ARL Joins City of Boston Animal Control Commission

Maryann Regan to serve on important animal welfare group

Late last week, Maryann Regan, the ARL’s director of shelter operations, received a letter announcing her appointment by the Mayor to the City of Boston’s Animal Control Commission. The Mayor convened the commission to ensure continued forward progress on animal care and control in the City.

After bringing concerning conditions at the Boston Animal Control facility in Roslindale to the attention of Mayor Walsh this summer, the ARL has continued to support the City’s reform efforts.

Maryann Regan signing

Maryann Regan signing after taking the Oath of Office

Yesterday, we followed Maryann to Boston City Hall where she completed the swearing in process. We’re happy to announce Maryann along with eight others are now officially members of the Animal Control Commission!

Members of the Animal Control Commission will meet at least once a month to coordinate the work of public and private agencies concerned with animal care, protection, and control. They will also establish and maintain a spay and neuter clinic within the city. For more information on the Animal Control Commission please visit cityofboston.gov/boardsandcommissions

A special thank you to City Clerk Maureen Feeney and everyone at the Boston City Hall for graciously welcoming the ARL!

Maryann Regan and Maureen Feeny

Maryann Regan and Maureen Feeney share a hug at the end of the oath process.

 

 

Winter Weather Closing Info

Staff providing care as the snow flies today

Once again, due to the snow storm, our adoption centers in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham will be closed today.  Shelter and facilities maintenance staff, however, stayed at our shelters last night to make sure the animals remain safe, warm, and in good spirits during yet another major snow event!

winter shelter ferl cats

The ASPCA says an elevated foam bin filled with straw provides warm shelter for feral cats.

Our rescue and law enforcement teams will also stay off the roads today for safety.

With all this snow, we have received an increasing number of calls from concerned citizens with questions about feral cats.  Our rescue team suggests trying to coax a feral cat indoors to a garage or basement if possible for shelter during snowstorms.

If that’s not possible, the ASPCA has put together a  “how to” guide for making an inexpensive cat shelter.  You can line the inside with straw and use cinder blocks or boards to get the cat shelter off the ground.

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

 

Valentine’s Day and Your Pet

Chocolate, flowers, and pets are not a purr-fect match!

Now that you’ve managed to dig your way out after the snow earlier this week, you can finally turn your attention to Valentine’s Day! [hint: it's this Saturday, February 14]

valentines day pet dog

Spread the love this Valentine’s Day and adopt! Looking for your purr-fect match? Consider adopting a pet from the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

Many of us purchase tokens of love for the special people  in our lives.  While these gifts may be good for our relationship with our Valentines, many of the  common items people give or get to celebrate the romantic holiday can pose pet health concerns.

Here are three things your pet definitely DOES NOT want for Valentine’s Day:

1. Chocolate and candies.  Chocolate, especially darker chocolates, are highly toxic to cats and dogs. Many candies and gums contain Xylitol. This sugarless sweetener is highly toxic to pets. Always keep chocolate and candies out of your pets reach.

2. Flowers.  Certain flowers and plants can be harmful or even deadly to cats and dogs. Flowers such as lilies are highly toxic if ingested by pets. Make sure to keep a special eye  on cats, their excellent climbing skills can give them easy access to flowers and plants.  And indoor cats especially are prone to nibble on greenery!

3. Decorations. Discarded ribbons and packaging can be toxic and even deadly to pets if they are ingested. Balloons also pose a big risk to our furry friends. If swallowed, balloons can cause chocking or blocked airways. Clean up after you’ve opened presents and make sure balloons are resting some where away from your pets.

Need a gift suggestion for your pet this Valentine’s Day? Give them what they really want, of course – extra love and attention, cheek scratches and tummy rubs!

SPREAD THE LOVE and make your valentine smile by helping animals in need!  Make a donation to the Animal Rescue League of Boston and select “I would like to make a tribute” at the bottom of the donation form.  Your loved one will receive a personalized card.

Or purchase a gift certificate from an ARL shelter in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham so your special someone can make the purr-fect match with an adoptable animal.

 

Winter Weather Schedule Updates

Check here for weather-related closures and delays at the ARL

winter closure

ARL adoptable dog MILO may be the only Bostonian left who still loves the snow! He’s pictured above after a snowy pleasure roll.

Planning a trip to one of the ARL’s shelters or programs today?  Please check the schedule below for information about closures and delayed openings.

SHELTERS

Boston – Our adoption center is closed to the public on Tuesday, February 10, so staff can focus on animal care.

Dedham – Our adoption center is closer to the public on Tuesday, February 10, so staff can focus on animal care.

Brewster – Open as scheduled, 10 am – 4 pm.

BOSTON VETERINARY CARE

Delayed opening – BVC will open at 12 pm today to allow staff additional travel time.

