Affordable Spay/Neuter is Pulling into Cape Cod

Only a few openings left for eligible pets during It’s Hip to Snip Free Spay-Neuter-A-Thon!

Attention pet owners: affordable spay and neuter is pulling into Falmouth this February!

February 23 is National World Spay Day and the ARL wants to let the cool cats and dogs on the Cape know that IT’S HIP TO SNIP! In addition to being awesome for your community, there are many other benefits to spaying or neutering your pet.

Thanks to a generous grant from Cold Noses Foundation, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Spay Waggin’ will offer FREE spay/neuter services to qualified Cape Cod residents* at Falmouth Petco located at 35 Davis Straits, Falmouth, MA on February 23 and 24. Openings are available first come, first serve and by appointment only.

Click here to listen to an interview on Newsradio 95 WXTK with Dr. Kyle Quigley, ARL’s lead veterinarian on the Spay Waggin’.

There are still openings available for the following:

  • Tuesday, February 23ALL APPOINTMENTS BOOKED
  • Wednesday, February 24 – less than 15 cat openings remaining

All dog appointments have been filled.

Appointments must be made in advance by calling 1-877-590-SPAY(7729), so contact ARL’s Spay Waggin’ today.

SPECIAL THANKS to Cold Noses Foundation for the It’s Hip to Snip Free Spay-Neuter-A-Thon possible!

*Open to Cape Cod residents only. Limit 2 cats per household. Spaces are limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more spay and neuter resources, visit


Take Action for Farm Animals on February 11

Join The Citizens for Farm Animal Protection at farm ballot hearing

This fall, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) helped gather over 133,000 signatures (more than double of what was required!) as part of the effort to secure a November 2016 ballot measure to end the extreme confinement of farm animals in Massachusetts.

the citizens for farm animal protection

This Fall, The Citizens for Farm Animal Protection successfully collected over 133,000 signatures as the first step in securing a November 2016 ballot measure that would put an end to the extreme confinement of farm animals in Massachusetts.

The ballot measure would require that farm animals in Massachusetts — specifically egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and veal calves — have enough room to turn around, lay down, and stretch their limbs. It would also ensure that shell eggs, and whole, uncooked cuts of pork and veal sold in the Commonwealth are compliant with these modest standards.

With the first major hurdle cleared, the  initiative now goes before Massachusetts State legislature as House Bill 3930 and is scheduled for a hearing one week from today…..

Hearing on an Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals
Thursday, February 11, 2016, 1 pm
Massachusetts State House in Room A-2
24 Beacon St.
Boston, MA 01233

citizens for farm animal protection

The most commonly used battery cages hold 5-10 birds per cage. Hens kept in these cages are unable to even spread a wing.

During the hearing, industry experts and members of The Citizen’s for Farm Animal Protection Coalition will testify in front of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, and encourage state officials to work on legislation to make the reforms proposed in the ballot initiative law.

If the legislature decides NOT to take up the bill by early May, the next step is to gather a second round of signatures from Massachusetts voters to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.


  1. Show your support for farm animals and attend the public legislative hearing on February 11 at the State House – RSVP here
  2. Share the hearing’s Facebook event with your family, friends, and social media network – visit
  3. Contact legislators on the committee and urge them to take up action on the bill.

February is National Pet Dental Health Month

Receive $85 OFF dental cleanings and x-rays* for your pet at BVC!

February is National Pet Dental Health Month and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) wants to make sure your pet’s pearly whites stay in tip-top shape. Book your appointment with BVC today and receive $85 OFF dental cleanings and x-rays*!

pet dental month

It’s time to brush up on your pet’s dental health! Book your Feburary or March appointment at BVC and receive $85 off dental cleanings and x-rays*!

DID YOU KNOW… That your pet’s stinky breath may not just be the result of eating a smelly dinner? Bad breath can be a sign of dental problems. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar can build up on your pet’s teeth, causing bad breath, gingivitis, tooth loss, and infections.

In fact, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by the age of three.

Just as it is for people, the best way to prevent dental problems in your pet is to brush their teeth.

