Finding Animals Homes Means So Much More at ARL

Donate Now to ARL’s Spring Into Action Shelter Fund Drive!

Whether answering questions for owners struggling with a pet’s behavior issues, providing shelter animals with enrichment opportunities, or working closely with adopters to find a pet to match their lifestyle, finding animals homes means so much more at the ARL’s shelters in Boston, Dedham, and Brewster.

From rescue stories to happy tail moments, your support makes an enormous impact on the thousands of animals who come through our shelters yearly. No matter what situation brings them to the ARL, every animal is treated with the upmost kindness and compassion.

Click the play button below to watch an inspiring video about the work your donations help support!

By making a donation during ARL’s Spring Into Action Shelter Fund Drive, you can continue to help shelter animals like Tucker and Woody (pictured below) get the care they need to find new homes.

shelter fund drive pets

(At left) 10-year-old Tucker, a stray cat, arrived at the ARL with his right ear in bad condition and underwent surgery to have it removed. Today, Tucker is fully recovered and in his new home! (At right) 13-year-old Woody came to us when his owner became to ill to care for him. His left eye had to be removed due to painful cataracts, but today Woody is pain-free and living in his new home!

Now through May 30, your donation will go even further to help animals find homes!

The Logan and Lucy Rescue Fund for Shelter Animals has challenged us to triple a $5,000 donation and raise $15,000 in three weeks for our shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham.  We only have 12 more days to raise another $7000!

DONATE NOW

The ARL does not receive any government or public funding and relies solely on supports like you to give animals the care and loving home they need!

 

April 30 is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

Top 5 reasons to adopt a shelter pet

winifred

Winifred is available for adoption at our Dedham shelter. Click the photo to learn more about this pretty lady.

Adopt, don’t shop! In honor of National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, the ARL asks you to consider saving a life and adopting from a reputable animal shelter.

The Humane Society of America estimates that 6 to 8 million pets end up in animal shelters every year, primarily through no fault of their own. “Moving”, “landlord restrictions”, and “new baby” are a few of the most common reasons why families have to make the difficult decision to give up their pets.

The silver lining? That means that many shelter pets have already had the basic training and socialization skills they need to become part of your household!

Here are the top 5 reasons to adopt a shelter pet:

  1. You will give an animal a home. Your compassion will help give a deserving shelter pet a safe loving home and your adoption fee will support other animals in need.

    Rosie

    Adorable Rosie is available for adoption at our Boston shelter. Click the photo to learn more about her.

  2. You will have help finding your perfect match. Every animal at the ARL receives individualized behavioral assessments and enrichment programs. Our staff learns as much as possible about each animal so they can help adopters find the perfect pet for their family and lifestyle.
  3. You will save money. At the ARL, all this is included in your pet’s adoption fee:  spay or neuter services, health screening and veterinary examination, behavior screening and evaluations, vaccinations and flea/tick/mite treatment, and microchip identification and registration.
  4. You will feel good about yourself. When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  Your shelter pet will thank you constantly with tons of affection and by becoming your new best friend.
  5. You will be supporting responsible pet ownership. When searching for an animal companion, always consider the source and the support you will get following the adoption if you have any questions.  The ARL, for example, has a behavior helpline and shelter staff can answer questions for you after you take your pet home.

For information on adoptable animals at our ARL shelter locations, please call or visit us. All of our shelters are open Tuesday – Sunday, 1PM-6:30PM, excluding some holidays.

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Don’t have the means right now to adopt a shelter pet? There are other ways to make a difference:

Dedham puppies with staff and volunteers

Sign up as a volunteer. Donate your time to caring for animals or helping with administrative tasks. The ARL staff will match you to a position aligned with your skills and interests. View ARL’s current volunteer opportunities.

Become a foster parent. Opening up your home to an animal on a temporary basis gives a shelter pet the comfortable loving environment they crave until they’re ready to be adopted. Learn more about becoming an ARL foster parent.

Make a donation. All monetary contributions, no matter how big or small, go a long way to helping shelter pets receive the care they need. An adoption fee also goes toward helping other homeless animals. Look at all the ways you can give to ARL.

