ARL’s Dr. Smith-Blackmore comments to CBS News
CBS News paid a visit to the Animal Rescue League of Boston to interview Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, the ARL’s vice president of animal welfare, about the rising trend of “puppy transports” – when animals are relocated from one community to another state or region for adoption.
Watch the CBS Evening News story
Often because of socioeconomic or cultural, animal control facilities and shelters in many regions of the country find themselves with far more stray or abandoned puppies and young dogs than they can find homes for locally.
Since the practice of puppy transports began, many veterinarians have expressed concern about the health, welfare, and safety of animals traveling on a transport, as well as the risks that transported dogs may pose to dogs in the receiving communities. Veterinarians want to ensure steps are taken to control the spread and transmission of disease.
Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore offers her insights on the rising trend of puppy transports.
As the chair of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Animal Welfare Committee, Dr. Smith helped craft the AVMA’s policy on the relocation of animals for adoption. Ahead of her interview with CBS News, we sat down with her to talk more about what people should know about puppy transports.
ARL Blog: What are the major concerns veterinarians have about puppy transports?
Dr. Smith: The biggest concern veterinarians have is for animal and public health – that animals with mostly unknown medical backgrounds and lacking much preventive care would spread large amounts of infectious disease from the place they were leaving to the place they were headed. The health, welfare, and safety of animals during the transport–how they are treated and cared for during travel–is also something veterinarians care about very much.
They also care about their clients, who may end up heartbroken if the unwittingly adopt a sick puppy.
ARL Blog: If someone is considering adopting from a puppy transport, what do they need to know?
Dr. Smith: Learning more about the shelter or rescue group you’re adopting from to find out how the health and safety of animals and people are addressed before and during transport is very important!
One of the major goals of the AVMA policy was to provide organizations with guidance on doing transports safely and humanely. The public can also use the AVMA policy as a point of reference for the standards of care they should expect from any group transporting animals for local adoption.
Download the AVMA’s Best Practices for the Relocation of Animals for Adoption
Find out if and how the organization that is bringing the puppies in for adoption is helping the community where they came from. Are they giving back to the sending community to improve access to spay/neuter and other veterinary services? Organizations involved in puppy transports run the gamut from responsible, welfare-oriented groups, to uncaring individuals motivated by financial profit.
The ARL works with rescue partners to bring puppies from the South to our Brewster shelter several times a year. Our Boston shelter also receives occasional transports of chihuahuas from California.
ARL Blog: Has the increased interest in puppy transports had an impact on local animals who need homes ?
Dr. Smith: The AVMA policy encourages communities to assess their local animal population first to figure out if there’s a real shortage of adoptable animals. Because of higher spay/neuter rates of dogs in New England, for example, there aren’t as many stray or abandoned puppies as there are in other parts of the country.
There are dogs in many communities in Massachusetts that need help getting to a shelter where they stand a better chance of getting adopted. To address this issue, the ARL collaborates with the Massachusetts Animal Coalition’s AniMatch program.
The idea is for organizations to pursue their passion for helping animals find homes in a healthy, safe, and responsible way for all animals, people, and communities.
Make it a happy new year for animals in our community
Rugby came to the ARL with a severe deformity in his front legs. With help from shelter veterinarians and staff, he learned to walk and today can run, jump, and play like every puppy should.
Your donation to the Animal Rescue League of Boston today will help thousands of animals like Sadie, the 8-year-old adoptable pup in the photo above, get a chance at a better life in 2015!
We rely entirely on the generosity of our supporters to help thousands of animals every year….
….Animals like Rugby and Madeline who recovered from neglect and found happy homes in 2014.
….Like Wally and Piper who got the medical assistance they needed after sustaining serious injuries.
Piper was found all alone with a broken leg. The ARL paid for the $3,000 surgery to repair the serious fracture in her thigh. She continues her recovery with an ARL foster volunteer.
….Like the wide variety of domestic animals and wildlife our rescue services team and law enforcement officers save and protect.
….Like the animals in the City of Boston who will be cared for by a reforming Boston Animal Care and Control department.
….Like the cats and dogs who receive high-quality, affordable spay/neuter and other veterinary services from our Spay Waggin’.
You make all of this work possible!
Here are a few ways your donations to the Animal Rescue League of Boston help animals in need:
- $25 Can help feed a shelter dog for a week
- $35 Can provide nutrient-rich formula and feeding supplies for a litter of kittens
- $50 Can help cover spay/neuter surgery for a feral cat or adoptable animal
- $250 Can provide training for an unruly puppy so he can become a lovable family pet
- $500 Can help a stray dog or cat receive emergency surgery after a serious injury
Only with your support can we provide high-quality, compassionate care for animals when they need it most.
