Category: Boston Veterinary Care
ARL Caring for Stray Kitten with Traumatic Injuries

Kitten was likely entangled in fence

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is currently caring for a 13-week-old former stray kitten that is beginning a long road to recovery, due to suffering traumatic injuries.

The kitten was discovered on the side of the road in Dorchester last week, and seeing the kitten was in extreme pain and distress, the finder brought the kitten to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

ARL’s shelter medicine staff carefully examined the kitten, now named Nick, who was yowling and scratching due to his pain, and surmised his injuries were caused by being entangled in a fence and/or an embedded collar.

The kitten suffered deep abrasions and fur loss around his neck and front paws and a piece of wire was also removed from the back of his neck. An ARL veterinarian treated his wounds and is also fostering the kitten to monitor his condition and recovery.

As his pain has subsided, he is beginning to show a fantastic personality and ARL is grateful for the opportunity to care for him and give him the chance at the life he deserves.

There is no time table on when Nick will be well enough to find a new home, and he is currently not available for adoption.

Help Animals Like Nick

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is an unwavering champion for animals in need, however in order to provide emergency treatment for animals like Nick, ARL relies on the compassion and support from people like YOU.

Nick is on the mend, but there are countless animals out there that will need ARL’s help at some point in the future and we cannot do this work alone.

Whether it’s a one-time donation or joining more than 840 others to contribute monthly, click here to see all the ways you can join ARL to support animals in need today, tomorrow, and in the future.

Banfield Foundation® Grant to Supply ARL Wellness Waggin’ with Vital Medications

Grant of $12,000 to ensure pets stay healthy

 Boston, MA (August 26, 2021) – The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) announced today a $12,000 grant investment from the Banfield Foundation®, to support their lifesaving work for animals in the Greater Boston area.

The generous Community Care Grant will offset the cost of medications and supplies for ARL’s Wellness Waggin’, and will help treat owned pets in the Greater Boston area for approximately 64 clinic days. The Banfield Foundation is also donating 1,852 doses of First Shield flea product to be provided for Wellness Waggin’ clients.

Additionally, the Jim Parker Charitable Trust helped increase the impact of the generous grant award by contributing $5,000 specifically for medications and drugs for approximately 34 clinic days.

Muenca being examined by ARL vet

ARL Veterinarian, Dr. Hannah Donnelly examines Muenca at the Mattapan Wellness Waggin’ site.

“The Animal Rescue League of Boston is grateful to the Banfield Foundation and the Jim Parker Charitable Trust for their generosity,” said Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL President and CEO. “ARL’s Wellness Waggin’ provides accessible and affordable pet wellness services and this grant will allow the program to have an even greater impact in the Greater Boston communities we serve.”

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 Greater Boston and Southeastern Massachusetts.

For more information about ARL’s Wellness Waggin’, visit arlboston.org/wellness-waggin.


About the Banfield Foundation®
At the core of the Banfield Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the belief that all pets deserve access to veterinary care. In support of this belief, the foundation funds programs that enable veterinary care, elevate the power of the human-animal bond, provide disaster relief for pets, and advance the science of veterinary medicine through fostering innovation and education. It also leverages the expertise and passion of Banfield Pet Hospital associates to care for pets in need. At the Banfield Foundation, we are committed to making a better world for pets because they make a better world for us. For more information, visit BanfieldFoundation.org

ARL Field Services Assists Cat Caregiver

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently took in more than three dozen cats from a residence in Eastern Massachusetts, while working with the caregiver to be able to keep a more manageable number of animals in the home.

Concerned friends of the caregiver reached out to ARL’s Field Services for assistance, and with any situation involving a large number of animals, the concern for ARL is not only for the animals involved, but for the caregiver as well.

With that many animals in the home, daily care can become overwhelming.

The cats were signed over to ARL and were transported to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center, where they received thorough veterinary exams, were vaccinated, and spayed and neutered.

Additionally, more than half the cats required extensive dental procedures to keep them healthy and happy.

Cats from these types of situations do have the tendency to be nervous around new people, and ARL’s behavioral team worked extensively with these animals to not only assess their behavior, but worked to socialize and get these cats ready for new homes.

