Animal abuse is cruel – but it is not always intentional – It can be a sign or product of Human illness
ARL’s Law Enforcement Department is committed to preventing animal cruelty, neglect and suffering in Massachusetts. This is achieved in numerous forms: from citations and filing animal cruelty charges, to working with, and educating pet owners. The latter played a large role during a recent hoarding incident.
Assisting local officials, ARL Law Enforcement recently removed 25 dogs from a Central Massachusetts property, which are now in the care of ARL. DUE TO THE SENSITIVE NATURE OF THE CASE, ARL WILL NOT BE RELEASING THE LOCATION OR NAMES OF THE PARTIES INVOLVED.
In this particular case, there were no signs of intentional or egregious levels of neglect or abuse; due to extenuating circumstances the animal owners were simply overwhelmed.
Hoarding situations are delicate, and ARL’s law enforcement officers recognize that compassion must be given to both the animal and human players involved.
One of 25 dogs removed from hoarding situation.
“Any time we have a hoarding case, we are cognizant to both the animal concentration and the owner awareness,” said Darleen Wood, ARL’s Associate Director of Law Enforcement. “As much as we consider the mental and emotional state of each animal, we duplicate this concern for the animal owner. We do not approach any of these cases with judgement or insolence and each case is unique and each animal owner requires individualistic services which could include elderly, veterans or addiction services.”
Along with contacting human service agencies, ARL Law Enforcement has also coordinated an effort to help the animal owners clean up their property in order to retain ownership of several dogs.
Animal Hoarding Explained
Animal hoarding is a serious, yet under-recognized community issue in Massachusetts that is responsible for extensive animal suffering. It can often be associated with adult self-neglect and/or mental illness, and animal hoarding can also put children, the elderly, dependent adults, property, and public health at risk. Unfortunately, the hoarding situations that ARL encounters are becoming more frequent, and increasingly complex.
Animal hoarders typically fall into one of the three following groups:
- Overwhelmed caregivers are often well-intentioned in their behavior and experience a steady decline in animal caretaking ability due to changes in financial or medical circumstances.
- Rescue hoarders are those who acquire animals due to their strong sense of mission to save animals from death or other circumstance and will not seek the assistance of animal welfare agencies or authorities.
- Exploiter hoarders acquire animals to serve their own needs and lack guilt and remorse for the harm that their actions may cause animals or other humans.
The four main characteristics of animal hoarding are:
- Failure to provide minimal standards of sanitation, space, nutrition, and veterinary care for animals.
- Inability to recognize the effects of this failure on the welfare of the animals, humans in the household, and environment.
- Obsessive attempts to accumulate/maintain a collection of animals in the face of progressively deteriorating conditions.
- Denial or minimization of problems and living conditions for people and animals.
ARL’s Law Enforcement Department is here to help, and if you know of or suspect a hoarding situation you can call 617-226-5610 or email email@example.com.
Support ARL’s Law Enforcement Efforts
In 2016, ARL’s Law Enforcement Department inspected nearly 2,300 kennels, farms and pet shops; assisted 151 local police and state agencies; prosecuted 68 individuals involved or accused of animal cruelty/neglect; and was the lead agency on the Northeast’s largest animal cruelty case in Westport, MA, which involved more than 1,400 animals.
ARL does receive any government funding and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to continue our important work. Please donate today to help animals in need!
“Satos” in Need of Good Homes
This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) received its second transport of puppies from All Sato Rescue, a Puerto Rico-based rescue organization.
Ten adorable and energetic mixed-breed pups are now in the process of being evaluated medically, and will soon be available for adoption.
“Sato” is a Puerto Rican slang term for a mixed-breed dog — or mutt. Puerto Rico has an immense population of homeless dogs, nearly 100,000 according to some estimates, and All Sato Rescue is dedicated to getting these dogs off the streets and into loving homes. A lack of spay and neuter programs and economic hardship are just some of the reasons that account for the staggering number of homeless animals on the island. The 10 puppies which arrived this week are sure to be adopted quickly, and are sure to make wonderful pets.
At Logan Airport's cargo area.
Getting loaded for transport to ARL.
Ready to roam after a long flight!
Sato may mean mutt, but it should mean "adorable".
Satos ready for a car ride.
Back at ARL, getting a little outside time.
Satos exploring ARL's outdoor space.
After a long flight, some much needed play time!
In the Northeast, affordable spay and neuter services, like ARL’s Spay Waggin’, are readily available, and animal welfare organizations like ARL have educated the public about the importance of having animals spayed or neutered. Given those efforts, there is a large demand for puppies. What makes transport programs like this so impactful is that it allows ARL to broaden its reach in helping animals in need, helps fill the demand for puppies, and allows organizations like All Sato Rescue to continue their important work.
Additionally, ARL also transports puppies from the Southern region of the United States, where there are also high numbers of homeless animals. This year alone ARL anticipates that more than 400 dogs will be transported to our shelters!
The Animal Rescue League of Boston is an unwavering champion for 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, adult dog, kitten, adult cat or small animal, ARL’s staff and volunteers at its Boston, Brewster or Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Centers are there to answer your questions to ensure that the life you save is the right animal for you and your family.
