Happy National Puppy Day!

ARL Partners with Organization to Give Southern Puppies a New Life

Today marks the 11th anniversary of National Puppy Day, a day to celebrate all the cuteness, cuddliness, love and energy that a puppy can bring to your household. It’s also a reminder that there are countless puppies nationwide who need to find loving homes.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is currently partnering with Animal Rescue Front, a group dedicated to alleviating the severe pet overpopulation issue along the Gulf Coast, particularly in Mississippi; less than half of dogs in Mississippi are spayed or neutered. The organization was formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and transports puppies to organizations like ARL throughout the country.

“The southern parts of the country have a significantly higher population of stray dogs with minimal spay and neuter programs that result in a high volume of homeless puppies,” said Caitlin Tomlinson, ARL’s Associate Director of Shelter Operations. “The New England communities, on the other hand, do not have the same concerns; spay and neuter programs are more popular and stray dogs are brought into shelters and municipal facilities quickly.”

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Puppies — What’s not to love?

Twice a month ARL receives puppy transports from Animal Rescue Front, so if you are looking for a puppy or any companion animal, be sure to check ARL’s adoption page often! Puppy transports are truly a life-saving measure, as this year alone, ARL expects to take in more than 350 puppies from the south.

“Since there is a lower influx of dogs in the northern part of the country, shelters can help save lives by transporting puppies and adult dogs from these Southern shelters,” Tomlinson said. “By pulling dogs out of the Southern shelters it frees up space for more dogs to be cared for without having to resort to euthanasia. Since there are not many puppies entering shelters in the northern part of the country, puppies brought from the south are in high demand and adopted very quickly.”

Saving Lives

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 goat, ARL’s staff and volunteers at its Boston, Dedham and Brewster shelters are there to answer your questions to ensure that the life you save is the right animal for you and your family.

 

 

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 to add a furry addition to your family, visit our adoptable pets at our shelters from 1 pm – 6:30 pm, Tuesdays – Sundays and find your lucky charm today. (Green top hat not included.)

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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
  • And much more!

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 however, 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.

Find your lucky charm today! Search adoptables

 

ARL Gives Stray with Eye Condition a Second Chance at Life

Meet Zim: From a Rescue, to Patient, to Adopted!

Zim, an 11-month-old tabby classic, came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) after being trapped for more than two days nearly 50 feet off the ground in a tree in Brockton, MA. Responding to calls from surrounding neighbors, ARL’s Rescue Services was able to scale the tree and save the scared and vocal stray.

“He was certainly happy to be out of that tree,” said Mike Brammer, ARL’s Assistant Manager of Rescue Services. “Almost immediately you could tell that he’d been around people and was very friendly.”

Zim’s beautiful markings and sweet demeanor garnered instant attention, but so did a congenital defect called Eyelid Agenesis that was discovered during his intake exam. It’s a condition where part of the eyelid doesn’t form properly, causing fur to rub up against the cornea, resulting in chronic irritation. For Zim, both eyes were affected, increasing the concern.

“If the condition is left untreated, this chronic irritation can permanently damage the cornea and cause vision impairment,” said Dr. Erin Doyle, ARL’s Lead Veterinarian for Shelter Veterinary Services. “This chronic irritation also causes significant discomfort.”

The only way to truly fix the condition is with a skin graft; however the surgery is complicated and requires extensive post-operative care. While Zim’s condition affected both eyes, it wasn’t extremely severe, making cryosurgery an option. Zim had the procedure done by an ophthalmologist at a partner organization less than a week after being rescued out of the tree in Brockton.

“Cryosurgery does not fix the eyelid, but is used to freeze the hair follicles of the fur that is rubbing on the cornea,” Dr. Doyle said. “As such, the cryosurgery removes the chronic irritation caused by the fur and restores comfort to the eyes.”

Zim recovers from cryosurgery wearing a protective cone.

Zim recovers from cryosurgery wearing a protective cone.

ROAD TO RECOVERY

With the surgery complete, Zim settled in for a few days to recover. Despite undergoing the procedure and being placed in a protective cone, he continued to showcase his personality, purring almost immediately for all the shelter staff and volunteers who would check on the handsome tabby.

Making an excellent recovery, ARL’s veterinary staff determined exactly one week following his surgery that Zim was ready to find his forever home. Certainly not a surprise to anyone at ARL who came in contact with Zim, just a few days after being made available, he has been adopted!

