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Category: Advocacy
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

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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.


3 Reasons to Vote YES on 3

Prevent farm animal cruelty with just one vote: YES on Question 3!

With Election Day only a few short days away, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to remind you why this is such an important election year. Sure, you’re voting for the next President of the United States — but you’re also voting YES to stop unnecessary farm animal cruelty and YES to protecting Massachusetts families from unsafe food products.

Endorsed by the ARL and all of Massachustts’ major animal welfare groups, The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals, ballot Question 3, is a modest animal protection and food safety measure that will prevent breeding pigs, chickens, and calves from being confined in cages so small they can’t even turn around or extend their limbs.

Here are 3 reasons to vote YES on 3:

  1. Promotes responsible farming. Question 3 phases out the use of highly-restrictive cages by 2022, giving producers and retailers ample time to comply with the modest requirement that farm animals have enough space to turn yes on 3 blog thumbaround and extend their limbs.
  2. Protects food safety. Industrial animal operations put consumers’ health at risk. Unable to move and constantly stressed, confined animals suffer from weakened immune systems that lead to illness. The Center for Food Safety endorses Question 3 because numerous studies show that egg operations that confine hens in cages have higher rates of Salmonella, the leading cause of food poisoning-related death in humans in America.
  3. Makes economic sense. Most Massachusetts farmers are already cage-free and have shown that affordable food can be produced with animal welfare in mind. According to a study conducted by the egg industry itself, it costs just a penny per egg to produce cage-free eggs rather than battery cage eggs. The pork industry published a study that determined it can cost 11 percent less not to use gestation crates. In addition to the ten states that have passed laws prohibiting certain types of extreme confinement, nearly 200 major food retailers, such as McDonalds’s, Walmart, and Dollar Tree, and restaurant chains have policies phasing them out.

When you hit the polls on Tuesday, November 8, don’t forget to vote YES on Question 3 to prevent farm animal cruelty!


Vote YES on Question 3

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8 – Don’t forget to vote YES on ballot Question 3 to prevent farm animal cruelty!

The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals, on the ballot as Question 3, is a modest animal protection and food safety measure that will prevent breeding pigs, chickens, and calves from being confined in cages so small they can’t even turn around or extend their limbs. A YES vote on Question 3 will also protect Massachusetts families from substandard and unsafe food products.

Question 3 is endorsed by all of Massachusetts’ major animal welfare groups, including the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), MSPCA, Berkshire Humane Society, Dakin Humane Society, and Zoo New England, as well as national charities like the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States and more than 500 Massachusetts veterinarians.

citizens for farm animal protection

The amount of  “personal space” each hen has is smaller than an iPad.

Why Vote YES on Question 3?

  • The vast majority of pork sold in the Commonwealth comes from industrial factory farms where pigs used for breeding are confined in narrow crates so small they can’t even turn around. This limitation in movement results in a lifetime of crippling pain and emotional distress. Calves raised for veal are often confined in similar conditions.
  • Most of the eggs sold in Massachusetts come from industrial egg producers that cram hens into cages so small the birds can’t even spread their wings. Packed five or more to a cage, each hen spends her whole life in a space smaller than an iPad. Chickens often suffer from bone fractures, feather-loss, and can die from starvation or dehydration.

Your vote counts, so please vote YES on Question 3 this Election Day!


One New Law – Three New Ways to Protect Pets

Combination of Animal Welfare Measures Triples Protection

At a ceremony at the State House on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, Governor Baker signed S.2369, An Act to Prevent Animal Suffering and Death, into law. The law will take effect on November 17, 2016.

Watch a snippet of the State House ceremony

Did you know that S.2369 actually is 3 bills in one? The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is thrilled because the new law provides protection for pets in several ways! While there has been a great deal of attention –and rightly so– on the pets in vehicles portion of the bill, the ARL is pretty excited about the other provisions as well.

“With the signing of this bill, animals in Massachusetts will be safer. The need to enact S.2369 was met with widespread support throughout the House and Senate and now by the Governor’s office,” said Mary Nee, president of the ARL.

Having 3 separate animal welfare measures enacted helps keep Massachusetts at the forefront of animal protection…

s.23691. Pets in vehicles, a new legal tool in place

The ARL’s “Too Hot for Spot” campaign is aimed at educating pet owners on the dangers of leaving a pet in a vehicle and it certainly underscored the need for this measure.

