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Friends of Falmouth Dogs and ARL Join for Spay/Neuter Event

ARL’s Spay Waggin’ provides spay/neuter surgery for more than a dozen animals

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Spay Waggin’ made a special stop in Falmouth through a collaborative effort with Friends of Falmouth Dogs.

Seeing the needs of local pet owners, the Falmouth-based nonprofit provided funding to have nearly a dozen animals spayed or neutered through ARL’s Spay Waggin’ – a mobile surgical clinic.

“Although the Spay Waggin’ makes routine visits to Falmouth, working directly with Friends of Falmouth Dogs, to be a resource to pet owners within their communities reinforces the core purpose of the Spay Waggin’,” said Sam Fincke, ARL Associate Director of Community Operations.

“ARL was great,” stated Valerie Gresh, Friends of Falmouth Dogs Board Member. “Our goal was to provide free spay/neuter services to local families in need, and their professionalism, efficiency and compassion made our goal easily attainable. Kudos to ARL and their staff!”

In addition to providing surgery, ARL was able to provide the organization with pet food to help Friends of Falmouth Dogs further assist pet owners in the community.

Friends of Falmouth Dogs would like to thank the Falmouth Service Center and Falmouth Housing Authority for being so instrumental in getting the word out to the group’s target audience.

Friends of Falmouth Dogs hopes to once again host ARL’s Spay Waggin’ for another special event later this year.


Rooster and Hen Rescued Near Franklin Park Zoo

This past week a person walking through Franklin Park in Boston noticed two animals that looked out of place, and out of concern contacted the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department for assistance.

Two stray chickens safely secured!

ARL Field Services agents responded to the scene near White Stadium on the backside of the Franklin Park Zoo, where the person had spotted a rooster and hen hanging around a wooded area.

The animals were likely abandoned in the area, as ARL’s Field Services agents noticed a large pile of chicken feed in the woods that the rooster and hen were nibbling on when approached.

Chickens of course can be elusive and difficult to catch (ever see Rocky?), however this adorable pair was anything but.

One agent entered the wooded area, causing the chickens to scurry into the open, allowing the other agent to catch one of the animals in a net.

The second chicken, clearly devoted to his pal, trotted after his friend and was able to be gently scooped up by hand.

The incredibly friendly animals are currently in foster care during their seven-day stray wait period, and following a thorough veterinary exam will be available for adoption!

Looking to Adopt a Chicken?

While the aforementioned chickens will likely be available for adoption soon, ARL’s Dedham and Brewster locations currently have a number of chickens looking for permanent homes.

Chickens are energetic, inquisitive and can make wonderful companions – however there are some things to keep in mind before adopting.

First and foremost, be sure to check your local regulations regarding keeping backyard chickens, including whether or not they’re allowed.

Chickens will need proper space to roam around and adequate shelter, including protection from predators, vaccinations, and ongoing veterinary care.

Also keep other pets in mind. If you have a dog with a high prey drive, then keeping chickens on the property would not be a good idea.

If you’re ready to adopt, ARL is here to help! An animal care associate will walk you through any questions and concerns to ensure that you and your new chicken are set up for success and years of companionship!


Press Release: Newly Named Petco Love Invests in Lifesaving Work of ARL

Grant of $10,000 will help save more pet lives in Greater Boston

Boston, MA (June 4, 2021) – The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) announced today a $10,000 grant investment from the newly named, Petco Love, to support their lifesaving work for animals in the Greater Boston area.

Petco Love is a nonprofit leading change for pets nationally by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since their founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, they’ve empowered organizations with $300 million invested to date in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. And, they’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and more than 4,000 organizations, like ours, nationwide.

“Today Petco Love announces an investment in the Animal Rescue League of Boston and hundreds of other organizations as part of our commitment to create a future in which no pet is unnecessarily euthanized,” said Susanne Kogut, President of Petco Love. “Our local investments are only one component. Last month, we also launched the first of our national tools, Petco Love Lost, to empower all animal lovers to drive lifesaving change right alongside us.”

“The Animal Rescue League of Boston is grateful to Petco Love for such a generous grant to assist ARL in helping animals in our communities and the people who care for them,” said Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s President and CEO. “This grant will give pet owners in our communities access to pet wellness care when it’s needed most.”

