Unite in the Fight Against Rabies

On 28th September every year, the world unites in the fight against rabies.

World Rabies Day is a day of activism and awareness. It’s an opportunity to for you to join the global movement to put an end to suffering rabies causes by organizing or taking part in a World Rabies Day event.

world-rabies-day-logoRabies is a viral disease that can affect all mammals, including humans. The virus attacks the central nervous system and can be secreted in saliva. Infected animals show no fear of humans, drool and act in an agitated fashion.

In Massachusetts, outdoor cats are the “bridge” species, who are most likely to encounter a rabid animal, become exposed to rabies and bring it home.  The most common rabid animal is the bat, and bats can come into your home.  For this reason, all dogs, cats and ferrets, whether indoor only or not, are mandated by law to be vaccinated against rabies.

Every dog, cat and ferret adopted from the Animal Rescue League of Boston is vaccinated against rabies. Every dog or cat that we spay or neuter on the Spay Waggin’ or at our Fix A Feral clinics is vaccinated against rabies. We offer rabies clinics in the spring in Boston, Dedham and Brewster to help provide easy access to rabies vaccination.  We are doing our part to help prevent the spread of rabies in Massachusetts.   Please do your part and make sure your pets are vaccinated!

If your cat is not vaccinated against rabies, make an appointment for a vet exam at Boston Spay/Neuter Day for Cats on Thursday, October 2. For just $10 an Animal Rescue League of Boston veterinarian will be on-site to see your cat and your cat can receive a vet exam, vaccinations (including rabies vaccine), flea treatment and a microchip. Boston Spay/Neuter Day is sponsored by the Massachusetts Animal Coalition License Plate Fund.

More about Boston Spay/Neuter Day: http://bit.ly/spaybos


Thank You Thursday: Granite Telecommunications Surprises ARL with Special Donation

Thank you Granite Telecommunications for Helping Animals in Need

Mary & Granite_final_web

ARL President, Mary Nee holds shelter dog, Granite.

Earlier this week ARL president, Mary Nee accepted a donation of $163,000 from Granite Telecommunications in Quincy, MA.

The company’s CEO Rob Hale decided to celebrate hitting $1 billion in revenues by donating $1 million across five charitable organizations.  He asked Granite’s 1200 employees to nominate charities that “make a difference” and the ARL was one of the final five recipients.

Joining Mary to accept this gracious gift was Granite, an adoptable chihuahua from our Boston shelter. Mr. Hale was so taken with this adorable dog, that he announced that he would give $1,000 to the person who adopts her. Many people expressed interest in giving Granite a good home and she went home yesterday with her wonderful new family.

Granite CEO, Rob Hale said, “While Granite as a company is very proud to reach this billion-dollar achievement, we are even prouder of our employees as they embrace the spirit of giving back to the community.”

We are deeply grateful to Granite Telecommunications, CEO Rob Hale, and all of the employees who voted to donate to the Animal Rescue League.

You can read more details about Granite’s donation here: http://on.mktw.net/1mC5G1O



Deaf Dog Wiggles Her Way into Staff Member’s Heart

Bringing Awareness to Special Needs Pets

Here at the Animal Rescue League our staff have all sorts of pets and among them is a deaf dog named Tippy. What better time to share her story with you than during Deaf Pet Awareness Week? Read on to learn about Tippy.



A little over 8 years ago, Maryann Regan, director of shelter operations at the ARL, was managing the animal intake office of our Boston adoption center when a local animal control officer brought in an extremely wiggly and happy white dog.

The officer explained that the municipal shelter had no room and wanted to know if we had kennel space to house this stray dog. “Almost the moment the officer handed the leash over to me,” says Maryann, “this dog was tugging at my heart strings.  She immediately began to give me kisses and her wiggles were out of control- she seemed like a very happy, sweet girl!”

Maryann found herself spending extra time with her, –going for long walks, giving her extra play time in the play yard, and sharing a few extra treats. Something told her that this dog was meant for her family.

“I introduced her to my husband and it was love at first site. We decided, after her medical exam and behavior evaluation, we would adopt her as long as she and the other family members got along.  The other family members are two senior cats that also have a very special place in our hearts.”

During her behavior evaluation, the wiggly white dog performed true to form–high energy, playful, happy, and sweet!

As affectionate and people-oriented as she behaved, however, she also tended to ignore us when we called for her.

Maryann explains: “It wasn’t consistent with what she was typically displaying in her personality because she was usually very concerned or interested in being near every person she met.  She loved people!  Then, why was she ignoring us?”

The pre-adoption medical evaluation identified the issue: this dog was deaf.

“It’s not uncommon for white animals to be deaf.  This dog was all white, with the exception of a few, adorable black dots here and there bounced around on her body,” says Maryann.  “All the times we called for her attention that she did not respond to was not her ignoring us, she simply couldn’t hear us.”

