May 8 is National Disaster Animal Preparedness Day

Follow these 7 steps to keep your pet safe in an emergency

In recognition of National Disaster Animal Preparedness Day, the ARL wants to remind pet owners to always be prepared for the unexpected.

Whether it’s a fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or other natural disaster, emergencies happen. Just as you’ve created an “in case of emergency” plan for your family, it’s smart to do the same for your pet. Keep in mind that what’s safest for you is typically also what’s safest for them.

Don't forget your pet emergency backpack!

Don’t forget your pet emergency backpack!

Follow these 7 steps to keep your furry family members safe:

  1. Include pets in your family emergency plan. Pre-determine how you would transport your pet in an evacuation and which boarding facility, shelter, friend, or relative would be able to take in your pet if necessary. Designate a neighbor to check in on and/or evacuate your pet in the event that you are not home when an emergency occurs. Display a notice in a visible part of your front door or window advising what pets live in the house.
  2. Prepare a pet emergency bag. Keep it handy in case you need to evacuate your home in hurry. Not sure what to bring? Take a look at ARL’s handy list of all the supplies your pet will need.
  3. Take your pets with you. If you need to evacuate your home, don’t leave your pets behind. Leaving an animal home alone could be dangerous, especially if it may take days or even weeks for your family to return to them.
  4. If it’s safe for your family to stay at home, keep pets confined. Pets should remain indoors at all times. Keep pets separated in their own quiet space with plenty of accessible water.
  5. Make your pet easy to ID. If you become separated from your pet, you’ll want to try and claim them as quickly as possible. Make sure that all identification tags are up-to-date and secured to your pet’s collar. 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 ID them.
  6. Vaccinate your pets. Protect your pets from potential disease and illness in the event that you need to leave your pet at a boarding facility or shelter.
  7. In the few days after a disaster, keep your pets indoors. Unfamiliar scents and sights may cause worry or confusion. Downed power lines, broken tree limbs, and displaced wild or domestic animals may pose a risk to your pet.

DID YOU KNOW… The ARL is the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts that has an entire department dedicated to providing animal rescue services to the community?  If you see a domestic animal or wildlife in distress,  contact the ARL’s Rescue Services team.

 

 

Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive A Success!

Thank you for your support for the ARL’s Rescue Services Team!

You made it possible! In just 7 days we more than TRIPLED the fundraising goal for our Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive!

Gloucester ice rescue

Your donations make rescues like this possible. Pictured here: ARL’s Rescue team saving a duck trapped on the ice in Gloucester.

All proceeds will go directly to ARL’s Rescue Services to ensure that domestic animals and wildlife get emergency rescue assistance when they need it most.

The ARL does not receive any government or public funding for providing rescue services to the community and relies entirely on supporters like you to continue this important work.

Check out Rescue Services in action as seen on Boston.com.

On behalf of everyone at the ARL, thank you for your kindness and compassion for animals in need!

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO the anonymous donor who challenged us to match their $5,000 contribution during the Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive and to Whole Foods Market, South End for helping us kick off the fund drive by donating 5% of sales on April 8!

 

See Something, Say Something: Understanding The Effects of “Blood Sports” on Animals

If you see signs of blood sports, you say something – how you can help animals

As part of our “See Something, Say Something – Report Animal Cruelty” public awareness campaign this month, we are focusing on the topic of “blood sports.”

A dog who is a victim of the illegal blood sports known as “dog fighting” and “street fighting” suffers just as much on the inside as he does on the outside.

We sat down with Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, the ARL’s vice president of animal welfare, to learn more about the effects of blood sports on the animals involved.

blood sports

Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare, hosted a talk in January on dog fighting by the ASPCA’s Terry Mills in conjunction with the New England Federation of Humane Societies

ARL Blog: What are some common physically identifying signs of a fighting dog?

Dr. Smith: Fighting dogs end up bearing many scars, usually clustered around the face, neck, front legs and chest. Dogs can also suffer much more severe injuries such as broken bones and disfigurement of their ears, snouts, etc.

The scars that are visible on the outside of a fighting dog are only the tip of the iceberg in what the dog has suffered.

ARL Blog: What generally happens to the “winner” – or worse yet – the “loser” in a dog fight?

Dr S: Dogs who “win” will fight again and again, earning higher stakes with each victory.

Dogs who “lose” have a much sadder fate. They have been discovered on the side of the road, floating in the harbor, and in the garbage.  They can die shortly after the fight from trauma, but more commonly they die from a lack of appropriate veterinary attention to their wounds.

