Join the Champions Circle Now-Feb. 14 and You Could Win
If you’re looking for an easy way to spread your love for animals across all 12 months, we encourage you to join our Champions Circle.
Becoming a monthly donor means that you’ll help shelter pets in need all year long!
Join the ARL’s Champions Circle now through February 14 and automatically enter to win a *one night stay at the Seaport Boston Hotel. *(Dates subject to availability.)
Special thanks to the Seaport Boston Hotel for the generous donation of a luxury one night accommodation with dazzling city and harbor views, and incredibly convenient access to all major points of interest including the Financial District, Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, Fan Pier and the North End.
Champions Circle donors make an immediate impact on the lives of animals in need by providing critical funding year-round for ARL services including, rescue, spay/neuter, rabies clinics and of course our animals shelters.
Sign Up Now
February is Adopt-A-Rescued-Rabbit Month
If you’re trying to decide on a new pet consider this: rabbits make perfect household pets for the right people, especially for apartment dwellers.
You won’t have to rush home from work to let a rabbit out. They need some time outside of their cage every day, but they require less attention than dogs or cats. Rabbits eat salad and hay, and love carrots as treats – in moderation.
Rabbits are curious and friendly by nature. They’ll entertain you with their silly antics, and love to cuddle next to you on the sofa. They’re also quiet and clean – they can easily be trained to use a litterbox (huge plus).
Right now all three of our shelters have more rabbits available for adoption than usual including shorthaired, albino mini-lops, mini rexes and several others.
View our adoptable rabbits online, or come to one of our shelters to meet them, and possibly adopt one of these furry loves into your home.
If you don’t have room in your home for any more of these lil’ guys, you can spread the love by sponsoring an adoption fee and helping a deserving bunny hop on home this Valentine’s Day.
Sponsor an Adoption Fee
4 purrfect gift ideas from the Animal Rescue League of Boston
Boston, MA—Looking for something especially meaningful for the companion pets and people in your life this Valentine’s Day?
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has four purrfect gift ideas that spread the love and help find homes for shelter pets:
- Give your special dog a heart-shaped treat. Nothing says “I love you” to the canine companion in your life like a tasty treat or dog cookie. Now through February 14, Polka Dog Bakery will donate 50% of proceeds from all Valentine’s Day treats to the ARL.
- Present your sweetheart with an ARL gift certificate. The devotion of a shelter pet knows no bounds. You can purchase a gift certificate to ARL shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham and help your sweetheart bring a bird, bunny, dog, or cat home to love.
- Sponsor an adoption. Show your Valentine how much you appreciate that soft spot he or she has for the stray animals in the neighborhood by sponsoring the adoption fees for a shelter pet in his or her name. An animal having a harder time finding a home may just find that special someone with the extra help.
- Deliver a gift donation. Sometimes flowers and chocolates don’t convey the special message you want a Valentine’s Day present to have. By making a gift donation to the ARL or another animal welfare organization in your Valentine’s name, you show your support for a cause about which he or she cares deeply.
“The happiest part of the work we do at the ARL is uniting shelter pets with loving human companions,” explains ARL president Mary Nee. “Supporting these efforts through your Valentine’s Day gift truly reflects the thoughtful kindness of both the gift-giver and receiver.”
Every year, the ARL’s shelters unite over 3,000 deserving animals with families and place 850 in foster homes with dedicated ARL volunteers. Visit arlboston.org/spreadthelove to learn more about the shelter pets available for adoption.
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. The ARL receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters to help animals in need.
Thank you Clear Channel Outdoor
Clear Channel Outdoor is helping the ARL’s shelter pets find loving human companions and spreading the love this February. The company first partnered with us back in August for our Adoptathon and have been extremely supportive of all of our adoption efforts and campaigns ever since. Partners like Clear Channel Outdoor are so crucial to getting the word out about pet adoption.
Clear Channel Outdoor has generously donated several electronic billboards to us in key areas for our February campaign, so keep an eye out on your commute! Look for our billboards in the following places:
- Medford: I-93 driving south
- Medford: I-93 driving north
- Stoneham: I-93 driving south
- Peabody: I-95 driving south
Please visit one of our animal shelters to find your valentine. There are many shelter pets waiting for that special someone!
