UPDATE: Attorney General Announces Indictments for 27 Individuals in New England’s Largest Animal Cruelty Case
In July 2016, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department, staff, volunteers, along with other humane organizations and law enforcement departments, helped remove more than 1,400 animals living in unimaginable conditions on a 70-acre property in Westport, MA.
Westport, July 2016.
What followed was the largest animal cruelty investigation in New England history, and today Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced the indictments of 27 people facing a collective 151 counts of animal cruelty.
The indictment returned by a Statewide Grand Jury on Thursday is the result of a collaborative investigation involving ARL, Westport Police, Massachusetts Environmental Police, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
ARL Investigator Lt. Alan Borgal was one of the first on-scene at the Westport Farm.
“This situation is unparalleled to anything I’ve seen in my 37 years as an animal law enforcement officer,” Borgal said. “The sheer number of animals in dire need of care, and the cruel and unsanitary conditions we found were deplorable. It took an all-out effort of state and local officials along with multiple humane organizations to get all those animals out of that horrible situation.”
Property owner Richard Medieros is facing 21 counts of animal cruelty, and all but two of the defendants are facing more than one count of animal cruelty.
“Hundreds of animals on this farm were kept in deplorable and dangerous conditions, with inadequate food, water, or shelter, many of them suffering from severe health ailments that required them to be euthanized,” said AG Healey. “As a result of our investigation, the owner of this farm and its tenants will be held responsible for the inhumane treatment of these animals.”
The defendants are expected to be arraigned in Bristol Superior Court at a future date.
Our 7th Run with a John Hancock Boston Marathon Charity Team
Thanks to the generosity of the John Hancock Marathon Nonprofit Program, five compassionate runners – Dr. Erin Doyle, Jonathan Harlow, Brianna Roche, Max Shapiro, and Venkat Vedam– trained all winter long to prepare for the 121st running of the Boston Marathon.
The 2017 ARL Boston Marathon team has two very big goals – to raise over $30,000 and finish the grueling 26.2 mile course!
Learn more about why our team members chose to run for the ARL and how you can support them below….
“Having worked as a veterinarian for the Animal Rescue League of Boston for over nine years, I can’t imagine a better cause to raise money for as I pursue my marathon goal.”
Support Erin at https://www.crowdrise.com/arlboston2017/fundraiser/erindoyle7
“I’ve been associated with ARL as a volunteer, patron, and dog owner for about 15 years, and am thankful for the opportunity to support their mission. I want to say thank you to all of the veterinarians, vet techs, administration and volunteers for all of the work they do and for making sure that dogs like my ARL alum Boo Radley have safe homes and veterinary care.”
Support Jonathan athttps://www.crowdrise.com/arlboston2017/fundraiser/jonathanharlow1
“I’ve fostered kittens for the last three years with the ARL. I love running and I am passionate about animals. I’ve always wanted to run a marathon, and this accomplishment is extra special because I am raising money for a cause I love.”
Support Brianna at https://www.crowdrise.com/arlboston2017/fundraiser/briannaroche
“I love animals – especially dogs – and am very excited about this opportunity to help my community while also doing something that is fun and personally rewarding. I am also a runner and have wanted to run the Boston Marathon for several years. I think it is a beautiful coincidence that this opportunity arises just as I am beginning to volunteer for ARL.”
Support Max at https://www.crowdrise.com/arlboston2017/fundraiser/maxshapiro1
“Running a Marathon requires commitment, discipline, stamina to some extent, practice, but most importantly motivation. My motivation is the animals that will be helped as a result of your donation, and the city that inspires so many of us to be the best we can be, and some more!”
Support Venkat at https://www.crowdrise.com/arlboston2017/fundraiser/venkatvedam1
A VERY SPECIAL THANKS to the dedicated runners on our 2017 Boston Marathon team! Our team members have trained hard and worked tirelessly to raise money for animals in our community.
Show your support for team members by making a donation to an individual runner or on the ARL Boston Marathon Team fundraising page at https://www.crowdrise.com/arlboston2017
WBZ NewsRadio 1030 … tune-in all month long!
WBZ NewsRadio 1030 is proud to support the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in their habitats and homes.
In 2016, ARL served more than 17,800 animals throughout Massachusetts.
WBZ Cares, a public service initiative that showcases the hard work and dedication of local nonprofits, will feature ARL during the entire month of March.
Learn more about ARL on WBZ NewsRadio 1030:
- Every Wednesday this month, ARL staff will discuss important programs and services related to our mission, such as law enforcement, special community initiatives, shelter operations, volunteering, fostering a shelter pet, and more!
