Category: Boston
ARL Receives Grant from Felicia Rose Grant Program

$50,000 grant through Felicia Rose Grant Program to help ARL shelter programs

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is delighted to have been awarded a $50,000 grant over two years from the Felicia Rose Grant Program.

ARL accepting the generous $50,000 grant, which will greatly benefit ARL’s shelter animals.

The funds granted through the new invitation-only initiative will ensure that shelter animals across all three ARL locations will continue to receive the care and services they need and deserve.

ARL treats every animal as an individual, and through a comprehensive process involving ARL veterinary, behavioral and animal care staff, determines the appropriate medical care, behavioral training, and enrichment plan based on the individual needs and personality of the animal.

The grant funding will support ARL’s shelter programs and activities, as well as staffing, equipment, and the critically needed supplies ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption programs depend on.

“ARL is so honored to be a recipient of such a generous grant from the Felicia Rose Grant Program,” state ARL President and CEO Dr. Edward Schettino. “Thousands of animals come through ARL’s three Animal Care and Adoption Centers annually, and these funds will ensure each and every animal will receive the services they need and the homes they deserve.”

The Felicia Rose Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that work to strengthen the human-animal bond, promote ethical treatment of animals, and provide services to animals in need. Established in 2021, this special interest initiative honors its namesake, a sweet-natured American Staffordshire Terrier.

Felicia Rose was adopted in 2015 and has since become a trusted emotional support animal as well as a Pet Partners-certified therapy and service dog.

Grant proposals are considered by invitation only and are subject to a competitive review process.

ARL Provides Temporary Shelter for Animal While Owner Hospitalized

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) prides itself on being a resource not only for animals in need, but also for the people who love them. A recent situation on Cape Cod where ARL provided temporary shelter for an animal highlights this belief.

ARL recently took in Jessica for temporary shelter while her owner was hospitalized.

Lending a Hand

The Orleans Police Department recently brought a senior Golden Retriever named Jessica to ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center – this after her owner was hospitalized and was worried for her wellbeing.

Staff at Cape Cod Hospital reached out to Orleans police, who retrieved the animal and took her to ARL.

In an effort to ease the owner’s mind and have them focus on their own wellbeing, ARL was able to contact the owner, and offered to provide temporary shelter for the dog until the owner was better and able to return home.

Being conscious of the fact that to suddenly be removed from a home and placed in a shelter environment can be traumatic for an animal, ARL showered Jessica with attention and pampered the pooch during her two-week stay, providing her with plenty of outdoor time, veterinary care and grooming.

While missing her home and family, Jessica quickly warmed up to staff and volunteers, and thoroughly enjoyed her time in Brewster.

Going Home

Once Jessica’s owner was well enough to come home, it was time for her to go home as well.

Upon seeing her owner, Jessica was overjoyed with her tail wagging, and showering her owner with love.

ARL is thrilled to have been able to care for Jessica in her and her owner’s time of need and to continue its mission to be a resource for pet owners throughout Massachusetts.

A Resource

ARL is steadfast in its commitment to ensuring that animals stay out of shelters and in homes with those who love them.

If you are faced with a difficult situation involving your pet, please call (617) 426-9170, and ARL may be able to help.

ARL Joins MAF for Special Fall River Spay/Neuter Clinic

21 Animals receive spay/neuter surgery

This week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Spay Waggin’ was once again in Fall River, MA, to spay/neuter nearly two dozen animals as part of an ongoing collaborative effort with ARL, the Massachusetts Animal Fund (MAF), and Fall River Animal Control.

For four years, ARL has hosted the clinic in collaboration with MAF and Fall River Animal Control, and was the second time in 2022 that ARL’s Spay Waggin’ was in the South Coast city.

MAF Spay/Neuter Voucher Program

The surgeries are under the MAF voucher program, which distributes vouchers to qualifying low-income pet owners to cover the cost of the important procedure.

Due to high demand and Covid-19-restrictions, many clients have been on a waiting list for a number of months to have their pets spayed or neutered, and ARL is pleased to once again be providing this vital service that’s greatly needed in the Fall River Community.