The new bill now allows first responders, such as animal control officers, law enforcement officers, and police officials, and firefighters, to intervene early and rescue a pet from a hot car –or from a car in extreme cold weather– before the pet is suffering.

Additionally, there’s a new consequence for people who put their pets in harm’s way by leaving them in cars, separate and apart from animal cruelty. People who violate the law will be given tickets, and the fines increase if they are repeat offenders.

Citizens may also help rescue pets left in vehicles, but only under limited conditions that require them to first call 911 and make reasonable efforts to find the owner. If the pet is taken from the vehicle, the rescuer must stay with the pet at the scene until law enforcement personnel arrive at the scene.

Dog tethered2. Tethering of dogs, now reduced to 5 hour time limit

The new bill updates a law already in place, which didn’t seem to be working as well as it should have been. Under the old law, a dog could be tethered (tied or chained up) for up to 24 hours. The law did not prohibit tethering outside in terrible weather.

The new law now limits the time of tethering outside to up to 5 hours. Additionally, a dog cannot be tethered between the hours of 10PM and 6AM, or outdoors when a weather advisory, warning, or watch has been issued.

 

s.23693. The ARL and MSPCA can further help enforce the law

The new bill gives the ARL’s and MSPCA’s law enforcement officers the ability to rescue animals that are confined under “cruel conditions”, which includes exposure to excessive animal waste, garbage, dirty water, noxious odors, and other potentially dangerous circumstances.

Under the new law, the ARL and MSPCA will now be able to enforce the prohibitions under this section. They are also permitted to write citations to violators if an animal control officer is unavailable or is unable to respond to the scene.

“We are grateful that first responders and citizens can protect the well-being of animals,” says Mary Nee. “We are also excited that our law enforcement officers now have the ability to enforce the law and stop animals from living in, and being exposed to, cruel and inhumane conditions.”

KNOW THE LAW… Click here to read the details of S.2369, An Act to Prevent Animal Cruelty and Death.

THANK YOU to Governor Charlie Baker, Senator Mark Montigny, Rep. Lori Ehrlich, Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Rep. David Rogers, Rep. Louis Kafka, Senator Pat Jehlen, Senator Barbara L’Italien, Rep. Speliotis, and the many other legislators for their commitment to helping animals across the Commonwealth and for taking action to prevent animal suffering and death!

SPECIAL THANKS to the MSPCA and HSUS for their partnership on getting this important piece of legislation passed for animals in Massachusetts!

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Rep. Lori Ehrlich takes the podium.

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This adorable pup couldn’t help posing for the camera!

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Left to Right: Rep. Lori Ehrlich, Senator Mark Montigny, and Senator Tarr.

 


ARL Seeks Public’s Help in Finding Animal Cruelty Suspects

Umbrella Cockatoo Recovering Well After Being Severely Neglected

DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS BIRD? Contact ARL’s Law Enforcement, (617) 226-5610

On July 25th, 2016, a concerned citizen noticed something odd with the trash put out around Norfolk Street in Dorchester, Massachusetts; in the middle of the garbage to be collected was a birdcage filled with maggots and cockroaches– and an Umbrella Cockatoo.

umbrella cockatoo

Mayfield, the Umbrella Cockatoo found in the trash, is recovering well at the ARL after emergency surgery.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue services quickly responded to the call to help the discarded bird.

When found, the Cockatoo, now named “Mayfield”, was emaciated and had a serious medical condition that required emergency surgery. Luckily, she is now recovering at the ARL and doing well enough to soon be able to find a loving home!

Sadly, Mayfield is not the first animal we’ve seen who was abandoned and left to die in the trash or on the streets. We understand that tough economic conditions also affect pets, but let’s get the word out that the last resort is not throwing your pet away.

Learn the 7 warning signs of animal cruelty

There are many organizations like the ARL, agencies, and individuals, who can be a dependable resource for families who need help caring for their pet. There are always options, but throwing an animal away is not one of them.

The ARL needs your help in identifying Mayfield’s owners…

The person(s) responsible for neglecting and cruelly abandoning this lovely bird needs to be held accountable for their actions. Failure to provide proper food, drink, shelter, and a sanitary environment and willful abandonment of an animal are felony violations of Massachusetts’s anti-cruelty laws. A person convicted of these crimes could receive a prison sentence of up to 7 years.

If you recognize Mayfield or have any information regarding her case, please contact the ARL’s Law Enforcement Department at (617) 226-5610.


