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 increasing 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.

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Prevent pet theft before it happens! Report any suspicious activity, or animal cruelty and neglect to your local police department and animal control office.

 

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 Millie, Bamm-Bamm, and Cookie are all searching for a family to love this Valentine’s Day. Looking for double

adopt a rabbit

9-month-old Jordash is hoping to hop her way into your heart! Get to know this beautiful gal by clicking her photo.

the laughs? Bonded pair Castiel and Ghost are the best of friends and are hoping to find a home together!

Search adoptables

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.

 

Winter Weather Closings

ARL programs and administrative offices closed on February 8

Due to the winter weather, the following ARL programs will be closed to the public on Monday, February 8:

  • ARL adoption centers in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham
  • ARL rescue services
  • Boston Veterinary Care
  • Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery
  • Spay Waggin’

Shelter staff and volunteers will stay at the shelter to make sure the animals remain safe, warm, and in good spirits as the snow flies on Monday.

winter shelter ferl cats

You can provide feral cats with shelter during a snow storm! An elevated foam bin filled with straw offers warm shelter.

When a snow storm hits, we often receive 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 a storm.

If that’s not possible, watch our helpful how-to video to build a DIY cat shelter.  Make sure to 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.

 

Important Update from Mary Nee, ARL President

Dear friends,

I wanted to share some very sad news about Stitch, the young dog found starved and abandoned last week in Dedham.

As sometimes happens with cases of extreme malnutrition, Stitch was not responding well to re-feeding, a medically-guided process of providing nutrition after a period of deprivation.  To ensure he had no underlying conditions that might be interfering with re-feeding efforts, the ARL ordered extensive diagnostic tests.

dedham dog

“Stitch closed out his short life with dignity, respect, and love — the way a dog should be treated.” Lt. Alan Borgal, director, ARL law enforcement team.

Late on Friday evening, the tests revealed that Stitch had a muscular condition affecting his ability to digest food and water called megaesophagus.

Several diseases can result in megaesophagus.  An animal can also be born with a defect that produces it.

Unfortunately, the results of further testing ruled out the more treatable causes of this condition in Stitch.

When he was unable to take water on his own any longer on Saturday, Stitch’s weakened state and the severity of this condition brought us to the point where the most humane decision was to put him to sleep.

As Lt. Alan Borgal, director of the ARL’s law enforcement team said very eloquently, “Stitch closed out his short life with dignity, respect, and love — the way a dog should be treated.”

While we are heartbroken he came to us too late to save, we are grateful to have been there to surround him with kindness and caring in his final days.

Thank you to everyone who kept Stitch in their thoughts this past week and for your continued concern for animals in need.

– Mary

SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING

Stitch’s case is an on-going investigation. If you have any information, contact Dedham animal control at (781) 751-9106.

 

It’s Hip to Snip – Spay or Neuter Your Pet!

February is National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month

During National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month this February, the ARL reminds the public that there’s nothing cool about pet overpopulation. So, pet owners, adjust those cool shades and help us spread the word that IT’S HIP TO SNIP!

it's hip to snip

Marty the cat may look super cool in his bow tie but there’s nothing cool about pet overpopulation. Click his photo to learn more about ARL’s “It’s Hip to Snip” Campaign.

“There are too many cat and dogs in our communities that don’t have homes,” explains Dr. Edward Schettino, vice president of animal welfare at the ARL. “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 it’s hip to snip:

1. 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.

HipToSnip_Flyer_Thumb

Sharing is caring! Click the photo to download our flyer to spread the word that “It’s Hip to Snip”.

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.

DID YOU KNOW… That more than a third of pet owners have not spayed or neutered their pet?

VERY SPECIAL THANKS to our It’s Hip to Snip media sponsors WBZ, WEEI, WRKO, WZLX, WBOS, and 98.5 The Sports Hub!

 

Update: Stitch Continues to Receive Intensive Care

ARL and the Dedham Police Department’s Animal Control Division thank public for support

HAVE TIPS AND INFORMATION? Contact Dedham Animal Control at (781) 751-9106.

Stitch, the dog abandoned in the cold earlier this week in Dedham, Massachusetts, continues to receive intensive care from the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL).

Dedham animal control officer Jayson Tracy discovered the extremely emaciated dog and immediately contacted the ARL for help.

“Stitch is getting extensive medical assistance,” explains Dr. Erin Doyle, the ARL’s lead veterinarian for shelter veterinary services. “He’s still very weak and we are monitoring his condition very closely.”

The ARL also continues to assist the Dedham Police Department’s Animal Control Division in following-up on information provided by the public.

Stitch is a dilute brindle pit-bull-type dog that had no collar on when he was found near the Bridge Street area of Dedham.  He is approximately 2 years of age.

We urge anyone with information about him to please contact Dedham animal control at (781) 751-9106.

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING….

Sadly, thousands of animals just like Stitch will suffer from abuse and neglect every year in Massachusetts. We all have a role to play in prevention and encourage urge the public to contact their local animal control officers anytime they suspect animal cruelty.

On behalf of everyone at the ARL, THANK YOU for the outpouring of support and information about Stitch.

DO YOU RECOGNIZE STITCH?  Please contact Dedham Animal Control at (781) 751-9106.

dedham dog

 

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.

 

Breaking News: Starved Dog Abandoned in Cold

ARL and Dedham Animal Control Seeking Public’s Help with Information

DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS DOG? Contact Dedham Animal Control, (781) 751-9106

http://bit.ly/HelpStitch

Stitch was found very weak with no body fat. If you have tips or recognize this dog, contact Dedham Animal Control at (781) 751-9106.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and the Dedham Police Department’s Animal Control Division need the public’s assistance with information about a starved dog abandoned in the cold earlier today in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Dedham animal control officer Jayson Tracy received a call about the dog just before noon this morning.

He discovered the dog suffering from extreme starvation and immediately contacted the ARL for assistance.

“This dog was cruelly abandoned,” explains Lt. Alan Borgal, director of the ARL’s law enforcement team.  “He has no body fat to speak of — he could have easily died of exposure in the cold today if he wasn’t found so quickly.”

Now known as Stitch, the dilute brindle pit-bull-type dog had no collar and is approximately 2 years of age.

Though he is clearly weak and sore, Stitch has greeted everyone he has met with a friendly tail wag.  He happily accepted pats, cheek scratches, and kind attention at the ARL’s Boston shelter.

“Anyone who might recognize this dog, please come forward,” urges Lt. Borgal. “We want to find the person who did this to Stitch and prevent cruelty against other animals in the future.”

TIPS AND INFORMATION?
Contact Dedham Animal Control at (781) 751-9106.

PLEASE NOTE, Stitch is currently not available for adoption. 

http://bit.ly/HelpStitch

http://bit.ly/HelpStitch

 

 

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.

 

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.