Spay Waggin’ Making a Difference on the South Coast

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.”

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.

 

Puppies and Kittens Aren’t Right for Everyone

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.”

Lifestyle

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.

Training

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.

Behavior

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!

 

ARL Recognizes State Trooper for Life-Saving Actions

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.

Happy Reunion

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.

 

UPDATE: Eleanor’s Recovery Continues

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.

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Remarkable transformation — Eleanor’s before and after.

Bouncing Back

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.

Investigation Ongoing

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.

 

 

Cape Cod National Seashore Rangers Assist in Cat Rescue

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 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.

 Take Action

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.

 

ARL Teams Up with Puerto Rico Dog Rescue Organization

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.

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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.

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 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.

 

 

 

ARL Caring for Stowaway Kitten

Coffee” Found Under Hood of SUV During Washington D.C. to Boston Trip

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is caring for a two-month-old stray kitten that is lucky to be alive after stowing away under the hood of an SUV while a couple drove from Washington D.C. to Boston.

While stopping at a Starbucks in Arlington, Virginia, Michael Waters and Aiesha Dey noticed the black kitten scurrying down the sidewalk, then underneath their SUV. After checking all around the vehicle for signs of the kitten, they thought he had moved on, and continued on their way.

Nearly 250 miles later on the outskirts of New York City, the couple heard meowing. Alarmed, they pulled over, and when they popped the hood, the kitten was found nestled between the grill and the radiator.

“It was amazing, the kitten was in front of the radiator,” Waters said. “It was scared and it took 15-20 minutes for me to pull him out, but he was friendly. He must have found the perfect spot too, because it wasn’t hot where he was and I didn’t get burned when I reached in to grab him. Once we got him in the car we settled him down and tried to give him some milk and then continued on to Boston.”

Because he was first seen outside of a Starbucks, the couple thought “Coffee” was a fitting name. How did Coffee manage to get under the hood? The SUV has a uni-body construction, so it’s likely that Coffee got into the engine compartment through the wheel-well, and thankfully was able to find a relatively safe place to stowaway.

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Coffee relaxing at ARL.

Upon arriving in Boston, Waters and Dey brought the kitten to ARL for treatment and rehabilitation. Coffee was placed into foster care following his initial exam, and the couple have since returned to Washington D.C.

Stress-Related Issues

In addition to being thin and having fleas, Coffee developed some other problems in the aftermath of his journey. Coffee is currently dealing with ear and repertory infections, due to the environment and the stress of the trip. There was also some scarring on his paws and underside. For ARL shelter veterinary staff, the circumstances in which Coffee came into ARL’s care was something they “had never seen before.”

Coffee may have spent one of his nine lives, but his rehab continues, and veterinary staff add that in a couple of weeks he should look like a completely different cat and also be ready to find a home.

 

 

UPDATE: Maybelle Gets First Measurement

Weight Loss to be Gauged by Inches Lost

When Maybelle the pot-bellied pig first came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) several months ago, she weighed 196 pounds and could barely stand, let alone walk; and her overgrown hooves were causing severe discomfort. While she is still grossly overweight, Maybelle is making progress.

Because she is still relatively immobile, getting Maybelle on a scale is a difficult task. So this week Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center staff recorded her first waist measurement, and will chart Maybelle’s progress in the coming months by the number of inches she loses.

Currently Maybelle’s waist measures 48 inches– that’s 4 feet round!

While it may be difficult to physically see her weight loss, Maybelle has shed some pounds, and is able to stand and move around a little easier–a roll of fat is unfortunately still blocking her eyes so she can’t see. A secondary concern for the pot-bellied pig was her mental state. Maybelle was depressed when she came to ARL, however she seems to be turning a corner, thanks to constant visits and encouragement from ARL staff and volunteers. She has also grown a fan-base, as many people who come to the Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center ask to see her. Overall, there’s a long road ahead, but Maybelle is certainly trending in the right direction.

ARL’s veterinary staff want Maybelle to lose weight safely–meaning it will be a slow and steady process. She is still receiving 6 small meals a day and has drastically reduced her caloric intake. Make sure to check back often to see Maybelle’s progress!

Extended Care

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 help animals in need like Maybelle. Please donate today by clicking the icon below to help Maybelle and animals like her.