Remember that not all donations need to be monetary! Shelters are just as needing of supplies. View ARL’s shelter wish list.

IT’S THANK YOU THURSDAY!  Special thanks to MassRealty for promoting the importance of adoption!  Check out their recent article about adoption and the ARL: massrealty.com/articles/greater-boston-s-plan-to-rescue-our-animals

 

5 Facts About Pit Bull-type Dogs

Learn why Pit Bull-type Dog popularity is on the rise

As part of our See Something, Say Something campaign, we wanted to share some important information about Pit Bulls, a “breed” that often gets a bad rap.  Unfortunately, Pit Bull-type dogs often come to our shelters because their owners face housing and insurance restrictions prohibiting certain breeds of dogs.

Here are 5 facts that you need to know about Pit Bull-type dogs:

1. FACT: The “Pit Bull” is not an official breed.
“Pit Bull” is an umbrella term commonly reported to contain the following 3 registered breeds of dogs: Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Pit Bull Terrier.

Many dogs that are classified as “pit bulls” are actually a combination of mixed breed dogs of unknown pedigree or other pure bred dogs which bear some physical resemblance. It is not easy to identify a dog’s breed origin(s) from appearance alone, therefore many dogs who are labeled as Pit Bull-type dogs are actually not.

2. FACT: While some Pit Bull-type dogs were historically bred for the purposes of “blood sports”, the majority were bred to become family dogs and farm help.
In the 1970s, dog “blood sports” (i.e., dogfighting, street fighting) began to get more attention by law enforcement and, therefore, the media—making the public much more aware of these cruel practices. The hype drew people to the conclusion that the Pit Bull-type dog’s history of involvement in “blood sports” made them uniquely dangerous.

The truth is that one cannot predict a dog’s behavior based on what the ancestral breed was “historically bred for.”  Instead, each dog should be assessed as a unique individual based upon their overall temperament and upbringing.

3. FACT: Pit Bull-type dogs are not born aggressive
Ever heard the phrase “nature vs. nurture”? Well, that applies here too. Pit Bull-type dogs, just like any other type, follow “learned” behavior taught by the humans who raise them.

To put it simply: an attentive caring owner will raise a happy well-adjusted pet. A neglectful and abusive owner will raise an unhappy aggressive pet. More often than not, Pit Bull-type dogs who display aggressive behavior are often the victims of irresponsible ownership.

4. FACT: Pit Bull type dogs do not have “locking jaws”
No such “locking jaw” mechanism exists in a Pit Bull-type dog or any other dog type or breed. There is nothing uncommon about the size and functionality of a Pit Bull-type dog’s jaws or teeth. Additionally, there is no evidence which proves that one dog type or breed is uniquely capable of inflicting serious injury to humans or other animals.

5. FACT: You should consider adopting a Pit Bull-type dog from your local shelter
If you’re looking to add a new furry family member to your household, think about saving a life and adopting. When a Pit Bull-type dog is properly matched to your family and lifestyle, it is a success story in the making. Pit Bull-type dogs are loyal companions, quick learners, and make great exercise buddies.

If you are considering adopting, make sure you visit a shelter that offers behavioral assessments and enrichment programs for all adoptable animals.  At the ARL, for example, staff can that provide insight into a dog’s overall temperament, health, and upbringing. It is always a good idea to bring everyone in the household (including other dogs) to the shelter with you to ensure that your new addition is the right fit for your home and family.

The good news is Pit Bull-type dog popularity is on the rise due to their awesome physical and mental characteristics that make them the perfect companion for responsible, active, and caring owners.

Just ask uber celebrities Tom Brady, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Bacon, Jessica Biel, and Rachel Ray (just to name a few) why they chose a Pitty as their family pet who they can’t live without!

If you’re looking to add a Pit Bull-type dog or another type of pet to your family, visit our adoptable pets at our shelters, Tuesday – Sunday 1 pm – 6:30 pm.

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If you SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Learn more about what you can do to prevent animal cruelty at arlboston.org/take-action.