We are very grateful to our animal-loving friends at Clear Channel Outdoor Boston for spreading the love!
Heartfelt Update from Baba Ganoush’s New Family
One of 162 animals rescued by the ARL from a home in Plymouth, MA, Baba Ganoush (formerly known as P1) must have had a pretty rough life. When he came to our Dedham shelter, this handsome bulldog suffered from numerous skin conditions and allergies, as well as depression.
He spent almost a year in foster care before he began the long search for that perfect family. A dog who may have seemed hard to love due to his many medical issues and tragic past would need to find the right family and with much patience, he did. Now after almost six months in his new home, Baba Ganoush, aka Hoobie, is sharing his love with everyone he meets.
Read the update from his new mom to see why the love of a rescue dog is all you need:
“When I walked in [to the Dedham shelter] and turned that corner (P1 was the last kennel to the left on the right side), there he was and I was instantly in love. At that moment I just knew. It sounds crazy but I just knew he was meant to be a part of our family. I didn’t care that he had warts, smelly ears, allergies and was old. He was it.
He is so loveable and kind and everyone who meets him just gravitates to him.
People will stop me everywhere to ask to pet him and ask questions about him. He truly has a healing soul. I have many friends who just ask to sit with him for a little bit to make them feel better. He’s also so good with all the small kids in my life.
We call him “Hoobie” as a nick name, I don’t know why. All my pets have their “real” name and then a nickname, so those are his.
He has become a little bit of a hoarder. He steals my clothes and puts them in his bed. He doesn’t eat them of chew on them, I guess he just wants something of mine. If I’m ever missing my favorite sweater or a shoe, it usually is in Hoobie’s bed.
He is very good to his “little” sister, Rory. She gets jealous a lot that he gets a lot of attention especially from guests and he just moves over and makes room for her. He has also taught her how to play again – she stopped playing with toys when she was around two. Now she is right back into it which is really nice. They motivate each other.
We go to this off-leash dog park a lot and he walks right by my side, doesn’t wander at all.
He is truly my buddy. He follows me everywhere, and whimpers for me when he can’t find me. No offense to my husband, but I feel like he is my soul mate, and I think you’d feel a kindred spirit with him too.” – Aimee
If Baba Ganoush makes you want to “spread the love” this Valentines day, visit arlboston.org/spreadthelove to see how you can help shelter pets find this kind of love. After all, doesn’t each and every animal deserve to find a soul mate?
Something Sweet for Your Pup, Made Even Sweeter
Thank you to our friends at Polka Dog Bakery for donating 50% of proceeds from all Valentine’s Day Treats to the Animal Rescue League of Boston now through February 14.
You can give your special dog a treat, and help a shelter pet find that special someone too!
Their shops are conveniently located in the Greater Boston Area, so there’s nothing stopping you from spreading the love this Valentine’s Day!
Participating Polka Dog Bakery stores are listed below:
South End, 256 Shawmut Avenue, map this location
Jamaica Plain, 42 South Street, map this location
Lynnfield, 240 Market Street, map this location
Chestnut Hill, 33 Boylston Street, map this location
Visit our Spread the Love page for more information on how you can make a difference this Valentine’s Day.
Cat Saved from Illegal Trap Has Been Adopted!
Philbert at home.
Philbert was saved by the ARL’s Rescue Team from an illegal leg hold trap back in June and left with a constant reminder of his traumatic experience – the loss of his left front leg.
Read more about his incredible rescue.
His recovery was long and difficult, but thanks to a lot of TLC and a wonderful foster home he became available for adoption earlier this month and just last week he found his purrrfect match!
Not only did he gain a new human family, but he also has a new ARL brother named Sparrow. Thank you so much to his Philbert’s new family for opening their hearts and home to not one, but two special needs cats. Here’s an update from his new mom:
“Phil has made himself completely at home with us. He and Sparrow, who is the same age and is also a neutered male, seemed interested in getting to know one another from the start. They do spat from time to time, but only over which one perceives the other is getting more attention!
