The ARL Mod Squad is a select group of experienced volunteers who specialize with training the ARL’s shelter dogs.
Working together as a team, they provide essential support in the Boston adoption center for dogs with a variety of health and behavioral issues, making sure that, even at the busiest times, every dog gets individual enrichment.
The Mod Squad also helps with adoptions – helping with introductions, offering tips and advice to potential adopters – taking photos and now taking videos!
Today we’d like to dedicate “Thank You Thursday” to our Mod Squad. Their latest effort has been working with shelter dog, HALLE BERRY and helping her find a home.
Halle is an active two-year-old dog who knows all her basic cues and is eager to learn. She loves cuddling with people and can be a sweet, couch potato once she has gone out for a nice walk.
Halle has been waiting for a home since November and we hope that someone will choose her soon! The Mod Squad put together this excellent video of Halle, highlighting her knowledge of commands and agility skills. Hopefully, the right person will watch it and fall in love with Halle.
Watch the video below to see Halle’s wonderful personality… and the hard work that the Mod Squad has put in to train her!
If Toppsie sounds like the feline friend for you, come meet her at our Boston shelter. Or if you know someone who’d make the perfect match, please forward this email or share her information via social media.
One of the most exciting moments for any animal shelter agent is when they receive that email update from a new adopter, sharing photos, progress and of course explaining how much they love their new pet. We all love updates!
Our Boston shelter recently received an email from Rico’s (f.k.a. Garth) new family. They adopted him back in April of 2013 and he quickly made a lasting impression on his new pet parents… literally! His new dad got a tattoo of his favorite pup not long ago, memorializing his love for Ricco forever.
Along with a handful of awesome pictures included below, his dad, Louis, also shared an update stating that “Rico is great. He is so full of love. We couldn’t have been blessed more by finding Rico. It’s been fun having him around. He’s a great boy.”
Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but here at the ARL we get to see stories of love every day.
Siskel and Ebert are best buds who have been at the ARL’s Boston shelter since November. They are two very friendly guinea pigs who would make great pets!
These two boys are very attached to each other and we would love for them to go home together this Valentine’s Day weekend!
Siskel and Ebert are charming and talkative little animals and their unique personalities will provide you with hours of joy and love.
Guinea pigs can make great companions for both first-time or experienced pet owners. Given that they are prey animals, guinea pigs require time, patience and a gentle hand. Once they are comfortable with you and their new surroundings, their personalities really shine. Just like any other pet, guinea pigs require a lot of care and attention. It is important to familiarize yourself with their daily and long term needs before adding one to your family.
If you or your friends or family members are considering getting a guinea pig (or two) please consider adoption first. Throughout the year our shelters have many small animals including guinea pigs just waiting for their perfect match.
Our Boston shelter has a very special and very tiny guest who’s waiting for someone who wants a unique and spunky small pet like him. His name is Gus and he’s a degu. Never heard of a degu? Neither have most people, so here’s a little introduction to the species!
Relative newcomers as pets, full-grown degus are about the size of a pet rat, but with a long fluffy tail, large eyes and mouse-like ears.
Most degus are social and like to live with others of their kind BUT not our GUS! The reason he was brought to the ARL in the first place is because he didn’t get along with his Degu buddy. In essence he’s the exception to that rule.
Another important note, degus don’t like to be handled, but do enjoy human companionship. Their antics, often accompanied by excited chattering or gentle coos, can keep you entertained for hours. Their average life span is five to ten years.
Here’s a random fact about degus: they have yellow teeth. Unlike humans, if their teeth turn white it typically means they’re not healthy.
Before adopting a degu, consider the following:
Degus need nutritious food, fresh water and a clean habitat.
Degus clean themselves by rolling in dust, so you’ll need to provide a dust bath.
Degus need daily exercise and play.
While they are excellent companions, most degus do not like to be handled, but Gus loves getting his cheeks scratched. Watch the video below.
Degus require a larger habitat than most rodents.
Now that you have some basic info about degus. We hope you’ll be that special someone Gus is waiting for!
If you’re trying to decide on a new pet consider this: rabbits make perfect household pets for the right people, especially for apartment dwellers.
You won’t have to rush home from work to let a rabbit out. They need some time outside of their cage every day, but they require less attention than dogs or cats. Rabbits eat salad and hay, and love carrots as treats – in moderation.
Rabbits are curious and friendly by nature. They’ll entertain you with their silly antics, and love to cuddle next to you on the sofa. They’re also quiet and clean – they can easily be trained to use a litterbox (huge plus).
