UPDATE: ARL’s Preparedness Provides Quick Turnaround

Dogs Rescued on Thanksgiving Eve Ready for Adoption

Update! Two of the six cats rescued from unsanitary conditions are now up for adoption at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

On Thanksgiving Eve, while many of us were busy travelling or preparing for the holiday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) was assisting authorities in Middlesex County, removing animals from a hoarding situation.

In all, 26 animals were removed from the home, including 20 Shih Tzu dogs and puppies and six Siamese cats.

The animals were thin, dehydrated, and hungry. Additionally, many of the animals were unkempt and had feces and urine stuck in their matted fur.

ARL Rescue Services, Law Enforcement, Shelter Operations and Shelter Veterinary Medicine collaborated for a quick response, removing the animals and shuttling them to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, where they were triaged, examined, fed, and kept warm.

The dogs and cats were monitored by staff on Thanksgiving and into the weekend. The animals quickly put on weight, and just seven days after being removed from the situation, six of the dogs are now being made available for adoption!

“I’m proud of the collaborative efforts that were made by a number of ARL programs in order to have this positive outcome,” said Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services. “Our preparedness to deal with emergency situations has been tested many times and this was no exception; and once again ARL responded quickly to help these animals in need.”

The remaining 14 animals are receiving on-going treatment, and will be made available once they are medically cleared, and it’s hopeful that all of these animals will have new homes for the holidays!

 

An Early Holiday-Season Miracle

Abandoned Kitten Brought Back from Brink of Death

‘Tis the season of miracles, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently witnessed one in the form of an 11-week-old kitten who was found on the campus of Mount Ida College.

Mount Ida employees had recently contacted ARL Rescue Services after seeing a mother cat with her litter around one of the campus buildings. Separate trips to the campus yielded no results in finding the kitty family; however about a week later, employees heard a kitten in a basement stairwell crying for help. Attempting to aid the kitten, he got spooked, and scampered off into the darkness.

Scared, dehydrated, hungry, and alone after being abandoned by his mother, the kitten curled up in the corner of the basement to die. When ARL arrived on-scene, the kitten was seemingly lifeless (the responding agent even checked for rigor mortis), when suddenly the kitten gasped for breath. He was alive — barely — and it was now a race against the clock to save his life. Thankfully the campus sits just five miles from ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Emergency Measures

Upon arrival in Dedham, his temperature did not register via rectal thermometer, he was taking agonal breaths — the body’s last-ditch effort to deliver oxygen to vital organs — and had a faint heartbeat.

ARL’s shelter and community veterinary staff placed the kitten (later named Lawrence) on a towel wrapped in a heating pad to warm him up, then were able to place an IV catheter in him to deliver subcutaneous fluids and dextrose. Despite having a series of seizures (likely related to low blood-sugar levels), over the next few hours the kitten gradually pepped up and eventually was able to eat.

A Life Saved

Lawrence has been making steady progress, and the grit and toughness shown by this little miracle has been awe-inspiring to everyone involved in the collaborative life-saving effort.

“The way he has responded is remarkable,” said ARL Veterinarian Dr. Kate Gollon. “It’s a nice reminder how resilient many animals are if you simply give them the basics — water, warmth, food, and a little TLC. It’s definitely been one of the most rewarding cases in my career as a veterinarian.”

YOU Make our Work Possible

While still on the mend, Lawrence is amazingly friendly and will likely be ready to find a forever home in time for the holidays! Without your support, this heart-warming outcome may not have been possible. ARL receives no government funding, and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to be an unwavering champion for animals.

If you support ARL now, your contribution can be tripled! ARL is thrilled to be a part of the launch of HippoGive — a new app powered by Network for Good which makes donating simpler.  HippoGive will match up to $100 of your gift so now through #GivingTuesday, your gift can be tripled when combined with our match! Click here to make your gift X3!

 

Low-Stress Approach Used for Removing Jar from Raccoon’s Head

ARL Rescue Services Assist Woburn ACO

Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) Rescue Services has certainly had its share of calls to help animals in strange predicaments — a squirrel with its head stuck in a dumpster drain or animal bone, cats in walls, and this week we add a raccoon in a tree with a plastic jar stuck on its head.

