Happy Earth Day! 3 Ways to Recycle for Your Cat

Since 1970 Earth Day has reminded us about the importance of protecting our planet and making conscious decisions regarding our impact on the environment. So, in honor of keeping things green, here are three easy ways to recycle with your feline in mind:

blog_egg carton1. Food Puzzle Egg Carton

Yes, it’s really that easy. Just take some of your cat’s favorite dry food and sprinkle it into an empty egg carton. It immediately becomes a food puzzle as your cat figures out how to get the food!

Food puzzles are a great way to stimulate your cat’s problem-solving skills while giving it an active way to obtain dinner. Food puzzles are a great way to have your cat burn a few extra calories while slowing down food intake to prevent vomiting.

blog_castle2. Cardboard Castle

Sure, your cat will most likely hop into a cardboard box without any alterations. But why not turn it into a more sophisticated kitty playground? By taping it closed and cutting out a couple doors and windows, it will add fun to playtime as your cat tries to grab at toys through the holes. Put a couple boxes together and you could have your very own cat jungle gym!

And when your cat is no longer interested or you need to clear out some space, it’s easy to recycle and make a new one.blog_scratcher

3. Home-made Scratching Post

Have a lot of leftover cardboard from the holidays? While this project takes a bit of time (several hours for the larger sized scratcher), it costs hardly anything to make and will last! Take a box such as an empty can tray (pictured) or go smaller with an empty tissue box. Carefully cut strips of cardboard (from discarded packaging or clean recycling) and glue them together with any type of non-toxic glue. Then add a dash of catnip and your cat will be happily scratching where its supposed to!

 

7 Warning Signs of Potential Animal Cruelty

Subtle indications that may indicate an animal is at risk

During Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month this April, we want to help the public better understand the importance of reporting suspected animal cruelty to local authorities.

While most members of the public recognize that punching, kicking, burning, choking, or hitting an animal with an object are acts of animal cruelty, there are some more subtle signs 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

See Something, Say Something

If you know or suspect animal cruelty, report concerns to your local authorities.  Learn more about how you can give a voice to the victims of animal cruelty: arlboston.org/take-action

 

Thank You Thursday: 60 Cats Spayed/Neutered at Fix A Feral Clinic

First Feral Cat Clinic of 2014

Clinic organizer and Boston shelter Manager, Marianne, was simply thrilled with the outcome of the clinic!

Clinic organizer and Boston shelter manager, Marianne, was simply thrilled with the outcome of the clinic!

We’d like to thank all of the volunteers and staff who helped with Sunday’s Feral Cat Clinic at our Boston shelter.

A total of 60 cats were spayed or neutered. It turned out that two of the cats were friendly strays and we were able to take them in to our Boston shelter. They should be available for adoption soon.

Our group of volunteers included 6 surgeons and a Tuft’s student and an additional 23 volunteers! Without all of them, our Feral Cat Clinics would not be possible.

We’d also like to thank Cask n’ Flagon for generously donating lunch for our volunteers to help get them through the long day!

Our Feral Cat Clinics are in their 5th year and are gaining momentum with each clinic. Great job everyone!

If you’re interested in becoming a trapper and helping TNR (trap/neuter/release) a feral cat community near you, please email feralcatinfo@arlboston.org today. We are always in need of more feral cat trappers.

Learn more about feral cats: arlboston.org/fix-a-feral

One of the cats at the clinic.

One of the cats at the clinic.

Lunch delivery!

Lunch delivery from Cask n’ Flagon !

 

Spay Waggin’ Adds Date for Dogs in Hyannis

April Spay Waggin’ Schedule is Now Available

Mickey

Due to popular demand, the Animal Rescue League’s Spay Waggin’ now has two scheduled dates in Hyannis - April 1 for cats and April 28 for dogs.

The mobile spay/neuter unit provides spay/neuter surgeries and other preventive healthcare for dog and cat parents in financial need on the South Shore and Cape Cod.

“Many people can not afford to spay/neuter their pets,” explained Cheryl T., shelter and community medicine program coordinator at the ARL.

“They love their pets and want to do what’s best for them, but need the kind of help provided by the Spay Waggin’ to keep them happy and healthy.”

Learn more about the Spay Waggin’

The April Spay Waggin’ schedule is now available online. Please call 1-877-590-SPAY(7729) or book online (cats only) and make an appointment for your pet today!

April Spay Waggin Schedule

To see the benefits of spay and neuter visit: arlboston.org/spay-neuter

 

Foster Parents Needed at Brewster Shelter

Kitten Season is Coming. Please Help the Brewster Shelter Prepare!

