Help Bring H.4244 to the Floor!

Contact your state legislator today to protect animals from abuse in Massachusetts

Thanks to the incredibly hard work of bill sponsors Representatives Bruce Ayers and Louis Kafka and Senator Bruce Tarr, a very important piece of legislation received a favorable report from the joint Judiciary Committee.  House Bill 4244, “an act relative to the penalty for killing, maiming, or poisoning animals,” has now moved closer to becoming law.

H. 4244 increases penalties for animal abuse from 5 years to 7 years and $2,500 to $5,000.  The bill also would require veterinarians to report animal cruelty and create a task force to recommend future protections for animals in our state.

dog on the phone talkingHere’s where you come in!

This legislative session ends in just a few weeks on July 31.  H. 4244 must get to the floor for a vote before then!

Contact your state representative today and ask him/or her to push to pass H.4244.

Download an instructional flyer

Why is passing H.4244 so important?

  • Massachusetts currently has one of the lowest fines in the nation for animal abuse.
  • The penalties for animal abuse have not been updated in almost 10 years.
  • 4 out of 5 cases of animal abuse remain undiscovered – requiring veterinarians to report abuse helps prevent cruelty and neglect.
  • Studies indicate that 48-87% of veterinarians will encounter cases of animal abuse – some remain unsure about reporting it to authorities.
  • The task force included in H. 4244 will make recommendations to improve reporting of animal abuse and increase protections for animals.

Very importantly, as Representative Ayers has noted, “research has consistently shown a link between animal cruelty and violence against humans. By increasing the penalty for animal cruelty, we are not only working to keep animals safe from harm, but we also hope to have an even bigger impact on the overall efforts to reduce crime.”

The case of Puppy Doe  galvanized many animal welfare advocates and legislators to put forward legislation like H. 4244, yet her case is just one of far too many the ARL sees every day. Legislation that strengthens the ability to prevent cruelty and inhumane treatment will dramatically improve the welfare of animals in Massachusetts.

Visit arlboston.org/take-action for more on H.4244 and what you can do to prevent animal cruelty.

07-09 New Bill Org Logos

 

 

 

How to Calm Your Dog During a Thunderstorm

Too Hot for Spot Tuesday Tip: Thunderstorm Dog Safety

If you’re like some dog owners, you’ve probably had several sleepless nights over the last week thanks to your dog’s “thunder phobia” resulting from the severe thunderstorms that have been plaguing the Northeast.

This fear can manifest in a variety of ways including – hiding, whining, scratching, slobbering, or destructive behavior – and it can get worse with age. Dogs possess special sensitivities that can make storms more terrifying. They can sense the change in air pressure, and may hear low-frequency rumblings that we, humans, can’t detect. 

07-08-14 Too Hot for Spot Tuesday- Thunderstorms Pic07-08-14 Thunderstorms PicSo, if you want to help calm your pup (and hopefully get some “shut-eye”) during the next thunderstorm, try these 5 tips:

  1. Stay with your dog if you can. Having you by his side will make him feel safer.
  2. If there are windows in the room, close the blinds or curtains, or cover the windows so the dog can’t see outside.
  3. Create a safe haven. Hiding is a natural instinct, so provide your dog with a safe indoor area, like a crate. If you have a wire crate, cover it with a light sheet. Leave the door open so your dog doesn’t feel trapped.
  4. Play calming music to drown out the thunder.
  5. Distract your dog. Try playing his favorite game and giving him treats. He might learn to associate storms with fun and play, rather than anxiety and fear.

If none of these work and your dog’s “thunder phobia” is really out of control, consult with your veterinarian.

For more summer pet safety tips visit: arlboston.org/summer-safety.

 

 

Lend a Paw on ARL’s Cat Food Bank Day!

One-day cat food drive to help feed homeless cats in Boston

Boston, MA –The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) will host Cat Food Bank Day, a one-day cat food drive on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 to provide food for the homeless cats of Boston. The ARL will take donations of unopened wet or dry cat food 8:30 am to 6:30 pm in the lobby of organization’s Boston headquarters located at 10 Chandler Street in the South End.

All donations of cat food will defray the food cost associated with the on-going care of homeless cats in the community.

“Every day, dedicated feral cat community caretakers feed multiple cats living in areas around the city—often at their own expense,” explains Maryann Regan, director of shelter operations at the ARL.

