Some of Old San Juan’s Most Famous Residents Finding Homes in Boston
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is broadening its reach in Puerto Rico by partnering with Save a Gato, a nonprofit group dedicated to rescuing cats in Old San Juan; the partnership began with a transport of nine cats this past week.
Once at ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center, the cats were placed under a state-mandated 48-hour quarantine period, given thorough examinations, vaccinations, spayed or neutered, and microchipped. From there, the gatos were made available for adoption, and to no surprise have been adopted very quickly.
An Internationally Known Colony
Save a Gato manages cat colonies throughout Old San Juan, including along the Paseo Del Morro – a trail that once serviced as a maintenance road for the massive stone protective walls of the city that date back to the 1630s.
For visitors to the National Recreational Trail, the numerous cats along the route are part of the experience, and many say that some of the cats are actual descendants of the original cats who came on ships when the first Spanish settlers came to the island.
To see video of one of the adorable gatos, click here!
Gatos and Satos
Along with Save a Gato, in 2017 ARL began its partnership with All Sato Rescue, and has transported dozens of dogs from the island, including an emergency transport of pups following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
There is an abundance of homeless animals in Puerto Rico. These transports allow ARL to supplement the number of animals the organization takes in locally, while giving our partner organizations the ability to continue their important work and make room for more animals in need.
Additionally, ARL receives monthly transports of puppies and dogs from Brother Wolf Animal Rescue and Alexander County Animal Services – both based in North Carolina.
ARL-Boston Reminds Public to Take Action when Seeing an Animal in Distress
With New England still in the grips of a brutal winter, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to remind the public to be mindful and to take action when seeing an animal in distress.
Such actions recently helped save the life of a female stray cat in Dorchester.
The Good Samaritan got a backyard surprise when pulling off the cover to an outdoor grill. Underneath was a shivering cat who was trying to get out of the cold and hadn’t been seen in the neighborhood before. The cat had suffered a devastating injury to her front left leg, and was very thin. Concerned for the animal, the resident took the cat in and contacted ARL Rescue Services.
Upon arrival at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, an examination by ARL veterinary staff noted that many of the cat’s toes on her left front leg were missing and the bones of her paw were exposed; a condition that was causing the animal severe pain. Additionally she was also dehydrated, anemic, severely underweight, and had an upper respiratory infection.
The cat, later named “Addie”, underwent amputation surgery this past week, is ravenously eating to put on weight, and is making continuous progress. She’s incredibly friendly and will be available for adoption when she’s back to 100 percent.
Addie upon arrival in Dedham. She had a devastating leg injury and needed surgery.
Dr. Kate Gollon follows up with Addie post-surgery.
Addie is adjusting well, putting on weight and getting better by the day.
Addie will soon be available for adoption!
“Considering her situation, she’s doing remarkably well,” said Dr. Kate Gollon, ARL Community and Shelter Veterinarian. “When she came to ARL she weighed about half what a cat her age should weigh and she’s already put on half a pound, so she’s definitely trending in the right direction.
Addie’s case serves as a reminder that if the public spots an animal in distress, calling ARL Rescue Services at 617-426-9170 or local animal control can be the difference in an animal’s demise or survival.
James Starting Physical Therapy
For humans, knee surgery is a common procedure due to injury or sometimes with age; for one cat who recently came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), knee surgery wound up saving his leg, and possibly his life.
When one-year-old James was brought to ARL’s Community Surgical Clinic, his physical exam revealed muscle wasting on his hind limbs, which caused concern for ARL veterinary staff.
“His legs were skinny, and it was also noted that one of his patellas (knee caps) was out of place,” said ARL Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Kate Gollon.
Medially luxating patellas are common in dogs, but relatively rare in cats. The condition can be quite painful, drastically limiting movement and in some cases causing lameness and muscle wasting.
James was facing two options: amputation or surgery. ARL veterinary staff saw amputation as a last resort, and did not want to remove a limb from the handsome Havana Brown cat, so opted for surgery.
The procedure, which was performed at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, called a trochlear block recession, essentially deepens the groove where the patella normally sits, and is then secured in place by tightening the connective tissues around it.
James came to ARL as a Community Cat. He needed knee surgery to save his leg and regain normal function.
Checking to see if patella is in proper place.
Like humans, James is going to need physical therapy.
While in foster care, he will undergo daily exercises to build strength and agility.
Although still walking with a noticeable limp, James is able to put more weight on his leg with each passing day!
