Category: Boston
ARL Seeking Special Home for Playful and Affectionate Abandoned Pig

Young pig surrendered after being abandoned at a Boston-area home

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is looking for a special home for a one-year-old female pig who has a sparkling personality and was illegally transported into the state and abandoned at a Boston-area home.

In late October 2022, Boston Animal Control contacted ARL regarding the pig, now named Clarendon.

It seems the relative of a Boston resident was visiting from Northern New England and had brought Clarendon along.

However, when the relative left, the pig was left behind.

Concerned for the sow’s welfare, the resident contacted Boston Animal Control, who then transported Clarendon to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Because she was illegally transported from out-of-state, she has had to undergo a quarantine period, but has quickly settled into her new surroundings.

She is constantly showing her affectionate and playful side, welcoming anyone who comes to visit, and excitedly running around her pen to the delight of ARL staff and volunteers.

While adorable, Clarendon will need a special home, as she is not the typical kind of pig that ARL routinely finds homes for.

Clarendon is a breed of pig that is typically bred for meat production, meaning when she is full-grown, she will likely weigh several hundred pounds, therefore, her new home will have to be able to accommodate an animal of her size.

Interested adopters can contact ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center by calling (617) 426-9170 x605, or emailing dedham-adoption@arlboston.org.

Watch local news coverage of Clarendon.

Microchip Helps Reunite Owner with Missing Cat

14-Year-old cat missing for three months

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently took in a 14-year-old cat, and as with any cat or dog who comes through ARL’s doors, one of the first tasks for staff to complete is to scan the animal for a microchip. Turns out that the cat was actually a missing cat!

The cat, named Charlie, did have a microchip, and staff immediately took the necessary steps to find and then contact his owner.

Charlie reunited with his owner thanks to his microchip!

When his owner, a Somerville resident, was contacted, he was elated that Charlie was in ARL’s care, and soon made the trip to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center to be reunited with the cat that he had cared for since he was a kitten.

Turns out Charlie had gone missing in October, and while making efforts to find him, the owner had come to the conclusion that Charlie was gone, but remained hopeful.

Upon being reunited with the senior cat, the owner expressed his gratitude and stated that having Charlie microchipped was one of the best decisions he had ever made.

Being an indoor/outdoor cat, Charlie had gone missing before, and the microchip had always led to a reunification with his owner.

ARL is thrilled that Charlie was reunited with his owner, and this tale once again highlights the importance of having your pet microchipped.


A microchip is a computer chip about the size of a grain of rice, programmed with an identification number unique to your pet.

It is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and will last the life of your pet with no maintenance required.

A microchip greatly increases the likelihood of being reunited with a lost pet – an AVMA study shows 52 percent of dogs with microchips are reunited with owners, versus just 21 percent with dogs with no microchip.

Owner return rates for cats with a microchip is 38 percent versus just 1.8 percent for cats without the chip.

If you adopt a dog or cat from ARL, the animal will go home with a microchip, and ARL recommends all dog and cat owners have their pets microchipped, and to make sure that if you move or relocate to keep the contact information up to date.

Lost Pet?

There isn’t a more sinking feeling than when you realize that your furry or feathered companion might have gone missing.

Whether it’s a door left ajar, a booming thunderstorm, or slipped harness during a walk, our pets can all too quickly slip away from our sight.

Should your pet go missing, it’s important to take immediate action by following these 5 steps to increase the likelihood of a happy reunion with your pet:

    • Call the local Animal Control Officer of the town where you live, and of the town that your pet went missing in. List of Massachusetts Animal Control Officers.
    • File a lost report with ARL either in person, over the phone at (617) 426-9170, or online. This lost report is seen by all three ARL locations. The staff will ask you to provide a photo of your pet.
    • Contact your pet’s microchip company if your pet has one, to notify them that your pet is lost. Be sure to confirm that your contact information is current.
    • File a lost report with every shelter within a 60-mile radius of where your pet went missing. Oftentimes, concerned citizens will pick up a stray pet they see on the side of the road and bring it to a shelter that is close to their destination instead of close to where they found the animal. Visit the shelters closest to you as often as possible to check for new incoming lost pets.
    • Don’t give up! Many pets go missing for months before being reunited with their owners. You will have the best chance of finding your missing pet if you utilize all of the provided tips and continue to search for them as long as you can.