 

Adopt & Un-“Leash” Your Dog’s Inner Red Sox Fan

Let’s Go, Red Sox!

In honor of Red Sox opening weekend, all ARL shelter locations will be giving away a FREE official MLB Red Sox leash with every dog adoption from April 10-12th, while supplies last.

Now, that sounds pawstively awesome!

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David Ortiz holding puppy

An instant fan! This pup can’t help but show love to his favorite Red Sox player, David Ortiz.

For information on available dogs or other adoptable animals at our ARL shelter locations, please call or visit us. All of our shelters are open Tuesday – Sunday, 1PM-6:30PM, excluding some holidays.

Boston Shelter:

10 Chandler Street | Boston, MA 02116 | 617-226-5602

Dedham Shelter:

55 Anna’s Place | Dedham, MA 02026 | 781-326-0729

Brewster Shelter:

3981 Main St (Rte 6A) | East Brewster, MA 02631 | 508-255-1030

 

 

 

 

4 Pet Safety Tips for a Hoppy Easter!

Keep your pets safe during the festivities

Spring is in the air and what better way to celebrate than with colorful eggs, bright flowers, and bunny-shaped chocolate– besides, perhaps, adding a new furry member to your family!

Spring Into Love and consider adopting an animal from the Animal Rescue League of Boston!

When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  All adoptable animals at the ARL also receive:

  • Spay or neuter services
  • Health screening and veterinary examination
  • Behavior screening and evaluations
  • Vaccinations and flea/tick/mite treatment
  • Microchip identification and registration

Search adoptables now or visit our adoptable pets at our shelters, 1 pm – 6:30 pm, excluding some holidays.

With the Easter and Passover holiday upon us, remember that your pets will be curious about the new decorative items and delish goodies that you bring into your household. Be sure to keep these 4 pet safety tips in mind during the festivities:

  1. Leave lilies at the store. Although beautiful and iconic to Easter, a lily’s leaf, pollen, and flower are highly toxic if ingested by cats. Make sure to keep a special eye on cats as their excellent climbing skills can give them easy access to flowers and plants.

    say no to lilies

    Say no to lilies!

  2. Keep fake grass, candles, and other decorations out of reach. When your pet ingests stringy objects like ribbons or Easter basket grass, they can become wrapped around the base of the tongue or stomach and cause serious intestinal issues. Ceremonial Passover candles should be monitored at all times to prevent pets’ fur from catching fire.
  3. Chocolate and candy are a no-no. Chocolate, especially the darker bitter kind, is poisonous to pets. Chocolate contains methylxanthines, a relative of caffeine, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and death. Many candies and gums contain the sugarless sweetener Xylitol, which is also highly toxic to pets.
  4. Hide eggs from your pets too. Secure pets during Easter egg hunts or other activities where plastic eggs or other small objects can be ingested. Consuming real eggs can cause illness as well if they have spoiled. Keep your pet busy with toys and treats and don’t forget to pick up all hidden gems once the activity is over.

From everyone at the ARL, Happy Easter and Passover!

 

A Mastiff Relief for Titan!

Big and Lovable Lovable Dog thriving after surgery

donations for titan

Titan, 6-year-old Mastiff, needed a $2,000 surgery to remove and test a large tumor in his abdomen.

During a routine neuter surgery,  our shelter veterinarian discovered shelter dog Titan had a large mass in his abdomen.  X-rays confirmed the 6-year-old big and loveable Mastiff had a tumor.

According to ARL shelter veterinarian Dr. Erin Doyle, about 50% of this type of tumor are benign and the other 50% are cancerous.  Sadly, dogs with the cancerous-type of tumor have a 6-month life expectancy after the tumor is removed without additional medical intervention.

Titan needed a $2,000 surgery to immediately remove the tumor and test for cancer.  The ARL moved quickly to get Titan the medical care and testing he needed.

Titan’s goofy grin and happy-go-lucky personality had quickly warmed the hearts of everyone at the shelter.  Everyone was hoping for the best when he underwent surgery a week later.

Thankfully, we got what we were hoping for!

