SUGAR Waited 399 Days for this Sweet Moment

Sugar – A Young Horse at our Dedham Shelter Finally Found a Home this Weekend!

07-21-14 Sugar Adopted PhotoAfter 399 days at the Animal Rescue League’s shelter in Dedham, Sugar, a playful three-year-old filly, went home with a wonderful new family over the weekend. She’ll be living on beautiful Cape Cod with a family that’s excited to take on the feat of starting her under a saddle and treating her like a family pet.

Sugar first came to us with her mother back in July of 2013 after we rescued her from a small tenant farm in Southeastern, MA. She was severely neglected – left on a muddy paddock with no food or water – and had never been trained to interact with humans.

Read her story.

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of our Dedham staff who worked with Sugar regularly to teach her to trust humans again, this great horse will make a great companion for her new family.

On Saturday, Sugar walked onto the trailer carefree and ready for her next adventure!

We’re so happy that this fantastic family has brought Sugar into their lives and are giving her the chance to be a beloved pet and best friend to their 16-year-old daughter!



Meet Madeline!

Sweet survivor cat ready for her new home

“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 shelter 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 shelter and read her adoption profile 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.”


Thank You Thursday: Scotties Sponsors Cat Adoptions

Thank You to Our No Fee Week Sponsor Scotties Facial Tissue

John Robertson, director of marketing at Scotties & Mary Nee, ARL president.

John Robertson, director of marketing at Scotties & Mary Nee, ARL president.

From June 22 through June 29, our partner Scotties Facial Tissue will cover the adoption fees on cats 1 year-old and up! We are so grateful to Scotties for helping more deserving cats find loving homes during Adopt-A-Cat Month.

John Robertson, director of marketing for Scotties Facial Tissue, and his team stopped by our Boston shelter today to present us with the cat adoption sponsorship check and to tour our shelter. We were so happy to tell him about all of the cats that have benefited from the adoption sponsorship.

“Our goal for this partnership is to help a great organization do what they do best – finding good homes for these loving animals,” explained John. “We hope that our donation will act as an incentive for caring people to come forward and open up their homes.”

Well, we can state that their donation is working. People from all over the Boston area are coming to adopt a cat from the ARL this week.

Thank you Scotties Facial Tissue for all you’re doing to help shelter cats!

Our kittens seemed to like the new Scotties Facial Tissues logo with the kittens.

Our kittens seemed to like the new Scotties Facial Tissues logo with the kittens.


Adopt-A-Cat Month PSA [VIDEO]

Scotties Facial Tissue & ARL Partner for Shelter Cat Public Service Announcement

With less than a week left to adopt a fee-waived cat at the Animal Rescue League, the ARL and Scotties Facial Tissue want to remind everyone about the benefits of adopting a cat from a shelter. Watch our video below:

When you adopt a cat from an animal shelter like the ARL, you give a cat a chance at a better life.  All adoptable cats and kittens at the ARL also receive:

  • Spay/neuter
  • Vaccinations
  • Feline leukemia test
  • Flea, tick and mite treatment
  • Microchip identification and registration

Search adoptable cats

We hope you’ll stop by one of our shelters now through June 29 to adopt while all cats one year and up still have no adoption fee.

Remember, the ARL requires the following information as part of the adoption process for cats and kittens:

  •  Proof that adopter is 18 years of age or older
  • A Massachusetts ID with valid current address (No Student IDs)

Special thank you to Scotties Facial Tissues and Great Grand Paws Productions.

No Fee Cats FB Montage


Rugby Update: Parade Goers Adopted this Playful Pup

Rugby is Settling into a New Home!

Rugby at the Boston Pride parade.

Rugby at the Boston Pride parade.

Rugby clearly made an impact at the Boston Pride Parade. When parade goers Maddy and Pam saw him marching with the ARL on June 14, it was love at first sight! They immediately contacted our Boston shelter about adopting him and he went home last week. Our Boston shelter supervisor, Naomi Johnson, said his new family is “dedicated to giving Rugby what he needs to thrive.”

When Rugby first arrived at the ARL his front legs were so severely twisted that he could barely walk. Thanks to a lot of TLC and very specialized therapy regimen, he has made enormous progress.