“Fall River is already a struggling community, but since the pandemic, it seems as if getting spay/neuter services has proven to be even more difficult,” said Cynthia Berard-Cadima, Fall River Animal Control Officer. “People contact us daily, asking for funds.  Many are out of work and our homeless community is growing.  We are stretching every dime and our veterinarians are donating time and services more than ever.”

This Fall River spay/neuter clinic was the third that ARL has partnered with MAF for in 2022, aside from Fall River, the Spay Waggin’ stopped in New Bedford in March.

About ARL’s Spay Waggin’

ARL’s Spay Waggin’ provides high-quality, low-cost spay and neuter services to animals in need on the South Shore, South Coast, Cape Cod and the Islands, as well as select locations in Metro Boston.

Since 2000, the Spay Waggin’ has provided services for more than 60,000 animals.

The Spay Waggin’ is by appointment only, and to for more information and to book an appointment, call (877) 590-SPAY (7729), or email spaywaggin@arlboston.org.

ARL Rescues Great Horned Owl Fledgling in Watertown

Owl likely abandoned by parents

This week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department rescued a Great Horned Owl fledgling from a tree on a property abutting the Oakley Country Club in Watertown, MA.

The Great Horned Owl was spotted approximately 30 feet in a tree earlier this week by a resident, and contacted ARL after the owl had not moved for several days.

The rescue itself was not easy. With the property abutting the golf course and separated by a rock wall and a tall net, one ARL agent was deployed on the residential property side, while a second agent was positioned on the golf course.

While attempting to secure the Great Horned Owl with an extended net, the owl was just out of reach and although too young to fly, it was able to reposition itself in surrounding branches to avoid the net.

ARL agents then deployed a throw weight around the branch, and after shaking the branch, the owl glided down to the golf course along the 11th hole fairway – once on the ground, an ARL agent was able to safely secure the owl with a net.

The owl, estimated to be 4-6 weeks old, was likely abandoned by its parents and is too young to be living on its own, as it does not yet know how to properly fly or hunt.

The fledgling is in good condition and ARL agents transported the owl to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in North Grafton, MA, where it will be treated and re-released back into the area where it was found.

About ARL Field Services

ARL Field Services provides technical and non-technical rescue operations for injured or lost domestic animals, livestock, and raptors (turkey vultures, osprey, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls).

ARL Field Services also assists governmental agencies with equipment and training; and plays an essential role in assisting ARL Law Enforcement in cases of animal cruelty, neglect, and abuse.

If you need assistance, call (617) 426-9170 to reach ARL Field Services dispatch, which operates from 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM Tuesday-Saturday.

ARL Celebrates Volunteer Appreciation Week

This past week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) celebrated Volunteer Appreciation Week – a time when the organization and pause and say thank you to the hard work and dedication of these true champions for animals in need.

After two years of hosting virtual events, ARL was once again able to hold three in-person volunteer appreciation week events at ARL’s Boston, Dedham and Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers to celebrate and personally thank each and every volunteer at ARL.

In 2021, 1,059 volunteers dedicated nearly 40,000 hours to help animals in need, while ARL’s 526 foster families opened their hearts and homes to 1,071 animals!

Volunteers are at the heart of ARL’s mission and are the backbone to the organization’s day-to-day operations.

From feeding animals, cleaning kennels, walking dogs, working with behaviorally challenging animals, sorting through linens and donations, to many other duties, ARL volunteers all bring something unique to the organization, but all have one thing in common – the love and dedication to assisting the animals in ARL’s care in any way possible.

“While it’s always an honor to recognize our dedicated volunteer and foster families, to be able to once again hold these celebrations in-person was truly special,” stated ARL Associate Director of Volunteer Engagement, Debby Chaplic. “ARL volunteers are such a special group of individuals and the work they do each and every day continues to inspire as they are true champions for animals in need.”

During each of this year’s volunteer appreciation events, ARL also continued the tradition of handing out a number of awards to volunteers and staff that consistently go above and beyond.

Without further ado, the winners!

