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Category: Advocacy
Humane Lobby Day — A Collective Voice for Animal Protection Laws

ARL Co-Hosts Event with Local and National Animal Welfare Organizations

Hundreds of animal advocates descended upon the Great Hall at the Massachusetts State House in Boston this week during Humane Lobby Day, to meet with and ask elected officials to join the fight for animals in need by passing stronger animal protection laws.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) co-sponsored the event with several local and national animal welfare organizations, and with several big legislative wins in the past couple of years, the event is a reflection that there is strength in numbers.

“There is absolutely strength in numbers,” said Jean Bresciani, an advocate and veterinarian. “It’s good to meet with people from all walks of life and coming together for a common and very important cause.”

“I see a whole room of champions for animals,” said Mary Nee, ARL’s President. “It takes strength and courage to push forward the agenda for animals, and every person here is truly an unwavering champion.”

The annual Lobby Day event included a handful of legislative speakers, as well as comments from every participating organization, including ARL. Additionally, ARL awarded its first annual “Unwavering Champion for Animals” award to Senator Mark C. Montigny and his staff for their continued and collective efforts in bringing animal welfare laws to the legislative forefront.

“Like Senator Montigny, his staff is committed to humane protection and follow-through, being patient and tenacious,” said Nadine Pellegrini, ARL’s Director of Advocacy. “They are open to new ideas, and very generous with their time and assistance.”

ARL Legislative Agenda

ARL supports five pieces of legislation that were filed for this legislative session, while opposing two others. As these bills move through the committee and hearing process, ARL will keep you posted on their progress, so check back often for updates!


Two Cats Taking Advantage of Change to Quarantine Law

Meet Lars and Bryan Adams!

With strong support and encouragement from the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), in October 2016 Governor Charlie Baker made significant changes to Massachusetts state regulations, which included reducing the rabies quarantine period for shelter animals from six to four months. In the years to come, this change will have a tremendous positive impact on shelters throughout the Commonwealth, and ARL has already seen the effect – Which brings us to Lars and Bryan Adams.

Besides off-the-charts cuteness factors, Lars and Bryan Adams have several other things in common. On the same day in early December 2016, Lars was brought as a stray from Jamaica Plain to ARL’s Boston shelter; Bryan Adams was found as a stray in Eastham and brought to ARL’s Brewster shelter.

Both cats were injured: For Lars it was a pair of ugly wounds on his left hip, while Bryan suffered from a swollen and infected right front paw – both injuries were consistent with altercations with another cat.

The cats immediately entered the four-month quarantine period, just in case either animal engaged with a cat that was rabid, and transmitted the virus to Lars or Bryan. The handsome boys were treated with antibiotics and pain medication, and their wounds quickly healed. Both were isolated and received regular veterinary check-ups to see if they had been infected.

Lars and Brian Adams

Lars (L) and Bryan Adams began their four-month quarantine period in December 2016. The average cost for a four-month quarantine is about $1,500.

Why the Regulation Changes Help Shelters AND Animals

The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians issued new recommendations in the 2016 Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention, advising the reduction of quarantine periods to four months. Why the reduction? Because evidence shows that animals in isolation for an extended period of six months can become stressed and depressed, even with regular human socialization.

Reducing the quarantine period also allow shelters like ARL to help more animals and ease financial constraints. From food, shelter to veterinary care, the average costs for a four-month quarantine are roughly $1,500, or $375 per month. The two-month reduction adds up to a $750 savings per animal.

“Overall the quarantine reduction does make a big difference,” said Dr. Erin Doyle, ARL’s Lead Veterinarian for Shelter Veterinary Services. “Four months is still well beyond our normal shelter length of stay so still requires extra measures such as office foster, but the two-month reduction does have a significant impact on how many rabies quarantine animals we’re able to care for.”

Ready to Go Home

Neither Lars or Bryan Adams have shown no evidence of a rabies infection, their wounds are healed, and with the quarantine period over, are ready to find their forever homes!

UPDATE: Certainly not a surprise, both Bryan and Lars were adopted quickly and are enjoying their new homes!