While the bulk of the animals have found new homes, several do remain with ARL for behavioral reasons, however it is expected that by the time the calendar turns to fall, all cats involved in this situation will have found their new homes.

Reach Out for Assistance

ARL encourages anyone who may be overwhelmed or who may know someone who may be overwhelmed, to reach out for assistance.

ARL is a resource, and will work with diligence and respect to resolve any issues a caregiver may be having.

While the bulk of the animals in this situation were removed from the home, ARL is pleased that the caregiver was able to keep a small number of cats and will remain available in the future for any concerns or issues.

For more information about ARL’s Field Services Department, including contact information, click here!

ARL Assists Randolph Police in Animal Cruelty Investigation

ARL Caring for 20 Puppies, 4 Adult Dogs Removed from Home 

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department were recently contacted by police in Randolph, MA, to assist in the removal of two dozen dogs, mostly puppies, who were living in unsanitary conditions.

Randolph Police entered the home and found its interior to be in a state of squalor with animal waste throughout.

Inside the home, officers located four adult dogs and 20 puppies allegedly living in unsanitary conditions without adequate access to food and water.

ARL’s Law Enforcement Department was immediately contacted and responded to the scene, coordinating with ARL Field Services to remove the dogs and transport them to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

In all, one male and three female dogs that are approximately two to four years of age, and 20 puppies ranging from two to four months old — all believed to be Pitbull-type dogs — were removed from the home.

ARL’s shelter medicine team has examined the dogs. One puppy, a 4-month-old male, was determined to have a broken leg and will remain in ARL’s care until healed.

Umbilical hernias have been detected in some of the dogs, which will require surgery before adoption and some of the animals have heart murmurs. The dogs have been placed into foster care and are not currently available for adoption.

It is expected that most the dogs will be ready to find new homes within a few weeks.

“The Animal Rescue of Boston cannot commend Randolph Police and Animal Control enough,” stated ARL Law Enforcement Senior Investigator Lt. Alan Borgal. “Everyone involved in this situation demonstrated a high level of professionalism, compassion and the steadfast commitment to removing these animals from the residence quickly and getting them the care they needed.”

Randolph Police Commander Robert Emerson said, “We are pleased to have been able to remove these animals from the poor conditions they were living in. I would like to thank the ARL Law Enforcement and Field Services teams for their quick response and assistance at the scene, as well as the shelter medicine teams and foster care network for their dedication to caring for the dogs. I would also like to praise our responding officers who were called to the house on an unrelated issue and noticed that the situation the animals were living in was not acceptable.”

How You Can Help

Animals saved from these situations can have many complex health and behavior issues.

They’re sick, frightened, and in desperate need of love and kindness.

They will need extraordinary care and you can give them their best chance to recover.

Your emergency gift today can support:

    • Veterinary care and rehabilitation for the sudden influx of animals that have suffered the trauma of neglect
    • On-going investigations of cruelty to pursue justice for animals
    • Emergency response when crisis strikes and animals are in dire need

This work cannot be done alone and animals urgently need your help now.

Click here to donate and help these animals in their recovery and thank you!

Stray Cat Hit by Car, Receives Treatment and Finds New Home

This past week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) found a home for a friendly stray cat, who had likely been hit by a car and needed emergency treatment.

The two-year-old cat, named Baby, was reported to ARL by a Good Samaritan in Boston’s South End who discovered the cat and realized she needed help.

An ARL Law Enforcement Department senior investigator rushed to pick up the cat and transport her back to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center for emergency care.

Upon arrival, Baby’s face was bloodied and displayed lameness in her front limbs and also suffered some facial bruising.

X-Rays also revealed a pneumothorax, a condition where air escapes the lungs and becomes trapped in the chest cavity – this can be a common injury following being hit by a car.

ARL’s shelter medicine team performed a procedure to remove the trapped air, making Baby comfortable, and over a period of about a week continued to recheck her and chart her progress.

In order to have a quiet place to heal, Baby was placed into foster care and as she recovered, she showed to be extremely affectionate and sweet and recovered from her ordeal quickly.

Baby was so affectionate, that her foster family decided to adopt her, and she is acclimating to her new home very well!