Just like when humans have knee surgery, James also needs to undergo physical therapy to strengthen his knee to be able to regain full use of his leg. James’ foster parents are performing a number of exercises with James every day to build strength and agility.
He continues to make noticeable progress by being able to put more weight on the leg, and will be made available for adoption when he is back to 100 percent.
Why Your Support Matters
Being a Community Cat and given his condition, it’s likely James would not have been able to survive living on the streets, and through ARL’s Community Cat Initiative and surgical clinic, James was able to be rescued and receive the medical treatment needed to ensure a long, healthy, and happy life. ARL receives no government funding, and relies on the generosity of individuals like you to make these programs possible, so THANK YOU for affording ARL the opportunity to help yet another animal in need!
Tinker Expected to Make Full Recovery
Tinker, a 3-year-old Italian Greyhound Mix, was one of 11 dogs who came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) just after Christmas as part of a transport from All Sato Rescue in Puerto Rico. Being jet-bound from the island to Boston likely saved Tinker’s life.
According to All Sato, Tinker’s owner had moved after Hurricane Maria, and had simply left the sweet and loving dog behind. While initially seeming perfectly healthy, several days after her arrival in Boston, Tinker was spayed, and following surgery, ARL veterinary staff noticed she was having a hard time breathing.
Tinker’s surgery was a success and she is on the road to recovery!
X-rays were taken and confirmed the diagnosis of a diaphragmatic hernia — a protrusion of the abdominal viscera into the diaphragm caused by a tear, which prohibits the lungs from expanding normally. Despite attempts to make her comfortable, Tinker continued to have breathing issues, and was transferred to an Emergency Specialty Hospital for surgery.
Tinker’s condition was likely caused by a previous trauma, such as being hit by a car. She remained stable by probably limiting her activity but one thing is certain — she is lucky to have made it to ARL to have the problem corrected before she suffered from any life-threatening complications.
Road to Recovery
Tinker will remain in foster care for a little while longer as she continues to heal from her surgery, but will soon be made available for adoption so be sure to check back for updates!
Tinker’s life-saving surgery cost approximately $4,500, and while animals like Tinker depend on us to care for them and make them well, we depend on YOU to support and help us continue our critical work. Animals at ARL receive the specialized veterinary care, kind attention, and socialization they need to thrive — only because of YOUR generous donations. Thank you for being a champion for animals and for giving generously today!
Mentoring Leads to Bonding
At the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), we see many cats and kittens that are under-socialized and need constant interaction to replace fear with trust. More often than not these interactions are done by humans, but sometimes all it takes is the mentoring of another feline to turn these under-socialized cats around.
Life of Brian
Brian and his sister came to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center through the organization’s Community Cat Initiative in early December. At about 11-weeks, he and his sibling fit the definition of under-socialized to a tee. They hissed, spit, displayed defensive body language, and did not want to be handled. The kittens spent some time in foster care for some extra attention, and when they returned Brian’s sibling was socialized and quickly adopted, but unfortunately he was still standoffish.
Glade the Mentor
With Brian’s behavior still needing some adjusting, his mentor came in the form of Glade, a one-and-a-half-year-old cat. Glade himself had displayed under-socialized behaviors, but over time had become “charming, social, playful, and comfortable.”
ARL staff put the two together, and while Brian initially hissed at Glade, after a few minutes the two cats were nose to nose and Brian was ready to learn.
Brian watched how Glade interacted with people, and when Brian would begin to get hissy, Glade would correct his behavior. Over the course of just one weekend, Brian went from under-socialized to purring with people and displaying his charming personality!
Glade took Brian under his paw.
Glade corrected Brian when he misbehaved and showed him how to interact with people.
Over the course of one weekend the two became inseparable.
Now the bonded pair are in their forever home -- together!
A Bonded Pair
The weekend experience bonded Brian and Glade, and staff recommended that they find their forever home together. Of course it didn’t take long, and we are thrilled to report that kitten and mentor have been adopted and spent the holidays together in their new home!
YOU Can Help Even More Animals Like Brian in 2018!
Animals at ARL receive the specialized veterinary care, kind attention, and socialization they need to thrive — only because of YOUR generous donations. We receive no government funding and rely solely on generous individuals like you to keep our important work going. Your tax-deductible donation will provide the critical resources necessary to help thousands of homeless animals, family pets, wildlife, and community most in need in 2018. Thank you for being a champion for animals and for giving generously today!
Stray, abandoned, surrendered, rescued, law enforcement cases — Animals arrive at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) a variety of ways, and when they come to us, they need an abundance of care, support, and love — but some need more than others. It’s astounding to chart the progress of some of these animals, and when you can see a marked improvement, it’s proof-positive that ARL is truly a Champion for Animals.
