Category: Boston Veterinary Care
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.

ARL Teams with MSP to Remind Pet Owners About the Dangers of Leaving an Animal in a Hot Vehicle

When the Temperature Rises – It’s Too Hot for Spot®!

As New England continues to see extremely hot summer conditions, this week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) teamed up with Massachusetts State Police (MSP) for ARL’s 8th annual summer safety campaign, Too Hot for Spot®, to remind pet owners about the dangers of leaving an animal in a hot car.

ARL and MSP held a press event at the Massachusetts State Police Headquarters in Framingham, MA, flanked by two K9 troopers and a demonstration of how quickly the interior of a vehicle can heat up.

A large thermometer was placed in an MSP cruiser, and with an outside temperature of 82 degrees, in just 10 minutes the interior of the vehicle heated up to over 120 degrees!

Unlike humans, animals cannot efficiently cool their bodies. And if you think that cracking the windows will help keep your pet cool – it won’t.

As demonstrated, the inside of a vehicle can heat up to well over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, and the stifling heat inside a car makes animals susceptible to heat stroke, and the onset of symptoms is rapid.

Common symptoms of heat stroke in animals include lethargy or weakness, heavy panting, glazed eyes, profuse salivation, excessive thirst, lack of coordination, a deep red or purple tongue, vomiting – and it can even cause seizures, unconsciousness, or death.

With the onset of heat stroke, every second counts, so if your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is critical that you take them immediately to the closest veterinary hospital for treatment.

Health hazards aside, it is also against the law in Massachusetts to keep an animal confined in a vehicle when extreme heat or cold may threaten the animal’s health – and law enforcement throughout the Commonwealth will be on the lookout throughout the summer.

“Keeping an animal in a hot vehicle is dangerous, potentially deadly and illegal,” stated Massachusetts State Police Colonel Christopher Mason. “The Massachusetts State Police, along with law enforcement agencies across the Commonwealth will be steadfast in enforcing this law to keep animals in Massachusetts safe.”

“While pet owners should be well aware of the dangers of leaving animals alone in vehicles during the warm weather months, we sadly still see numerous examples of animals suffering and even dying every year, as the result of being left in the car,” said Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL President and CEO.

Please, when it is hot outside, leave your pet at home. Set them up in a cool, humidity and temperature-controlled room, give them plenty of water, and make sure to limit their outdoor exercise to the morning or evening hours when it is coolest.

To learn more summer pet safety tips, visit arlboston.org/too-hot-for-spot.

Thank You!

ARL would like to thank the Massachusetts State Police for helping spread ARL’s Too Hot for Spot® summer safety campaign to the masses.

Additionally, over the past few years, MassDot has generously donated billboard space for ARL’s Too Hot for Spot® messaging, so drives across the Commonwealth will be reminded of the dangers of leaving an animal in a hot vehicle. ARL thanks you!

Bonded Pigs Find Home After 2 Years

A pair of bonded pigs that were surrendered to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) back in June 2019 recently found their new home, and while the journey was long, it was worth the wait!

Turner and Hooch were both a year old when they came to ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center in 2019, after their former owner could no longer properly care for them.

Right away the two displayed their playful personalities, as they’d follow visitors around the paddock, gently take fruit and other snacks from staff and volunteers, and allow pets from whoever was willing.

Pet pigs are not for everyone, and while Turner and Hooch continued to be happy in their surroundings, they were unfortunately unable to find a new home.

Sometimes a change of scenery can make all the difference, so after a number of months in Brewster, Turner and Hooch were transferred to ARL’s Dedham campus to see if their luck would change.

In Dedham, they settled in and showed off for staff, volunteers and visitors alike, but once again weeks turned into months without a new home.

As 2019 turned to 2020, Turner and Hooch, while happy in Dedham, it was clear that they once again needed a change of scenery and the opportunity to be around other farm animals.

An ARL foster family opened up their hearts and home for the pair, and once in foster care, efforts ramped up to find Turner a Hooch a permanent home.

Going Home

In the spring of 2021, Turner and Hooch’s soon-to-be family were actually looking for a puppy, when they stumbled upon the pigs, and as they have been fostering dogs for a nearby shelter and slowly been growing their animal family on the farm property in New Hampshire, they immediately decided that Turner and Hooch would be a perfect fit.

With the adoption complete, Turner and Hooch moved into their new home, and have settled in quite well.

“Turner and Hooch have been happily exploring their new home,” said Erica Formhals, Turner and Hooch’s new mom. “Their tails are always wagging and they are so well-bonded. They are quite cautious and shy but overall they are inquisitive and are beginning to trust us – trust is huge!”

There is a perfect family for every animal at ARL, sometimes it just takes time for an adoption to happen.

