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Category: Boston
ARL Advocates Animal Protection Bills at State House

On Tuesday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) travelled to the Massachusetts State House to provide testimony on two animal protection bills for the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government.

Committee hearings are an important step for proposed legislation – if the bill is reported favorably by the committee, it will then move on in the legislative process. Click here to see how a bill becomes a law in Massachusetts.

ARL’s first round of testimony focused on S.114/H.1774 – An Act Protecting the Health and Safety of Puppies and Kittens in Cities and Towns. This bill has several components including:

  • Prohibit the sale of puppies and kittens under eight weeks of age;
  • Update laws relating to kennel licensing;
  • End the roadside sale of animals; and
  • Require the establishment of state-wide rules and regulations used for boarding and daycare facilities.

Currently there are no state-wide regulations that govern boarding kennels and animal daycare facilities in Massachusetts, and ARL believes this bill is vital to help keep our pets safe when left in someone else’s hands.

ARL also recently launched The Kennel 9, a new animal safety campaign giving pet owners nine things to consider before boarding their pet.

Testifying in favor of the bill were ARL Vice President of Animal Welfare & Veterinary Services Dr. Edward Schettino and ARL Director of Law Enforcement Lt. Alan Borgal.

Also joining the panel were Auburn Animal Control Officer Aimee Contois, Auburn Director of Development and Inspectional Services Darlene Coyle – Auburn officials worked jointly with ARL in 2018 to remove 61 animals from a hoarding situation in the town.

Lastly, Scituate resident Tracey Siciliano provided testimony pertaining to the need of boarding kennel regulations.

In 2016, Siciliano’s three-year-old Golden Doodle “Ben” suffered fatal injuries after being attacked by a dog belonging to the owner of a Hanover kennel facility, which has since closed. In addition to the dozens of attack wounds, Ben was also suffering from heat stroke. The owner was found “not-guilty” for negligence, due in part to a lack of regulations.

“I believe that regulations and enforcement might have prevented Ben’s death or, at a minimum, regulations could have persuaded a jury to hold the kennel owner responsible for his actions,” Siciliano said. “I urge the legislature to enact this law so that no other family ever has to experience the pain my family has endured from having lost our beloved Ben.”

Cruel Conditions

ARL President Mary Nee and Lt. Borgal testified in favor of S.989, H.1822 – An Act Enhancing the issuance of Citations for Cruel Conditions for Animals. This bill amends MA General Law Ch. 140 Section 174E to include all domestic animals. Currently the law only allows citations for dogs.

This amendment would allow an effective response to problematic and escalating issues including animal hoarding, and farm animal cruelty situations i.e. the 2016 Westport cruelty case.

Citations provide officers a tool to achieve corrective action before a situation rises to a violation of the animal cruelty statute.

Be an Advocate for Animals

With more than 90 animal-related bills filed for this legislative session, this hearing was critical to help move these important animal protection bills forward in the legislative process. But we can’t do it alone. Your elected officials work for you, so please take a look at ARL’s 2019-2020 legislative agenda, and contact your representatives to show your support for improving laws to protect animals in Massachusetts.


Cat Family Rescued in Mattapan

For several weeks, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services had been tracking a stray mama cat on the streets of Mattapan. She was clearly nursing, but her litter was nowhere to be found.

After numerous visits to the residence to check her status, this week ARL was finally able to bring the mom and baby to safety – thanks to perseverance, the resident taking action, and a little bit of luck.

The resident at the home where the mama cat had been hanging around was in the midst of moving this week, and when ARL arrived on-scene, the friendly one-year-old came up for a visit, and with only one breast carrying milk, it was clear there was only one kitten to be found.

During the visit professional movers were going in and out of the home, and ARL agents were scouring the property trying to locate the kitten. Suddenly, a mover ran out and exclaimed “I found the kitten!”

Sure enough, the four-week-old kitten was tucked away behind a bookshelf, which then begged the question – how did it get there?

The mama cat (now named Fremont), had not been inside the home previously, but must have taken advantage of the traffic going in and out of the home and at some point dashed inside to bring her little one to a safe place.

Reunited, the Fremont Family was moved to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center to be medically evaluated and placed into foster care until they are ready to find a loving forever home.

