Animal Rescue League of Boston Euthanasia Policy
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) exists in order to rescue domesticated animals and wildlife
from cruelty, abandonment, and neglect. Care and protection of these animals is our mission.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston achieves a high placement rate for the animals in its care because
of our commitment to rehabilitation. Our shelters have dedicated veterinary and shelter personnel who
evaluate animals for health conditions, stress, and other behavioral issues; we make every effort to
provide medical and behavioral care to rehabilitate all animals.
Using positive training methods, we work on-site with animals with behavioral conditions that prevent
immediate placement in an adoptive home. Occasionally, we place them in foster homes with trained
and experienced “foster parents” to socialize them and teach them how to live with people. Such
intervention improves both the quality of life for individual animals and the chance of finding adoptive
homes for them.
Unfortunately in our work, we confront animals suffering from a wide range of injuries, illnesses, and
behavioral conditions. Due to the broad scope of our rescue and law enforcement programs, we bring in
high numbers of at-risk, displaced and compromised animals.
While we make best efforts to treat animals, there will be times when humane euthanasia is the most
compassionate and responsible course for the animal’s well-being and for public health and safety.
When euthanasia is performed, it is done with respect and care by highly trained, compassionate staff.2
We are proud that at the Animal Rescue League of Boston we look at each animal individually to assess
its particular needs. Every year, our goal is to increase the number of animals that we are able to place
in loving homes. We do not use euthanasia for population control of adoptable animals in the shelter,
nor do we have a timeframe after which an animal is euthanized if it is not adopted.
When an animal is not able to be placed for adoption due to complex medical or behavior issues, we
may transfer it to appropriate breed-specific rescue organizations or identify other options such as barn
placement for cats that are unable to integrate into indoor life.
We believe that through careful evaluation of individual animals, we will make the decision that is in the
best interest of each animal. This means that, unfortunately, there will be some for whom euthanasia is
the most compassionate and responsible outcome.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston is committed to improving favorable outcomes for an increasing
number of animals through the promotion of accessible spay/neuter services and adoptions, the use of
foster homes, and the encouragement of responsible pet ownership