Blog Archives
ARL Helps Save Revere Cat Abandoned in Dumpster

The Revere Police and Animal Rescue League of Boston Law Enforcement Departments are searching for information leading to suspects in this case

Revere cat

The 1-year-old black male cat was discovered inside a heavy canvas gym bag in a dumpster located at Wonderland Marketplace in Revere, MA.

Earlier this week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) responded to a Law Enforcement investigation about a 1-year-old cat that was found cruelly abandoned in a dumpster located at the rear of the Big Lots located at 151 VFW Parkway ( Wonderland Marketplace ) in Revere, Massachusetts.

The black male cat was discovered inside of a heavy canvas Everlast brand gym bag that was zippered shut. The bag was soaked in urine, as was the frightened feline trapped inside.

Read more about the case, as covered by Fox 25 WFXT and Channel 7 WHDH.

“This is one of the most horrific cases of animal abandonment I’ve seen”, says Lt. Alan Borgal, ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement.

The cat was transported to a local Revere animal hospital where he was treated for urine scalding and hypothermia. He was later moved to a veterinary clinic in West Peabody, Massachusetts for follow-up care.

Despite the fear and incredible pain he’s suffered, the cat has been the perfect patient. “He’s a very sweet and affectionate cat,” describes Lt. Borgal. “At one point hopefully he must have been a loved pet.”

The Revere Police and ARL/Boston Law Enforcement Departments is still searching for any information that would lead to the suspects in this case. Animal abandonment is a criminal offense of animal cruelty and, therefore, in

Revere cat

The “Revere Cat” was immediately transported to a local animal hospital for treatment. If you recognize this cat or have any information, please contact the Revere Police Department at (781) 284-1212 or the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Law Enforcement Department at (617) 226-5613.

Massachusetts the offense is punishable up to 7 years in prison for first-time offenders– and up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for subsequent offenses.

If you have any information regarding this case, please contact the Revere Police Department at (781) 284-1212 or the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Law Enforcement Department at (617) 226-5613.

“Animal Abandonment is a very unnecessary crime,” reminds Lt. Borgal. “There are many animal shelters like the ARL, animal hospitals, veterinarians, animal control officers, and police officers in Massachusetts that you can call if you need help surrendering or caring for your pet.”

75 Cats Spayed/Neutered During ARL’s Fix-a-Feral Clinic

THANK YOU to our dedicated volunteers and staff who made this important work possible!

On a very snowy Sunday morning, 34 extremely dedicated ARL volunteers and 11 ARL employees stood ready and waiting to receive 75+ cats during its first Fix-A-Feral Clinic of the year at ARL’s Boston shelter.

During the Fix-a-Feral Clinic, 75 cats were successfully spay/neutered, vaccinated, and received an individual behavioral screening.

Thanks to a generous donor, the ARL was able to offer these trap, neuter, and release (TNR) services to 14 feral cat caretakers in the Greater Boston Area—FREE of charge!

Cheryl Traversi, manager of community veterinary services at the ARL, works very closely with these community cat trappers, feeders, and caretakers.

“Providing spay and neuter services to these community cat trappers is a vital part of feral cat colony management,” explains Dr. Kyle Quigley, lead veterinarian of ARL’s community veterinary services.

In fact, studies have shown that humanely trapping, spaying/neutering, and releasing (TNR) feral cats back to the colonies where they have been living is one of the most effective ways to decrease the number of homeless animals in our community.

Feral cats are cats that have either lived for an extended period of time with little or no human contact. Sometimes these cats have been abandoned by previous owners; other times they are the offspring of stray or other feral cats.

Watch the video below for a brief recap of ARL’s Spring Fix-a-Feral Clinic 

PUT YOUR PAWS TOGETHER FOR our incredible volunteers and staff members who helped with Sunday’s Fix-a-Feral Clinic… and for our donor, without whom this week’s clinic would not have been possible!