Zim is ready to go to his forever home!

Zim is ready to go to his forever home!

DOING THE WORK ONE ANIMAL AT A TIME

Zim represents the collaborative effort that is necessary to fulfill ARL’s mission of being an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes. No matter how they come into our shelters, all animals are treated with kindness and compassion, but we cannot do the work alone.

ARL receives no government funding, and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to support programs that help animals in need. Please lend your support so ARL can continue to give animals like Zim a second chance at life.

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February is National Adopt a Rabbit Month

Hop on over to the ARL and ADOPT a bunny today!

Thanks to our knowledgeable staff and volunteers, the ARL has many types of animals available for adoption- not just cats and dogs. If a feline or canine is not the pet for you, or you have limited space in your home, consider SPREADING THE LOVE and adopting a rabbit!

Bunnies like Tifa are searching for a family to love this Valentine’s Day.

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tifa

8-month-old Tifa is ready to hop her way into your heart! Click the picture to see her profile.

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider adopting a rabbit this February:

  1. Bunnies spend the majority of their day quietly inside their cage, making them the perfect companions for apartment dwellers.
  2. Cottontails can be trained to use a litter box, so you won’t have to rush home from work to let them out.
  3. Hares need minimal exercise every day, so they require less attention than cats or dogs.
  4. Rabbits are curious, friendly, and will entertain you for hours with their silly antics.
  5. Hop-a-longs keep themselves tidy and are all about “clean eating”, snacking on salad, hay, and carrots as treats.

Need a 6th reason? All adoptable rabbits at the ARL receive the following: Spay/neuter services, health screening and veterinary examination, behavior screening and evaluations, vaccinations, parasite treatment, and more!

Don’t forget… to please bring a photo of the cage your rabbit will live in, as it’s required for adoption.

SPREAD THE LOVE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY: Not able to ADOPT right now? That’s OK! Consider sponsoring a rabbit’s adoption fee to help a deserving bunny find a home this February! Contact our Boston, Brewster, or Dedham shelter for more information.

 

Pets As Gifts… CAN Be a Good Idea!

5 factors to consider before you give pets as Valentine’s Day 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 Valentine’s Day even more romantic.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  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.

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!

The 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!

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February 9, 2017 – Winter Weather Closings

ARL programs and administrative offices will be closed on February 9

Due to the winter weather, ARL will be closed to the public on Thursday, February 9:

  • Administrative offices
  • Adoption centers in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham
  • Boston Veterinary Care
  • Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery
  • Rescue Services
  • Spay Waggin’

Dedicated staff and volunteers will remain at each shelter location to make sure that the animals in our care remain safe, warm, and in good spirits as the snow flies.

When a snow storm hits, we often receive an increasing number of calls from concerned citizens with questions about feral cats. We suggest trying to coax a feral cat indoors to a garage or basement for shelter. If that’s not possible, watch our helpful how-to video to build a DIY cat shelter.

For more winter weather pet safety tips, visit arlboston.org/winter-pet-health.

 

3-Legged Kitten Finds a Home for the Holidays

The clock is ticking…

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We still need to raise over $203,000 by December 31 to meet our goal.

Please give generously to ensure that we start the new year fully funded to help special-needs animals like Bradley receive the emergency veterinary care they need to survive.

URGENT

Due to a congenital defect, Bradley was born missing the majority of his left rear paw. ARL’s Shelter Veterinary Medicine team tentatively scheduled a surgery for the young kitten just in case the remainder of his left hind leg would need to be removed.

In the meantime, Bradley was entered into ARL’s foster care program to gain strength in a quiet and safe space. His foster mom bottle-fed him throughout the day and night. She also had to stimulate him to use the bathroom and patiently taught him how to use the litter box.

Though Bradley moved around ably, his foster mom kept a close eye on him. She noted that he favored putting weight on his paw-less leg and was lifting it at an unnatural angle while he walked. He began to spend more and more time laying down.

Worried about the abnormalities in his gait and the injuries it could subject him to, Bradley’s foster mom brought him back to ARL to have his emergency leg amputation surgery.

Fortunately, ARL’s Shelter Veterinary Medicine team is highly experienced in surgeries of this nature and were able to act swiftly, yet carefully to remove the rest of Bradley’s paw.

