A Six-Month Heroic Journey Comes to an End
Since early May, the journey of Maybelle, a one-year-old obese pot-bellied pig, has been chronicled by local and national media, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) collective staff and volunteers, and even by everyday visitors to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center. Maybelle’s final chapter has unfolded, and we are happy to report that our famous girl has been adopted!
A West Bridgewater couple saw Maybelle on the news recently, and thought they could give her a loving and happy home.
“We had a pig before for 20 years, so we know what we’re getting into,” said Gail Pepe. “We wanted to help her because we know she was abused. We have a spot for her and (even) built her a house.”
Maybelle in May, weighing roughly 196 pounds.
A note of encouragement on Maybelle's stall.
Maybelle's first measurement in July.
Doing better in July, but was still 4 feet round!
Maybelle in late September, mobile, happier, and weighing in at about 175 pounds.
Maybelle in May and September--What a difference!
Adoption Day! Maybelle again attracts members of the media.
Maybelle loves the camera.
Maybelle's new owner trying to get her ready for transport!
Still trying to get her ready for transport!
Finally, Maybelle is ready to go!
Saying goodbye and heading to her forever home!
The couple brought Maybelle to her new home this past weekend, and along with constructing an enclosure to suit Maybelle’s needs, they have also consulted with their veterinarian to ensure that she will continue to make progress.
Everyone at ARL is thrilled that Maybelle is getting the second chance she deserves!
Maybelle’s Weight-Loss Journey
Maybelle came to ARL weighing roughly 200 pounds, after allegedly being given a poor diet and kept indoors for her first year of life. She was depressed, immobile, uncomfortable, and unhealthy. While in the care of ARL, six small meals a day led to Maybelle losing approximately 25 pounds, and she slowly regained the ability to move around freely. She also became more outgoing and responsive to human interaction.
To follow Maybelle’s complete journey, click the links below:
ARL in Action
Maybelle’s case involved a number of ARL programs including: Law Enforcement Services, Rescue Services, Shelter Veterinary Medicine, and plenty of support from shelter staff and volunteers. ARL receives no government funding, and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to fulfill our mission and vision. YOU make our work possible, and Maybelle is a shining example of what makes ARL a CHAMPION FOR ANIMALS. Please consider lending your support today!
Extraordinary Measures Taken by ARL Volunteers and Staff
In late August, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) rescued nearly 50 cats from a hoarding situation in Bristol County. Many of these animals were in rough shape, and more than three dozen tested positive for a fungal infection that is transferable to other animals and humans as well. Extraordinary measures had to be taken to rehabilitate these cats, while keeping our staff, volunteers, and other animals safe from infection.
For the past seven weeks, the cats have been given daily medication, weekly cultures, and donning Tyvek suits and other protective gear, a dedicated group of volunteers bath the cats with pure oxygen twice a week. Additionally, while bathing the cats, our amazing volunteers also play with the kitties, improving their social skills and helping their true personalities come out. Most of the cats have shown to be very outgoing and regularly solicit attention.
Treating these cats has been an expensive endeavor and has presented logistical challenges as well.
“We decided with the number of cats to actually shut down an entire room in our holding area to treat these animals,” said Jessica Wright, ARL Veterinary Technician. “It wasn’t a decision that was made lightly because it impacts the rest of our shelter operations.”
A number of these cats have already found forever homes, and more are expected to be medically cleared and available for adoption soon. It’s truly been a group effort, and these animals have come a long way in the past month and a half. Click here to see a special report by WFXT in Boston on these ongoing efforts.
Jazzy (L) was recently cleared medically and has found her forever home, while Baby Butch (R) is currently available!
“It’s really satisfying to see how different they look,” said Jane Urban, an ARL volunteer. “At the end of the day, these cats are going to good homes, so it’s extremely rewarding.”
ARL volunteers are special, and with nearly 550 individuals donating their time to help animals in need, they are the oil that keeps the ARL engine running. There are constantly volunteer opportunities available, please check our website often to get involved!
ARL’s Cape Cod Branch Gets Helping Hand from Veterinary Partner
In late August, “Gus” was transferred to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center from Friends of Carver Animals. It’s estimated that Gus had been dumped into a feral colony about 10 years ago, and when he was recently trapped and neutered, because he was so friendly, it was decided he should be placed into a loving home, not returned to the colony.
Gus following cleft palate repair.
When examined by ARL veterinary staff, it was noted that Gus had a cleft palate that was likely the result of an old injury rather than congenital, as well as a fractured upper canine tooth. A cleft palate for a cat can cause problems eating and swallowing, as well as respiratory complications.
