ARL Closings for Wednesday, February 5
It looks like another snowstorm is making its way to New England and we want to ensure that our staff and animals are kept safe and warm.
On Wednesday, February 5 our Boston and Dedham shelters will be closed to the public. Even though we’re closed to the public an amazing group of dedicated staff and volunteers will be here to care for the animals.
The Brewster shelter will remain open during normal business hours.
Spay Waggin’ will not be out on the road.
Boston Veterinary Care will have a late start and will be open from 2-7P.M.
Take care and enjoy your snow day everyone!
Visit arlboston.org/winterweather for information and tips on how to keep your pet safe during a snowstorm.
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.
Our 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.
Dr. Schettino’s Answers to Pet Health Questions from Yesterday’s Twitter Chat
Thank you to all who participated in and submitted questions to yesterday’s twitter chat with the ARL’s Director of Veterinary Medical Services, Dr. Edward Schettino.
In cased you missed it, you can see a transcript of the conversation below. We’ll be organizing another twitter chat at the end of February about spay/neuter, so stay-tuned!
Introduction: @ARLBoston: Hi everyone. Our Winter #PetHealth Twitter chat starts NOW! #ARLAskaVet
Q:@pawspluspals: @ARLBoston #ARLAskaVet Should dogs always wear doggie boots/booties when they go walking on snow/ice?
A: Dr.Schettino: Doggie boots help protect your companion’s pads from salt and ice so depending on location they can be helpful. #ARLAskaVet
A: however, some dogs may not like them #ARLAskaVet
Q: @ubergirl4: My cats shed a lot during the winter and get indigestion from hairballs. What should I give them to help?” #ARLAskaVet
A: You should give them love and affection by grooming them on a regular basis. This will help reduce shedding! #ARLAskaVet
Q: @Dobrska: How do I remove sap from my pet’s fur? #ARLAskaVet
A: The best way to remove sap is to use some type of cooking oil (Olive oil ..) and gently rub into the sap. #ARLAskaVet
A: Once the sap is lose you then can use a liquid dishwashing detergent to wash out the oil. Problem solved!! #ARLAskaVet
Q: Do dogs need flea/tick treatment in the winter if they rarely interact with other dogs?
A: Yes! Fleas can live inside during the winter months. Year round protection is very important. #ARLAskaVet
A: And depending on the temperature outside and your location … ticks can still be a nuisance during the winter months. #ARLAskaVet
Q: @MRegan102205: #arlaskavet – If someone has an indoor/outdoor cat, when is it too cold for the cat to remain outside?”
A: When the temperature starts to dip below freezing you need to be very careful with outdoor pets. #ARLAskaVet
A: You need to keep a careful eye on your cat when they are outside. They will let you know when it is too cold. #ARLAskaVet
A: If it is too cold for you … your cat is probably cold as well! Be very careful and monitor your cat carefully. #ARLAskaVet
Q: What is the longest a pet should be outside when the temperature is below 32F? #ARLAskaVet
Some pets love the cold weather and can spend hours outside in the snow and cold. However, you need to keep a watchful eye #ARLAskaVet
on your pet and when they show signs of cold: holding up their paws, shivering and becoming less active #ARLAskaVet
Q: @BostonDailyNews: Can animals get frostbite? #ARLAskaVet #Boston cc:@ARLDrS
A: Yes! Usually on their paw pads, the tip of the tail and the margins of the ears. #ARLAskaVet #Boston
Q: Cats seem to eat plants frequently during the winter. Why and is this a cause for concern? #ARLAskaVet #Boston cc:@ARLDrS
A: You are either home more often or you have moved your plants inside for the winter months. #ARLAskaVet #Boston
A: It is vital that you are familiar with what type of houseplants you have and their degree of toxicity! #ARLAskaVet #Boston
Q: @AlyssaKane: @ARLBoston @ARLDrS Should I vaccinate my dog for lepto and canine flu? I’m not sure if I should be worried about these illnesses #ARLAskaVet
A: It all depends on the lifestyle of your dog. You should have this conversation with your local veterinarian.
Q: @CamillaRFox: @ARLBoston @ARLDrS #ARLAskaVet Any winter exercise tips for large dog whose arthritis lets him swim, but little else?
A: You can find a canine physical therapist who generally have underwater treadmills that you can use.
Q: @norwoodsworld:@ARLBoston @ARLDrS what’s the difference between kennel cough and canine flu? #ARLAskaVet
A: Great tweet! They both have similar symptoms but are very different – canine flu generally contd #ARLAskaVet
A: … is more severe. You should speak with your regular veterinarian regarding risks of each. #ARLAskaVet
Q: When should a dog wear a coat? #ARLAskaVet
A: It all depends on the dog. If you feel your dog is uncomfortable in the cold, feel free to try a warm winter coat.
A: Generally dogs lose heat through their paws, ears and respiratory tract.