Bradley writhed in a mix of confusion and pain after surgery, however, his dedicated foster mom was there to care for and comfort him during his recovery.  Though he had lost the last bit of his hind leg, Bradley’s life had started to turn around. According to his foster mom, “He became much more active than before and was quite the climber and rascal.”

Weeks and plenty of playful hours later, Bradley came back to the ARL for a routine physical, which he passed with flying colors. Within 24 hours of hitting the adoption floor, Bradley was adopted by a loving family!  

Bradley

This 3-legged kitten found a home for the holidays – thanks to YOU!

Bradley’s story highlights much of the important work that YOU make possible for animals on a daily basis.

Animals at ARL receive the specialized veterinary care, kind attention, and socialization they need to thrive – only because of YOUR generous donations.

There are less than 48 hours left to help us raise over $203,000 to start the new year fully funded.

URGENT

 

Blind Dog Seeks a Home for the Holidays

Please click the button below to DONATE NOW and help animals like Hammer find a home

URGENT

Hammer, a 3-year-old Plott Hound Mix, was surrendered to ARL in early November after his owner passed away.

Upon initial intake and examination by ARL’s Shelter Veterinary Medicine team, it was determined that this special dog had a couple of major hurdles between him and finding a home:

Hammer has cataracts, which left him visually impaired since he was just a young pup. While the condition is benign, it does make leash walking and navigating staircases difficult.

Additionally, he gets extremely nervous around vehicles, due to his past experiences in cars. His first car ride was right after his owner had passed away. He second car ride was on the way to ARL for surrender. Vehicles reminded Hammer of complex and confusing times in his life and has caused him to panic.

Despite the obstacles facing him, we are confident that sweet and loving Hammer is a still a great candidate for adoption. ARL’s volunteers and staff have been working around-the-clock to help him become adoption-ready at his own pace.

Hammer

Hammer, with one of his favorite ARL volunteers.

We make sure that Hammer has a balanced daily routine of eating, exercise, socialization, and quiet time. Utilizing his strong sense of hearing, staff also guides him up and down the stairs with music playing from a cell phone.

To help him overcome his fear of cars, volunteers plan nighttime rides with him. Because he can’t see the actual vehicle, Hammer doesn’t have anxiety and will jump right in!

Hammer is a reminder of the group effort necessary when caring for shelter pets, as well as the holiday spirit that fuels us all. He represents the best of what ARL does every day to help animals in need – all thanks to your support!

Hammer is still looking for a home for the holidays. Interested in adopting him? Check out his profile, and visit him at our Boston Adoption Center or call (617) 426-9170. Please note that Hammer will require cataract surgery after adoption to help improve his eyesight. **Update 1/30/16: Hammer has found his perfect family!

Only a few days remaining to help animals like Hammer!

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Only because of YOUR support is ARL able to carry on its important work. Please give generously to ensure that we start 2017 fully funded to help special animals like Hammer find the loving home that they deserve.

We still need to raise over $268,000 by December 31 to meet our goal.
Please click the “URGENT” button below to donate now.

URGENT

 

After Losing Their Owners, Two Senior Pets Depended on ARL

Sandy and Jasmine relied on ARL -and a touch of fate- to help them find their new forever homes after losing their owners

HELP ANIMALS NOW

It’s heartbreaking to see an owner lose their pet. It’s equally as devastating to see a pet lose their owner.

At the ARL, we frequently see cases of the latter – typically senior pets that had senior owners who were ill. As tragic as these cases are, these situations often have a happy outcome for the pets involved.

Read this incredible story about how ARL helped two senior dogs that lost their owners much too soon… 

Sandy, a 7-year-old Chow mix dog, was rescued by ARL in 2013 after roaming an industrial park in the Greater Boston Area for over a year. Because of the prolonged exposure to rain and snow, Sandy had lost a majority of her fur. Her skin red and raw, her body exhausted and emaciated, she spent her first few days at ARL cowering behind her bed. With intensive veterinary care, behavior and enrichment training, along with plenty of love and attention from staff and volunteers, Sandy slowly began to heal.

Several months later, Sandy met Bill, a gentleman who had recently lost both his beloved wife and dog. He had been looking for a companion to share his golden years with. After hearing Sandy’s story, Bill knew that she’d be the perfect canine companion and adopted her. The duo had a wonderful life together, until, sadly, Bill passed away a short time later.

