dog doesn’t regularly get flea/tick treatment, make sure you apply it at least a few days before the trip.
  2. Make sure that your pet has proper ID on his/her collar at all times and a reflective collar if he/she will be out on the campsite at night.
  3. Bring a pet first aid kit. It is always better to be prepared and often remote campsites will not have quick access to veterinary care. (We’ve been handing out pet emergency backpacks with pet first aid kits at our events)
  4. Do some research and locate the closest animal emergency clinic and add its contact information to your phone.
  5. Pet proof! Before you let your pet out on your campsite, thoroughly inspect the area to make sure other campers haven’t left anything behind like broken bottles or spoiled food.
  6. Don’t let your pet roam. Because your pet is not familiar with the area, he could get lost, fall into a river, or become stuck. Other well-meaning campers may feed him something toxic or may have rat poison out in their campsite. He also may have a run in with some not-so-well meaning wildlife.

For more summer safety tips visit: arlboston.org/summer-safety


National Pet Fire Safety Day

Too Hot for Spot: “National Pet Fire Safety Day” Tips to Keep Pets Safe

Ritz_PetFireSafetyDay_Tips

RITZ (pictured here) is available for adoption.

July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day and it reminds us that pets are often vulnerable victims of home fires. An estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by house fires, according to a data analysis by the National Fire Protection Association.

Planning for unexpected emergencies like home fires and taking these precautions are an integral part of responsible pet ownership.The following tips are suggestions for pet owners on how to prevent your beloved pet from starting a fire, as well as how to keep your pets safe.

What you can do to keep your pets safe:

  • Keep Pets Near Entrances When Away From Home – Keep collars on pets and leashes ready-to-go in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Secure Young Pets – Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
  • Since Pets Left Alone Can’t Escape a Burning Home – Consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
  • Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling Like Ours – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to update the number of pets listed. Pick up one of our “Pet Rescue” window clings at an ARL shelter today!

Special thanks to all of the firefighters out there who put their own lives at risk every day to help people and their pets.

For more information about summer pet safety visit arlboston.org/summer-safety.

ARL_PetRescueDecal_Web

 


How to Calm Your Dog During a Thunderstorm

Too Hot for Spot Tuesday Tip: Thunderstorm Dog Safety

If you’re like some dog owners, you’ve probably had several sleepless nights over the last week thanks to your dog’s “thunder phobia” resulting from the severe thunderstorms that have been plaguing the Northeast.

This fear can manifest in a variety of ways including – hiding, whining, scratching, slobbering, or destructive behavior – and it can get worse with age. Dogs possess special sensitivities that can make storms more terrifying. They can sense the change in air pressure, and may hear low-frequency rumblings that we, humans, can’t detect.

So, if you want to help calm your pup (and hopefully get some “shut-eye”) during the next thunderstorm, try these 5 tips:

  1. Stay with your dog if you can. Having you by his side will make him feel safer.
  2. If there are windows in the room, close the blinds or curtains, or cover the windows so the dog can’t see outside.
  3. Create a safe haven. Hiding is a natural instinct, so provide your dog with a safe indoor area, like a crate. If you have a wire crate, cover it with a light sheet. Leave the door open so your dog doesn’t feel trapped.
  4. Play calming music to drown out the thunder.
  5. Distract your dog. Try playing his favorite game and giving him treats. He might learn to associate storms with fun and play, rather than anxiety and fear.

If none of these work and your dog’s “thunder phobia” is really out of control, consult with your veterinarian.

For more summer pet safety tips visit: arlboston.org/summer-safety.

 


Meet Madeline!

Sweet survivor cat ready for her new home

**Update: Madeline has been adopted**

“Cases like hers are the reason that many of us got into the business of rescuing animals: there is nothing more rewarding than seeing an animal that was previously neglected transform with some TLC.”
– Dr. Kate Gollon, shelter veterinarian at the Animal Rescue League of Boston

Mad Before&AfterAlmost two months ago, a very kind person brought Madeline to our Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center after discovering the 8-year-old cat unable to move in the backyard of her home where someone had left her. Shelter staff instantly observed the fur on Madeline’s hind quarters appeared thickly matted and that she couldn’t move her back legs.

Her sweet temperament and soft, steady purr touched the hearts of shelter veterinarian Dr. Kate Gollon and all the Dedham staff as they worked to make her comfortable with pain medications and by shaving off the mass of tangles on her lower body.

Dr. Gollon determined Madeline had nearly 4 inches of mats over 70% of her body.  The bag of her shaved matted fur tipped the scales at over a pound.  The twisted condition of her coat  had clearly forced her to go to the bathroom on herself and likely prevented her from walking for some time. Even after shelter staff shaved her fur, she couldn’t walk on her very weak back legs.

When diagnostic tests including x-rays and bloodwork did not provide a more definitive reason for the weakness in her back legs, Dr. Gollon prescribed a regimen of daily physical therapy to help Madeline recover her strength and mobility. Staff gave Madeline time post-shave to recuperate and get to know them before carefully and caringly beginning to work with her to get her walking.

At first, staff gently moved her back legs for her, three times a day. Gradually, they helped her stand by placing her in a sling to support her weight while getting her up on all fours. Once her ability to support herself improved, staff worked with her on walking across the floor and maneuvering changes in elevation.  To give her some added traction on the polished cement floors at the shelter, staff would place a touch of Vaseline on her paw pads.

Everyone at the Dedham shelter felt as proud as mamma cats watching Madeline’s amazing progress as she confidently strolled to them and maneuvered up carpeted steps for the first time!

