Happy Tail: Bruschi is Truly a Part of the Family

Update from Bruschi (Adopted 11/25/13)

Bruschi, his new fam,. staff and volunteers on the day he was adopted.

Bruschi, his new fam, staff ,and volunteers on the day he was adopted.

Happy Mutt Monday! Start your week off with a heartwarming update about a lovable dog named Bruschi.

When Bruschi came in to the Animal Rescue League in October of 2013, we knew he was special. This lovable big boy adored human attention and would do just about anything for a hug. He quickly became a staff and volunteer favorite and received that attention he so desperately craved!

It took a little over a month for Bruschi to find a home, but when he did, boy did he score big! He was adopted on November 25, 2013 by Lauren and Tom and had a heartfelt send-off. Since his adoption they’ve kept the ARL staff up-to-date with Bruschi’s daily life and progress.

Here’s their latest note:

“Hi ARL staff!

Bruschi is doing great – He’s truly a part of our family.  He is so happy the snow is melting finally, and he loves to play catch with tennis balls! He also loves to cuddle as you see [in the pictures]! He is so gentle and is a big baby. We love him and couldn’t be more grateful that we had the chance to adopt him! We will have to bring him in soon to visit!” - Lauren, Tom & Bruschi

Bruschi 7

The family out in the snow.

bruschi 1

Bruschi is all smiles.

We currently have several very friendly Pit Bull-type dogs available for adoption at our Boston shelter. View them online or stop by during adoption hours, Tuesday – Thursdfay 1p.m.-7p.m. and Friday – Sunday 1p.m.-4p.m.).


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


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!



An Adopter’s Animal Shelter Tradition

Shorty Collins Hill the First and His Story

08-27 Shorty2Every year on Shorty’s birthday, Cecilia likes to make a visit to the League to look at all of the little  kittens. She hopes that all of them will be just as lucky as her cat and will find loving homes of their own. When we recently learned of how Shorty came into Cecilia’s life and we knew that we simply had to share their story with our online community. Here’s what Cecilia had to say about Shorty:

“Shorty Collins Hill 1st was born on July 27, 2006. Shorty’s shelter name was Prince and he came from a litter of eight. There are a couple of things that are very different about Shorty, that not too many people know about. Shorty was returned to the League at three months old. The day that I saw him at the shelter I knew he was the kitten for me, however, someone was already interested in him. The person adopted him and his sister, but brought him back because they decided that they didn’t want him maybe because of his bob-tail, and the fact that his back legs were bow-legged.  My family got a call from one of the shelter agents who said that “the cat that we looked at was returned, and if we still wanted to adopt him, to come on over.”  So we did, but once we arrived, a little boy and his mother were already looking at the kitten. My heart was on the floor, I wanted that kitten so bad that I was about too cry.

08-27 ShortyI waited to see if the little boy and his mother were going to adopt the kitten, and thankfully for me, the lady told her son that maybe later they would get a kitten, but not right now. Once I heard that the kitten was available again, I was very happy, I said to one of the shelter agents, I am here and this little one is going home with me!

I took the little kitten and sat down with him in the meeting room, and we looked at each other like a mother looking at her child for the first time. He licked my nose and when I sat him in my lap, he crawled into my jacket pocket. Once we processed the paper work and he was officially ours, I asked my daughter what she wanted to name him? She said “Collins” mommy, we’ll name him after one of the men from the TV Show “Fab-Five.” Shorty became his first name, and we gave him my daughters last name, “Hill.” So, he become Shorty Collins Hill 1st.  (The reason why we said the 1st is because he’s neutered, and that means no babies from him, sorry!)

Shorty turned seven this year and he has grown up to be a very big cat, in good shape, and every time it’s his birthday I like to take a visit to the A.R.L.” -  Cecilia

If you’re thinking about adding a new cat to your family, please adopt from the League. We have many kittens and adult cats waiting for loving homes. If you adopt on or before August 31, you’ll be helping us reach our goal of finding homes for 1200 cats and dogs by August 31.

Senior ARL Alums, Puff and Frances, Make A Move

Puff & Frances

Puff & Frances

Senior cats make amazing pets. Just ask Robyn who adopted Puff and Frances from the Animal Rescue League of Boston in December of 2010. Both cats were 12-years-old at the time of their adoption. The good-looking duo recently moved to Arlington, Virginia. They handled the move in stride and have settled into their new home without a hitch. Robyn said that “both [cats] are extremely affectionate and very well-behaved (for the most part) and I am so lucky to have them.” These two kitties were very popular among staff and volunteers during their time here at our Boston Adoption Center and we all loved them. We are so happy to see that they have such an awesome home. Puff and Frances are super affectionate and love their human companion they have learned to share Robyn, i.e. Puff sleeps with her at night, and Frances gets to lie in Robyn’s lap when she’s on the couch watching TV! These fabulous felines must be living the good life, because they don’t look a day over 5! Wishing Puff, Frances and Robyn all the best in 2013!