Quirky, arthritic, and wary of strangers, Sandy returned to ARL’s Brewster shelter where volunteers and staff showered her with extra TLC. For almost 6 months she waited patiently hoping to find another special family to call her own.

As luck would have it, Ralph, a Cape Cod resident, was looking for a senior dog. Needless to say, he and Sandy were the perfect pair. On adoption day, Sandy jumped right into his truck  - arthritis and all – and fell asleep on Ralph’s lap before they’d even left the parking lot. Sandy lived a happy life with Ralph for 2 years, until she recently passed away from bladder cancer.

Sandy and Bill

Sandy (pictured left) at our Brewster Adoption Center and with her adopter Ralph.

Meanwhile… Jasmine, a 8-year-old long-haired Rottweiler, was surrender to ARL’s Brewster shelter in January 2016 due to financial reasons. She was adopted shortly thereafter, however, she came back to us in October when, like Sandy, her owner had died. Luck was not on her side.

A tough senior girl, Jasmine was very particular and did not get along with other dogs at the shelter. ARL’s volunteers and staff were concerned about her future adoptability and knew that she just had to go home with someone special.

As fate would have it, Ralph, who was still grieving the loss of his canine companion Sandy, saw Jasmine’s photo on arlboston.org and instantly felt a connection with her. After a 48 hour trial, Ralph fell in love with Jasmine and brought her home – just in time for the holidays! By all accounts, the new pair are doing wonderfully together.

Jasmine and Bill

It was love at first sight for Jasmine and Ralph!

Although tragedy can pull pets and their owners apart, the ARL stands ready to jump in and connect both animals and people with the resources they need to make things right – all thanks to supporters like you.

A special message from ARL’s President Mary Nee…

My deepest thanks to everyone who answered my request for help last week with a generous donation for animals in need.

As a result, we are 25% closer to goal and now have to raise $425,000 by December 31 to meet our budget for the coming year,

Please give as generously as you can and let us start the new year with the resources to respond whenever we receive that call for animals in need. Click to the red button below to…

HELP ANIMALS NOW

Thank you and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

Sincerely,

Mary Nee, President of ARL

 

Finding Positive Outcomes for Cats at Risk

ARL partners with other local organizations to help Pembroke cat colony

In early November 2016, a colony of community cats in Pembroke, Massachusetts found themselves in a dire situation; they lost their feeder and the property where they had been living was sold.

While there is no easy solution to helping community cats in this situation, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), along with many other animal welfare organizations, quickly rallied together to make sure that these cats had the best possible outcome.

Community cat colonies usually form due to a conducive environment, however, since a new caretaker could not be secured in their neighborhood, all efforts were focused on finding other alternatives for these cats.

Independent trappers began the process of trapping cats on this property (a procedure normally referred to as T-N-R, trap, neuter, return). However, with this particular colony, the goal was to see how many cats exhibited friendly behaviors*. If determined as friendly, the cats would either be adopted out as indoor companion animals, or could live safely outside on a barn property as a barn cat.

Cats like Bella, Namara, and Thumbelina, were spayed on ARL’s Spay Waggin’, discovered to be friendly, and transferred to ARL’s Safford Memorial Shelter in Dedham where they were adopted out to their forever homes.

A great outcome for these sweet cats!

Thumbelina pictured with her new dad.

Thumbelina is one of the many community cats who benefited from the swift help of the ARL and other local organizations, when her neighborhood feeder could no longer care for her.

Bella in Dedham's Adoption Center

Bella, formerly a community cat of Pembroke, waiting to be adopted at ARL’s Safford Memorial Shelter in Dedham, MA. It wasn’t long before this sweet kitty found her forever home!

thumbelina with her new family

Cats like Namara, pictured here with her new family, were determined friendly enough to be adopted!

THANK YOU to everyone who was involved with the plight of these cats, including the MSPCA, Standish Humane Society, independent trappers, and the State of Massachusetts, who provided funding for the spays, neuters, and vaccinations of these cats through the Massachusetts Animal Fund.

YOU CAN HELP TOO! Keep community cats safe this winter by building your own DIY cat shelter in your yard or to donate to a local rescue. Click here for a basic how-to video.

*Friendly cats show signs of wanting to interact with people, feral cats do not.