    • Best of Boston- Betsy Jones of Watertown
    • Cape’d Crusader- Teresa Snow of Harwich
    • Dedham’s Most Dignified- Melissa Salce of Dedham
    • ARL’s Unsung Hero- Susan McNeice of Needham and Josephine Paolucci of West Roxbury
    • All Other Creatures Big and Small- Leo Settoducato of Somerville
    • Admin’s Above and Beyond- Carol Svenson of Arlington and Elna Rapp of Boston
    • Our Four Footed Friends Favorite Foster Parent-  Lori Everett of W. Dennis and Donna Tormey of Shirley

Additionally, volunteers also voted for the following awards for ARL staff: 

    • Boston- Michelle Polin of Attleboro
    • Brewster- Sadie Santos of Truro
    • Dedham- Courtney Foley of Quincy

And in a new category, volunteers also had the opportunity this year to vote for ARL Pets of the Year:

    • Dog: Benjamin of Dedham
    • Cat: Godric of Boston and Jungle Jazz of Brewster
    • Other: Mike the Macaw and Violet the Pig of Dedham

Why Volunteer?

First and foremost, nonprofit organizations like ARL simply could not have such a wide reach to help animals in need without volunteers. Volunteers are integral members of the ARL family.

But volunteering has benefits beyond caring and participating in such a worthwhile cause.

About 63 million people, or 25% of the U.S. population, donate their time and talents to worthy causes.

In addition to making a difference in the community, volunteering has been shown to improve a person’s health by increasing physical activity, enhancing your mood and decreasing stress.

Another bonus?  The majority of hiring managers nationally see volunteerism as an asset in candidates seeking employment.

Learn more about volunteering at ARL.

Massachusetts House of Representatives to Begin Budget Debate

What you can do to help animals in Massachusetts

The 2021-2022 Legislative Session is nearing the finish line, and on Monday, April 25, the Massachusetts House of Representatives will begin to debate their budget.

As the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) continues advocating to protect animals in Massachusetts, you can help animals in the Commonwealth by contacting your Representatives and asking them to:

SUPPORT the Mass Animal Fund #1031

The Massachusetts Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund provides low cost spay/neuter to animals in need across Massachusetts. ARL has regularly partnered with the Fund to bring the Spay Waggin’ to communities in need. Filed by Representative Ted Philips, this amendment would provide additional funding to this program, increasing the number of animals the Fund can assist.

OPPOSE Sunday hunting #545

Sundays in Massachusetts are the one day of the week during hunting season that people can enjoy the outdoors without concern of hunting. Amendment #545 would allow for bow hunting of deer on Sundays, a day that has been off-limits to hunting for 300 years.

Find your Representative, and ask them to speak up for animals in this year’s budget!

Contact advocacy@arlboston.org with any questions, or to learn how to get involved.

Pair of Special Senior Dogs Find New Home Together

Dogs recently lost owner, originally adopted by ARL in 2018

Franklin, a 9-year-old Shar Pei, and Frieda, a 6-year-old Shar Pei, are no strangers to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL).

The pair came to ARL initially in late 2018 as part of a transport of dogs from North Carolina, this, after sadly losing their owner.

The dogs won over everyone with their sweet demeanor and were able to find a new home quickly.

Sadly, their owner recently passed away, and the pair came back to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center to find a new home together to spend their retirement years.

Franklin and Freida had been together for their whole lives, and lean on each other, so it was important for them to find a new home together.

Senior animals, like Franklin and Frieda, make wonderful pets, and typically do not require the attention, training and patience that comes with their younger counterparts.

However, they are sometimes overlooked by potential adopters in search of puppies, kittens, or young adult animals.

While Franklin and Freida are fun-loving and extremely friendly, ARL was well aware that it would take a special home to take in not just one, but two senior dogs. While healthy overall, the pair do have medical needs that need attention from time to time — Franklin is prone to ear infections, while Frieda’s allergies can cause dry skin and/or ear infections.

Going Home

ARL knows there is a perfect match for every animal, sometimes it just takes a little longer to find the perfect situation.

Thanks to some local news coverage, Franklin and Frieda were introduced to the masses, and shortly after, they found their new home, and are now settling in with their new family!