ARL is thrilled that Turner and Hooch have found their permanent family, and knows they will happy in their new home for years to come!

Ready to Adopt a Farm Animal?

Along with pigs like Turner and Hooch, ARL frequently has farm animals including goats, horses, chickens, among others, that are available for adoption.

To see who’s currently available, click here!

ARL Adoption Centers Reopen to General Public

Covid-19 pandemic forced shutdown in March 2020

This past week brought a tremendous amount of excitement, as the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) animal care and adoption centers in Boston, Dedham, and Brewster were reopened to the general public.

ARL locations were adorned with handmade signs and other decorations to mark the occasion, and during the first week of reopening 84 animals found their permanent homes!

Like many organizations and businesses, ARL shuttered its doors to the general public in March 2020 with the onset of Covid-19 precautions and restrictions.

However, because ARL was identified as an essential business, ARL was able to resume adoption services on an appointment-only basis in June 2020.

This past week was a huge step forward to returning to a sense of normalcy not only for ARL and volunteers, but also for the animals in our care.

“To be able to welcome the public back to our animal care and adoption centers is a great moment for ARL and animal lovers alike,” stated Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s President and CEO. “It’s wonderful to return to a sense of normalcy and allow those looking for a new pet to come in at their convenience to interact with the animals in our care.”

What to Know

If you’re considering stopping into any of ARL’s locations, keep in mind the hours of operation:

  • Monday/holidays: Closed
  • Tuesday: By appointment only from 2-6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday-Sunday: Open to the general public 1-6:30 p.m.

ARL continues to follow CDC guidelines regarding safety protocols and operation hours and availability are subject to change.

Click here to read more about ARL’s current health and safety protocols.

Welcome back!!

Obese Calico Cat Finds Permanent Home

Chloe, a 9-year-old female calico cat, was recently surrendered to the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center due to continuous house soiling issues, and secondary medical concerns related to being obese.

The sweet, but reserved kitty has had house soiling issues her entire life and actually came to ARL initially when she was just three weeks old and after being found in a precarious situation.

Chloe hanging out in her kennel.

In 2012, Chloe and four of her litter mates were found zipped inside a plastic bedding bag and rescued by ARL.

Along with house soiling, as Chloe got older and her weight increased, she has been prone to vaginal infection and fur matting as she was unable to properly groom herself.

The 20-pound cat had her mats shaved and received medication for infection and also quickly became a staff and volunteer favorite with her pleasant demeanor and constant purring and vocalization.

Chloe is also on a strict diet to help her lose weight safely and her weight will need to monitored and kept in check for immediate future.

Going Home

ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Centers reopened to the general public this week, and no surprise to anyone who has met this adorable calico, Chloe was adopted the very first day of reopening!

Obesity in Pets

Like humans, obesity can lead to secondary health issues including diabetes, respiratory issues, arthritis, among others.

Obesity can also shorten a pet’s lifespan.

However, obesity in pets can be controlled through proper diet and exercise, so if you see your pet’s weight starting to increase, talk with your veterinarian to determine how to curb obesity and keep your pet healthy and active!

ARL Receives Grant from MAC’s “I’m Animal Friendly” License Plate Emergency Covid-19 Spay/Neuter Grant

June 16, 2021, BOSTON, MA – The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is pleased to announce that it received a $12,500 grant from the Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC) through their “I am Animal Friendly” license plate program.  The grant is to be used towards ARL’s spay and neuter services. Because Covid-19 has significantly impacted the availability of spay/neuter services, this has resulted in long waiting lists for cats, dogs and rabbits across Massachusetts.  MAC has offered this Emergency Covid-19 Spay/Neuter Grant funding to shelters, rescues, municipal animal control organizations and high volume spay/neuter providers.

ARL’s Spay Waggin’ and Community Surgical Clinic are vital resources for pet owners seeking subsidized spay/neuter for their beloved animals, and in 2020 performed nearly 3,000 surgeries between the two programs – however the need for services continues to grow exponentially.

Dr. Edward Schettino, President and CEO of ARL said: “The communities we serve – on the South Shore, South Coast, Cape Cod regions, and Greater Boston – need access to fully and partially subsidized spay/neuter services now more than ever and the support from the Massachusetts Animal Coalition and the public who supports the “I’m Animal Friendly” license plate is crucial to lend assistance to those who need it. Thank you!”

About the Massachusetts Animal Coalition and the “I’m Animal Friendly” License Plate Program:

Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC) is a statewide, non-profit organization comprised of animal professionals and individual volunteers dedicated to working together to decrease the number of homeless, neglected, displaced and abused animals in Massachusetts.  MAC’s “I’m Animal Friendly” License Plate program helps fund spay and neuter programs across the state.  These charitable plates are available through Massachusetts RMV and are tax deductible. www.petplate.org

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.


 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.