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Some of Old San Juan’s Most Famous Residents Finding Homes in Boston

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is broadening its reach in Puerto Rico by partnering with Save a Gato, a nonprofit group dedicated to rescuing cats in Old San Juan; the partnership began with a transport of nine cats this past week.

Once at ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center, the cats were placed under a state-mandated 48-hour quarantine period, given thorough examinations, vaccinations, spayed or neutered, and microchipped. From there, the gatos were made available for adoption, and to no surprise have been adopted very quickly.

An Internationally Known Colony

Save a Gato manages cat colonies throughout Old San Juan, including along the Paseo Del Morro – a trail that once serviced as a maintenance road for the massive stone protective walls of the city that date back to the 1630s.
For visitors to the National Recreational Trail, the numerous cats along the route are part of the experience, and many say that some of the cats are actual descendants of the original cats who came on ships when the first Spanish settlers came to the island.

To see video of one of the adorable gatos, click here!

Gatos and Satos

Along with Save a Gato, in 2017 ARL began its partnership with All Sato Rescue, and has transported dozens of dogs from the island, including an emergency transport of pups following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

There is an abundance of homeless animals in Puerto Rico. These transports allow ARL to supplement the number of animals the organization takes in locally, while giving our partner organizations the ability to continue their important work and make room for more animals in need.

Additionally, ARL receives monthly transports of puppies and dogs from Brother Wolf Animal Rescue and Alexander County Animal Services – both based in North Carolina.

The post ARL Expands Reach to Help Animals in Need in Puerto Rico appeared first on Animal Rescue League of Boston.

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ARL-Boston Reminds Public to Take Action when Seeing an Animal in Distress

With New England still in the grips of a brutal winter, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to remind the public to be mindful and to take action when seeing an animal in distress.

Such actions recently helped save the life of a female stray cat in Dorchester.

The Good Samaritan got a backyard surprise when pulling off the cover to an outdoor grill. Underneath was a shivering cat who was trying to get out of the cold and hadn’t been seen in the neighborhood before. The cat had suffered a devastating injury to her front left leg, and was very thin. Concerned for the animal, the resident took the cat in and contacted ARL Rescue Services.

Upon arrival at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, an examination by ARL veterinary staff noted that many of the cat’s toes on her left front leg were missing and the bones of her paw were exposed; a condition that was causing the animal severe pain. Additionally she was also dehydrated, anemic, severely underweight, and had an upper respiratory infection.

The cat, later named “Addie”, underwent amputation surgery this past week, is ravenously eating to put on weight, and is making continuous progress. She’s incredibly friendly and will be available for adoption when she’s back to 100 percent.

Addie upon arrival in Dedham. She had a devastating leg injury and needed surgery.
Dr. Kate Gollon follows up with Addie post-surgery.
Addie is adjusting well, putting on weight and getting better by the day.
Addie will soon be available for adoption!

“Considering her situation, she’s doing remarkably well,” said Dr. Kate Gollon, ARL Community and Shelter Veterinarian. “When she came to ARL she weighed about half what a cat her age should weigh and she’s already put on half a pound, so she’s definitely trending in the right direction.

Addie’s case serves as a reminder that if the public spots an animal in distress, calling ARL Rescue Services at 617-426-9170 or local animal control can be the difference in an animal’s demise or survival.

The post Press Release: Good Samaritan Helps Save a Life appeared first on Animal Rescue League of Boston.

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5 reasons why you should spay/neuter your pet

During National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month this February, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) reminds the public that pet overpopulation is a real issue, however, there are steps us humans can take to curb this problem.

“There are too many cat and dogs in our communities that don’t have homes,” explains Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare & Veterinary Services. “Every year, animal shelters like the ARL are inundated with stray and surrendered puppies and kittens that are the result of unplanned litters.”

In fact, national studies have found that amongst pet owners who indicate that their pets had at least one litter, 59% of cat owners and 38% of dog owners described the litter as “unintentional” or “accidental.”