Stray Cat Rescued and Eventually Adopted by BU PhD Student

Stray cat was found on construction site along a busy Boston street

A stray cat in the care of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) had her story come full circle this past week, after she was adopted by one of her finders.

The cat, named Dr. Stumps, was discovered on scaffolding in a construction site along Commonwealth Avenue on the expansive campus of Boston University.

Dr. Stumps after being adopted.

A PhD student at the university noticed the cat in the precarious position and decided to take action.

The student removed the cat from the scaffolding, and brought her into the office where other students were working in.

She was sweet, curious and social with all who interacted with her and because of her tendency to tread over the student’s computers who were working on their doctorates, they decided that the studious cat had already earned her doctorate from BU and aptly named her Dr. Stumps.

After spending some time with the cat and noticing her outward behavior towards people, the students thought she possibly may have been an owned cat and brought her to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center.

The cat was not microchipped, and received a thorough medical exam and spay surgery.

She was a little underweight but did not have any injuries or illness as a result of spending time on the streets fending for herself.

The students kept tabs on her progress, and when her stray wait period ended and she was made available for adoption, one student jumped at the chance of giving her a permanent home.

The adopter tells ARL that when Dr. Stumps got home, she ate and slept in abundance, while also cuddling with her new family.

She has adapted to the home quickly and has become more playful as she’s gotten more comfortable in her new surroundings and is now thriving!

ARL Takes in More Than 75 Cats from Overcrowding Situations

Overcrowding cats undergoing medical care, should be available for adoption soon

This past week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) took in more than 75 cats from two separate overcrowding situations and reminds the public that should they or anyone they know be in a situation where they are unable to care for their animals to reach out to ARL for assistance.

The animals are being cared for at ARL’s Boston and Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers, and at this time are not available for adoption.

ARL Responds

Early last week ARL’s Field Services Department assisted a resident in Norfolk County to nearly 50 cats from the residence.

The person in need had inherited the animals from a close relative, and because of the urgency of the situation, ARL was able to respond the same day the resident reached out for assistance.

The cats involved were intact and breeding, and most of the animals from this situation are under a year old.

Once transported to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center, the animals received veterinary care, and many, particularly the litters of kittens, have been placed into ARL’s vast foster care network, where they will stay until they are ready to find new homes.

The cats remaining at ARL’s Boston location will continue to receive medical and behavioral care until they are ready to find new homes.

Through ARL’s Healthy Moms, Happy Litters Program, one cat was neutered and returned, as he holds a special place in the hearts of the family involved.

The second overcrowding situation involved ARL removing nearly two dozen cats from a home in Bristol County.

ARL had been working with a resident who was looking to rehome some of the cats from the home for several months, but unfortunately, the resident recently passed away and the family requested that all the cats be removed from the home.

The family had been working with animal control in their town, so while many of the animals had been spayed or neutered, some are older and will need further medical and behavioral evaluations before being made available for adoption.

While these cats are currently unavailable for adoption, ARL hopes to have these cats ready to find new homes soon, but there is no timeline on when this may happen.

If You Need Assistance

ARL reminds the public that If you or someone you know is overwhelmed by having too many animals in their home, there is help available.

You can contact local animal control, or ARL’s Field Services Department for assistance.

ARL approaches every overcrowding situation with respect, compassion, and a staunch commitment to ensuring the health and safety of the animals involved, as well as their caretakers.

How You Can Help

The sudden arrival of nearly this many cats and kittens from three overcrowding situations means we urgently need your help!

