Humane Lobby Day — A Collective Voice for Animal Protection Laws

ARL Co-Hosts Event with Local and National Animal Welfare Organizations

Hundreds of animal advocates descended upon the Great Hall at the Massachusetts State House in Boston this week during Humane Lobby Day, to meet with and ask elected officials to join the fight for animals in need by passing stronger animal protection laws.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) co-sponsored the event with several local and national animal welfare organizations, and with several big legislative wins in the past couple of years, the event is a reflection that there is strength in numbers.

“There is absolutely strength in numbers,” said Jean Bresciani, an advocate and veterinarian. “It’s good to meet with people from all walks of life and coming together for a common and very important cause.”

“I see a whole room of champions for animals,” said Mary Nee, ARL’s President. “It takes strength and courage to push forward the agenda for animals, and every person here is truly an unwavering champion.”

The annual Lobby Day event included a handful of legislative speakers, as well as comments from every participating organization, including ARL. Additionally, ARL awarded its first annual “Unwavering Champion for Animals” award to Senator Mark C. Montigny and his staff for their continued and collective efforts in bringing animal welfare laws to the legislative forefront.

“Like Senator Montigny, his staff is committed to humane protection and follow-through, being patient and tenacious,” said Nadine Pellegrini, ARL’s Director of Advocacy. “They are open to new ideas, and very generous with their time and assistance.”

ARL Legislative Agenda

ARL supports five pieces of legislation that were filed for this legislative session, while opposing two others. As these bills move through the committee and hearing process, ARL will keep you posted on their progress, so check back often for updates!

 

Trauma to Triumph: A Rough Road for a Boston Stray

Three-Legged Cat Ready for Puurfect Home

In his first year of life, “Sal” has endured quite a lot, but with perseverance and the help of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), the rest of this handsome tabby’s years should be smooth sailing.

Sal was in rough shape when he came to ARL’s Boston Animal Care & Adoption Center in late February; he was thin, his fur was grungy, and he was noticeably limping. An initial exam revealed previous trauma consistent with being hit by a car. Multiple fractures on Sal’s right front leg hadn’t healed correctly, and he had also suffered a left hip dislocation. Despite all the injuries and chronic pain, Sal was in good spirits and very friendly. His road to recovery however, would not be an easy one.

“Because of the poor healing of the fractures and his complete disuse of his right front limb, it was decided that the best (surgical) plan would be to amputate Sal’s right leg,” said Dr. Chelsea Reinhard, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Resident.

Additionally, Sal needed surgery to address the hip dislocation. A femoral head and neck ostectomy, or FHO was performed, and is a procedure that includes removing the top part of the thigh bone involved in the ball-in-socket hip joint. This helps relieve the pain, and will allow Sal to form a false hip joint and improve mobility. The two surgeries were performed at a partner organization simultaneously, which meant less time on the operating table, but a more difficult recovery.

Sal post op

Sal just after surgery.

Needing a quiet place and constant monitoring to heal, Sal has been in foster care for nearly two months, and because of his grit and determination, has made tremendous progress.

“He’s made a slow but steady recovery from surgery,” said Dr. Erin Doyle, ARL’s Lead Veterinarian for Shelter Veterinary Services. “Having both surgeries at the same time was necessary medically, but made for a bit of a challenging recovery despite extensive pain management. Thankfully he did steadily improve with his function of his three remaining legs over the time he’s been in foster care.”

Ready to go Home

It’s been tough couple of months, but Sal has shown his resiliency and remains a bright-eyed, loving young adult; and after just a few days, he has found his forever home and will join a family that already has a three-legged kitty! A happy ending for Sal, and you can help an animal find his/her own storybook ending by vising an ARL shelter and adopting! For more information, head to our adoption page.

 

ARL Volunteers Are Amazing — Thank You!

Celebrations Mark Volunteer Appreciation Week

It’s Thank You Thursday, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) would like to extend a very special thank you to the nearly 550 volunteers that allow the organization to fulfill its mission of being an unwavering champion for animals in need.

ARL volunteers give thousands of hours of kindness every year, performing a variety of duties with one goal in mind – keeping our animals happy and healthy. Each and every one of ARL’s volunteers are dedicated, caring, and inspiring.