In 2020, ARL’s community programs provided a multitude of services including spay/neuter, vaccinations, and general wellness care to more than 4,000 animals in the communities we serve.

For more information about ARL, visit arlboston.org. To learn more about Petco Love, visit petcolove.org.

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 About The Animal Rescue League of Boston

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes. Founded in 1899, ARL provides high-quality veterinary care, adoption, and rescue services; while also confronting the root causes of animal cruelty and neglect through innovative community programs, police investigations, and public advocacy. In 2020, ARL served nearly 17,000 animals throughout Massachusetts. ARL is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The Animal Rescue League of Boston does not receive government grants or public funding (with the exception of limited COVID-19 relief funding) and relies on the generosity of our supporters to help animals in need. For more information please visit us online at arlboston.org; and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Petco Love (Formerly Petco Foundation)

Petco Love is a nonprofit changing lives by making communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since our founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, we’ve empowered animal welfare organizations by investing $300 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. We’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide. Today, our love for pets drives us to lead with innovation, creating tools animal lovers need to reunite lost pets, and lead with passion, inspiring and mobilizing communities and our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners to drive lifesaving change alongside us. Is love calling you? Visit petcolove.org or follow at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to be part of the lifesaving work we’re leading every day.


ARL Continues Sponsorship for Boston Press Photographers Association

2020 Photo Contest winners part of outdoor exhibit

For a number of years, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has had the pleasure of sponsoring the animal category for the Boston Press Photographers Association’s annual photo contest, and this year’s winning photos will be part of a public outdoor exhibit!

Photo credit: Mary Schwalm

The exhibit will be displayed in Boston’s Copley Square until June 7, and then will move to Nubian Square in Roxbury from June 7-21.

The contest consists of 15 categories, along with Best in Show and Photographer of the Year honors.

This year’s winner in the ARL-sponsored animal category is freelance photographer Mary Schwalm, while second place was awarded to Spenser Hasak of The Daily Item, and third place going to John Tlumacki of the Boston Globe.

Congratulations to all the winners!


ARL Rescues Kittens Nestled in Large Woodpile

Kittens in foster care until old enough to be adopted

With kitten season upon us, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department is constantly receiving calls regarding kittens being born in the wild, and recently took in a quartet who were living on their own in a wood pile!

The call came from a resident in Carver who was planning to move a large cord wood pile when they noticed the young kittens and, fearing for their safety, reached to ARL for assistance.

Upon arriving on scene, ARL Field Services agents witnessed one of the kittens pop its head out of the wood pile, then quickly darting back inside.

For the next hour, agents carefully moved the wood around, until they were able to get better access to the kittens.

Although elusive, the four kittens were safely secured and transferred to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center to under veterinary exams and were then placed into foster care where they will remain until they are old enough to find their permanent homes.

Kitten Season is Here

Community cats – friendly strays, feral, semi-feral or abandoned – are incredibly resourceful and can be found in a variety of places — under decks, porches, in woodpiles (as we’ve just seen), window wells, anywhere where they can find relative quiet – they’ve also been known to sneak into basements!

Should you spot two or 20 stray cats or kittens, ARL’s Field Services Department is ready to help.

Through ARL’s Community Cats Initiative, agents will assess a reported colony to determine the possible number of cats, their overall health status, and whether or not a local resident in the area is feeding the animals and can continue doing so.

Once the colony is assessed and staff checks for signs of ownership, a Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) plan is formulated to have the animals spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and determine whether the cats will be returned to the field, or placed up for adoption.

With an estimated 700,000 community cats in Massachusetts, TNR is one of the most effective ways to stop the cycle of homelessness among cats.

Healthy Moms, Happy Litters

Additionally, if your cat or dog gives birth to a litter of kittens or puppies and you are looking for support, ARL has you covered.

Through the Healthy Moms, Happy Litters Program, ARL provides FREE spay and neuter services for the mother and father animals, who will be returned to the owner after surgery.

The litter will be spayed/neutered, and when they reach the appropriate age, placed up for adoption.


Press Release: Paralyzed French Bulldog Abandoned at South End Park

ARL Law Enforcement seeking information

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department is seeking information regarding a paralyzed French Bulldog that was recently abandoned at Peters Park, located in Boston’s South End.

The approximately three-year-old female dog nicknamed “French Fry” was found on a weekend in late April just outside the dog park area.