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Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips

Help Keep Your Pet Happy, Healthy, and Worry-Free

BBQ’s, beaches, fireworks and gatherings with friends and family. For humans all these things add up to a picture-perfect Fourth of July holiday. However, for your dog, the sun, crowds, and loud noises can lead to over-stimulation, fear, and a potentially harmful situation.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston wants you to enjoy the celebration of our nation, but please remember these 5 simple, but important tips to create a safe environment for your dog if they must be with you.

  1. Keep your dog away from potentially hazardous objects. Keep your pet away from BBQ’s, fireworks and even sparklers. Think about fireworks for a moment. A sudden bang, a flash of light: these are ingredients for striking fear into your beloved dog, and some animals become “fearfully aggressive” due to loud noises, so keep a close eye on them, especially around children.
  2. Leave your pup indoors in a small, quiet, and cool room. Turning a TV or radio on at low volume can distract your dog from all the outside noises. Also allow them some room to roam around, so they don’t feel too confined.
  3. If they must be outside, keep your canine in a carrier or on a leash. Set your dog up in style with shade, ample air-flow, and access to cold water.
  4. Never leave your dog alone in a parked car if they must travel with you. When the temperature rises it’s Too Hot for Spot! Remember, animals don’t sweat like humans do and can overheat easily. Even with seemingly mild outside temperatures, the inside of a car can heat up to well over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, which can lead to deadly heat stroke. It is also illegal in Massachusetts to leave an animal in a parked car, owners can face fines or even forfeiture of the animal.
  5. Make sure your dog’s microchip and ID tag information is current. Many animal shelters report an increase of stray animals after July 4th due to the number of pets running away from the noise and excitement. Be sure your contact information is correct and up-to-date, and always on your pup’s collar to ensure an easy reunion should they become separated from you.

Play it Safe

Leaving your dog at home is always the best bet and the right decision for you and your pet. Prevention is responsible pet ownership.

 

 

 

 

City of Boston Cements Catie Copley’s Legacy

June 23 Declared “Catie Copley Day”

Since 2004, Catie Copley, a loveable black lab, served as the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel’s Canine Ambassador and became a Boston icon. Guests missing their own furry friend were encouraged to take her for walks, she was the subject of a children’s book and was known as a community liaison. Catie passed away in May at the age of 16, and this past week, the City of Boston ensured that her legacy will live on. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) participated in a special ceremony celebrating Catie’s life during which a plaque was unveiled on the hotel’s iconic exterior to honor her, and the Mayor’s office also proclaimed June 23, 2017 as “Catie Copley Day” in honor of her meaningful impact in the city of Boston.

Strong Ties to ARL

For many years, Catie’s veterinary care was provided by Boston Veterinary Care (BVC). Attached to ARL’s Chandler St. location, it’s a clinic with a mission, with proceeds benefitting ARL’s shelter animals. Because of Catie’s strong relationship with ARL, the hotel generously donated $1,000 to the organization in her memory. ARL is grateful for the Fairmont Copley’s support, and also for trusting our organization with Catie’s care over the years.

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L to R: Amanda Kennedy, Director of Animal Care and Control, City of Boston; Mary Nee, President of ARL; Joe Fallon, caretaker and Concierge, Fairmont Copley Plaza; and George Terpilowski, GM and Regional VP, Fairmont Copley Plaza.

ARL’s relationship with the Fairmont Copley Plaza continues to grow, as its current Canine Ambassador “Carly Copley” was adopted from ARL, and like Catie, is a client at BVC.

How You Can Honor Catie’s Memory

Whether you’re looking to take a vacation to Boston, maybe a staycation, or just want to head out for a cocktail, you too can honor Catie Copley’s memory. The Fairmont Copley Plaza has announced a special Remembering Catie Copley package that will be available through the end of the year. The package includes a stuffed Catie Copley doll, a copy of Catie Copley’s Great Escape, a walk with Carly Copley, and $16 will be donated to ARL per night. The OAK Long Bar+Kitchen has also debuted the “Catie’s Cooler” cocktail, and $1 from each drink sale will be donated to ARL in Catie’s name. The drink will be available through the end of July.