Watch a demonstration of how to brush your pet’s teeth in the video below:

To book your pet’s dental appointment at BVC, call (617) 226-5605 or email

*Offer is valid from February 1, 2016 – March 31, 2016


Important Update from Mary Nee, ARL President

Dear friends,

I wanted to share some very sad news about Stitch, the young dog found starved and abandoned last week in Dedham.

As sometimes happens with cases of extreme malnutrition, Stitch was not responding well to re-feeding, a medically-guided process of providing nutrition after a period of deprivation.  To ensure he had no underlying conditions that might be interfering with re-feeding efforts, the ARL ordered extensive diagnostic tests.

dedham dog

“Stitch closed out his short life with dignity, respect, and love — the way a dog should be treated.” Lt. Alan Borgal, director, ARL law enforcement team.

Late on Friday evening, the tests revealed that Stitch had a muscular condition affecting his ability to digest food and water called megaesophagus.

Several diseases can result in megaesophagus.  An animal can also be born with a defect that produces it.

Unfortunately, the results of further testing ruled out the more treatable causes of this condition in Stitch.

When he was unable to take water on his own any longer on Saturday, Stitch’s weakened state and the severity of this condition brought us to the point where the most humane decision was to put him to sleep.

As Lt. Alan Borgal, director of the ARL’s law enforcement team said very eloquently, “Stitch closed out his short life with dignity, respect, and love — the way a dog should be treated.”

While we are heartbroken he came to us too late to save, we are grateful to have been there to surround him with kindness and caring in his final days.

Thank you to everyone who kept Stitch in their thoughts this past week and for your continued concern for animals in need.

— Mary


Stitch’s case is an on-going investigation. If you have any information, contact Dedham animal control at (781) 751-9106.


It’s Hip to Snip – Spay or Neuter Your Pet!

February is National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month

During National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month this February, the ARL reminds the public that there’s nothing cool about pet overpopulation. So, pet owners, adjust those cool shades and help us spread the word that IT’S HIP TO SNIP!

it's hip to snip

Marty the cat may look super cool in his bow tie but there’s nothing cool about pet overpopulation. Click his photo to learn more about ARL’s “It’s Hip to Snip” Campaign.

“There are too many cat and dogs in our communities that don’t have homes,” explains Dr. Edward Schettino, vice president of animal welfare at the ARL. “Every year, animal shelters like the ARL are inundated with stray and surrendered puppies and kittens that are the result of unplanned litters.”

In fact, national studies have found that amongst pet owners who indicate that their pets had at least one litter, 59% of cat owners and 38% of dog owners described the litter as “unintentional” or “accidental.”

Dr. Schettino believes that one reason that pet owners choose not to spay or neuter their pet is misconceptions about the low-risk surgery. “If we can increase spay and neuter rates, we can help prevent pet overpopulation,”

In addition to the benefits to the community, here are 5 more reasons why it’s hip to snip:

1. You Snip, You Save. The cost of caring for an unplanned litter of puppies or kittens far outweighs the cost of having a pet spayed or neutered. The good news – there are many affordable and free options in Massachusetts!

2. Snipping Reduces Spraying. Neutering resolves the vast majority of marking behaviors—even when a cat has a long-standing habit. Other nuisance behaviors such as howling in cats and excessive barking in dogs eases and even disappears after surgery.


Sharing is caring! Click the photo to download our flyer to spread the word that “It’s Hip to Snip”.

3. Snipping Stops Scuffles. According to the National Canine Research Foundation, approximately 92% of fatal dog attacks involved male dogs, 94% of which were not neutered. Neutering male dogs and cats reduces their urge to roam and fight with other males.

4. Snipping Lengthens Life Span. The USA Today reports neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered males, and spayed females live 23% longer than unspayed females.

5. Snipping is a Safeguard. Neutering male cats and dogs before six months of age prevents testicular cancer. Spaying female cats and dogs before their first heat offers protection from uterine infections and breast cancer.

For more spay and neuter resources, visit

DID YOU KNOW… That more than a third of pet owners have not spayed or neutered their pet?