Right now all three of our shelters have more rabbits available for adoption than usual including shorthaired, albino mini-lops, mini rexes and several others.
4 purrfect gift ideas from the Animal Rescue League of Boston
Boston, MA—Looking for something especially meaningful for the companion pets and people in your life this Valentine’s Day?
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has four purrfect gift ideas that spread the love and help find homes for shelter pets:
Give your special dog a heart-shaped treat. Nothing says “I love you” to the canine companion in your life like a tasty treat or dog cookie. Now through February 14, Polka Dog Bakery will donate 50% of proceeds from all Valentine’s Day treats to the ARL.
Present your sweetheart with an ARL gift certificate. The devotion of a shelter pet knows no bounds. You can purchase a gift certificate to ARL shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham and help your sweetheart bring a bird, bunny, dog, or cat home to love.
Sponsor an adoption. Show your Valentine how much you appreciate that soft spot he or she has for the stray animals in the neighborhood by sponsoring the adoption fees for a shelter pet in his or her name. An animal having a harder time finding a home may just find that special someone with the extra help.
Deliver a gift donation. Sometimes flowers and chocolates don’t convey the special message you want a Valentine’s Day present to have. By making a gift donation to the ARL or another animal welfare organization in your Valentine’s name, you show your support for a cause about which he or she cares deeply.
“The happiest part of the work we do at the ARL is uniting shelter pets with loving human companions,” explains ARL president Mary Nee. “Supporting these efforts through your Valentine’s Day gift truly reflects the thoughtful kindness of both the gift-giver and receiver.”
Every year, the ARL’s shelters unite over 3,000 deserving animals with families and place 850 in foster homes with dedicated ARL volunteers. Visit arlboston.org/spreadthelove to learn more about the shelter pets available for adoption.
About the Animal Rescue League of Boston
Founded in 1899, the ARL is dedicated to rescuing domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect. The ARL receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters to help animals in need.
He spent almost a year in foster care before he began the long search for that perfect family. A dog who may have seemed hard to love due to his many medical issues and tragic past would need to find the right family and with much patience, he did. Now after almost six months in his new home, Baba Ganoush, aka Hoobie, is sharing his love with everyone he meets.
Read the update from his new mom to see why the love of a rescue dog is all you need:
“When I walked in [to the Dedham shelter] and turned that corner (P1 was the last kennel to the left on the right side), there he was and I was instantly in love. At that moment I just knew. It sounds crazy but I just knew he was meant to be a part of our family. I didn’t care that he had warts, smelly ears, allergies and was old. He was it.
He is so loveable and kind and everyone who meets him just gravitates to him.
People will stop me everywhere to ask to pet him and ask questions about him. He truly has a healing soul. I have many friends who just ask to sit with him for a little bit to make them feel better. He’s also so good with all the small kids in my life.
We call him “Hoobie” as a nick name, I don’t know why. All my pets have their “real” name and then a nickname, so those are his.
He has become a little bit of a hoarder. He steals my clothes and puts them in his bed. He doesn’t eat them of chew on them, I guess he just wants something of mine. If I’m ever missing my favorite sweater or a shoe, it usually is in Hoobie’s bed.
He is very good to his “little” sister, Rory. She gets jealous a lot that he gets a lot of attention especially from guests and he just moves over and makes room for her. He has also taught her how to play again – she stopped playing with toys when she was around two. Now she is right back into it which is really nice. They motivate each other.
We go to this off-leash dog park a lot and he walks right by my side, doesn’t wander at all.
He is truly my buddy. He follows me everywhere, and whimpers for me when he can’t find me. No offense to my husband, but I feel like he is my soul mate, and I think you’d feel a kindred spirit with him too.” – Aimee
If Baba Ganoush makes you want to “spread the love” this Valentines day, visit arlboston.org/spreadthelove to see how you can help shelter pets find this kind of love. After all, doesn’t each and every animal deserve to find a soul mate?
His recovery was long and difficult, but thanks to a lot of TLC and a wonderful foster home he became available for adoption earlier this month and just last week he found his purrrfect match!
Not only did he gain a new human family, but he also has a new ARL brother named Sparrow. Thank you so much to his Philbert’s new family for opening their hearts and home to not one, but two special needs cats. Here’s an update from his new mom:
“Phil has made himself completely at home with us. He and Sparrow, who is the same age and is also a neutered male, seemed interested in getting to know one another from the start. They do spat from time to time, but only over which one perceives the other is getting more attention!
Phil is just a lovely, big, soft, warm pillow of a cat who loves to give (and receive!) head-butts and ear-rubs.