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Extended Care Needs Extra Support

When an animal is under a four-month quarantine, space is extremely limited, and special measures need to be taken. Along with regular checks by veterinary staff for signs of rabies, because the animal is in isolation, extra efforts need to be made by volunteers, staff and foster parents to spend time with the animal, keep them calm and give them love. While reduced quarantine periods save ARL shelters time and money, the costs for a four-month quarantine are still about $1,500 per animal, which is why we appreciate and continue to ask YOU for your support to allow us to help more animals in need.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thank You WBZ Radio 1030!

ARL Programs Saturate the Airwaves as Featured Charity in March for WBZ Cares

As we head into April and the start of spring, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) would like to take a moment to thank WBZ Radio 1030 for choosing ARL as a part of WBZ Cares, a public service initiative that showcases the hard work and dedication of local nonprofit organizations.

ARL with Dan Rea

ARL on NightSide with Dan Rea

Every week during March, award-winning journalist Kim Tunnicliffe presented reports highlighting the programs and services related to ARL’s mission, such as law enforcement, special community initiatives, shelter operations, volunteering, and more! WBZ also ran ARL public service announcements that rotated throughout the day, and ARL’s President Mary Nee and Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services Dr. Edward Schettino were also live in-studio with WBZ mainstay Dan Rea.

WBZ’s massive audience, coupled with its history and stellar reputation in the Boston market made it the perfect vehicle to broadcast ARL’s mission to animal lovers throughout the Commonwealth.

If you didn’t get a chance to hear any of the segments during March, please click on the links below!

3/1/17 – Listen to ARL’s President Mary Nee talk about our history and mission.
3/8/17 – Listen to ARL’s Associate Director of Shelter Operations, Caitlin Tomlinson talk about caring for animals, both in and out of the shelter environment.
3/15/17 – Listen to ARL Veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley, and ARL’s Associate Director of Community Services, Cheryl Traversi, who talk about community services.
3/17/17 – Listen to ARL’s President Mary Nee, and ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services, Dr. Edward Schettino, who were live in-studio as special guests on NightSide with Dan Rea!
3/22/17 – Listen to ARL’s Associate Director of Law Enforcement Lt. Alan Borgal talk about ARL’s role in keeping animals safe and ensuring that those who harm animals are brought to justice.
3/29/17 – Listen to ARL’s Associate Director of Volunteer Services, Debby Vogel, and Volunteer Betsy Jones, who talk about the important work that’s being done by the organization’s 500+ volunteers.

The reports on WBZ show the reach of ARL and our work is only made possible through the generosity of our donors, so please click the icon below to help us continue to be an unwavering champion for animals in need.

THANK YOU once again to WBZ Radio, for selecting ARL as charity-of-the-month for March 2017!

 


Register Today! Take Action for Animals on Humane Lobby Day 2017

ARL Participating in Massachusetts Lobby Day for Animals on May 9

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

There is strength in numbers, so join the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and other local and national animal welfare organizations for Humane Lobby Day 2017 on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 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.

humane lobby day 2016

Humane Lobby Day 2016

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

EVENT DETAILS

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 10:30 A.M. to 4:00 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.

Registration will begin at 10:15 a.m., followed by remarks given by distinguished guests, and awards will also be handed out to certain legislators and staff for all their hard work for animal protection.

Click Here to register and get involved.

Please note: Registration for Humane Lobby Day will close on Thursday, May 4, at 6 p.m. so register today!

 

 


Animal Rescue League of Boston Marks Bill Signing

H. 1220 Strengthens Financial Protections for Animal Care Facilities

 The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) joined Representative Linda Dean Campbell, fellow animal welfare organizations, state and local officials, animal control officers, and the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association at MSPCA-Nevins Farm in Methuen today, to announce the signing of H. 1220 – An Act Updating the Law Relating to Posting a Security for Seized Animals in Cruelty Cases.

 H. 1220 was sponsored by Representative Campbell (D-Methuen), supported by 72 co-sponsors, and signed into law by Governor Baker on January 13. It will become effective on April 14.