Dr. Schettino believes that one reason that pet owners choose not to spay or neuter their pet is misconceptions about the low-risk surgery. “If we can increase spay and neuter rates, we can help prevent pet overpopulation.”

In addition to the benefits to the community, here are 5 more reasons why you should spay/neuter your pet:

1. Cost Savings. The cost of caring for an unplanned litter of puppies or kittens far outweighs the cost of having a pet spayed or neutered. The good news – there are many affordable and free options in Massachusetts!

2. Reducing Spraying. Neutering resolves the vast majority of marking behaviors—even when a cat has a long-standing habit. Other nuisance behaviors such as howling in cats and excessive barking in dogs eases and even disappears after surgery.

3. Stopping Scuffles. According to the National Canine Research Foundation, approximately 92% of fatal dog attacks involved male dogs, 94% of which were not neutered. Neutering male dogs and cats reduces their urge to roam and fight with other males.

4. Extending Life Span. The USA Today reports neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered males, and spayed females live 23% longer than unspayed females.

5. Long-Term Health Safeguard. Neutering male cats and dogs before six months of age prevents testicular cancer. Spaying female cats and dogs before their first heat offers protection from uterine infections and breast cancer.

ARL offers a number of spay and neuter services and programs, including the Spay Waggin’ and the Healthy Moms, Happy Litters Program.

The post February is National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month appeared first on Animal Rescue League of Boston.

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A life-threatening infection and a life-saving surgery

Recently, the family of three-year-old Mica noticed she was lethargic, not eating, and her abdomen was distended. Alarmed, they brought her to Boston Veterinary Care (BVC), and just in the nick of time.

An examination and x-ray confirmed that Mica was suffering from pyometra — a uterine infection that requires immediate attention. If left untreated, a uterine rupture would spread the infection into the abdominal cavity, and spell certain death. While not an uncommon condition, Mica’s case was severe.

“This was the worst case of pyometra I’ve seen in a cat,” said BVC Lead Veterinarian Dr. Nicole Breda. “Mica was close to rupture and needed surgery to remove the uterus and the infection, and to save her life.”

Quick action led to a successful surgery, and in the process Mica lost a third of her body weight. Mica weighed nine pounds upon check-in, and the removed infected area weighed an astonishing three pounds! With the crisis averted, Mica has her life back and is back home where she belongs.

Mica before surgery -- notice her enlarged abdomen.
Post surgery -- the infection is removed, and in the process, Mica lost a third of her body weight!
Ready to go home!

“She’s doing well, her owner is so grateful to BVC for saving Mica’s life, and she will go onto have a nice long and healthy life,” Dr. Breda said.

Discover BVC

Located in Boston’s South End, BVC is the clinic with a mission — all profits benefit ARL’s shelter animals.

Along with a FREE wellness exam for new clients, BVC offers a variety of high-quality outpatient services including:

Wellness examinations and vaccinations

  •         Surgery
  •         Dental care
  •         Senior pet care
  •         Advanced diagnostics
  •         Radiology/diagnostic imaging
Cat-Only Night

A trip to the vet can be stressful for any animal, but particularly for cats. That’s why BVC also offers a cats-only night every Tuesday! Schedule your cat’s exam for after 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and enjoy a dog-free waiting room — less stress for you and your feline friend! 

To schedule an appointment call (617) 226-5605, or email bvc@arlboston.org.

The post Boston Veterinary Care Monthly appeared first on Animal Rescue League of Boston.

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James Starting Physical Therapy

For humans, knee surgery is a common procedure due to injury or sometimes with age; for one cat who recently came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), knee surgery wound up saving his leg, and possibly his life.

When one-year-old James was brought to ARL’s Community Surgical Clinic, his physical exam revealed muscle wasting on his hind limbs, which caused concern for ARL veterinary staff.

“His legs were skinny, and it was also noted that one of his patellas (knee caps) was out of place,” said ARL Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Kate Gollon.

