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.
Trooper, now named "Basil" on the day he was rescued.
Massachusetts State Trooper John DeNapoli reunited with Basil a.k.a. Trooper.
ARL award Trooper DeNapoli with certificate of recognition for his life-saving actions.
ARL Rescue Agent Theresa Vinic posing with Basil a.k.a. Trooper.
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.
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!
Maybelle relaxing in her stall.
Maybelle's getting measured.
Maybelle's treat for being a good sport--a stalk of celery.
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!
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
ARL Wants Your Pet to be Safe and Comfortable All Summer Long
In typical New England fashion, this week spring suddenly turned into summer, with heat, humidity and near record-setting temperatures forecasted. As part of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) annual safety campaign, “Too Hot for Spot”, ARL wants to remind pet owners about the dangers of leaving an animal in a hot car.
As temperatures rise, so do concerns about animal safety. Even with temperatures below 80 degrees, the threat for heat stroke still exists. Remember, pets don’t sweat like humans do, making them unable to cool their bodies efficiently in the heat.
Keep your pet safe and healthy by following these important guidelines:
- Prevention is always your best bet. Whenever possible, leave your pet at home in a low humidity and temperature-controlled room.
- If your pet must be outdoors, find a shady spot with ample air flow to prevent overheating.
- Hydration. This is key, so keep a bowl of cold water accessible at all times.
- Exercise wisely. Limit exercise to the morning or evening hours when temperatures are at their coolest.
- Never leave your pet alone in a parked car. When the outside temperature is just 80 degrees, inside a parked car, the temperature can rise to more than 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, leaving your pet susceptible to deadly heat stroke. It’s also illegal in Massachusetts, thanks to the passage of S. 2369.
Prevention is Responsible Pet Ownership
By following these simple guidelines, you can help your pet limit the possibility for any heat-related health issues. However, if you notice excessive panting, weakness, rapid breathing or balance issues, and suspect a heat-related problem, bring your pet to a veterinarian immediately.
Maybelle Allegedly Fed Dog Food, But Now is Eating Her Vegetables
When one-year-old Maybelle came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) about six weeks ago, she was more than just a robust 196 pounds. She was also immobile, being able to stand on her legs for mere seconds at a time and suffered from several pressure sores attributed to her lack of movement. Her hooves were also overgrown and causing discomfort. Because of her size, Maybelle also couldn’t see because a roll of fat was, and still is, covering her eyes.
Maybelle in her stall at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center.
ARL’s veterinary staff jumped in with both feet to formulate a plan to get Maybelle back to being a fully-functional animal.
“It was a collaboration and it took some research,” said ARL Veterinarian, Dr. Kate Gollon. “She needs to lose about 80 pounds and regain her strength, so once we had all the information, we decided to take a number of steps to begin moving Maybelle in the right direction.”
Because Maybelle was allegedly fed only dog food in her previous situation, the first step was to drastically decrease her caloric intake. ARL is now giving her six small meals a day, consisting of feed and vegetables, and already Maybelle has lost some weight and is improving her mobility daily.
Additionally, Maybelle has had her hooves trimmed, and is receiving plenty of attention and love.
“Enrichment has been so important and the staff has been great,” Dr. Gollon said. “The staff are sitting with her, comforting her, and she enjoys petting and being scratched, it’s made a tremendous difference.”
Along with receiving plenty of love from staff and volunteers, Maybelle has also garnered public support, as her story has been publicized nationally in the media. While trending in the right direction, Maybelle’s rehab is going to be a lengthy, and costly process. It’s estimated that it will take 9-12 months for the potbellied pig to return to a normal weight, and the goal for this summer is to have Maybelle hopefully be able to get outside and have to opportunity to act like a pig, which will aide in her weight loss.
No Scale — No Problem!
Maybelle is making progress, but because of her size and immobility, ARL is unable to get her on a scale to monitor her weight loss. However, staff will be using a fabric tape measure to track her weight loss in inches, so make sure you check back often for updates!
Overfeeding is an Act of Cruelty
Maybelle’s situation has been deemed an act of cruelty, and police in Billerica have charged Maybelle’s former owner with animal cruelty. A court hearing is scheduled for mid-August.
“It’s not healthy,” said Darleen Wood, ARL’s Associate Director of Law Enforcement. “It’s cruel for an animal to be malnourished, but it’s also cruel to overfeed an animal to the point of morbid obesity.”
Things to keep in mind if you’re bringing your furry friend along for the ride
Memorial Day Weekend is just days away, and for many of us it means three things — Honoring our service men and women; spending time with friends and family and; travelling!
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) want to remind you that busy holiday weekends can be stressful and dangerous for your pup.
While temperatures during Memorial Day Weekend are expected to be seasonal, even when the outside temperature is 70 degrees, the inside of a car can heat up to more than 100 degrees in a matter of minutes — even with the windows left partially opened! That’s why leaving your pet inside of a hot car is the most common cause of deadly heat stroke — it’s just TOO HOT FOR SPOT! Remember, pets don’t sweat like humans do and cannot cool their bodies efficiently in hot temperatures.
