Articles Tagged with: Pets
What You See Is What You Get: A Senior Dog Who Needs Love

November is National Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month

Looking for a four-legged companion? Consider adopting a senior pet! The beauty of adopting a senior cat or dog is that what you see is what you get!


Mickey is a 7-year-old Boston Terrier and he’s been waiting for his forever home since July. Based on his behavior, you would never know that Mickey is a senior. He is always on the go and loves to explore. He’s a little anxious in the shelter, after all he’s been here for so long, but once you take him for a walk he settles down nicely. Mickey is a wonderful little dog and know several commands. He loves to go for car rides and napping on the couch, if you listen closely you’ll hear him snore. Mickey does have only one eye, but no one knows the circumstances of how he lost it. Please Note: Mickey is currently in a foster home – if you are interested in meeting him please call the Brewster Adoption Center so the staff can arrange a time for me to return to meet you.

According to Maryann Regan, Director of Shelter operations at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, “There are many reasons as to why you should consider adopting a senior pet. For the most part, older pets have passed their critical development stages. Therefore, the personality you see is the personality you get. This might help an adopter make a successful match for his or her lifestyle. For example, senior animals can be calmer and perhaps better trained than their spunky, younger counterparts. For many, this is important criteria in their adopted animal. Some people might also have limitations on the physical characteristics of an animal. For example, the size and weight of a dog might be a determining factor perhaps when living in apartment style housing that has size limitations in the rules and regulations. With an adult or senior dog, what you see is what you get. This too can guide adopters in making the adoption decision that is right for them.” If you’re looking for a calm cat or dog it’s likely that you’ll find a senior pet that fits those criteria. Additionally, with a senior pet, you don’t have a deal with house training; they’re typically already housebroken.

The most compelling reason to adopt a senior pet is that these animals deserve to live out the rest of their lives in a loving home.

We hope you’ll open your heart and home to a senior pet this November. If you’re unable to adopt we hope you’ll consider donating to help us care for senior pets like Mickey.

31 Days of Halloween in Pictures


On October 1st we kicked off 31 Days of Halloween in pictures. Every day, for the month of October, we tweeted a photo of a historic, interesting or downright spooky gravestone, of a pet buried at Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery. You’ll find that you might recognize some of the names, the most notorious of them being Borden, as Lizzy Borden’s pets are buried here.

Pine Ridge, located adjacent to the League’s Dedham Shelter, is the oldest pet cemetery in the country that is owned and operated by an animal welfare agency. In addition to the present-day cemetery, Pine Ridge’s historical section contains burials dating back to the late 1800s.

Not only is it fun to share some of these unique gravestone photos with you on Halloween, but these headstones are also a loving reminder of the human animal bond and the love that people have for their pet companions even after they have passed.


Howl-oween Safety Tips for Dogs

Tricks and Treats may be fun for people and some dogs, but many dogs need some extra attention and vigilance around the Halloween season. Kim Melanson, CPDT-KA, Behavior Counselor at the Center for Shelter Dogs shares some advice.

Photo Credit: Maria Uribe

Keep treats out of reach of your dog. Some candies, fruits, nuts and chocolate can upset your dog’s digestion. Some are even dangerous and poisonous for dogs, raisins, grapes, dark and baking chocolate and the artificial sweetener, Xylitol, to name a few. Some houses do give out coins for Halloween so watch out for coins and pennies, some dogs will ingest them.

Halloween decorations should be secure and away from pet areas. Electrical wires and cords in the house could attract dangerous chewing. If candles are used, be careful that the dog cannot knock them over or get to them. Also, some of the decorations that are noisy and scary could scare your dog, so be aware of this and keep those outside or out of sight of your dog.

Trick or Treaters coming to your house can often cause stress, over excitement and/or scare dogs. Even children they know, who are dressed up in costumes and masks, could scare a dog that is usually friendly to the neighbors. Your dog is better off secured in a crate and/or back room, to be away from the door and action. This is crucial if you have a shyer or fearful dog that normally avoids any of these things: children, loud noises, busy places, new people and new things.  Other dogs, although friendly, are very excited and may bark and jump at the door and people; they would be better off in a separate room too. Practicing training and polite greetings at the door on Halloween night is not advised, as it is too distracting and too busy for the dog and you to be able to learn.

Beware of Tricksters, unfortunately some people still like to vandalize and play dirty tricks at Halloween time. Included in these may be;  teasing, letting dogs out, throwing things, or even stealing dogs left outside.  Do not leave your dog outside unattended, especially at night, and do not allow your dog to be the front yard greeter on Halloween night.

Newly adopted dogs and puppies should be watched closely, as you might not know exactly how they will react during Halloween time. On walks before Halloween night, notice how they react to decorations:  fearful, curious or indifferent? How have they been with strangers and/or children? They should be kept secure in a separate room. It would be good if you could have someone in there with them to notice behavior and whether they are scared of all the noises and action? You can always add music and a nice chew toy or bone to their area so that they are distracted and maybe even happy during trick or treating time.

If your dog is a genuinely friendly, relaxed, confident and calm dog with familiar and unfamiliar people, things and dogs, maybe he could be included in the festivities. It’s best if he is on leash sitting while saying hello as people and children come to the door. You could even have dog treats that he gets from the Trick or Treaters for sitting and doing tricks at the door. He could walk the neighborhood with an adult; do not let a child hold your dog’s leash on Halloween, as they have much more fun if they don’t have dog care responsibility that night. If you are sure your dog is comfortable wearing clothes or costumes dress him up if you like and take him to a dog Halloween celebration. See our tips on dressing up your dog on Halloween.

If your dog does join in the fun, please remember not all other dogs, children or adults like dogs; children are often scared of dogs, so be considerate and keep your dog close to you unless a person asks to greet and say hello to your dog.

