In abusive relationships the victim will often stay in a bad situation because of fear of her pets or children getting hurt.  The Abuser will often threaten to hurt the dog in order to control her action and until recently if she where to leave to go to a shelter the pet would have to get left behind.

This past summer Massachusetts past an Animal Control Bill which enacted several animal protections measures are included in the law, such as:

  • Creates a statewide spay/neuter program to reduce the number of homeless animals in the Commonwealth and will, in turn, also reduce the cost to cities and towns for housing and sheltering these animals.This is funded by a voluntary tax check off.
  • Adds enforcement provisions to section 139A (the spay/neuter deposit law for animals adopted from shelters and animal control facilities) to ensure these animals can’t reproduce.
  • Requires animal control officers to receive training. People are often surprised to learn that their local animal control officer is not required to receive training for the complicated work they do to keep the people and animals in their community safe. This is funded by the tax check off.
  • Prohibits carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide gas as a means to “euthanize” dogs and cats.
  • Reduces dog bites by improving the dangerous dog law in a breed neutral manner.
  • Allows pets to be included in domestic violence protection orders to protect both animals and people.  (MSPCA)

Recently a Massachusetts women who had a restraining against her ex-boyfriend was able to add her dog to be protected by the restraining order as well.  The women and her children are safe in a shelter and the dog is being kept safe at a foster home for the time being.

See the story as shown on WHDH news:



More information of the link between animals and domestic violence:


American Humane Association 



5 things not to feed your pet this Thanksgiving.

I received this email today from the Animal Rescue League of Boston that describes how to keep your pets happy and healthy over Thanksgiving. 


Here it is….

Wishing you & Your Pets A Happy thanksgiving

As you feast this Thursday remember that what’s good for you may not be for your pet!

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, eat great food and enjoy the company of our family and friends, which often includes our pets. While it’s wonderful to include your pets in your holiday traditions, it’s important to limit the amount and types of food that your pets consume on Thanksgiving. Foods that are fine for humans (and would seem okay for dogs) can actually be very dangerous for your pet.

The following foods should be avoided on Thanksgiving, no bones about it!

  • Turkey Bones: We’ve grown accustomed to the idea of “giving the dog a bone,” but turkey bones are small and can become lodged in a dog’s throat, stomach or intestinal tract. Additionally, these bones may splinter and cause severe damage to the stomach and could puncture the small intestine. Avoid feeding any turkey bones to your pets!
  • Fat Trimmings: Fatty meat, especially turkey skin may be the tastiest part, but it’s also very dangerous for your pet. Fatty foods like turkey skin and gravy are difficult for dogs to digest and consuming turkey skin can result in pancreatitis. Symptoms for this serious disease include vomiting, extreme depression, reluctance to move and abdominal pain.
  • Dough/Cake Batter: Do you remember your mother telling you not to eat the cookie dough? If you shouldn’t be eating it, neither should your pet. Since dough and cake batter contain raw eggs, the first concern is salmonella bacteria. The second concern is that the dough may actually rise in your dog’s belly (sounds weird, but it’s possible). This can lead to vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating.
  • Raisins/Grapes: Grapes commonly make the list of foods dogs should avoid, but we like to remind people that they are very dangerous. Though the causes of their toxicity are unknown, we do know that they can cause kidney failure.
  • Mushrooms: Good for you, not for your dog. Mushrooms can damage your dog’s internal organs, including kidneys, liver and the central nervous system. If your dog does eat mushrooms, you can expect the following symptoms: seizures, coma, vomiting and possibly death.

Be sure to ask your vet about other foods that may be dangerous for your dog.

Keep your vet’s number handy. Should your pet become ill and show any of the above symptoms, be sure to have your veterinarian’s phone number and the local animal emergency hospital’s number on hand. A quick call to either of them can give you life-saving advice or even help you avoid a trip to the ER. You can reach Boston Veterinary Care at (617) 226-5605.


We have a better idea: donate to help animals in need!

Give thanks for the pets in your life by donating an ornament for the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s first annual Holiday Tree for Pets — located in front of the Boston Center for the Arts on Tremont Street in the heart of the South End.

OrnamentsOn a budget? For as little as $5, you can show your support for animals in need with a wish ribbon on our tree. Make a wish for a shelter animal or for your own pet!

Want to display a photo of your pet for everyone to see? Order one of our photo ornaments! A small star,medium heart or large spindle will ensure that your pet’s pretty portrait is on our tree.

Don’t forget to make your calendar. Our tree lighting is on December 8 at 4:15pm. We hope you and your canine companion will join us at the BCA Plaza for family friendly fun!

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 5.

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!

For up-to-date information about the tree lighting, visit our website at



Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!