- 3/1/17 UPDATE – listen to ARL’s President Mary Nee talk about our history and mission.
- 3/8/17 UPDATE – 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 UPDATE – listen to ARL Veterinarian, Dr. Kyle Quigley, and ARL’s Associate Director of Community Services, Cheryl Traversi, who talk about community pet services.
- 3/17/17 UPDATE – 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 UPDATE – 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 UPDATE – 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
For additional information, visit arlboston.org or wbz.com/wbzcares.
THANK YOU to WBZ NewsRadio 1030 for selecting ARL as charity-of-the-month for March 2017!
10 Things You Need to Keep in Mind Before Adopting
We at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) love puppies. Let’s be honest who doesn’t? They’re adorable, loving and lots of fun. They’re also untrained, energetic and at times very destructive! While your heart may be in the right place, the bottom line is that puppies are not for every household. 10 Questions to ask Yourself Before Adopting a Puppy:
- Time Commitment: How much time do you have to devote to the puppy and are you willing to commit to the dog for its life? From training, to multiple feedings daily, to middle of the night potty trips, puppies need constant attention and cannot be left alone for long periods of time. If you cannot devote time to properly and responsibly raise the puppy, then it’s not the time to bring a puppy home.
- Socialization: This job is critical of a puppy owner, and is especially important in the first few months of life. Can you commit the time to socialize your puppy? Puppies need to be meet people and other dogs to become a well-adjusted and confident adult dog. Socialization is never complete in a dog, but the longer you wait the harder it gets.
- Housing: It’s seemingly a simple question, but is overlooked or ignored by many. Can you properly house a puppy and are you allowed to have a puppy? Renters: Check your lease to see if there are pet restrictions. Home Owners: Check your home owner’s insurance policy for restrictions. Every year thousands of dogs are returned because they were not allowed – this is not fair to the animal or to you, so please make sure that there are no issues if you bring home a puppy.
- Lifestyle: What is your lifestyle like? Are you an active family that spends plenty of time outdoors? Or are you more of a couch potato? Some dogs require a lot of exercise daily, and remember that small does not equal less energy. Some large breed dogs have a lower activity level than many smaller breeds.
- Cost: Can you afford a puppy? Food, veterinary visits, vaccinations, training, licensing and medical emergencies. Just a few of the costs to consider, and remember the costs of owning an animal need to be maintained for its entire life.
- Patience/Training: Are you a patient person? Puppies are of course babies and need to learn in order to become a well-adjusted adult. Remember it takes time and lots of patience! House training, crate training, obedience training, how to walk properly on a leash; these are just a few of the critical training areas. If you lack patience and get frustrated quickly, then maybe an older dog would be better for you.
- Long Term: What will happen to the dog if you start a family? What if you have to move? Again there are thousands that are given up every year for these reasons. Dogs are a lifetime commitment, and plans for these factors need to be made to ensure that the dog remains a part of the family for the next 10-15 years.
- Human Medical Issues: Are there any allergies or medical conditions in your family that could cause issues that may result in having to surrender the puppy? If there are suspected health concerns, consult a doctor before considering any pet.
- Grooming: All dogs need grooming – even hairless breeds! There’s brushing as well as regular attention to teeth, ears and nails. Some breeds do require professional grooming, while others may require a few minutes with a brush on a weekly basis. Are you able to handle this responsibility?
- Need: Finally – Why do you want a puppy? If you already have pets in the house, especially senior pets, they may not be crazy about the idea of having a rambunctious puppy running around. Along with current pets, consider other family members too and who will care the dog for its entire life, not just its formative years.
Answer “YES” to All the Above? You’re ready to adopt! All adoptable animals at ARL are spayed/neutered, receive a thorough medical exam as well as vaccinations and other treatments. Additionally, Boston Veterinary Care offers superb wellness services for your pet after adoption and it’s the clinic with a mission – All profits benefit the shelter pets under the care of ARL. And if you’re looking for training for your puppy, ARL offers that too! Click here for a complete list of classes that will help you bond with your puppy, and help them develop properly in their formative years!
Deer was Found Upside-Down After Getting Trapped Between Two Fences
Animal League of Boston (ARL) Rescue Services were dispatched to Foxboro at around 9:30 a.m. Monday (3/27/17) morning to assist the town’s Animal Control Officer in freeing a deer that had become trapped between two eight-foot fences that funneled into an enclosure at 191 Mechanic Street in Foxboro.
