Feb. 7, 2012 – Our 113th Anniversary

Feb.7, 1899 – On this day, one-hundred and thirteen years ago, the League was formed in downtown Boston’s Park Street Chapel. Founder Anna Harris Smith and a few close colleagues agreed on the need for an organization to care for homeless and abandoned animals, and decided to form an organization for that purpose.

It all began with just 110 supporters and $1,200. Today, there are over 400 volunteers and 92 employees. From the beginning, Anna Harris Smith commonly used the phrase“Kindness Uplifts the World” to describe the League’s overall philosophy, encapsulating her desire to care for both animals and their human companions.

Her philosophy still rings true as the ARL of Boston continues the work she began.

About Anna Harris Smith of Dorchester

League founder Anna Clapp Harris Smith – a descendant of the founders of Dorchester – was also a resident of the area, where her house still stands today. The house is believed to have been constructed circa 1635 based on the age of its stone foundation. The Clapp house is currently undergoing a restoration. The restored home will offer a glimpse into the city’s storied past but is also a reminder of the neighborhood’s – and the League’s - early history.

Updates on the renovation are soon to follow so please check back soon.

Mark Vogel, Life Saver

Congratulations to Senior Rescue Technician Mark Vogel whose actions saved the life of a stranger who was unresponsive after collapsing at a restaurant this past Saturday. Vogel – whose Rescue Services training includes first aid and CPR – performed chest compressions on a man who was not breathing and had no pulse after striking his head on the floor.

As Vogel continued to perform CPR, the man began breathing shallowly and regained a faint pulse. However, through Vogel’s continued efforts, he eventually regained consciousness and was alert when an ambulance crew arrived.

While we know that Mark is a hero to the animals he and Rescue Services touch every day, please join us in congratulating him on his latest act of bravery. Way to go Mark!

281 Animals Adopted in January

Starting 2012 on a strong note, 281 animals were adopted from the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s shelters in Boston, Dedham and Brewster.

Among the January adoptions were 202 cats; 31 dogs; 11 birds (two doves and nine finches); 12 guinea pigs; 11 hamsters; seven rabbits; two degus; a ferret and a chinchilla.
Older dogs for whom the League’s Animal Care and Adoption areas found forever homes included: 12-year-old Obie (Labrador Retriever); 11–year-old Diva (Miniature Pinscher) and 9-year-old Cooper (Cocker Spaniel).

Among the older cats were three special 11-year-olds Angel, Fluffy and George – all adopted within one week (see http://home.arlboston.org/2012/01/23/in-praise-of-older-animals/); 10-year-old Jelly; 9-year-olds Diamond and Dr. Hazel (shown above with volunteer Amy Eisenman); and 8-year-olds Bandit, Little Dee, Stormy and Margo.

You can view a list of all available dogs here,  all available cats here and other animals here.

In Remembrance of Mayor Kevin White

We wanted to offer our condolences to the family of former Boston Mayor Kevin White. In addition to the many great things he has done for the City of Boston, we will always remember him for his affection for Prescott, a beloved Boston Police Horse who many Bostonians remember fondly. Mayor White gave the horse to the Boston Police Department’s mounted unit and he soon became a fixture on our city’s streets. Everyone – especially children – wanted to catch a glimpse of the beautiful horse. League founder Anna Harris Smith (1843 – 1929) was an early advocate for the welfare of Boston’s working horses, and this would have pleased her to no end.

When Prescott passed away in 1994, Mayor White attended his funeral at our pet cemetery in Dedham.

In addition to his years of service to the people of Boston, we were honored to have gotten to know Mayor White in the most touching of ways – through our shared love of an animal.

CSD Partners with St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center

The Center for Shelter Dogs is proud to announce its recent partnership with the St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison and North Branch, New Jersey.

St. Hubert’s is one of the CSD’s most recent Shelter Partners implementing the Match-Up II Online program within its organization. Founded in 1939, St. Hubert’s serves animals and people with a wide variety of programs that nurture the human-animal bond. Many of their programs serve as models for other organizations across the country.