NapoleonKittenKitten season is the time of year when cats give birth, flooding the ARL’s shelters across Eastern, MA with litters.

Foster parents are a vital component of kitten season. They expand our reach outside of the animal shelter walls and help us take-in many more litters than would otherwise be possible.

The ARL’s Brewster animal shelter on Cape Cod is growing their foster program and needs more foster parents.

If you have room in your heart and home, you can help us expand our services and save more animals!

Becoming a foster parent is great for people who:

  • Have pets and have the capacity to care for other animals in their home
  • Don’t have pets, but love animals and want to have them in their home temporarily

To become a foster parent complete an application online and submit a one-time, non-refundable application fee. This is a donation to the Animal Rescue League of Boston and helps us with the processing of the applications.  We review all foster care applications to match people with the appropriate animal cases since there are animals with various foster care needs.

Click this link to apply today and join the ARL family: arlboston.org/foster

 

Happy Tail: Philbert Update, Happy at Home

Cat Saved from Illegal Trap Has Been Adopted!

01-28-14 Philbert Update Philbert Photo

Philbert at home.

Philbert was saved by the ARL’s Rescue Team from an illegal leg hold trap back in June and left with a constant reminder of his traumatic experience – the loss of his left front leg.

Read more about his incredible rescue.

His recovery was long and difficult, but thanks to a lot of TLC and a wonderful foster home he became available for adoption earlier this month and just last week he found his purrrfect match!

Not only did he gain a new human family, but he also has a new ARL brother named Sparrow. Thank you so much to his Philbert’s new family for opening their hearts and home to not one, but two special needs cats. Here’s an update from his new mom:

“Phil has made himself completely at home with us.  He and Sparrow, who is the same age and is also a neutered male, seemed interested in getting to know one another from the start. They do spat from time to time, but only over which one perceives the other is getting more attention!

01-28-14 Philbert Update Sparrow Photo

Sparrow

Phil is just a lovely, big, soft, warm pillow of a cat who loves to give (and receive!) head-butts and ear-rubs.

He and Sparrow enjoy going ‘out’ on the three-season porch in the morning after breakfast to watch the birds at the feeder.  He can keep up with Sparrow on his three legs when they go running through the house – and is remarkably graceful doing it -  but for the most part he prefers to lounge.

He likes to spend time with us in the morning and evening, and is content to sleep under or on top of the guestroom bed during the day.

He has made it part of his routine to put both our kids to bed in the evening, staying on their beds until they’re asleep.  He loves both the boys and they love him.  He met the family vet and seemed to love him, too (or at least, he certainly didn’t mind the exam)!

We’re happy that Phil has adopted us and is becoming a part of the family!” – Jennifer

Congrats to this happy family!

 

 

Happy Change a Pet’s Life Day

Adopt a Pet and Change a Life

“Saving one pet won’t change the world, but for that one pet the world will change forever.”

If you’re the parent of a rescue pet, you know the advantages of adopting from a shelter are infinite.  For those of you considering adopting from a shelter, we’d like to give you some more food for thought!

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.  Search the adoptable animals at all three of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) locations at arlboston.org/search-adoptables.

A 7-year-old neutered Poodle/Pekingnese mix, lil’ Max loves to sit in laps, play fetch, and spend time with human friends. Gotta love his smile!

Interestingly, you don’t always have to go to a breeder for a purebred pet.  Studies have shown that over 25% of pets available for adoption at shelters are purebred.  There are also numerous rescue groups that focus on a specific dog or cat breed.

At the ARL shelters, we have a variety of breeds, mixes, hair-lengths, and colors – every day we have a little something different!  Our furry canine friend Max (photo at top right), for instance, is a Poodle/Pekingnese mix currently staying at our Boston shelter. Fond of orange cats?  Tommy (photo at bottom right) could be your perfect match.

Our investment in the animals in our care includes learning their personalities and preferences, so that we can help you find the perfect match for your home and lifestyle.  For our dogs, we use the ARL’s Center for Shelter Dogs Match-Up II Shelter Rehoming program to thoroughly evaluate each dog and provide a fuller description of behavior.

A 4-year-old neutered male, Tommy is oh so handsome and oh so full of energy!

