Tag Archives: adoption

Two little birdies, their cage and supplies – $35

Still need a holiday gift for a special senior, teen, or person who loves animals but lives in a condo/apartment complex that doesn’t allow dogs or cats?

Well, Belle and Sebastian, two pretty parakeets, may be the answer to your Christmas prayers! They need a forever home! (you can’t see one birdie – he’s behind the yellow card on cage)

I’ve owned parakeets; they are smart, fun, trainable and lovable!

Belle and Sebastian, their cage and all their necessities can be purchased at the Worcester Animal Rescue League on Holden Street, Worcester, for the rock bottom price of $35. … $35! What a great adoption fee!

Visit them this weekend – and all the other animals – at WARL.

– R. Tirella


It’s not too late to buy these holiday gifts at WARL! Your $$ helps homeless animals …

… Dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, birds and small animals that need FOREVER HOMES!

Head down to the Worcester Animal Rescue League on Holden Street in Worcester this weekend and go shopping for your fave pup or kitty. They are open to the public SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, noon to 4 p.m. Support this nonprofit, one that has been finding great homes for Worcester’s homeless companion animals for more than a century!

P.S. They’ve got way more stuff than shown here! WARL tote bags, books, etc. I had my Jett in the car and had to stop taking photos to run out to him!

CLICK HERE to see all the beautiful dogs up for adoption at WARL. 

– Rosalie Tirella







Shhhh… Don’t tell … . These toys are Jett’s Christmas presents from his “Auntie” Kathy …

Aren’t they cute? 


But he’s so spoiled! I don’t know if he’ll be impressed!

Impress yourself! Adopt a wonderful pooch (GORGEOUS mixes and purebreds) at the Worcester Animal Rescue League on Holden Street, Worcester! (I got Jett there!)

These beautiful dogs need homes for the holidays! CLICK HERE to see the awesome pups and pup-ettes  available for adoption at WARL!

Isn’t this baby cute?! Ready to go at WARL! 


Remember: Always adopt!

Never buy a dog or puppy from a breeder (there are a ton of homeless purebreds!) or pet store (they sell sickly puppy-mill puppies!)

– R. T.

One dog’s story

By Jennifer O’Connor

(To see the wonderful dogs up for adoption at the Worcester Animal Rescue League on Holden Street, click here ! Got my Jett at WARL! – R.T.)

October was “Adopt a Shelter Dog” Month, and it’s also the month when I won the rescue lottery. Although the details of Bruce’s first years are murky, we do know that he had been confined to a cage in a Pennsylvania puppy mill for two years. The facility was churning out English bulldogs and boxers as if they were on an assembly line. Bruce didn’t know what a toy was—or a walk or a treat. He was 20 pounds underweight, infested with fleas and so filthy that it took two baths before we knew what color he was. The pads of his feet had the texture of jelly.

A rescue group had taken on many of the puppy mill’s “rejects,” dogs who had been bred so many times that they had the disconnected demeanor of long-term asylum patients or had developed neurotic cage spins—running mad, endless “laps” inside their cramped cages.

At first, a loud sneeze could reduce Bruce to a quivering mass of fur, and it was weeks before he could walk without pain and stiffness. But watching this wonderful dog blossom into a confident, cherished family member has been a sheer joy. Now Bruce struts down the street and picks and chooses his toys. When people compliment him, I take the opportunity to talk to them about the hideous puppy-mill industry and to encourage those who are ready to share their lives with a dog or cat to adopt from a shelter, rather than buying from a store.

Bruce is an English bulldog, a funny-faced, personable breed that many find appealing. But these dogs have paid a heavy price for generations of inbreeding and genetic manipulation. Prone to breathing and joint problems as well as to ear and eye infections, these dogs can be costly to care for, and many people who “had to” have them end up discarding them like last year’s shoes.

But for those who are committed to sharing their lives with one of these comical dogs, rescue groups are full of English bulldogs waiting to be adopted. In fact, there are rescue groups for every breed there is—including English bulldogs—and for all the marvelous mutts who can’t wait to be a part of your family. There’s not a single justifiable reason to buy a dog from a pet shop or a breeder.

