Winter Routine: The Dos and Don’ts

These 5 cold weather habits will help keep animals safe

Let’s face it: residents of New England are no stranger to the frigid temperatures and harsh precipitation that winter can bring. Whether it’s salting our walkway, defrosting our car windows, or layering ourselves with heavy fabrics, we are quick to adapt to the changing elements.

When the blustery weather hits, adjusting a few more of your daily habits can actually help protect your pet and the animals in your community too! Just add these 5 Dos and Don’ts to your winter safety routine:

1. DO watch the thermometer. Although some animals are conditioned for cold weather, many are not. Whenever possible, bring all pets indoors when the temperature plummets below 20 degrees. Animals with short hair, puppies and kittens, senior pets, and those that have a lowered immune system are most at risk and should be moved inside when the mercury drops below 40 degrees.

2. DON’T forget to check under the hood. Cats love to warm up underneath the hood of a car, as the residual heat from the engine burns off. Unfortunately, this method of warming up can have dangerous consequences, such as severe burns and other grave injuries. Always pound on the hood of your vehicle and do a quick visual check to wake a napping kitty before you stick the key in the ignition.

3. DO winterize outdoor accommodations. If your livestock or neighborhood feral can’t be moved into a warm garage or basement, ensure that they have adequate protection against the elements. A winter-friendly outdoor shelter should have three enclosed sides, be raised off the ground, have heated water bowls to prevent freezing, and contain bedding, such as clean straw. The space should be big enough for the animal to lay down, stand, and turn around, but small enough to help trap the heat.

4. DON’T leave flames unattended. Pets gravitate toward warm spaces when they’re cold, just as humans do. If you have a working fireplace, wood stove, space heater, candles, or other heat source supervise your pet at all times to keep them a safe distance from hot surfaces and to avoid serious burns.

5. DO pay attention to your pet’s grooming and health. An animal with a matted coat cannot keep him or herself warm! Long-haired pets, especially during heavy periods of shedding, need extra help maintaining a healthy coat. Senior pets also suffer from increased arthritis pain in the cold, so check with your veterinarian on how to keep your pet comfortable..

For more helpful tips about dog and cat health and behavior, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips.

 

February is National Adopt a Rabbit Month

Hop on over to the ARL and ADOPT a bunny today!

Thanks to our knowledgeable staff and volunteers, the ARL has many types of animals available for adoption- not just cats and dogs. If a feline or canine is not the pet for you, or you have limited space in your home, consider SPREADING THE LOVE and adopting a rabbit!

Bunnies like Tifa are searching for a family to love this Valentine’s Day.

Search adoptables

tifa

8-month-old Tifa is ready to hop her way into your heart! Click the picture to see her profile.

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider adopting a rabbit this February:

  1. Bunnies spend the majority of their day quietly inside their cage, making them the perfect companions for apartment dwellers.
  2. Cottontails can be trained to use a litter box, so you won’t have to rush home from work to let them out.
  3. Hares need minimal exercise every day, so they require less attention than cats or dogs.
  4. Rabbits are curious, friendly, and will entertain you for hours with their silly antics.
  5. Hop-a-longs keep themselves tidy and are all about “clean eating”, snacking on salad, hay, and carrots as treats.

Need a 6th reason? All adoptable rabbits at the ARL receive the following: Spay/neuter services, health screening and veterinary examination, behavior screening and evaluations, vaccinations, parasite treatment, and more!

Don’t forget… to please bring a photo of the cage your rabbit will live in, as it’s required for adoption.

SPREAD THE LOVE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY: Not able to ADOPT right now? That’s OK! Consider sponsoring a rabbit’s adoption fee to help a deserving bunny find a home this February! Contact our Boston, Brewster, or Dedham shelter for more information.

 

Dog Sweaters: Fashion vs. Function

Does your dog need a sweater this winter? Answer these 5 questions!

Love it or hate it, many animal-lovers can’t resist a dog in clothing. Whether it be a holiday sweater, a Halloween costume, or simply a fancy collar, photos of a dressed-up doggies are shared by the millions on social media each day.