Needing surgery, ARL teamed with Eastham Veterinary Hospital, with Dr. John Kelly performing the cleft palate repair, while extracting five teeth as well. Gus was returned to ARL to recover and was fed canned cat food diluted with water, and treated with antibiotics to prevent infection. Gus recovered quickly, and has since been adopted!
In one month, Gus went from a stray, to a rescue, to a patient, and finally to adopted! ARL wants to thank Eastham Veterinary Hospital for its partnership, and for giving Gus the chance to find a forever home.
Special Study Highlights Why People Adopt Rescue Animals
It goes without saying, but we at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) love each and every rescue animal that comes through our doors. But what motivates the general public to adopt shelter animals, and why would they recommend adoption to others? A recently published study sheds some light on those questions.
The survey study of 1,400 people was conducted by the Shelter Pet Project, an Ad Council public service advertising campaign promoting pet adoption; and was funded by Maddie’s Fund and ARL national partner the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
That face and a handshake, how could you say no? Apollo was adopted this past spring.
So what motivates an adopter?
- Adopting a rescue animal is the right thing to do. According to this study, adopters feel good about saving a life and finding a companion in the process. A number of respondents also said adopting a rescue animal “saved them.”
- Joining a special group. One-third of respondents loved the idea of joining the passionate and special community of shelter-pet adopters.
- Great experience. This is something we hear a lot of at ARL. Survey respondents felt the adoption process was smooth, things were organized, and staff was knowledgeable. One-third said the process was fun!
Recommending adoption to others
- 71 percent of respondents passionately recommend shelter/rescue animals — compared to 41 percent of those acquiring an animal from a breeder, and 21 percent acquiring from a pet store.
- Respondents felt adoption evokes a strong sense of pride, kindness and social responsibility to a degree not displayed among the breeder and pet store segments.
The complete study can be read here.
When you adopt, you are giving your new companion a second chance, and are saving two lives — the animal you adopt, and the one that takes its place in our shelter. Create your own success story and visit ARL’s Boston, Brewster, or Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Centers today!
ARL Receives Pups from the Tar Heel State
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and what better way to begin this celebration than by receiving a transport of rescue canines that are truly being given a second chance. This week, two dozen puppies and dogs made the 900 mile trek from North Carolina to Massachusetts, as the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) expanded its network of transport partners to the Tar Heel state.
The pups came from Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Ashville, and Alexander County Animal Services in Taylorsville and were transported to ARL’s Dedham and Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers.
Transport van in Brewster.
A long journey comes to an end.
Puppy pose for the media.
I just want to take a nap!
Because of accessible and affordable spay and neuter services, there is a large demand for puppies and kittens in Massachusetts, and the Northeast in general. Conversely, the Southern region of the country is seeing overwhelming numbers of animals in need.
“In the Southeastern region of the United States, many shelters are overwhelmed, which tragically results in high kill rates,” said Andee Bingham with Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. “People in this area don’t understand the importance of spay and neuter. Resources are lacking and financially many people can’t afford to spay and neuter. We (Brother Wolf) pull these animals from these situations and save their lives through transport.”
“By transporting animals from that region to the Northeast, we’re able to extend ARL’s reach to help animals in need, while allowing those organizations to continue their important work,” said Caitlin Tomlinson, ARL’s Associate Director of Shelter Operations.
The pups have settled into their new surroundings, and after undergoing the state-mandated 48-hour quarantine period, medical checks and behavioral evaluations, these precious creatures will be ready to find their forever homes!
Adopt From a Reputable Shelter
Every animal that comes into the care of ARL is provided with kindness, extraordinary veterinary care, and daily behavioral enrichment to not only make them happy and comfortable while they’re in our shelter, but also prepare them for life in their future home. Additionally, when you adopt, you save not one life but two: the animal you adopt and the one that will take its place.
A Much-Anticipated Weigh-In
You may remember Maybelle. The obese one-year-old pot-bellied pig has been in the care of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) since May and the main goal for her rehabilitation has been simple — to lose weight. Maybelle has made tremendous progress during the summer months, and this week ARL staff decided it was time to get her on a scale to really see how much weight she has lost.
Maybelle came to ARL weighing 196 pounds, but is now down to about 175!
Twenty pounds may not seem like a lot, but for Maybelle’s overall status, losing 20 pounds has been transformative.
A tale of two pigs.
Strutting Her Stuff
Pigs are highly intelligent animals, and when Maybelle arrived at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, she was very depressed. Her depression stemmed from not only her obesity, but her lack of mobility and extreme discomfort. However over the last few months, and particularly in the past few weeks, we have seen a remarkable change.