“I am very optimistic about the positive impact this bill will have to expedite animal cruelty cases, promote better treatment of animals, and remove a financial and administrative burden on cities and towns,” said Representative Campbell.

Dr. Doyle speaks to crowd at Nevins Farm

Animal Cruelty cases often involve cities and towns, as well as organizations like ARL taking custody of the animal(s) affected. Some cases may take months to resolve, and the costs of caring for these animals is extensive. The update to H. 1220 now allows the prosecuting agency to request a court order for the accused to post a security bond, which can be utilized to pay for medical care, quarantine, behavioral training, food, shelter, and other care-related costs. This will hopefully expedite future cases.

“The organizations that care for and shelter the animals currently can request the court to order the accused to post a bond to cover the costs of sheltering the animal,” said Nadine Pellegrini, ARL’s Director of Advocacy. “Allowing the Attorney General and District Attorneys to also file the petition for a bond will be an addition, and hopefully, more efficient tool which will streamline the procedure during the course of the case and lead to a quicker resolution.”

Like people, the psyche and health of animals is fragile, and holding animals long-term isn’t only costly, it can be harmful. For dogs and cats these can manifest as aggression, the loss of house or litterbox training, or obsessive behaviors such as chewing and gnawing on themselves. And, medically, stress can result in a suppressed immune system, making animals susceptible to infectious diseases.

“It can be very challenging for shelters to meet the behavioral and medical needs of animals confiscated and held in cruelty cases,” stated Dr. Erin Doyle, ARl’s Lead Veterinarian. “Any measure that helps to provide resources for their care or expedites placement of these animals into stable homes will be greatly beneficial.”

As the new Legislative Session gets underway, the Animal Rescue League of Boston will continue its mission to be a champion for animals in need by collaborating with advocacy colleagues and working with law makers to further strengthen animal protection laws in Massachusetts.


Recent Animal Cruelty Case Reflects Commitment, Highlights Need for Change

Judge Cites Link Between Animal Cruelty and Other Forms of Violence

On January 6, 2017, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) Law Enforcement Department, in collaboration with the Salem and Peabody Police Departments, assisted in the execution of a search warrant that landed an alleged animal abuser in jail on a charge of animal cruelty, and removed a defenseless 11-month-old Pit Bull-type dog from his possession.
The investigation of alleged abuse by 31-year-old Salem resident John Leger was reported by witnesses in November, and ultimately involved both Salem and Peabody Police Departments and ARL.

Leger was arraigned on January 9, 2017 at Peabody District Court, and was formally charged with one count of animal cruelty. The district court judge required the posting of a $25,000 cash bond, and the alleged abuser was instructed to have no contact with any witnesses connected to the case, and was barred from any possession, custody and control of animals and cannot reside with any animal while the case is pending. The details contained in the criminal complaint are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case encompasses elements that mirror ARL’s continuously evolving mission to combat animal abuse.

  • The first issue is consideration of the link between animal abuse and other forms of violence. In 2014, the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force was created to consider future protections for animals and ways to strengthen Massachusetts’ cruelty laws. ARL President Mary Nee was a member of the Task Force and she and others explored a number of areas including the link between animal cruelty and other forms of violence and making courts and law enforcement aware of this connection. According to a Massachusetts study, 70 percent of people who committed crimes against animals had also been involved in other violent crimes, and were also five times more likely to commit a violent act against another person. During the suspect’s arraignment, District Court Judge Richard Mori did make note of the existence of the link between animal abuse and other violent crimes before he set conditions of release.
  • The second issue involves the release of a defendant charged with animal cruelty. The court was required to set conditions of release because animal cruelty is not listed as one of the crimes which permits a finding of “dangerousness” and which would permit holding the defendant without bail. ARL, along with other members of the Task Force, is working on legislation which would add the charges of animal cruelty to those which can be used to find that a person charged with animal cruelty may present a risk of danger to the community.