Pot-Bellied Pig Losing Inches
When we last checked in with Maybelle the pot-bellied pig in July, her waist measured 48 inches, or 4 feet round! In the past month, Maybelle has made significant improvements, but still has a long way to go to get back to an ideal weight. In her latest measurement by Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center staff, Maybelle has lost two inches, and the weight loss is certainly noticeable — but that’s not all.
“Her skin is healthier and not as tight,” said Dr. Kate Gollon, ARL Shelter Veterinarian. “She is more willing to walk around on all four feet rather than on her wrists and appears more comfortable overall. Previously when she walked, her belly would drag along the ground and get chaffed, but now she has some clearance, which is further evidence of her weight loss.”
When Maybelle first came to ARL several months ago, she weighed 196 pounds and could barely stand, let alone walk; and her overgrown hooves were causing severe discomfort. She was also so obese that a roll of fat covered her eyes, impacting her vision.
From June to August, Maybelle's weight-loss in her face is noticeable.
Getting ready to measure.
46 inches! Maybelle has lost two inches since her July measurement.
Now she is moving easier, there’s less discomfort, and we are even starting to see her eyes!
ARL’s veterinary staff want Maybelle to lose weight safely — meaning it will be a slow and steady process. She is still receiving six small meals a day and has drastically reduced her caloric intake. Maybelle still has approximately 60 more pounds to lose and is still unable to move around well enough to get outside, but that’s expected to be the next step in her rehabilitation so stay tuned!
Extended Care and Wish List
It’s expected that Maybelle’s weight loss and rehabilitation will take up to a year, meaning she will be in the care of ARL much longer than a typical shelter animal. From food and shelter, to on-going veterinary care, costs to take care of Maybelle will run in the thousands. ARL does not receive government funding, and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to care for animals in need like Maybelle. Please donate today to help Maybelle and animals like her.
If you can’t donate, you can still help this sweet girl along her journey. Like many human diets, Maybelle needs her vegetables — and loves celery. We also want to keep her comfortable, and proper skin care can go a long way in that regard. ARL staff brushes Maybelle with Vitamin E oil, which she seems to enjoy, and her skin looks much healthier. So if you’re near ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, feel free to drop off any of the above items, and help Maybelle during her life-saving journey!
When the Temperature Rises — It’s Too Hot for Spot
Following the tragic and senseless death of a dog left in a hot car in Jamaica Plain on Tuesday, animal advocates, fellow animal welfare organizations, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh are joining the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) in reminding the public that leaving an animal in a hot car isn’t just a health hazard — it’s also illegal in Massachusetts.
“It is terrible to lose an animal under such preventable circumstances,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in a statement to ARL. “As we close out the final weeks of summer, I remind all Bostonians to never leave pets alone in the car, especially on a hot day. If you see an animal locked in a car and are not able to immediately locate the owner, please call 911. You could help save a life.”
The investigation is ongoing, however officials believe the dog’s owner left the animal alone, in a pickup truck with California tags, for the better part of three hours. Despite the valiant efforts of first responders, the dog was unable to be saved.
While New England is in the height of summer, it’s important to remember that with temperatures even below 80 degrees, the threat for heat stroke still exists. Pets don’t sweat like humans do, making them unable to cool their bodies off efficiently in the heat.
Keep your pet safe and healthy by following these important guidelines:
- Prevention is always your best bet. Whenever possible, leave your pet at home in a low humidity and temperature-controlled room.
- If your pet must be outdoors, find a shady spot with ample air flow to prevent overheating.
- Hydration. This is key, so keep a bowl of cold water accessible at all times.
- Exercise wisely. Limit exercise to the morning or evening hours when temperatures are at their coolest.
- Never leave your pet alone in a parked car. When the outside temperature is just 80 degrees, inside a parked car, the temperature can rise to more than 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, leaving your pet susceptible to deadly heat stroke.
Too Hot for Spot Legislation
With the passage of S. 2369 in November, 2016, it is now illegal in Massachusetts to confine any animal in a vehicle when extreme heat or cold could be dangerous to the health and well-being of the animal. The law also allows Animal Control Officers, law enforcement officer and firefighters the legal right to enter a vehicle to retrieve an animal in danger. Regular citizens can also act to save an animal in danger, however only after making a reasonable effort to locate the owner, and contacting first responders. Pet owners can be cited up to $500 and face possible forfeiture of the animal.
Spread the Word
This tragic death certainly could have been avoided, and prevention is a part of responsible pet ownership. Never leave your animal in a hot car, and if you see an animal in distress, take action by contacting your local authorities immediately.
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!
Kitten Found Along I-93, Suffering From Severe Heat Exhaustion
This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) reunited Massachusetts State Trooper John DeNapoli with a kitten he helped save several weeks earlier, and also presented the trooper with a certificate of recognition for his life-saving actions.
Everything unfolded on the afternoon of June 13. ARL’s Rescue Department received a call from a concerned motorist about a kitten along the median of I-93 northbound, just before the exit for Route 138 in Canton. ARL Rescue Agent Theresa Vinic proceeded immediately towards the area.