On Tuesday, Woburn’s Animal Control Officer contacted ARL regarding the raccoon. He appeared to be healthy and uninjured, but the jar posed a number of dangers — induced panic from the enclosed space, inability to eat or see, and the possibility of falling out of the tree. A trap had been set at the base of the tree, but it was clear that responders had to go to the animal, not wait for him to come down.

The raccoon was about 25 feet up in the tree, which made him accessible, but understandably the raccoon was stressed. The goal of rescuers was to try and remove the jar without having to snare the raccoon and bring him to the ground — easier said than done.

Climbing about 15 feet up in to the tree and using an 11-foot extension pole, ARL Senior Rescue Agent Mike Brammer essentially had to play ring-toss with the jar, positioning it just right to pull it off the raccoon’s head without making him panic.

After several attempts, the jar came off, fluttered to the ground and was disposed of properly (just in case the raccoon didn’t learn his lesson) and the animal remained free in the tree without injury!

Make Double the Impact 

In the past year, ARL Rescue Services has responded to well over 1,500 wildlife rescue calls. ARL receives no government and relies solely on the generosity of individuals to make our work possible. As part of Giving Tuesday, your support can now have double the impact.

#GivingTuesday is an international movement created to encourage giving back to the charities nearest and dearest to your heart during the busy holiday season.

Because ARL is committed to keeping animals safe and healthy in their habitats and homes, our Board of Directors and President have teamed up to offer this incredible challenge:

Raise $100,000 and they will double it.*

That means any gift you make now through November 28 will be matched dollar for dollar to help us reach our total goal of $200,000 for animals in need! Donate $100 or more and you or your pet will be acknowledged on ARL’s #GivingTuesday Wall of Honor.

*The match only applies to the first $100K in donations ARL receives but all gifts will go to help animals in need.

 

Good Samaritan’s Quick Actions Saves Lives of Two Stray Kittens

ARL Shelter Staff, Volunteers Take Extraordinary Measures

This past weekend, shelter agents at ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center received a call from a woman in Hyde Park who had found two kittens small enough to fit in the palm of her hand, but their mother and rest of the litter were nowhere to be found. Left to fend for themselves, quick action needed to be taken in order to give these kittens a chance of surviving.

ARL volunteer Stacey Coyne hopped in the car and drove to the woman’s address, and found that while the male kitten was alert, responsive and hungry, the female kitten was ice cold, lethargic and had labored breathing. The stray kittens were estimated to be about two weeks old, and with their mother abandoning them for some reason, it was a race against the clock to get them stabilized. For the ride back to the shelter, the kittens were wrapped in a blanket and placed on top of a bottle filled with warm water, in an effort to raise their body temperatures.

Once back at the shelter, the kittens continued to be warmed up, were given subcutaneous fluids, and were bottle fed with kitten milk formula. Although warming up and eating, a short time later the female kitten began to crash once again — while coordinating efforts with ARL veterinary staff, it was unclear whether she would make it through the night.

 Volunteer Dedication

With the kittens needing special attention, Stacey volunteered to take them home for the night. She tended to their needs, kept a close eye on their condition, and continued to bottle-feed them. It was an all-night effort, as Stacey stayed awake with the kittens until 5 a.m.

In the 12-18 hours after being found, the condition of the female kitten vastly improved, and while not out of the woods, the little ones are on the road to recovery, and will remain in foster care for several more weeks so stay tuned for updates!!

 The Importance of Fostering

Sometimes shelter animals need a little extra attention and TLC outside of the shelter environment. ARL is always looking for responsible and loving individuals willing to open their homes for animals in need — of critical need right now are volunteers to help with shy cats at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, and behaviorally-challenged dogs. Fostering depends on the animal’s needs, and can range from several days to several weeks. Additionally, our Roving Rovers program is perfect for working families and professionals. This unique foster experience allows you to take one our shelter dogs home overnight, while the shelter is closed. Get involved today!