VERY SPECIAL THANKS to our It’s Hip to Snip media sponsors WBZ, WEEI, WRKO, WZLX, WBOS, and 98.5 The Sports Hub!


Update: Stitch Continues to Receive Intensive Care

ARL and the Dedham Police Department’s Animal Control Division thank public for support

HAVE TIPS AND INFORMATION? Contact Dedham Animal Control at (781) 751-9106.

Stitch, the dog abandoned in the cold earlier this week in Dedham, Massachusetts, continues to receive intensive care from the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL).

Dedham animal control officer Jayson Tracy discovered the extremely emaciated dog and immediately contacted the ARL for help.

“Stitch is getting extensive medical assistance,” explains Dr. Erin Doyle, the ARL’s lead veterinarian for shelter veterinary services. “He’s still very weak and we are monitoring his condition very closely.”

The ARL also continues to assist the Dedham Police Department’s Animal Control Division in following-up on information provided by the public.

Stitch is a dilute brindle pit-bull-type dog that had no collar on when he was found near the Bridge Street area of Dedham.  He is approximately 2 years of age.

We urge anyone with information about him to please contact Dedham animal control at (781) 751-9106.


Sadly, thousands of animals just like Stitch will suffer from abuse and neglect every year in Massachusetts. We all have a role to play in prevention and encourage urge the public to contact their local animal control officers anytime they suspect animal cruelty.

On behalf of everyone at the ARL, THANK YOU for the outpouring of support and information about Stitch.

DO YOU RECOGNIZE STITCH?  Please contact Dedham Animal Control at (781) 751-9106.

dedham dog


Breaking News: Starved Dog Abandoned in Cold

ARL and Dedham Animal Control Seeking Public’s Help with Information

DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS DOG? Contact Dedham Animal Control, (781) 751-9106

Stitch was found very weak with no body fat. If you have tips or recognize this dog, contact Dedham Animal Control at (781) 751-9106.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and the Dedham Police Department’s Animal Control Division need the public’s assistance with information about a starved dog abandoned in the cold earlier today in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Dedham animal control officer Jayson Tracy received a call about the dog just before noon this morning.

He discovered the dog suffering from extreme starvation and immediately contacted the ARL for assistance.

“This dog was cruelly abandoned,” explains Lt. Alan Borgal, director of the ARL’s law enforcement team.  “He has no body fat to speak of — he could have easily died of exposure in the cold today if he wasn’t found so quickly.”

Now known as Stitch, the dilute brindle pit-bull-type dog had no collar and is approximately 2 years of age.

Though he is clearly weak and sore, Stitch has greeted everyone he has met with a friendly tail wag.  He happily accepted pats, cheek scratches, and kind attention at the ARL’s Boston shelter.

“Anyone who might recognize this dog, please come forward,” urges Lt. Borgal. “We want to find the person who did this to Stitch and prevent cruelty against other animals in the future.”

Contact Dedham Animal Control at (781) 751-9106.

PLEASE NOTE, Stitch is currently not available for adoption.



January is National Adopt a Bird Month

5 reasons to SPREAD THE LOVE and ADOPT a feathery friend today!

January is national Adopt a Bird Month and the ARL wants to SPREAD THE LOVE! Often overlooked in animal shelters, these beautiful and majestic creatures can make great pets, especially for families with limited living space or allergies.

If you feel like a furry friend may not be quite the pet you’re looking for then consider birds like Pipsqueak and Saphire that promise to make your heart soar! Search adoptables

Here are 5 other reasons why YOU should branch out and adopt a bird this month:

adopt a bird month pipsqueak

January is National Adopt a Bird Month and parakeets like Pipsqueak are eager to meet their new family! Click his photo to learn more about him.

1. You’ll have someone to talk to. Because of their above average intelligence, birds are very communicative and love to socialize with humans.

2. You’ll have fun training them. Since birds are relatively small, training them can be less physically demanding than working with larger creatures, making them a good choice for the young, elderly, or disabled.