All adoptable animals at the ARL receive the following:

  • Health screening and veterinary examination
  • Spayed/Neutered
  • Vaccinations
  • Rabies vaccination for dogs, cats and ferrets
  • Microchip identification and registration
  • Heartworm test and preventative medication for dogs
  • Flea, tick and mite treatment
  • Deworming for intestinal parasites
  • Tag, collar, and leash or carrier

When you buy from a pet store or a breeder these cost are all additional expenses on top of the cost of the pet.

If you’re not looking to adopt a pet at this moment in time, you can help change a pet’s life by becoming a champion for animals.

 

5 Winter Pet Health and Safety Tips from the ARL

Winter storm reading that will help you keep pets happy and healthy

Many of us will look forward to spending some extra time with our pet companions tonight as we watch the snow fall outside.   With the coldest weeks of winter–and likely more snowfall–still ahead, why not spend some of that time boning up on winter pet health and safety tips!

The ARL recommends making five seasonal adjustments to your daily routines to keep pets happy and healthy during cold snaps and winter storms:

  1. Winterize outdoor accommodations.  If pets must stay outdoors, ensure he or she has adequate protection against the elements.  Veterinary experts agree a winter-friendly shelter should have three enclosed sides, stand off the ground, and contain generous amounts of bedding such as clean straw or hay.
  2. Watch the thermometer.  Like other New Englanders, many of our pets are conditioned to the cold weather.  Yet even for the winter-experienced animals, bring outdoor pets indoors if the temperature drops below 20 degrees.  Puppies, kittens, and short-haired pets should come indoors when the thermometer drops below 40 degrees.
  3. Check underneath the hood.  Cats love to warm up underneath cars and car hoods, leading to burns and other grave injuries when the car gets turned on suddenly.  Make a habit to pound on the hood of the car and give a visual check underneath your vehicle before you start it to make sure no one is taking a nap or basking in the heat from the engine.
  4. Stay alert around the fire.  Just like people, when they’re cold, pets gravitate to the heat.  If you have a fire in your fire place or wood stove, or turn on the space heater, make sure to pay attention to how close your pet gets to hot surfaces and areas to avoid serious burns.
  5. Pay attention to grooming and senior pet health.  A pet with a matted coat cannot keep him or herself warm!  Long-haired pets, especially during heavy periods of shedding, need extra help maintaining a healthy coat.  Senior pets also can have more pain from arthritis in the cold, so check with your veterinarian for suggestions for keeping your pet content.

For more helpful winter pet health and safety tips, visit arlboston.org/winterweather

 

Pet of the Week: Philbert is Looking for a Special Family

Cat Rescued in June, Now Waits for His Purrrfect Match

You probably remember reading about Philbert back in June when our Rescue Team saved him from an illegal leg-hold trap.

Read more about his incredible rescue.

Philbert lives with a very real reminder of that experience – his left front paw had to be amputated. He also tested positive for FIV and has a heart murmur. Here at the ARL we treat every animal as an individual and despite his health issues, we believe Philbert deserves to experience a family of his very own.

After time in a loving foster home, Philbert has become accustomed to his new body and is ready to find his forever family!

You can imagine that after everything he’s been through, Philbert is a shy boy, but this timid cat has an incredibly sweet side and wants nothing more than to love and to be loved. If you have room in your heart and home, please consider making Philbert a part of your life.

Learn more about Philbert.

If you think you’re the special person that Philbert is looking for, come meet him at our Boston shelter. Or if you know someone who’d make the purrfect match, please share his information via social media.

Photo: Amelia Hughes

Photo: Amelia Hughes

 

Thank You Thursday: Citizens Concerned for Cats

Keeping Community Cats Safe in Severe Weather

We were amazed by the outpouring of concerned citizens who called us and wrote on our Facebook page asking about how they could help stray cats during the last snowstorm.

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to people who actively care for feral cats. For safety reasons our Rescue Team cannot go out in severe storms and catch these stray cats.  There are a few things you can do to help keep community cats safe during terrible winter weather.

01-16-14 Cat shelterOur Intake and Special Placement Liaison, Alana, recommends bringing them indoors to a garage or basement if possible.  If that’s not possible, the ASPCA has put together a handy “how to” guide for how to make your own inexpensive cat shelter.

Simple foam cooler bins can be re-purposed into easy and inexpensive winter shelters for the community cats in your neighborhood.

It’s really as simple as it looks!

The foam cooler, with about two inches of thickness, is both waterproof and insulated. You can easily cut a doorway with a knife or box cutter.

A Rubbermaid bin is another good option.  Choose a double-insulated option and place weights in the bottom to make them sturdier.

View the complete “How-To” guide.