“I’m so lucky to have my job revolve around such amazing people,” said Debby Vogel, ARL’s Associate Director of Volunteer Services. “I’m so thankful for all those who donate their time and their hearts to ARL!”

To show our appreciation, this past week ARL held special volunteer events at its Boston, Dedham, and Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers.

boston volunteer group

Boston volunteer celebration.

A number of volunteers stood out this past year, earning special honors:

Best of Boston – Betsy Jones

Best of Boston – Liz Watson

Dedham’s Most Dignified – Desiree Artu

Cape’d Crusader – Lesley Roberts

Mobile’s Most Marvelous – Kim Cochrane

ARL’s Unsung Hero – Esther Mastrangelo

Admin’s Above and Beyond – Debbie Owen

Our Four Footed Friends Favorite Foster Parent – Molly Montgomery

Rookie’s Magic – Jamal Effee

Additionally, for the first time, ARL staff were also honored by volunteers:

Boston Volunteers Choice – Michelle Polin

Brewster Volunteers Choice – Dawn Lee Laub

Dedham Volunteers Choice – Alicia Muller

Get Involved

If you love animals and are looking to lend your hand and heart to helping animals in need, visit our volunteer page for more information and opportunities.

 

 

 

One Dog’s New Life

The story of a dog rescued from a tenant farm and given a second chance 

You might remember Bear…a three-year-old Mastiff-mix who became the first animal adopted after Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) officials responded to the Westport Farm incident last July which resulted in more than 1,400 animals being rescued.

Bear Jpeg

Bear’s amazing transformation.

The case has since become the greatest example of animal cruelty in New England history. Bear is much more than a survivor—He is a thriver.

When he arrived at the ARL, Bear suffered from anxiety and poor socialization. As I write these words, I can’t help but think…’Well…obviously. Anyone would.’ He was shaken, and rightfully so. After weeks with ARL staff, he regained his confidence and found a new home with Angela and Adam. That’s the part of the story you might know already. But Bear’s life and the impact he has made on his new family is truly inspiring.

“Bear has brought love and a new sense of purpose for me,” said Adam. “I want to help him lead the best life he could possibly lead. He’s a dog, he is a completely good creature, so of course I would do anything for him.”

After Bear’s past suffering and subsequent rehabilitation, Adam’s words truly resonate.

Settling into his new home was not smooth sailing for Bear right away. “When we first adopted him he seemed to not enjoy much of anything,” said Angela, “he was always too nervous to really get involved.”  At first, he struggled with car rides and simple relaxation around his new owners. But over time, these anxieties melted away through a mix of positive reinforcement, routine, and even ARL dog training classes.

Besides behavior issues, Bear’s bowels also presented problems early on, with Angela and Adam trying half a dozen brands of food. Angela now makes his food herself, and she has noticed a tremendous difference. “His bowels are normal now, he isn’t a constant gassy mess, he is better hydrated and seems sharper mentally,” she said. “It’s taken a lot of my time but it’s probably the best thing I’ve done for him, and now that I know what I’m doing every batch is easier.”

Bear still gets anxious around new people. “This fear has often been an issue since he lives in such a populated area and Bear is such a handsome dog, everyone wants to interact with him!” Angela said. “People seem to often think that dogs are objects for human enjoyment, and feel somehow offended when you stop them from petting your dog. I wish there was more conversation and education about rescue dogs, especially ones adopted when they are adults.”

Bear chill

Bear relaxing and waiting for a belly rub.

While Bear has now adjusted to his new home, Angela also acknowledges his impact on her and Adam. “Bear has definitely reduced the anxiety in our household,” she said. “We both have pretty high-stress jobs and having Bear is the best, most relaxing thing to come home to. No matter what happened that day we have to come home, take the dog on a walk and are compelled to love and care for him. He has brought me a lot of education and friendships.”

One thing often lost in adoption stories is the impact on the adopters. It’s clear that Bear is loved and well-taken care of, but the drastic effect he has had on his adopters is also worth noting.

Pets make so many homes, lives, and families complete. As we look back on Westport, it’s easy to see hopelessness and distress. Look closer and you’ll see Bear and animals like him, who were given another chance and took it with four paws!