Neither Maryann or her husband had experience with a deaf dog, but Maryann felt confident that they could educate themselves on how to handle her appropriately.  “I had such a strong bond with this dog, I had no reservations about doing all the homework necessary to make this a successful adoption for us, the cats and for her.”

So, if you’re considering adding a pet to your family, don’t overlook deaf pets in your search.

To learn more about Deaf Pet Awareness Week visit trupanion.com/deaf-pets.

09-24-14 trupanion deaf pets


Wally the Cat Recovering from Serious Injuries

Beloved cat survives a perilous walk on prison wall

Last week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston received a call about Wally, a fluffy gray and white cat badly injured during a dangerous walk along the razor wire that lines the top of the wall at Bridgewater State Prison.

09-15-14 Wally PicWally’s mom had given birth to him and his siblings about two years ago outside the prison, and continued to live in the vicinity as her family grew up.  Prisoners and guards had kindly fed and cared for the cats ever since.

The very friendly and sweet Wally had endeared himself to his caregivers who watched him grow from a rambunctious kitten into a particularly curious cat.

No one is quite sure how he did it, but Wally managed to climb 30-40 feet up the prison wall and gotten himself stuck.

For two days he walked along the razor wire line, becoming more frantic as staff, the fire department, and animal control officers from Bridgewater and Halifax tried to rescue him.  The frightened cat injured himself very seriously in the process, cutting himself repeatedly all over his body on the sharp, jagged wire barbs.

A determined prison maintenance worker finally cornered Wally along the wall, threw a blanket over him, and – to echoing cheers from guards and prisoners alike – brought him down to Lisa McKay, the animal control officer in Bridgewater.  She immediately brought Wally to New England Animal Medical Center where veterinarians determined he needed over $3,000 in surgery to repair the damage from his wounds.

Desperate to find an organization willing to cover Wally’s medical costs, help him recuperate, and ultimately find him a new home, McKay called the ARL.

The ARL answered “yes” to the call for help!

Wally sadly lost his tail to his injuries, but thankfully surgeons mended the deep cuts in his back leg and above his eye.  He is now recovering in the care of a dedicated foster volunteer and will eventually come to the ARL when he is ready for adoption.

Very importantly, Wally will survive.  The kindness, compassion, and love so many have shown him will continue to carry him through.

Would you like to help Wally and other animals like him?

Only with your support can animals like Wally get emergency medical assistance when they need it most.

Please visit arlboston/kintera.org/wally or click the button below to make a donation to help pay for the care and treatment of Wally and other animals like him.

Donate Now


The Loss of a Pet is Never Easy

September 14 is National Pet Memorial Day

“A pet is never truly forgotten until it is no longer remembered.”

Today we observe National Pet Memorial Day honoring our pets both past and present. 

The loss of a pet is never easy. National Pet Memorial Day is an opportunity to bring closure to the departure of your beloved furry family member.

09-14-14 Pet Memorial Day Cat PicjpgHere are a few ways to commemorate your lost pet on National Pet Memorial Day:

  • Reflect upon pleasant memories of your pet
  • If you buried your pet somewhere, go for a visit
  • Contribute to your local animal shelter
  • Volunteer at your local animal shelter
  • Create a memorial flower garden in your yard
  • Plant a tree or a shrub as a living memorial

Final care is a sensitive and important time in the life of a family pet and no one understands this better than the caring staff at the ARL’s Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery, located next to our Dedham Shelter.

Established in 1907, Pine Ridge is the oldest pet cemetery in the country owned and operated by an animal welfare agency. It’s situated on the grounds of the summer home of the ARL’s founder, Anna Harris Smith. In fact, her own beloved pets were among the first to be buried here.

The staff at Pine Ridge are dedicated and compassionate. Mike Thomas, our cemetery caretaker has been working at Pine Ridge since 1972. Watch a video about him and his incredible work with ARL.

The grounds are a beautifully kept, serene place to visit and tour the historical section for a glimpse into the duration and depth of the human-animal bond.


Boston Spay Neuter Day for Cats is Coming Up!

Spay/Neuter & Exams for Cat Owners with Financial Need on October 2

The Animal Rescue League of Boston, Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society and MSPCA are teaming up to provide spay/neuter services for Boston cats. During the “Boston Spay-Neuter Day for Cats,” pet owners in financial need can have their cats spayed or neutered for the low cost of just $25 per feline. Priority will be given to residents of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan.

09-12-14 SpayNeuterDayCatCall 617.226.5685 to book an appointment for your cat today! 

Event Details
Boston Spay/Neuter Day for Cats
October 2, 2014
9AM – 4PM
United House of Prayer for All People
206 Seaver Street Dorchester, MA 02121

If your cat is already spayed/neutered please help spread the word about Boston Spay/Neuter Day for Cats, by sharing this blog post with your friends!

10-2-14 Boston Spay Neuter Day Flyer


Honoring the Search and Rescue Dogs of 9/11

Animals helped us respond, recover and move on…

09-11-14 K-9Every year on the anniversary of the September 11 tragedy we take a moment to reflect and honor the nearly 100 loyal search and rescue dogs and their brave owners who worked the scenes in New York City and Washington DC to help with rescue efforts.