Ultimately, all dogs become the “loser” and thus find themselves abused multiple times: by inhumane housing and emotional neglect, by the fights themselves, by the life threatening infections they develop, and by the cruel deaths they suffer at the hands of their owners.

ARL Blog: What are some other “blood sports” that people should be aware of and what are the physical effects on the animals involved?

Dr S: Cockfighting (two roosters) and finch fighting (perching birds) are common in Massachusetts.

During Cockfighting between two gamecocks, owners will inject a toxic form of pesticide to increase their endurance and often attach knives to the bird’s legs. Every fight ends in serious injury or death, often for both of the birds involved.

Finch fighting between two male and one female bird has become increasingly popular due to the birds’ small size, docile nature, and ease of transport. During finch fighting the owner will attach blades to the males’ feet and sharpen their beaks to ensure maximum injury to the female finch which ultimately results in their demise.

Learn more about signs of dog-related blood sports

 

One Day Left to Help RESCUE!

Donate to the Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive, ending today!

Danny, a stray found in a marsh

Danny, hiding in the marsh area awaiting rescue.

Your donation during the Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive will help animals like Danny, a young stray dog who was rescued from a marsh area this week with assistance from ARL’s senior rescue technician, Danielle Genter.  Working alongside Boston Animal Control, Danielle was able to safely retrieve the frightened pup from where he was hiding and bring him into our Boston shelter for further care.

You can help ensure that dogs like Danny receive emergency assistance when they need it most by making a donation today to our Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive today. All proceeds will go directly to support the ARL’s Rescue Services team.

Donate now

See more of the work your donation will support! Watch our rescue services team in action, as seen on Boston.com.

 

I Found A Baby Bird. What Do I Do Now?

The ARL provides tips on when and how to rescue a baby bird on the ground

Spring has sprung. The sun is shining. Flowers are blooming. And baby birds are learning to fly.

This time of year, The ARL receives phone calls from concerned citizens who come across baby birds on the ground. Although this sight may seem alarming, remember that part of the process of learning to fly comes with being on the ground. It’s typically best to keep a safe distance and not to intervene unless you’re sure the bird is orphaned or is in immediate danger.

To decide whether or not to step in the next time you spot a baby bird on the ground, follow this helpful flow chart:

What to do if you find a baby bird - flowchart

If the flow chart points you toward intervention, follow these 11 steps to ensure a safe rescue:

How to rescue a baby bird*†:

  1. Grab clean container with a lid and line the bottom with a soft cloth. Poke air holes if there are none.
  2. Wear gloves to protect yourself from the bird’s beak, talons, wings, and any potential parasites.
  3. Cover the bird with a light sheet or towel.
  4. Gently pick up the bird and place it in the prepared container.
  5. Warm the bird if it’s chilled by placing one end of the container on top of a heating pad (low setting) or in a shallow dish of warm water. You can also wrap the container with the warm cloth.
  6. Tape the container closed.
  7. Note exactly where you found the bird. This will be very important for release.
  8. Keep the bird in a warm dark quiet place away from children and animals. Do not give it food or water.
  9. Wash your hands and any clothing and objects that were in contact with the bird to avoid spreading any potential parasites.
  10. Contact a wildlife rehabilitator, state wildlife agency, or wildlife veterinarian.
  11. Get the bird to the wildlife expert as soon as possible. It is against the law in most states to keep wild animals in your home if you do not have a permit, even if you plan to release them.

To find a wildlife expert in your area, contact the New England Wildlife Center.

 

*Only adults should rescue baby birds. Before rescuing an adult bird, seek guidance from a wildlife expert.

†Source: Healers of the Wild: People Who Care For Injured and Orphaned Wildlife, By Shannon K. Jacobs

 

See Something, Say Something: Investigating Animal “Blood Sports”

Recognizing National Dog Fighting Awareness Day

The ASPCA designated April 8 as National Dog Fighting Awareness Day  to increase understanding and awareness about dog fighting.  As part of our continuing “See Something, Say Something – Report Animal Cruelty” campaign, we encourage animal-lovers to take action against all blood sports, an extremely brutal form of cruelty.

