October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog-Month
Homeless dogs need your help. If you’re thinking about getting a dog, then please consider adopting. There are numerous benefits to adopting a dog, but most importantly, when you adopt 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.
Here at the Animal Rescue League of Boston we’re going to spend this month honoring all of our wonderful, adoptable shelter dogs and offering canine tips throughout the month. Stay tuned for important information regarding canine health, grooming, exercise, training and nutrition. In addition to sharing helpful tips, we’ll also be tweeting some incredibly touching quotes and photos.
If you’re currently not in a position to adopt a dog, but would still like to help, there are plenty of ways that you can help shelter dogs.
- Spread the word. Talk with your family and friends about the importance of supporting local animals shelters and adopting pets.
- Follow your local animal shelter on Twitter and retweet stories by them.Use the hashtag #SaveDogs. You can share the stories of shelter animals on Facebook and dedicate your Facebook status to an adoptable dog. Social media is a powerful tool and you can use it to help homeless animals.
- If you’ve adopted a dog, write an op-ed about your experience and share your story with your local newspaper.
- Become a volunteer or foster parent. We’re currently in need of volunteers at our Dedham location.
- Donate to your local animal shelter. Every dollar makes a difference and no contribution is ever too small.
Five very special guests at our Boston shelter can all use your help.
Photo Credit: Maria L. Uribe
As reported in the MetroWest Daily News today, Marlborough Animal Control removed five Maltese dogs from the home where they were staying due to unsanitary conditions.
The dogs were filthy and appeared thin and dehydrated, so were taken to Foster Hospital for Small Animals at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine for evaluation. Because their fur was so matted and caked in urine and feces, they had to be shaved before they were returned to Marlborough Animal Control.
Later in the week, the dogs were delivered to us for continued care and treatment of a wide range of medical issues.
Everything we do for these dogs—from rescue to shelter and veterinary services—is with one goal in mind: to help them get better and find loving homes. And it’s only through the generosity of supporters like you that we can provide this kind of comprehensive assistance to animals in need.
Please visit arlboston.kintera.org/2013maltese or click the button below to make a donation to help us pay for the care and treatment of these dogs and others like them.
In spite of the terrible living conditions from where they came just a short time ago, all the members of this Fab Five are doing amazingly well—sweet as can be and eager for love and attention.
They do all have medical concerns that will require veterinary attention and monitoring in the future, but as of this morning are all available for adoption!
Visit arlboston.org/boston-shelter for more information and the address of our Boston shelter.
Photo Credit: Maria L. Uribe
Photo Credit: Maria L. Uribe
Photo Credit: Maria L. Uribe
“Pawing” it Forward Seems to be a Trend Here at the League
Since we started promoting our fee waived cat adoptions back in July, many adopters who took home a fee-waived cat have chosen to pay it forward and sponsor the adoption fee of another cat. Thanks to all of those people, many of our long term cats have been able to find loving homes. We have been so touched by this outpouring of kindness from our adopters and donors. Thank you for caring so much about the other animals.
“Take Me Home Today” our final, shelter-wide, adoption event of the summer will be the last push to reach our adoption goal by August 31. Please help us empty our shelter by sponsoring a portion of a cat or dog’s adoption fee.
Donating $100 may mean that an animal goes home thanks to you! If you’ve ever adopted an animal, you understand the kind of love we are talking about.
Please “paw” it forward and help empty our shelter on August 31, 2013! By sponsoring a portion of an animal’s adoption fee you are not only helping that animal, but also helping us reach that 1200 in 12 weeks goal! You have until Friday, August 30 to make your donation.
PAW it Forward NOW
Center for Shelter Dogs Survey on Shelter Dog Photos
Help us improve how we feature our adoptable dogs! Our Center for Shelter Dogs would like your help reviewing a photo of a former shelter dog (who has since found a home) and answering some questions about the photo and the dog. All responses are anonymous and confidential and it only takes 10 minutes. Must be 18 years or older. Click the link to get started! https://www.arlbsurveys.com/survey/html.pro?ID=85
The Center for Shelter Dogs, a program of the Animal Rescue League of Boston, is holding its 5th annual Summer Institute this week, June 10-13, 2013 at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.
The Summer Institute is a unique, four-day training opportunity for animal care professionals whose job involves dog intake, behavior evaluation, training, and adoption.
Throughout the first two days, attendees will learn about Match-Up II Online, the groundbreaking online version of the Match-Up II Shelter Dog Rehoming Program. The program is a multi-part system that incorporates information from a dog’s behavioral history, behavior evaluation, and behavior in a shelter, in order to get a comprehensive view of a dog’s individual needs. Through presentations and hands-on learning led by Dr. Amy Marder, attendees will learn how their shelters are able to gather more information about a dog’s personality and use the program to make more successful dog-adopter matches.