YOU Can be a Champion for Community Cats

The Mattapan resident was a tremendous help to ARL, as she not only fed Fremont, but was constantly monitoring her as well. If you spot a possible stray around your property or in your neighborhood, please contact ARL’s Field Services. Your action can help get these animals off the streets and into a loving home.


Update: 50 Cats Removed from Metro Boston Home Easter Weekend

Cats are slowly gaining trust and settling in

During the Easter holiday weekend, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department was busy removing 50 cats from a Metro Boston home, which has since been condemned due to deplorable and uninhabitable conditions.

We’re made aware when these animals are removed from these difficult situations, but what happens then?

These animals have needed extensive medical treatment over the last three weeks, but perhaps more importantly, the majority of these cats are traumatized and shut down emotionally.

This unfortunately is a common byproduct of animal hoarding and one ARL sees too often.

The cats need constant interaction with humans to break free of the trauma, learn to trust, and to take the next step – which is finding a forever home.

ARL volunteers and staff have taken extraordinary measures to get these cats to break free of their fear by talking softly with encouragement, offering treats, using backscratchers to simulate petting, playing purring sounds – and finally when the cat is ready to move on to the next step, a reassuring hand is slowly extended towards the animal.

To see local media coverage of this story click here!

These measures are used to break through the wall of fear, but it’s done on the cat’s own terms.

It’s a painstaking process where there is no timeline on when a break-through may occur. ARL is committed to making these animals whole, and to give them the second chance they deserve.

So far one of these cats has been adopted, while another is waiting to find their forever home, sure signs that these animals are progressing with each passing day.

Hoarding-Type Situations Increasing

The number of hoarding-type incidents involving large numbers of animals is unfortunately on the rise. In 2018, ARL handled 16 of these incidents, which involved 1,024 animals.

As spring melts into summer, warm temperatures bring a surge in the animal population and ARL expects to respond to more hoarding-type incidents over the next few months.

With hoarding-type situations, ARL is ready to help both the animals and people involved. If you are aware of such a situation, please contact ARL Law Enforcement or your local Animal Control Officer immediately.


Press Release: ARL Unveils “The Kennel-9” Campaign

Nine things to consider before boarding a pet

With vacation season right around the corner, today the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is launching “The Kennel-9” – a public awareness and safety campaign to help ensure pets are properly cared for while at a boarding facility.

Currently, there are no state-wide regulations that govern boarding kennels and animal daycare facilities in Massachusetts.

As part of its 2019-2020 legislative agenda, ARL is advocating for standards that would mandate the creation of new state laws to protect pets. The bill, S. 114, H. 1774: An Act protecting the health and safety of puppies and kittens in cities and towns, is sponsored by Senator Harriett Chandler and Representative Linda Dean Campbell.

ARL has unfortunately seen a number of incidents involving animals in boarding kennels who were injured, sometimes fatally, due to insufficient facilities, staff training, or protocols.

“There are many fine boarding facilities throughout Massachusetts, but unfortunately due to a lack of state-wide standards and regulations, the Animal Rescue League of Boston recommends pet owners do their homework and ask the right questions to ensure their animal is safe,” said ARL President Mary Nee.

Before boarding your beloved pet, research as much as possible and keep these nine considerations in mind:

  1. See for Yourself. Can you see the kennels and common areas where your animal will be boarded? During your pet’s stay can you check on them remotely via webcam?
  2. Sound the Alarm. Does the facility have a written emergency response procedure in the event of fire, power outage, or natural disaster? Does the kennel have working fire and carbon monoxide detectors, sprinkler systems and a back-up power generator?
  3. License, Please. Does the kennel have a current operating license issued by a local city or town? According to the license, how many animals can be boarded at one time? How many animals are currently housed?
  4. In Case of a Medical Emergency. Are you contacted if your animals experiences an unexpected medical condition or injury? Is there a veterinarian on staff, or does the facility have a veterinarian on call? Do you sign a waiver giving permission to have your animal treated?
  5. TLC. What is the ratio of staff to animals? Is there 24-hour on-site supervision? If not, are animals monitored by video camera? What training or experience does the staff caring for animals have?
  6. Social Circle. Do dogs play together in common areas? Are these play groups supervised at all times? Are dogs grouped together by size and/or temperament? Can you choose to have your dog not participate in group activities?
  7. Infection Precautions. Does the facility require up-to-date vaccination records for all boarders? What documentation is required for your pet to be admitted?
  8. Feline Friends. Does the facility allow cats and are they separated from the sight and noise of dogs?
  9. Get it in Writing. Will the facility give you written documentation of their procedures or confirmation of any special requests for your pet?

