World Spay Day History and Importance

Good for Pets & the People Who Love Them

World Spay Day KittenToday marks the 22nd anniversary of World Spay Day. Originally created by the Doris Day Animal League in 1995 it became a program of the Humane Society of the United States when they combined operations in 2006. World Spay Day is the first and only international day of action to promote spaying and neutering of pets.

If you don’t have a pet you might be wondering why you should care about spay and neuter. Here are a few factors to consider:
  • All of us are affected by animal overpopulation
  • Millions of tax dollars are spent annually to shelter and care for stray, abandoned and unwanted pets (the ARL is privately funded and does not receive any of those tax dollars)
  • Property damaged and livestock killed when pets roam
There are numerous reasons to spay/neuter your pet. Here are just a few of the most important ones:
  • Curb pet overpopulation and make your pet healthier
  • Reduce the number of homeless pets euthanized – In the U.S. estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year
  • Neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered male dogs
  • Spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs
  • Increased longevity of altered pets involves the reduced risk of certain type of cancers including uterine cancer and cancers of reproductive tract
  • Spaying females prior to their first heat cycle nearly eliminates the risk of breast cancer (decreases the chance by over 98%) and totally prevents uterine infections and uterine cancer
  • Reduce unruly behavior
  • It is good for the community

If you’re concerned about the cost of of spay/neuter surgery, low-cost options are available in most areas. The ARL established the Spay Waggin’ in 2000, in recognition that basic veterinary services, including spay/neuter, were financially out of reach for many pet owners who wanted to do the responsible thing, but could not afford to. Keep in mind that the cost associated with providing adequate care for just one litter of puppies or kittens is often more than the cost of spaying or neutering  


5 Things to Consider When Giving Animals as Gifts

Celebrating the holiday season with furry friends

It’s crunch time for holiday shoppers and finding that perfect gift that makes a friend or family member stand up and jump for joy remains very much on the minds of many this week.

Giving the gift of a new furry, feathered, or scaled family member is a frequent choice for a real WOW-factor holiday present.  That said, if a new pet is on your mind this holiday season, here are five things to consider.

  1. Thumper would love to come home with you!

    Thumper would love to come home with you for the holidays!

    Manage the surprise. Even at the risk of spoiling the surprise, make sure that the intended recipient wants a new pet.  Check with parents that they are willing to help a child care for an animal, for instance, and ensure they are able to financially take on the responsibility.

  2.  Don’t make them sneeze.  Confirm any allergies among all household members.  No one wants to go get an allergy shot after opening what’s supposed to be an extra special gift, after all.
  3. Know where they live.  Even if you know your intended recipient really wants a cat or dog, make sure they don’t live in a building or development that doesn’t allow pets.
  4. Find out what they can handle. You want to make sure you know the animal you are getting matches the lifestyle, physical limitation, ages, and personalities in the household.
  5. Adopt from a shelter.  When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  Adopting from a reputable animal shelter like the ARL’s locations in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham also has many practical benefits.  All our adoptable animals, for example, receive spay/neuter services, vaccines, and a health and behavioral screening.

12-22-14 Pets as Gifts Pic2“At the ARL, the visitors who come in looking for a pet to give as a gift to a friend or family usually know their loved ones, what they can take on, and the kind of animal they would like to have as a pet,” explains Maryann Regan, the ARL’s director of shelter operations.

Sometimes our whole shelter staff even gets to be part of the gift-giving experience.

Recently, one merry gift-giver came in after seeing an adoptable dog he knew would be just what his girlfriend wanted.  The next day, he brought his girlfriend to the shelter to meet the pup.  It was love at first sight, so he surprised her then saying the dog was his special gift to her!

The ARL has many deserving animals looking for a home for the holidays – search adoptables now.


Exploring the Issue of Animal Cruelty with Phil Arkow

Focusing on the link between animal abuse and human violence

ARL President Mary Nee welcomed President's Council members and introduced the feature presenter, Phil Arkow.

ARL President Mary Nee welcomed President’s Council members and introduced the feature presenter, Phil Arkow.

Making animal cruelty prevention a priority for the entire community is a major part of the community outreach work the ARL has done in 2014.  Our “See Something, Say Something – Report Animal Cruelty” campaign, for example, is all about getting the public’s help in reporting suspicions of abuse to local authorities.

We also recently hosted a lecture event for our President’s Council donor group and other special guests featuring guest presenter Phil Arkow, a noted speaker with the animal welfare field on the connection between animal abuse and human violence.  Arkow co-founded The National Link Coalition in an effort to bring attention to what many believe is a critical public safety issue.

Phil Arkow discussed the connection between cruelty to animals and other forms of human violence.

Phil Arkow discussed the connection between cruelty to animals and human violence.

“We can prevent animal abuse and other forms of family violence by paying more attention to animal abuse as a potential indicator and predictor of crime,” Arkow said in the opening minutes of his presentation.  “What we do to prevent, prosecute, and punish animal cruelty are just as beneficial to Man – and Woman – as they are to Man’s best friend.”