 

Helping Animals and Communities in Need

Community Cats Initiative Surpasses 500 Rescues

Back in the early spring, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) hired the organization’s first dedicated Community Cat Rescue Agents, and in just a few short months, more than 500 cats have been rescued through the Community Cat Initiative!

comm cats blog thumb

ARL Rescue Agents Suzanne Trasavage (L), and Theresa Vinic with two rescued kittens.

Community cats include friendly strays, feral, abandoned, and owned animals that are allowed outdoors to roam. Living outdoors they face many challenges, including risk of illness and injury. Additionally, without spay/neuter surgery, these cats can produce many litters, continuing the cycle of large colonies of unowned and unwanted cats.

Through ARL’s Community Cat Initiative and Community Surgical Clinic, these animals are trapped, given veterinary exams, and spayed/neutered. Only 18 percent have been returned to their respective colonies, while those deemed friendly and adoptable have been placed into loving homes — including 270 kittens!

In September, ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center found homes for 105 cats, more than any month over the past decade, a sign that the program is indeed working.

“While we knew there was a need for this important work, we have all been surprised at the number of kittens that otherwise would have grown up in the streets, and now they can be adopted into loving homes,” said Cheryl Traversi, ARL’s Associate Director of Community Services.

Changing Lives

ARL has only scratched the surface on the community impact the Community Cat Initiative can have in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. We are excited for the opportunity to keep animals safe and healthy in the habitats in which they live, however this initiative needs your support in order to be a success. To fully support these innovative programs and help more than 1,500 cats lead healthier lives, ARL needs to raise $204,000 annually. For more information, contact Rick Tagliaferri at rtafliaferri@arlboston.org.

 

Happy Tails Tuesday: Collaborative Rescue Effort Saves Lost Dog in Blue Hills Reservation

Thanks to a collaborative effort between the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement and Rescue Departments, Quincy’s animal control officer, and two rangers with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (MDCR), a lost dog in the Blue Hills area in Quincy is home — safe and sound.

While driving through the Blue Hills recently, ARL Law Enforcement Investigator Lt. Alan Borgal noticed people on the side of the road interacting with a young pit bull-type dog. For Lt. Borgal, the job doesn’t stop, so he pulled over to offer assistance.

“The dog seemed friendly, but frightened, so he wouldn’t come,” Lt. Boral said. “At one point I turned around and just like that he was gone into the woods. There are all sorts of dangers in that area for domesticated animals, from wildlife and treacherous terrain to traffic congestion, so it was imperative to find this dog before something tragic happened.”

Lt. Borgal contacted MDCR Rangers Tom Bender and Lawrence Walsh as well as Quincy ACO Don Conboy to come up with a plan to capture the dog safely, with the hopes of returning him to his owner. It turns out the rangers had interacted with the dog, but had been unable to catch him so the best solution was to set a trap for the pup.

Lt. Borgal provided a humane trap, and once the rangers set it up, within hours the dog was captured!

Once on-scene, Lt. Borgal ARL Senior Rescue Agent Mike Brammer, and MDCR Ranger Walsh lugged the trap through the woods and transported him back to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center. It turns out that “Cezar” was microchipped, however the information hadn’t been updated in some time.

“It took a bit of detective work to find the owner of the dog,” Lt. Borgal said. “The owner brought Cezar to work with him and he wound up slipping away and was on his own for about three days.”

Cezar has been reunited with his owner, and is back to curling up in his favorite spot — under the bed. ARL would like to thank all those involved who made Cezar’s safe return possible and if you see a lost or frightened dog on a roadway, contact local police, animal control, or ARL so that animals like Cezar can be rescued out of harms way.

Update Your Information

Having a microchip implanted in your animal is important just in case he or she strays off. But it’s equally as important to make sure your information is updated whenever you move or change your contact information. Preparedness is responsible pet ownership!

 

ARL Takes in Kittens from Irma-Impacted Florida Shelter

On Thursday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) received an emergency transport of 10 kittens from the Palm Beach, FL-based Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, who was directly impacted by Hurricane Irma.

irma body thumb


An ARL new edition.

