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.
Why a Senior Animal May Make Sense for You
We all love puppies and kittens. They’re cute, cuddly, the subject of countless adorable viral videos. But they’re also energetic, untrained, destructive, and deserve and demand a level of commitment that some people may not be ready or willing to accept. If you’re ready to have a new best friend in your home but lack the time, lifestyle or patience to deal with the growing pains of an infant animal, then adopting a senior dog or cat may be right up your alley.
“A puppy or kitten will definitely give you a run for your money,” said Carolyn Curran, Manager of ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center. “Adult and senior animals are just looking to enjoy life and make wonderful companion animals.”
A senior dog requires less walking and exercising, sleeps a lot, and can be left alone for longer periods of time, which may fit the bill for many working professionals. Puppies require constant exercise, supervision, socialization and training.
Joy is spoiled in her kennel, but she’d rather have a home and loving family to spend her golden years.
Speaking of training, when adopting a senior dog, more often than not, the animal will be house-trained and know basic commands. While training is beneficial for an animal at any age, a senior animal will most likely need less of it.
A sunny spot, warm couch, a comfy lap, or a nice blanket. That’s what a senior animal is looking for. Senior animals tend to be more mellow, and simply want to enjoy the space they’re in. In terms of behavior, when you adopt a senior animal, their personalities have developed, so you know what you’re getting when you get the animal home. Senior animals typically are just happy to be around you and tend to fit into their new homes easily.
“In puppies and kittens, their personalities develop over time, but for senior animals, they are who they are,” Curran said.
What to Prepare For
Because of age, you can anticipate more frequent visits to your veterinarian. Like humans, animals tend to develop medical issues as they get older, so that’s something to prepare for. Many people also shy away from senior animals because they’ll have less time with the animal because of their age. Losing a pet is heart-breaking. However no matter what age, it’s important to enjoy each day you have with your animal, and to ensure that they’re healthy and happy.
Ready to Adopt?
When you adopt a senior animal, you can feel good that you’re opening up your heart and home for an animal during their “retirement years.” Adoption fees for older animals are less than that of a puppy or kitten, and when you adopt an animal at any age, you’re not saving one life but two — the animal you’re adopting, and the animal that will take its place. ARL wants you to go home with the right pet for you, so if you’re ready to adopt, visit our Boston, Brewster or Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Centers today and find your perfect match!
Cat in Desperate Need of Medical Attention Discovered at Marconi Beach
Thanks to the life-saving efforts of three Cape Cod National Seashore employees, a former stray cat is now on the mend and in the care of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL).
The rescue occurred on the day Marconi Beach opened for the summer season. An off-duty National Park Service employee was showing his family the work that had been done at the beach following a harsh Cape Cod winter, and noticed a calico cat, who looked like she needed assistance, taking shelter under a bench.
Park Rangers Meghan Farrell and Tyler Paul responded to the call and began searching for the cat. Outside one of the Marconi Beach bathrooms, the rangers heard a pleading meow.
“We entered the bathroom, and found the cat wedged between a toilet and the wall,” Farrell said. “She was in really rough shape, was soaking wet from the rain, was covered in ticks, and looked very thin.”
With the cat secured, the rangers contacted the Wellfleet Animal Control Officer, who contacted ARL. Aptly named “Marconi” was then brought to ARL’s Animal Care & Adoption Center in Brewster. She was indeed in rough shape.
Marconi getting looked over.
Painful ulcerations on Marconi's paw pads.
Marconi on the day of her rescue.
Marconi looking much better!
Marconi getting her confidence back.
Marconi has gained two pounds since being in foster care!
Thanks to the CC National Seashore and ARL, Marconi is getting a second chance.
“Marconi arrived at the shelter hypothermic and dehydrated,” said Dr. Erin Doyle, ARL’s Lead Veterinarian for Shelter Veterinary Services. “She clearly didn’t have appropriate access to food or water, but she was treated by the Brewster staff with supportive care immediately after intake and quickly began improving.”
Additionally, dozens of ticks needed to be removed, and Marconi had ulcerations to her pads that were likely related to a viral illness induced by the stress of her situation. Her injuries have been treated, and since being in foster care she has gained two pounds. Once Marconi is given a clean bill of health, she will be available for adoption.
ARL wants to remind you that if you see a stray or any animal in need, to please contact your local animal control officer, and/or ARL’s Rescue Services immediately.
10 Puppies to find Forever Homes
This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston partnered with Puerto Rico-based All Sato Rescue, transporting 10 puppies from the U.S. territory island to Boston.
It was quite a journey for the puppies, as weather and mechanical issues delayed their arrival into Logan International Airport, but despite the delays, once on the ground the puppies put on a cuteness display for local media, showing their personalities and putting smiles on the faces of anyone in the vicinity.