While the pet retail business may seem frivolous to some, the reality is that some dogs, just like humans, need a little extra help staying warm in the colder months. Sure, your dog naturally sports its own “overcoat”, but some breeds are just not suited to survive in harsh winter climates.

Dog sweaters, coats, and booties may be fashionable, but they can also be extremely functional as well!

Not sure if your if your canine companion needs a dog sweater this winter? Answer YES or NO to our questions below:

protect your pet

Dog sweaters can be both fashionable AND functional! Answer YES or NO to these 5 questions to determine if your dog needs a sweater this winter!

1. Is your dog’s coat made up of short hair like a Boston Terrier’s or French Bulldog’s?

2. If your dog’s coat is made of fur, do you keep it groomed short, as you would a Poodle?

3. Is your dog considered a puppy (under one-year-old), a senior (over 7-years-old), or a toy breed, such as a Chihuahua?

4. Does your dog have a weakened immune system due to health issues, such as hypothyroidism?

5. Do you live in a climate where temperatures dip below freezing during the hours your dog spends time outside?

If you  answered “YES” to one or more of the questions above, you may want to consider buying a dog sweater for your canine companion to wear on cold days or during snowfall.

While this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to run out and purchase 17 hound’s-tooth sweater options (unless you want to, of course!) you should browse a little to select outerwear that will work best for your dog.

Take your pooch shopping with you to determine what style, size, and fabrics fits your pup. Make sure whatever you select is simple to put on/pull off and has closures (buttons, zippers, etc.) that are easily accessible.

Your dog’s new sweater may just get everyone at the park saying, “now that’s one practical pup”!

For more useful pet safety advice, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips.

 

February 14 is Pet Theft Awareness Day

5 tips to protect your pet from theft… and what to do if you’re a victim

We do it all the time: We let our cat out in the backyard on a sunny day. We tether our dog to the street lamp to run a quick errand. We live in a safe neighborhood, so what could possibly happen?

Due to the ever-changing economy and the pet business becoming increasingly more lucrative, the scary truth is that pet theft is on the rise. Just as you wouldn’t leave a young child outside unsupervised, the same should go for your pet.With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, don’t forget to show your furry companion how much you love them by keeping them out of harm’s way.

If your pet goes missing, immediately contact your local animal control and shelters.

If your pet goes missing, immediately contact your local animal control and shelters.

Follow these 5 important tips to protect your pet from theft:

  1. At home, keep your pets supervised at all times. Think twice before letting your cat roam freely around the neighborhood or tying your pup to the tree in your front yard.
  2. Running an errand? Leave your pet at home. Although walking your dog while tackling your daily chores may seem like you’re accomplishing double-duty, the reality is that it only takes a few seconds for a dog-napper to take off with your pet.
  3. Follow the same rules for pets of all breeds and sizes. Although purebreds and small dogs are the most desirable to a thief for obvious reasons, big friendly dogs or mixed breeds can be just as easily lured into a get-away car waiting nearby.
  4. Spay or neuter your pet. February is National Spay and Neuter Awareness Month and the ARL has been sharing the many health and behavioral benefits of the low-risk procedure. Another perk? Spayed or neutered pets are much less desirable to thieves, since they can’t be bred.
  5. Microchip your pet. It only takes a second for a thief to remove your pet’s collar, making them very difficult to identify should they turn up at an animal shelter or hospital. Quick and painless, microchipping your pet is extremely important to ensure that you and your pet are reunited.

If you find yourself in a situation where you think your pet was stolen:

  • Immediately file a report with your local police department and animal control.
  • Contact your pet’s microchip company, as well as local animal shelters and hospitals to see if your pet has turned up.
  • Post fliers around your neighborhood, especially in public spaces and businesses, with your pet’s photo, name, breed, color, weight and any distinguishing characteristics.
  • If you offer a reward, ask for a very detailed description of your pet and how they came into that person’s possession. If you suspect that you are being scammed, call the police.
  • Monitor newspaper ads and online postings to look for any that might fit your pet’s description.