ARL’s Law Enforcement Department works tirelessly and is committed to protecting animals in Massachusetts from all cases of neglect and abuse. ARL would like to commend the Salem and Peabody Police Departments, as well as the Essex County District Attorney’s Animal Cruelty Prosecution Unit, for making animal cruelty cases a priority.

IF YOU SEE ABUSE–REPORT IT
Often times, the initial step in animal cruelty cases are a report by a witness. As in the aforementioned case, witnesses who step forward and report are crucial. It is important to remind everyone concerned with animal welfare that if you see something, say something.

Immediately report an incident to your city/town animal control officer, or local police department. Members of the public and other agencies can also report suspected animal abuse to ARL’s Law Enforcement Department at (617) 226-5610 or cruelty@arlboston.org.


Top 5 Wins in Animal Advocacy

Massachusetts continues to be a leader in animal welfare in 2016

2016 was a historic year for advancing important animal advocacy laws in our state. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) worked tirelessly alongside local and national organizations to help move the needle when it came to the prevention of animal suffering, cruelty, and neglect across Massachusetts.

“There are many things to celebrate this year with respect to animal welfare and protection,” says Nadine Pellegrini, ARL’s Director of Advocacy. “Massachusetts residents should take great pride in being part of a historic ballot initiative which will go a long way in improving the lives of farm animals here and elsewhere. And, we now have a strong law in place to protect animals in vehicles as well as animals who are tethered or housed outdoors.”

Today we celebrate the top 5 wins in animal advocacy in 2016. Click the links below to learn more about each piece of legislation.

Pets in hot cars demo at the State House

1. “Too Hot for Spot” becomes law (see pg. 8) – As of November 16, 2016, S.2369, An Act to Prevent Animal Suffering and Death prohibits pet owners from confining any animal in a motor vehicle when extreme heat or cold could reasonably be expected to threaten the health of the animal. This new law also amends the anti-tethering statute and allows law enforcement officers from ARL and MSPCA to issue citations to violators.

Pig

2. Massachusetts residents vote YES to stop farm animal cruelty  On election night, November 9, 2016, 77.7% of Bay State residents voted yes on ballot Question 3, The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals. This groundbreaking ballot question was a great first step toward farm animal welfare protection in the Commonwealth. By 2022, highly-restrictive cages must be phased out giving farm animals enough space to turn around and extend their limbs. The ballot question will also protect MA families from substandard and unsafe food products.

Cat at the ARL's Boston Adoption Center

3. Rabies quarantine period reduced for shelter animals – On October 10, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker and key members of his administration gathered at ARL’s Boston shelter to discuss a change in regulation to the rabies quarantine period for shelter animals. Under the new law, the quarantine period has been reduced from six to four months, allowing cats and dogs to find loving homes sooner. This decision will improve the lives of animals in need and increase space and flexibility for animal shelters like the ARL.

Rat at ARL's Boston Adoption Center

4. Animal Cruelty & Protection Task Force Report completed (see pg 9) – On July 12, 2016, the Task Force Findings and Recommendations Report was voted on and approved by members of the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force, including ARL’s President Mary Nee. The Task Force was created after the passage of S.2345, An Act Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety (“PAWS”) in 2014, a result of the “Puppy Doe” case. For the 19 months following the passage of this new legislation, the Task Force addressed topics; such as current structure and use of anti-cruelty laws, education, housing, training, seizure of animals, and the creation of an animal abuse registry. Click here to read the full Task Force Findings and Recommendations Report.

Dog outside on a chain

5. Conviction upheld for inhumane confinement and chaining of dogs – In June 2016, a Cape Cod woman’s convictions for violating state law by confining her two dogs in a condemned home and a fenced-in yard, was upheld by the MA Appeals Court. The woman challenged her convictions claiming that she did not violate the law because her dogs were not confined outside. The Court disagreed, finding that keeping dogs in filthy and dirty confinement both inside and outside was, in fact, a violation of lawThe dogs had been left alone virtually all day every day for over a year with only intermittent contact with friends. Both dogs were both tick-infested and described as “matted”, “ravaged” and “traumatized.”


Let’s help even more animals in 2017 – together!