Have a Spooktacular Halloween!


We’re launching a new biweekly “Ask The Vet” section on our blog and we want your input!

Do you have a question that you’ve always wanted to ask your vet, but by the time your pet’s next appointment comes around you’ve forgotten what it is? Well here’s your chance to ask it. What would you like to know from our Animal Rescue League of Boston shelter and BVC vets? Please share your questions in the comments section below and you just might see one of our wonderful vets answer your question. The first blog post answering your questions will be published in early November, so keep checking our website!

Halloween Pet Costumes: Fun for you? Definitely. Fun for your pet? Not always.

Photo Credit: Petco. Costume available at Petco.com

Dressing your pet for Halloween can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to remember that the safety and comfort of your pet should be your number one priority.

  • When searching for the perfect pet costume make sure to find something that fits your dog properly and does not restrict your dog’s movement. The last thing you want is for your pooch to turn into a stone statue for Halloween, because he won’t move in his costume. You’re likely to find the largest selection of costumes online, but be sure to purchase far enough in advance of any Halloween events, so that you have time to return the costume. If the costume doesn’t fit, return it. Pet costumes are available at a number of shops including Petco (both in store and online), and at your local neighborhood shops such as, The Fish & Bone and Polka Dog Bakery. Our South End friends at Polka Dog currently have $5 Halloween costumes. When possible try a costume on in store, so that you can make sure it fits.

  • Avoid costumes with masks that cover eyes, ears, nose, or mouth. These could make it hard for your pup to breathe and your dog could suffocate. A number of costumes feature hoods that cover your pet’s ears. If you find a costume that you like, but it has a hood, hat or headpiece, remove the headpiece or don’t pull the hood over your pet’s head. Most people will grasp the idea of the costume, even without the cowboy hat. It’s important for your pet to have access to all of his senses and he’ll be much happier if his ears are uncovered.
  • If your pet is not accustomed to wearing clothing, try the costume on several times before the big event, so that you pet can get acclimated to wearing it. Be sure to have plenty of treats in hand and praise your pet for taking his first steps in the costume.
  • Know that some pets just won’t wear costumes. If after several attempts your pet won’t keep the costume on, don’t force it and instead try going with a festive Halloween collar or bandana.


The Benefits of Adopting a Pet

If you’re the parent of an adopted or rescued pet, you know the benefits of adopting a pet are infinite and immeasurable, but for those of you who are thinking about getting a pet, but are unsure of why you should consider adopting, we’d like to share some helpful information with you.

When you adopt an animal from a shelter, like the Animal Rescue League of Boston, you’re saving two lives, the life of the animal that you adopted and the life of the animal that’s going to take its place at the shelter. There are so many amazing animals waiting for a loving and caring home. For people who are looking for a purebred pet—studies have shown that over 25% of pets available for adoption at shelters are purebred—there are numerous breed specific rescue groups that focus on a particular dog or cat breed. Here at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, we have various breeds at any given time and animals are constantly being adopted, so we have new animals available every day.

Another huge benefit to adopting a pet from a shelter is that the animals have been tested for behavioral issues. They are also spayed/neutered, up-to-date on vaccinations, and micro-chipped, when you buy from a pet store or a breeder those are all additional costs (on top of the cost of the pet) that must be taken into consideration. Our investment in our animals includes learning their personalities so that we can help you find the perfect match for your home and lifestyle.

All adoptable animals at ARL of Boston have received the following:

  • Spay or neuter services (excluding some small animals)
  • Health screening and veterinary examination
  • Behavior evaluations & enrichment
  • Vaccinations
  • Microchip identification and registration
  • Heartworm test and preventative medication for dogs
  • Feline Leukemia test for cats
  • Flea, tick, and mite treatment
  • Deworming for intestinal parasites
  • Tag, collar, and leash
  • A starter bag of Hill’s Science Diet food for cats and dogs
  • And more!

If you’re unable to adopt a pet, please consider becoming an ARL foster, volunteer or making a donation to help care for animals in need.

Meet Sheba

Sheba, an gorgeous 8-year-old female German Shepherd, has been at the League’s Boston shelter since March 29. She was surrendered when her owner entered a nursing home and could no longer care for her.

Sheba has a sweet and gentle nature that makes her the perfect forever friend. She loves spending time with shelter staff and visitors and especially enjoys being petted. Although she is 8, Sheba stills plays like a puppy, favoring the chance to play fetch on a nice Boston day.

If you are interested in Sheba, please visit our Boston shelter and give her a forever home.

Kittens Abandoned in Closed Plastic Bag

Yesterday, Rescue Services responded to a call concerning kittens who were found zipped in a plastic retail bedding bag on a doorstep in Dorchester.

With the bag only being ten inches by twelve inches and three inches in width, five kittens were packed inside. The 3-week-old kittens seemed in good condition despite their stressful situation. They were taken to the League’s Boston shelter and examined by Dr. Martha Smith. After being checked out, Dr. Smith said, “They’re pretty sassy, so they should do well.”

The kittens were immediately put into foster homes and will remain there until they are 8 weeks old and able to be adopted.

Kitten Season is in Full Swing

The warmer weather brings one of the more hectic times of year for the League … kitten season.

Every year, we experience an influx of kittens starting in the months of March and April. An arrival of a litter is almost a daily occurrence. Most kittens that come into the shelter are in need of foster care before they are able to be adopted, so foster parents volunteer their time and resources. Over a period of 8 weeks, a foster parent cares for a litter of kittens providing their basic needs as well as a human-animal bond.

Kitten season will continue until the fall when the colder weather comes back. Until then, the League will continue to care for each furry bundle that comes into the shelter.

The help provided by foster parents is invaluable to us, not only for kittens but all animals in need of foster care. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, click here.