SPAY WAGGIN’

Closed – please contact the Spay Waggin’s scheduling office at for rescheduling information, at (877) 590-7729 or spaywaggin@arlboston.org

SPECIAL THANKS to our shelter and facilities management staff for working through the storm to care for the animals!

For helpful winter weather pet health and safety information, please visit arlboston.org/winter-pet-health

 

ARL Rescue Team Brings in Lowell Goat

“Caprine cavalier” headed to Dedham shelter

Earlier this morning, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s rescue services team successfully captured the goat who had been wandering in the greater Lowell area since December.

lowell goat in crate

Lowell the goat, as the ARL’s rescue services team has taken to calling him, has been wandering in the greater Lowell area since before Christmas.

After the two-horned, shaggy rambler was spotted moving through the snow close to 495 yesterday, the ARL’s rescue team set a humane trap in the hopes of bringing him in to shelter ahead of the snowstorm.

The Lowell goat originally was spotted several weeks ago in Tewksbury, and also made cameo appearances in Chelmsford and Westford.  Because he didn’t seem to visit the same place in any predictable pattern, he proved more challenging to rescue.

Next stop for Lowell the goat, as our rescue team has taken to calling him, is the ARL’s Dedham shelter.  Lowell will join other livestock in the barn where he will spend the next several days getting proper food and water, and safely resting in a fresh bed of straw.

Thank you to Massachusetts State Police, Westford Animal Control, and all of Lowell’s loyal followers on social media for your support for the ARL’s rescue efforts!

 

Puppy Transports: What You Need to Know

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

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.

puppy transport group shot

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.

 

 

 

Donate to animals today!

Make it a happy new year for animals in our community

donate to animals like Rugby

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.

donate to animals like piper

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!

 

It’s Black Friday at the ARL!

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
11-14-14 Maverick_pic

Maverick loves to play and sing. Come meet him on Black Friday at the ARL’s Boston shelter.

10-31-14 Carrie Pic

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:

Boston
10 Chandler Street, Boston
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Brewster
3981 Main St. (Route 6A), East Brewster
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Dedham
55 Anna’s Pl, Dedham
1:00 pm – 6:30 pm

 

Dog of the Week: Elle, as Athletic as They Come

 October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month! Open Your Heart to Elle.

Elle is a beautiful 3-year-old athletic dog who loves to play! She has lots of energy and will need a person who will keep her busy and spend time with her outside.

10-24-14 Elle_picElle has been at our Dedham shelter since August 4. She came to the ARL from another shelter and it seems like she never had much contact with other dogs. While Elle loves to play with her fellow canines, she may be too much for some dogs to handle. Elle plays very rough and does best with dogs who play like her and who correct her if she is being too rough. Because Elle is a big, powerful dog, she would do best in a home without children.

Elle is a sweet, quirky girl. One of our Dedham staff members has been bringing Elle home for the past few weeks to give her a taste of family life and she has shown that she is a very good house dog. She is learning her basic commands and is getting a jump start on house training. She loves playing with squeaky toys and will bop around your house chasing one. Watch her adorable video below!

Elle enjoys going for walks and does well on leash when walked using a Gentle Leader.  She would make a great companion for someone who has lots of energy to dedicate to Elle. She is a very sweet dog

Visit our Dedham Shelter Tuesday-Sunday 1:00-6:30pm to meet this amazing young lady!

Read Elle’s profile.

 

The Loss of a Pet is Never Easy

September 14 is National Pet Memorial Day

“A pet is never truly forgotten until it is no longer remembered.”

Today we observe National Pet Memorial Day honoring our pets both past and present. 

The loss of a pet is never easy. National Pet Memorial Day is an opportunity to bring closure to the departure of your beloved furry family member.

09-14-14 Pet Memorial Day Cat PicjpgHere are a few ways to commemorate your lost pet on National Pet Memorial Day:

  • Reflect upon pleasant memories of your pet
  • If you buried your pet somewhere, go for a visit
  • Contribute to your local animal shelter
  • Volunteer at your local animal shelter
  • Create a memorial flower garden in your yard
  • Plant a tree or a shrub as a living memorial

Final care is a sensitive and important time in the life of a family pet and no one understands this better than the caring staff at the ARL’s Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery, located next to our Dedham Shelter.

Established in 1907, Pine Ridge is the oldest pet cemetery in the country owned and operated by an animal welfare agency. It’s situated on the grounds of the summer home of the ARL’s founder, Anna Harris Smith. In fact, her own beloved pets were among the first to be buried here.

The staff at Pine Ridge are dedicated and compassionate. Mike Thomas, our cemetery caretaker has been working at Pine Ridge since 1972. Watch a video about him and his incredible work with ARL.

The grounds are a beautifully kept, serene place to visit and tour the historical section for a glimpse into the duration and depth of the human-animal bond.