Advocates Show Support at Farm Ballot Hearing Yesterday

ARL president Mary Nee joins other to push for House Bill 3930

Yesterday, more than 150 animal advocates and members of The Citizens for Farm Animal Protection Coalition gathered inside of the Massachusetts State House to attend a legislative hearing for House Bill 3930.

house bill 3930

More than 150 animal advocates and members of The Citizens for Farm Animal Protection Coalition gathered  inside the Massachusetts State House.

The bill would ensure that egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and veal calves in Massachusetts would have enough room to turn around, lay down, and stretch their limbs. It would also ensure that shell eggs, and whole, uncooked cuts of pork and veal sold in our state are compliant with these modest standards.

At the February 11 hearing, ARL president Mary Nee joined other in voicing their support for HB 3930 in front of state officials and the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.

In her testimony, Mary urged committee members to take up the legislation because, “No animal should spend their entire life in distress without the basic freedoms to stand up, sit down and turn around.”

The Committee has until early May to make a decision on legislation.  We will provide updates to our supporters on the decision as we receive them!


Contact legislators on the committee and urge them to take action on House Bill 3930.


Extreme Cold Weather Warning In Effect

ARL and MEMA urge Massachusetts residents and their pets to stay indoors

Dangerously low temperatures are forecasted for this weekend!

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is urging residents to take precautions during this period of extreme cold weather and stay indoors. Prolonged exposure to the cold can lead to serious health issues including frostbite and hypothermia.

MEMA urges residents to minimize outside activities and to follow the same precautions for their furry companions. If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pets.

Though they may have furry coats, animals are by no means immune to dangerously cold temperatures. Even rabbits, cats, and dogs that typically live outdoors need extra assistance keeping warm as temperatures drop to alarming lows.

The ARL offers 6 steps to keep animals safe during this cold weather warning:

  1. If possible, bring pets or feral cats that you’re familiar with indoors to a garage or basement.  If it’s not possible, click here to watch the ARL’s video on making a DIY cat shelter.

    cold weather warning

    Keep community cats safe this winter by building your own DIY cat shelter in your yard. Click the photo for a basic how-to video.

  2. Bundle up your pup in a jacket or sweater during their walk, especially if their coat is made of hair (vs. fur). Take our quiz to determine if your pet needs a sweater.
  3. Before you start your engine, look under and pound on your vehicle’s hood to wake a napping cat trying to keep warm.
  4. Never leave your pet alone inside your vehicle, which won’t stay warm for long after your engine has turned off.
  5. Keep a winter pet emergency kit handy. Learn how to make your own simple and inexpensive DIY winter pet emergency kit.
  6. If your pet MUST remain outdoors, make sure that are in a winter-friendly shelter that has the following components: three-sided enclosure, stands off the ground, contains generous amounts of bedding, and plenty of (un-frozen!) drinking water. If possible, also make sure that the entrance faces away from heavy winds.

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. If you’re concerned about a neighborhood animal outdoors in the cold this week, be sure to contact your local animal control office or authorities.

For more information about winter pet healthy and safety, visit


Affordable Spay/Neuter is Pulling into Cape Cod

Only a few openings left for eligible pets during It’s Hip to Snip Free Spay-Neuter-A-Thon!

Attention pet owners: affordable spay and neuter is pulling into Falmouth this February!

February 23 is National World Spay Day and the ARL wants to let the cool cats and dogs on the Cape know that IT’S HIP TO SNIP! In addition to being awesome for your community, there are many other benefits to spaying or neutering your pet.

Thanks to a generous grant from Cold Noses Foundation, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Spay Waggin’ will offer FREE spay/neuter services to qualified Cape Cod residents* at Falmouth Petco located at 35 Davis Straits, Falmouth, MA on February 23 and 24. Openings are available first come, first serve and by appointment only.

Click here to listen to an interview on Newsradio 95 WXTK with Dr. Kyle Quigley, ARL’s lead veterinarian on the Spay Waggin’.

There are still openings available for the following:

  • Tuesday, February 23ALL APPOINTMENTS BOOKED
  • Wednesday, February 24less than 15 cat openings remaining

All dog appointments have been filled.

Appointments must be made in advance by calling 1-877-590-SPAY(7729), so contact ARL’s Spay Waggin’ today.

SPECIAL THANKS to Cold Noses Foundation for the It’s Hip to Snip Free Spay-Neuter-A-Thon possible!

*Open to Cape Cod residents only. Limit 2 cats per household. Spaces are limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more spay and neuter resources, visit


February 14 is Pet Theft Awareness Day

5 tips to protect your pet from theft… and what to do if you’re a victim

We do it all the time: We let our cat out in the backyard on a sunny day. We tether our dog to the street lamp to run a quick errand. We live in a safe neighborhood, so what could possibly happen?

Due to the ever-changing economy and the pet business becoming increasing more lucrative, the scary truth is that pet theft is on the rise. Just as you wouldn’t leave a young child outside unsupervised, the same should go for your pet.With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, don’t forget to show your furry companion how much you love them by keeping them out of harm’s way.