Learn more about ARL’s high-quality affordable spay/neuter services at arlboston.org/spay-neuter.

Strong Showing at Humane Lobby Day 2016!

ARL participates alongside local & national animal welfare organizations

Earlier today, state representatives and citizen animal advocates reinforced to legislators how important the issue of animal welfare is to their constituents by the strong attendance at Humane Lobby Day 2016.


ARL’s director of advocacy, Nadine Pellegrini, takes the podium at Humane Lobby Day.

Volunteers and staff proudly represented the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) at the Massachusetts State House. Attendees who visited the ARL table were impressed by the important work that we’re doing in the community and our continuous efforts to educate the public about animal welfare and safety.

A big piece of that effort is the addition of Nadine Pellegrini, ARL’s director of advocacy. In her new role, Nadine will provide leadership and direction on the organization’s busy animal welfare agenda.

“I’m very proud to be here at my first Lobby Day,” Nadine told the crowd. “You folks are unstoppable!”

This year, Nadine was asked to speak to event attendees about bill S. 1092, An Act Relative to the Tethering of Dogs. After discussing the research behind the “anti-tethering” bill, Nadine closed with the gentle reminder that, “dogs are not only a part of our lives, but also a partner in our lives.”

Key representatives from HSUS, MSPCA, and ASPCA also spoke about the important animal welfare bills that constituents should address with their legislators, such as: (S. 1103) An Act to Protect Puppies and Kittens; (S. 2069) An Act Regulating the Enforcement of Illegal Hunting Practices; (S. 415) An Act Expanding the Powers of the Director of Fisheries and Wildlife; (H. 658) An Act Relative to the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Click here to learn why ARL supports or opposes each bill.

ARL staff spoke with state representatives and citizen animal advocates about what makes our local organization unique.

ARL staff and volunteers spoke with citizen animal advocates about the ARL and it’s programs and services.

Awards were also presented to local town and city leaders who were identified as champions for animal protection and welfare.

The Municipal Leadership Award was granted to Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley and to Cambridge City Councilor Marc McGovern. The Humane Legislator Award was presented to Massachusetts State Senator Michael Moore and to Massachusetts State Representative Lori Ehrlich.

CONGRATULATIONS… to this year’s award recipients and thank you for helping to achieve stronger protections for animals in the Commonwealth!

VERY SPECIAL THANKS… to our Humane Lobby Day 2016 partners HSUS, MSPCA, and ASPCA for giving animals a voice and asking state legislators to pass laws that benefit both animals and humans alike!

ARL Saves Baby Owl and Kittens during Snowstorm

All in a day’s work: Rescue Services helps newborn critters in New England


ARL’s Rescue Services pulled nine kittens from an old work duct in Jamaica Plain. The kittens are now safe in ARL’s foster care!

On Monday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Service team, Danielle Genter and Mike Brammer responded to a call for help from an employee of the VA Hospital in Jamaica Plain, MA.

The concerned citizen contacted the ARL when the feral cat that she feeds on Monday mornings did not come out as usual. She could, however, hear the animal whimpering and assumed it was stuck somewhere outdoors.

ARL’s Rescue team arrived on the scene and quickly identified two holes near the building. During their initial inspection, they looked into the holes and took photographs, but did not hear anything. Shortly after placing food inside the hole, however, they heard a faint meow coming from one of the holes.

ARL’s expert rescue technicians, Danielle Genter and Mike Brammer, try to place the baby owl back in its nest.

ARL’s expert rescue technicians, Danielle Genter and Mike Brammer, attempt to return the baby owl to its nest.

Click here to read the full story, as reported by Boston.com.

After pulling one kitten out of the small hole under the building, Danielle and Mike were in for a surprise: in total they found nine 4-week-old kittens taking cover from the storm inside the old duct work!

“Gradually, one by one, we pulled all nine kittens out. We were there for about an hour trying to catch them,” says Mike.