Medially luxating patellas are common in dogs, but relatively rare in cats. The condition can be quite painful, drastically limiting movement and in some cases causing lameness and muscle wasting.

James was facing two options: amputation or surgery. ARL veterinary staff saw amputation as a last resort, and did not want to remove a limb from the handsome Havana Brown cat, so opted for surgery.

The procedure, which was performed at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, called a trochlear block recession, essentially deepens the groove where the patella normally sits, and is then secured in place by tightening the connective tissues around it.

James came to ARL as a Community Cat. He needed knee surgery to save his leg and regain normal function.
Post-operative exam.
Checking to see if patella is in proper place.
Like humans, James is going to need physical therapy.
While in foster care, he will undergo daily exercises to build strength and agility.
Although still walking with a noticeable limp, James is able to put more weight on his leg with each passing day!
Post-Surgical Therapy

Just like when humans have knee surgery, James also needs to undergo physical therapy to strengthen his knee to be able to regain full use of his leg. James’ foster parents are performing a number of exercises with James every day to build strength and agility.

He continues to make noticeable progress by being able to put more weight on the leg, and will be made available for adoption when he is back to 100 percent.

Why Your Support Matters

Being a Community Cat and given his condition, it’s likely James would not have been able to survive living on the streets, and through ARL’s Community Cat Initiative and surgical clinic, James was able to be rescued and receive the medical treatment needed to ensure a long, healthy, and happy life. ARL receives no government funding, and relies on the generosity of individuals like you to make these programs possible, so THANK YOU for affording ARL the opportunity to help yet another animal in need!

The post Knee Surgery Saves Community Cat’s Leg appeared first on Animal Rescue League of Boston.

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Transports: A Growing Network of Relationships

Throughout 2017, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) transported nearly 300 dogs, cats, kittens and puppies from other regions of the country and the Caribbean. The circumstances for transporting may vary, but the end goal is always the same: to give each of these animals the opportunity to find their forever home.

Watch A Video Recap of our 2017 Transports! Why We Transport

Access to care. In our region of the country puppies and kittens are in high demand. Why? It’s partly because affordable spay and neuter services like ARL’s Spay Waggin’ are readily available, which drastically cuts down on the number of unwanted litters. In the Southern regions of the United States, affordable spay and neuter services are not always available, and the warmer temperatures also extend mating seasons. Many shelters in these areas of the country are simply overwhelmed and inundated with animals who need homes.

Partnering with these organizations allows ARL to take these animals into our care, and find them new homes. This in turn satisfies the local demand for these animals, while freeing up space to allow our partner organizations to continue their important work.

Following Hurricane Irma, ARL received a transport of kittens from partner organization Peggy Adams ARL.
Ready to go home.
Curious, cuddly, and adoptable!
In 2017 ARL received more than 300 animals via transport.
Pups from Puerto Rico at Logan Airport.
Along with regularly scheduled transports, ARL also received an emergency transport in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
A Sato ready to find his home.
Two Satos are better than one!
A little exploring after a long journey.
Yes that's a private jet. ARL received 60 kittens over the summer from Peggy Adams ARL who flew in style.
There's wisdom in this handsome face!
Unloading at ARL.
A trifecta of cuteness!
This past fall, ARL began its partnership with two North Carolina organizations.
Checking in.
These pups come to ARL via an animal sanctuary as well as a county animal shelter.
No description necessary!
ARL Transport Partners
  1. All Sato Rescue. This Puerto-Rico based organization aims to find homes for the staggering number of homeless dogs on this U.S. Territory island. ARL received its first transport of Satos (Puerto Rican slang for mutt) in July, another in August, and also received an emergency transport of dogs in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
  2. Peggy Adams ARL. Sixty kittens were flown via private jet from Palm Beach, FL to Boston back in September, and ARL also assisted the organization with an emergency transport following Hurricane Irma.
  3. Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, Alexander County Animal Services. ARL began its partnership with these two North Carolina organizations in October, and have already tentatively scheduled monthly transports for all of 2018!
Animals Depend on Us — and We Depend on You!