If you’re interested in adopting a senior cat 12-year-old Mittens and 10-year-old Honey are waiting for their forever homes at our Cape Cod shelter in Brewster. The Adoption Center is open Tuesday-Sunday.

Love reading about cats and want to read more about them? Check-out our other Feline Focus stories:

Elsie Reminds Us That Happy Endings Do Exist

Elsie & her dad in our Boston lobby.

Elsie & her dad in our Boston lobby.

Remember Elsie Maude, the sickly, stray cat that was found shivering in the bitter cold in February of 2011? The poor girl was so badly frost bitten that she lost both ears and her tail. Yet hers is a touching story of survival. We were delighted that lovely Elsie and her new owner, a North Andover resident, stopped by the Animal Rescue League of Boston yesterday to pay us a little visit and spread some holiday cheer. Stories like this remind us all that happy endings do exist.

Back in 2011 you helped the League rescue, shelter and care for Elsie. Your donations provided the resources our rescue team needed to pick her up, for our shelter veterinarian to care for her and your support helped Elsie Maude find her forever home.

Her adopted dad the following to say about her:

“Elsie is doing really well. She is the sweetest cat I’ve ever had – and I’ve had some very nice, sweet and gentle cats over the years. I have never had a cat that likes people so much – she can’t get enough attention.  She will run right up to someone new, flop over on her back and wait for the belly rub. I couldn’t be happier and judging from Elsie’s behavior, I think she feels the same way.”

Thanks to your support we were able to rescue, shelter and care for Elsie. Please help us continue to be there for animals in need.

Elsie explores our lobby!

Elsie explores our lobby!

Feline Focus: So Glad I Adopted An Adult Cat



Remember Kelly the 5-year-old female cat from Dedham who was featured on our blog and adopted shortly after? Well, her new dad, Tim, recently sent us an email with an update on her progress. The most important thing to take away from his message? “For anyone who is thinking that adopting an adult cat isn’t a good idea: … Kelly is wonderful and I’m so glad I adopted her rather than a kitten.

Tim, thank you so much for updating us on Kelly’s progress. We are so thankful for amazing adopters like you!  You can read Tim’s entire update below:

“First – thank you to all the staff at the Dedham shelter. You are all great and I really appreciate your help in adopting Kelly.

‘Kelly’ (I do want to give her a non-shelter name) is doing great. She started purring as soon as she got home, and has been purring regularly since. She has been slowly opening up and becoming a very affectionate cat, and has become more playful each day. She greets me at the door when I get home, excited to see me and get attention. She also excitedly greets all my guests at the door, introduces herself and gets a good scratch from each new entry.

She’s the perfect kitty for me. She came with a little attitude – likely to nip or swat when she was done with getting pat. But I found that she’s usually trying to move from pat to play. She stopped with the nipping (but the swatting is there – and only playful) and now I can tell when she has had enough pat and I need to pull out the ‘stick’ toy and play with her (stick being mouse on cord attached to stick) – she’s a lot of fun to play with.

Currently, she’s snoring fiercely on a windowsill behind me where she was looking out at the neighborhood. I expect as soon as I move from my office nook she will follow me to the sofa and curl up against me as I watch a movie.

Again thank you very much for helping me adopt this wonderful kitty.

If I could ask one more thing: I want to give her a new name (post shelter) and if you have any suggestions I’d appreciate it. I just call her ‘Kitteh!’ now, but would like to find something else that would suit her.

Oh – last – for anyone who is thinking that adopting an adult cat isn’t a good idea: ………… Kelly is wonderful and I’m so glad I adopted her rather than a kitten.” – Tim

Cat lovers, don’t forget to order an ornament for your beloved feline for our Holiday Tree for Pets!heart-example-with-cat2

An October Happy Tail: Joanie

Joanie sporting her new sweater.

As we continue to celebrate Adopt-A-Dog-Month, we bring you another wonderful “Happy Tail,” today we share an update about Joanie.

Joanie, an adorable Rottweiler dog, was adopted from the Animal Rescue League of Boston on April 28, 2012 at age 8. She was a part of a law enforcement case and her foster parent, Mary, fell in love with this sweet pup and ended up adopting her.

Here’s what Joanie’s mom had to say about her.

She is doing great, and everyone who meets her loves her. Its hilarious. I’ll be sitting outside in any public place, and people passing by will see her from the back and edge away a little. She is pretty big, after all. But as soon as they see her face, every single person just has to pet her! I watch people’s faces, and I can always see the moment when they realize how cute an old Rottie can be. And once they start petting her, and she gives them her patented Joanie look that tells them they are her new favorite person in the world, they forget about being in a hurry and pet her as long as they can. Our dogsitter even said her next dog will be an old Rottie, and the groomers gushed about her last weekend.