Every dog bred by a breeder means another dog is doomed. Every dog purchased at a pet store means a miserable life inside a puppy-mill cage for another.

Mass-produced dogs usually mean massive health problems. Profit is the goal, not good care or quality veterinary attention. There have been so many buyers who have incurred massive veterinary bills from treating a dog or cat who was purchased at a store that 16 states have passed pet store “lemon laws.” And in many cases, people simply won’t spend the money for needed vet care, so these dogs end up in shelters. And the cycle continues.

Bruce wakes up every morning with a grin and a ready-to-take-on-the-day attitude. He makes us happy every day. We hope the bad old days are nothing more than a faded memory for him. When we tell people Bruce’s story, they almost inevitably say, “Oh, he’s so lucky.” But they’re wrong. I’m the lucky one. Adopting Bruce and getting to share my life with him is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and my family. By adopting an animal in need of a loving home, it can happen to you, too.

This Memorial Day weekend, let’s not forget America’s courageous military dogs!

Deb wrote this piece for us last year. We re-post it today for all our brave military canines who are working to keep Americans safe and for the beloved “vets” who made the ultimate sacrifice!                –  R. Tirella

US Military’s war dogs must be reclassified! They are not “equipment” to be discarded!

By Deb Young

Dogs have been an important part of the U.S. Military for decades.

In fact, the only member of the team that raided the Osama bin Laden compound we know anything about is a war dog, named Cairo.

Canines have been used in the U.S. Military ever since the Revolutionary war. These dogs saved lives, boosted morale and have contributed greatly to our fighting forces.

War dogs began their military service working as pack animals. During World War 1, their major task was killing rats in the trenches. One of the most famous WW 1 military dogs was Sergeant Stubby . He was the first war dog to be used on the Western Front, and during his 18 months of service, this plucky, unknown stray dog took part in seventeen battles.

Stubby, was a bull terrier mix, as a small stray he was smuggled aboard a troop ship in France. He served in battles at Chateau Thierry,the Marne and the Meuse-Argonne with the men of the 102nd Infantry.

During his career, Sgt. Stubby comforted wounded soldiers, saved a regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks and even captured a German spy; literally by the seat of his pants.

One night in February 1918, he roused a sleeping sergeant to warn of a gas attack, giving the soldiers time to don masks and thus saving them. Gen John “Black Jack” Pershing awarded him a special Gold Medal. He was given a Life Membership in the American Legion and the Red Cross. He met Presidents Wilson, Harding, and Collidge. He died of old age in 1926. Sergeant Stubby was the most decorated war dog in U.S. history.

Throughout World War II, over 10,000 highly trained military dogs were deployed to serve as sentry canines, scouts, mine detectors and messengers. Many of these dogs were family pets who had been “volunteered” by their owners to serve their country. Today, there are an estimated 2,700 military dogs serving alongside U.S. military personnel. About 600 military dogs have been deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait. One of their most significant imperatives is sniffing out bombs.

25 Marine War Dogs gave their lives liberating Guam in 1944 and many more served as sentries, messengers, and scouts, exploring caves, detecting mines and booby traps, and bringing vital information across the battlefield.

Nearly 4000 dogs served in Vietnam and saved up to 10,000 American servicemen through their scouting and sentry duties. When withdrawing from Vietnam in 1973, the military classified the dogs as surplus equipment to be left behind during evacuation. Many dogs were left with South Vietnamese allies who were afraid of the dogs and didn’t know how to handle them. Many of the dogs were euthanized, and many more perished at the hands of their inexperienced South Vietnamese handlers. Only a handful of Vietnam war dogs made it back to the United States. Many handlers and trainers who worked with these dogs were traumatized by having to leave their faithful companions behind, stating that the dogs saved their lives and often did more work than they did.

Virtually all breeds of dogs have been used at one time or another. But later, with more experience, the list was narrowed to five: German Shepherds, Belgian Sheep Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Farm Collies (short coat) and Giant Schnauzers. The vast majority of U.S. military working dogs in recent times are German and Dutch shepherds and Belgian Malinois, breeds chosen because they are very aggressive, smart, loyal and athletic. For specialized roles, detector dogs in particular, other breeds are used. Retrievers (Labrador, Golden or Chesapeake Bay) are the preferred breeds for One Odor Detector dogs.