A cute “sato” is ready to find his forever home!
The pups are now in a mandatory 48-hour quarantine period, and will be checked by ARL shelter veterinary staff to ensure the puppies are ready to go home. Click here to see video of the puppies getting their first glimpse of Boston!
Why Puerto Rico?
“Sato” is a slang term in Puerto Rico for a mixed-breed dog — or mutt. All Sato Rescue is dedicated to finding these forgotten dogs homes and estimates there may be more than 100,000 stray and abandoned dogs on the island, and shelters are simply overwhelmed. Lack of spay and neuter programs and economic hardship are some of the reasons that account for the staggering number of homeless animals on the island.
Here in the Northeast, spay and neuter programs and public awareness campaigns are extremely effective and there is a strong demand for puppies, which allows ARL to broaden its reach to help animals in need. By partnering with organizations like All Sato Rescue, ARL is able to find these puppies loving homes, while at the same time help free up space for other homeless animals on the island.
ARL is committed to helping animals in need, and remember that when you adopt you save not one but two lives — the animal you adopt and the animal that can take its place. Whether it’s a puppy, an adult dog, cat or small animal, ARL’s staff and volunteers at its Boston, Dedham, and Brewster Animal Care & Adoption Centers are there to answer your questions to ensure that the life you save is the right animal for you and your family.
Three-Legged Cat Ready for Puurfect Home
In his first year of life, “Sal” has endured quite a lot, but with perseverance and the help of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), the rest of this handsome tabby’s years should be smooth sailing.
Sal was in rough shape when he came to ARL’s Boston Animal Care & Adoption Center in late February; he was thin, his fur was grungy, and he was noticeably limping. An initial exam revealed previous trauma consistent with being hit by a car. Multiple fractures on Sal’s right front leg hadn’t healed correctly, and he had also suffered a left hip dislocation. Despite all the injuries and chronic pain, Sal was in good spirits and very friendly. His road to recovery however, would not be an easy one.
“Because of the poor healing of the fractures and his complete disuse of his right front limb, it was decided that the best (surgical) plan would be to amputate Sal’s right leg,” said Dr. Chelsea Reinhard, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Resident.
Additionally, Sal needed surgery to address the hip dislocation. A femoral head and neck ostectomy, or FHO was performed, and is a procedure that includes removing the top part of the thigh bone involved in the ball-in-socket hip joint. This helps relieve the pain, and will allow Sal to form a false hip joint and improve mobility. The two surgeries were performed at a partner organization simultaneously, which meant less time on the operating table, but a more difficult recovery.
Sal just after surgery.
Needing a quiet place and constant monitoring to heal, Sal has been in foster care for nearly two months, and because of his grit and determination, has made tremendous progress.
“He’s made a slow but steady recovery from surgery,” said Dr. Erin Doyle, ARL’s Lead Veterinarian for Shelter Veterinary Services. “Having both surgeries at the same time was necessary medically, but made for a bit of a challenging recovery despite extensive pain management. Thankfully he did steadily improve with his function of his three remaining legs over the time he’s been in foster care.”
Ready to go Home
It’s been tough couple of months, but Sal has shown his resiliency and remains a bright-eyed, loving young adult; and after just a few days, he has found his forever home and will join a family that already has a three-legged kitty! A happy ending for Sal, and you can help an animal find his/her own storybook ending by vising an ARL shelter and adopting! For more information, head to our adoption page.
The story of a dog rescued from a tenant farm and given a second chance
You might remember Bear…a three-year-old Mastiff-mix who became the first animal adopted after Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) officials responded to the Westport Farm incident last July which resulted in more than 1,400 animals being rescued.
Bear’s amazing transformation.
The case has since become the greatest example of animal cruelty in New England history. Bear is much more than a survivor—He is a thriver.
When he arrived at the ARL, Bear suffered from anxiety and poor socialization. As I write these words, I can’t help but think…’Well…obviously. Anyone would.’ He was shaken, and rightfully so. After weeks with ARL staff, he regained his confidence and found a new home with Angela and Adam. That’s the part of the story you might know already. But Bear’s life and the impact he has made on his new family is truly inspiring.
“Bear has brought love and a new sense of purpose for me,” said Adam. “I want to help him lead the best life he could possibly lead. He’s a dog, he is a completely good creature, so of course I would do anything for him.”
After Bear’s past suffering and subsequent rehabilitation, Adam’s words truly resonate.
Settling into his new home was not smooth sailing for Bear right away. “When we first adopted him he seemed to not enjoy much of anything,” said Angela, “he was always too nervous to really get involved.” At first, he struggled with car rides and simple relaxation around his new owners. But over time, these anxieties melted away through a mix of positive reinforcement, routine, and even ARL dog training classes.
