Thank You Kathy Griffin

A big thank you  to comedian Kathy Griffin for her kindness toward one of our shelter dogs before her show at the Wilbur Theatre on Friday night.  In spite of her busy schedule, she made time to meet with Brian O’Connor (pictured, left)  of Rescue Services who brought Selina – a sweet girl from our South End shelter – backstage to say hello. Kathy (whose own dogs were adopted from shelters) posed for photos in the hope of helping her get adopted. It really meant a lot to us.

Thanks also to Joe Donlavey of ARTSBoston and Bill Blumenreich (below, center) and Andrew Mather of the Wilbur Theatre. You guys are always there to help us get the message out about pet adoption and we greatly appreciate it.

Click the links below to see the Herald and Globe’s coverage.

Boston Globe

Boston Herald

Oakdale School Blanket Collection Drive

From Oakdale School, Dedham

How are you? My students have really enjoyed collecting blankets and towels. Since we just finished our mammal unit we called it “Mammals Helping Mammals. Attached is a picture that you can use for the newsletter. Would you be able to send us a copy of the newsletter, too?

Thank you!


It’s getting close to kitten season!

Everyone knows that kittens are adopted quickly and the younger they are, the faster they go. But what happens when kittens come in to the shelter and are too young for adoption? This is where our volunteers come in.

Kittens have to be 2 months old to be spayed or neutered, and therefore adopted. Kittens under 2 months of age do not have the proper immune system to stand up to the colds and viruses that go around the cats in a shelter. So then what do we do with them?

The assistant manager of the shelter, "Three 4 week old kittens waiting for foster"Melissa Tanguay, runs our foster program. We have a network of volunteers who gladly take these little kittens into their home and care for them until they are old enough to be adopted. These volunteers are crucial to our shelter and for getting these kittens up to adoption. Thank you foster volunteers!

Letters from First Graders

by Martha Smith-Blackmore, DVM, Director of Veterinary Medical Services

I get stacks of letters from 1st graders quite frequently as I am featured in a textbook story about a veterinarian who works in an animal shelter. I always write back to the class, and try to answer all of the questions. Here is a sampling of the letters I’ve received – the letter I wrote today is below.


Tiny Woodpecker Finds His Wings

By Marna Terry, ARL of Boston volunteer

It was quiet in Animal Intake today when Christine of Cambridge Animal Control walked into the office carrying a tiny cardboard container.  Christine had been called to Kenmore Square by a woman who had watched as a tiny fledgling crashed into a coffee shop window and lay stunned on the ground.  The little bird had tried to fly a couple of times as the woman watched but he had not been successful in nearly an hour and she was concerned.  So Christine collected the bird and brought him to us, and she was pretty certain he was a baby woodpecker. 

We were dying to get a glimpse of him so we carefully opened the box just a little bit and there he was, impossibly tiny and perfect, the characteristic black and white striations were already distinct and his little beak, barely  a quarter of an inch long, was a hard, shiny black.  He just sat there, wobbling back and forth a bit.  What to do?  The general opinion was that he would right himself overnight and could then be returned to the grassy area by Kenmore Square which was undoubtedly his home. 

A second opinion was required, and the ARL of Boston’s Rescue Services Manager Brian O’Connor was summoned.  He agreed – he’d seen lots of stunned birds who just needed time to regain the air.  He gingerly opened the box and WHIZ! out zoomed our tiny woodpecker, swooping all over the upper reaches of the intake office until finally settling on a high window ledge, well out of reach and looking adorable.  Brian got a net and oh so gently captured the little adventurer and oh so carefully put him back in his box.  Christine took him and bid us a happy farewell as she headed back to Cambridge to return him to his life.

Summer Wines and Fine Cheese at the Boston Design Center

The Animal Rescue League of Boston is pleased to pair with the Boston Design Center, Polka Dog Bakery, The Urban Hound, and The Urban Grape to raise money for the Alice T. Whitney Helping Hand Fund, an ARL of Boston program that provides subsidized veterinary care for pet owners in need.

On Wednesday, June 8th from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. the Boston Design Center will host a wine tasting to benefit the League. The Urban Grape, a generous friend of the ARL of Boston, will be providing their best summer wines for all to try!

So what does design, wine, dog treats and a dog hotel have in common with the ARL of Boston? We all love animals! It is through that passion that the League is able to partner with these amazing local businesses to raise money for pets in need of life-saving veterinary care.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advanced by clicking here or can be purchased at the door.

For more information contact Michelle Chandler, Manager of Individual Giving, at 617-226-5638 or

Via email: No ears, no tail, no worries

From Dave, the new owner of Elsie Maude. Elsie was rescued this winter and lost her ears and tail to frostbite.

She is doing very well and has acclimated to the new environment. She is unbelievably sweet and unlike other cats I’ve had – gravitates to new people immediately – not trepidation. She is the only cat that loves her belly rubbed!



by Melissa Tanguay, Assistant Manager, Boston Shelter

Walking down the hall today I saw one of our staff carrying this bowl of goodies – quite a creative use of milk bones, jerky sticks and peanut butter, if I must say so myself. They looked so good I almost wanted to eat one. Our staff never ceases to amaze me by always looking for ways to make our animals’ lives better. Lucky dogs!

Petco Foundation Makes $50k Gift To Dedham Shelter Renovation Project Renovation Will Optimize Care; Make Use Of Latest In Eco-Friendly Technology

Dedham, Mass. – The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Dedham branch recently received a generous $50,000 donation from the PETCO Foundation in support of its “Building for the 21st Century” Safford Memorial Animal Care and Adoption Center renovation project in Dedham.

“We are grateful to the PETCO Foundation for their support of this project and for recognizing its importance to our mission” said ARL of Boston President Jay Bowen. “Our renovation plan will allow us to create a comfortable and healthy environment to meet the physical, medical, behavioral and psychological needs of the animals in our care.”

Under the innovative guidance of ARQ Architects (a leader in humane shelter design), the renovation will provide the latest animal welfare and wellness features while improving work areas and providing a more pleasant environment to facilitate pet adoption. Equally important, it will incorporate the latest in energy efficiency, sustainability and green technology.

The total project cost is $2.7 million dollars and the ARL of Boston’s Board of Directors has committed $1.5 million from the Capital Spending Fund with the expectation that $1.2 million will be raised through fundraising. Since January $532,000 has been committed by individuals, charitable foundations and corporations. Please click here for further information about the renovation or here to support the project.

Left: On May 25, the PETCO Foundation presented the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Dedham branch with a $50,000 donation in support of its “Building for the 21st Century” shelter renovation project. The renovation will provide the latest animal welfare and wellness features, provide a more pleasant environment to facilitate pet adoption and incorporate the latest in energy efficiency, sustainability and green technology. Pictured are (left to right): PETCO Vice President of Regional Operations John Drew (with Montana, a horse being cared for at the Dedham shelter), ARL of Boston President Jay Bowen, ARL of Boston Volunteer and Educational Programs Manager Debby Vogel (holding Chico the Chihuahua) and PETCO Regional Marketing Coordinator April Botta with Loka the kitten. The PETCO Foundation’s donation will be used to create a multi-purpose community room for dog training, humane education programs and as a triage area for large-scale animal rescue and humane law enforcement cases.