A dedicated ARL foster volunteer brought Madeline to her home to help her re-acclimate to living with people. Though the determined kitty remains a bit unsteady on her hind legs, she shows no signs they are holding her back. According to her foster mom, Madeline loves to explore and happily curls up on the couch for a good snooze afterwards.

We’re very happy to report Madeline is ready for adoption! Scotties Facial Tissue will cover her adoption fee this weekend, so come visit the ARL’s Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center to learn more about her.

Because of her unsteady legs, she would do best in a home with carpet.  A one-story house or apartment, or a home where she would spend most of her time in one big room or have access to her litter box and food without having to climb stairs would make for the ideal situation for Madeline.

In the words of Dr. Gollon: “Madeline is a special cat and quite a survivor!  The family who adopts her will most definitely fall in love with her as much as we have at ARL.”


Meet Rugby!

A real miracle puppy ready to find a new home

“Rugby’s story highlights all the wonderful people in the ARL network who are dedicated to helping neglected animals.”
– Dr. Edward Schettino, Director of Veterinary Medical Services, ARL

When we first met Rugby back in April, he could have been the poster child for our “See Something, Say Something: Report Animal Cruelty,” campaign running that month.

At the time, he was 4 1/2 months old and had been cruelly abandoned in the middle of the road in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. His front legs were severely twisted at the wrists, so Rugby could only get around by doing a haphazard crawl.  Thankfully, someone reported spotting Rugby inching his way along the road where he’d been left, and Lt. Alan Borgal, director of the ARL’s Center for Animal Protection, brought him to the ARL’s Boston Shelter.

When Dr. Edward Schettino, the ARL’s director of veterinary medical services, examined Rugby at the shelter, he observed the spirited young dog was very underweight. Dr. Schettino concluded the condition of Rugby’s front legs was probably due to poor nutrition and long-term confinement to a very small crate. After reviewing x-rays of Rugby’s front legs with his colleagues, Dr. Schettino preliminarily diagnosed Rugby with bilateral carpal laxity syndrome, a condition that could require surgery or could also respond to a diet of well-balanced adult dog-food and a program of rigorous exercise.

Rigorous exercise seemed to be the best course of treatment for Rugby!  A rambunctious dog, Rugby already had ARL behaviorists, staff,  and trained volunteers working with him to help him channel his energies into playing with other dogs and chew toys.

And getting him moving helped on the medical and behavioral front indeed!

Within a few weeks, Rugby’s front legs were improving. The ARL collaborated on his treatment with colleagues at the ARL and Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. To increase strength in his legs, Rugby began underwater treadmill therapy twice a week, under the supervision of the ARL’s Dr. Alett Mekler and the physical therapists at Animotion in Stoughton, Massachusetts, who donated their time and services.

In just under three months, Rugby has come incredibly far in his rehabilitation.  He is moving well on his front legs and his sweet, playful personality makes everyone at the shelter smile–even when he’s a bit of a handful (written with love and a smile, of course).

Thanks to the collaborative effort of our Center for Animal Protection, shelter veterinarians, dog behaviorists, shelter staff, volunteers, Tufts University Cummings School, and Animotion, this miracle puppy is now ready for a new home!

According to shelter staff, an experienced dog owner preferably with another dog would be the best situation for Rugby–the guy really needs a playmate to keep him on his toes and moving!  He’s still working on his jumpy/mouthy behavior, so an active household with older children would be more suited to his big personality and energy-level.


Closing Thoughts on Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month From Mary Nee

Today, the last day of April, concludes Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month.

Mary & Mickey square

ARL past president, Mary Nee

Bringing greater attention to the issue is, of course, central to what the ARL does all year long, yet if you asked me why should we bring greater attention to the issue of animal cruelty, I’d say the reasons go well beyond the mission of our organization.

Reason #1: Animal cruelty is a big problem.

In 2013, the ARL assisted in the investigation of 567 cases of animal cruelty—that’s more than one case a day and we’re just one of many organizations and law enforcement agencies in the state legally pursuing animal welfare issues.

When you consider that at least 80% of animal cruelty remains undiscovered, the magnitude of the problem truly sinks in.

Reason #2: Animal cruelty can indicate other illegal activity, domestic abuse, and mental illness.

Animal cruelty can take many forms.  The intentions behind deliberately inflicting injuries or failing to provide minimum care and nutrition can vary.

Sometimes an animal is physically abused or denied basic care for sport or other financial gain, as in the case of staged dog fighting.  Other times, an animal is intentionally harmed to physically or emotionally intimidate a partner or family member.  In still others, a hoarding compulsion quickly overwhelms an owner’s ability to provide basic care and nutrition to the animals living in the home or on the property.

In each situation, however, the safety and well-being of animals, people, and our communities are all potentially at risk.

Startling statistics remind us of the strong connection between animal cruelty and other forms of violence and criminal behavior.  In a Massachusetts study, for example, 70% of animal abusers had criminal records including crimes involving violence, property, drugs, or disorderly behavior (Arluke & Luke, 1997).

Reason #3: What we do to address animal cruelty reflects our tolerance for other forms of family and community violence.

Heightened awareness of how animals are cared for and treated not only helps reduce the number of tragic cases of animal suffering, but also moves us closer to a more just and humane society where both people and animals are valued.

Whether it’s violence against an animal, child, or an adult, we should all do something to stop it from happening.

Reporting suspicions of animal cruelty to local authorities plays a critical role in prevention.  As we have talked about all this month, if when you see something, please say something and call your local police. 

You will make a tremendous difference in the lives of people and animals.

– Mary Nee, Past President of the Animal Rescue League of Boston