Animals at ARL receive the specialized veterinary care, kind attention, and socialization they need to thrive — only because of YOUR generous donations. We receive no government funding and rely solely on generous individuals like you to keep our important work going. Your tax-deductible donation will provide the critical resources necessary to help thousands of homeless animals, family pets, wildlife, and community most in need in 2018. Thank you for being a champion for animals and for giving generously today!

The post ARL Reflections: A Look Back at an Amazing 2017 appeared first on Animal Rescue League of Boston.

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Social Media Sensations!

An innovative idea, a heroic story of survival, or a sad case of abandonment which stirs our emotions and captivates the masses. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) found itself at the forefront of the social media world throughout 2017; garnering attention locally, nationally, and in some cases globally.

Watch the Top Social Media Sensations of 2017!

The Kitten Pouch. Invented by a volunteer about a decade ago, the kitten pouch allows staff to safely tote around under-socialized kittens and let them get used to being around humans. A Facebook post on this device went viral, and had animal welfare organizations from around the globe asking for the pattern for use in their respective facilities.

Ted. This curious little kitten was discovered wandering around the Ted Williams Tunnel during the Labor Day holiday weekend. When ARL responded, State Police assisted by shutting down traffic lanes so the little guy could be brought to safety.

Coffee. Coffee’s rescuers first saw Coffee walking near their car at a Starbucks — in Virginia. Turns out the kitten was looking for warmth, as he had wormed his way under the hood. His rescuers heard him meowing outside of New York City, and discovered him wedged between the grill and radiator! Once in Boston, the couple brought Coffee to ARL for treatment.

Trooper. When this poor kitten was trapped on the median along Route 128, he was rescued by a Massachusetts State Police Trooper, and his quick actions helped save the kittens life.

Phil. Phil was an instant media sensation when he was found abandoned in the cold along a road in Hingham. Many were shocked and dismayed, wondering why anyone would cast him aside like garbage; many also called ARL wanting to take him home! Phil’s story went national, and he even received care packages from as far away as Florida!

Want to see more? Click the links below!

2017 Terrific Transformations

2017 Top Animal Rescues

2017 Top Animal Protection Stories

2017 Animal Transport Recap

Let’s Help Even More Animals in 2018 — Together!

Only because of YOUR support could animals like Phil, Trooper, Ted, or Coffee receive the compassionate care that they so desperately needed. With your continued support, we can get at the root causes of neglect and abuse to ensure that all animals have a chance at a safe and healthy home in 2018. ARL receives no government funding, and relies solely on the generosity of individuals like you to keep our important work going. Thank you for being a champion for animals and for giving generously today!

The post ARL Reflections: A Look Back at an Amazing 2017 appeared first on Animal Rescue League of Boston.

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Mentoring Leads to Bonding

At the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), we see many cats and kittens that are under-socialized and need constant interaction to replace fear with trust. More often than not these interactions are done by humans, but sometimes all it takes is the mentoring of another feline to turn these under-socialized cats around.

Life of Brian

Brian and his sister came to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center through the organization’s Community Cat Initiative in early December. At about 11-weeks, he and his sibling fit the definition of under-socialized to a tee. They hissed, spit, displayed defensive body language, and did not want to be handled. The kittens spent some time in foster care for some extra attention, and when they returned Brian’s sibling was socialized and quickly adopted, but unfortunately he was still standoffish.

Glade the Mentor

With Brian’s behavior still needing some adjusting, his mentor came in the form of Glade, a one-and-a-half-year-old cat. Glade himself had displayed under-socialized behaviors, but over time had become “charming, social, playful, and comfortable.”

ARL staff put the two together, and while Brian initially hissed at Glade, after a few minutes the two cats were nose to nose and Brian was ready to learn.