If you plan on taking your best friend along for the ride this weekend, here are some tips to help keep your dog safe:
- Never leave your pup alone in a parked car if they must travel with you. Not only are hot cars the most common cause for heat stroke, but leaving an animal inside a parked car is ILLEGAL in Massachusetts.
- Just like us, dogs need bathroom breaks! When driving long distances, be sure to periodically find a safe area to pull over to allow your pup to do their business, and get a little fresh water and perhaps some food.
- Always keep your canine on a leash or in a carrier if they must be outside. Find a shady spot with plenty of air flow and lots of fresh water.
- Keep them away from dangerous objects. Secure your pet a good distance from sparklers, BBQs, and pools. Additionally, there are many plants and flowers that can be toxic to dogs, so make sure your pet is under constant supervision while outdoors.
- Loud noises can be spooky! Things like fireworks and other loud noises can make a dog “fearfully aggressive,” so monitor your dog and keep them calm, especially around children.
- Make sure your dog’s microchip and ID tag information is current. Many animal shelters report increases of “stray” animals during holidays due to the number of pets running away from the noise and excitement. Make sure your contact information is current and always on your dog’s collar to ensure an easy reunion should they be separated from you.
Prevention is responsible pet ownership. When in doubt, leave your pet at home in a quiet, cool room. Turn on a TV or radio to help distract from outside noises and leave them free to roam around so they don’t feel too confined.
In November 2016, Question 3, the Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals, was supported by 78 percent of voters in Massachusetts. The landslide victory made it clear that citizens throughout the Commonwealth strongly support modest animal welfare standards. Now, certain lawmakers who opposed Question 3 are looking to establish a livestock board which would jeopardize the establishment of these modest standards.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), along with partner organizations HSUS and the MSPCA, are strongly opposed to H. 441 (An Act to Promote the Care and Well-Being of Livestock).
H. 441 would put critical animal protections and food safety decisions in the hands of factory farmers and their allies with all livestock regulations required to be approved by a 2/3 majority. Only 2 of 13 board seats are allotted to animal welfare organizations (ARL and MSPCA).
“It is our belief that H. 441 would remove all of the hard-earned gains for farm animals that the citizens of Massachusetts obviously supported by the overwhelming passage of Question 3,” said Nadine Pellegrini, ARL’s Director of Advocacy. “H. 441 is misleading to the extent that it names ARL to the board without its consent and over its opposition to the establishment of such a board. The voters should not be deceived by this tactic and should not think that this bill will further humane protection for farm animals.”
Call to Action
ARL encourages you to contact your state representative or state senator and urge them to oppose Bill H. 411, which would create an unbalanced and unaccountable board that may endanger protections for Massachusetts’s farm animals.
On Tuesday, May 16, the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston played host for more than 200 of ARL’s biggest supporters during the third annual Whiskers & Wine President’s Council Spring Reception.
The annual event gives ARL’s corporate sponsors, Board of Directors, Leadership Council, President’s Council (those who donate $1K or more annually), volunteers, and staff the opportunity to toast and celebrate its most committed supporters, who make our important work possible.
Throughout the evening, the historic Oval Room was alive with conversations containing a common thread — ARL’s continued excellence and stand-alone innovation in being an unwavering champion for animals in need. Click here to see photos.
During the speaking program portion of the evening, key ARL stakeholders discussed the impact that our donors’ generosity has on the thousands of animals who receive care through ARL’s programs and services each year. ARL served 17,884 animals in 2016 alone!
Malcolm McDonald, ARL’s Board Chair, kicked off the speaking program in grand style, with a big thank you to everyone who made the event, and the organization’s important work possible. He spoke emotionally about the bond we all share with animals, and with excitement about the innovative vision for ARL’s future.
ARL President Mary Nee also shared the successes of 2016, and the progress that has been made during Year 1 of ARL’s new mission statement of being an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes.
“Our new mission and vision will guide our work in the years to come by providing community based service, getting to the root cause of problems, helping both people and animals, supporting accessible community-based veterinary services, and advocating for permanent changer to law and policy protecting animals,” Nee said.
To demonstrate ARL’s new mission in action, guests enjoyed a film highlighting the organization’s “Community Cat Initiative” which is the first of its kind in Massachusetts. Click here to see an in-house produced video about this exciting initiative!
Walter Kenyon, ARL’s Leadership Council Chair, closed out the evening by sharing his thoughts and excitement about ARL’s future, and once again thanked those in the audience who are truly committed to making a difference in the lives of animals in need.
VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO… Our generous donors for expressing your love for animals, compassion, and kindness through your support of the Animal Rescue League of Boston!
…and to our corporate supporters of Whiskers & Wine 2017…
BEST IN SHOW SPONSORS
TOP DOG SPONSORS
City Side Subaru
Malcolm McDonald & Susan Passoni
TOP CAT SPONSORS
Fish & Bone
Hounds About Town
Grossman Marketing Group
Blue Hills Bank
Dedham Savings Bank
Boston Red Dog Pet Resort & Spa
Lee Ann & Michael Leahy
Marsh & McLennan Agency
ANIMAL ADVOCATE SPONSORS
Bowditch & Dewey
D’Tails Pet Boutique
East Boston Savings Bank
Kirkiles & Associates Commercial Insurance
Mark J. Lanza, Esq.