In the days following both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, ARL has been in constant contact with individual shelters as well our national partners, and has made it known that if animals need to be transported from Texas, Florida, or other areas, ARL will make space available.

 

“By taking in these animals who were in Peggy Adams’ shelter, it allows that organization to open up space to be able to assist stray, hurt or abandoned animals that need treatment and shelter in the wake of the storm,” said Caitlin Tomlinson, ARL’s Associate Director of Shelter Operations.

ARL recently partnered with Peggy Adams in a transport of 60 kittens in August, and was happy to be involved in the organization’s transport of about 100 animals to the Northeast. As cleanup efforts continue in all the storm-ravaged areas, ARL may be taking in more animals in the days and weeks ahead.

The kittens will undergo medical evaluations, and should be available to find forever homes by early next week.

 

Hoarding Update: 25 Days, 112 Animals

ARL Veterinary and Shelter Staff Taking Extraordinary Measures

The month of August proved to be unprecedented for veterinary and shelter staff at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). In just 25 days, 112 animals were removed from several different hoarding situations, 62 cats on one property alone. In the weeks that have followed, incredible measures have been taken to ensure the animals are safe and on a path to good overall health.

Nearly 40 cats are currently in isolation for treatment of zoonotic fungal infections, and must be handled delicately. Fulfilling basic tasks for the animals i.e. feeding, cleaning litter boxes and cages, requires Tyvek haz-mat suits, gloves, masks and other safety precautions. The treatment is extensive, and may last up to six weeks.

“It involves twice weekly baths, daily oral medications, and weekly fungal cultures,” said ARL veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley. “This process will need to continue for at least 30 days and may take longer to clear the infection.”

ARL’s MASH Unit

At least 15 cats that were removed were community or under-socialized outdoor cats. These cats had to be trapped and removed from the property by ARL due to the conditions on the property. While these cats had not been diagnosed with a fungal infection, ARL veterinary staff had to consider that they were exposed to it. Posing less of a risk to animals and people if they were spayed/neutered and released as quickly as possible, special arrangements needed to be made.

To eliminate the threat of spreading any possible infection, an outdoor spay and neuter clinic was set up at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center. Utilizing a simple camping tent, Dr. Quigley and staff examined, and spayed/neutered the cats. The animals were also given flea treatments and deworming medication. The MASH-type clinic reflects the challenges ARL staff has been presented with in treating these animals.

“Performing these surgeries in a tent isn’t exactly unorthodox, but it does present challenges,” Dr. Quigley said. “The outdoor process takes more than twice as many people as an indoor facility and requires extensive personal protection and disinfection protocols. The tent and any items that were not able to be sanitized were discarded at the end of the day.”

A Life-Saving Approach

For many years, shelters have had to make tough decisions regarding animals diagnosed with or exposed to fungal infections. These decisions have historically been life or death. Unfortunately, cats were often euthanized due to the risk to other animals, people, and the cost associated with treatment. ARL has decided to take another approach — a life-saving approach.

“ARL is treating nearly 40 cats for this infection, and all of these efforts take an extraordinary amount of time and resources,” Dr. Quigley said. “Staff and volunteers must wear personal protection to limit their exposure to the fungus and we must take every precaution not to expose healthy animals in our care. Our dedicated staff and volunteers must spend countless hours working with these cats to give them the best quality of life whey they’re in our shelter, and the best chances we can provide them to find new homes after treatment — that is our charge and one we take very seriously.”

Your Support is Critical

As stated above, caring for these animals has required extraordinary measures, and will also require an enormous time and financial commitment. We need your help. By donating today, you will help:

  •       Support our special investigations and on-going rescue efforts
  •       Provide sanctuary and continued, extended care for these animals
  •       Help rehabilitate and prepare these animals for adoption

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes. Our mission is made possible by your generosity and on behalf of every animal ARL serves — WE THANK YOU.

 

Update: Ted Williams Tunnel Kitten Does Not Need Quarantine Period

“Ted” Currently in Foster Care

When Ted was rescued from the Ted Williams Tunnel during Labor Day Weekend, injuries to his tail suggested that he was headed toward a four-month rabies quarantine period due to a wound of unknown origin. That however is no longer the case.