Dr. Sheila D’Arpino will focus on implementing enrichment and training techniques to improve the lives of shelter dogs during the remaining two days of the Summer Institute. The Center for Shelter Dogs’ behavior team will demonstrate treatment of common shelter dog behavior issues such as jumpy mouthy and food aggressive behaviors. Attendees will also observe a shelter dog playgroup, learn about special adoptions, and participate in fun demonstrations, such as clicker-training.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston is proud to support animal sheltering organizations care for and re-home shelter dogs through the programs and services provided by the Center for Shelter Dogs. Established through the generous support of the Stanton Foundation, the Center for Shelter Dogs provides the animal sheltering community with best practices, training, and the resources needed to improve the welfare of shelter dogs and to help them find the most suitable homes. Because every dog is different.
We can’t believe that the ASPCA Rachael Ray 100k Challenge Kick-off weekend is only one week away!
To kick-off the ASPCA Rachael Ray Challenge, we’re extending adoption hours at all three of our locations! Please join us on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2 to adopt your new furry friend! See extended adoption hours for all three of our shelters below. Remember we need YOUR help to find homes for 1200 animals in 12 weeks!
• Boston: Sat., 6/1 & Sun., 6/2 from 11:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. AND Mon, 6/3 from 1:00 to 4:00p.m.
• Dedham: Sat., 6/1 & Sun., 6/2 from 11:00a.m. to 7:30p.m.
• Brewster: Sat., 6/1 and Sun., 6/2 from 10:00a.m. to 4:00p.m.
Our Boston shelter will be giving away beautiful hand-made quilts (*while supplies last), donated by some amazing students and instructors from the Brandeis theatre department with each cat adoption. That way our kitties already have a bed when they go home with you!
Angel models on one of the quilts we’ll be giving away with *each adopted cat!
Time for some rest and relaxation for our shelter dogs…
People all over the world frequent spas and salons searching for ways to relax. One of the most popular methods for finding calm is by having a massage. Letting your body relax while someone else works all the stress of your day away has a major impact on our wellbeing and mental state. So if it works for us, why not dogs too? Canine massage is a growing industry and it can provide relief to older, arthritic dogs, as well as, our shelter dogs.
This past week, canine massage came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Two former volunteers, Julie Polvinen and Amy Campbell, returned to the League after receiving their certification in Small Animal Massage to teach the shelter staff and our dog volunteers how to use this tool to benefit our shelter dogs. The shelter can be a scary place for dogs and can create tension and anxiety. Now our staff and volunteers can use massage to help them adjust and feel more comfortable during their stay with us. Massage can benefit any dog that accepts the handling, but it is important to receive instruction before attempting it at home as dog muscles are very sensitive.
Even though massage will not be appropriate for every dog, it sure is fun to take some time out of our day to give a little R & R to our shelter dogs and see how calm and happy their are after! Thank you, Julie and Amy!
Reese Lally & Jennifer Keefe with Jerry, the resident corn snake at the Dedham shelter.
Just before Christmas, 2012, 10 year-old Reese Lally, had asked her mom how she could help dogs. They approached their neighbor Jennifer Keefe, the proud mom of a shelter dog and asked for some advice on the best way to raise funds for an animal shelter. After some brainstorming, it was decided that since Reese likes to bake and make crafts, she could make chocolate covered pretzels and paw print pins that could be sold to friends and family. With a little help from her mom and Jennifer, Reese was able to raise $106.85 which she recently donated to the Dedham shelter of the Animal Rescue League of Boston.
Below is the photo of a few of the fabulous pins that Reese made and her donation. Thank you, Reese, for helping animals in need! Keep up the great work!
Photo Credit: Maria L. Uribe
It’s been a great start to the week for some of our long time shelter dogs, both Gwen Stefani and Clooney went home this week. Maybe Bridget is next?
Bridget has been at our Boston shelter since November, 2012 – the longest of any of our current shelter dogs! Please pass this along to your friends and help her find get adopted! Bridget is a gorgeous and very playful 1 year old female German Shepherd mix. She lived with children in her previous home, but needs a home without cats or small animals. She found her way to the League, because her owner could not provide for her energy. Bridget knows some basic cues such as sit, down, give paw and responds very well to all of them. She continues to learn more cues and tricks through our shelter classes, like to go into a crate and stay and come when called. Bridget enjoys playing with other dogs during our daily playgroups and also enjoys some quiet time in an office while chewing on a bone.
Bridget is very sweet and affectionate and she’s a staff favorite, so we know for sure that she will steal your heart too! For more info about Bridget you can call our Boston shelter at 617.226.5602 or stop by to meet her! You can also donate to help us care for Bridget and other animals like her!
So you’ve adopted a new dog and he’s coming home with you this afternoon. What next? We have some advice from Donna Iovanni , CPDT Behavior Counselor at the Animal Rescue League of Boston about how to welcome your new adopted dog into your home.
Before You Bring Your Dog Home:
- Gather Needed Supplies - Leash, Collar, ID Tag, Crate or Gates(if needed), Bed, Bowls, Food, Treats, Toys, Grooming Supplies, Waste Bags, Enzymatic Cleaner.
- Dog-Proof your house by looking for and removing hazardous items and valuable items that the dog could chew.
