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.)

Search adoptables

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!

 

Valentine’s Day and Your Pet

Chocolate, flowers, and pets are not a purr-fect match!

Now that you’ve managed to dig your way out after the snow earlier this week, you can finally turn your attention to Valentine’s Day! [hint: it's this Saturday, February 14]

valentines day pet dog

Spread the love this Valentine’s Day and adopt! Looking for your purr-fect match? Consider adopting a pet from the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

Many of us purchase tokens of love for the special people  in our lives.  While these gifts may be good for our relationship with our Valentines, many of the  common items people give or get to celebrate the romantic holiday can pose pet health concerns.

Here are three things your pet definitely DOES NOT want for Valentine’s Day:

1. Chocolate and candies.  Chocolate, especially darker chocolates, are highly toxic to cats and dogs. Many candies and gums contain Xylitol. This sugarless sweetener is highly toxic to pets. Always keep chocolate and candies out of your pets reach.

2. Flowers.  Certain flowers and plants can be harmful or even deadly to cats and dogs. Flowers such as lilies are highly toxic if ingested by pets. Make sure to keep a special eye  on cats, their excellent climbing skills can give them easy access to flowers and plants.  And indoor cats especially are prone to nibble on greenery!

3. Decorations. Discarded ribbons and packaging can be toxic and even deadly to pets if they are ingested. Balloons also pose a big risk to our furry friends. If swallowed, balloons can cause chocking or blocked airways. Clean up after you’ve opened presents and make sure balloons are resting some where away from your pets.

Need a gift suggestion for your pet this Valentine’s Day? Give them what they really want, of course – extra love and attention, cheek scratches and tummy rubs!

SPREAD THE LOVE and make your valentine smile by helping animals in need!  Make a donation to the Animal Rescue League of Boston and select “I would like to make a tribute” at the bottom of the donation form.  Your loved one will receive a personalized card.

Or purchase a gift certificate from an ARL shelter in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham so your special someone can make the purr-fect match with an adoptable animal.

 

Puppy Transports: What You Need to Know

ARL’s Dr. Smith-Blackmore comments to CBS News

CBS News paid a visit to the Animal Rescue League of Boston to interview Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, the ARL’s vice president of animal welfare, about the rising trend of “puppy transports” – when animals are relocated from one community to another state or region for adoption.

Watch the CBS Evening News story

Often because of socioeconomic or cultural, animal control facilities and shelters in many regions of the country find themselves with far more stray or abandoned puppies and young dogs than they can find homes for locally.

Since the practice of puppy transports began, many veterinarians have expressed concern about the health, welfare, and safety of animals traveling on a transport, as well as the risks that transported dogs may pose to dogs in the receiving communities.  Veterinarians  want to ensure steps are taken to control the spread and transmission of disease.

Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore

Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore offers her insights on the rising trend of puppy transports.

As the chair of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Animal Welfare Committee, Dr. Smith helped craft the AVMA’s policy on the relocation of animals for adoption.  Ahead of her interview with CBS News, we sat down with her to talk more about what people should know about puppy transports.

ARL Blog: What are the major concerns veterinarians have about puppy transports?

Dr. Smith: The biggest concern veterinarians have is for animal and public health – that animals with mostly unknown medical backgrounds and lacking much preventive care would spread large amounts of infectious disease from the place they were leaving to the place they were headed.  The health, welfare, and safety of animals during the transport–how they are treated and cared for during travel–is also something veterinarians care about very much.

They also care about their clients, who may end up heartbroken if the unwittingly adopt a sick puppy.

ARL Blog: If someone is considering adopting from a puppy transport, what do they need to know?

Dr. Smith: Learning more about the shelter or rescue group you’re adopting from to find out how the health and safety of animals and people are addressed before and during transport is very important!

One of the major goals of the AVMA policy was to provide organizations with guidance on doing transports safely and humanely.  The public can also use the AVMA policy as a point of reference for the standards of care they should expect from any group transporting animals for local adoption.

Download the AVMA’s Best Practices for the Relocation of Animals for Adoption

Find out if and how the organization that is bringing the puppies in for adoption is helping the community where they came from.  Are they giving back to the sending community to improve access to spay/neuter and other veterinary services?  Organizations involved in puppy transports run the gamut from responsible, welfare-oriented groups, to uncaring individuals motivated by financial profit.

puppy transport group shot

The ARL works with rescue partners to bring puppies from the South to our Brewster shelter several times a year. Our Boston shelter also receives occasional transports of chihuahuas from California.

ARL Blog: Has the increased interest in puppy transports had an impact on local animals who need homes ?