The width between the two fences where the deer was trapped was only between five inches and a foot wide, and in its panic to get free, the deer wound up upside-down and wedged in the tight space. With the land owner’s permission, a section of the fence was removed, and with some assistance, the deer was able to roll over, stand up, and was soon walking normally. Despite being shaken up and suffering several abrasions, the deer appeared to be uninjured from the ordeal, and when ushered to the edge of the property, Foxboro Police stopped traffic so the deer could cross the street and return to the wild.
Despite being turned upside-down when trapped, this deer avoided serious injury and returned to the wild safely.
The ARL is the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with a technically-trained rescue team that responds to animal-related emergencies and rescue situations. ARL Rescue Services can be contacted at (617) 426-9170.
ARL Partners with Organization to Give Southern Puppies a New Life
Today marks the 11th anniversary of National Puppy Day, a day to celebrate all the cuteness, cuddliness, love and energy that a puppy can bring to your household. It’s also a reminder that there are countless puppies nationwide who need to find loving homes.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is currently partnering with Animal Rescue Front, a group dedicated to alleviating the severe pet overpopulation issue along the Gulf Coast, particularly in Mississippi; less than half of dogs in Mississippi are spayed or neutered. The organization was formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and transports puppies to organizations like ARL throughout the country.
“The southern parts of the country have a significantly higher population of stray dogs with minimal spay and neuter programs that result in a high volume of homeless puppies,” said Caitlin Tomlinson, ARL’s Associate Director of Shelter Operations. “The New England communities, on the other hand, do not have the same concerns; spay and neuter programs are more popular and stray dogs are brought into shelters and municipal facilities quickly.”
Puppies — What’s not to love?
Twice a month ARL receives puppy transports from Animal Rescue Front, so if you are looking for a puppy or any companion animal, be sure to check ARL’s adoption page often! Puppy transports are truly a life-saving measure, as this year alone, ARL expects to take in more than 350 puppies from the south.
“Since there is a lower influx of dogs in the northern part of the country, shelters can help save lives by transporting puppies and adult dogs from these Southern shelters,” Tomlinson said. “By pulling dogs out of the Southern shelters it frees up space for more dogs to be cared for without having to resort to euthanasia. Since there are not many puppies entering shelters in the northern part of the country, puppies brought from the south are in high demand and adopted very quickly.”
ARL is committed to helping animals in need, and remember that when you adopt you save not one but two lives – the animal you adopt and the animal that can take its place. Whether it’s a puppy, an adult dog, cat or goat, ARL’s staff and volunteers at its Boston, Dedham and Brewster shelters are there to answer your questions to ensure that the life you save is the right animal for you and your family.
ARL Currently in Globe GRANT Top 5
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) would like to thank everyone who has submitted Boston Globe GRANT vouchers on behalf of ARL, and for subscribers who haven’t done so, there’s still plenty of time!
The GRANT allows Globe subscribers to show their support for non-profits by choosing which organizations get free advertising space in The Boston Globe. In February, subscribers began receiving their silver envelopes in the mail, and have until April 30 to either return the voucher, or submit their GRANT dollars online.
Submitting your GRANT voucher is an easy way to help animals like Hershey find their forever home!
UPDATE 3/22/17: In the past 24 hours, ARL has jumped four spots to 5th place overall out of more than 2,100 non-profit organizations in New England. It’s a great boost, but we need the continued support to jump into the top spot!
View the Leaderboard
ARL receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity of others to fulfill its mission. Free ad space in The Boston Globe would allow ARL to reach even more people about the mission, values, programs and services that make ARL an unwavering champion for animals in need.
If you haven’t sent in your voucher, you have until April 30 to do so, and please remember to write in the “Animal Rescue League of Boston” as your non-profit choice.
ARL Participating in Massachusetts Lobby Day for Animals on May 9
Want to show support for improving animal welfare in the Commonwealth – and meet other animal advocates just like you?
There is strength in numbers, so join the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and other local and national animal welfare organizations for Humane Lobby Day 2017 on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at the Massachusetts State House!
Every spring, hundreds of supporters across the Commonwealth gather at the State House to ask their legislators to push for stronger animal-protection laws. On Humane Lobby Day, citizen animal advocates like you are invited to learn and practice lobbying for relevant animal welfare bills in the Massachusetts State Legislature.
Humane Lobby Day 2016
ARL will focus on informing legislators about how they can help increase awareness about important animal welfare, safety, and health issues among their constituents.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 10:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. The Great Hall at the Massachusetts State House 24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108
Attendance Fee: Please note that there is a $9 fee per attendee, which offsets the cost of lunch and materials. A formal speaking program, catered lunch, and special awards ceremony recognizing legislators for their work to help animals are also on the day’s agenda.