Pictures say a thousand words, so WATCH these transformations unfold before your eyes!
Maybelle, May, 2017. Maybelle, a one-year-old pot-bellied pig was in the care of ARL for more than six months. What began as a tale of woe, turned into a tale of triumph!
Eleanor, May 2017. Eleanor, an 11-year-old Lhasa Apso mix, is lucky to be alive. Found wandering along with side of a busy road, Eleanor’s turn-around was awe-inspiring and emotional.
Phil, February 2017. Phil, a two-year-old Maltese, was discovered abandoned along the side of the road in Hingham. He was an instant media sensation, and his transformation broke the cuteness scale!
Zim, February 2017. Zim, an 11-month-old tabby classic, went from a stray, to a rescue, to a surgical patient, to adopted! His transformation was all about improving his quality of life.
Sal, May 2017. In his one year of life, Sal had endured quite a lot. Suffering a series of traumas, Sal needed a lot of TLC but in the end he found his perfect forever home.
The above stories are just a tiny sample-size of the work that ARL is doing every day. Animals at ARL receive the specialized veterinary care, kind attention, and socialization they need to thrive — only because of YOUR generous donations. ARL receives no government funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals like you to keep our important work going. We need your continued support today to ensure we start the new year fully-funded to respond to the nearly 18,000 animals who will depend on us for help. Your tax-deductible donation will provide the critical resources necessary to help thousands of homeless animals, family pets, wildlife, and communities most in need in 2018.
Thank you for being a Champion for Animals and for giving generously today!
Energetic 10-Year-Old Podengo Portugueso Pequeno Waiting for His Forever Home
Matty came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center from another shelter in October, and while he has garnered interest with his stunning looks and energetic personality, nearly two months later he’s still awaiting his new family.
A Dedham staff favorite, Matty is the best of both worlds — he loves his outdoor time and long walks, but is just as happy to curl up and cuddle. And when it comes to petting, Matty will actually stare at you until you pet him! Click here to see Matty in action!
Matty is more than just a handsome face, he's housetrained and knows all his basic commands.
Matty loves his outdoor time.
But Matty also loves to cuddle up with loved ones!
Please help us give Matty a home for the holidays!
The 10-year-old Podengo Portugueso Pequeno was surrendered for displaying stressing behaviors around small children when his personal space was invaded — a common issue for some dogs. He also has a tendency to chase small animals and cats, and will bark at strangers entering the home or yard.
Matty is however housetrained, and knows basic commands.
With all these behavioral factors, Matty would prefer to be in an adult home without children, and be the king of the castle i.e. no other pets in the home!
Why Matty Needs a Home for the Holidays
Even with regular human socialization, the shelter environment can increase stress levels and even cause an animal to become depressed. While ARL’s dedicated staff and volunteers make sure that each individual animal gets the love, support and attention they need, what Matty really needs is a home to call his own.
The greatest gift for Matty this holiday season is a forever home, and if you can’t provide a home for him, you can always support ARL to allow us to continue to care for animals like Matty. ARL receives no government funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals like you to keep our important work going. We need your continued support today to ensure we start the new year fully-funded to respond to the nearly 18,000 animals who will depend on us for help. Your tax-deductible donation will provide the critical resources necessary to help thousands of homeless animals, family pets, wildlife, and communities most in need in 2018.
Thank you for being a Champion for Animals and for giving generously today!
5 factors to consider before you give pets as a holiday gift
It seems like a no-brainer… Giving a pet as a present can be a win-win situation for everyone involved: the animal has a cozy home to call its own, the recipient is in a state of awe, and the giver (you!) has made your loved one’s holiday even more joyful.
While this is the gift-giving scenario that every animal lover dreams of, make sure it really is the purrfect present for the person on your list.
If giving your loved one a new pet as a present is on your mind, here are 5 things to consider:
- Manage the surprise. Even at the risk of spoiling the surprise, make sure that the intended recipient wants a new pet. Check in with someone who currently has pets or has recently lost one to make sure they are ready.
- Don’t make them sneeze. That’s not a twinkle in their eye; it’s allergies. 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.
- Know where they live. Even if you know your intended recipient really wants a pet, ensure that their building and development allows them. If their home is pet-friendly, be sure to confirm any weight or breed restrictions.
- Find out what they can handle. You want to know that the animal you are getting matches the lifestyle, physical limitation, ages, and personalities in the household.