Dr. Smith: The AVMA policy encourages communities to assess their local animal population first to figure out if there’s a real shortage of adoptable animals.  Because of higher spay/neuter rates of dogs in New England, for example, there aren’t as many stray or abandoned puppies as there are in other parts of the country.

There are dogs in many communities in Massachusetts that need help getting to a shelter where they stand a better chance of getting adopted.  To address this issue, the ARL collaborates with the Massachusetts Animal Coalition’s AniMatch program.

The idea is for organizations to pursue their passion for helping animals find homes in a healthy, safe, and responsible way for all animals, people, and communities.

 

 

 

5 Things to Consider When Giving Animals as Gifts

Celebrating the holiday season with furry friends

It’s crunch time for holiday shoppers and finding that perfect gift that makes a friend or family member stand up and jump for joy remains very much on the minds of many this week.

Giving the gift of a new furry, feathered, or scaled family member is a frequent choice for a real WOW-factor holiday present.  That said, if a new pet is on your mind this holiday season, here are five things to consider.

  1. Thumper would love to come home with you!

    Thumper would love to come home with you for the holidays!

    Manage the surprise. Even at the risk of spoiling the surprise, make sure that the intended recipient wants a new pet.  Check with parents that they are willing to help a child care for an animal, for instance, and ensure they are able to financially take on the responsibility.

  2.  Don’t make them sneeze.  Confirm any allergies among all household members.  No one wants to go get an allergy shot after opening what’s supposed to be an extra special gift, after all.
  3. Know where they live.  Even if you know your intended recipient really wants a cat or dog, make sure they don’t live in a building or development that doesn’t allow pets.
  4. Find out what they can handle. You want to make sure you know the animal you are getting matches the lifestyle, physical limitation, ages, and personalities in the household.
  5. Adopt from a shelter.  When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  Adopting from a reputable animal shelter like the ARL’s locations in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham also has many practical benefits.  All our adoptable animals, for example, receive spay/neuter services, vaccines, and a health and behavioral screening.

12-22-14 Pets as Gifts Pic2“At the ARL, the visitors who come in looking for a pet to give as a gift to a friend or family usually know their loved ones, what they can take on, and the kind of animal they would like to have as a pet,” explains Maryann Regan, the ARL’s director of shelter operations.

Sometimes our whole shelter staff even gets to be part of the gift-giving experience.

Recently, one merry gift-giver came in after seeing an adoptable dog he knew would be just what his girlfriend wanted.  The next day, he brought his girlfriend to the shelter to meet the pup.  It was love at first sight, so he surprised her then saying the dog was his special gift to her!

The ARL has many deserving animals looking for a home for the holidays – search adoptables now.

 

Bring Greg Home for the Holidays

Pet of the Week: Greg has been waiting since October

12-12-14 Greg_PicGreg is a goofy and active 2-year-old pup who loves a good squeaky toy! He’s been patiently waiting for a home since October and would like nothing more than to go home with you for the holidays!

He was a long-term stray before being transferred to us from a local animal control facility, so he is thrilled to have recently discovered squeaky toys. Because he is so playful, he can sometimes become overexcited and grab for his toys, so he would do best in a home without small children.

He’s a very clean dog and doesn’t make a mess in his kennel in between walks.

Greg’s ideal home would have a large fenced yard where he can run around during supervised time outside and play fetch or catch a Frisbee

After enough exercise, Greg likes to be a couch potato and settle down inside. He is also treat motivated and would be a great candidate for obedience classes, which are offered here at ARL, which are discounted for adopters. 

Greg is a fast learner and a pro at playing fetch. Watch the video below to see his skills!

View his online profile to see more videos of Greg.

Will you bring Greg home for the holidays? If you’re interested in meeting this playful pup, please stop by ARL’s Boston shelter during our open hours.

Not able to adopt, but still want to help? Please share Greg’s story with your friends and family!

Greg trying catch snowflakes.

Greg trying to catch snowflakes.

 

 

 

Bring Prince Home for the Holidays

Pet of the Week: 1-Year-Old Prince

Prince Buny earsMeet Prince! This handsome 1-year-old pup has been at our Boston shelter since October 2 and would love to come home with you for the holidays.

Prince is a sweet boy who loves people and playing with toys. He’s eager to please and wants to learn as much as you’re willing to teach him.

He is very intelligent and responds to his name, as well as come basic commands – “sit”, “look”, and “touch.” Prince can be a lot for another dog to handle, as he is quite pushy and will get in their face; therefore, he will need to go to an experienced owner who will be able to manage his dog-to-dog interactions well.

Prince is still a young boy and he needs lots of exercise, play time, and training. If you’re interested in meeting him, please stop by our Boston shelter!

Read Prince’s profile.

Prince