Here for Emergency Care

ARL wants to thank the Good Samaritan who showed extreme compassion in realizing that Baby was in trouble, and for contacting ARL for help.

If Baby had not received emergency treatment, the pneumothorax would likely have worsened and she may not have made it on her own.

ARL reminds the public that if you come across an animal like Baby in distress, to contact ARL’s Field Services Department at 617-426-9170 (press option 1) immediately, as every second counts in an emergency situation!

ARL Caring for 2 Puppies Who Lost Mom

Mom dog died from complications 2 weeks after giving birth

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is currently caring for two puppies who sadly lost their mother just two weeks after being born. The pups, who will soon be available for adoption, were surrendered and initially needed round-the-clock care.

To see local news coverage on this story click here!

Just two-weeks-old when they were surrendered back in June, the Parson Russell Terrier puppies were placed into foster care with a dedicated ARL volunteer and foster parent, and initially required bottle feedings every four hours round-the-clock, as nourishment is critical at that stage of life.

Additionally, because the puppies no longer had mom to rely on, they needed constant monitoring to ensure their health and safety.

“It’s very important to wake them every four hours and give them the nourishment that they need because they are very vulnerable at that stage,” foster parent Margy Ronna said to WCVB. “Then after a couple of weeks they are ready to learn how to walk and run, and their exercise area needs to be bigger.”

Very rarely does ARL see puppies this age, however this was a special situation born out of tragedy after their mother passed likely due to birth complications, and ARL was ready to take on the challenge to allow the puppies to grow and thrive.

Now at 7 weeks old, the puppies have made tremendous progress, are transitioning to solid food and are well on their way to happy and healthy lives.

Please note: the puppies are currently not available for adoption.

ARL’s Wellness Waggin’ Reaches Milestone

Mobile veterinary clinic completes 5,000th appointment

In service for just two years, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Wellness Waggin’ reached an important milestone this past week, completing its 5,000th appointment!

Cutting the ribbon for the Wellness Waggin’ in July 2019.

The Wellness Waggin’ was unveiled in July 2019, and was critical in expanding ARL’s community veterinary services.

Working in partnership with Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), the Wellness Waggin’ was deployed at ABCD locations in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan, areas in Greater Boston in dire need of accessible and affordable veterinary services.

Additionally, beginning in the fall of 2020, the Wellness Waggin’ also began to serve the East Boston community as well.

“This is a fantastic milestone,” said Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL President and CEO. “ARL’s expansion of community veterinary services began as a pilot program in 2017, and to see how much its grown is a direct result of the need for accessible and affordable veterinary services, and ARL’s commitment to bringing services directly into communities where they’re needed most.”

For $10, Wellness Waggin’ pet clients receive:

  • Physical exam
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Distemper vaccine
  • Flea treatment
  • Microchip

In a traditional veterinary clinic setting these services would run upwards of $300.

The Wellness Waggin’ has been and will continue to be a vital resource for the aforementioned communities, and is critical to fulfil ARL’s mission to keep pets and people together.

Spay Waggin’ Reaches 65,000 Surgeries

ARL’s Spay Waggin’, a mobile surgical clinic, also reached a milestone recently, completing its 65,000th surgery!

The Spay Waggin’ program began in 2000 and currently serves clients on the South Shore, South Coast, Cape Cod and the Islands, as well as East Boston.

Having your pet spayed or neutered is important for a number of reasons, but it can also be cost-prohibitive for many pet owners.

The Spay Waggin’ offers low-cost spay/neuter services, and also partners with the Massachusetts Animal Fund’s Voucher Program, which covers the cost of the surgery for qualified pet owners.

Need an Appointment?

If you live in Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan or East Boston and are in need of Wellness Waggin’ services, click here for more information and to book an appointment!

For the Spay Waggin’, call 1-877-590-SPAY (7729) to make an appointment, and click here for more information on all the services the Spay Waggin’ provides!

ARL Testifies in Favor of 3 Animal-Protection Bills

It was a busy week on Beacon Hill, as a bevy of legislative proposals were heard by numerous committees at the Massachusetts State House, including three animal-protection bills that the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) spoke in favor of.