Read Rugby’s story.

We knew this amazing puppy would need a special home that could give him the attention that he needs and we’re absolutely thrilled that he found himself a great home with new canine and feline siblings and a large back yard to romp around in!

Rugby snuggling with his new brother.

Rugby snuggling with his new brother.

Maddy and Pam said that Rugby loves playing with his new 10-year-old canine brother, Tito and they’re having a fantastic time together.

Rugby is adjusting well and is starting his first day of puppy day care today. Good luck on your first day of “school” Rugby!

Everyone here at the ARL could not be happier for Rugby and his new family! We’d like to thank all of the staff, volunteers, and Dr. Alett Mekler and the physical therapists at Animotion in Stoughton, Massachusetts, who donated their time and services to help with his rehabilitation!

On his second day in his new home, Rugby got a pool!

On his second day in his new home, Rugby got a pool!




Got Cats on Your Mind? Adopt from the ARL!

Bob the Street Cat and Scotties Facial Tissue will cover adoption fees on select adult cats

Have you been day dreaming about finding a feline companion for yourself, a friend, family member, or your current pet? Then now is the time to visit the Animal Rescue League of Boston to meet your purr-fect match!

During the final full week of Adopt-a-Cat Month, June 21-29, our partners Bob the Street Cat and Scotties Facial Tissue will cover the adoption fees on select adult cats at our shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham:

June 21 – No Fee Caturday on adult cats 7 years and older and special “picks of the litter”, courtesy of Bob the Street Cat

June 22 – 29—No Fee on adult cats 5 years and older and special “picks of the litter,” courtesy of Scotties Facial Tissue

Daisey 7yo

With so many kittens available at this time of year, adult cats like Daisey (pictured right) often have a longer wait at animal shelters before they find a home.

In fact, the American Humane Association established National Adopt-a-Cat Month 1975 to help bring awareness to the large number of cats and kittens coming into shelters in the spring and summer, and to promote adult cat adoptions.

Search Adoptable Cats

A quick word about our sponsors….

Street Cat Named Bob, ABob the Street Cat is the real-life central character in the best-selling two-book series by James Bowen.

Bowen, a street musician and recovering drug addict, found the injured and sickly ginger cat curled up in the hallway of his apartment building.  He discovered nursing the injured cat back to good health and keeping him as a companion gave his life meaning and purpose—and inspired the continuing series of books.

To celebrate the release of the second book in the series, The World According to Bob, Bob the Street Cat will sponsor adoptions at shelters in other cities across the country, including ours.

He also will give everyone who adopts at cat on June 21 at our shelters a free set of “his” books, while supplies last!

Scotties New Logo

Scotties Facial Tissue will give a $5,000 donation to the ARL to encourage families to add some softness to their home by adopting a cat June 22-29.

“Our goal for this partnership is to help a great organization do what they do best – finding good homes for these loving animals,” said John Robertson, director of marketing for Scotties Facial Tissues. “We hope that our donation will act as an incentive for caring people to come forward and open up their homes.”

Thank you to Bob the Street Cat and Scotties for encouraging the public to adopt from animal shelters and helping find more cats safe and loving homes!


Happy Adopt-a-Cat Month!

Got Cats on Your Mind?

Everyone at the Animal Rescue League sure has cats on our minds this June during national Adopt-a-Cat Month!

During the spring and summer, new litters of kittens flood our shelters, along with a steady stream of adult cats who also need care and shelter.

Because we have so many cats and kittens coming in at this time of year, the feline areas of our shelters fill up fast.  When we have no room left, we place cats on a waiting list for admission to our shelters or try to find space at another shelter or rescue group.

You can see how important finding safe and loving homes for cats and kittens as quickly as possible becomes during the busy month of June!

When you adopt from a shelter, you will feel good about giving a cat a chance a better life.  And not just one cat – when you take your new pet home with you, the ARL can bring another cat into our shelter.

Miss Cookie 2yoBefore your new pet goes home, every adoptable cat at the ARL receives:

  • Health screening and veterinary examination
  • Behavior screening and evaluations
  • Vaccinations
  • Feline leukemia test
  • Flea, tick and mite treatment
  • Microchip identification and registration
  • Spay/neuter services

ARL staff find plenty of opportunities to give the cats and kittens in our shelters one-on-one attention to get to know their personalities and likes/dislikes.  Our shelter staff is ready to answer questions and help you find the perfect feline match for your lifestyle and household.