If your pet goes missing, immediately contact your local animal control and shelters.

If your pet goes missing, immediately contact your local animal control and shelters.

Follow these 5 important tips to protect your pet from theft:

  1. At home, keep your pets supervised at all times. Think twice before letting your cat roam freely around the neighborhood or tying your pup to the tree in your front yard.
  2. Running an errand? Leave your pet at home. Although walking your dog while tackling your daily chores may seem like you’re accomplishing double-duty, the reality is that it only takes a few seconds for a dog-napper to take off with your pet.
  3. Follow the same rules for pets of all breeds and sizes. Although purebreds and small dogs are the most desirable to a thief for obvious reasons, big friendly dogs or mixed breeds can be just as easily lured into a get-away car waiting nearby.
  4. Spay or neuter your pet. February is National Spay and Neuter Awareness Month and the ARL has been sharing the many health and behavioral benefits of the low-risk procedure. Another perk? Spayed or neutered pets are much less desirable to thieves, since they can’t be bred.
  5. Microchip your pet. It only takes a second for a thief to remove your pet’s collar, making them very difficult to identify should they turn up at an animal shelter or hospital. Quick and painless, microchipping your pet is extremely important to ensure that you and your pet are reunited.

If you find yourself in a situation where you think your pet was stolen:

  • Immediately file a report with your local police department and animal control.
  • Contact your pet’s microchip company, as well as local animal shelters and hospitals to see if your pet has turned up.
  • Post fliers around your neighborhood, especially in public spaces and businesses, with your pet’s photo, name, breed, color, weight and any distinguishing characteristics.
  • If you offer a reward, ask for a very detailed description of your pet and how they came into that person’s possession. If you suspect that you are being scammed, call the police.
  • Monitor newspaper ads and online postings to look for any that might fit your pet’s description.

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Prevent pet theft before it happens! Report any suspicious activity, or animal cruelty and neglect to your local police department and animal control office.


February is National Adopt a Rabbit Month

Hop on over to the ARL and ADOPT a bunny today!

Thanks to our knowledgeable staff and volunteers, the ARL has many types of animals available for adoption- not just cats and dogs. If a feline or canine is not the pet for you, or you have limited space in your home, consider SPREADING THE LOVE and adopting a rabbit!

Bunnies like Millie, Bamm-Bamm, and Cookie are all searching for a family to love this Valentine’s Day. Looking for double

adopt a rabbit

9-month-old Jordash is hoping to hop her way into your heart! Get to know this beautiful gal by clicking her photo.

the laughs? Bonded pair Castiel and Ghost are the best of friends and are hoping to find a home together!

Search adoptables

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider adopting a rabbit this February:

  1. Bunnies spend the majority of their day quietly inside their cage, making them the perfect companions for apartment dwellers.
  2. Cottontails can be trained to use a litter box, so you won’t have to rush home from work to let them out.
  3. Hares need minimal exercise every day, so they require less attention than cats or dogs.
  4. Rabbits are curious, friendly, and will entertain you for hours with their silly antics.
  5. Hop-a-longs keep themselves tidy and are all about “clean eating”, snacking on salad, hay, and carrots as treats.

Need a 6th reason? All adoptable rabbits at the ARL receive the following: Spay/neuter services, health screening and veterinary examination, behavior screening and evaluations, vaccinations, parasite treatment, and more!

Don’t forget… to please bring a photo of the cage your rabbit will live in, as it’s required for adoption.

SPREAD THE LOVE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY: Not able to ADOPT right now? That’s OK! Consider sponsoring a rabbit’s adoption fee to help a deserving bunny find a home this February! Contact our Boston, Brewster, or Dedham shelter for more information.


Winter Weather Closings

ARL programs and administrative offices closed on February 8

Due to the winter weather, the following ARL programs will be closed to the public on Monday, February 8:

  • ARL adoption centers in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham
  • ARL rescue services
  • Boston Veterinary Care
  • Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery
  • Spay Waggin’

Shelter staff and volunteers will stay at the shelter to make sure the animals remain safe, warm, and in good spirits as the snow flies on Monday.

winter shelter ferl cats

You can provide feral cats with shelter during a snow storm! An elevated foam bin filled with straw offers warm shelter.

When a snow storm hits, we often receive an increasing number of calls from concerned citizens with questions about feral cats.  Our rescue team suggests trying to coax a feral cat indoors to a garage or basement if possible for shelter during a storm.

If that’s not possible, watch our helpful how-to video to build a DIY cat shelter.  Make sure to line the inside with straw and use cinder blocks or boards to get the cat shelter off the ground.

For more winter weather pet safety tips, visit


Take Action for Farm Animals on February 11

Join The Citizens for Farm Animal Protection at farm ballot hearing

This fall, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) helped gather over 133,000 signatures (more than double of what was required!) as part of the effort to secure a November 2016 ballot measure to end the extreme confinement of farm animals in Massachusetts.

the citizens for farm animal protection

This Fall, The Citizens for Farm Animal Protection successfully collected over 133,000 signatures as the first step in securing a November 2016 ballot measure that would put an end to the extreme confinement of farm animals in Massachusetts.

