“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.
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.
They’re Playing Through the Day and Sleeping Through the Night
We’ve promised to give you regular updates on the Middleboro Puppies who were rescued during a drug and weapons raid on a home in Middleboro, MA back on October 3, so here’s a little something on how they’re doing. They’ve been in the care of ARL foster parents for almost a month now and are making enormous progress. One of our foster parents shared this little tidbit about her foster pups whom she has lovingly named Franny and Ollie.
“Franny is much smaller than her brother…but she is very rambunctious and usually in charge. She likes to chat (and has the cutest little bark) and she also likes to follow us everywhere and cuddle up on your lap the minute you sit down. She loves food and she loves playing hard and napping hard with her brother.
Ollie is just the sweetest puppy. His beautiful eyes just melt your heart. He is very gentle and calm for a puppy (I don’t think that we have ever heard him bark) and he is SO interested in people…and cats. He is also very smart…very good with the food puzzles.
They both sleep through the night very well. They love to play with sticks and chase each other in circles in our backyard. It’s amazing in three weeks how much they have grown and thrived from the condition they were in when rescued. It really makes Jon and I grateful for all the components of the League that make outcomes like this possible. They are amazing little pups that are going to make wonderful companions and bring immense joy to their future adopters!” ~ Amelia Hughes
When the puppies arrived at the ARL they were in terrible condition. All the the puppies were emaciated and dehydrated, covered in feces and riddled with worms. You can imagine how grateful we are to have a network of foster parents who care for these little guys and gals until they are healthy and strong enough to be adopted. The puppies still have a way to go and are not yet available for adoption, but we’ll let you know as soon as they are!
Lil’ Nugget with his foster dad, before leaving for the Adoption Center. Credit Maria L. Uribe
For the last four weeks we’ve been following the progress of Lil’ Nugget in his foster home. Lil’ Nugget is a kitten who was surrendered to the Animal Rescue League of Boston back in early January and was too young and sick to be placed on the adoption floor immediately. He has spent the last four weeks in the home of Maria and her husband, who have nursed him back to health and helped him grow into a healthy and social kitten!
Last Friday Maria brought Lil’ Nugget in for a check-up and vaccines. He had made such excellent progress that after his exam he was approved for adoption early! He was placed on the adoption floor on Saturday and was adopted within minutes of the shelter opening! Good luck Lil’ Nugget! We are so glad that we got to follow you on your journey as a foster kitten!