Don’t Miss the Twitter Chat with Dr. Schettino on January 14
Love it or hate it, winter is here. We all prepare the best we can to endure the plummeting temperatures, snow, and ice. Making sure our pets stay happy and healthy in the cold should top the list of winter weather preparations.
The ARL’s Director of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Schettino, will be holding a Twitter Chat on Tuesday, January 14 from 12:30-1 p.m. to answer your questions about winter pet health and safety.
To be a part of the conversation, follow the ARL on Twitter (@arlboston) and submit your questions using the hashtag #ARLAskaVet.
Here are just a few questions that we had for him… and he provided some really helpful answers, so if you have a question you want to ask, just submit it on Twitter in advance or real time using the hashtag #ARLAskaVet.
Q: When should a dog wear a coat?
A: It all depends on the dog. Some dogs, large or small, love to spend time outdoors in many weather conditions. Typically your dog will let you know what weather conditions they are comfortable with and how much cold they can tolerate. Signs of cold in your four-legged companion are shivering, holding up their paws, and generally acting in discomfort. If you feel your dog is uncomfortable, feel free to try a warm winter coat, however you cannot assume that this will keep them warm enough. It is still key to keep a close eye on them for signs of cold. If your dog is acclimated to the winter, a coat should not be unnecessary. However, a fashionable coat never harmed anyone or any dog!
Q: What is the longest a pet should be outside when the temperature is below 320F?
A: It all depends on the dog and how much below 32oF. Some dogs (and people) love the cold weather and snow and can spend hours outside, while other dogs (and people) would rather travel to the Caribbean and wait out the long winter months. When it gets below 10oF it is best to limit the time outside for both the human and the dog. Keep a very watchful eye on your dog; signs of cold are holding up their paws, shivering and becoming less active. If these signs are detected it is best to bring your companion inside to warm up. If your dog has never experienced the cold weather do not leave him/her outside unattended. The majority of dogs will let the owner know when they are done!
Q: Cats seem to eat plants frequently during the winter. Why and is this a cause for concern?
A: It may seem that your cat is eating plants more frequently during the winter months, but this is generally not the case. More than likely either you are home more and are seeing your feline friend nibble on your plants more often, or you have moved your outdoor plants inside for the winter, providing a new buffet for your kitty. It is vital that you are familiar with what types of houseplants you have and to determine their degree of toxicity. Some plants such as lilies are fatal to cats. A great reference is the ASPCA’s list of Toxic and Non-toxic plants (http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants).
Protect Your Pup from the Winter Weather
Winter is upon us and with it comes snow and freezing weather. Just as people need to keep active, healthy, and—of course—warm in during these colder months, dogs need extra help as well.
To protect your pup in winter weather….
Keep your dog on leash in the snow and ice. Dogs can easily lose their scent in the snow, so never let your dog off-leash during a snowstorm, or when there’s ice or snow on the ground. If you’re walking near “frozen” ponds, lakes, or streams, remember ice is not always uniformly thick or stable, and your pup could fall through into frigid water if he or she is allowed to explore off-leash.
Wipe your dog’s paws AND stomach when he’s been outside in the snow or sleet. Sidewalks are often treated with rock salt, antifreeze, and other dangerous chemicals. Not only are these bad for your pet’s paws, but if ingested these chemicals are often poisonous. Make sure your pet does not lick his paws or stomach before you’ve wiped them down.
Prepare your pup for the elements. If your dog typically has a longer coat, let it grow for the winter. A longer coat provides more warmth and protection from colder temperatures. If your dog has a short coat, make sure to get him a coat or a sweater. Just like you, he’ll enjoy the outdoors much more if he isn’t shivering.
Don’t leave your pet alone in a car during cold weather. Many dogs love a car ride to their favorite park or play area, just remember the warm temperatures inside your vehicle don’t stick around for very long once the engine is off. As the thermometer plummets, your car can act like a refrigerator and your dog can freeze to death.
Pay attention to protein. If your dog spends a lot of time outside, playing, running, or going for long walks, make sure he’s getting enough protein. Among other benefits, protein helps maintain a healthy coat. And a coat in excellent condition will keep him nice and warm while he frolics in the snow!
While it’s not always easy to get excited about going outside in the freezing cold, nothing beats the winter blues like watching your dog plow through the fluffy stuff. If your dog likes to play in the snow, go ahead and join him!
There’s probably nothing that he’d like better than to have his best friend (that’s you) play fetch in the snow or just run around with him—it’s great exercise and bonding for you both.
Photo: The Ski Channel
For more helpful tips about dog and cat health and behavior, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips
Cold weather poses danger for stray animals.
Our Rescue Team has been very busy saving animals in danger from the freezing temperatures. On Sunday, they rescued an American Bulldog mix (pictured here with Senior Rescue Technician Danielle Genter) from the Purgatory Chasm State Reservation in Sutton. This poor girl had been out in the cold since Thursday, and possibly even longer.