PREVENT PET THEFT BEFORE IT HAPPENS!  Report any suspicious activity, or animal cruelty and neglect to your local police department and animal control office.

 

Pets As Gifts… CAN Be a Good Idea!

5 factors to consider before you give pets as Valentine’s Day gift

It seems like a no-brainer… Giving a pet as a present can be a win-win situation for everyone involved: the animal has a cozy home to call its own, the recipient is in a state of awe, and the giver (you!) has made your loved one’s Valentine’s Day even more romantic.

While this is the gift-giving scenario that every animal lover dreams of, make sure it really is the purrfect present for the person on your list.

If giving your loved one a new pet as a present is on your mind, here are 5 things to consider:

  1. Manage the surprise. Even at the risk of spoiling the surprise, make sure that the intended recipient wants a new pet. Check in with someone who currently has pets or has recently lost one to make sure they are ready.
  2. Don’t make them sneeze. That’s not a twinkle in their eye; it’s allergies. Confirm any allergies among all household members. No one wants to go get an allergy shot after opening what’s supposed to be an extra special gift, after all.
  3. Know where they live. Even if you know your intended recipient really wants a pet, ensure that their building and development allows them. If their home is pet-friendly, be sure to confirm any weight or breed restrictions.
  4. Find out what they can handle. You want to know that the animal you are getting matches the lifestyle, physical limitation, ages, and personalities in the household.
  5. Adopt from a shelter.  When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  Adopting from a reputable animal shelter like the ARL’s locations in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham also has many practical benefits. All our adoptable animals, for example, receive spay/neuter services, vaccines, and a health and behavioral screening.

Keep in mind… It never hurts to run the idea by your loved one beforehand or take them along to pick out their new pet. They and their new furry friend will be thanking you for many years to come!

The ARL has many deserving animals looking for a home!

It’s not just snowing cats and dogs here at ARL’s shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham. We have many special small shelter pets like birds and rabbits who are looking for loving homes!

Search all adoptables

 

February 9, 2017 – Winter Weather Closings

ARL programs and administrative offices will be closed on February 9

Due to the winter weather, ARL will be closed to the public on Thursday, February 9:

  • Administrative offices
  • Adoption centers in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham
  • Boston Veterinary Care
  • Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery
  • Rescue Services
  • Spay Waggin’

Dedicated staff and volunteers will remain at each shelter location to make sure that the animals in our care remain safe, warm, and in good spirits as the snow flies.

When a snow storm hits, we often receive an increasing number of calls from concerned citizens with questions about feral cats. We suggest trying to coax a feral cat indoors to a garage or basement for shelter. If that’s not possible, watch our helpful how-to video to build a DIY cat shelter.

For more winter weather pet safety tips, visit arlboston.org/winter-pet-health.

 

DIY: Winter Pet Emergency Kit

Simple and inexpensive to make, a pet emergency kit is a must for your home

Blizzards, flooding, and power outages are par for the course during the harsh New England winters. When you’re stocking your pantry and gathering snow removal equipment for the next big storm, don’t forget to plan ahead for your pet too! In the event of an evacuation, natural disaster, or other emergency the Animal Rescue League of Boston wants to make sure that your pet is already packed and ready to go with you! Follow these 7 steps to keep your pet safe during an emergency In addition to having a sturdy comfortable crate or carrier on-hand for transporting your pet, be sure to prepare a pet emergency kit ahead of time with the following supplies:

  • Water-resistant backpack or lightweight bag to hold everything
    pet emergency kit

    Don’t forget to bring a photocopy or portable USB drive of your pet’s medical records.

  • Food and water – at least 3 days worth!
  • Portable food and water bowls
  • Manual can opener and fork, or measuring cup
  • Litter or newspaper to shred and litter boxes
  • Paper towels and trash bags for additional pet sanitation needs
  • Bleach (dilute 9 parts water to 1 part bleach for cleaning)
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Collar with ID tags – be sure the information is up-to-date!
  • Leash
  • Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Bedding
  • Grooming items

ALSO, DON’T FORGET… to make your pet easy to ID! If you become separated from your pet, you’ll want to locate and claim them as quickly as possible. Microchipping your pet is always a good idea and a fail-safe way to verify that you’re their owner. Also, keep a photo of you and your pet together handy to help others easily identify them. For more useful pet safety advice, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips.