Your emergency gift today can provide the cats and animals like them with everything they need including medical care to treat their health issues; spay and neuter surgery to stop the cycle of pet overpopulation; and adoption services to ensure they find loving homes.

Senior Animal Finds the Perfect Home for the Holidays

18-Year-old dog surrendered in October

For many at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), senior animals hold a special place in our hearts, and when a senior pet finds their perfect family, it’s always a heart-warming experience.

Booker, an 18-year-old silky terrier, was surrendered to ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center in October, and would quickly show everyone that age is indeed just a number.

Booker looking dapper in Brewster.

Upon arrival at ARL, Booker was understandably quiet and reserved, but that changed quickly.

Once settling into his new surroundings, he showed off his personality and was extremely friendly and just wanted to be around people – he would whine or bark until a staff member or volunteer would come to say hello and spend time with him!

While his veterinary exam revealed moderate to severe dental disease and partial blindness, Booker was in overall great health, particularly for a senior animal.

Finding a Home

ARL is incredibly proud of the very short length-of-stay for the majority of animals in the organization’s care, and for Booker, it was imperative for staff to find him a home as quickly as possible so he could continue to enjoy his retirement years.

Despite his age, Booker was still plenty active, enjoying short walks and exploring his outdoor surroundings, but of course he is very happy to be curled up with his favorite person on the couch for a nap as well!

With his good health and sparkling personality, it took no time at all to find Booker a new home, where he is thriving and spending his first holiday season with his new family!

Helping Animals Like Booker

When you make your year-end gift today, you can help make sure animals like Booker get everything they deserve this holiday season.

Your generosity means you can be there for animals, every step of the journey home, as long as it takes.  From transports from overcrowded shelters or emergency rescues, to veterinary care, enrichment and behavior training, and finally adoption – you make it all possible.

2,285+ animals in need have already found homes this year. Will you make a year-end gift to help one more?


Abandoned Cat Found in a Box Finds Her Home for the Holidays

Abandoned cat showed off sweet side upon being rescued

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) takes in animals from a variety of situations, and recently took in a five-year-old female cat that had been found abandoned in an open box and was in need of some TLC before finding her Home for the Holidays.

When the cat was found, she was taken to Boston Animal Control, who then reached out to ARL for assistance.

Gravy was found abandoned in a box.

She was brought to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center where she underwent a thorough veterinary exam and was also assessed behaviorally.

Despite some matted fur, dirty ears and moderate dental disease, the cat, now named Gravy, was in good health.

Although a little frightened upon intake, Gravy soon opened up to ARL shelter staff and volunteers – especially when introducing her to yummy cat treats!

She was soon showcasing her personality, her love of playtime and treats as well as her selective interest for other cats, and after several days in the care of ARL, she was ready to find a loving home for the holidays and beyond.

Just days before Christmas, she was made available for adoption, and quickly found her new home where she is thriving and ready to live the life she deserves!

How You Can Help Animals Like Gravy

For all of us, and especially for animals in need, this has been a trying time. Soaring inflation has made our work much more difficult and strained our limited resources.

ARL cannot respond in times of crisis without you – and the need has never been greater.

Your generous year-end gift will ensure that animals in need can get the care they count on including, food, sanctuary, medical care, love, and emergency rescue if they are in danger. Make a donation today.


Press Release: ARL Law Enforcement Removes 18 Dogs from Unsanitary Conditions

Majority of the dogs living in unsanitary conditions emaciated, animal cruelty charges filed

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department, with assistance from Malden Police and Animal Control recently executed a search warrant at a Malden residence to remove 18 dogs, a number of which are emaciated, that were living in unsanitary conditions.

The operation to remove the animals from the home in Malden took place on Friday, December 2, and involved ARL Law Enforcement, Malden Police and Animal Control; the Malden Fire Department was also on-scene for a brief time.