Phil is just a lovely, big, soft, warm pillow of a cat who loves to give (and receive!) head-butts and ear-rubs.
He and Sparrow enjoy going ‘out’ on the three-season porch in the morning after breakfast to watch the birds at the feeder. He can keep up with Sparrow on his three legs when they go running through the house – and is remarkably graceful doing it - but for the most part he prefers to lounge.
He likes to spend time with us in the morning and evening, and is content to sleep under or on top of the guestroom bed during the day.
He has made it part of his routine to put both our kids to bed in the evening, staying on their beds until they’re asleep. He loves both the boys and they love him. He met the family vet and seemed to love him, too (or at least, he certainly didn’t mind the exam)!
We’re happy that Phil has adopted us and is becoming a part of the family!” – Jennifer
Congrats to this happy family!
According to Kim Melanson, CPDT-KA Behavior Counselor at the ARL, you and your dog can benefit from training in five ways:
Freedom: A well-behaved dog can have an enriching life by spending more time with his family. He can hang out with visitors, go places with you and join in on family activities. If your dog has learned some basic house and outdoor manners, he will not jump all over guests or bother them too much. He can ride in a car safely, go to a relative’s house and settle, go to the park or the beach for an outing and come back when called.
Bonding: With just a few minutes a day of active training and/or adding some training into every day activities, you and your dog can learn more about each other and have fun. The benefits of positive reinforcement humane training are abundant. Both human and dog enjoy the experience as they teach and learn from each other, as well as create a trusting, mutually-enriching, and lasting relationship.
It lets your “dog be a dog”: Dogs like to do natural things that sometimes do not fit well in the human home such as: chewing, jumping, chasing, and digging. Training them in an appropriate way to have their fun lets them to do ‘doggie’ things and lets you join in too, all while making sure they do not disturb the household in a negative way. Train your dog to chew on dog chews and toys instead of shoes and pillows, sit for greetings and attention instead of jumping, playing ‘find it’ with treats and stuff Kongs instead of digging, and retrieving balls with a drop for chasing. Not only will your dog be happier, but you will also have fun!
Burns mental energy and relieves boredom: Positive training promotes thinking in dogs and humans, and a thinking brain can relieve excess energy. A few minutes a day can really help your dog rest well and not seek out destructive ways of burning energy. Teaching tricks is a great activity to do on a rainy day – kids and friends will love seeing your dog do tricks!
Keeps dogs in their ‘forever’ home: Many dogs are surrendered to shelters for behavior problems and or because they have become too much for the owner to handle. A well-trained dog stays in her forever home because she has become part of the family and is a joy to live with. She can also become an ‘ambassador’ for dogs everywhere. There are public places, apartment buildings and areas that are banning dogs, and some people are frightened of dogs. If our dogs are well-behaved in public, people see that we can keep dogs as an integral part of our society and families.
Training obedience cues of sit, down, stay, drop, come and more are great for dogs to learn, but training also means teaching your dog to live in a human household and beyond. House training, learning to settle, go to a mat or crate, to chew appropriate chews, to play appropriate games, to walk on leash and polite greetings for people and dogs are the cornerstones of a well mannered and well liked family dog.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston offers many dog training classes that review basic and advanced cues, along with house and outdoor manners. We also offer some dog sports and fun agility classes. We are offering a 25% discount for ARL alums and 10% off for BVC clients. For more information about our Boston classes check out our schedule.
See Listing of Nearby Convenient Alternatives
This weekend, January 25-26, our Dedham shelter will hold its final nail trimming weekend.
The shelter originally began offering the complimentary service as part of the ARL’s commitment to supporting a healthy relationship between our adopters and their pets. In recent months, the popularity of the service has grown to a level the staff at the shelter had not anticipated and can no longer accommodate safely or quickly for clients.
To help our clients with future needs, the Dedham staff has found many convenient local alternatives that provide nail trimming at all times of the month for a minimal fee:
- Twickenton Groomer in Dedham – $10 for a nail trim
- Petco in Needham and Dedham – $10 (need proof of rabies vaccine)
- Dr. Wolf’s in Dedham – $18 (need proof of rabies vaccine)
We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding!