Registration will begin at 10:15 a.m., followed by remarks given by distinguished guests, and awards will also be handed out to certain legislators and staff for all their hard work for animal protection.
Click Here to register and get involved.
Please note: Registration for Humane Lobby Day will close on Thursday, May 4, at 6 p.m. so register today!
ARL Dedham to Offer Discounted Rabies Vaccines and Microchips
Historically an annual event, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) rabies and microchip clinic in Dedham missed 2016 due to construction. However with the state-of-the-art shelter facility completed, the clinic is ready to get back on track! From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, ARL in Dedham will offer the following discounted services:
($15 for senior citizens)
Rabies Vaccine $10
($7 for senior citizens)
Pet owners should bring the certificate from the animals’ last vaccination. If they are within the date range (before the vaccination expires), ARL can give the animal a 3-year vaccine, but without proper documentation, it will only be a 1-year vaccine. Why have these services done? Rabies vaccines are mandated by law for all dogs and cats, and having a microchip implanted greatly increases the odds of your furry friend returning home if he/she decides to wander off and is taken in by a local shelter or Animal Control Officer.
Walk-ins welcome, and for more information, call the Dedham shelter at 781-326-0729 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Signs first partnership agreement with Codman Square Academy Public School
We are incredibly grateful to the Cummings Foundation for selecting the ARL as a recipient of their “$100K for 100”grant! This grant affords ARL with the resources to launch an exciting multi-year partnership with the Dorchester, MA community to improve the health of the animals and the people who live within it.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is pleased to formally launch the “Healthy Animals— Healthy Communities” initiative and announce its first partnership project with The Codman Academy Charter Public School (CSAPS).
The Health Animals–Healthy Communities initiative, focused on the Codman Square Dorchester community, has three components:
- Create partnerships with community-based organizations to understand and support the link between the health of animals and people;
- Identify the need for community-based animal care services, and,
- Offer community-based education in topics such as, responsible animal ownership, animal care, and civic action (reporting incidents of animal abuse or neglect).
“The Animal Rescue League of Boston is thrilled to announce this initiative and the important partnership with Codman Square Academy,” said Mary Nee, ARL President and Dorchester resident. “The Healthy Animals, Healthy Communities initiative will connect the work of ARL for animals with strong Codman Square community institutions for the benefit of animals and people.”
By establishing key partnerships with education and human service institutions in the Codman Square, the goal of the Health Animals–Healthy Communities is to establish a connections between human and animal services that benefits the community and integrates animal needs into the work of local agencies.
ARL and Codman Academy staff mark the partnership agreement between the two organizations. From L to R: Cheryl Traversi, ARL Associate Director of Community Services; Greg Carlson, CACPS Director of Instruction and Academic Enrichment; Thabiti Brown, CACPS Headmaster; Genya Mazor-Thomas, ARL Community Initiative Coordinator; Mary Nee, ARL President.
Through this partnership with CSAPS, a 10-week course “More than Just Pets: Animals in the Community,” will be offered at the school throughout the winter/spring of 2017. During this enrichment class, students will explore the depths of the human-animal bond and why companion animals play such a vital role in our overall mental, social, and physical wellness. Students will also interact with a variety of animals, and study animal behavior, welfare, and care.
“Animals are a part of our community and the way we interact with animals can be an example of how we treat one another,” said Thabiti Brown, Headmaster for Codman Academy. “We’re teaching students that they can make a difference in building a stronger community by helping an animal or person in need, and that’s a beautiful thing.”
Additionally, “Healthy Animals–Healthy Communities” will broaden its reach within the Codman Square community through “Let’s Talk Pets” public workshops, focusing on basic animal care and contributing to the Dorchester Sports League’s FitKitchen: Pet Edition, in which residents are taught how to prepare healthy meals for their family and their pets. ARL will also be conducting neighborhood surveys to help determine residents’ pet ownership needs. Additional partnerships with Codman Square organizations are being planned to make a greater overall impact.
The “Health Animals–Healthy Communities” initiative was made possible by a grant from the Cummings Foundation. ARL is one of 100 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 through Cummings Foundation’s “$100K for 100” program.
“We admire and very much appreciate the important work that nonprofit organizations like The Animal Rescue League of Boston are doing in the local communities where our colleagues and clients live and work,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. “We are delighted to support their efforts.”