Dr. Amy Marder introduced Match-Up II Online to the St. Hubert’s staff with an in-depth training on all components of the program, including the Match-Up II behavior evaluation. Members of the St. Hubert’s staff were able to conduct live behavior evaluations on their shelter dogs and learned best practices for implementing Match-Up II Online within the St. Hubert’s organization.

“We are very excited to begin our partnership with the St. Hubert’s organization, says Dr. Amy Marder. “By collaborating with Shelter Partners like St. Hubert’s, we are learning more about how shelter dogs behave, what behaviors are most common, and what types of personalities they have.”

Through its Shelter Partner relationships across the country, the Center for Shelter Dogs is creating the first national database ever used to compare shelter dog behavior, trends, and adoptability.

Yogathon to Benefit the Animal Rescue League of Boston!

Saturday February 11th 9AM – 5:30PM    
$20 suggested donation
A special “doga” class for you and your dog!


111 West Concord St. (REAR entrance) Boston

9:00 – 10:15AM – Erin – dog friendly*
10:30 – 11:45AM – Suzi
12:00 – 1:15 PM – Ken – dog friendly*
1:30 – 2:45PM – Eartha – dog friendly*
3:00 – 4:30PM – Hillary
4:45 – 6:00PM – Patrice – DOGA**
*dogs are welcome as spectators
** dogs are participants
At 4:30 there will be a dog massage workshop with Arnie Katz of Katz & Dogs, professional massage therapist

Please register at:

Or 617-947-8892

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

The coming of cold weather presents a problem for every dog owner: how will you find ways to provide enough exercise for your dog? Exercise (even indoors) is not only beneficial to a dog’s well being, but also gives your four footed friend time to play.

Nose work games are great to get your dog moving. After delivering a stay command, hide a treat nearby, and then allow your dog to search for it. It works best when the reward is hidden in an easy-to- find place. Over time, gradually increase the complexity of the hiding places, like under a cardboard box. Treats can be substituted with other objects, like toys if your dog is very toy motivated. Nose work games are like treasure hunts for dogs and keep them active.

Puzzles aren’t just for humans. Food puzzles are also a fantastic activity for your dog because they are great for providing both mental and physical stimulation.  If your dog is food motivated, more complex puzzles provide more vigorous exercise, and your dog will have fun in the process.

The canine version of ‘monkey in the middle’ will also give your dog a lot of leg work. Two people call the dog back and forth and, each time your dog reaches the respective person, offer a treat.

While cold weather may keep your dog inside, it doesn’t have to stop him from staying healthy and having fun.

From South of the Border to Across the Pond

While the Animal Rescue League represents all dogs of Boston, Patty Ruiz will be representing all dogs of the world this summer as she carries the torch to the 2012 Olympics in London. Until February 3 however, she will be volunteering in our Boston branch.

Patty has come to Boston to take classes to strengthen her English before heading to London this summer. When she decided to come to Boston, Patty researched shelters in the area. She found the ARL of Boston and now helps out by preparing food, doing laundry, and washing dishes for the dogs.

Patty Ruiz is the founder of Milagros Caninos, the first dog sanctuary of Latin America in Mexico City. Her shelter helps dogs who have been through extreme situations, such as abuse, cancer, burns, blind, deaf and suffering from addiction. She provides a home for these special dogs and gives them a place to live out the rest of their years.

Patty relies on donors to help her with her wonderful mission. You can donate to Milagros Caninos by visiting their website.

We Need Your Vote!

It’s that time of year again! The Boston Phoenix has begun the voting for their annual “Best of Boston” issue. One of the categories is Best Twitter Feed and our Rescue Team wants you to vote for their Twitter feed!

Rescue Services answers dozens of calls each week. Their expeditions are documented through their Twitter feed. From heartfelt tweets about rescuing a cold cat to their often humorous insights into their travels, the Rescue Team’s Twitter feed gives the public an inside glimpse of animal welfare.

The Twitter feed also shows the wide variety of work the team does. Each day is different and each story has its own unique qualities.

Vote for the Rescue Team’s Twitter here! While you’re at it, head over and vote for the Animal Rescue League for “Best Non-Profit” here!