Beloved cat survives a perilous walk on prison wall
Last week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston received a call about Wally, a fluffy gray and white cat badly injured during a dangerous walk along the razor wire that lines the top of the wall at Bridgewater State Prison.
Wally’s mom had given birth to him and his siblings about two years ago outside the prison, and continued to live in the vicinity as her family grew up. Prisoners and guards had kindly fed and cared for the cats ever since.
The very friendly and sweet Wally had endeared himself to his caregivers who watched him grow from a rambunctious kitten into a particularly curious cat.
No one is quite sure how he did it, but Wally managed to climb 30-40 feet up the prison wall and gotten himself stuck.
For two days he walked along the razor wire line, becoming more frantic as staff, the fire department, and animal control officers from Bridgewater and Halifax tried to rescue him. The frightened cat injured himself very seriously in the process, cutting himself repeatedly all over his body on the sharp, jagged wire barbs.
A determined prison maintenance worker finally cornered Wally along the wall, threw a blanket over him, and – to echoing cheers from guards and prisoners alike – brought him down to Lisa McKay, the animal control officer in Bridgewater. She immediately brought Wally to New England Animal Medical Center where veterinarians determined he needed over $3,000 in surgery to repair the damage from his wounds.
Desperate to find an organization willing to cover Wally’s medical costs, help him recuperate, and ultimately find him a new home, McKay called the ARL.
The ARL answered “yes” to the call for help!
Wally sadly lost his tail to his injuries, but thankfully surgeons mended the deep cuts in his back leg and above his eye. He is now recovering in the care of a dedicated foster volunteer and will eventually come to the ARL when he is ready for adoption.
Very importantly, Wally will survive. The kindness, compassion, and love so many have shown him will continue to carry him through.
Would you like to help Wally and other animals like him?
Only with your support can animals like Wally get emergency medical assistance when they need it most.
Please visit arlboston/kintera.org/wally or click the button below to make a donation to help pay for the care and treatment of Wally and other animals like him.
Back to school isn’t just for kids! The fall is a great time to get you and your pup involved in dog training. As you figure out your fall schedule, be sure to save some time for enriching your dog’s life.
Why send your dog to school? Training your dog benefits him, your family, and everyone around you. Not only does it teach your pup rules and good manners, it also keeps him from getting bored.
Pets can become bored when left alone all day while the family’s at work and school. In a survey, Pet360 discovered that 20 percent of pet owners with school-age children said their pets showed signs of anxiety when everyone in the house went back to their normal routine at the end of the summer. Dog training classes are a fantastic way to bond with your pup and create a fun, challenging routine that will keep your pet active.
The Animal Rescue League offers a variety of dog training classes as part of our commitment to supporting positive relationships between people and their pets.
Our certified, experienced and caring dog trainers help you teach your dog basic and advanced commands, as well as house and outdoor manners. We also offer fun dog sports and agility classes if you’re looking for something more laid back.
All classes are held at our Boston shelter and we offer free on-site parking for your convenience.
Here are a few of our classes that start soon.
Puppy Kindergarten: Tuesdays September 09 at 6pm and Sunday September 28 at 10am
Good Manners: Tuesday, September 09 at 7pm and Sunday, September 28 at 11am
Advanced Puppy Training: Sunday, September 28 at 9am
Sniffing for Fun: Sunday, September 28 at 12pm
Canine Good Citizen: Sunday, September 28 at 1pm
Recent ARL alums receive a 25% discount. Boston Veterinary Care clients receive a 10% discount.
So many reasons to adopt from the Animal Rescue League of Boston
Bringing an animal into your home and making them a part of your family is a very special event indeed. In fact, some of the happiest work we do at the Animal Rescue League of Boston is helping you find a super pet!
The ARL finds homes for about 3,000 animals every year, including cats, dogs, birds, bunnies, ferrets, cows, sheep, horses, snakes, and lizards. We take in animals from a variety of circumstances, but a large portion are responsibly surrendered to us because of “people-related” reasons—their owners were moving, had no time because of a job or life change, or suddenly became sick or financially unable to care for their pets.
Animals like Pringle (pictured upper right), Cupid (pictured middle right), and Peach and Rosalina (pictured bottom center), all have big hearts with lots of love, loyalty, and good company to give to human companions—day and night!
When you adopt from a shelter, you’ll feel good about giving an animal a chance at a better life. And not just one animal – when you take your new pet home with you, the ARL can take in another at one of our shelters.
In addition to those fantastic feelings of helping a fellow living thing in need, you can also rest assured that, before they go to a new home, every adoptable animal at the ARL receives:
Health screening and veterinary examination
Behavior screening and evaluations
Flea, tick and mite treatment
Feline Leukemia test for cats/Heartworm test and preventive medication for dogs
Microchip identification and registration
With the help of the dedicated staff at our animal shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham, you can learn more about whether a particular animal you meet at our shelter is a good pet-match for you before you bring them home.