What are “blood sports”? Blood sports are defined as an illegal sport or contest involving the bloodshed of animals for the purpose of gambling or entertainment, and include:

  • Dog fighting is a brutal sport or contest in which two dogs—specifically bred, conditioned, and trained to fight—are placed in a pit/ring to fight one another for the purposes of entertainment and gambling. The fight ends when one dog can’t continue due to exhaustion, injury, or death. Each year in the US, an estimated 140,000 people and 250,000 dogs are involved in dog fighting despite the fact that it is prosecuted as a felony crime in all 50 states.
  • Street fighting is an impromptu altercation between two dogs instigated by their respective owners or gangs in either a private location or common public gathering area, such as school yards, parks, or abandoned buildings. In some cases, the owner encourages their dog to attack a stray.
  • Cockfighting is a sport in which two gamecocks (roosters), specifically bred for aggressiveness, are placed in a small ring and encouraged to fight to the death. Owners often will inject doses of stimulant drugs, hormones, or vitamins to increase endurance and attach knives to the gamecocks’ legs.
  • Finch fighting is a sport between two male and one female perched birds that has become increasingly popular due to the birds’ small size, docile nature, and ease of transport. Owners typically attach blades to the males’ feet and sharpen their beaks to ensure the female finch’s demise.

Our Law Enforcement team works with animal control officers to identify signs of blood sports. Here are 3 common warning signs:

3 warning signs of dog blood sports

Whether you live in a rural, suburban, or urban neighborhood, animal “blood sports” happens in all types of areas across the country, including Massachusetts.  The ARL’s Law Enforcement team, for example, continues to assist the Bridgewater, MA police department in an investigation involving two dogs who had sustained injuries consistent with involvement in blood sports.

Blood sports are a major concern for public safety as it’s often linked with gang activity and other serious crimes such as human assault, homicide, drug possession/distribution, and illegal gambling.

Based on the ARL Law Enforcement team’s experience, building an effective legal case against this type of crime is complicated, due to the multitude of individuals, groups, and gangs that can be involved.  Fighting animals – especially dogs – are bred in Massachusetts and transported to other states to fight, making it very difficult to track the activity.

How can communities prevent blood sports from happening?

  1. Animal control officers and humane investigators focus on breaking up an animal fighting enterprise and immediately remove animals from the situation.
  2. You can help raise awareness and encourage intervention; both are critical to preventing this type of crime before it occurs!

We ALL have a role to play in prevention. Report suspicions of animal cruelty. If you SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.

Learn more about what you can do at arlboston.org/take-action.

 

Today Only! Whole Foods South End Supporting Rescue Fund Drive

5% of ALL sales at Whole Foods South End will go to ARL’s Rescue Services Team

Whole Foods South End is springing to action to help kick off our “Spring into Action” dog holding a whole foods bagRescue Fund Drive this week!  On Wednesday, April 8, from open to close, 5% of all sales at Whole Foods South End location at 348 Harrison Avenue will go directly to benefit the ARL’s Rescue Services Team.

Domestic animals and wildlife can get trapped, displaced, injured, or otherwise distressed anywhere at any time of day, and our Rescue Services team is trained to help all kinds of species – from snakes to donkeys, kittens to bald eagles -  in a variety of emergency situations.

In fact, the ARL is the only animal welfare organization in Massachusetts that has an entire department dedicated to rescuing animals in distress.  In 2014, the team provided assistance to over 3,864 animals.

See the ARL Rescue Services team in action in this profile story by Boston.com

An anonymous donor has challenged us to double a $5,000 donation and raise $10,000 in just 7 days for animal rescue. In other words, your donation today to the ARL’s Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive will go even further aiding animals in distress!

We rely entirely on people like you to help animals in distress in our community, as the ARL does not receive any government or public funding!  All donations to our “Spring Into Action” Rescue Fund Drive will benefit the ARL’s Rescue Services program.

SPECIAL THANKS to Whole Foods Market South End for bringing attention, excitement, and contributions to our Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive!

Can’t make it to the store? Make a donation online now!
Visit arlboston.kintera.org/rescue or click the green button below to make a donation April 7-14 and help ensure animals in distress will get assistance when they need it most!

Donate Now

 

 

 

Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive, April 7-14

Spring into action today and support the ARL’s Rescue Services!

From high in trees to icy ocean waters, from burned out building to spillways with surging currents, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services team has trained to save domestic animals and wildlife from all these situations and more.

The ARL is the only animal welfare organization in Massachusetts that has an entire department dedicated to rescuing animals from a variety of emergency situations. Domestic animals and wildlife can get trapped, displaced, injured, or otherwise distressed anywhere at any time of day, and our Rescue Services team stands ready to help as quickly as possible.

Animal Rescue League of Boston's rescue services team

See the ARL Rescue Services team in action in this profile story by Boston.com

No one wants to see animals suffering.

Gloucester ice rescue

Our rescue services team swam out to save this poor duck trapped on the ice, tangled in finishing line.

Whether it’s a duck trapped in fishing line, a mother cat and kittens stuck under a shed, or a deer trapped in mudflats, having trained and experienced rescue team to call is critical to protecting the safety and welfare of animals in our community. But providing emergency rescue services for thousands of animals every year is very expensive.