The dog, now named Miranda, suffered from frostbite and had painful cracks in the soft underside of her paws from exposure to the cold. Lt. Alan Borgal, the League’s Director of the Center for Animal Protection, said that Miranda’s only water source was from a nearby stream. “She had to go through a lot of brush to get to the water, and as a result her body is covered in small cuts,” he explains. While Miranda was living outside, temperatures were averaging at about zero degrees at night and her short coat offers little protection from the elements. “We were so glad to have found her in time.” After Miranda had a chance to warm up, she received a full medical evaluation and vaccines from our shelter veterinarian and is currently resting comfortably at our Dedham Adoption Center.
Last week our Rescue Team also spent several days assisting Needham Animal Control in catching a dog. The nights were getting unbearably cold, the dog was hungry and cold and they knew that they had to catch him soon. They finally caught him on Thursday, January 24 in zero degree temperatures with a wind chill factor of about 15 to 18 below zero. The dog was named Sherman. He is about 15 pounds underweight, and being so thin, he was severely
compromised, trying to survive in such extreme cold weather temperatures. He is also being cared for at our Dedham Adoption Center and is currently undergoing medical and behavioral evaluations. He is a friendly dog and was very well-behaved during his bath the other day.
Miranda and Sherman are just two of the many animals we have saved from the bitter cold recently. If you’d like to help these animals and others like them, please donate today.
Stella waits for her playmate in the snow! She’s currently available for adoption at our Boston shelter.
Winter is upon us, so it’s important to make sure that you and your dog are prepared! The following tips will help protect your pup in winter weather.
- Dogs can easily lose their scent in the snow, so never let your dog off leash during a snowstorm, or when there’s snow and ice on the ground.
- Wipe your dogs paws AND stomach when he’s been outside in the snow or sleet. Sidewalks are often treated with rock salt, antifreeze and other dangerous chemicals. Not only are these bad for your pet’s paws, but if ingested these chemicals could poison your dog. Make sure your pet does not lick his paws or stomach before you’ve wiped them down!
- Protect your pup from the elements. If your dog typically has a longer coat don’t shave it down for the winter. A longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog has a short coat get him a coat or a sweater. It will make the outdoors more enjoyable for him and will protect him from the cold.
- Don’t leave your pet alone in a car during cold weather. The car can act like a refrigerator and could cause your dog to freeze to death.
- If your dog spends a lot of time outside, playing, running or going for long walks, make sure he’s getting enough protein. you want to make sure that his coat it in excellent condition so he stays nice and warm when he’s frolicking in the snow!
- Make sure your dog has a warm place to sleep away from a door or any drafts. If your dog likes to burrow consider putting a blanket on his bed as well.
- Lastly, if your dog likes to play in the snow, go ahead and join him! There’s probably nothing that he’d like better than to have his best friend (YOU) play fetch in the snow or just run around with him!
Photo Credit: Christine Barton
On Christmas Eve the Animal Rescue League of Boston rescued two cats who were left in a wire cage in an alley in East Boston. It was a freezing cold night and fortunately two good Samaritans found them, brought them inside and called for help. Now these two cats, lovingly named Grace and Ivy (pictured right), are safe and warm at our Boston Adoption Center. Despite the cold temperatures that night, Grace and Ivy appear to be in good health.
Without your generous donations we wouldn’t be able to help animals like Grace and Ivy, so before you go out to celebrate tonight please remember to make your tax deductible gift to the Animal Rescue League of Boston.
Please know that no gift is too big or too small. Help us continue our mission of rescuing domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment and neglect by making your gift today.
Photo Credit: Christine Barton
Help the League’s First Ever Holiday Tree For Pets become a hit!
Help us decorate our 2012 Holiday Tree by displaying a favorite photo of your pet for everyone to see – and help needy animals at the same time!
Support the first annual Animal Rescue League of Boston Holiday Tree for Pets — located in front of the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) on Tremont Street in the heart of the South End. Donate an ornament to celebrate the a
mazing animals in your life. Don’t have any pets, but love helping animals? For as little as $5, you can show your support for animals in need with a wish ribbon on our tree.
For a little more, we will feature your pet’s photo on an ornament for all to admire!
$5 – Wish Ribbon
$20 – Small Star Ornament
$35 – Medium Heart Ornament
$50 – Large Spindle Ornament
We will be adding ornaments to our Holiday Tree for the entire month of December, but to include your pet’s ornament on the tree in time for the lighting ceremony, we must receive your photo and donation by December 1.
Our tree on Restaurant Row will be in the center of the city’s South End festivities. We hope you and your canine companion will join us for the tree lighting on December 8 at the BCA Plaza in Boston’s South End neighborhood.
Please give to our Holiday Tree today – it’s a great way to honor your four-footed friend or the perfect gift for the animal lover in your life. If you do not wish to buy an ornament or a ribbon, you can still support the many other animals who desperately need your help by making a gift today!