Titan's adoption day

A recovering Titan (Mastiff on the right) post-surgery posing for a photo with his new family on his adoption day!

“Titan’s tumor ended up being a very rare type of benign kidney tumor,” happily reported Dr. Doyle.  “Now that the tumor has been removed, Titan should be able to go on to live a normal life.”

With the tumor gone,  Titan was cured and medically-cleared for adoption. He went home with a new family shortly after surgery and by all reports is doing better than ever!

Would you like to help Titan and other animals like him?

Only with your support can dogs like Titan get emergency medical assistance when they need it most.

The ARL doesn’t receive any government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters like you to provide veterinary care and treatment for shelter animals who have no one else to turn to for help when they’re sick or injured.

MAKE YOUR DONATION GO FARTHER NOW!  The Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund will generously match your donation today dollar for dollar!

Please visit arlboston/kintera.org/titan or click the button below to make a donation to help pay for the care and treatment of Titan and other animals like him.

Donate Now

 

 

March is Adopt A Rescued Guinea Pig Month!

There’s more than just cats and dogs at ARL shelters

Many people assume that animal shelters only have cats and dogs, but here at the ARL we have a knowledgeable staff and are able to accommodate a variety of animals including guinea pigs.

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

Meet BooBoo, an adorable 5-year-old female guinea pig available for adoption at our Boston shelter. She’s a friendly, but shy gal looking for a family to call her own.

Her two favorite activities?  Sitting on your lap to get a cheek scratch and snacking on tasty salads.

If you’d like to adopt a guinea pig like BooBoo 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.

BooBoo

Adorable BooBoo strikes a pose during her photo shoot.

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!

For more information on BooBoo or any of the other adoptable animals at our Boston shelter, you can speak with our shelter staff by calling (617) 226-5602.  Our shelters are open Tuesday through Sunday 1pm-6:30pm, excluding some holidays.

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.

 

 

Inside The Mind Of A Shelter Dog

The ARL’s Dot Baisly on working with shelter dogs

Ever wonder what goes on in a shelter dog’s mind? You know, aside from the usual, “When is it time to eat? When can I go outside to play? When is it time to eat….?”

Dot Baisly, the ARL’s new shelter enrichment and behavior manager, may not know exactly what shelter dogs are thinking at all times, but what she does know are the best methods to help them adapt to their new environment and get them ready to find a new home.

The ARL Blog sat down with Dot to learn more about how the ARL approaches shelter dog enrichment and giving potential adopters a profile of a dog’s behavior.

ARL Blog: What are some common behavioral issues that you come across related to shelter dogs and how do you work with them?

DB: The most frequent issue in shelter dogs is over-arousal and “jumpy mouthy” behavior. This issue is common for many reasons, such as lack of stimulation, the animal’s adolescent age, and a lack of proper training.

I like to treat the animal holistically by working to enrich their daily experience while teaching impulse control, and by finding ways to help the dog relax and find a quiet space at least three times a week.

Dot with rooster on her head

Dot Baisly faces every day at the ARL with a positive attitude–and with her party hat (a.k.a. ARL adoptable rooster Leonidas – come meet him at our Dedham shelter!)

ARL Blog: When the ARL does a “behavioral screening” for animals, what exactly does that mean?

DB: Our behavior evaluation process takes in all the information available to us for each animal. When possible, we start with a profile when an owner relinquishes a pet to us. If the animal comes in as a stray, we do everything that we can to gather as much information about an animal’s behavior.

We process all dogs through a systematic behavior evaluation in which the animal is screened for friendliness to humans, excitement levels, fear, aggression, and how well they know cues.

Finally, we gather and report all behavior observed in the shelter and compile this information to best match each individual dog with a new home.

ARL Blog: What is a typical enrichment plan that you give to a shelter dog?

DB: A typical enrichment plan should address the individual needs of each dog. For heavy chewers, for example, we feed them from a toy daily so that food acquisition is a mentally stimulating part of their day.

Basic obedience training is a part of every enrichment plan and quiet time outside of the kennel should happen regularly.