Military canines complete a 120-day program featuring positive rewards, (with a preferred rubber toy or ball rather than food). It is designed to teach obedience and how to “sniff out” dangerous substances. These dogs become trusted partners and companions to the fellow soldiers with whom they are assigned.Not only can these military dogs smell up to two miles away, they are trained to rappel down buildings, jump out of airplanes and swim long

Although Military dogs are living, breathing animals, the defense department classifies them as “equipment. ”distances.

Approximately 300 dogs a year are retired. But what future do these loyal and courageous canines face once their tour of duty has been completed?

According to the Washington times these canines have been classified by the military as “equipment”. Upon their retirement they fall into the “surplus equipment” category – much like any obsolete military appliance, therefore are not returned back to the United States. While these dogs may not be euthanized, (which was one of the options facing these hero dogs after the war in Vietnam was over), the United States is not willing to defray the cost of the dogs’ return home. Instead they are given away, put up for adoption or even abandoned much the in the same way as a broken Hum-Vee or crashed helicopter.

Being classified as equipment means:

  1. Retired Military Working Dogs are stranded at their final duty station.
  2. Military Working Dogs receive no medical benefits after retirement.
  3. Military Working Dogs receive no recognition for their faithful service.

But it’s the wording of this classification that has bothered dog-lovers across the country, not to mention veterans who have served with these marvelous animals.

And, of course, in our budget conscious environment today, there’s always the cost factor.

However, it is estimated that the dogs could be shipped back to the United States on cargo planes at little cost to taxpayers.

If anyone needed evidence of the frontline role played by dogs in war these days, here is the latest: the four-legged, wet-nosed troops used to sniff out mines, track down enemy fighters and clear buildings are struggling with the mental strains of combat nearly as much as their human counterparts.

Somewhere, right now, a military working dog is searching for roadside bombs and protecting our troops. They’re on the front lines, facing explosions and gunfire- a memory that haunts some of these dogs for the rest of their lives.

By some estimates, more than 5 percent of the approximately 650 military dogs deployed by American combat forces are developing canine PTSD.

Many War Dogs help veterans better manage the invisible and lifelong challenges of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury (PTSD/TBI) by being paired back with their human soldier counterparts . The dog becomes the veteran’s partner in the struggle to achieve confidence, reconnect with their loved ones, and resume normal activities in their communities. In a sense becoming each others life line!

Recently S.2134, (The Canine Member of the Armed Forces Act) was passed by the US House and Senate to honor military dogs, declaring them as Military Working dogs, (of all breeds) and will no longer be classified as “Military Equipment.” Instead they would be returned to Lackland Air Force Base with the classification of “Military Veterans” and in recognition of their service; United States heroes. They will be evaluated, retrained or if necessary, re-homed.

The Canine Member of the Armed Forces Act was amended into and passed in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. But due to political snafus, the bill’s title was changed to “”Military Working Dog Matters” and their reclassification was deleted to keep them in the “military equipment” category.

This act if passed would include the following.
Section 1 – Short Title
• Designates this act as the “Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act.”

Section 2 Findings

• Explains that military working dogs have served honorably in the armed forces and other government agencies in ways that go far beyond their current designation as “equipment.”
• Notes that military working dogs have prevented injuries and saved lives.

Section 3 – Retirement and Adoption of Military Working Dogs
• Reclassifies military working dogs as canine members of the armed forces and states that they shall not be classified as equipment.
• Authorizes the Secretary of the appropriate military department to transport retiring military working dogs to the 341st Training Squadron or another suitable location for adoption, if no suitable adoption is available at the military facility where the dog is located.
• Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to accept travel benefits such as frequent traveler miles to facilitate the adoption of a retired military working dog.