To download the slides or see more pictures of the event, visit:

Inspired by the many decades of research and examples of domestic violence awareness campaigns that include pets in the message, Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, vice president of animal welfare  at the ARL, conclude the event suggesting to the audience, “we all need to think about how to share the message that helping animals is really helping people and helping improve society.”

Thank you to the Susannah A. Knight Law Enforcement Fund for sponsoring the ARL’s Fall Lecture event.  Your generous support made an evening of meaningful and important discussion possible.

And of course, thank you to all of our President’s Council members who attended this event.

Website Susannah Thanks


Wally Says Look at Meow!

Home for the Holidays Happy Tail

Then: Wally needed over $3,000 in emergency surgery to repair wounds to his face, legs, and tail.

Then: Wally needed over $3,000 in emergency surgery to repair wounds to his face, legs, and tail.

Earlier this Fall, we shared the story of Wally.  The small grey and white cat had seriously injured himself after somehow scaling the 30-40 foot wall at Bridgewater State Prison and getting stuck in the razor wire.

Read Wally’s story

Soon after returning to the ARL’s Boston shelter to complete his recovery following surgery to repair his wounds, Wally found a wonderful new home.

Today, Wally is now known as Silvio (aka Mr. Sil).

His family reports that he continues to be a spunky little guy! He and his big sister Cleo, a Siamese mix and ARL Dedham alum (’09) became fast friends and are really enjoying having a kindred playful spirit around.

During the day, Silvio and Cleo love looking out windows together to watch the birds and squirrels. And at night, both cats snuggle up with their human companions after a long day of play.

Say Silvio’s parents, “We are so happy to have Silvio in our lives. Such a wonderful, resilient and loving animal!”

Stories like Silvio’s are truly like a holiday wish come true.  Thank you to our supporters who donated over $7,000 for medical assistance for Wally and other animals like him.



Give a Gift that Gives to Animals!

Last Minute Gift Ideas for You and the Animal Lovers on Your List

Still looking for that perfect gift for people on your list? There are several companies and organizations donating a portion of their proceeds to the Animal Rescue League of Boston this holiday season. So you can buy a great gift and feel good about where your money is going!

The following gifts will help shelter pets at the ARL:

Signed Country Music Guitars

Guitar CollageIf there’s a country music fan you’re shopping for this holiday season, then hang on to your 10-gallon hats because the ARL has a gift idea for you!Thanks to the generosity of Capitol Records Nashville and Broken Bow Records, the ARL has two very special items up for charity auction:

  • A beautiful Kona acoustic guitar autographed by country music super star and American Idol judge Keith Urban. Bid or buy now
  • A stylish Rogue acoustic guitar autographed by Country Music Artist of the Year Jason Aldean. Bid or buy now

All proceeds benefit the ARL. The auction will close at high noon on December 17, so make your bid now.

Pawblo Picasso’s Desk Calendars

Pawblo_Picasso_CalendarsPawblo Picasso is donating 15% of the proceeds from their 2015 desk calendars directly to the ARL. The 2015 calendar costs $14.99 and comes packaged in a CD jewel case, which opens up into an easel to display each month. Each month is a separate page and features a colorful painted illustration of a cat or dog by Pawblo Picasso. Every animal has a unique and adorable personality that is beautifully captured in the illustrations. It easily fits on your desk to quickly reference the date and fits perfectly in a stocking.

Don’t want to shop online? There’s a list of local retailers who carry the calendars.

Designated Dog T-shirts

Men-Brick-SS-Back_shopify_1024x1024Designated Dog will donate $10 from each shirt to the ARL. Their shirts are made from 6.1 ounce ringspun cotton and are a premium, soft washed garment pigment dyed fabric.  The t-shirts are Made in the U.S.A. and are pre-shrunk.

Harding Lane Hats

Yellow_Dog_front_cropped_ARLHarding Lane creates unique products that look great and give back. The goal of their winter campaign is to help fund-raise and spread awareness for the ARL through the sale of their “black dog” and “yellow dog” hats. During the holiday season 15% of each sale will be donated to the ARL.

Thank you Harding Lane for helping more animals find homes for the holidays by donating to ARL. ‪#‎homefortheholidays‬

ARL_gooseneck_signGooseneck Vineyards Bottles of Wine
Most of us can agree that a bottle of wine often makes for the ideal hostess gift, but a bottle of wine that helps animals in need, well that just hits it out of the park! Now – December 31 Gooseneck Vineyards will donate $1 to the ARL for every bottle of Gooseneck wine purchased in Massachusetts. For store locations and wine selections visit

If none of these items seem like a good fit for the people left on your list, then consider making a gift to the Animal Rescue League of Boston in the name of the person you are giving the present to. When you make a gift in honor of a person, pet, or occasion, we’ll notify the individual with a personalized card. To make a tribute gift, select “I would like to make a tribute” . Call 617.426.9170 x615 or email us for special requests.

Your donation will go directly to helping animals in need. What better gift is there, other than bringing an animal home for the holidays?



A Holiday Gift for the Dog Lover on Your List

Designated Dog Donates $10 from Every Shirt to ARL

Men-Brick-SS-Back_shopify_1024x1024Looking for a stocking-stuffer for the dog lover in your family? How about a fun t-shirt from Designated Dog that benefits animals at the ARL?