Nero’s Law

H.2547/S.1606, An Act providing for the care and transportation of police dogs injured in the line of duty (Nero’s Law) was discussed with the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, with ARL and numerous law enforcement agencies throughout the Commonwealth providing testimony.

Nero’s Law was proposed after the tragic death of Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon, and the wounding of his K9 partner Nero.

Nero was wounded in the shooting and needed medical attention, however state law currently prohibits the use of ambulances to transporting police dogs.

If passed, the bill would require ambulance services to provide emergency treatment and transport to police dogs.

The bill would require training for EMS in basic level first aid, safe handling procedures, proper decontamination procedures, and sterilization sufficient to prevent allergic reactions for humans.

ARL Director of Law Enforcement Joe King, a former K9 handler and commander with the Massachusetts State Police provided testimony for the committee.

“Law enforcement relies on these dogs to keep us safe,” King said. “They’re the first to make contact with dangerous criminals and I cannot quantify the lives saved because of K9’s who fearlessly go into a situation first. They keep us safe so it’s up to us to do the right thing for them, they deserve whatever resources are available to keep them safe.”

Nero’s Law is co-sponsored by Representative Steven Xiarhos, a retired Yarmouth Police Deputy Chief, and Senator Mark Montigny, a staunch supporter of animal protection law.

“Prior to serving in the Legislature, I spent 40 years on the Yarmouth Police Department and served as the Deputy Chief. On April 12, 2018, I sent a team of highly trained officers on a mission to find and arrest an armed and violent career-criminal, Representative Xiarhos stated. “Three hours later, I learned that my Sergeant, Sean M. Gannon, had been murdered and our K9 Nero was shot in the face. I will never forget the sight of K9 Nero being carried out, covered in blood, and gasping for air. Despite the paramedics present wanting to help save him, they could not legally touch K9 Nero as current Massachusetts law prohibits helping a police animal wounded in the line of duty. It is our duty to protect those who protect us. Their lives matter.”

“These incredible animals risk their lives to work alongside law enforcement in dangerous situations. It is only humane to allow for them to be transported in a way that reflects their contributions to our Commonwealth,” said Senator Montigny. “Sergeant Gannon was a native son of New Bedford and therefore his K9 partner Nero is part of our community’s extended family.  We hope that this never has to be used, but it demonstrates the respect for the crucial work these animals do.”

Ollie’s Law

H.305, An Act to regulate pet daycare facilities in cities and towns, dubbed Ollie’s Law, was discussed this week in the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.

This bill is in honor of Ollie, a labradoodle who died at a doggy daycare facility in Western Massachusetts. Ollie was injured in a fight and died as a result of the injuries. There was a veterinarian next door, however there was also just one staff member working at the daycare facility.

If passed, the bill would require commercial boarding or training kennels to be licensed through the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), similar to the current process for animal shelters and pet shops.

Additionally, MDAR would be required to create regulations for: staff to dog ratios, group sizes and supervision, minimum housing and care, indoor and outdoor physical facilities, dog handling, insurance, fire and emergency planning, as well as penalties for non-compliance.

MDAR would also be responsible for regulations regarding staff training, a state-wide reporting system of injuries to dogs or people, among others.

Currently there are no standards or regulations for boarding and training facilities, leaving pet owners the responsibility of doing their research and advocating on behalf of their pet to determine where they should be boarded.

Because there are currently not state-wide regulations for these facilities, ARL created the Kennel-9, a pet safety guide, giving pet owners nine things they should consider before choosing a boarding kennel or daycare facility.

To download the Kennel-9 guide, click here!

ARL has advocated for such regulations in the past and Director of Advocacy Allison Blanck continued these efforts this week.

“Boarding and daycare kennels are unique environments where dogs from different homes interact without their owners,” Blanck stated. “Many of these facilities are well-run and provide necessary socialization and care for dogs. However, the lack of even basic standards means consumers are tasked with both deciding what basic standards are and examining facilities to see if they meet them. A statewide regulatory system would provide confidence to consumers. As we see people return to the office, to travel, and back to their routines, the increased number of families who acquired a pet over the past year are going to be looking for a place to keep their animals. It’s imperative that the Commonwealth act to make sure that all these facilities are adequate.”