Why YOUR Support Matters

Your support helps animals like Bear to find safe and healthy homes, even when it seems bleak.

Be a champion for animals. Visit arlboston.org to learn more about the organization, ways to get involved, and how to support animal welfare in Massachusetts.

With your help, anything is possible.

Just ask Bear…donatenowbutton

 

 

 

 

 

Two Cats Taking Advantage of Change to Quarantine Law

Meet Lars and Bryan Adams!

With strong support and encouragement from the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), in October 2016 Governor Charlie Baker made significant changes to Massachusetts state regulations, which included reducing the rabies quarantine period for shelter animals from six to four months. In the years to come, this change will have a tremendous positive impact on shelters throughout the Commonwealth, and ARL has already seen the effect – Which brings us to Lars and Bryan Adams.

Besides off-the-charts cuteness factors, Lars and Bryan Adams have several other things in common. On the same day in early December 2016, Lars was brought as a stray from Jamaica Plain to ARL’s Boston shelter; Bryan Adams was found as a stray in Eastham and brought to ARL’s Brewster shelter.

Both cats were injured: For Lars it was a pair of ugly wounds on his left hip, while Bryan suffered from a swollen and infected right front paw – both injuries were consistent with altercations with another cat.

The cats immediately entered the four-month quarantine period, just in case either animal engaged with a cat that was rabid, and transmitted the virus to Lars or Bryan. The handsome boys were treated with antibiotics and pain medication, and their wounds quickly healed. Both were isolated and received regular veterinary check-ups to see if they had been infected.

Lars and Brian Adams

Lars (L) and Bryan Adams began their four-month quarantine period in December 2016. The average cost for a four-month quarantine is about $1,500.

Why the Regulation Changes Help Shelters AND Animals

The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians issued new recommendations in the 2016 Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention, advising the reduction of quarantine periods to four months. Why the reduction? Because evidence shows that animals in isolation for an extended period of six months can become stressed and depressed, even with regular human socialization.

Reducing the quarantine period also allow shelters like ARL to help more animals and ease financial constraints. From food, shelter to veterinary care, the average costs for a four-month quarantine are roughly $1,500, or $375 per month. The two-month reduction adds up to a $750 savings per animal.

“Overall the quarantine reduction does make a big difference,” said Dr. Erin Doyle, ARL’s Lead Veterinarian for Shelter Veterinary Services. “Four months is still well beyond our normal shelter length of stay so still requires extra measures such as office foster, but the two-month reduction does have a significant impact on how many rabies quarantine animals we’re able to care for.”

Ready to Go Home

Neither Lars or Bryan Adams have shown no evidence of a rabies infection, their wounds are healed, and with the quarantine period over, are ready to find their forever homes!

UPDATE: Certainly not a surprise, both Bryan and Lars were adopted quickly and are enjoying their new homes!

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Extended Care Needs Extra Support

When an animal is under a four-month quarantine, space is extremely limited, and special measures need to be taken. Along with regular checks by veterinary staff for signs of rabies, because the animal is in isolation, extra efforts need to be made by volunteers, staff and foster parents to spend time with the animal, keep them calm and give them love. While reduced quarantine periods save ARL shelters time and money, the costs for a four-month quarantine are still about $1,500 per animal, which is why we appreciate and continue to ask YOU for your support to allow us to help more animals in need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering Arthur G. Slade

ARL President (1977 – 2005)

Arthur Slade

Arthur Slade and his ARL-adopted puppy, Winston.

In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Arthur G. Slade, President Emeritus. During his 41 year tenure at ARL, Arthur was a tireless advocate and unwavering champion for animals in need.  He was extremely passionate about ARL’s mission and cared deeply for every member of our organization and surrounding community.

Arthur served as ARL’s President for 28 years (1977-2005), as ARL’s Vice President for 1 year, and as Director of Operations for 12 years.

For young staff members like Lisa Lagos, ARL’s Dedham Shelter Manager, he was a true role model. “I strive to be more like Arthur every day.”

At ARL’s 100th anniversary celebration, Arthur was awarded the Anna Harris Smith Award. Upon his retirement from ARL in 2005, he was first recipient of the Arthur G. Slade Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I had the pleasure of meeting with Arthur on numerous occasions and true to his reputation”, says ARL’s President, Mary Nee, “I found him to be a gracious and generous individual, deeply committed to ARL and animal welfare.”

