Featuring Animals Who Need a Home & Those Who’ve Already Found One
This is the time of year when everyone at the ARL especially wants to give the animals in our care the opportunity to experience joy and companionship. After all, it’s what the holidays are all about.
With that in mind, today we kick off “Home for the Holidays,” a month-long community outreach campaign to encourage adoption and support for our shelter animals.
We’ll feature stories on our blog about animals rescued from cruel conditions, now recovered and living happy and healthy lives.
Mike a 1-year-old guinea pig.
We will also share the stories of the many deserving animals available for adoption at our adoption centers in Boston, Dedham, and Brewster. Animals like Mike, a cute as can be guinea pig who’s been at the ARL since October 15. He’s great with kids and just an all-around stand-out guinea pig!
Our biggest holiday wish is to help the animals in our care and individuals and families willing to open their hearts to an animal in need find each other now.
Each of our adoption centers also has a holiday wish list of items and supplies that help make our furry, feathered and hoofed friends in our adoption centers feel comfortable and loved during their stay with us. You can download and share the holiday wish list for each shelter at:
The happiest part of the work we do all year is bringing animals like Mike and people together. Every year the organization unites over 3,000 deserving animals with loving human companions. Another 1,100 find foster homes with dedicated ARL volunteers, too.
We look forward to sharing stories, pictures, and videos this month to help the animals in our care find a home for the holidays!
May the Joys of Hanukkah be Yours All the Year
My Story, by Heinz the Cat
My name is Heinz57. As you can see, I’m a cat.
They named me Heinz 57 ’cause I was the 57th cat at the Feral Cat Clinic.
It happens all too often with pets sometimes—one minute we’re curled up—all happy and warm—in our family’s house, but out on street and homeless the next. And that’s what happened to me.
I’m a social guy and managed to make some acquaintances with a few feral cats in Boston, but let’s face it, life for a homeless animal is still pretty rough even when you have friends. There’s not enough to eat or drink; you never know what the weather is going to throw at you; and the streets can be a rough place for a house cat like me.
Just when I had given up all hope, I walked into a humane trap that had been set up by ARL volunteers as part of its Fix-a-Feral clinic, a humane approach to managing the size and health of urban feral colonies.
Luckily for me, the ARL’s Fix-a-Feral program assesses every cat that comes in to find the “friendlies,” cats like me who have adoption potential. Talk about dedication—I came in with over 60 other cats that day and they spent time with each of us!
While I can’t say the same for everyone in my group, I turned on the charm and moved into the adoption center that same day. A warm clean bed, good meals and a lot of love and attention…now this was the life! Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I went to stay at the Brewster adoption center in a group housing area just for cats where I had plenty of room to explore and make friends.
Best news yet, I quickly found a home where they totally love me. That’s me up there with my mom!
My mom’s name is Elizabeth. The day she went to go submit her application to become a volunteer at the Brewster shelter, is the day she adopted me. It was fate! Now a live with two other cats (who are pretty cool) and my mom and dad. They’re the best. They feed me SO well and I’ve discovered that I have a love for lasagna… it’s basically my favorite food!
That’s all from me, but you can learn more about how the ARL treats every animal like an individual on their website: arlboston.org/heinz57/#AnimalsAreIndividuals
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for my morning yoga!
Fall Issue of Our Four-Footed Friends Available Online Now
The latest issue of our magazine, Our Four-Footed Friends is now available online.
- Message from the President
- Going Above and Beyond: Michelle Gelnaw, Board of Overseers
- 10 Minutes with Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore
- Hope for Food Aggressive Dogs
- A Season for Rescue
- Puppy Doe: Stunning Cruelty that Shocked us All
- Any many more
Read the electronic version of Our Four-Footed Friends and find out how your donations are helping animals in need. issuu.com/arlboston/docs/offf-webfriendly
A Favorite of the Shelter Volunteers
Cuddles has quickly become a favorite of the volunteers at the ARL’s Boston shelter! She’s been with us since September, so we’ve really had a chance to get to know her.
This four-year-old kitty came to us after having a litter of kittens in her foster home. Cuddles was very shy when she first arrived at her foster home, but she quickly warmed up. Now she’s back at the shelter and ready for her furever home!
We think this sweet kitty would do best in a quiet, small home such as a studio apartment, with an someone who is understanding of her need to be comfortable in the space.
Cuddles loves to burrow under the bed or covers, but once you start petting her, well, that’s a different story! This kitty love attention and will sit by your side.
We’ve found that when someone approaches her cage she immediately starts to purr. She also likes to eat when her humans are nearby too!
Please consider adopting this very sweet cat. She needs someone with a little patience and a lot of love! If you’d like to meet with her, stop by our Boston shelter!