All the shelter dogs I have had have been wonderful, and whenever anyone tells me they are thinking of getting a dog, I recommend an adult shelter dog. They really are the best!” – Mary P.

Mary, thanks for sharing Joanie’s “Happy Tail” with us. We love that you adopted an adult dog! May you have many more happy years together.

A Happy Birthday Tail

Happy B-Day, Hank!

The National Adopt-A-Dog-Month celebration continues! We’d like to start today’s post with a birthday wish….


Hank, formerly known as Tom Hanks, was adopted on April 25th, 2012, by Patrick (pictured with Hank, below).

Hank was brought to the Animal Rescue League of Boston as a puppy, because his original owner couldn’t provide him with the love he needed and thought it would be best to surrender him to the League, so that Hank could have a better life. Now, after six months with his new owner, Hank is definitely living the life. Pit bull dogs and pit-mix dogs tend to stay at our shelter the longest of any breed and so we are always particularly thrilled when they find a good home.

Patrick & Hank

When we asked Patrick how Hank has changed his life, here’s what he had to say, “‘we saved each other. Hank came into my life during a move on my own in the city. His companionship and loyalty made the move effortless and Hank and I quickly fell in love. Having Hank in my life really grounded me, it made me get on a schedule and grow up a bit more. Lastly, having a 60 lb pit mix puppy in a studio apartment teaches you a lot of patience!”

When Hank arrived at the League he was still a puppy, and according to Patrick, he has grown up a lot since his adoption, but he’s still full of energy and loves to cuddle. As you can see from his picture, Hank has adapted to Patrick’s city lifestyle and has become a total city dog. Some of Hank’s favorite activities include fetch at the park (but only with basketballs and soccer balls), riding the T into the city, and morning walks.

Here’s what Patrick had to say about his adoption experience with the ARL of Boston.

“I really want to thank the staff for all of the hard and amazing work they do! I know many different hands and many milk bones made Hank into the handsome boy he is today. He was well trained from the day we left the shelter, and it is apparent how much each member of the team at the ARL of Boston had something to do with that. I get stopped every day on the street to be told what a beautiful and great dog Hank is, and I am so happy to have him in my life.”

We want to thank you, Patrick, for giving Hank such a good home and for making him a priority in your life.

From all of us here at the League, Happy Birthday Hank, and here’s to many, many more!

“Who’s been here the longest?”

Mystic and her new dad.

Adoptions are sweet. But some are just a bit sweeter than others.

When 4-year-old Mystic came to the shelter in June, her kennel card was printed out with the words “Owner Died.”  It’s a small phrase that can imply a big trauma for an animal. We don’t know much about Mystic’s previous life. What we do know for sure is that she’d been living in the only home she’d ever known and now it was gone.

You know those cats who paw through the bars of their cages, crying for attention? Mystic was not one of them. Or how about those cats who, despite being in a strange environment, love to be snuggled?  She wasn’t one of them either. Add in the fact that she was seriously overweight and you get a cat who was not flying out the shelter door.

Despite the care of staff and volunteers, the stress of shelter life can make cats vulnerable to illness and Mystic was no exception. In her case, an infection progressed to the point that her eye had to be removed. It seemed that Mystic just couldn’t catch a break.

“Who’s been here the longest?” That’s what Jayson Stohl asked one of our shelter agents recently. Bells should go off and confetti should drop from the ceiling when we hear that question. In this case, our staff member just took Jayson to see Mystic.

What motivated Jayson to ask that question?  “I feel better taking a castaway, a non-typical cat. They deserve a shot.” Two years ago, he adopted Maggie, a nine-year-old cat who was missing most of her teeth and hid at the back of her cage. Jayson looked beyond all that.  “Even if a cat is shy and withdrawn at the shelter, it’s still a great cat.”

In fact, Jayson says Maggie blossomed into a playful, loving animal who followed him around the house and greeted visitors at the door. Sadly, she recently passed away. But despite this loss, Jayson was ready to bring another cat into his life.

He admits he was a bit surprised when he saw just how heavy Mystic was. Then, he says, he chuckled and thought, “This is right up my alley. I knew right away I’d adopt her.”

So, after more than three months at the shelter, Mystic finally went home. And apparently she was all for the move. She slept on Jayson’s bed that first night and often asks him for attention. “And she’s been showing a surprising degree of athleticism.” This includes relocating toy mice from the 3rd floor to the basement, for reasons known only to Mystic. (And yes, she’s on a weight-loss plan!)

Jayson encourages anyone looking to adopt a cat to consider one that’s been overlooked. As he puts it, “I’m two for two!”