Regan says cat food donations will go to feral cat caretakers in Boston, as well as ARL foster volunteers who provide one-on-one care to cats recovering from surgery or re-acclimating to life in a home prior to adoption.

WHAT: Cat Food Bank Day

WHEN: July 16, 2014, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Animal Rescue League of Boston, 10 Chandler Street, in the Lobby, Boston, MA 02116

For more information about Cat Food Bank Day, visit arlboston.org.

About the Animal Rescue League of Boston

Founded in 1899, the ARL is dedicated to rescuing domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect. In 2013, the ARL served over 14,000 individual animals through our shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham, and our law enforcement, rescue, and veterinary services. The ARL receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters to help animals in need. Visit arlboston.org for more information.

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Lend a Paw on ARL’s Cat Food Bank Day!

One-day cat food drive to help feed homeless cats in Boston

The Animal Rescue League will host Cat Food Bank Day, a one-day cat food drive on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 to provide food for the homeless cats of Boston.  We’ll take donations of unopened wet or dry cat food 8:30 am to 6:30 pm in the lobby of our Boston headquarters located at 10 Chandler Street in the South End.

All donations of cat food will defray the food cost associated with the on-going care of homeless cats in the community.

“Every day, dedicated feral cat community caretakers feed multiple cats living in areas around the city—often at their own expense,” explains Maryann Regan, director of shelter operations at the ARL.

Please stop by and help Boston’s homeless cats. Every can and every bag goes a long way to filling an empty tummy!

All cat food donations will go to feral cat caretakers in Boston, as well as ARL foster volunteers who provide one-on-one care to cats recovering from surgery or re-acclimating to life in a home prior to adoption.

Circle-of-cats-eatingWHAT:                 Cat Food Bank Day

WHEN:                 July 16, 2014, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

WHERE:               Animal Rescue League of Boston
10 Chandler Street, in the Lobby
Boston, MA 02116

 

Fireworks, BBQs, and Cars Can Be Too Hot for Spot!

The Animal Rescue League of Boston and Boston Veterinary Care Offer Pet-riotic Advice For July 4

Boston, MA – As temperatures start to sizzle, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) want to help dog owners keep their canine companions healthy and safe in the summer heat and bustle of activity this July 4.

“We live for the summers in New England. We want to be outside and do more things, and we want our dogs to be part of the fun,” explains Mary Nee, president of the ARL. “We need to keep in mind what’s fun for us, might actually cause discomfort and injury to our much-loved pet.”

She points to firework displays as a good example of where people and dogs may not agree.

The loud popping and banging noises and fiery flashes of light easily startle and alarm dogs. Animal control officers receive a large volume of calls about pets who broke loose from their families or escaped from yards after getting frightened by the noise of parades and fireworks.

Another popular Fourth of July activity, backyard barbeques can also pose problems for dogs. The smell of food, a large group of adults, playing kids, and other excited pets can easily overstimulate a dog, increasing the potential for poor behavior and bites.

“Leaving your dog at home as you head out for holiday activities and events is the best thing for you and your pet,” adds Nee. “Prevention is responsible pet ownership.”

Allowing your dog to wait for you at home and not in your hot car is another pet-friendly summer habit.

“On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can top one hundred degrees in less than 10 minutes – even with all the windows cracked,” explains BVC veterinarian Dr. Rashel Shophet-Ratner. “That’s why leaving a pet inside a parked car is the most common cause of potentially deadly heat stroke.”

As part of their “Too Hot for Spot” campaign, the ARL and BVC will continue to offer pet safety tips throughout the summer. Visit arlboston.org for more campaign information and updates in July and August.

About the Animal Rescue League of Boston
Founded in 1899, the ARL is dedicated to rescuing domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect. In 2013, the ARL served over 14,000 individual animals through our shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham, and our law enforcement, rescue, and veterinary services. The ARL receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters to help animals in need. Visit arlboston.org for more information.

About Boston Veterinary Care

BVC is a clinic with a purpose: providing high quality veterinary care to Boston pet owners while supporting the services of the ARL. The friendly and caring staff at BVC provide a full range of outpatient veterinary services to pet owners at the clinic’s location in Boston’s historic South End. All profits support the care and rehabilitation of homeless animals at ARL shelters. Visit arlboston.org/bvc for clinic hours and appointment information.

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Fireworks, BBQs, and Cars Can Be Too Hot for Spot!