ARL Participates in Special Ceremony to Mark Signing of Nero’s Law

This week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker took part in a stirring ceremony on Cape Cod, marking the passage of Nero’s Law.

Representatives from ARL, who advocated for the passage of the legislation, also took part in the ceremony.

The ceremony, held at a Yarmouth Police training center being built in honor of Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon, had additional meaning, as the ceremony took place on the 4-year anniversary of a tragic event.

On April 12, 2018, Sgt. Gannon was shot and killed while serving a search warrant, and his K9 partner Nero, was critically wounded.

At the time, Nero could not be treated at the scene due to state law. The passage of Nero’s Law ensures that police dogs like Nero have access to emergency care and transport by first responders, should they be wounded in the field.

“We shouldn’t even have to debate or discuss whether or not they [K-9s] get shot or injured in the line of duty, that we should do what we can to save them because Lord knows they would save us if the role was reversed,” Governor Baker said.

Nero’s Law was an important part of ARL’s 2021-2022 legislative agenda, and Joe King, ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement, former K9 handler and major with the Massachusetts State Police, testified in support of the legislation, which passed unanimously at the State House.

Popular Spring Flowers Toxic for Cats

With the weather changing, you may have noticed the first signs of spring in the form of flowers beginning to emerge from the ground.

Soon these flowers will be blooming, but along their beautiful sight and smell, many species of spring flowers add a life-threatening element of danger for your cat.

Lilies of all varieties (Easter Lilies, Daylilies, Asiatic Lilies, Peace Lilies, Lily of the Valley) top the list of spring flowers that are extremely dangerous for felines.

For cats like Duchess, ingesting just a small amount of toxic spring flowers like lilies can be life-threatening.

Ingesting just a leaf or two, or drinking a little water from a vase holding the flowers, can cause kidney failure, and possibly death.

Lilies are so toxic that symptoms can be seen less than two hours after ingestion and include:

    • Dehydration
    • Lack of Appetite
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Lethargy

If you suspect your cat has ingested lilies or any harmful substance, seek medical attention immediately–do not wait! The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at (888) 426-4435, for any animal poison-related emergency. 

Other spring plants that are toxic for your cat include: daffodils, tulips, chrysanthemums, and hyacinths.

Our animals rely on us to keep them safe–if you have a cat, it’s certainly a good idea to remove lilies and other noxious plants from your home and yard to ensure their safety.


Contact the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s outpatient clinic, Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) at 617-226-5605 or email at bvc@arlboston.org.

ARL Keep Pets S.A.F.E. Program Marks 2-Year Anniversary

Program has assisted more than 1,200 pets

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is marking the two-year anniversary of a program launched during the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to assist pet owners most in need of services.

In 2020, ARL realigned efforts and expanded pet support services by creating Keep Pets S.A.F.E. (Serving Animals Facing Emergencies). The goal of the Keep Pets S.A.F.E. program was to keep pets with families facing hardships caused by or exacerbated by COVID-19.

Through this innovative program, ARL has been able to offer delivery of pet food and essential pet supplies, emergency veterinary needs, as well as temporary emergency pet sheltering to aid those experiencing housing instability or at imminent risk of homelessness.

ARL staff member delivering pet food for Keep Pets S.A.F.E. ProgramThe Keep Pets S.A.F.E. program has been
extremely successful and to date:

    • 1,266 pets and families have been assisted via Keep Pets S.A.F.E.
    • 195 pets have received vet care transportation
    • 54 pets with temporary housing
    • 358,900 healthy meals have been made available to pets in Eastern Massachusetts.

“ARL faced a pivotal moment during a time of crisis and uncertainty, would we refocus and adapt, responding to the pets and people that rely on us, or would we retreat, and wait out the unknown,” stated ARL President and CEO Dr. Edward Schettino. “We took swift action to leverage our programs to support communities in new and innovative ways, pushing our boundaries, and reimagining the future of animal welfare.”

The Keep Pets S.A.F.E. program remains available to qualified pet owners.
Learn more about ARL’s Keep Pets S.A.F.E. Program.