Ted did indeed suffer an injury to his tail, which needed to be amputated, but while he was under anesthesia, it was determined that no quarantine was necessary. That being said, Ted is currently not up for adoption, he is in foster care to work on his social skills.

While still a little fearful following his ordeal, Ted is doing well and will be up for adoption soon — stay tuned for updates!

ORIGINAL POST: 

For the second time this summer, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) joined forces with the Massachusetts State Police to save the life of a kitten on the side of a busy Massachusetts highway.

In June it was along Route 128 near Canton, over Labor Day Weekend, it was on the westbound side of the Ted Williams Tunnel.

State Police received a number of calls from passing motorists concerned about the little grey kitten who was seen wandering along the side of the road. Surveillance cameras zeroed in on the wayward kitty, giving Troopers a better idea of where he was located inside the 8,448-foot long tunnel. Once on-scene, Troopers closed one lane of traffic to keep not only the kitten safe, but ARL’s Assoc. Director of Law Enforcement Darleen Wood safe as well when she arrived to rescue the little guy. The rescue unfolded as a game of hide-and-seek.

“The kitten was roaming in and out between barriers along the side of the tunnel,” Wood said. “I was able to get on the service walkway above the barriers so he didn’t know I was there. When he stuck his head out, I was able to grab him by the scruff and bring him to safety.”

Tunnel kitten blog body pic

A spitfire, but he is adorable and friendly!

The rescue of Ted has made him a national star, as media outlets throughout the United States have covered this mischievous kitten’s journey from one Boston icon (Ted Williams Tunnel) to another (Animal Rescue League of Boston).

Medical Evaluation

The 12-week-old kitten was brought to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center where he was evaluated by shelter veterinary staff. Aside from being dehydrated and hungry, Ted also had visible injuries. His tail was void of fur, and the tail itself was described as being “necrotic and mummified” meaning that the injury likely happened several weeks prior to his rescue. Because of the condition of the tail, it will need to be amputated. Ted also had some fur loss around his left ear, indicating another injury that may have been caused by an altercation with another animal.

Because it is currently unknown how these injuries were sustained, Ted will be neutered, have his tail amputated, and then be placed into a four-month rabies quarantine, which is required by state law.

It should be noted that this past year Governor Charlie Baker changed state regulations to reduce rabies quarantine periods from six months to four. ARL lobbied for and strongly supported this change.

Because of the potential for a four-month quarantine, Ted is NOT currently available for adoption, and cannot be visited by members of the general public.

Thank You

ARL would like to thank the Massachusetts State Police for collaborating on another successful rescue operation, as well as all the passing drivers who alerted authorities of the situation. ARL’s rescue and law enforcement work depends upon the compassion of citizens who want to help animals in need. By phoning or emailing tips, you help save lives!

 

Animal Hoarding: 10 Days, 80 Animals

Please Consider Helping Animals in Need

In the past two weeks, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has rescued 80 cats and dogs from hoarding situations in the central and southern parts of Massachusetts.

ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need, and we have the expertise needed to address the complexities of animal hoarding BUT we are only able to answer the call for help because of YOU.

And these animals desperately need you now.

kittens hoarding web

Just two of the nearly 50 cats removed from a recent hoarding situation.

Animals removed from hoarding situations face a number of challenges, including severe health and behavioral issues. By donating today you will help:

  • Support our special investigations and on-going rescue efforts
  • Provide sanctuary for the sudden influx of animals
  • Provide much needed medical care (wellness exams, treatment for respiratory infections and zoonotic disease, dental procedures)
  • Help rehabilitate and prepare these animals for adoption

Please consider making a gift today to support these animals and the on-going work that’s being done by ARL to combat animal hoarding and rescue animals from unhealthy and hazardous conditions.

ARL’s Law Enforcement Department is here to help, and if you know of or suspect a hoarding situation you can call 617-226-5610 or email cruelty@arlboston.org.

red donate button