- 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.
Keep in mind… It never hurts to run the idea by your loved one beforehand or take them along to pick out their new pet. They and their new furry friend will be thanking you for many years to come!
ARL has many deserving animals looking for a home!
It’s not just snowing cats and dogs here at ARL’s shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham. We have many special small shelter pets like birds and rabbits who are looking for loving homes!
Search all adoptables
Special Kittens Require Special Accommodations
Fifteen-week-old Baxter and Suzie recently came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) as owner surrenders and are like typical kittens in many ways. They’re energetic, spunky, and are just starting to learn their way in the world. However these siblings are also unlike many other kittens, as they were born with a rare congenital defect that prohibits normal ambulation; and will need to be adopted into homes able to accommodate their limitations.
Radial Agenesis is an orthopedic condition were the radius — the bone that goes from our elbow to our wrist — did not form properly. These kittens are essentially missing bones in their front limbs, as well as one hind leg. The condition results in bowed-in front legs, where the kittens walk on their wrists instead of their paws. Click here to see video of these siblings in action!
Baxter and his sibling Suzie were born with Radial Agenesis, a rare congenital abnormality.
Like any kitten, Baxter has a playful and funny side!
Suzie is a little more subdued, but she can be playful as well.
Dr. Kate Gollon introduces Baxter and Suzie to members of the media.
Suzie is a little camera-shy.
Baxter on the other hand loves attention!
While little can be done to correct this condition, many cats, including Baxter and Suzie, with Radial Agenesis can have an excellent quality of life and have no idea that they are not “normal”. Potential adopters will have to keep the following accommodations in mind:
- Carpeted Floors. For Baxter and Suzie, carpets give them the necessary traction to get around — especially stairs.
- Easily Accessible Basics. Providing food and water dishes that don’t tip over and a litter box with a lowered opening are key.
- Indoor only. Baxter and Suzie should be indoor animals only, as they lack the ability to quickly flee from outdoor dangers.
- Weight Management. Because of their abnormal gait, there is a greater risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life. Keeping them at a healthy weight along with regular veterinary visits is recommended.
A Home for the Holidays
Suzie and Baxter have done well in separate foster homes, and will soon be ready to find their forever home so stay tuned! If you are ready to open up your heart and home for an animal in need this holiday season, please check ARL’s adoption page to find your perfect match or visit our Boston, Dedham, or Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers to meet your next furry friend in person.
Special Needs Puppy Looking for Her Forever Home
Ellen, a beautiful four-month-old Feist-mix, came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) as part of a transport from our partners in North Carolina in November.
A few days after arriving at ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center, Ellen suffered a seizure, and has since shown mild neurologic symptoms including a spastic nature to her gait while playing and a lack of coordination.
Preliminary exams and diagnostic tests have not pinpointed the root cause of the seizure or the ongoing issues that have followed.
It should be noted that while exhibiting neurological symptoms, Ellen is also displaying typical puppy behaviors. She’s energetic, loves attention and playtime, and is absolutely adorable! To see Ellen being playful click here.
Ellen was adopted and will be spending the holidays in her new forever home!
Ellen having an examination.
Ellen had a seizure and has since been displaying neurological symptoms.
Ellen undergoing examination.
Symptoms have included lack of coordination and an awkward gait.
Ellen is looking for a home for the holidays!
Needing Extra Care
Adopting a puppy is an extraordinary commitment, but in Ellen’s case she may need more than learning manners, house training, and everything else puppies need to become well-adjusted adult dogs.
“There is a fair chance that her symptoms are caused by hydrocephalus, a congenital defect in which excess fluid accumulates around the brain,” said Dr. Erin Doyle, Lead Veterinarian for ARL Shelter Veterinary Services. “The prognosis for hydrocephalus is very dependent on its severity. In some cases, hydrocephalus can be treated surgically or managed medically to control symptoms. Ellen’s lack of any further seizures and the mild nature of her ongoing symptoms are positive indicators, but unfortunately do not guarantee a good long term prognosis.”
The best way to determine her diagnosis and prognosis would be through a referral to a veterinary neurologist and an MRI. An MRI can run $1,500-3,000, however, whether this is necessary will be determined by Ellen’s ongoing symptoms. Ellen’s new family will have to monitor her closely and establish a plan with their regular veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment.
Have Some Love to Give?
Ellen is waiting for her forever family, and so are many others. If opening your heart and home to an animal in need this holiday season is up your alley, we encourage you to visit ARL’s Boston, Dedham or Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers to find your perfect match!