Click here to download ARL’s “The Kennel-9” flyer.


ARL Rescue Conducts Tree Training

As the warm weather approaches, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services expects to be busy, particularly when it comes getting cats out of trees. In order to ensure safety of both the staff and the animals they serve, training is essential.

For the past month, those new to technical climbing have spent hours getting familiar with knots, safety harnesses, throw lines and other climbing equipment.

This week the team had the opportunity to put the training to the test – under expert supervision, team members tackled their first tree on the grounds of ARL’s Dedham campus.

To see local news coverage of the training click here!

Weekly training will follow, as this type of climbing is precise and requires repetition, confidence and safety is paramount. Once this is achieved, agents will be ready to get into the field to assist these animals in need of help.

In 2018, ARL Rescue Services assisted more than 1,500 domestic animals and wildlife.

Help is on the way

If you see an animal in distress, contact ARL Rescue Services by calling 617-426-9170. Unfortunately ARL is unable to offer 24/7 services but will respond to an animal’s call for help as quickly as possible.


Nearly 50 Cats Removed from Metro Boston Home

While many of us were spending time with family during this past holiday weekend, our Law Enforcement Department was busy removing nearly 50 cats from a home, which has since been condemned due to deplorable and uninhabitable conditions.

When rescue agents entered the property, the air was suffocating and heavy with the odor of waste and decay. Trash, boxes and other items were piled from floor to ceiling and empty bowls and discarded cans of food littered the floors.

These conditions are a health hazard for animals and humans alike. Animals removed from these types of situations can have many issues including malnourishment, respiratory distress, matted fur and overgrown nails.

 

They're sick, frightened, and under-socialized – will you help?

They will need extraordinary medical treatment and likely weeks of constant interaction with staff and volunteers to recover – and thanks to your support, we will be able to provide them with everything they need.

In 2018, ARL removed more than 1,000 animals from overcrowding situations, and continues to see elevated numbers through the first four months of 2019.

Here are three things you can do today to help animals like the ones recovered this past weekend:

  1. Report Animal Cruelty. There are tell-tale signs of overcrowding and unhealthy living conditions for animals. If you identify any of the signs, please notify ARL Law Enforcement at cruelty@arlboston.org so we can investigate.
  2. Learn more about animal hoarding and animal overcrowding. This is a complex issue that often calls for deep compassion for animals and humans alike.
  3. Make a gift today. Donations support the investigation, rescue, and rehabilitation of animals that have suffered. With hoarding-type cases on the rise in the northeast, we need your support to help these animals overcome their trauma and find a safe, clean, happy home!

We cannot do this work alone – thank you for supporting animals when they need it most!

 

*PLEASE NOTE: These cats are not currently available for adoption and we ask that you please refrain from calling to inquire about them as these calls quickly overwhelm our phone lines. Thank you for your patience!


Local Companies Lend a Paw to Animals in Need

Recently, the employees of two local companies, Appleton Partners and Definitive Healthcare, hosted in-kind drives and fundraisers to benefit animals in need.

Both events helped raised funds to support ARL programs and secured treats, toys, and blankets for our shelter animals.

Thank you to the compassionate employees of both organizations who generously donated gifts, toys, and their time to our cause.

Interested in hosting a fundraising at your company? Please visit https://www.arlboston.org/diy-friendraiser/

Appleton Partners and Definitive Healthcare helping animals


Volunteer Appreciation Week 2019!

Volunteers drive ARL’s mission

It’s one of the greatest weeks of the year at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), as the organization annually dedicates a week in April to heartily thank the hundreds of volunteers who truly make ARL an unwavering champion for animals.

Our Animal Care & Adoption Centers, Spay Waggin’, and administrative offices depend on volunteers to help with everything from feeding and training shelter animals, to providing care to community cats, to staffing special events, to general office support, and much more!