Although cold and hungry, all nine kittens were in perfect heath and were transferred to ARL’s foster care program where they’ll stay until they’re old enough to be put up for adoption.

Earlier in the week, the kittens’ feral cat mom had also been taken into ARL’s Boston shelter for spay surgery and later released.


While in Jamaica Plain, the Rescue Team also responded to the Arnold Arboretum where a small baby owl was found on the ground below its nest. At first, Danielle and Mike attempted to return the owl to its home.

With the help of arboretum staff and a bucket truck, the baby owl was returned to its nest where its two siblings were waiting. The team was packing up and ready to leave when someone spotted the baby owl on the ground- again! It had either fallen, or been kicked out by its siblings.

Click here to read the full story, as reported by Boston.com.

With the threat of freezing overnight temperatures coming in and the possible predators that could harm the young bird, the team ultimately determined that the baby owl would be safest at the Blue Hill’s Trailside Museum in Milton, MA.

TO LEARN MORE about ARL’s Rescue Services team, visit https://arlboston.wpengine.com/rescue-services/!

…or follow them live on Twitter @ARLBostonRescue!

ARL Urges USSC to Impose Higher Guidelines for Animal Fighting Cases

The proposal would protect animals like Turtle from becoming “bait dogs”

animal fighting

BEFORE: Turtle was found severely injured and cruelly abandoned on the side of the road in 2009. AFTER: Today, Turtle is happy, healthy, and loving life with her new family!

Animal fighting is not a crime that just happens ‘someplace else’.

Sadly, the brutality and suffering that result from animal fighting are all too familiar to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). Each year, ARL’s law enforcement department, rescue team, and shelter veterinarians and staff are called in to help domesticated animals and wildlife in Massachusetts found in these extreme situations.

One of the most inhumane cases that we’ve encountered was that of Turtle, the Pit Bull-type dog who had been left for dead on the side of the road.

In December 2009, the ARL responded to a call about an injured dog in Hyde Park, MA. Turtle was discovered lying curled up and motionless in the bitter cold. Her body was covered with old bite wounds that had been inexpertly stitched, as well as dozens of new bites on her face and underbelly, and a fractured leg. All of these were classic signs of a “bait dog” used in dogfighting.

Turtle received emergency medical attention and surgery to stabilize her condition. Afterward, she underwent months of long and strenuous physical and behavioral rehabilitation at the ARL.

The ARL proposes higher guidelines for animal fighting cases…

It’s because of dogs like Turtle, and so many other animals used for blood sports, that the ARL recently sent a letter to the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) urging higher guidelines for individuals found guilty of federal animal fighting crimes.

Although the maximum penalty for animal fighting was raised to 5 years in federal prison in 2007, the guidelines used to determine the actual sentence length had not changed. This means that those convicted for animal fighting may not have received any jail time at all.

Turtle fully recovered and listening intently to ARL's President Mary Nee at the State House during Lobby Day 2014!

Turtle fully recovered and listening intently to ARL’s President Mary Nee at the State House during Lobby Day 2014!

Based upon our own experience, as well as that of other law enforcement agencies, the ARL has proposed that the USSC:

  • Consider adding additional penalty levels for animal fighting crimes where guns and/or drugs were involved.
  • Urge the sentencing judge to consider other factors to impose a higher sentence, such as extreme cruelty or failure to provide adequate shelter, food, and medical care.

The ARL believes that these new proposals would result in longer sentences and appropriately punish a current offender and possibly deter any potential offenders.

Turtle was lucky that she was found in time to save. Her recovery is a testament to her own strength and courage, as well as the wonderful veterinary and rehabilitative care she received at the ARL.

It is for Turtle and so many other animals like her that ARL continues to fight and urge that those who are responsible for such harm and cruelty are brought to justice.

TAKE ACTION FOR ANIMALS! Learn the 7 most common warning signs of animal cruelty and report any suspicious activity to your local authorities.