A Heartwarming “Happy Tail” for Adopt-A-Dog Month
Dr. Quigley & Alice when she first arrived at the ARL.
Alice, a 7-month mixed breed puppy had a rough start.
When she arrived at the ARL, veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley immediately noticed she was having trouble with her back legs. He discovered that she had almost no muscle development in her hind limbs and was having trouble being a regular puppy.
Her hips were severely disabled and would require extensive and expensive surgeries as she grew older.
In spite of her medical condition, the Brewster shelter found a wonderful adoptive family for Alice from Sandwich, MA.
Rachel, her fiance David and son Daniel knew that Alice would require a lot of TLC and they were up for the challenge of caring for this puppy. The family agreed to take Alice as a foster pet and to start her on physical therapy to build strength in her legs before surgery.
Alice in underwater therapy at CARE.
Therapists at Cape Animal Referral and Emergency (CARE) generously offered to do underwater treadmill sessions with Alice at no cost. Using water to take stress off of Alice’s delicate joints, therapists helped Alice exercise safely and build critical muscle tone and control of her back legs.
The underwater therapy at CARE was so effective that Alice’s veterinarians decided that an operation on her hips was no longer needed! According to Dr. Quigley “her recovery and the muscle mass that she developed were truly remarkable and a testament to the powerful benefits of physical therapy.”
Alice’s foster family fell so much in love with her that they adopted her! Rachel said that “Everyone keeps saying how lucky Alice is to have had so many chances and so many champions, but we feel like we’re the lucky ones. We love her to pieces!”
Alice continues her water treadmill therapy twice a week at CARE and enjoys regular romps, walks and swims at Barnstable’s Sandy Neck Beach with her new family!
Thank you to everyone at CARE and Nancy Bishop and Heather Garre for so generously donating their therapy services to Alice.
Alice with her new family at her favorite place. Rachel (L), David (C) and Daniel (R).
A Game for Dogs Who Just Don’t Want to Play Fetch
Have you tried playing fetch with your dog, but he just doesn’t seem interested in returning the toy? We have just the game for your pup! Next time your canine companion is in the mood to play, try the “Chase Game.”
Reblogged from the Center for Shelter Dogs - a program of the Animal Rescue League of Boston
GOAL: To play a game with the dog which incorporates fun, training, and exercise.
You are the source of fun! Play energetically with your dog with the chase toy (lunge whip or tether with a lightweight stuffed toy tied to the end like this one from KONG). The dog should never make mouth contact with your hands or other body parts, must always drop the toy when asked, and must not ‘take’ the toy until the cue is given. Breaking the rules results in a temporary end to the game (and fun), for a minimum of one minute. Put the toy out of reach of the dog, and ignore the dog during the break.
1. Say ‘take it’ and then begin flinging and moving the toy around so that your dog can jump
at, chase, and attempt to catch the toy.
2. After some running, leaping, and chasing, allow the dog to catch the toy.
3. Cue the dog to ‘drop it’.
4. If the dog won’t release the chase toy, try:
- Putting a tasty treat right in front of the dog’s nose
- Tossing several treats onto the ground
- Squeaking a squeaky toy (which is kept in your pocket for this purpose)
- Dropping the chase toy
5. When the dog releases the toy, give the dog a treat and immediately encourage the dog to
‘take it’ again!
Download the Chase Game PDF
Reminder: October is Adopt-A-Dog Month! Here at the ARL we have many extraordinary dogs waiting for loving homes. Search our adoptable dogs now.
Some helpful tips from the ARL’s Center for Shelter Dogs for Adopt-A-Dog Month about taking your newly adopted pup to the dog park.
Reblogged from the Center for Shelter Dogs
OWEN loves to play and is available for adoption at our Brewster Adoption Center!
Many adopters want to be able to enjoy dog parks with their new companion. Dog parks can be a great opportunity for dogs to play off leash (especially in a city environment) and to enjoy some social time with their own species. Dog parks can also help high energy dogs to burn off some energy so they can be more relaxed in the home.
Here are some carefully crafted tips from the Center for Shelter Dogs that might help you when you visit dog parks with your dog.
- Recognize that not all dogs like dog parks! Learn your dog’s preferences for doggy companions and respect his or her space, if needed. Like humans, mature dogs often don’t enjoy rambunctious, adolescent play. Many dogs, especially adult dogs, prefer to have just two or three good dog friends that have similar play styles for structured play dates. Going to the park at off-peak hours can also help a new dog to adjust and not be overwhelmed by large crowds of dogs.