Sullivan & Worcester, LLP.
Tufts Associated Health Plans, Inc.
A Special Thanks to the Donors of our 2017 Raffle Prizes:
Boston Red Dog Resort & Spa
Boston Veterinary Care
D’Tails Pet Boutique
Kim Roderiques, Photographer
Paula Ogier, Artist
Unleashed by Petco
More than 100 Animal Control Officers Participate
In 2016, Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) Law Enforcement Services logged 151 assists with local police and state agencies. This level of success wouldn’t be possible without the cooperation and comradery between municipalities and ARL, who are all working for a common goal.
To further build relationships with state and local agencies, ARL recently held a series of law enforcement workshops to discuss, in an open forum, how to better utilize the state’s “Tethering Laws” (MGL 140 Sec. 174E and 174F), which were amended and became law in November 2016. More than 100 animal control officers (ACO’s) from throughout the Commonwealth attended.
The three sessions were held at ARL’s Animal Care & Adoption Centers in Boston and Dedham, as well as the Dennis Police Department on Cape Cod. ARL Law Enforcement was thrilled with the participation.
ARL lecture at Dennis Police Department.
“It was a significant turnout,” said Darleen Wood, ARL’s Associate Director of Law Enforcement. “Lectures like these give ARL the chance to work closely with municipalities from throughout the state, to ensure that everyone is on the same page, and that the ACO’s from those cities and towns know that ARL is always ready to assist their agency when animals are in need.”
“It was a great training session and it was nice to get some clarification,” said Renee Robichaud, ACO for the City of Westfield. “There’s been a lot of talk about the tethering law so it’s great to have some specifics so we as ACO’s have something to refer to when out in the field investigating.”
MGL 140 Sec. 174E allows ACO’s or Massachusetts State Police Special Officers with ARL or MSPCA the ability to cite a dog owner for:
- Excessive tethering or chaining
- Inadequate shelter
- Dogs being left out in dangerous weather
- Living conditions that may cause an animal physical or emotional harm
MGL 140 Sec. 174F, dubbed by ARL as “Too Hot for Spot”, allows law enforcement, ACO’s, and firefighters:
- The legal ability to remove any animal left in a vehicle where conditions may impact the animal’s health
- Allows the public to intervene, however only after specific procedures have been followed
As the temperatures rise, utilizing these statutes will be vital to protecting the health and safety of dogs across the state during the summer months, however the statute also includes extreme cold temperatures as well.
“Both of these statutes allow for the animal welfare professionals to step in before an animal experiences unnecessary suffering or even death,” Wood said. “The legislation supports animal welfare so animals can find protection from cruel or abusive situations and those inflicting such behavior can be held accountable for their actions.”
Officers may write warnings and citations for violations, with fines ranging from $50 for a first offense to $500 for subsequent offenses. Penalties may also include impoundment or loss of ownership of the dog.
Here to Help
Your vigilance is key, and if you witness or suspect animal cruelty or neglect, ARL’s Law Enforcement Services is here to help. To contact ARL Law Enforcement, call (617) 226-5610, however, if you see an animal in immediate danger, contact your local police department or animal control officer FIRST.
Celebrations Mark Volunteer Appreciation Week
It’s Thank You Thursday, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) would like to extend a very special thank you to the nearly 550 volunteers that allow the organization to fulfill its mission of being an unwavering champion for animals in need.
ARL volunteers give thousands of hours of kindness every year, performing a variety of duties with one goal in mind – keeping our animals happy and healthy. Each and every one of ARL’s volunteers are dedicated, caring, and inspiring.
“I’m so lucky to have my job revolve around such amazing people,” said Debby Vogel, ARL’s Associate Director of Volunteer Services. “I’m so thankful for all those who donate their time and their hearts to ARL!”
To show our appreciation, this past week ARL held special volunteer events at its Boston, Dedham, and Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers.
Boston volunteer celebration.
A number of volunteers stood out this past year, earning special honors:
Best of Boston – Betsy Jones
Best of Boston – Liz Watson
Dedham’s Most Dignified – Desiree Artu
Cape’d Crusader – Lesley Roberts
Mobile’s Most Marvelous – Kim Cochrane
ARL’s Unsung Hero – Esther Mastrangelo
Admin’s Above and Beyond – Debbie Owen
Our Four Footed Friends Favorite Foster Parent – Molly Montgomery
Rookie’s Magic – Jamal Effee
Additionally, for the first time, ARL staff were also honored by volunteers:
Boston Volunteers Choice – Michelle Polin
Brewster Volunteers Choice – Dawn Lee Laub
Dedham Volunteers Choice – Alicia Muller
If you love animals and are looking to lend your hand and heart to helping animals in need, visit our volunteer page for more information and opportunities.