The ARL does not receive any government or public funding for rescue services and relies entirely on supporters like you to continue this important work!

An anonymous donor has challenged us to double a $5,000 donation and raise $10,000 in just 7 days for animal rescue. In other words, your donation today to the ARL’s Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive will go even further aiding animals in distress!

All donations made from April 7-14, 2015 will go directly to support our Rescue Services program.

Donate now

Visit arlboston.kintera.org/rescue or click the green button below to make a donation now.

Donate Now

SHARING IS CARING! Spread the word about our Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive and encourage your friends and family to support emergency rescue services for animals in distress!

 

See Something, Say Something – Report Animal Cruelty

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Awareness Month

In support of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month this April, the ARL is kicking off its Spring “See Something, Say Something – Report Animal Cruelty” campaign.

Animal cruelty comes in many forms, including physical abuse, neglect of basic care, abandonment, dog fighting, and animal hoarding. Because many studies have demonstrated a strong link between cruelty to animals and other forms of domestic and community violence, prevention plays a critical role in improving the safety and welfare of both animals and people in Massachusetts.

Know your state’s animal cruelty laws

In 2014, the ARL’s Center for Animal Protection assisted in over 300 animal law enforcement cases. Unfortunately, this is a small number when you consider the startling statistic that 4 out of 5 animal cruelty cases go unreported.

We all have a role to play in prevention. Be aware and get to know the animals in your neighborhood. If you suspect animal cruelty, call your local authorities right away.  Help raise awareness and educate others about this issue.

Learn the 7 most common warning signs of animal cruelty and take action!

While most of us recognize that punching, kicking, burning, choking, or hitting an animal with an object are acts of animal Give a voice to animals.cruelty, there are also several more subtle warning signs of animal cruelty to watch for that could indicate mistreatment, neglect, or abuse:

  1. Howling or barking for a sustained period of time or hearing an animal cry in pain with higher pitched, more persistent vocal sounds than usual.
  2. Singed, matted, chronically or excessively dirty hair or fur.
  3. Wounds, unusual scars, hair loss, frequent limping often on different legs, or signs of improper nutrition such as weight loss or prominent visible ribs.
  4. Animals kept caged or tied with little room to move for long periods of time or without regular interaction with people
  5. Lack of protection from the weather or fece- or debris-strewn living areas for animals.
  6. Collars, leashes, or halters so tight they visibly dig into the animal’s face or neck.
  7. A large number of animals coming or going from a property.

If you know of or suspect animal cruelty, report concerns to your local authorities.  Learn more about how you can prevent animal cruelty at arlboston.org/take-action

Report suspicions of animal cruelty. If you see something, say something.

 

Dog Rescue – Pulled from Icy Stream

ARL Rescue Team on the scene to help

Thanks to fast efforts from his caregiver, park rangers, and the ARL’s rescue services team, a family dog is warming up after he realized a little too late that it wasn’t a good day for a swim.

Energized by the warmer temperatures and sun as he was playing at West Roxbury’s Millennium Park on Tuesday afternoon, the happy-go-lucky dog decided to take a dip in the inviting stream running on the outskirts of the park.

icy dog rescue after

ARL senior rescue technician Danielle Genter gave the chilly dog a towel rub down after his rescue from a stream.

After one pass across the stream, he decided that the water was just a little too cold for his liking.  Unfortunately, an icy shelf stood between him and dry land, and he seemed none to eager to swim back across.  Searchers found him hanging on the icy shelf waiting for help.

Working alongside the dog’s caregiver, Boston Park Rangers, and the Boston Police, senior rescue technician Danielle Genter extended a catch-pole across the narrow stream to grab hold of the dog.

The grateful pup got the picture and allowed Danielle to move him off the ice, back across the water, and on to solid ground.  He hopped right in to the awaiting warm vehicle to get a towel rub down.

The dog appears to be doing well and our rescue team recommended he get a check-up with his veterinarian to make sure all was well.

With fluctuating temperatures, the snow and ice are definitely starting to melt! While this is a happy sign that Spring is just around the corner, it’s also a sign to stay alert with your pet.

Keep your dog on a leash and if you’re walking near “frozen” ponds, lakes, or streams, remember ice is not always uniformly thick or stable.  In addition to the dangers of falling through thin ice, also remember dogs don’t consider the water temperature before bounding in for a swim.  For more winter pet health and safety tips, visit arlboston.org/winter-pet-health

SPECIAL THANKS to Boston Park Ranger Sergeant Al Hurd and the Boston Police Department who provided help and assistance to our rescue team today!