Sugar – A Young Horse at our Dedham Shelter Finally Found a Home this Weekend!
After 399 days at the Animal Rescue League’s shelter in Dedham, Sugar, a playful three-year-old filly, went home with a wonderful new family over the weekend. She’ll be living on beautiful Cape Cod with a family that’s excited to take on the feat of starting her under a saddle and treating her like a family pet.
Sugar first came to us with her mother back in July of 2013 after we rescued her from a small tenant farm in Southeastern, MA. She was severely neglected – left on a muddy paddock with no food or water – and had never been trained to interact with humans.
As you work on your “to do” list for this week, please remember that in less than two weeks, the legislative session at the Massachusetts State House comes to an end. If H.4328, an important bill that would increase penalties for animal cruelty, doesn’t pass before July 31, it gets thrown out.
We will have to start all over again to make progress on updating animal cruelty penalties during the 2015-2016 session.
Please make two critical phone calls this week.
1. To Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo’s Office, 617.722.2500 All you have to do is say this: “Hello, please ask Speaker DeLeo to help pass H.4328 before July 31. This is the bill that would protect animals against animal cruelty in Massachusetts. Thank you.”
2. To the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, Representative Dempsey’s Office, 617.722.2990 “Hello, please ask Representative Dempsey to help pass H.4328 before July 31. This is the bill that would protect animals against animal cruelty in Massachusetts. Thank you.”
Don’t worry about having a conversation with anyone. These offices have interns that answer the phone and log in calls like these in support of the bill. They do it all day long!
Only with your help do we have a chance at getting H.4328 passed.
Make your voice louder: Ask your friends to make the same two phone calls. Forward this email and post on social media.
Thank you for taking action and giving a voice to the victims of animal cruelty.
Visit bit.ly/h4244post for more on H.4328 and what you can do to prevent animal cruelty.
One-day cat food drive to help feed homeless cats in Boston
Today is Cat Food Bank Day, a one-day cat food drive to provide food for the homeless cats of Boston. We’re taking donations of unopened wet or dry cat food 8:30 am to 6:30 pm in the lobby of our Boston headquarters located at 10 Chandler Street in the South End.
All donations of cat food will defray the food cost associated with the on-going care of homeless cats in the community.
“Every day, dedicated feral cat community caretakers feed multiple cats living in areas around the city—often at their own expense,” explains Maryann Regan, director of shelter operations at the ARL.
Please stop by and help Boston’s homeless cats. Every can and every bag goes a long way to filling an empty tummy!
All cat food donations will go to feral cat caretakers in Boston, as well as ARL foster volunteers who provide one-on-one care to cats recovering from surgery or re-acclimating to life in a home prior to adoption.
WHAT: Cat Food Bank Day
WHEN: July 16, 2014, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Animal Rescue League of Boston
10 Chandler Street, in the Lobby
Boston, MA 02116
Too Hot for Spot: “National Pet Fire Safety Day” Tips to Keep Pets Safe
RITZ (pictured here) is available for adoption.
July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day and it reminds us that pets are often vulnerable victims of home fires. An estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by house fires, according to a data analysis by the National Fire Protection Association.
Planning for unexpected emergencies like home fires and taking these precautions are an integral part of responsible pet ownership.The following tips are suggestions for pet owners on how to prevent your beloved pet from starting a fire, as well as how to keep your pets safe.
What you can do to keep your pets safe:
Keep Pets Near Entrances When Away From Home – Keep collars on pets and leashes ready-to-go in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
Secure Young Pets - Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
Since Pets Left Alone Can’t Escape a Burning Home – Consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling Like Ours – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window.Thiscritical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to update the number of pets listed. Pick up one of our “Pet Rescue” window clings at an ARL shelter today!
Special thanks to all of the firefighters out there who put their own lives at risk every day to help people and their pets.
Too Hot for Spot Tuesday Tip: Thunderstorm Dog Safety
If you’re like some dog owners, you’ve probably had several sleepless nights over the last week thanks to your dog’s “thunder phobia” resulting from the severe thunderstorms that have been plaguing the Northeast.
This fear can manifest in a variety of ways including – hiding, whining, scratching, slobbering, or destructive behavior – and it can get worse with age. Dogs possess special sensitivities that can make storms more terrifying. They can sense the change in air pressure, and may hear low-frequency rumblings that we, humans, can’t detect.
So, if you want to help calm your pup (and hopefully get some “shut-eye”) during the next thunderstorm, try these 5 tips:
Stay with your dog if you can. Having you by his side will make him feel safer.
If there are windows in the room, close the blinds or curtains, or cover the windows so the dog can’t see outside.
Create a safe haven. Hiding is a natural instinct, so provide your dog with a safe indoor area, like a crate. If you have a wire crate, cover it with a light sheet. Leave the door open so your dog doesn’t feel trapped.
Play calming music to drown out the thunder.
Distract your dog. Try playing his favorite game and giving him treats. He might learn to associate storms with fun and play, rather than anxiety and fear.
If none of these work and your dog’s “thunder phobia” is really out of control, consult with your veterinarian.
“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.”
Scotties Facial Tissue & ARL Partner for Shelter Cat Public Service Announcement
With less than a week left to adopt a fee-waived cat at the Animal Rescue League, the ARL and Scotties Facial Tissue want to remind everyone about the benefits of adopting a cat from a shelter. Watch our video below:
When you adopt a cat from an animal shelter like the ARL, you give a cat a chance at a better life. All adoptable cats and kittens at the ARL also receive:
Thank You to the 5th Grade Students at Boston’s Park Street School
We’d like to extend a big thank you to the students from Miss Silva’s 5th grade class at the Park Street School in Boston. These amazing kids raised $480 for the shelter pets at the ARL through their Pi-a-thon where they memorized as many digits of Pi as they could and had sponsors donate to their cause.
Their commitment to helping animals is clear through the words on their heart-felt card pictured on the right. We hope that these young people will continue to help animals in need! Thank you so much from all of your friends at the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Keep up the great work!
“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.
Special thanks to lawmakers for passage of Senate Bill 1172
Today, the ARL will join together with other animal welfare organizations, state legislators, and disaster protection agencies on the steps of the Massachusetts State House to celebrate the signing of Senate Bill 1172, “An act ensuring the safety of people with pets in disasters.”
Signed into law in March, the bill requires cities and towns to have a plan in place to address the evacuation and sheltering needs of household pets and service animals before, during, and after an emergency or natural disaster.
The ARL recommends having a sturdy backpack packed with pet feeding and care supplies ready to go in case of an emergency evacuation.
Mary Nee, president of the ARL, will speak at the event, and staff will distribute ARL pet emergency backpacks to legislators.
While having disaster plans in place for people and animals at the municipal level represents a major step forward in Statewide disaster preparedness, individual pet owners should to develop a plan to shelter and care for their animals in the event of an emergency evacuation.
Along with a crate or carrier to transport a pet, the ARL suggests getting a pet emergency backpack ready to go in case of an emergency evacuation. For a list of supplies to include in a pet emergency bag, visit arlboston.org/packing-list.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency also recommends:
Getting a sturdy and comfy crate or carrier to transport your pet
Finding a shelter alternative that works for both you and your pet
Having a picture of you and your pet together in case you get separated during an emergency
SPECIAL THANKS to Senator Karen Spilka (D – 2nd Middlesex and Norfolk Districts) for sponsoring Senate Bill 1172 and to all the legislators in the Massachusetts House and Senate for supporting its passage.