He and Sparrow enjoy going ‘out’ on the three-season porch in the morning after breakfast to watch the birds at the feeder. He can keep up with Sparrow on his three legs when they go running through the house – and is remarkably graceful doing it - but for the most part he prefers to lounge.
He likes to spend time with us in the morning and evening, and is content to sleep under or on top of the guestroom bed during the day.
He has made it part of his routine to put both our kids to bed in the evening, staying on their beds until they’re asleep. He loves both the boys and they love him. He met the family vet and seemed to love him, too (or at least, he certainly didn’t mind the exam)!
We’re happy that Phil has adopted us and is becoming a part of the family!” – Jennifer
10 Common Myths About Dog Behavior from Parade Magazine
Parade Magazine recently published an article on the topic of pet behavior – specifically the feelings of guilt. As soon as we saw it, we had to pass the article along to our own dog behavior expert Kim Melanson, CPDT-KA Behavior Counselor, at the ARL to get a second opinion.
Kim loved the article and said it is “right on,” with only one note about Myth 8.
“The only thing I disagree with slightly, and it probably comes from working in a shelter, is Myth 8. Although destroying the house and soiling when left alone can mean separation anxiety, it can also be a bored young pup or adolescent. Most adolescent dogs going home from the shelter will chew things if not crated.”
So while she agrees it’s not out of spite, people should keep in mind that a dog destroying the house could be separation anxiety OR it could just mean that your unsupervised pup is bored!
Take a look at the myths that Parade Magazine debunked and see if any apply to your dog!
Myth 1: When my dog looks guilty, it’s because he feels bad for doing something wrong.
When your pooch puts on that doleful look, he must be guilty of something, right? Wrong! Your dog knows you are angry or upset and is using that body posture to try in dog language to get you to calm down and avoid punishment.
Myth 2. My dog understands me when I talk to him.
While dogs can understand about 500 words and a very talented Border Collie named Chaser can understand thousands, when we talk to our dogs they focus in on a few words, our tone of voice, facial expressions, and our body language.
Myth 3: My new dog of the same breed will be just like my last one.
Just like two children from the same family will be alike in some ways, they can be completely different in others. So while Johnny and Susie both have blue eyes, one might be easy going and the other very stubborn. Two dogs from the same breed can be very different too.
Myth 4: My dog should tolerate anything my children do.
The reality is that young children often do not know how to interact with dogs in a caring considerate manner. Allowing children to sit on dogs, pull on their body, hit them with toys, disturb them while they eat may actually teach children the wrong lessons. Dogs are living, breathing, emotional beings that need to be treated kindly and with respect.
Myth 5: A fenced yard should be entertaining enough.
Our canine friends live in a very rich world of smells and visual input. The back yard is the same day in and day out. What dogs long for is the smell of a new scent, the chance to check out that next bush or tree and see the world. And when out in the yard all alone they can make bad decisions, become extremely territorial and threatening to others, or even become destructive or attempt to escape.
Myth 6: All dogs who are afraid of people have been abused.
While it is unfortunate that many dogs are abused, many dogs that show signs of fear or anxiety around people and places suffer from another problem: limited socialization. If a dog lives in a very restricted environment during their sensitive time of emotional growth (from 8 weeks to 9 months) they may not have the tools to process, interact, and enjoy new experiences as they come along.
Myth 7: Dog training works best if we rely on dominance and punishment.
Just like people, dogs learn best by humane treatment and showing them the right things to do. Dogs are at a disadvantage—they don’t know the rules of living in a human world. They are not out to dominate or control us, but rather don’t really know what is the right thing to do. It is up to us to teach them how to behave using positive training and kindness.
Myth 8: Dogs that destroy the house when home alone are being spiteful.
Dogs that go to the bathroom indoors bark and are destructive when home alone are most likely suffering from separation anxiety. They are unable to relax and be calm when separated from their human family. They need a behavior modification plan, treatment and perhaps medication to learn how to be home alone.
Myth 9: Dogs that growl and bite are mean.
Dogs that growl are trying to tell people that they are uncomfortable and afraid. What they really want is for the threatening thing to go away or stop. By understanding and respecting the message we can teach dogs the proper responses and diminish the need for aggressive responses.
Myth 10: Dogs and wolves are the same.
While dogs and wolves share a common genetic connection, that is where it ends. Dogs have evolved over thousands of years to be partners with humans and interact with naturally in ways that wolves do not even with extensive training. Two great examples: dogs can follow a human’s pointing gesture and often “ask” people for help; wolves do not without specific training.