A New England native, Arthur graduated from University of Connecticut in 1956. Following graduation, Arthur served as a first Lieutenant in United States Army, and remained in the Army Reserves until 1965 achieving the rank of Captain.

Prior to joining ARL, Arthur Slade held positions at the Connecticut Humane Society as a law enforcement agent and later as the Director of the Animal Department;  President and Director of the Massachusetts Federation of Humane Societies; Director and Treasurer of the New England Livestock Conservation; Director of the American Humane Association (AHA); National Chairman  of the Animal Advisory Committee of the New England Service Council of the AHA; Director and Assistant Treasurer of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA); Director of Red Acre Farm Foundation; and President and Advisory Director of the Pets and People Foundation of Boston.

Arthur Slade poses with Lt. Alan Borgal at an ARL event.

Arthur Slade poses with Lt. Alan Borgal at an ARL event.

“Mr. Slade was very passionate about animal advocacy and helped push through key legislation in the state with regard to pet shops, rabies vaccinations, dog licensing, and much more,” says Lt. Alan Borgal, ARL’s Investigations Specialist. “He was very well-respected in our field.”

During his long career in the humane field he received many other honors and awards; among them were the Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Agriculture, University of Connecticut in 1986 and the National Lifetime Achievement Award, American Humane Association in 1995.

“Mr. Slade was a man of integrity and always had the best interest of the animals at heart,” says Dr. Rashel Shophet-Ratner, Veterinarian at Boston Veterinary Care.

We know that Arthur’s dedication to animals and people in need can never be put to words, but today we remember him for his genuine kindness. “His compassion shone through in everything that he said and did,” says Beverly Hardcastle, Practice Administrator of Boston Veterinary Care. “Our heart goes out to his family and loved ones.”

Click here to make a gift in Arthur’s memory.

 

Cat in Tree Quickly Warms Up To ARL Rescue Team

Normally an indoor cat, on Sunday one-year-old August decided to dash outside to check out her Taunton neighborhood, and on Monday her owner’s family located her — stuck and scared near the top of a 50-foot tree.

After three days of being in the tree and showing no signs of being able to climb down herself, neighbors had called around for help but to no avail, and finally contacted the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services. Once on-scene and surrounded by a throng of bystanders, Manager of Rescue Services Brian O’Conner and Senior Rescue Technician Bill Tanguay assessed the situation, keeping in mind that action had to be taken quickly as August continued to climb and move around on the tiny branches.

“The tree she was in was skinny especially near the top, and wouldn’t be able to bear a lot of weight, so we decided that climbing an adjacent tree would be the best course, with the hopes that she would come to us,” Tanguay said.

Tanguay geared up and climbed the tree next to where August was, and she quickly realized that ARL was her ticket to get out of the situation. Not only becoming increasingly vocal, August also displayed her kitty nimbleness, using a number of slow and methodic moves to descend about 10 feet to get within reach of her rescuer.

“This rescue was more difficult than most,” Tanguay said. “We couldn’t get to where the cat was, but we got lucky and she saw us as her lifeline so the cat did the work and came to us.”

After climbing around Tanguay’s head and shoulders, August was placed in a protective carrier and enjoyed the slow repel to the ground and of course being reunited with her family.

“The Animal Rescue (of Boston) is the best, and he (Tanguay) is the bravest man I’ve ever seen!” exclaimed one bystander.

Who You Gonna Call?

ARL is the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts that has a technically-trained rescue team that responds to animal-related emergencies and rescue situations. If you need help for an animal, please call (617) 426-9170, then hit “1” for Animal Rescue Services. The ARL receives no government or public funding to help animals distressed, YOU make our work possible.

 

Track the ARL Boston Marathon Runners

After months of training our runners are ready to take on 26.2 miles for animals in need!