“We’re close to that area, so I drove out from the opposite direction to get a visual on the kitten, but was directed not to stop along the roadway for safety reasons,” Vinic said.
Once spotting the kitten, ARL dispatch coordinated with the Massachusetts State Police, and Trooper DeNapoli responded with the hopes of finding the kitten.
“I pulled in nice and slow to not scare him. He was scratching and biting a bit, he was definitely freaking out,” DeNapoli told the Boston Herald. “So he wanted out as soon as I grabbed him, then animal rescue was already on their way.”
With DeNapoli’s cruiser stopped on the median, Vinic was able to safely pull up in front of the vehicle to gather up the kitten. DeNapoli had placed the kitten in an empty flare box, and in a situation where every second counted, these actions truly were life-saving.
“We didn’t have to spend time locating and trapping the kitten, he was ready to go,” Vinic said.
Kitten in Trouble
When Vinic returned to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center, the kitten, named “Trooper” by Vinic, was in serious trouble as temperatures that day soared into the 90s and the heat coming off the roadway only made matters worse. He was frothing at the mouth and panting excessively — a clear sign of heat exhaustion. With a body temperature of 106 degrees and climbing (normal temperatures range from 101-103 degrees), he quickly needed to cool down. ARL staff placed the little guy on an ice pack, poured alcohol on his feet pads, and gave him subcutaneous fluids.
Twenty minutes later Trooper’s temperature dropped, and staff was able to begin working on the rest of the kitten’s issues. Trooper was covered in dirt, had ants crawling on his fur, and also had abrasions on his nose, mouth, and around his left eye. Additionally he weighed just 1-pound-9-ounces.
Showing his toughness, Trooper rebounded quickly and was adopted by a woman who actually witnessed Trooper DeNapoli rescue the kitten on that busy highway.
Trooper, now named "Basil" on the day he was rescued.
Massachusetts State Trooper John DeNapoli reunited with Basil a.k.a. Trooper.
ARL award Trooper DeNapoli with certificate of recognition for his life-saving actions.
ARL Rescue Agent Theresa Vinic posing with Basil a.k.a. Trooper.
During a special ceremony at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center, Trooper DeNapoli was reunited with the kitten, and was amazed at how Trooper, now named “Basil,” has rebounded.
“It feels good to see the comparison to recovery from when he came in,” DeNapoli said.
Getting a Second Chance
Basil is happy and thriving in his new home, and it took an amazing collaborative effort from not only ARL and State Police, but also from the compassionate people who contacted dispatch to report the kitten’s location. While a positive outcome, this incident also has a troubling element, because it’s likely that Basil was abandoned.
“We’re not certain how it ended up in the middle of the freeway,” Vinic told the Boston Herald. “No dwellings appear to be around and when he arrived he appeared to be social, he was rolling around and purring, which leaves us to believe that he did have human contact prior.”
ARL wants to remind you that if you are no longer able to care for an animal, they can be surrendered to organizations like ARL, or a local shelter, or even a local police or fire department. There are resources available, and abandoning an animal is ILLEGAL and NEVER an option.
Skin Issues Abating; Eleanor Enjoying Mountain Trips
Eleanor, the 11-year-old blind and deaf Lhasa Apso mix that was abandoned along the side of Route 9 in Ware, MA, has come a long way since first coming into the care of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) in early May.
The degree of neglect with Eleanor was severe and criminal. Along with hearing loss, a chronic “dry-eye” condition went untreated, which may have contributed to her loss of vision. Chronically untreated skin disease caused fur loss and extreme discomfort, and Eleanor also suffered from dental disease and overgrown nails.
In the past two months, Eleanor has had to overcome quite a bit while in long-term foster care. One eye needed to be removed due to the chronic condition, two masses from her head were removed (testing proved the masses to be benign); she was diagnosed with a double ear infection, and needed medication and time to treat the skin conditions.
Remarkable transformation — Eleanor’s before and after.
Eleanor’s turn-around has been amazing, inspiring, and heart-warming. She is getting a second chance, and by all accounts is thriving. Her fur has grown back, she has a look of confidence, and she’s been doing a bit of travelling as well! Her foster parents have showered Eleanor with love, and have even taken her into the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and say she loved being in the wilderness and mountain air. Please note: Eleanor’s recovery is continuing and she is currently not available for adoption.
ARL’s Law Enforcement Department has been closely working with Ware’s Animal Control Officer, however at this time, no evidence has presented itself to implicate whoever was responsible for neglecting and abandoning this animal. This remains an ongoing investigation, and anyone with information is asked to contact ARL Law Enforcement at 617-226-5610, or the Ware Police Department or Animal Control.
Why Your Help Matters
ARL treats every animal that comes through our doors with excellent care, compassion and love. From exams, surgery, ongoing treatments and long-term foster care, Eleanor’s care and rehabilitation has been costly. ARL allocates nearly $500,000 annually on care for animals like Eleanor. ARL receives no government funding, relying solely on the generosity of individuals like YOU to support programs and services for animals in need.
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.