Besides behavior issues, Bear’s bowels also presented problems early on, with Angela and Adam trying half a dozen brands of food. Angela now makes his food herself, and she has noticed a tremendous difference. “His bowels are normal now, he isn’t a constant gassy mess, he is better hydrated and seems sharper mentally,” she said. “It’s taken a lot of my time but it’s probably the best thing I’ve done for him, and now that I know what I’m doing every batch is easier.”
Bear still gets anxious around new people. “This fear has often been an issue since he lives in such a populated area and Bear is such a handsome dog, everyone wants to interact with him!” Angela said. “People seem to often think that dogs are objects for human enjoyment, and feel somehow offended when you stop them from petting your dog. I wish there was more conversation and education about rescue dogs, especially ones adopted when they are adults.”
Bear relaxing and waiting for a belly rub.
While Bear has now adjusted to his new home, Angela also acknowledges his impact on her and Adam. “Bear has definitely reduced the anxiety in our household,” she said. “We both have pretty high-stress jobs and having Bear is the best, most relaxing thing to come home to. No matter what happened that day we have to come home, take the dog on a walk and are compelled to love and care for him. He has brought me a lot of education and friendships.”
One thing often lost in adoption stories is the impact on the adopters. It’s clear that Bear is loved and well-taken care of, but the drastic effect he has had on his adopters is also worth noting.
Pets make so many homes, lives, and families complete. As we look back on Westport, it’s easy to see hopelessness and distress. Look closer and you’ll see Bear and animals like him, who were given another chance and took it with four paws!
Why YOUR Support Matters
Your support helps animals like Bear to find safe and healthy homes, even when it seems bleak.
Be a champion for animals. Visit arlboston.org to learn more about the organization, ways to get involved, and how to support animal welfare in Massachusetts.
With your help, anything is possible.
Just ask Bear…
Meet Lars and Bryan Adams!
With strong support and encouragement from the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), in October 2016 Governor Charlie Baker made significant changes to Massachusetts state regulations, which included reducing the rabies quarantine period for shelter animals from six to four months. In the years to come, this change will have a tremendous positive impact on shelters throughout the Commonwealth, and ARL has already seen the effect – Which brings us to Lars and Bryan Adams.
Besides off-the-charts cuteness factors, Lars and Bryan Adams have several other things in common. On the same day in early December 2016, Lars was brought as a stray from Jamaica Plain to ARL’s Boston shelter; Bryan Adams was found as a stray in Eastham and brought to ARL’s Brewster shelter.
Both cats were injured: For Lars it was a pair of ugly wounds on his left hip, while Bryan suffered from a swollen and infected right front paw – both injuries were consistent with altercations with another cat.
The cats immediately entered the four-month quarantine period, just in case either animal engaged with a cat that was rabid, and transmitted the virus to Lars or Bryan. The handsome boys were treated with antibiotics and pain medication, and their wounds quickly healed. Both were isolated and received regular veterinary check-ups to see if they had been infected.
Lars (L) and Bryan Adams began their four-month quarantine period in December 2016. The average cost for a four-month quarantine is about $1,500.
Why the Regulation Changes Help Shelters AND Animals
The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians issued new recommendations in the 2016 Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention, advising the reduction of quarantine periods to four months. Why the reduction? Because evidence shows that animals in isolation for an extended period of six months can become stressed and depressed, even with regular human socialization.
Reducing the quarantine period also allow shelters like ARL to help more animals and ease financial constraints. From food, shelter to veterinary care, the average costs for a four-month quarantine are roughly $1,500, or $375 per month. The two-month reduction adds up to a $750 savings per animal.
“Overall the quarantine reduction does make a big difference,” said Dr. Erin Doyle, ARL’s Lead Veterinarian for Shelter Veterinary Services. “Four months is still well beyond our normal shelter length of stay so still requires extra measures such as office foster, but the two-month reduction does have a significant impact on how many rabies quarantine animals we’re able to care for.”
Ready to Go Home
Neither Lars or Bryan Adams have shown no evidence of a rabies infection, their wounds are healed, and with the quarantine period over, are ready to find their forever homes!
UPDATE: Certainly not a surprise, both Bryan and Lars were adopted quickly and are enjoying their new homes!
Extended Care Needs Extra Support
When an animal is under a four-month quarantine, space is extremely limited, and special measures need to be taken. Along with regular checks by veterinary staff for signs of rabies, because the animal is in isolation, extra efforts need to be made by volunteers, staff and foster parents to spend time with the animal, keep them calm and give them love. While reduced quarantine periods save ARL shelters time and money, the costs for a four-month quarantine are still about $1,500 per animal, which is why we appreciate and continue to ask YOU for your support to allow us to help more animals in need.