Section 4 – Veterinary Care for Retired Military Working Dogs
• Directs the Secretary of Defense to establish and maintain a system to provide for the veterinary care of retired military working dogs beginning on the date on which the dog is adopted.
• Directs the Secretary to operate the system through a contract awarded to a private non-profit entity. The non-profit entity would be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the system; no federal funds would be used to operate the system.
• Directs the Secretary to consult with the board of directors of the non-profit to establish standards of veterinary care, including the types of care to be provided, the entities qualified to provide the care, and the facilities in which the care may be provided.

Section 5 – Recognition of Service of Military Working Dogs
• Directs the Secretary of Defense to create a decoration or other appropriate recognition to recognize military working dogs that are killed in action or perform an exceptionally meritorious or courageous act in service to the United States.

Public input is needed to help get the bill passed and signed by the President. It will restore the bill’s original intent; removing their classification as “equipment”, changing it to “military veterans”.

Our courageous military dogs, who are living and breathing animals deserve so much better than being classified as “equipment.”

Make a “Mother’s Day”: neuter and spay … and ALWAYS adopt! WARL’s dogs and cats that are ready for forever homes!

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

For Lady, motherhood wasn’t something to celebrate. Chained to a dilapidated doghouse in a patch of weeds and muck, the skinny brown dog had no way to escape the advances of roaming male dogs when she came into heat. Before long, she was pregnant. She spent the long weeks of her pregnancy outdoors and alone, tormented by flies during the day and struggling to find a bit of comfort on the cold, hard floor of her doghouse at night. Finally, she gave birth to her puppies at the end of her chain, on the muddy ground.

Lady loved those puppies, not only because they were her own, but also because they brought her some solace from the crushing loneliness of life on a chain. But not long after they were born, Lady’s people took the puppies away from her and dropped them off at a local animal shelter. Lady was back to spending her days and nights in solitary confinement. Worst of all, because she hadn’t been spayed and there was an unneutered male dog living nearby, she was in danger of having to go through the same heartbreaking experience all over again.

A simple spay surgery (or a neuter surgery, for males) can spare animals like Lady so much suffering as well as prevent countless puppies and kittens from being born only to end up homeless. Preventing dogs and cats from becoming mothers (or fathers) is the kindest thing that we can do for them this Mother’s Day—and every day of the year.

Spaying spares female animals the stress and discomfort of heat periods, greatly reduces their risk of mammary cancer and eliminates their risk of diseases of the ovaries and uterus—including cancer—which are often life-threatening and require expensive surgery and treatment. Spaying animals before they reach sexual maturity will ensure that they reap the full health benefits of the procedure. For example, female animals who are spayed before their first heat cycle have one-seventh the risk of developing mammary cancer that unspayed animals do.

Male animals are healthier if they are sterilized, too: Neutering reduces the risk of prostate cancer and prevents testicular cancer. Sterilization also makes male animals far less likely to roam or fight—behavior that can result in injuries and early death. And altered animals are less likely to contract deadly, contagious diseases such as feline AIDS and feline leukemia, which are spread through bodily fluids.

Spay and neuter surgeries are simple, routine procedures. Most animals experience relatively little discomfort (anesthesia is used during surgery, and pain medication is generally given afterward) and feel back to normal within a day or two.

Most importantly, spayed and neutered animals can’t contribute to our country’s staggering cat and dog overpopulation crisis. They won’t produce more puppies or kittens to add to the 6 to 8 million animals who end up in shelters every year—or the 3 to 4 million who must be euthanized each year for lack of a good home. Their babies will never end up on the streets, where they die from starvation, exposure, injuries, infections or worse or fall into the hands of cruel and neglectful people—as happens to so many unwanted animals.

Luckily for Lady, her first litter was also her last. Members of PETA’s rescue team found her and whisked her off to be spayed for free in their mobile clinic before she could become pregnant again. They gave her a sturdy doghouse stuffed with straw to snuggle in and moved her to an area of the yard with fresh grass, and they return often to check on her and to shower her with some of the love and attention that she desperately craves.

As many of our own mothers told us, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This Mother’s Day, let’s take their advice and prevent animal suffering, homelessness and heartbreak by having our animals spayed or neutered and helping everyone we know do the same.