The dog lover on your list will love wearing one of these t-shirts and will feel proud to know that this gift supports shelter pets in need!

Designated Dog will donate $10 from each shirt to the Animal Rescue League of Boston. For a rescued animal, each shirt can translate to vaccines, a cozy bed, and even a microchip to help avoid being lost again.

The t-shirts are Made in the U.S.A. and are pre-shrunk.

Watch this video to learn more about Designated Dog and why they chose to donate to the ARL!

Thank you Designated for for choosing to help more animals find homes for the holidays, by donating to the ARL.

View the Designated Dog t-shirts.


Bring Greg Home for the Holidays

Pet of the Week: Greg has been waiting since October

12-12-14 Greg_PicGreg is a goofy and active 2-year-old pup who loves a good squeaky toy! He’s been patiently waiting for a home since October and would like nothing more than to go home with you for the holidays!

He was a long-term stray before being transferred to us from a local animal control facility, so he is thrilled to have recently discovered squeaky toys. Because he is so playful, he can sometimes become overexcited and grab for his toys, so he would do best in a home without small children.

He’s a very clean dog and doesn’t make a mess in his kennel in between walks.

Greg’s ideal home would have a large fenced yard where he can run around during supervised time outside and play fetch or catch a Frisbee

After enough exercise, Greg likes to be a couch potato and settle down inside. He is also treat motivated and would be a great candidate for obedience classes, which are offered here at ARL, which are discounted for adopters. 

Greg is a fast learner and a pro at playing fetch. Watch the video below to see his skills!

View his online profile to see more videos of Greg.

Will you bring Greg home for the holidays? If you’re interested in meeting this playful pup, please stop by ARL’s Boston shelter during our open hours.

Not able to adopt, but still want to help? Please share Greg’s story with your friends and family!

Greg trying catch snowflakes.

Greg trying to catch snowflakes.




Give a Gift that Lasts All Year Long

Join the ARL’s Monthly Giving Group – Champions Circle

What’s better than a gift that gives back…? A gift that gives all year long!

The time for year-end donations is upon us and when you make your donation to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, please consider selecting “I would like to make a recurring gift and join the Champions Circle!

Champs_PhotoChampions Circle donors make an immediate impact on the lives of animals in need by providing critical funding year-round for ARL services including, rescue, spay/neuter, rabies clinics and of course our animals shelters.

Active Champions Circle members receive:

  • A monthly letter with special updates on the animals in our care and ARL events
  • Our Four Footed Friends, our bi-annual magazine, highlighting the work you make possible
  • A behind-the-scenes tour of any of our shelters to see your gift in action

Signing up online is easy!  Prefer to receive monthly reminders and pay by check?  Please contact Jacquelyn Smith at or 617-226-5608.

Learn more about Champions Circle.

Give a gifts that lasts all year long! Becoming a monthly donor means that you have an immediate impact on shelter pets. Please join today!

becca champ


Pet Stories from 2014 to Warm Your Heart

Read the 2014 Fall/Winter Edition of ARL’s Magazine

Though it seemed impossible when he first arrived at the ARL in the spring with a severe leg deformity, today Rugby can run, jump, and play, just like every puppy should.

His “Happy Tail” is the cover story of the Fall/Winter edition of the ARL’s magazine Our Four-Footed Friends, and one of the many amazing successes made possible this year thanks to supporters like you.

Read Our Four-Footed Friends

2014FW_OFFF_CoverAs you read the magazine, you will see the impact of your donations on animals in need.

…On the 199 dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles the ARL helped rescue from a hoarding house (page 4).

…On Madeline, a cat who, like Rugby, came to our shelters unable to walk (page 11).

…On the frightened cats who escaped from a five-alarm fire and our rescue team helped bring back to safety (page 14).

So enjoy the magazine and feel good about your contribution to the positive outcomes described in this edition.

If you have made a donation this year, thank you! It’s also not too late to make your year-end gift!

The ARL has to raise over $500,000 before December 31 to make our budget goal.  Express your love of animals, compassion, and kindness by giving to the Animal Rescue League of Boston today.

Want to receive a print edition of Our Four-Footed Friends? Make a donation of $50 or more to the Animal Rescue League of Boston and we’ll mail our next issue to you.

To make a donation, click the green “donate” button in the top right corner of our website or click here.


Robi on the Road with ARL’s Rescue Team

David Robichaud from CBS Boston Spends a Day with Our Rescue Team

WBZ-TV reporter David Robichaud dedicated his regular news feature story Robi on the Road to describing the work of the ARL’s rescue team.  The story aired twice on the CBS stations morning news and also later in the evening.

Watch the full story:

A huge thanks to WBZ-TV going along for the ride and showing everyone the great work that our rescue team does every day!

Please share the link via email and social media with friends and family to show more people the great work that happens at the ARL.  If you’re sharing the story on social, a good hashtag to use is #WBZ and please tag rescue on twitter–@ARLBostonRescue–and the Animal Rescue League of Boston on Facebook if you can.

You can make a donation to the Animal Rescue League’s rescue efforts by clicking the green donate button at the top right of  our email.