- Setup your house for the dog’s arrival. Determine where the dog’s crate, bed, and bowls will be placed. Decide where food, treats, and supplies will be stored. Determine the house rules for the dog and make sure all family members know what they are.
- Decide what the dog’s schedule will be for walks, play, training, feeding, and potty time and who will be responsible.
The First Day:
- Determine ahead of time where the dog will ride on the way home. It’s best to have two people if possible; one to drive and the other to pay attention to the dog. Bring towels just in case the dog gets car sick.
- Bring the dog straight home – try not to run errands on the way.
- No welcome-home parties. Limit/discourage visitors for the first few days so that your new dog isn’t overwhelmed.
- When you arrive home let the dog sniff around the yard or outdoor area near your home on a leash. Bring your dog to your designated potty spot and reward the dog with a treat for going there.
- Introduce your dog to your family members outside, one at a time. Keep it calm and low-key. Let the dog be the one to approach, sniff and drive the interaction. Offering a treat can help the dog to associate family members with good things(food!). No hugging, kissing, picking up, staring at, or patting on the top of the head during the initial introduction – these things can be scary for some dogs.
- Stay close to home initially. No major excursions. You need to learn your new dog’s behavior before you can predict how it will respond to different stimulus. Establish a walk routine in an area you are familiar with. Structured play in the yard is also a good form of exercise, bonding, and training.
- Bring your dog into the house on a leash and give it a tour of the house. Try keeping the mood calm and relaxed and redirect any chewing or grabbing of objects with a “leave-it” and offering an appropriate toy.
- Bring your new dog outside often. Dogs don’t generalize as well as we do, so even though your dog may have been house trained in its previous home, your dog needs to learn your house rules, which includes a house training refresher.
- Make sure your new dog gets ample “quiet time” so that your dog can acclimate to the new surroundings. Be observant of the dog’s responses and go at the dog’s pace.
- If you have a resident dog(s), have the initial meeting outside (one dog at a time if you have several). Don’t rush it. Keep the leashes loose with no tension. Make sure they meet in a food-free, toy-free zone. Don’t leave them alone together until you are absolutely sure it is safe to do so. Watch and manage all interactions between the dogs initially. When walking the dogs a different person should walk each dog.
- If you have a resident cat(s), keep the cat secure until you know how the dog will react to it. Use doors, gates, and leashes to prevent contact initially. Don’t give the dog the opportunity to chase the cat. Make sure the cat has escape options. Keep initial encounters brief. Manage all interactions.
Establish Daily Routines:
- Sleeping-Initially the crate or bed should be in the room you would like the dog to sleep in eventually. The area should be safe, dog-proofed, easily cleaned, cozy and quiet, with familiar scents. Don’t put your new dog in an uninhabited area like the garage or basement.
- Feeding-Check with your vet about what the recommended food and amounts should be for your dog based on breed, size, age, activity level, and health. If possible, feed two smaller meals per day rather than one large meal. You may need to reduce the meal size to allow for treats during training. Make sure the dogs food dish is in a safe, out of the way area.
- Walks – Keep the walks short at first (5-10 minutes) until you get to know your new dog’s behavior and how it responds to different stimuli. Keep to relatively quiet places at first. Avoid interaction with other dogs and unfamiliar people until you and your dog are comfortable.
- Chew Toys/Interactive Toys – Use of the crate and appropriate toys are great ways to keep your new dog out of trouble. Management of your dog and the environment prevents problem behaviors. Chew toys are a great way to direct your dog’s attention to appropriate toys, and away from objects that you don’t want your dog to destroy. Interactive toys help your dog to use its mind and tire them out, mentally. With a new dog, avoid rough and tumble, slapping, wrestling, and chase games when playing with your dog.
- Prevent separation anxiety – Use the crate and a toy in combination with leaving for short periods and coming back several times a day, starting with your first day with your new dog. Don’t make a big fuss of coming or going.
Patience- have patience with your new dog’s behavior, level of training, and the time it takes to establish a bond with you. Give your new dog time and space to adjust. Commit time the first few days to get to know your dog’s habits and personality. Establish a routine for the dog and balance interaction and down-time. This is a period of trust-building, so don’t scare or yell at the dog or try to force close contact. Watch your dog’s postures and expressions. Learn to read him. It may take even up to several months for you to get to know your dog’s true nature. And don’t forget, your new dog is trying to do the same with you!
Training- physical and mental stimulation are necessary parts of your dog’s well-being. Training helps your dog settle into a new home, teaches your dog how to fit in to a new family, and strengthens the relationship between you and the dog. Once your dog has settled in and you are familiar with your dog’s responses, take a positive reinforcement style training class(avoid dominance-based methods!). You can sign up for humane dog training classes at the Animal Rescue League’s Boston or Dedham’s Branches.
Last: Remember to manage your dog’s environment so that you set him up to succeed. Be proactive, not reactive. In other words, prevent inappropriate behavior from happening, and then you won’t have to correct it.