ARL Reflections: Looking Back at an Amazing 2017

Community Cats Initiative Shows Immediate, Large-Scale Impact

In 2017, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) became the first organization in Massachusetts with staff specifically dedicated to helping “community cats”. These cats can be characterized as friendly strays, abandoned or feral; as well as owned cats that are allowed to roam outdoors. There are an estimated 700,000 community cats living in the state and face a variety of dangers, including starvation, illness, over-population, harsh weather, and other predators.

As an unwavering champion for animals in need, ARL decided that the challenges community cats face required our attention and action.

CommCatsVid_PlayWatch a 2017 recap video of ARL’s Community Cats Initiative

ARL’s Community Cats Initiative is a two-pronged approach. Our rescue agents respond to calls regarding community cat colonies, and after an initial assessment, a TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) plan is formulated for that particular colony.

Once trapped, these animals are brought to the Community Surgical Clinic at ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center for treatment and surgery.

TNR is one of the most humane and effective ways to stop the cycle of homelessness among cats. Along with surgery, the TNR plan includes vaccines, and whether each cat will be returned to the colony, returned to their owner if they are microchipped, or be put up for adoption at ARL’s Boston, Brewster, or Dedham shelters if they are deemed friendly.

Throughout the year, ARL’s Community Cats Initiative rescued more than 600 homeless cats, and astonishingly just 18 percent were returned to their habitat. That means that more than 400 cats have been taken off the streets and adopted into loving homes!

Let’s help even more animals in 2018 — TOGETHER!

We are excited about our commitment to help keep community cats safe and healthy in the habitats in which they live but we need your investment in order to provide the best outcome for these cats. To fully support these innovative programs and help more than 1,500 cats lead healthier lives, we need to raise $204,000 annually. Thank you for supporting ARL and being a champion for animals!