You can show your support for ARL’s Boston Marathon Team by:

1. Donating to the team to help them reach their goal of $30,000 by visiting https://www.crowdrise.com/ARLBoston2017

2. Tracking their race progress by using their bib numbers at http://raceday.baa.org/individual.html

Erin – 29857
Jonathan – 29840
Brianna – 30302
Max – 29722
Venkat – 28822

3. Joining us in Coolidge Corner near Marion Street to cheer for our runners as they near the finish line

A VERY SPECIAL THANKS to the dedicated runners on our 2017 Boston Marathon team!
JH LogoThank you to Boston Marathon sponsor John Hancock for including the ARL in the 2017 charity bib program!

 

 

Thank You WBZ Radio 1030!

ARL Programs Saturate the Airwaves as Featured Charity in March for WBZ Cares

As we head into April and the start of spring, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) would like to take a moment to thank WBZ Radio 1030 for choosing ARL as a part of WBZ Cares, a public service initiative that showcases the hard work and dedication of local nonprofit organizations.

ARL with Dan Rea

ARL on NightSide with Dan Rea

Every week during March, award-winning journalist Kim Tunnicliffe presented reports highlighting the programs and services related to ARL’s mission, such as law enforcement, special community initiatives, shelter operations, volunteering, and more! WBZ also ran ARL public service announcements that rotated throughout the day, and ARL’s President Mary Nee and Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services Dr. Edward Schettino were also live in-studio with WBZ mainstay Dan Rea.

WBZ’s massive audience, coupled with its history and stellar reputation in the Boston market made it the perfect vehicle to broadcast ARL’s mission to animal lovers throughout the Commonwealth.

If you didn’t get a chance to hear any of the segments during March, please click on the links below!

3/1/17 – Listen to ARL’s President Mary Nee talk about our history and mission.
3/8/17 – Listen to ARL’s Associate Director of Shelter Operations, Caitlin Tomlinson talk about caring for animals, both in and out of the shelter environment.
3/15/17 – Listen to ARL Veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley, and ARL’s Associate Director of Community Services, Cheryl Traversi, who talk about community services.
3/17/17 – Listen to ARL’s President Mary Nee, and ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services, Dr. Edward Schettino, who were live in-studio as special guests on NightSide with Dan Rea!
3/22/17 – Listen to ARL’s Associate Director of Law Enforcement Lt. Alan Borgal talk about ARL’s role in keeping animals safe and ensuring that those who harm animals are brought to justice.
3/29/17 – Listen to ARL’s Associate Director of Volunteer Services, Debby Vogel, and Volunteer Betsy Jones, who talk about the important work that’s being done by the organization’s 500+ volunteers.

The reports on WBZ show the reach of ARL and our work is only made possible through the generosity of our donors, so please click the icon below to help us continue to be an unwavering champion for animals in need.

THANK YOU once again to WBZ Radio, for selecting ARL as charity-of-the-month for March 2017!

 

 

Bruins Make Off-Day Visit to ARL

RW David Backes Shows Passion for Animal Welfare

As the Boston Bruins continue to prepare for a playoff run, this week several players took some time during an off-day to visit the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Boston shelter and showed that while tough on the ice, RW David Backes, RW Drew Stafford, Defensemen Torey Krug and Colin Miller have a soft spot when it comes to animals.

During the players’ visit which included Backes’ wife Kelly, they toured ARL’s Boston shelter, cuddled up with number of our animals looking for their forever homes, and learned more about ARL’s programs and services.

“Being relatively new to Boston, it was great meeting the animals and staff, I was very impressed with the work that’s being done (at ARL); it was wonderful learning more about the Animal Rescue League (of Boston),” said Kelly Backes.

For the Backes’, animal welfare has been a passion for more than a decade, culminating with the formation of Athletes for Animals, an organization that unites athletes for a common cause.

“As athletes we have a public platform and because animals are a passion for my wife and I, I wanted to use that platform to educate and inform as many people as possible about animal welfare,” said Backes.

With a number of rescue animals already at home, David is the go-to guy in the locker room for teammates with animal questions, and as seen with this week’s visit to ARL, he’s sharing his compassion with fellow Bruins and able to demonstrate the life-changing magic that comes with helping an animal in need.

Get Involved

You too can be a champion for animals, and you don’t have to have puck-handling skills or even be able to skate backwards to do so! From volunteering, fostering or donating (just to name a few), there are many ways to help ARL fulfill its vision to keep animals safe and healthy in the communities where they live. Click here to get involved!