Update on Westport Farm Animals

Over 1,400 animals found on 70-acre property

From July 19 through August 6, 2016, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) worked around-the-clock to assist in the rescue, removal, and specialized emergency veterinary treatment, of over 1,400 animals from the Westport, MA farm.

ARL Westport

Over 1,400 animals were found on 70-acre Westport, MA farm since the ARL Boston first arrived on the scene on July 19.

Many species of animals were in dire need of assistance, including goats, pigs, horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, cattle, and birds.

While on scene, Lt. Alan Borgal, ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement, and Dr. Kyle Quigley, ARL’s Lead Community Veterinarian, led the efforts to address and provide for the well-being and care of many of the animals.

All because of the generous help of many individuals and organizations, the ARL was able to bring the animals to safety by relocating them to farms, sanctuaries, shelters, and foster homes. And, as the many animals in the ARL’s care heal, they are being connected with loving families.

THANK YOU to everyone who supported the ARL during this critical time to make our important work possible!

Help stop cruelty and neglect at its root cause…

Every animal deserves a safe and healthy home, which is why we must continue our important work to ensure that extreme cases of animal cruelty and neglect never happen.

It is only with YOUR SUPPORT that we can eliminate the conditions that lead to animal abuse – this is your opportunity to help animals in need.

Please make a gift today to stop animal cruelty at its root cause. Click here or on the green button below to donate now!

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Help S. 2369 Become Law TODAY

Bill 2369 has passed the House & Senate – now it just needs Governor Baker’s signature

Great news! Senate Bill 2369 — An Act to Prevent Animal Suffering and Death — has passed the House and Senate. The bill is now on Governor Baker’s desk and we’re hoping he signs this into law soon.

Many of you are familiar with our “Too Hot for Spot” educational campaign. For several years now, ARL has been reminding pet owners that when the temperature heats up, it’s best to leave your pet at home. Sadly, pets still are left in vehicles and we’ve still seeing deaths that could have been avoided.

Too Hot for Spot

Thanks to S. 2369, animals have a greater chance of surviving this sad fate. Law enforcement and other first responders are allowed to intervene early to rescue and prevent animals from suffering and dying from extreme heat. Under certain circumstances, other individuals will also be able to enter vehicles to save an animal from death.

S. 2369 also will prohibit dogs from being tied up to fixed structures for long periods of time, overnight, and in bad weather. The change in the law goes a long to ensure that dogs do not end up living on chains and left outside for long periods of time, especially in extreme weather conditions.

Take Action: Please make a quick call to Governor Charlie Baker’s office at (617) 725-4005 and urge him to sign S. 2369 into law today! 


Breaking News: ARL Takes Care & Custody of 57 Animals (and Counting!) from Westport Tenant Farm

Your support is URGENTLY needed to help the many animals in this case

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The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has been working around-the-clock alongside the Westport Police Department and other local and state officials in and on-going effort at 465 American Legion Highway in Westport, Massachusetts.

Since early Tuesday morning, the ARL has been assisting in the rescue, removal, and emergency veterinary treatment of hundreds of animals on the 70-acre property.

Today, we were back on-site to help the many more animals still living in these cruel and unsanitary conditions.

ARL team on site rescuing animals in westport

ARL team on site rescuing animals in westport

ARL team on site rescuing animals in westport

Thus far, the ARL has taken care and custody of 57 animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, goats and other animals; removing them from a dangerous environment where they suffered without adequate shelter, food, or care.

Once they are healed, the animals in our care and will be connected with the caring families that they deserve.

Lt. Alan Borgal, ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement, and Dr. Kyle Quigley, ARL’s Lead Community Veterinarian continue to lead the efforts in Westport to provide for the well-being and care of all the animals in this case.

“This is the worst [case] I’ve ever seen, as far as scale and conditions,” says Dr. Kyle Quigley. “Animals here had been living in deplorable conditions for months, probably years”.

Your support is critical…

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is on the ground in Westport, MA and we need your help to provide the animals suffering in these deplorable conditions with the emergency assistance they so desperately require.

Thousands of dollars are needed to provide URGENT care to these animals who have suffered from abuse and neglect. Your gift today makes this important work possible!

Click here or on the red button below to donate now

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We’re in need of livestock foster families! If interested, please email dvogel@arlboston.org with your name, phone number, type of livestock you’d like to foster, and how many animals you can accommodate. Please note that all of our slots for fostering dogs, cats, and other small animals are filled at this time. Thank you!