Witnesses stated seeing a man and woman with the dog for a short time before walking away from the animal.

The couple were seen wearing masks, making it difficult for witnesses to describe any identifying features.

“French Fry” was abandoned at Peters Park in Boston’s South End.

ARL Law Enforcement has obtained surveillance video of the area and is currently reviewing it to try and identify the dog’s owners.

Upon finding the dog, a Good Samaritan brought the animal to a local veterinary clinic for examination.

Staff at the veterinary clinic confirmed the dog’s hind-limb paralysis, and also noted she was dehydrated, suffered hemorrhaging in the left eye, and had an elevated body temperature.

Given the paralysis, the dog was brought to another veterinary hospital for a neurological exam and MRI.

The exam and imaging revealed intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), which can be common in the breed.

Given the severity of the disease and the further possibly life-threatening complications which may have developed, surgery was not an option for French Fry, and the decision for humane euthanasia was made in order to end her suffering.

While the dog’s condition was deemed genetic, abandoning an animal is a felony in Massachusetts, punishable by up to 7 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

ARL understands that dealing with medical issues with pets can be financially and emotionally overwhelming. With options and resources available, including animal surrender, no animal should ever be abandoned.

If anyone recognizes the dog, they are asked to contact ARL’s Law Enforcement Department at (617) 426-9170 x110, or email cruelty@arlboston.org.


Cat Who Needed Eyes Removed for Medical Condition Seeks Special Home     

In late April, John, a 9-year-old cat, came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center after his owner passed away.

While settling in to his new surroundings, John was clearly friendly, but he was also clearly in pain, as he was very nervous of his head being touched and would vocally express his discomfort. He also displayed signs of vision impairment.

John after surgery.

A medical exam revealed that John was suffering from ventral lid entropion – an uncommon condition where the eyelid curls inward, causing irritation to the eye.

The condition, which is typically genetic, is uncomfortable, painful and can impact vision over time.

Corrective surgery can be an option for entropion, however John’s case was severe, causing ulcerations to the eye, and the best approach to improve his quality of life was to remove his eyes.

Although still adjusting after the procedure, John is more comfortable, is no longer yowling from the pain, and more accepting of pets from ARL staff and volunteer.

Ready for a New Home

John is currently available for adoption and would do well as the only pet in a quiet, low-traffic home.

It will take him some time to learn to navigate without sight, however with the help of his new family he will adjust and settle in over time.

For more information about John click here!


ARL Testifies for Virtual Legislative Hearing

On Wednesday, the Joint Committee on the Judiciary met to hear testimony on 19 specific animal protection bills, with the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) testifying in favor of a proposed citation bill.

A citation statute does currently exist in Massachusetts, however it only applies to dogs. ARL believes the law needs to be expanded to include other animals, including livestock and farm animals.

An Act enhancing the issuance of citation for cruel conditions for animals (S.1097/H.1840) would define cruel conditions and appropriate shelter for most animals.

It would also allow animal control officers and law enforcement personnel to issue civil citations for violations, which would include a $50 fine for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and up to $500 for subsequent offenses.

Additionally, after a third offense, the animal(s) involved could be subject to seizure.

Currently, animal cruelty in Massachusetts is a felony offense, subject to a $5,000 fine and up to seven years in prison, however ARL believes that a lesser penalty is necessary to give law enforcement a tool to intervene before cruelty or neglect rises to a felony level, particularly with farm animals and overcrowding/hoarding situations.

“This bill would give law enforcement an extra tool to allow us to get to the root of the problem before it reaches a criminal level,” ARL Law Enforcement Investigator Lt. Alan Borgal, stated to the committee.

The need for such a statute came to light in 2016, following the largest farm animal cruelty case in New England history that involved well over 1,000 animals at a tenant farm in Westport, MA, and resulted in 151 counts of animal cruelty levied against more than 20 individuals.

The case involved chronic neglect, however advocates believe that had civil citations been available to law enforcement, it may have been possible to intervene earlier.

“In the case of many of these animals, there was no ability of animal control officers or law enforcement to intervene until the situation became dire,” ARL Director of Advocacy Allison Blanck, told the panel.

With the hearing concluded, the Joint Committee on the Judiciary will now discuss the proposed bills internally and determine which pieces of legislation will move on to the next step of the legislative process.