Donate to animals now
Thank you for your kindness and compassion for animals in need. And happy New Year from everyone at the ARL!
“She’s like our very own Tiny Tim”
The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) newest addition, little Piper the kitten, is recovering from delicate surgery performed on Monday to repair her broken back leg.
Just as the cold weather hit, kind Samaritans discovered the 6-8 week-old brown tabby all alone and struggling to walk near an ice cream shop in Orleans, MA. After police brought her to the ARL’s Brewster shelter, ARL veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley recommended bringing Piper up to Boston to explore all the options for repairing her leg.
“Piper was anemic, dehydrated, and clearly in some discomfort because of her broken leg,” Dr. Quigley explained. “Because she was so little, we wanted to make sure we helped her heal with minimal pain.”
An x-ray of Piper’s leg with the pins and steel plate post surgery.
The ARL funded Piper’s surgery at Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment and Specialties in Walpole, MA, where veterinary surgeons inserted a steel plate and pins to repair the serious fracture in her thigh. The organization will continue to help Piper rehabilitate over the next 6-8 weeks and begin the process of finding her a permanent home.
“She’s like our very own Tiny Tim,” said Marianne Gasbarro, the ARL’s Boston shelter manager. “She got the treatment she needed just in time and will have a much better life in the new year ahead.”
The ARL expects Piper’s medical costs will top $2,000 with surgery and after care. The organization does not receive any government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters to help stray animals like Piper recover.
To make a donation to help Piper and other animals just like her, visit arlboston.kintera.org/piper
Special things in store for everyone who adopts today
All ARL shelters are open for business on Black Friday with a special “deal” of our own! Everyone who adopts from one of our shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham on November 28 will receive:
- The unwavering love and loyalty of a shelter pet (no limit on supply!)
- An ARL pet emergency backpack (cat or dog version, while supplies last)
- Free first wellness visit at Boston Veterinary Care vet clinic
- Free pet toothbrush and toothpaste (while supplies last)
- Only in Boston and Dedham – Coupon for 20% off your entire purchase with PALS reward from Petco Unleashed
- Only in Boston – Coupon for 20% off your entire purchase at D’Tails (73 Berkeley Street, Boston)
- Only in Brewster – Coupon for $10 off your pet supply purchase of $40 or more at Agway
Maverick loves to play and sing. Come meet him on Black Friday at the ARL’s Boston shelter.
Carrie loves being the center of attention. Come meet her on Black Friday at the ARL’s Boston shelter.
Generous supporters of the ARL have also pre-paid the adoption fees on select shelter animals, including the bear-huggable Carrie and the ever-spunky Maverick.
Our Black Friday specials are part of our “Home for the Holidays” community outreach campaign to encourage adoption and support for animals in need in our community. Visit arlboston.org/homeforholidays for more information.
Shelter locations and hours on Black Friday are as follows:
10 Chandler Street, Boston
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
3981 Main St. (Route 6A), East Brewster
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
55 Anna’s Pl, Dedham
1:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar to Donate Proceeds to ARL and Wild Care on September 19
On Friday, September 19, the iconic Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar in Eastham will donate all proceeds from the sales of food, ice cream and mini-golf to the ARL’s Brewster animal shelter and Wild Care of Cape Cod. Thanks to the generosity of Arnold’s, you can feel especially good about dining out on the 19th!
Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar has built a reputation for the highest quality seafood with “white glove” cleanliness. Large portions, friendly customer service and affordable prices continue bring visitors and locals alike to this classic Cape Cod spot.
Arnold’s is located at 3580 Route 6 in Eastham. Hours on Friday, September 19 are 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
All-day festivities will include:
- Pet-friendly swag from the ARL (while supplies last)
- Photo fun with the ARL’s “Super Pets” photo backdrop
- Temporary tattoos and stickers for kids and fun-loving adults
- Treats for dogs and door prizes
- Information about adoptable dogs at the ARL’s Brewster shelter
Have a canine family member who’d like to join you? Well-behaved dogs can join their families on the patio!
We’re very grateful to Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar for organizing and hosting this generous fundraising event for our Brewster shelter.
Remember: it may be your last clam bake of the summer, but proceeds from the event will help animals on Cape Cod all year long!
Get Your New Pet Spayed
Did you get a new kitten or puppy this summer? Make sure he or she is neutered/spayed.