Read more about adopting from the ARL

Our care and support for cats in our shelters continues after you take your pet home, too.  Have a question about your new pet?  You can call the shelter and ask!

Search adoptable cats.

Brewster & BuddyYou can also join us on Tuesday, June 10, at 12 pm, for a cat health and wellness lunchtime ARL Ask a Vet Twitter Chat hosted by Dr. Edward Schettino, director of veterinary medical services at the ARL.

To participate in the conversation, follow the ARL on Twitter (@arlboston) and submit your questions using the hashtag #ARLAskaVet. Questions may be submitted real time or in advance.

Happy Adopt-a-Cat Month!

Adopt-a-Cat Month Historical Fact:  The American Humane Association started Adopt-a-Cat Month in 1975 to help bring awareness to the large number of cats and kittens coming into shelters in the spring and summer, and to promote cat adoptions.




Pet of the Week: Nicki, a Hound with a Big Heart

 Meet Nicki!

05-23-14 Nicki PhotoNicki is a sweet 7-year-old Bluetick hound mix who’s been waiting for a furever home for just over a month. She loves to go outside for walks and is very well-behaved on leash. She’s also very smart and will gladly give paw and play fetch.

Like all hounds, Nicki has a passion for sniffing! The moment she’s out the door, her nose is to the ground and she turns into Nicki the hound detective – investigating any scent she comes across!

She is a very friendly dog who warms up quickly, especially if you have treats!

Because Nicki doesn’t always like to share her things, she would do best in a home as the only pet with no small children.

Nicki would like nothing more than to come home with you this weekend!

Read Nicki’s online adoption profile.

If Nicki sounds like the dog for you, come meet her at our Boston shelter. Or if you know someone who’d make the perfect match,  share her  information via social media and help her find a home.

05-23-14 Nicki Paw Photo

Nicki showing her “give paw” skills.


May is National Pet Month

Celebrate the Many Benefits of Having a Pet in Your Life

05-13-14 National Pet Month_Dawn & CatMay is National Pet Month, and this special reminder gives us a chance to think about all the compelling reasons to share your life with a companion animal.

Bringing a pet into your life can have lasting health benefits for both you, and the animal you have chosen to love.  Research shows that pets can lower our heart rate and blood pressure, increase our tendency to exercise, improve our overall mood, and help us manage the stress in our lives.

Pet care can teach children important lessons in responsibility, accountability, and even time management.  Registered therapy dogs can assuage feelings of loneliness in nursing home patients and help children with developmental disabilities learn to read.  The list goes on and on: pets are good for us!

05-13-14 National Pet Month_Boy & Pig

If you’re thinking about adopting a pert, we hope you’ll come by one of our shelters in Boston, Brewster or Dedham! We always have plenty of amazing animals just waiting for a human companion to call their own.

Adopting a pet from a reputable shelter will provide a needy animal with a safe, happy, and healthy home.

Ultimately, when you adopt you’re saving two lives: your new pet’s and that of the animal who takes his/her place in the shelter, and in return, if we note all of the benefits listed above, you just might be saving yours in the process!

Visit to find your new pet!


Pets of the Week: Kingsley & Rigel Become BFFs at ARL Dedham Shelter [VIDEO]

Kingsley & Rigel’s Adoption Fees are Sponsored in Full 

Kingsley (two-years-old) and Rigel (five-years-old) were found as strays and became best friends at the ARL’s Dedham shelter. They are also both FIV positive. These two wonderful cats have grown inseparable and need to find a loving home that will take them both.

Watch their video above to learn more about these pawsome fellas and to see the beautiful bond that they’ve created.

Kingsley and Rigel’s adoption fees have been sponsored in full by very generous donors who have fallen in love with these sweet boys!

Read their profile

If Kingsley and Rigel sound like the cats for you, come meet them at our Dedham shelter. Or if you know someone who’d make the purrfect match,  share their information via social media.

Kingsley & Rigel Photo