Brian watched how Glade interacted with people, and when Brian would begin to get hissy, Glade would correct his behavior. Over the course of just one weekend, Brian went from under-socialized to purring with people and displaying his charming personality!

Glade took Brian under his paw.
Glade corrected Brian when he misbehaved and showed him how to interact with people.
Over the course of one weekend the two became inseparable.
Now the bonded pair are in their forever home -- together!
A Bonded Pair

The weekend experience bonded Brian and Glade, and staff recommended that they find their forever home together. Of course it didn’t take long, and we are thrilled to report that kitten and mentor have been adopted and spent the holidays together in their new home!

YOU Can Help Even More Animals Like Brian in 2018!

Animals at ARL receive the specialized veterinary care, kind attention, and socialization they need to thrive — only because of YOUR generous donations. We receive no government funding and rely solely on generous individuals like you to keep our important work going. Your tax-deductible donation will provide the critical resources necessary to help thousands of homeless animals, family pets, wildlife, and community most in need in 2018. Thank you for being a champion for animals and for giving generously today!

The post A Home for the Holidays: Brian and Glade appeared first on Animal Rescue League of Boston.

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Animals Doing Well in the Wake of Trauma

This past weekend, a horrific barn fire in Holliston tragically claimed the lives of dozens of animals. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) responded to assist Holliston’s Animal Control Officer and first responders on-scene in rounding up surviving animals who scattered once they were freed from the barn.

ARL rescued and transported six chickens, four ducks, and two rabbits to its Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center. Additionally, three piglets were rescued and brought to a partner organization for treatment of minor burns and smoke inhalation.

Four ducks stick together in their new surroundings.
ARL rescued 6 chickens, 4 ducks, and 2 rabbits from the devastation.
Despite the trauma, the animals appear to be in good health.
The animals are being the care and support they need in the wake of trauma.

The animals have been given shelter, food, water and physical examinations by ARL veterinary staff and despite the trauma, are doing well and adjusting to their new environment. The survivors will be with ARL for as long as they need to be and will receive the ongoing compassionate care and treatment they need to continue to thrive.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

ARL in the News

ARL’s collaborative efforts to save these animals has garnered much attention from national and local media including: WCVB, WFXT, the Boston Herald, Metro West Daily News, among many others.

The post ARL Sheltering Displaced Animals Following Tragic Barn Fire appeared first on Animal Rescue League of Boston.

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Bill Aims to Stiffen and Modernize Illegal Hunting Penalties

The Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed proposed legislation aimed to protect wildlife by increasing penalties and measures to stop illegal hunting, or poaching, in the state. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has publicly advocated for the measure since its filing in January of 2017.

Many of the state’s current poaching penalties are about a century out of date, and S. 2248, an Act Further Regulating the Enforcement of Illegal Hunting Practices, would modernize the current antiquated legislation. This bill would bring penalties in line with other states, elevating fines, jail time, and hunting and fishing license suspensions for certain crimes, including the commercialization of fish and wildlife.

Additionally the legislation would bring Massachusetts into the Interstate Law Enforcement Compact. Currently Massachusetts is one of only three states that is not a member of the network which has been helping wildlife agencies increase compliance with wildlife laws for 25 years.

With passage in the Senate, the bill will now go to the House. ARL would like to thank Senate bill sponsor Senator Mike Moore and House bill sponsors, Representatives Ann-Margaret Ferrante, Lori Ehrlich, and Cory Atkins for all their hard work and dedication.

Get Involved

ARL is dedicated to preventing animal cruelty and neglect by strengthening law and public policy, and continues to be a voice for domesticated animals and wildlife in need. Please view our current Legislative Agenda, and we urge you to contact your representatives and encourage them to help further animal protection policy in Massachusetts.

The post Legislative Update: ARL-Supported Poaching Bill Passes Through Massachusetts Senate appeared first on Animal Rescue League of Boston.

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