Pet-riotic Advice For July 4

07-02-14 fourthofjulybbqAs temperatures start to sizzle, the Animal Rescue League and Boston Veterinary Care want to help dog owners keep their canine companions healthy and safe in the summer heat and bustle of activity this July 4th.

When we think of the 4th of July the first two things that come to mind are barbecues and fireworks. Let’s first address why backyard barbecues can pose problems for dogs. The smell of food, a large group of adults, playing kids, and other excited pets can easily overstimulate a dog, increasing the potential for poor behavior and bites. And don’t forget to keep those barbecue skewers our of paw’s reach!

“Leaving your dog at home as you head out for holiday activities and events is the best thing for you and your pet,” says ARL president Mary Nee.  “Prevention is responsible pet ownership.”

Second, while we humans love a good fireworks display, our pets find it absolutely terrifying. The loud popping and banging noises and fiery flashes of light easily startle and alarm dogs.

To ensure that your 4th of July holiday is fun for you and less stressful for your pet, here are a few tips:

  1. Rupert PatrioticKeep small pets indoors preferably in a room with the shades down. You can turn on the TV or radio to provide some distraction.
  2. Have your pet on a leash or kept in a carrier if you must be outside with them.
  3. Be aware that some pets become “fearfully aggressive” due to loud noises. Protect your pets from people who are waving sparklers or setting off home fireworks.
  4. Never punish your pet for his fearful behavior, but don’t reinforce the behavior by trying to sooth your pet with ‘it’s ok’ or similar words.  Paying attention to your pet may positively reinforce the fearful behavior.

Many animal shelters report increases of “stray” animals after the July 4th holiday due to the number of pets running away in an attempt to avoid the noise and excitement. Be sure that your pet has a current ID tag and/or microchip so that you and your pet can be easily reunited in the case he or she runs off.

If you believe any of your pets has a noise phobia, talk with your veterinarian about the best ways to keep your pet safe during the holiday.

Lastly, if your pet must travel with you this July 4th remember never to leave your pet in a parked car.

“On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can top one hundred degrees in less than 10 minutes – even with all the windows cracked,” explains Boston Veterinary Care’s Dr. Shophet.  “That’s why leaving a pet inside a parked car is the most common cause of potentially deadly heat stroke.

Visit arlboston.org/summer-safety for more pet safety tips.

 

40 Cats are Home Thanks to No Fee Week

This Was a Pawsome Adopt-A-Cat Month!

Teamwork is key to any successful adoption campaign. Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word!

Teamwork is key to any successful adoption campaign. Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word!

The results are in and the ARL adopted out 40 adult cats during our No Fee Week at the end of June! This is great news!

As we wrap-up Adopt-A-Cat Month, we’d like to thank everyone who made this promotion possible. We’re especially grateful to all of the people who came to our shelters and adopted a new feline friend and to those who helped get the word out about our cats! Due to all of the empty cages in our shelter we can accept many new cats, so they can find a family that loves them too.

When you adopt from a shelter, you feel good about giving a cat a chance a better life.  And not just one cat – when you take your new pet home with you, the ARL can bring another cat into our shelter. 

06-30-14 Clear Channel ARL Boston 6 26 14

A Clear Channel billboard promoting our No Fee Week.

Special thank you to our sponsors including Cityside Subaru who provided funding for additional radio advertising to promote adoptions,  and ClearChannel Outdoor, WBOS, WZLX, and the Sports Hub who also helped promote cat adoptions.

Thank you to our No Fee Week cat adoption sponsors including  Scotties Facial Tissue who made a $5,000 donation to cover adoption fees on select adult cats June 22 through June 29 and James Bowen and Bob the Street Cat who donated $2,000 to cover fees for all adult cats on No Fee Caturday at all ARL shelters.

 

Meet Madeline!

Sweet survivor cat ready for her new home

“Cases like hers are the reason that many of us got into the business of rescuing animals: there is nothing more rewarding than seeing an animal that was previously neglected transform with some TLC.”
– Dr. Kate Gollon, shelter veterinarian at the Animal Rescue League of Boston

Mad Before&AfterAlmost two months ago, a very kind person brought Madeline to our Dedham shelter after discovering the 8-year-old cat unable to move in the backyard of her home where someone had left her. Shelter staff instantly observed the fur on Madeline’s hind quarters appeared thickly matted and that she couldn’t move her back legs.

Her sweet temperament and soft, steady purr touched the hearts of shelter veterinarian Dr. Kate Gollon and all the Dedham staff as they worked to make her comfortable with pain medications and by shaving off the mass of tangles on her lower body.