3. You’ll have more space. A bird’s, food, water, and toys are typically self-contained in their cage, so smaller households will still have plenty of room to move around.

4. You’ll have a loyal friend for the long-run. Many bird species have extraordinarily long life expectancies, some living more than 100 years! This often eases the concerns of people who want to make sure they adopt a pet that they can love and enjoy for a very long time.

5. You’ll save money. Most landlords only charge “pet fees” to tenants with cats or dogs. Additionally, at the ARL, all of this is included in your pet’s adoption fee: health screening and veterinary exam, behavioral screening and evaluation, vaccinations, parasite treatment, and more!

DON’T FORGET… to bring a photo! If you’re interested in adopting a bird or other small animal, the ARL requires that you bring a picture of the cage that your new companion will be living in to ensure it’s adequate.


Cold Weather Warning: Bring Your Pets Indoors

The ARL asks pet owners to please bring their animals inside, when possible

Our local weathermen issued a cold weather warning: bundle up this week!

A wave of frigid air hit New England, causing temperatures to plummet 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit below normal around The Greater Boston Area. Overnight temps are expected to drop into the teens and single digits in some of the northern and western suburbs.

Just as you’ll protect yourself with a warm coat, hat, and gloves when you head outdoors, your pets will need the extra protection too! Though they may have furry coats, animals are by no means immune to dangerously cold temperatures. Even rabbits, cats, and dogs that typically live outdoors need extra assistance keeping warm as temperatures drop to alarming lows.

5 steps to keep animals safe during this cold weather warning:

  1. If possible, bring pets or feral cats that you’re familiar with indoors to a garage or basement.
    cold weather warning

    Keep community cats safe this winter by building your own DYI cat shelter in your yard. Click the photo for a basic how-to video.

  2. Bundle up your pup in a jacket or sweater during their walk, especially if their coat is made of hair (vs. fur)
  3. Before you start your engine, look under and pound on your vehicle’s hood to wake a napping cat trying to keep warm.
  4. Never leave your pet alone inside your vehicle, which won’t stay warm for long after your engine has turned off.
  5. If your pet MUST remain outdoors, make sure that are in a winter-friendly shelter that has the following components: three-sided enclosure, stands off the ground, contains generous amounts of bedding, and plenty of (un-frozen!) drinking water.

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. If you’re concerned about a neighborhood animal outdoors in the cold this week, be sure to contact your local animal control office or authorities.

For more information about winter pet healthy and safety, visit


LAST DAY! Help Us Start-Off 2016 on the Right Paw

ONE DAY LEFT to make it a happy new year for animals in need! DONATE

We still have to raise just over $550,000 to start-off 2016 fully funded and ready to help give deserving animals a chance at a better life!


Your gift TODAY will help thousands of deserving animals in 2016…

….Animals like Titan and Nina who got the emergency surgery they needed to save their life.

donate now

Thanks to supporters like YOU, Wilson now has a place to call home!

….Like Austin and Wilson who were protected from further animal cruelty by ARL’s law enforcement team.

….Like Pearce, Athena, and Big B. who underwent hours of behavioral and enrichment training to help them find a home.

….Like the Berlin raccoon and Lowell goat who make it out of dangerous situations safely thanks to ARL’s rescue services team.

….Like Oliver Twist and Dancer and Prancer who received the special attention they needed to recover from extreme neglect.

….Like Johnny Cash and many other dogs and cats on Martha’s Vineyard who received high-quality, affordable spay/neuter services from ARL’s Spay Waggin’.

….Like the thousands of Massachusetts farm animals who will benefit from the 2016 ballot initiative.


Only with YOUR SUPPORT can we provide high-quality compassionate care for animals where and when they need it most! The ARL does not receive any government funding and relies solely on donors like you to keep our important work going! 

Visit or click on the DONATE button below to make a donation to the Animal Rescue League of Boston!


donate nowTHANK YOU to our generous donors, incredible supporters, and dedicated volunteers for your overwhelming kindness and compassion for animals in 2015. The ARL wishes you, your family and friends, and all the special pets in your life a SAFE, HEALTHY, AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!