The ARL’s mobile spay/neuter unit provides spay/neuter surgeries and other preventive healthcare for dog and cat owners in financial need on the South Shore and Cape Cod.
There are numerous benefits to spaying or neutering your pet. Spay/neuter reduces the cost of pet ownership, diminishes nuisance behaviors, helps prevent aggressive behaviors, increases longevity and improves your pet’s health outlook. Spaying female cats and dogs before their first heat offers protection from uterine infections and breast cancer. Neutering male cats and dogs prevents testicular cancer.
Learn more about the Spay Waggin’
Booking an appointment for your cat online is easy or if you prefer, you can also call 1-877-590-SPAY(7729)!
So many reasons to adopt from the Animal Rescue League of Boston
Bringing an animal into your home and making them a part of your family is a very special event indeed. In fact, some of the happiest work we do at the Animal Rescue League of Boston is helping you find a super pet!
The ARL finds homes for about 3,000 animals every year, including cats, dogs, birds, bunnies, ferrets, cows, sheep, horses, snakes, and lizards. We take in animals from a variety of circumstances, but a large portion are responsibly surrendered to us because of “people-related” reasons—their owners were moving, had no time because of a job or life change, or suddenly became sick or financially unable to care for their pets.
Animals like Pringle (pictured upper right), Cupid (pictured middle right), and Peach and Rosalina (pictured bottom center), all have big hearts with lots of love, loyalty, and good company to give to human companions—day and night!
When you adopt from a shelter, you’ll feel good about giving an animal a chance at a better life. And not just one animal – when you take your new pet home with you, the ARL can take in another at one of our shelters.
In addition to those fantastic feelings of helping a fellow living thing in need, you can also rest assured that, before they go to a new home, every adoptable animal at the ARL receives:
- Spay/neuter services
- Health screening and veterinary examination
- Behavior screening and evaluations
- Flea, tick and mite treatment
- Feline Leukemia test for cats/Heartworm test and preventive medication for dogs
- Microchip identification and registration
With the help of the dedicated staff at our animal shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham, you can learn more about whether a particular animal you meet at our shelter is a good pet-match for you before you bring them home.
Search adoptable animals at our shelters
Already adopted a super pet from the ARL or another animal rescue group? We want to hear from you!
Post a picture and share the story of your super rescue pet on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with #ARLSuperpets. Once a week, we’ll pick a winner from all the entries to receive a super pet prize.
Every picture and story you share helps spread the word about just how super rescue pets can be.
Stay tuned for more super pets stories, news, and pets of the week this summer!
Volunteer Donates Garden to Brewster Shelter
Things are looking a lot more vibrant around the ARL’s Brewster shelter, thanks to one very talented volunteer and some generous Cape Cod businesses and individuals.
Donelle Denery, a master gardener and ARL volunteer, orchestrated a new garden outside our Brewster shelter. This Orleans resident has been volunteering with us for almost two years and we really appreciate all of her dedication.
She coordinated with local businesses about donating supplies including, plants, flowers, mulch, compost and fertilizer and then she went to work to create this beautiful outdoor masterpiece! We are all enjoying this lovely addition to the landscaping around the shelter and even the pups are stopping to smell the flowers!
Thank you to Donelle and everyone who donated supplies including:
- Daniels Recycling Co. – Flip
- TruValue Hardware – Jim Moran
- Orleans Agway- Justin and Jennifer
- The Farm – Sassy Richardson
- Snow`s – Susan Snow
- Irene Cooper
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.
Scotties Facial Tissue covers adoption fees on ALL cats 1 year-old and up!
During the last full week of National Adopt-a-Cat Month, our partner Scotties Facial Tissue will cover the adoption fees on cats 1 year-old and up!
How could you say no to that face! Scotties Facial Tissue will cover the adoption fees on 5+ old cats like Care Bear, June 22-29.
Starting today through June 29, the ARL hopes to find homes for a variety of fuzzy and fluffy, playful and peaceful cats and kittens.
Cats like Care Bear (pictured right) who love a good cheek scratch and to chase the laser pointer a bit before curling up on the couch for a snooze would make the purr-fect feline companion!
“Our goal for this partnership is to help a great organization do what they do best – finding good homes for these loving animals,” said John Robertson, director of marketing for Scotties Facial Tissues. “We hope that our donation will act as an incentive for caring people to come forward and open up their homes.”
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:
- Feline leukemia test
- Flea, tick and mite treatment
- Microchip identification and registration
Search adoptable cats
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)
Sunday shelter hours:
Thank you to Scotties Facial Tissue for helping to find more deserving cats homes!