In many cases, we encourage play to learn impulse control and other aspects of interacting with humans.  This can be done with fetch, tug, and other games for the young adolescent dogs in need of physical exercise. When possible, I also include agility, appropriate social interactions with other dogs, and handling/massaging from humans.

 MORE ABOUT DOT – Dot first came to the ARL as an under-grad looking for a part-time job. She found she loved the work so much, she joined us full-time for several years before going back to school for her master’s degree. She operated her own dog training business, through which she continued to work with shelters.

Most recently, Dot worked at the SPCA of Westchester, New York, designing and implementing a volunteer-based dog walking and training program and fulfilling all behavior needs of that shelter.

 

 

Pet Me, I’m Irish!

Find your lucky charm at an ARL Shelter today

All the animals at ARL shelters in Boston, Brewster and Dedham are getting into the St. Paddy’s Day spirit!

If you’re looking for a pet-friendly St. Patrick’s Day activity, visit our adoptable pets at our shelters 1 pm – 6:30 pm and find your lucky charm today. (Green top hat not included.)

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When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  All adoptable animals at the ARL also receive:

  • Spay or neuter services
  • Health screening and veterinary examination
  • Behavior screening and evaluations
  • Vaccinations and flea/tick/mite treatment
  • Microchip identification and registration
St. Patrick's Day cat

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from everyone at the Animal Rescue League! ARL adoptable Henry (pictured above) doing his best leprechaun impression.

Speaking of pet-friendly holidays, St. Patrick’s Day is most definitely a festive celebration of Irish culture, music, and the opportunity to dress up in bright green and shamrock prints. (Read: fun!) As with any holiday though, remember to take precautions with food and libations which may not be safe for pets to ingest.

If you plan to celebrate the holiday in a home where a pet resides, keep in mind three safety guidelines to ensure that everyone has a good time:

  1. Keep the leash.  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 St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Still, it’s best to keep your dog leash. The smell of food, a large group of people, and other excited pets can easily overstimulate a dog, increasing the potential for poor behavior and bites.
  2. Watch the secret sippers.  Alcohol is poisonous to cats, dogs, and other animals and can lead to severe illness or death.  Do not leave alcoholic bottles, cans, etc. on the floor or in reach of a pet. Although the container may seem empty, even ingesting trace amounts can cause illness in animals.  If you suspect that a pet may have ingested alcohol, look for the following symptoms and seek emergency medical treatment: excessive drooling, retching, vomiting, stomach distension, elevated heart rate, weakness, low blood pressure, hypothermia, or coma.
  3. Beware the sneaky eaters.  We’ve all had it happen—turn your back for just a second and your pet starts to eat the food right off your plate!  Keep food and snacks out of paws reach because many party foods can be hazardous to cats and dogs.  Though you might be tempted to share your St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage with your furry friend, keep in mind corned beef contains a high amount of sodium, which isn’t good for cats or dogs.  Onions—a frequent ingredient in many corned beef and cabbage recipes—can also damage a cat’s red blood cells, restricting their capacity to carry oxygen effectively.

Wishing you and your pets a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day!

 

New shelter hours starting this week!

Starting tomorrow, new adoption center hours at all ARL shelters

valentines day pet dogPlanning a visit to an ARL shelter during February school vacation week?  Be sure to check out the new hours at our shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham!

PLEASE NOTE: Our adoption centers are closed to the public today in honor of the President’s Day Holidays!

Beginning Tuesday, February 17, all shelters will be open 1 pm – 6:30 pm, Tuesday – Sunday, to allow for extended adoption hours.  Our shelters will accept adoption applications until 6 pm to allow us time to send home your new pet.

Our Boston shelter will begin extended weekend hours on February 27 – Boston adoption center hours ONLY will remain the same, 1 pm -4 pm, Friday, February 20 – Sunday, February 22.

When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  All adoptable animals at the ARL also received:

  • Spay or neuter services
  • Health screening and veterinary examination
  • Behavior screening and evaluations
  • Vaccinations and flea/tick/mite treatment
  • Microchip identification and registration

Search adoptables now

Come find your pawsitively purr-fect match at an ARL shelter soon!