Dr. Gollon determined Madeline had nearly 4 inches of mats over 70% of her body.  The bag of her shaved matted fur tipped the scales at over a pound.  The twisted condition of her coat  had clearly forced her to go to the bathroom on herself and likely prevented her from walking for some time. Even after shelter staff shaved her fur, she couldn’t walk on her very weak back legs.

When diagnostic tests including x-rays and bloodwork did not provide a more definitive reason for the weakness in her back legs, Dr. Gollon prescribed a regimen of daily physical therapy to help Madeline recover her strength and mobility. Staff gave Madeline time post-shave to recuperate and get to know them before carefully and caringly beginning to work with her to get her walking.

At first, staff gently moved her back legs for her, three times a day. Gradually, they helped her stand by placing her in a sling to support her weight while getting her up on all fours. Once her ability to support herself improved, staff worked with her on walking across the floor and maneuvering changes in elevation.  To give her some added traction on the polished cement floors at the shelter, staff would place a touch of Vaseline on her paw pads.

Everyone at the Dedham shelter felt as proud as mamma cats watching Madeline’s amazing progress as she confidently strolled to them and maneuvered up carpeted steps for the first time!

A dedicated ARL foster volunteer brought Madeline to her home to help her re-acclimate to living with people. Though the determined kitty remains a bit unsteady on her hind legs, she shows no signs they are holding her back. According to her foster mom, Madeline loves to explore and happily curls up on the couch for a good snooze afterwards.

We’re very happy to report Madeline is ready for adoption!  Scotties Facial Tissue will cover her adoption fee this weekend, so come visit the ARL’s Dedham shelter and read her adoption profile to learn more about her.

Because of her unsteady legs, she would do best in a home with carpet.  A one-story house or apartment, or a home where she would spend most of her time in one big room or have access to her litter box and food without having to climb stairs would make for the ideal situation for Madeline.

In the words of Dr. Gollon: “Madeline is a special cat and quite a survivor!  The family who adopts her will most definitely fall in love with her as much as we have at ARL.”

 

Thank You Thursday: Scotties Sponsors Cat Adoptions

Thank You to Our No Fee Week Sponsor Scotties Facial Tissue

John Robertson, director of marketing at Scotties & Mary Nee, ARL president.

John Robertson, director of marketing at Scotties & Mary Nee, ARL president.

From June 22 through June 29, our partner Scotties Facial Tissue will cover the adoption fees on cats 1 year-old and up! We are so grateful to Scotties for helping more deserving cats find loving homes during Adopt-A-Cat Month.

John Robertson, director of marketing for Scotties Facial Tissue, and his team stopped by our Boston shelter today to present us with the cat adoption sponsorship check and to tour our shelter. We were so happy to tell him about all of the cats that have benefited from the adoption sponsorship.

“Our goal for this partnership is to help a great organization do what they do best – finding good homes for these loving animals,” explained John. “We hope that our donation will act as an incentive for caring people to come forward and open up their homes.”

Well, we can state that their donation is working. People from all over the Boston area are coming to adopt a cat from the ARL this week.

Thank you Scotties Facial Tissue for all you’re doing to help shelter cats!

Our kittens seemed to like the new Scotties Facial Tissues logo with the kittens.

Our kittens seemed to like the new Scotties Facial Tissues logo with the kittens.

 

Adopt-A-Cat Month PSA [VIDEO]

Scotties Facial Tissue & ARL Partner for Shelter Cat Public Service Announcement

With less than a week left to adopt a fee-waived cat at the Animal Rescue League, the ARL and Scotties Facial Tissue want to remind everyone about the benefits of adopting a cat from a shelter. Watch our video below:

When you adopt a cat from an animal shelter like the ARL, you give a cat a chance at a better life.  All adoptable cats and kittens at the ARL also receive:

  • Spay/neuter
  • Vaccinations
  • Feline leukemia test
  • Flea, tick and mite treatment
  • Microchip identification and registration

Search adoptable cats

We hope you’ll stop by one of our shelters now through June 29 to adopt while all cats one year and up still have no adoption fee.

Remember, the ARL requires the following information as part of the adoption process for cats and kittens:

  •  Proof that adopter is 18 years of age or older
  • A Massachusetts ID with valid current address (No Student IDs)

Special thank you to Scotties Facial Tissues and Great Grand Paws Productions.

No Fee Cats FB Montage