ARL Debuts Christine Barton Feline Suite

ARL’s newly constructed Feline Suite has been named in memory of longtime volunteer, Christine Barton

Earlier this week, volunteers and staff gathered together at ARL’s Boston shelter to celebrate the life of the caring, committed, and longtime volunteer, Christine Barton.

Click here to read the North End Waterfront article.

During the naming ceremony, ARL’s volunteer and educational programs manager, Debra Vogel, gave a heartfelt speech about why the Feline Suite was dedicated in Christine’s name:

feline suite

On Monday, ARL’s new Feline Suite was dedicated to longtime volunteer, Christine Barton! Funding for the Feline Suite was generously donated by the Gelnaw family!

Shy and fractious cats, like Frisky, surrendered to the ARL’s Boston shelter sometimes struggle in the traditional kennel environment. The newly renovated Feline Suite gives these cats a more home-like setting to rehabilitate and ultimately find a permanent home.

In the summer of 2015, the ARL lost a treasured member of their volunteer team, Christine Barton, after a battle with cancer.
Christine was a feline friend, a photographer, and a mentor. She spent countless hours patiently caring for the animals at the ARL.  Her devotion spanned from sitting for long periods of time with a shy cat to waiting for the perfect photo of a rambunctious puppy.
While her love for animals was obvious, her concern for children was just as strong. Christine frequently said, ‘I just want to do good’.
Feline Suite

ARL president, Mary Nee, and Feline Suite donor, Michelle Gelnaw unveil Christine’s plaque at the dedication ceremony.

Christine’s final wish was to have one more chance to visit the ARL’s Boston shelter. The Feline Suite that is being dedicated in her name, gives challenging cats a second chance. In this space, current volunteers can carry on Christine’s work to care for the cats in residence there. Nothing made Christine happier than to see once challenging cats flourish and find a new home.

Funding for the Christine Barton Feline Suite was generously donated by the Gelnaw family. They requested that the Feline Suite be named in Christine’s memory to help her legacy live on!

THANK YOU to Christine Barton for her many years of dedicated service to animals in need at the ARL!

…And to the Gelnaw family for their generous donation to help give struggling cats a chance to find a loving home!

Rochester Farm Owner Arrested on 21 Counts of Animal Cruelty

ARL assists Rochester animal control and police department on the case

On Tuesday afternoon, Rochester Animal Control Officer Anne Estabrook uncovered a farm in Rochester, Massachusetts under deplorable conditions. She immediately contacted the Rochester Police Department to open a criminal investigation for animal cruelty.

ARL's director of law enforcement, Lt. Alan Borgal, was called in to help remove animals from a Rochester farm on Tuesday. The farm owner was arrested and arraigned on 21 counts of cruelty to animals.

ARL’s director of law enforcement, Lt. Alan Borgal, was called in to help remove animals from a Rochester farm on Tuesday. The farm owner was arrested and arraigned on 21 counts of cruelty to animals. Photo courtesy of Rochester Police Department.

When they arrived on the scene, investigators found 23 animals which included dogs, pigs, cows, goats, and rabbits who had been severely neglected.

Most of the animals were housed in pens filled with mud, garbage, and feces. All of the animal appeared to be malnourished; many were sick and suffering, and one baby calf was found deceased on the property. Two unlicensed dogs were also located on the premesis.

Lt. Alan Borgal, director of law enforcement at the Animal Rescue League of Boston was called in to help remove the deceased baby calf from the scene.

The property owner agreed to surrender all of his animals and was arrested and charged with 21 counts of cruelty to animals. A felony in Massachusetts, each count of animal cruelty carries a sentence of up to 7 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. The owner will also be facing action by the town of Rochester for various health and building code violations.

The investigation is still on-going.

TAKE ACTION! Report suspicions of animal cruelty to your local authorities. Learn more at arlboston.org/take-action.