In 2018, nearly 550 volunteers dedicated an incredible total of 27,114 hours and the countless tasks that volunteers tackle on a daily basis has an immeasurable impact on the animals ARL cares for.

During celebrations in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham, ARL not only thanks every volunteer in attendance, but also hands out staff-nominated awards for those volunteers who shined the brightest during the past year.

The 2019 award winners are:

  • Best of Boston – Tori Reilly
  • Cape’d Crusader – Steve Chapman
  • Dedham’s Most Dignified – Janice Manwiller
  • ARL’s Unsung Hero – Kelley Mackinnon and Diane Toomey
  • All Other Creatures Big and Small – Denise Fritschy and Kevin Tenney
  • Admin’s Above and Beyond – Paula Dillon
  • Our Four Footed Friends Favorite Foster Parent – Sue Lowell

Volunteers at each ARL branch also had an opportunity to recognize an outstanding staff member:

  • Boston – Claire Humphries
  • Brewster – Becky Leuenberger
  • Dedham – Alicia Muller

Congratulations to our winners and THANK YOU to all of our volunteers who in the past year made such an incredible impact for animals in need!

Ready to Make a Difference for Animals in Need?

ARL is always looking for dedicated individuals willing to lend their hands, hearts, and time for animals in need. For more about the volunteer process and to see current opportunities, click here!


Press Release: Lactating Female Dog Found Roaming Busy Route 9

Dog not microchipped, whereabouts of litter unknown

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is asking for the public’s help in finding who was responsible for recently abandoning a 3-year-old pitbull-type dog along busy Route 9 between Worcester and Framingham.

Maizel is making progress, but was clearly neglected for some time in her previous situation.

The dog was found by a passerby and was brought to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center. She was lactating and had recently given birth, but information on where along Route 9 she was found was vague, and unfortunately, despite a thorough search, her puppies have not been located.

ARL Law Enforcement speculates the puppies were likely kept by whoever abandoned her.

Maizel was also emaciated and severely dehydrated, indicating she had been neglected for some time.

ARL Law Enforcement is working with authorities in Framingham to try and not only locate Maizel’s puppies, but to discover who left her along the heavily-traveled roadway.

Maizel has put on a few pounds while she’s been with ARL, is extremely friendly, and continues to make progress – she’ll be made available for adoption hopefully in the next week.

Abandoning an animal is a felony crime in Massachusetts, punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Anyone with information is asked to contact ARL Law Enforcement at 617-426-9170, or Framingham Animal Control at 508-532-5870.


Taming Tiny Tigers

Volunteers to focus on under-socialized kittens

As spring slowly begins to show itself here in New England, it means the weather will be getting warmer and kitten season is upon us.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) will soon be seeing an influx of kittens who will be rescued from a life on the streets and adopted into loving forever homes; but before that can happen, these kittens must first learn to trust humans.

This past week ARL’s kitten experts met with more than two dozen volunteers to discuss the process of “Taming Tiny Tigers” which are kittens between 8 weeks and 4-5-months-old.

Kittens without any previous human interaction are likely to be frightened; which often leads to hissing, scratching, biting, and defensive body posturing.

It’s the job of staff and these special volunteers to move these kittens past the fear, build trust, and allow their true personalities to shine through.

This cute snap shot doesn’t happen without proper socialization.

Hands-On Approach

Constant contact is key to properly socializing these tiny tigers, and volunteers will be responsible for 15-minute socialization sessions with following rest periods of 45 minutes, where the kitten is pet, scratched, enticed with food, and talked to calmly.

Each session will be meticulously documented, noting all body language and behavioral signs – both positive and negative.

As these sessions continue, the kitten will gradually lower its guard, allow more contact, and will eventually reciprocate with a purr, headbutt, kneading, or any of the cute and loving things that kittens do.

Each kitten’s personality is different, and some may become trusting in a short period of time, while others may take a while longer.

The end goal will be to find these kittens forever homes where they can continue to learn, socialize and be loving, amazing companion animals!

Volunteers make the difference

With approximately 550 volunteers, ARL relies on these special individuals to accomplish a number of daily tasks and could not offer the vast number of services ARL provides without their help.

In 2018, volunteers donated more than 27,000 hours of their time to help animals in need, and for more information and to submit an application to join our volunteer team, click here!