Maybelle has made ARL’s iconic Dedham barn into her own personal walking track. She’s moving freely and on the day she was weighed, she put on quite a show for staff, volunteers, and media members in attendance. While showing off her mobility, she was playful, happy, and interactive, which is a great sign moving forward. Click here to see video of Maybelle strutting her stuff!
While continuing her weight-loss program, Maybelle is currently up for adoption, however any potential adopter would have to be able to provide a sufficient environment to house a pig, and be committed to her continued rehabilitation.
Despite the weight-loss, Maybelle still has a ways to go. She should weigh somewhere between 120-130 pounds, so her diet of six small meals a day will continue, and ARL staff and volunteers will give this famous pig all the support and encouragement she needs until the goal is reached. ARL’s veterinary team estimated that Maybelle’s weight-loss will take nine months to a year to complete, so stay tuned for updates on her progress!
On Thursday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) received an emergency transport of 10 kittens from the Palm Beach, FL-based Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, who was directly impacted by Hurricane Irma.
An ARL new edition.
In the days following both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, ARL has been in constant contact with individual shelters as well our national partners, and has made it known that if animals need to be transported from Texas, Florida, or other areas, ARL will make space available.
“By taking in these animals who were in Peggy Adams’ shelter, it allows that organization to open up space to be able to assist stray, hurt or abandoned animals that need treatment and shelter in the wake of the storm,” said Caitlin Tomlinson, ARL’s Associate Director of Shelter Operations.
ARL recently partnered with Peggy Adams in a transport of 60 kittens in August, and was happy to be involved in the organization’s transport of about 100 animals to the Northeast. As cleanup efforts continue in all the storm-ravaged areas, ARL may be taking in more animals in the days and weeks ahead.
The kittens will undergo medical evaluations, and should be available to find forever homes by early next week.
“Ted” Currently in Foster Care
When Ted was rescued from the Ted Williams Tunnel during Labor Day Weekend, injuries to his tail suggested that he was headed toward a four-month rabies quarantine period due to a wound of unknown origin. That however is no longer the case.
Ted did indeed suffer an injury to his tail, which needed to be amputated, but while he was under anesthesia, it was determined that no quarantine was necessary. That being said, Ted is currently not up for adoption, he is in foster care to work on his social skills.
While still a little fearful following his ordeal, Ted is doing well and will be up for adoption soon — stay tuned for updates!
For the second time this summer, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) joined forces with the Massachusetts State Police to save the life of a kitten on the side of a busy Massachusetts highway.
In June it was along Route 128 near Canton, over Labor Day Weekend, it was on the westbound side of the Ted Williams Tunnel.
State Police received a number of calls from passing motorists concerned about the little grey kitten who was seen wandering along the side of the road. Surveillance cameras zeroed in on the wayward kitty, giving Troopers a better idea of where he was located inside the 8,448-foot long tunnel. Once on-scene, Troopers closed one lane of traffic to keep not only the kitten safe, but ARL’s Assoc. Director of Law Enforcement Darleen Wood safe as well when she arrived to rescue the little guy. The rescue unfolded as a game of hide-and-seek.
“The kitten was roaming in and out between barriers along the side of the tunnel,” Wood said. “I was able to get on the service walkway above the barriers so he didn’t know I was there. When he stuck his head out, I was able to grab him by the scruff and bring him to safety.”
A spitfire, but he is adorable and friendly!
The rescue of Ted has made him a national star, as media outlets throughout the United States have covered this mischievous kitten’s journey from one Boston icon (Ted Williams Tunnel) to another (Animal Rescue League of Boston).
The 12-week-old kitten was brought to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center where he was evaluated by shelter veterinary staff. Aside from being dehydrated and hungry, Ted also had visible injuries. His tail was void of fur, and the tail itself was described as being “necrotic and mummified” meaning that the injury likely happened several weeks prior to his rescue. Because of the condition of the tail, it will need to be amputated. Ted also had some fur loss around his left ear, indicating another injury that may have been caused by an altercation with another animal.
Because it is currently unknown how these injuries were sustained, Ted will be neutered, have his tail amputated, and then be placed into a four-month rabies quarantine, which is required by state law.
It should be noted that this past year Governor Charlie Baker changed state regulations to reduce rabies quarantine periods from six months to four. ARL lobbied for and strongly supported this change.
Because of the potential for a four-month quarantine, Ted is NOT currently available for adoption, and cannot be visited by members of the general public.
ARL would like to thank the Massachusetts State Police for collaborating on another successful rescue operation, as well as all the passing drivers who alerted authorities of the situation. ARL’s rescue and law enforcement work depends upon the compassion of citizens who want to help animals in need. By phoning or emailing tips, you help save lives!