Here’s my Jett wearing his I HEART Worcester pin on his collar! I got Jett (four years ago), like I did my other two dogs, at the Worcester Animal Rescue League on Holden Street. Never go to a breeder to get a dog. Never breed your dog! There are so many discarded pets in America! Instead, go to your local animal shelter or animal control officer and ADOPT a dog or cat that is in need of a home!  Here are the WARL dogs and cats ready for adoption! Click here for dogs! Click here for kittens and kitties!  – R. Tirella

A fine time to adopt a feline!

By Paula Moore

Every morning, just before the alarm goes off, my cat Romeo jumps into bed with me and kisses my face until I get up. When I sit down to read a book, my old lady cat, Chloe, snuggles up on my lap, purring contentedly. My other cat, Mochi, doesn’t let me go to sleep at night until we’ve played a rousing game of “catch the Cat Charmer.”

If you’re looking for a companion who can double as an alarm clock, lap warmer and exercise buddy, then this June, “Adopt a Shelter Cat” Month, would be the perfect time to adopt a cat. Better yet, adopt two.

Personally, I think that every month should be “Adopt a Shelter Animal” Month. But it’s no coincidence that “Adopt a Shelter Cat” Month coincides with “kitten season,” the dreaded time of year when unwanted kittens and mama cats pour into animal shelters.

With 6 to 8 million animals entering U.S. shelters every year, most are constantly filled to capacity. Open-admission shelters—those that never turn animals away—have no choice but to euthanize many healthy, friendly cats (and dogs) in order to accommodate the flood of baby animals born during the spring and summer months.

Sadly, this tragic situation is not likely to change any time soon. For years, animal shelters and rescue groups have encouraged, urged and begged animal guardians to spay or neuter in order to help stop the animal homelessness crisis at its source. They have tried heartbreaking appeals to help people realize that buying animals from backyard breeders or pet stores means stealing desperately needed homes from animals in shelters—who will likely pay with their lives.

Until people do these two simple things—sterilize their animal companions and adopt animals rather than buying them—shelters will be forced to euthanize millions of animals every single year because there just aren’t enough homes for them all.

I can think of no good reason not to adopt. Pre-loved cats know the ropes. They are almost always litterbox-trained, pros at sharpening their claws on a scratching post instead of on your curtains and familiar with the “do’s” and “don’ts” of living with humans.

Shelters screen animals for specific temperaments and behaviors, and most have trained adoption counselors available to help you find the right fit for your family. Animals in shelters and rescue groups are examined by a veterinarian when they arrive, and for a nominal fee—hundreds less than what breeders typically charge—they leave spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.

People who have their hearts set on a specific breed of cat can still rescue an animal in need of a loving home. Having a pedigree doesn’t protect animals from being tossed out like an old TV set when they’re no longer wanted. Both of my male cats are Siamese, and both were dumped on the streets when their previous owners got tired of them.

I can’t imagine ever tiring of my cats’ company. Each is unique—Mochi is moody and headstrong, while Romeo is a real sweetheart and Chloe is an opinionated old lady—but they are all loving, affectionate companions. If you’re ready to commit, please open your heart and home to a cat waiting in a shelter. You’ll save a life—and make a friend for life.

Spring: The saddest season for animal shelters

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

For most of us, the unusually warm spring that much of the country is experiencing is a welcome relief from winter. But for people who work in animal shelters, it signals an early start to the most dreaded time of year: kitten and puppy season.

Dogs and cats reproduce year-round, but early spring through late fall is prime breeding time—especially for cats, whose heat cycles are triggered by increased daylight hours. People who thought they could wait “just a bit longer” to have their cat spayed are often surprised to find out their kitten has become a mother herself. Female cats can go into heat every two to three weeks and can become pregnant while they are still nursing kittens—which means that one cat can give birth to multiple litters over the course of a single season.

Where do all these kittens and puppies go? Some end up on the streets, where many die young and in pain after being hit by cars, succumbing to diseases, starving or crossing paths with cruel people. Others pour into animal shelters across the country, leaving them scrambling to accommodate the surge of kittens and puppies. One shelter near Atlanta reported that it typically takes in 400 to 500 stray kittens each month during kitten season.