Animal Rescue League & Boston Veterinary Care are Boston A-List Nominees
As the defending champions of last year’s “BEST Local Charity” award on the Boston A-List, we’re asking you to vote for us and tell your friends to do the same!
The Boston A-List is a contest featuring more than 4,712 local businesses competing to be named best. YOUR votes determine the outcome. If you are passionate about the Animal Rescue League and the work that we do, please cast your vote. Voting ends Friday, August 1st.
Camilla seen here soon after arriving at the ARL’s Boston shelter.
As reported in the Boston Globe this morning, Mayor Walsh is taking action to address the situation at the Boston Animal Control (BAC) shelter facility in Roslindale.
At the end of June, the ARL visited the BAC facility to meet four dogs connected to a law enforcement case that had just concluded. We hoped to help the dogs find new homes now that the case was over.
When our staff arrived, one of the dogs from the case, Camilla (pictured right), appeared very emaciated with sores on her body. Her condition and other observations made by our staff while at the facility raised so many concerns, we brought them to the immediate attention of Mayor Walsh.
Camilla, seen here after her first bath at our Boston shelter, has become a staff-favorite.
We have continued to support the Mayor’s efforts to help the animals currently at the BAC facility and evaluate all areas of the shelter’s operations.
The ARL has taken in 35 animals from the BAC facility at our shelters in Boston and Dedham. At the Mayor’s request, a team of ARL veterinarians and shelter operations staff also did a comprehensive on-site assessment. We plan to provide a full report of findings to the Mayor next week.
Thanks to Mayor Walsh and the supporting efforts of our colleagues, we truly believe a change is underway at the BAC facility—a change which will have an immediate positive effect for the animals there now and for many years to come.
Thanks to proper care, nutrition, and extra attention, Camilla has already gained 9 pounds.
Everyone at the ARL is honored to be part of making a difference for animals and the City of Boston today.
“Cases like hers are the reason that many of us got into the business of rescuing animals: there is nothing more rewarding than seeing an animal that was previously neglected transform with some TLC.” – Dr. Kate Gollon, shelter veterinarian at the Animal Rescue League of Boston
Almost two months ago, a very kind person brought Madeline to our Dedham shelter after discovering the 8-year-old cat unable to move in the backyard of her home where someone had left her. Shelter staff instantly observed the fur on Madeline’s hind quarters appeared thickly matted and that she couldn’t move her back legs.
Her sweet temperament and soft, steady purr touched the hearts of shelter veterinarian Dr. Kate Gollon and all the Dedham staff as they worked to make her comfortable with pain medications and by shaving off the mass of tangles on her lower body.
Dr. Gollon determined Madeline had nearly 4 inches of mats over 70% of her body. The bag of her shaved matted fur tipped the scales at over a pound. The twisted condition of her coat had clearly forced her to go to the bathroom on herself and likely prevented her from walking for some time. Even after shelter staff shaved her fur, she couldn’t walk on her very weak back legs.
When diagnostic tests including x-rays and bloodwork did not provide a more definitive reason for the weakness in her back legs, Dr. Gollon prescribed a regimen of daily physical therapy to help Madeline recover her strength and mobility. Staff gave Madeline time post-shave to recuperate and get to know them before carefully and caringly beginning to work with her to get her walking.
At first, staff gently moved her back legs for her, three times a day. Gradually, they helped her stand by placing her in a sling to support her weight while getting her up on all fours. Once her ability to support herself improved, staff worked with her on walking across the floor and maneuvering changes in elevation. To give her some added traction on the polished cement floors at the shelter, staff would place a touch of Vaseline on her paw pads.
Everyone at the Dedham shelter felt as proud as mamma cats watching Madeline’s amazing progress as she confidently strolled to them and maneuvered up carpeted steps for the first time!
A dedicated ARL foster volunteer brought Madeline to her home to help her re-acclimate to living with people. Though the determined kitty remains a bit unsteady on her hind legs, she shows no signs they are holding her back. According to her foster mom, Madeline loves to explore and happily curls up on the couch for a good snooze afterwards.
We’re very happy to report Madeline is ready for adoption! Scotties Facial Tissue will cover her adoption fee this weekend, so come visit the ARL’s Dedham shelter and read her adoption profile to learn more about her.
Because of her unsteady legs, she would do best in a home with carpet. A one-story house or apartment, or a home where she would spend most of her time in one big room or have access to her litter box and food without having to climb stairs would make for the ideal situation for Madeline.
In the words of Dr. Gollon: “Madeline is a special cat and quite a survivor! The family who adopts her will most definitely fall in love with her as much as we have at ARL.”