“Sunshine Kitties” Travel in Style
This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) rescued 60 kittens from a Palm Beach, Florida rescue organization, an operation that had been several months in the making.
What made this transport unique? Besides the sheer number of kittens, these felines traveled in style — aboard a Falcon 900 private jet! It’s the third Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League to the Northeast since June, and the flights have been made possible through that organization’s donors.
ARL joined other organizations at Logan International Airport to pick up the jet-setting kitties, and begin finding them loving homes. Click here to see video of the transport!
Crew unloads kitten cargo.
Kittens are cute--and sometimes a little crazy!
This kitten is standing tall!
Kittens--what's not to love?
Waiting for their companion.
Across the Commonwealth there’s an estimated 700,000 cats that are roaming free, 70,000 in Boston alone. ARL is the first animal welfare organization in Massachusetts to hire a dedicated rescue agent to work specifically with community cats. Deploying a trap-neuter-return (TNR) strategy, ARL is working to decrease the numbers of homeless cats, and to date the program has rescued more than 250 kittens and cats.
Despite these ongoing efforts, there is still a high demand for kittens, due to the success and availability of affordable spay and neuter programs, such as ARL’s Spay Waggin’. Other areas of the country, including Palm Beach, FL, are inundated with animals and need to transport to organizations like ARL to reduce their numbers and allow them to help more animals in need.
This year alone, ARL will transport an estimated 400-500 animals!
Ready to go Home
Per state mandate, the kittens were placed in isolation for 48 hours, were evaluated medically, and are now available for adoption! The kittens will be divided between ARL’s Boston, Brewster and Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Centers. Stop by today, or check our adoption page to find your perfect match!
New Bedford Cat Organization Utilizing ARL Community-Based Services
This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Spay Waggin’ made its usual monthly stop in New Bedford, setting up shop in front of Habitats for Cats. The nonprofit is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and has been utilizing ARL’s Spay Waggin’ for nearly a decade.
On this day upwards of 36 cats were spayed or neutered, some of which will be returned to feral colonies, while others will be put up for adoption. For the organization who specializes in trap-neuter-return or TNR, the Spay Waggin’, which offers low-cost spay and neuter services, has helped the organization tremendously in shrinking feral cat colonies and finding adoptable cats good homes.
“Without the Spay Waggin’ we couldn’t do what we do,” said Ginny McMahon-Higgins, a member of Habitat for Cats’ board. “Having ARL come to the site is a huge help, otherwise we’d have to transport our cats, and cost-wise it’s something we wouldn’t be able to do.”
“I find it very rewarding to be working with an animal welfare organization located in an area with a large population of community cats in need,” said Dr. Kate Gollon, ARL Shelter Veterinarian. “Community cats — both feral and stray — are the primary contributors of kitten intakes into shelters. Having ongoing, active TNR programs in neighborhoods with large populations of community cats is essential in reducing shelter populations and improve individual cat welfare. ARL’s Spay Waggin’ working with Habitat for Cats has allowed these efforts to continue.”
ARL Spay Waggin' on-site in New Bedford.
Habitat for Cats has been working with the Spay Waggin' for nearly a decade.
Cat carriers lined up outside the Spay Waggin'.
A videographer catching the action as cats are prepped for surgery.
ARL Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Kate Gollon operates.
A homeless kitten taken in by Habitat for Cats.
Habitat for Cats volunteer.
Along with utilizing the Spay Waggin’, Habitat for Cats has also been promoting Healthy Moms, Happy Litters, a new community-based program which provides complimentary assistance to local families and their pets to help prevent animal homelessness, suffering, and neglect.
“They (ARL) are out in the community, providing services that more people should be taking advantage of,” McMahon-Higgins said. “The more people who know these services exist, the less animals there are on the streets, and that’s the goal.”
The vision of ARL is that animals are healthy in the communities where they live. Having active programs like the Spay Waggin’ and Healthy Moms, Happy Litters, gets ARL out into the communities we serve, and are certainly generating results.
“New Bedford is a working class area, and because of financial constraints, we have historically seen a drastic number of homeless animals,” McMahon-Higgins said. “Community cats are still an issue, however with the help of the Animal Rescue League of Boston, we have made significant progress in this area.”
Here to Help
If getting your animal spayed or neutered is cost-prohibitive, ARL is here to help. The Spay Waggin’ provides low cost, high-quality spay/neuter services along the South Shore, South Coast, and Cape Cod. Services also include a brief veterinary exam, vaccinations, treatment for fleas, ear mites and intestinal parasites, and a nail trim. Click here to see a complete list of services, costs, scheduled stops, and to make an appointment.