Once removed from the home, the majority of the dogs were transported to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center, while several needed additional care and were taken to an emergency animal facility to receive 24-hour care.

Those dogs have since been transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center and are receiving ongoing treatment.

Along with living in unsanitary conditions, nearly half the animals are considered emaciated, and the majority of the dogs are extremely undergroomed, with overgrown nails, matted fur, fur loss, and moderate to severe dental disease.

The underweight animals are now on refeeding plans to ensure they gain weight slowly and safely.

While recovering, the majority of the animals will spend time in foster care where they will have a quiet and comforting environment to recover.

ARL Law Enforcement has filed 18 counts of animal cruelty (M.G.L. ch.272, s.77), along with 18 counts of violation of the state’s tethering and confinement statute (M.G.L. ch.140, s.174E) against Jennifer Ahn, of Malden.

ARL wishes to thank Malden Police and Animal Control, along with the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance with this situation.

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

Your emergency gift today can support:

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

Make a donation today.

ARL and ABCD Mark Wellness Waggin’ Pet Wellness Clinic Milestone

ARL’s Wellness Waggin’ completes 10,000th appointment

This week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) celebrated a major milestone for ARL’s Wellness Waggin’ — a mobile high-quality, low-cost pet wellness program that launched in 2019.

In less than three years, the Wellness Waggin’ has completed its 10,000th appointment, a huge milestone for the innovative program.

Serving clients weekly from ABCD’s Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan/Hyde Park locations, as well as two monthly stops in East Boston, the Wellness Waggin’ offers pets a physical exam, rabies vaccine, distemper vaccine, flea treatment and microchip – all for $10.

ARL is the only animal welfare organization in Massachusetts to offer such an extensive accessible low-cost clinic, and these aforementioned services would normally cost upwards of $300 in a veterinary clinic setting.

The Wellness Waggin’ was officially put into service in August of 2019, serving nearly 1,200 animals in the remainder of the year and the service has grown exponentially on an annual basis.

The idea for the Wellness Waggin’ was born out of ARL’s Healthy Animals, Healthy Communities Initiative, which launched in 2017.

The goal of the initiative was to improve the welfare of animals in Greater Boston, and to deepen the understanding of the human-animal bone and its connections with individual and community health.

Through partnerships with local organizations in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan, ARL received direct feedback from the community regarding existing barriers concerning pet ownership.

Top responses included lack of affordable care and access to services. In its four years of service, the Wellness Waggin’ has drastically reduced these barriers.

Additionally, with pets being a large part of the family dynamic, the partnership between the two organizations has forged a new model of collaboration, with animal and human service organizations coming together to care for both animals and people in need.

“I’m overjoyed to celebrate this milestone and seeing how much of an impact the Wellness Waggin’ has had in the communities that ARL serves,” stated ARL President and CEO Dr. Edward Schettino. “This milestone is a reflection of the wonderful collaboration between ARL and ABCD and I look forward to this partnership continuing for years to come.”

ABCD President and CEO Sharon Scott-Chandler, Esq., said that ABCD seeks to meet as many needs of people who are struggling, including health care for four-legged family members and friends. “Because of the Animal Rescue League and its Wellness Waggin’, people in under- represented and under-resourced communities were and are able to get necessary and local vet care for their beloved furry friends, who are also family members who help get them through the tough moments, improve emotional well-being and make life a little brighter all around”, she said. “ABCD is so proud to be a part of this 10K Wellness Waggin’ moment with the Animal Rescue League, and be a contributor to meeting unseen needs in the community.”

Dog Who Suffered Severe Burns Overcomes Trauma to Find Her Home for the Holidays

“Annie” still recovering from severe burns, adopted by her foster family

You may remember the story of Annie, a one-year-old mixed-breed dog that was found abandoned in Norwood, MA, in late August and had suffered second-degree burns to 20 percent of her body.

In the past four months, she has redefined perseverance.