Baby animals may be cute, but their overabundance leaves shelters in an ugly situation. With 6 to 8 million animals entering U.S. shelters every year, most are constantly filled to capacity. In order to accommodate the deluge of baby animals during kitten and puppy season, open-admission shelters (those that never turn animals away) must euthanize other animals who have been at the shelter for a while to make room for the newcomers.

Playful kittens and puppies tend to steal the show (and people’s hearts), making it even less likely that the gentle, affectionate adult animals who have been waiting in shelters for homes will ever be adopted. But with so many litters flooding shelters, not even adorable kittens and puppies are guaranteed a home. Every day, caring shelter workers are forced to hold animals in their arms and euthanize them—including those whose lives have just begun—simply because there aren’t enough good homes for them all.

This tragedy could end if we all spayed or neutered our animals. Sterilizing even one cat or dog can prevent thousands more from being born only to end up on the streets, in the hands of abusive people or in shelters. Without spaying, one female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in six years, and one unaltered female cat and her descendants can lead to a staggering 370,000 cats in only seven years. Male animals contribute to the overpopulation crisis even more than females do: Just one unsterilized male animal can impregnate dozens of females, creating hundreds of unwanted offspring.

Sterilization also has many health benefits for animals. Female cats and dogs who are spayed before their first heat cycle have one-seventh the risk of developing mammary cancer. Spaying eliminates female animals’ risk of diseases and cancers of the ovaries and uterus, which are often life-threatening and can require expensive treatments, including surgery. Neutering eliminates male animals’ risk of testicular cancer and reduces unwanted forms of behavior such as biting.

By having our animal companions sterilized and helping our friends, family and everyone we know understand why it’s so important for them to do the same, we can save lives and make spring a season of hope instead of sadness for animals and the people who care about them.

Adopt – don’t shop – for your next pet!

By Paula Moore

Several years ago, I added a Siamese cat to my family. Mochi had been picked up as a stray by a local animal control agency. When no one claimed him, he was turned over to a Siamese cat rescue group. The first time I took him to my veterinarian, a man at the vet’s office peeked into Mochi’s carrier and then said to his wife, “He’s a Siamese.” “I just adopted him from a rescue group,” I explained. Incredulous, the man responded, “Siamese cats don’t need rescuing!”

June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, and for people with the energy, resources, patience and love to devote to a feline companion, it’s the perfect time to save a life by adopting a cat from an animal shelter or reputable breed-rescue group. Whether you have your heart set on a rambunctious kitten or a more sedate “lap cat,” a regal Persian or a sassy tabby, animal shelters are overflowing with cats of every stripe. Continue reading Adopt – don’t shop – for your next pet!

These guys need loving homes!

editor’s note: Since we’re on a mini-vaca (not publishing InCity Times this week), we’re running the Worcester Animal Rescue League’s Pet Pals – kitties and doggies who need loving FOREVER homes – on our website. Please visit WARL and check out all these lovely animals. Remember: always rescue a homeless pet! You don’t need to buy a dog or cat from a breeder or (heaven help you) a pet store (puppy mill animals). If you can’t adopt, then volunteer to walk WARL’s dogs or help feed their cats.

P.S. WARL always needs: kitty litter, laundry detergent, bleach and any gently used towels or comforters you may not be using.

R. Tirella

Hi, I’m Oreo. I’m a chubby cat, weighing in at 24 pounds. They say I need a little exercise and a strict diet. I just think that I have more for you to love. I might look a little silly right now because they had to shave some matted hair on my back. When it grows back I’ll be super handsome. My front paws are declawed. If you want to adopt me I should let you know that I would prefer an adult home. I am over 9 years old, which qualifies me for WARL’s “Senior for Senior” program, meaning if a senior citizen adopts any pet over 7 years old, the adoption fee is completely waived. Think it over, you know where to find me. Thank you.

Hi, my name is Music. I came to the shelter with my kittens. Someone found us and brought us to the animal shelter. I was happy to be safe with a roof over my head. My kittens have all new homes now. I just need a home to call my own too. Could it be with you. Oh, I will live with kids if they are respectable of me and I’m not that crazy about dogs either. I hope I don’t sound to picky. Come to the shelter and meet me. Continue reading These guys need loving homes!