How you can get involved

Thanks to a new rule this session, it’s not too late to ask your legislators to sign on as co-sponsors!

If your legislator is on the Judiciary Committee, it’s even more important to ask for their support! Find your legislator here.

To learn more about other hearings and opportunities to get involved, fill out the form here.

Advocating for animals in Massachusetts

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) monitors and advocates for statewide legislation on issues critical to animal welfare in the Commonwealth. Our legislative agenda highlights our priorities for the two year session.

To view ARL’s legislative agenda in its entirety and to track the progress of proposed legislation click here!


Community Cat and Kitten Season Is Here

The days are getting longer, the weather’s getting warmer, and with spring upon us, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has begun to see an influx of community cats and kittens, and reminds the public that many of these animals deserve to live their lives in loving homes, not on the streets; and there are steps to take to ensure these cats and kittens are safe and healthy.

Community kittens recently brought into ARL.

Community cats – friendly strays, feral, semi-feral or abandoned – are incredibly resourceful and can be found in a variety of places — under decks, porches, in woodpiles, window wells, anywhere where they can find relative quiet – they’ve also been known to sneak into basements!

Should you spot two or 20 stray cats or kittens, ARL’s Field Services Department is ready to help.

Through ARL’s Community Cats Initiative, agents will assess a reported colony to determine the possible number of cats, their overall health status, and whether or not a local resident in the area is feeding the animals and can continue doing so.

Once the colony is assessed and staff checks for signs of ownership, a Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) plan is formulated to have the animals spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and determine whether the cats will be returned to the field, or placed up for adoption.

With an estimated 700,000 community cats in Massachusetts, TNR is one of the most effective ways to stop the cycle of homelessness among cats.

A limb deformity impacted Hanson’s long-term survivability in the wild.

Additionally, there are countless instances where getting a cat off the streets and into a loving home is literally a life-saving action.

Hanson’s Journey

Hanson, a one-year-old male community cat was recently brought into ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center.

While healthy overall, a limb deformity, likely a congenital defect, would’ve likely decreased his long-term survivability in the wild.

After a thorough medical exam, neuter surgery and seeing his warm and easy-going temperament, he was placed up for adoption.

Healthy Moms, Happy Litters

Additionally, if your cat or dog gives birth to a litter of kittens or puppies and you are looking for support, ARL has you covered.

Through the Healthy Moms, Happy Litters Program, ARL provides FREE spay and neuter services for the mother and father animals, who will be returned to the owner after surgery.

The litter will be spayed/neutered, and when they reach the appropriate age, placed up for adoption.


ARL Covid-19-Related Community Programs Continuing

Programs to continue as needed

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is marking the one-year anniversary of its S.A.F.E. (Serving Animals Facing Emergencies) program this month, which was created out of direct need following the initial surge of Covid-19 in Massachusetts.

Keeping pets and people together is more important than ever, and the S.A.F.E. programs makes this possible by providing critical services to pet owners in the Greater Boston community.

ARL Field Services providing services in April 2020.

The S.A.F.E. program utilized ARL’s Field Services Department’s fleet of vehicles to: transport animals to critical veterinary care visits on the Wellness Waggin’ (located on the Dedham Campus); deliver pet food and supplies to families in need; and provide pick-up services for animals in need of temporary housing or urgent surrender due to the pandemic.

In 2020, nearly 1,000 activities were completed with 620 animals receiving pet food and supplies, and 320 animals being transported for critical veterinary care.

A number of animals were taken in for temporary shelter, and ARL also received pets requiring emergency surrender.

Additionally, as many residents have continued to struggle financially and with Massachusetts eviction moratorium expiring in October 2020, ARL prepared for the very real possibility of countless families with pets losing their homes.

In late October, ARL unveiled its Temporary Pet Housing Initiative.

The initiative offers temporary pet housing for those who may be experiencing housing instability or may be at imminent risk of homelessness. This is an imperative service for individuals facing eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative is open to any eligible pet owner in Massachusetts, and once eligibility is determined, the animals are able to stay within ARL’s foster care network for up to 120 days.

Since its inception, ARL has accepted nearly 200 additional foster families!

Both the S.A.F.E. program and the Temporary Housing Initiative continue to serve people and pets in need and will continue for as long as the services are needed to keep pets and pets together.