ARL Recovers 18 Game Birds from Tewksbury Home

Suspects arraigned in connection with illegal animal fighting ring

Earlier this week, 24 suspects were arrested and arraigned for their suspected involvement in an illegal cockfighting ring in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.

ARL's manager of rescue services, Brian O'Connor, helped recover 18 modern game birds from the illegal cockfighting ring in Tewksbury, MA. Photo courtesy of the Tewksbury police department

Lt. Alan Borgal, director of law enforcement at the ARL, and Brian O’Connor (pictured), manager of rescue services at the ARL, helped recover 18 modern game birds from the illegal cockfighting ring in Tewksbury, MA. Photo courtesy of the Tewksbury police department.

The Tewksbury Police Department acted on a tip that multiple people were gambling on a “cock fight” at the residence of 969 Chandler Street.

When officials entered the home surrounded by surveillance equipment, they discovered 24 people participating in a “cock fight”. Several packages of spurs, kits with tape, and over $13,000 in cash, were also found on the scene.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), Tewksbury Animal Control, and the Massachusetts Environmental Police were called in for help.

“There were 18 modern game birds involved,” says Lt. Alan Borgal, director of law enforcement at the ARL. “Many of them had artificial plastic spurs attached to their legs to inflict more damage to one another during the fight.”

Sadly, 5 of the modern game birds were critically injured and did not survive. The remaining 13 birds are in the custody and control of the ARL’s law enforcement department.

On Monday, all 24 suspects were arraigned in Lowell District Court on charges of cruelty to animals and being present at an animal fight. The two organizers of the cockfighting ring were also charged with keeping or promoting an animal fight.

SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING – We all have a role to play in prevention! Report suspicions of animal cruelty, abandonment, neglect to your local authorities. Learn more at arlboston.org/take-action

Take Action for Animals on Humane Lobby Day 2016

ARL participating in Massachusetts lobby day for animals on April 6

Want to show support for improving animal welfare in the Commonwealth- and meet other animal advocates just like you?

Join the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and other local and national animal welfare organizations for Humane Lobby Day 2016 on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 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.


Register today for Humane Lobby Day on April 6, 2016 and help us ask our Massachusetts state legislators to push for stronger animal-protection laws!

The ARL will focus on informing legislators about how they can help increase awareness about important animal welfare, safety, and health issues among their constituents.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
10:30 A.M. to 4:30 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.

Visit the website for the ASPCA to get involved. March 30 is the last day to register. We hope to see you there!

It’s Hip to Snip Fund Drive Goal Met

A big THANK YOU to all our donors for supporting spay/neuter

YOU DID IT –  You turned $5,000 into $20,000 for spay and neuter in just 14 days!

hip to snip

Your donations during the It’s Hip to Snip Fund Drive will give animals in need like Gremlin access to spay/neuter services to help them lead a healthy and happy life!

Thanks to your generous donations animals in need will get access to the high-quality affordable spay and neuter services they deserve.

All donations made during the It’s Hip to Snip fund drive, which wrapped up on February 29, will go directly to the ARL’s community spay and neuter programs including the Spay Waggin’, the ARL’s mobile surgical unit.

The ARL receives no government or public funding to keep animals safe and healthy in their community — YOU make this important work possible!

There are too many homeless animals in Massachusetts, which is why your donations are especially meaningful to everyone at the ARL and to the many pet owners who do not have access to affordable spay/neuter services. Your compassionate gift will be put to work immediately to help prevent pet overpopulation in a very humane way!


…our challenge donor, The Ellen B. Gray Memorial Fund!

…Seaport Boston Hotel, Da Vinci Ristorante, Pure Barre Boston, Bowchies, and the anonymous concert tickets donor!

…our media sponsors and partners Friends of Jake and Liam, WBZ, WEEI, WRKO, WZLX, 98.5 The Sports Hub, and WBOS!

…and to and everyone who made a donation to support ARL’s spay/neuter programs during the It’s Hip to Snip Fund Drive!

hip to snip