Many legislatures are also in favor of such regulations.

“Pet daycare facilities are one of the few industries in the Commonwealth that are unregulated.  There is no license needed from the town or state and no baseline requirements for owners or employees,” said bill sponsor Rep. Brian Ashe. “All of us who own pets understand they are full-fledged members of our families and we want to keep them safe.  Many pet owners assume this industry is regulated and employees are trained or have experience, but that is not the case.   This bill will implement common sense, practical regulations that will provide a base line for businesses to keep the dogs and their employees safe.”


This week, the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure also heard testimony for S.222, An Act prohibiting inhumane feline declawing.

This bill, sponsored by Senator Montigny, would prohibit the practice of declawing a cat, unless for the therapeutic purposes, defined as limited medical reasons for the cat’s health.

It would not allow declawing based on behavioral concerns, medical concerns of the owner or concerns of the cat being surrendered.

“Many people who have declawed their cat simply don’t realize the pain it causes.  Declawing is a horrific procedure that inflicts harm and often leads to other behavioral issues.  This bill will help educate the public and ban this cruel practice.  No one who values furniture or material goods over the health and wellbeing of an animal should be a pet owner, and I will continue to advocate for these innocent creatures,” said Senator Montigny.

Advocate for Animals in Massachusetts

While formal hearings have already been held for the aforementioned bills, it’s not too late to ask your legislators to support these proposed laws!

Find your legislator here: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

The bills ARL provided testimony for are a small sampling of the animal protection bills currently in front of the legislature.

To learn more about ARL’s Legislative Agenda click here!

ARL Officially ASPCA Relocation Program Partner

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is excited to announce that it is now an official partner of the ASPCA’s Relocation Program.

As a result, ARL will begin receiving regular transports of animals who come from different regions of the country from the ASPCA.

The ASPCA Relocation Program launched in 2014, and has since relocated more than 160,000 animals from “source” shelters in areas with high homeless pet populations, to “destination” shelters in communities, like Massachusetts, where adoptable animals are in high demand.

The ASPCA’s Relocation Program currently transports animals to shelters in more than two dozen states.

“I am excited about ARL’s new partnership with the ASPCA,” said Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s President and CEO. “The ASPCA is a wonderful organization, and knowing that ARL can assist in taking in animals from areas where homeless pets and overcrowded shelter populations are a real issue, and finding these amazing animals loving homes right here in Massachusetts is impactful.”

ARL has already received a number of transport animals from the ASPCA, and looks forward to taking in more throughout 2021 and beyond.

It’s Hurricane Preparedness Week in Massachusetts

ARL Reminds Pet Owners to Include Pets in Emergency Plans

On the heels of Tropical Storm Elsa, Governor Charlie Baker has declared July 11-17 as Hurricane Preparedness Week in Massachusetts, to encourage residents to have emergency plans in place when a tropical storm or hurricane impacts the region.

When preparing for any emergency situation, including a tropical storm or hurricane, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) reminds pet owners to include pets in the planning process.

An assembled pet emergency kit.

ARL recommends pet owners keep the following tips in mind for pets:

  1. Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit. Each animal in your household needs their own kit and should include at least a one-week supply of food and water, along with collapsible dishes; a week supply of medication; photographs, tags, and other identification; leash, harness, crate/carrier; toys, blankets and treats; waste bags, litter and litter tray
  2. Locate Pet-Friendly Evacuation Centers. Many, but not all, evacuation centers allow pets. Check your area for not only evacuation centers, but pet-friendly hotels, boarding facilities, and even friends or relatives that would allow you, your family, and your pets to stay.
  3. Make Sure Your Pet is Microchipped. It’s the simplest way to be reunited with your pet should you become separated. If your pet is already microchipped, make sure all contact information is correct and up to date.
  4. Develop a Buddy System. Connect with friends and neighbors to ensure that someone is willing to evacuate your pets if you are unable to.

Download ARL’s pet preparedness emergency kit.

Additionally, storm conditions including howling winds, driving rain, thunder and lightening, among others, can drastically increase anxiety for your pet.

During a storm make sure to keep an extra sharp eye on your pet, keep them as comfortable as possible and reward calm behavior.