While we have much to celebrate from this year, Nadine reminds us that, “There is still so much to do. We must and will continue to advocate for better protection for companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife.”

Only because of YOUR support is ARL able to carry on its important work. Make a gift today to ensure that ARL can continue to prevent animal suffering, cruelty, and neglect across Massachusetts in 2017 and beyond.

Click the red button below to…

HELP ANIMALS NOW


Court Prohibits Owner of Westport Property Farm

Update:

In July of this year, ARL’s Law Enforcement team, staff, and volunteers, along with other humane organizations and law enforcement departments, went to the aid of and helped remove more than 1,400 animals living in deplorable conditions on a 70-acre property located at 465 American Legion Road in Westport, MA.

Dog at Westport scene

Last month, many people were dismayed to learn that farm animals were being reintroduced to that same property.

Fortunately, on November 9, 2016, Superior Court Justice Renee Dupuis issued an Order which, for the time being, prohibits Medeiros from returning any animals to the property and orders him to remove any animals owned by him from the property.

To the extent that Medeiros has authority over third parties using the property, animals belonging to the third parties cannot be returned and any animals on the property now must be removed.

The Court further ordered that Medeiros allow the Westport Animal Inspector access to inspect the animals; retain a pest control expert to address the need for rat control; retain a disposal service to address the issues of “solid waste” removal; and prohibits the use of all structures on the property.

The Court will hold a further hearing on December 7, 2016.


Hot off the Press: Our Four-Footed Friends

Check out the many ways YOUR support helped animals in need in 2016

ARL-Magazine-fall2016-Magazine-cover-400x520

Click the image above to read the Fall/Winter 2016 edition of Our Four-Footed Friends.

The Fall/Winter 2016 edition of Our Four-Footed Friends (OFFF) is here!

For more than 100 years, ARL has responded to the needs of animals and the people who care about them. In fact, we are often the first to respond, as seen in the recent Westport farm animal cruelty case, featured on Page 10.

All thanks to YOUR critical support, this year we served thousands of animals through our outstanding veterinary care, adoption, rescue services, special police investigation, and advocacy.

Read the incredible stories about what you helped make possible…

Today, we increasingly focus on prevention and the impact we can have on more animals; keeping them out of shelters and in the communities where they belong.

YOU make our important work possible – THANK YOU!

Stay in touch between editions: visit arlboston.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


Bay State Goes Cage Free

THANK YOU to everyone who voted YES ON 3!

It’s official: Massachusetts voters said YES to stopping farm animal cruelty in last night’s historic election. An incredible 77.7% of Bay State residents voted yes on ballot Question 3, The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals.

This groundbreaking ballot question is a great first step towards animal welfare protection in the Commonwealth. By 2022, highly-restrictive cages must be phased out giving farm animals enough space to turn around and extend their limbs. The ballot question will also protect Massachusetts families from substandard and unsafe food products.

citizens for farm animal protectionClick here to read more via The Boston Globe.

Animal welfare supporters from all over Massachusetts made last night’s vote a resounding victory. The ARL offers our sincerest thanks to the MSPCA, Franklin Park Zoo, The Humane League – Boston, Mercy For Animals, Farm Forward, Compassion in World Farming (USA), Animal Equality, Farm Sanctuary, the Mass Sierra Club, HSUS, ASPCA, and the hundreds of  other animal welfare groups, farmers, veterinarians, local businesses, and individuals who helped support this momentous effort to end the extreme confinement of farm animals!

Since the Summer of 2015, ARL’s volunteers and staff spent countless hours helping to collect over 170,000 signatures to get The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals on the 2017 ballot, as well as educating Massachusetts consumers about the importance of voting YES ON 3.

“When there’s an effort to improve the protection and treatment of animals – whether they are companion, working, or farm animals – the ARL is here to help,” says ARL’s President Mary Nee.

Massachusetts isn’t alone… Ten states have already passed similar laws and nearly 200 major food retailers, such as McDonalds’s, Walmart, and Dollar Tree, and restaurant chains have policies phasing them out as well.