While many of the dogs who were an integral part of the rescue efforts on 9/11 have since passed, their memory lives on. This beautiful slideshow from The New York Times shows some of the heroic canines 10 years after that tragic day. It’s difficult to keep  your eyes from welling-up as you look at their expressive, gray faces.

Animals play important roles in our lives. Whether they’re recovering victims after a disaster, sniffing for threats at our nation’s airports, visiting with patients in hospitals or greeting us at the door with wagging tails after a tough day’s work, pets make our lives better.

In big and small ways animals helped us respond, recover and move on. Our thoughts, today, are with all of those who lost loved ones, human or canine, on or as a result of September 11.



Arnold’s in Eastham Helps Animals in Need

Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar to Donate Proceeds to ARL and Wild Care on September 19

On Friday, September 19, the iconic Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar in Eastham will donate all proceeds from the sales of food, ice cream and mini-golf to the ARL’s Brewster animal shelter and Wild Care of Cape Cod. Thanks to the generosity of Arnold’s, you can feel especially good about dining out on the 19th!

arnolds mini golfArnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar has built a reputation for the highest quality seafood with “white glove” cleanliness. Large portions, friendly customer service and affordable prices continue bring visitors and locals alike to this classic Cape Cod spot.

Arnold’s is located at 3580 Route 6 in Eastham.  Hours on Friday, September 19 are 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

All-day festivities will include:

  • Pet-friendly swag from the ARL (while supplies last)
  • Photo fun with the ARL’s “Super Pets” photo backdrop
  • Temporary tattoos and stickers for kids and fun-loving adults
  • Treats for dogs and door prizes
  • Information about adoptable dogs at the ARL’s Brewster shelter

Have a canine family member who’d like to join you?  Well-behaved dogs can join their families on the patio!

We’re very grateful to Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar for organizing and hosting this  generous fundraising event for our Brewster shelter.

Remember: it may be your last clam bake of the summer, but proceeds from the event will help animals on Cape Cod all year long!


Saturday was SUPER for ARL’s Adult Cats 

20 ARL Cats Found Homes on Super Caturday!

09-09-14 Nyla PicOur Super Caturday Adopt-a-thon was a huge success! Half of the adult cats we have available for adoption found wonderful homes.

We felt especially happy for cats like Nyla and Short Cake who had been waiting for a home for many long weeks!

Nyla is an energetic, 6-year-old tortie cat who had been at our Dedham shelter since the end of May. This spunky girl came to the ARL as a stray and while many people expressed interest in her, she just couldn’t seem to find her purr-fect match until this past Saturday!

09-09-14 Short CakeFour-year Short Cake had been with us for 65 days and had already won the hearts of staff and volunteers at our Boston shelter.  Our shelter staff was fond of saying that while her eyes may look a little somber, her heart is full of love.  We’re sure her new family is experiencing just how affectionate she is right now!

Congrats to all 20 adult cats who found homes last Saturday!

Adoption promotions like Super Caturday help bring potential adopters to our shelters to meet cats like Nyla and Short Cake.  If you’d like to support our adoption efforts, please consider becoming a member of the ARL’s Champions Circle.


Back to School for People AND Pups

Register for Fall Dog training Classes at ARL

Back to school isn’t just for kids! The fall is a great time to get you and your pup involved in dog training. As you figure out your fall schedule, be sure to save some time for enriching your dog’s life.

Why send your dog to school? Training your dog benefits him, your family, and everyone around you. Not only does it teach your pup rules and good manners, it also keeps him from getting bored.

Pets can become bored when left alone all day while the family’s at work and school. In a survey, Pet360 discovered that 20 percent of pet owners with school-age children said their pets showed signs of anxiety when everyone in the house went back to their normal routine at the end of the summer. Dog training classes are a fantastic way to bond with your pup and create a fun, challenging routine that will keep your pet active.

The Animal Rescue League offers a variety of dog training classes as part of our commitment to supporting positive relationships between people and their pets.

09-08-14 Dog Training PhotoOur certified, experienced and caring dog trainers help you teach your dog basic and advanced commands, as well as house and outdoor manners.  We also offer fun dog sports and agility classes if you’re looking for something more laid back.

All classes are held at our Boston shelter and we offer free on-site parking for your convenience.

Here are a few of our classes that start soon.

  • Puppy Kindergarten: Tuesdays September 09 at 6pm and Sunday September 28 at 10am
  • Good Manners: Tuesday, September 09 at 7pm and Sunday, September 28 at 11am
  • Advanced Puppy Training: Sunday, September 28 at 9am
  • Sniffing for Fun: Sunday, September 28 at 12pm
  • Canine Good Citizen: Sunday, September 28 at 1pm

Recent ARL alums receive a 25% discount. Boston Veterinary Care clients receive a 10% discount.

For more information and to enroll in a dog training class visit arlboston.org/dog-training.