The ballot measure would require that farm animals in Massachusetts — specifically egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and veal calves — have enough room to turn around, lay down, and stretch their limbs. It would also ensure that shell eggs, and whole, uncooked cuts of pork and veal sold in the Commonwealth are compliant with these modest standards.

With the first major hurdle cleared, the  initiative now goes before Massachusetts State legislature as House Bill 3930 and is scheduled for a hearing one week from today…..

Hearing on an Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals
Thursday, February 11, 2016, 1 pm
Massachusetts State House in Room A-2
24 Beacon St.
Boston, MA 01233

citizens for farm animal protection

The most commonly used battery cages hold 5-10 birds per cage. Hens kept in these cages are unable to even spread a wing.

During the hearing, industry experts and members of The Citizen’s for Farm Animal Protection Coalition will testify in front of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, and encourage state officials to work on legislation to make the reforms proposed in the ballot initiative law.

If the legislature decides NOT to take up the bill by early May, the next step is to gather a second round of signatures from Massachusetts voters to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.


  1. Show your support for farm animals and attend the public legislative hearing on February 11 at the State House – RSVP here
  2. Share the hearing’s Facebook event with your family, friends, and social media network – visit
  3. Contact legislators on the committee and urge them to take up action on the bill.

February is National Pet Dental Health Month

Receive $85 OFF dental cleanings and x-rays* for your pet at BVC!

February is National Pet Dental Health Month and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) wants to make sure your pet’s pearly whites stay in tip-top shape. Book your appointment with BVC today and receive $85 OFF dental cleanings and x-rays*!

pet dental month

It’s time to brush up on your pet’s dental health! Book your Feburary or March appointment at BVC and receive $85 off dental cleanings and x-rays*!

DID YOU KNOW… That your pet’s stinky breath may not just be the result of eating a smelly dinner? Bad breath can be a sign of dental problems. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar can build up on your pet’s teeth, causing bad breath, gingivitis, tooth loss, and infections.

In fact, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by the age of three.

Just as it is for people, the best way to prevent dental problems in your pet is to brush their teeth.

Watch a demonstration of how to brush your pet’s teeth in the video below:

To book your pet’s dental appointment at BVC, call (617) 226-5605 or email

*Offer is valid from February 1, 2016 – March 31, 2016


Important Update from Mary Nee, ARL President

Dear friends,

I wanted to share some very sad news about Stitch, the young dog found starved and abandoned last week in Dedham.

As sometimes happens with cases of extreme malnutrition, Stitch was not responding well to re-feeding, a medically-guided process of providing nutrition after a period of deprivation.  To ensure he had no underlying conditions that might be interfering with re-feeding efforts, the ARL ordered extensive diagnostic tests.

dedham dog

“Stitch closed out his short life with dignity, respect, and love — the way a dog should be treated.” Lt. Alan Borgal, director, ARL law enforcement team.

Late on Friday evening, the tests revealed that Stitch had a muscular condition affecting his ability to digest food and water called megaesophagus.

Several diseases can result in megaesophagus.  An animal can also be born with a defect that produces it.

Unfortunately, the results of further testing ruled out the more treatable causes of this condition in Stitch.

When he was unable to take water on his own any longer on Saturday, Stitch’s weakened state and the severity of this condition brought us to the point where the most humane decision was to put him to sleep.

As Lt. Alan Borgal, director of the ARL’s law enforcement team said very eloquently, “Stitch closed out his short life with dignity, respect, and love — the way a dog should be treated.”

While we are heartbroken he came to us too late to save, we are grateful to have been there to surround him with kindness and caring in his final days.

Thank you to everyone who kept Stitch in their thoughts this past week and for your continued concern for animals in need.

– Mary


Stitch’s case is an on-going investigation. If you have any information, contact Dedham animal control at (781) 751-9106.


It’s Hip to Snip – Spay or Neuter Your Pet!

February is National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month

During National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month this February, the ARL reminds the public that there’s nothing cool about pet overpopulation. So, pet owners, adjust those cool shades and help us spread the word that IT’S HIP TO SNIP!

it's hip to snip

Marty the cat may look super cool in his bow tie but there’s nothing cool about pet overpopulation. Click his photo to learn more about ARL’s “It’s Hip to Snip” Campaign.

“There are too many cat and dogs in our communities that don’t have homes,” explains Dr. Edward Schettino, vice president of animal welfare at the ARL. “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 it’s hip to snip:

1. You Snip, You Save. 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. Snipping Reduces 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.


Sharing is caring! Click the photo to download our flyer to spread the word that “It’s Hip to Snip”.

3. Snipping Stops 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. Snipping Lengthens 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. Snipping is a 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.

For more spay and neuter resources, visit

DID YOU KNOW… That more than a third of pet owners have not spayed or neutered their pet?

VERY SPECIAL THANKS to our It’s Hip to Snip media sponsors WBZ, WEEI, WRKO, WZLX, WBOS, and 98.5 The Sports Hub!