In Need of Help

Annie was discovered along Route 1 in Norwood, wearing a collar and leash, but with no identification, and was not microchipped.

She was taken to the Norwood Police Department, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department was contacted. She was then transferred to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

The burns covering her head, neck, shoulders, abdomen, and front limbs were extremely painful, and the ARL shelter medicine team’s first priority was to help manage her pain and provide treatment for the wounds.

Initially Annie’s situation was critical and given the severity of the burns and the pain level, she was transferred to Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment & Specialties (Tufts VETS) in Walpole, MA, for several days to receive intensive 24-hour care and pain management.

Ongoing Care and Foster

Once the young dog was stabilized, she began the next phase of her recovery and over the next two months she would undergo comprehensive and sometimes painful procedures to aid in the healing process of the burns.

Over time her pain was greatly reduced, and her fur also began to grow back, however, the physical scars of the trauma she suffered will likely be noticeable for the rest of her life.

Annie was also placed into foster care to give her a quiet and comfortable environment to heal.

Finding Her Home for the Holidays

Annie’s foster home was the perfect environment for her.

Her foster family offered the support and love she needed during her recovery, and in the process became bonded with the young dog.

In the fall the family decided that Annie had found her family and her new home, and officially adopted her!

While she continues to heal from her ordeal, she is ready to begin the next chapter of her life.

She is thriving and is overjoyed to be spending the holidays with her new family and ARL could not be happier for this outcome!

How You Can Help Animals Like Annie

For all of us, and especially for animals in need, this has been a trying time. Soaring inflation has made our work much more difficult and strained our limited resources.

ARL cannot respond in times of crisis without you – and the need has never been greater.

Your generous year-end gift will ensure that animals in need can get the care they count on including, food, sanctuary, medical care, love, and emergency rescue if they are in danger.


Young Cat at ARL Overcomes Medical Challenges and is Ready to Find a Home for the Holidays

Cat has been in the care of ARL since August due to medical concerns

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is a resource for animals in need, and sometimes those needs can be quite extensive.

For Regan Macneil, a 2-year-old female cat, her journey with ARL began in August when she was surrendered to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center due to cost of care.

Medical Concerns

Upon arrival at ARL, the organization’s shelter medicine team began Regan Macneil’s stay with a thorough medical exam.

The young cat had a severe head tilt to the right and facial paralysis, a sign that there may be neurological deficits. Horner’s Syndrome, a common neurological disorder of the eye and facial muscles caused by a dysfunction of the sympathetic nervous system was suspected.

A heart murmur in the cat was also detected.

Additionally, a polyp was discovered in the cat’s ear and needed to be removed, a portion of which needed to be biopsied to help get a clearer picture of her overall health.

Fortunately, the biopsy revealed the polyp to be benign, and Regan was placed into foster care to begin her healing process.

Making Progress

The young cat was shy but friendly, and being in foster care helped tremendously in having Regan come out of her shell and show her true personality.

Over time her health and behavior improved dramatically, and in December, a veterinary recheck indicated that while the head tilt was still present is was not as pronounced, and that the facial paralysis had also resolved.

Ready to Go Home

With her health continuing to improve, Regan Macneil is now ready to find her perfect home for the holidays and beyond.

The collaborative effort between ARL’s shelter medicine, shelter staff, volunteers and foster care network was extensive, and demonstrates the commitment by the organization to treat every animal as an individual by providing that animal with all the resources they need to heal and then thrive once finding a forever home.

For more information about Regan Macneil.

How You Can Help Animals Like Regan Macneil

When you make your year-end gift today, you can help make sure animals like Regan Macneil get everything they deserve this holiday season.

Your generosity means you can be there for animals, every step of the journey home, as long as it takes.  From transports from overcrowded shelters or emergency rescues, to veterinary care, enrichment and  behavior training, and finally adoption – you make it all possible.

2,285+ animals in need have already found homes this year. Will you make a year-end gift to help one more?