Happy Boston Pride Day! The Animal Rescue League of Boston will be marching in this year’s Boston Pride Day parade. We hope to see some friendly faces cheering us on along the route. The parade starts at 11am. See you there!
Also, please note that our Boston shelter will be closed today, Saturday, June 14. We apologize for any inconvenience.
“Rugby’s story highlights all the wonderful people in the ARL network who are dedicated to helping neglected animals.”
- Dr. Edward Schettino, Director of Veterinary Medical Services, ARL
When we first met Rugby back in April, he could have been the poster child for our “See Something, Say Something: Report Animal Cruelty,” campaign running that month.
At the time, he was 4 1/2 months old and had been cruelly abandoned in the middle of the road in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. His front legs were severely twisted at the wrists, so Rugby could only get around by doing a haphazard crawl. Thankfully, someone reported spotting Rugby inching his way along the road where he’d been left, and Lt. Alan Borgal, director of the ARL’s Center for Animal Protection, brought him to the ARL’s Boston Shelter.
When Dr. Edward Schettino, the ARL’s director of veterinary medical services, examined Rugby at the shelter, he observed the spirited young dog was very underweight. Dr. Schettino concluded the condition of Rugby’s front legs was probably due to poor nutrition and long-term confinement to a very small crate. After reviewing x-rays of Rugby’s front legs with his colleagues, Dr. Schettino preliminarily diagnosed Rugby with bilateral carpal laxity syndrome, a condition that could require surgery or could also respond to a diet of well-balanced adult dog-food and a program of rigorous exercise.
Rigorous exercise seemed to be the best course of treatment for Rugby! A rambunctious dog, Rugby already had ARL behaviorists, staff, and trained volunteers working with him to help him channel his energies into playing with other dogs and chew toys.
And getting him moving helped on the medical and behavioral front indeed!
Within a few weeks, Rugby’s front legs were improving. The ARL collaborated on his treatment with colleagues at the ARL and Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. To increase strength in his legs, Rugby began underwater treadmill therapy twice a week, under the supervision of the ARL’s Dr. Alett Mekler and the physical therapists at Animotion in Stoughton, Massachusetts, who donated their time and services.
In just under three months, Rugby has come incredibly far in his rehabilitation. He is moving well on his front legs and his sweet, playful personality makes everyone at the shelter smile–even when he’s a bit of a handful (written with love and a smile, of course).
Thanks to the collaborative effort of our Center for Animal Protection, shelter veterinarians, dog behaviorists, shelter staff, volunteers, Tufts University Cummings School, and Animotion, this miracle puppy is now ready for a new home!
According to shelter staff, an experienced dog owner preferably with another dog would be the best situation for Rugby–the guy really needs a playmate to keep him on his toes and moving! He’s still working on his jumpy/mouthy behavior, so an active household with older children would be more suited to his big personality and energy-level.
Got CATS on your mind? The ARL sure does during national Adopt-a-Cat Month this June!
Join us tomorrow for this month’s ALL ABOUT CATS twitter chat, where Dr. Edward Schettino, director of veterinary medical services, will take your questions and offer veterinary advice to help you maintain your cat’s good health.
How often should you trim your cat’s claws? Does your cat need to eat wet food? What’s the best remedy for hairballs? What should you do if you see a feral cat? Is non-prescription flea and tick treatment safe for cats? Find out answers to these questions and ask Dr. Schettino your own!
To participate in the conversation, follow the ARL on Twitter (@arlboston) and submit your questions using the hashtag #ARLAskaVet. Questions may be submitted on Twitter real time or in advance.
Thank You To Everyone Who Made Paws in the Park 2014 Possible!
This past Saturday over 1,000 people and hundreds of dogs joined the ARL in Brewster, MA for Paws in the Park. The day was beautiful. The venue, Drummer Boy Park, was fabulous. The vendors, contests, performers and DJs were all awesome. We couldn’t have asked for anything more.
A great time was had by all and we hope this will be a new “thing to do” to kick off the summer with your dog on the Cape.
Many thanks to the ARL staff and Marci Tyldesley who organized the event and worked so hard to make everything run smoothly.
Supporting our team was a great crew of Cape volunteers including, Jeanie Handren, Rich Tyldesley, Paul Kelleher, “Sully” Sullivan, David Chandler, Jack Bakker, Joyce Bakker, Diane Cullen, Lorraine Janusas, Mary Utt, Dorothy Becker, Liz Hines, Diane Johnson, Donelle Donnery, Diane Foster, Bradley Fowler, Justine Pitt and Stacey Hedman of Cold Nose Photography.
Thanks again to everyone who joined us for a great cause with a terrific outcome.
One more round of thanks for our event sponsors who are listed below!