 

February is National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month

5 reasons why you should spay/neuter your pet

During National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month this February, the ARL reminds the public that there’s nothing cool about pet overpopulation.

“There are too many cat and dogs in our communities that don’t have homes,” explains Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare & Shelter Veterinary Services. “Every year, animal shelters like the ARL are inundated with stray and surrendered puppies and kittens that are the result of unplanned litters.”

In fact, national studies have found that amongst pet owners who indicate that their pets had at least one litter, 59% of cat owners and 38% of dog owners described the litter as “unintentional” or “accidental.”

Dr. Schettino believes that one reason that pet owners choose not to spay or neuter their pet is misconceptions about the low-risk surgery. “If we can increase spay and neuter rates, we can help prevent pet overpopulation,”

In addition to the benefits to the community, here are 5 more reasons why you should spay/neuter your pet:

09-24 Boston Spay Neuter Day_Thumb1. You Snip, You Save. The cost of caring for an unplanned litter of puppies or kittens far outweighs the cost of having a pet spayed or neutered. The good news – there are many affordable and free options in Massachusetts!

2. Snipping Reduces Spraying. Neutering resolves the vast majority of marking behaviors—even when a cat has a long-standing habit. Other nuisance behaviors such as howling in cats and excessive barking in dogs eases and even disappears after surgery.

3. Snipping Stops Scuffles. According to the National Canine Research Foundation, approximately 92% of fatal dog attacks involved male dogs, 94% of which were not neutered. Neutering male dogs and cats reduces their urge to roam and fight with other males.

4. Snipping Lengthens Life Span. The USA Today reports neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered males, and spayed females live 23% longer than unspayed females.

5. Snipping is a Safeguard. Neutering male cats and dogs before six months of age prevents testicular cancer. Spaying female cats and dogs before their first heat offers protection from uterine infections and breast cancer.

For more spay and neuter resources, visit arlboston.org/spay-neuter.

 

After Losing Their Owners, Two Senior Pets Depended on ARL

Sandy and Jasmine relied on ARL -and a touch of fate- to help them find their new forever homes after losing their owners

HELP ANIMALS NOW

It’s heartbreaking to see an owner lose their pet. It’s equally as devastating to see a pet lose their owner.

At the ARL, we frequently see cases of the latter – typically senior pets that had senior owners who were ill. As tragic as these cases are, these situations often have a happy outcome for the pets involved.

Read this incredible story about how ARL helped two senior dogs that lost their owners much too soon… 

Sandy, a 7-year-old Chow mix dog, was rescued by ARL in 2013 after roaming an industrial park in the Greater Boston Area for over a year. Because of the prolonged exposure to rain and snow, Sandy had lost a majority of her fur. Her skin red and raw, her body exhausted and emaciated, she spent her first few days at ARL cowering behind her bed. With intensive veterinary care, behavior and enrichment training, along with plenty of love and attention from staff and volunteers, Sandy slowly began to heal.

Several months later, Sandy met Bill, a gentleman who had recently lost both his beloved wife and dog. He had been looking for a companion to share his golden years with. After hearing Sandy’s story, Bill knew that she’d be the perfect canine companion and adopted her. The duo had a wonderful life together, until, sadly, Bill passed away a short time later.

Quirky, arthritic, and wary of strangers, Sandy returned to ARL’s Brewster shelter where volunteers and staff showered her with extra TLC. For almost 6 months she waited patiently hoping to find another special family to call her own.

As luck would have it, Ralph, a Cape Cod resident, was looking for a senior dog. Needless to say, he and Sandy were the perfect pair. On adoption day, Sandy jumped right into his truck  - arthritis and all – and fell asleep on Ralph’s lap before they’d even left the parking lot. Sandy lived a happy life with Ralph for 2 years, until she recently passed away from bladder cancer.