- Stay in tune with your dog during dog park visits. Just because your dog is off leash doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay attention to your dog. Recalls and time outs can keep your dog connected to you and paying attention. Time outs, away from rough play, can also help to keep play from escalating into over-arousal. Don’t use this time to catch up on your reading or chat on your cell phone. And be sure to work with your dog on a good recall command before visiting dog parks.
- Keep your dog vaccinated and on a regular de-worming schedule. Just like highly populated human areas, dog parks can harbor transmissible diseases from the wide variety of dogs who frequent them. Keeping your dog up to date on vaccinations, including Bordetella, can help reduce their risk of getting sick. Worms can also be prevalent at dog parks so speak to your veterinarian about getting on a de-worming schedule along with monthly heartworm preventative.
- Find a well-set-up and appropriately-sized dog park. Try to find a dog park with ample room for the number of dogs in attendance. There should be areas where your dog can move away from the group and go off on his own if he chooses. Bringing leashed dogs into dog parks can cause trouble. Good dog parks should have double gates that prevent escapes and allow owners to take off their dog’s leash before entering the park. Some dog parks have a trail system which allows dogs and owners to keep moving, cutting down on altercations and tense greetings.
- Avoid carrying food or other high-value items in parks. Food and treats can cause dogs to fight during times that they might otherwise not. If your dog is highly toy-motivated, toys can also become a source of competition and lead to resource guarding in the park.
Watching dogs play can be a great source of joy for many dog owners. Owners can find play opportunities in dog parks, dog daycares, or in small playgroups. Taking the steps above can ensure that the dog park experience is right for the dog and enjoyable for all involved. If your dog is not a fan of dog parks, enjoying a nice walk on a summer evening can be wonderful too!
Learn more about the Center for Shelter Dogs at: centerforshelterdogs.org
October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog-Month
Homeless dogs need your help. If you’re thinking about getting a dog, then please consider adopting. There are numerous benefits to adopting a dog, but most importantly, when you adopt you’re saving two lives, the life of the animal that you adopted and the life of the animal that’s going to take its place at the shelter.
Here at the Animal Rescue League of Boston we’re going to spend this month honoring all of our wonderful, adoptable shelter dogs and offering canine tips throughout the month. Stay tuned for important information regarding canine health, grooming, exercise, training and nutrition. In addition to sharing helpful tips, we’ll also be tweeting some incredibly touching quotes and photos.
If you’re currently not in a position to adopt a dog, but would still like to help, there are plenty of ways that you can help shelter dogs.
- Spread the word. Talk with your family and friends about the importance of supporting local animals shelters and adopting pets.
- Follow your local animal shelter on Twitter and retweet stories by them.Use the hashtag #SaveDogs. You can share the stories of shelter animals on Facebook and dedicate your Facebook status to an adoptable dog. Social media is a powerful tool and you can use it to help homeless animals.
- If you’ve adopted a dog, write an op-ed about your experience and share your story with your local newspaper.
- Become a volunteer or foster parent. We’re currently in need of volunteers at our Dedham location.
- Donate to your local animal shelter. Every dollar makes a difference and no contribution is ever too small.
It’s the First Day of Fall, Visit Us and Fall for One of our Shelter Animals
One-year-old RUBEN is currently available for adoption.
With the cooler weather settling in, wouldn’t it be nice to have a warm, furry friend to cuddle with? Here at the Animal Rescue League of Boston we have many amazing animals waiting for loving homes. There are countless benefits to adopting a pet.
When you adopt an animal from a shelter, you’re saving two lives, the life of the animal that you adopted and the life of the animal that’s going to take its place at the shelter.
For people who are looking for a purebred pet—studies have shown that over 25% of pets available for adoption at shelters are purebred—there are numerous breed specific rescue groups that focus on a particular dog or cat breed. Here at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, we have various breeds at any given time and animals are constantly being adopted, so we have new animals available every day.
Another huge benefit to adopting a pet from a shelter is that the animals have been tested for behavioral issues. They are also spayed/neutered, up-to-date on vaccinations, and micro-chipped. When you buy from a pet store or a breeder those are all additional costs (on top of the cost of the pet) that must be taken into consideration. Our investment in our animals includes learning their personalities so that we can help you find the perfect match for your home and lifestyle.
HERMIONE is a beautiful kitty, who would love to go home with you on this first day of fall!
All adoptable animals at ARL of Boston have received the following:
- Health screening and veterinary examination
- Rabies vaccination for dogs, cats and ferrets
- Microchip identification and registration
- Heartworm test and preventative medication for dogs
- Feline Leukemia test for cats
- Flea, tick and mite treatment
- Deworming for intestinal parasites
- Tag, collar, and leash or carrier
If you’re unable to adopt a pet you can always consider fostering or becoming a champion for animals.