10 Common Myths About Dog Behavior from Parade Magazine
Parade Magazine recently published an article on the topic of pet behavior – specifically the feelings of guilt. As soon as we saw it, we had to pass the article along to our own dog behavior expert Kim Melanson, CPDT-KA Behavior Counselor, at the ARL to get a second opinion.
Kim loved the article and said it is “right on,” with only one note about Myth 8.
“The only thing I disagree with slightly, and it probably comes from working in a shelter, is Myth 8. Although destroying the house and soiling when left alone can mean separation anxiety, it can also be a bored young pup or adolescent. Most adolescent dogs going home from the shelter will chew things if not crated.”
So while she agrees it’s not out of spite, people should keep in mind that a dog destroying the house could be separation anxiety OR it could just mean that your unsupervised pup is bored!
Take a look at the myths that Parade Magazine debunked and see if any apply to your dog!
Myth 1: When my dog looks guilty, it’s because he feels bad for doing something wrong.
When your pooch puts on that doleful look, he must be guilty of something, right? Wrong! Your dog knows you are angry or upset and is using that body posture to try in dog language to get you to calm down and avoid punishment.
Myth 2. My dog understands me when I talk to him.
While dogs can understand about 500 words and a very talented Border Collie named Chaser can understand thousands, when we talk to our dogs they focus in on a few words, our tone of voice, facial expressions, and our body language.
Myth 3: My new dog of the same breed will be just like my last one.
Just like two children from the same family will be alike in some ways, they can be completely different in others. So while Johnny and Susie both have blue eyes, one might be easy going and the other very stubborn. Two dogs from the same breed can be very different too.
Myth 4: My dog should tolerate anything my children do.
The reality is that young children often do not know how to interact with dogs in a caring considerate manner. Allowing children to sit on dogs, pull on their body, hit them with toys, disturb them while they eat may actually teach children the wrong lessons. Dogs are living, breathing, emotional beings that need to be treated kindly and with respect.
Myth 5: A fenced yard should be entertaining enough.
Our canine friends live in a very rich world of smells and visual input. The back yard is the same day in and day out. What dogs long for is the smell of a new scent, the chance to check out that next bush or tree and see the world. And when out in the yard all alone they can make bad decisions, become extremely territorial and threatening to others, or even become destructive or attempt to escape.
Myth 6: All dogs who are afraid of people have been abused.
While it is unfortunate that many dogs are abused, many dogs that show signs of fear or anxiety around people and places suffer from another problem: limited socialization. If a dog lives in a very restricted environment during their sensitive time of emotional growth (from 8 weeks to 9 months) they may not have the tools to process, interact, and enjoy new experiences as they come along.
Myth 7: Dog training works best if we rely on dominance and punishment.
Just like people, dogs learn best by humane treatment and showing them the right things to do. Dogs are at a disadvantage—they don’t know the rules of living in a human world. They are not out to dominate or control us, but rather don’t really know what is the right thing to do. It is up to us to teach them how to behave using positive training and kindness.
Myth 8: Dogs that destroy the house when home alone are being spiteful.
Dogs that go to the bathroom indoors bark and are destructive when home alone are most likely suffering from separation anxiety. They are unable to relax and be calm when separated from their human family. They need a behavior modification plan, treatment and perhaps medication to learn how to be home alone.
Myth 9: Dogs that growl and bite are mean.
Dogs that growl are trying to tell people that they are uncomfortable and afraid. What they really want is for the threatening thing to go away or stop. By understanding and respecting the message we can teach dogs the proper responses and diminish the need for aggressive responses.
Myth 10: Dogs and wolves are the same.
While dogs and wolves share a common genetic connection, that is where it ends. Dogs have evolved over thousands of years to be partners with humans and interact with naturally in ways that wolves do not even with extensive training. Two great examples: dogs can follow a human’s pointing gesture and often “ask” people for help; wolves do not without specific training.
View the entire article online at Parade.com.