Sandy and Bill

Sandy (pictured left) at our Brewster Adoption Center and with her adopter Ralph.

Meanwhile… Jasmine, a 8-year-old long-haired Rottweiler, was surrender to ARL’s Brewster shelter in January 2016 due to financial reasons. She was adopted shortly thereafter, however, she came back to us in October when, like Sandy, her owner had died. Luck was not on her side.

A tough senior girl, Jasmine was very particular and did not get along with other dogs at the shelter. ARL’s volunteers and staff were concerned about her future adoptability and knew that she just had to go home with someone special.

As fate would have it, Ralph, who was still grieving the loss of his canine companion Sandy, saw Jasmine’s photo on arlboston.org and instantly felt a connection with her. After a 48 hour trial, Ralph fell in love with Jasmine and brought her home – just in time for the holidays! By all accounts, the new pair are doing wonderfully together.

Jasmine and Bill

It was love at first sight for Jasmine and Ralph!

Although tragedy can pull pets and their owners apart, the ARL stands ready to jump in and connect both animals and people with the resources they need to make things right – all thanks to supporters like you.

A special message from ARL’s President Mary Nee…

My deepest thanks to everyone who answered my request for help last week with a generous donation for animals in need.

As a result, we are 25% closer to goal and now have to raise $425,000 by December 31 to meet our budget for the coming year,

Please give as generously as you can and let us start the new year with the resources to respond whenever we receive that call for animals in need. Click to the red button below to…

HELP ANIMALS NOW

Thank you and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

Sincerely,

Mary Nee, President of ARL

 

Tomorrow: We’ll DOUBLE your donation!

Donate on #GivingTuesday and make 2x the impact for animals like Mayfield 

Donate now for 2x the impact

Your unwavering support helps prevent the cruelty, suffering, and neglect of over 14,000 animals every year. Without you, ARL would be unable to provide the special police investigation necessary to protect animals across the Commonwealth.

All thanks to friends like YOU, animals like Mayfield now have a bright future ahead of them…

Earlier this year, a concerned citizen noticed something odd with the trash put out around Norfolk Street in Dorchester, MA. In the middle of the garbage to be collected was a birdcage filled with maggots and cockroaches– and an Umbrella Cockatoo.

ARL quickly responded to the call to help the discarded bird, later named Mayfield, and brought her in for immediate veterinary care. Weak and emaciated, it was determined that Mayfield had a serious medical condition and would require emergency surgery.

Mayfield

The concerned citizen reported finding Mayfield’s birdcage filled with maggots and cockroaches.

Despite all she’d been through, Mayfield maintained an upbeat attitude while she recovered in foster care post-surgery. Several weeks later, Mayfield was healthy enough for adoption.

Today, we’re happy to share that Mayfield is doing well by all accounts. “We took her to see the veterinarian for a check-up and received uplifting news,” says Mayfield’s owner. “Her incision is healing incredibly well and she’s finally gaining weight.”

Mayfield

Mayfield, pictured above, healing at ARL Boston after her emergency surgery.

Mayfield

Thanks to supporters like you, Mayfield was able to fully recover and enjoy a safe and healthy life with her adopters.

Sadly, Mayfield is not the first animal we’ve seen abandoned in the trash or on the streets. Your donations today allow us to continue our important work so that we can prevent cases of animal neglect from happening in the future.

Because ARL is an essential resource for animals in need and the people who care about them, ARL’s Board Chair Malcolm McDonald and an anonymous donor have teamed up to offer this exciting challenge:

Raise $25,000 and they will match it!*

That means your donation for #GivingTuesday 2016 can go twice as far.

Donate now for 2x the impact


WE’RE HONORED BY YOUR GENEROSITY: 
When you express your love for animals, compassion, and kindness with a gift of $100 or more for #GivingTuesday, we’ll feature your and/or your pet’s name on our Wall of Honor online at arlboston.org, available for viewing on December 6; just type your pet’s name into the ‘Additional Comments’ section of our online donation form.

 

*All money raised will go toward direct animal care; however the match will apply to the first $25,000 to be donated.