Category: Brewster
ARL Recognizes Supporters at Whiskers & Wine

ARL staff, donors, Board members, and President’s Council members celebrate achievements in animal welfare

whiskers & wine

A big thank you to Cha-Chi Loprete for being our guest speaker!

Earlier this month, over 100 of the ARL’s biggest supporters came together at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston for the much-anticipated Whiskers & Wine Annual Meeting and President’s Council Spring Social.  The group included corporate sponsors, as well as members of our Board of Directors and our President’s Council, individuals who donate $1000 or more to help animals in need.

The event was held to celebrate the achievements in rescuing animals from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect,  all made possible thanks to the support of our generous donors.

Thanks to the wonderful staff at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, guests enjoyed delicious passed hors d’oeuvres, sipped sparkling wine, and chatted with fellow animal-lovers.

During the speaking portion of the casual cocktail event, special guest host Cha-Chi Loprete, animal welfare supporter and marketing director at WZLX, and speakers including ARL President Mary Nee, ARL Board chair Malcolm McDonald, ARL vice president of animal welfare Dr. Smith-Blackmore, and ARL director of marketing and development Ami Bowen talked about the impact of their donations on the thousands of animals who received care through ARL programs and services each year.

The speaking program concluded with an emotional video illustrating how ARL donors’ generous contributions help the animals who come to our three shelters get the care they need to find a new home.

THANK YOU once again to our generous donors for expressing your love of animals, compassion, and kindness through your support of the Animal Rescue League of Boston!

And a special thank you to our special guest host and corporate supporters of the Whiskers & Wine event…

Cha-Chi Loprete

Hingham Savings Bank

Robert Paul Properties

Unit Realty


Polkadog Bakery


Brookline Bank

Halliday Construction

Winthrop Wealth Management


Fairmont Copley Plaza

Mobile Spay Waggin’ Assists Martha’s Vineyard

ARL’s Spay Waggin’, Martha’s Vineyard ACOs, and dog owners working together

spay waggin dr. quigley

ARL shelter veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley, getting ready to assist patient Mabel, a Shetland Sheepdog

Earlier this month, ARL’s mobile Spay Waggin’ made a special trip to Falmouth to assist Edgartown, Oakbluffs, and Vineyard Haven Animal Control Officers (ACOs) in a first-of-its-kind effort to provide island residents with high-quality, affordable spay and neuter services.

Read all about this special event, as covered by The Vineyard Gazette.

Barbara Prada, an animal control officer in Edgartown for 32 years, explained that for some pet owners on Martha’s Vineyard, “getting their animals spayed or neutered was so out of reach for them financially,” and they have no options for assistance.

Currently, there are no veterinary clinics on the island that accept Massachusetts Animal Fund vouchers, which cover all the costs of spay or neuter surgery for state residents in financial need.

The Spay Waggin’ does accepted Massachusetts Animal Fund vouchers and regularly travels to Cape Cod.  All of the spay and neuter surgeries were paid for using the vouchers.

The ACOs accompanied 9 dogs on the ferry from the Vineyard to the host site in Falmouth, courtesy of Falmouth ACO Al Turner and the Friends of Falmouth Dogs.

With the help of the ACOs, Spay Waggin’ staff evaluated all the animals and prepared them for surgery.  All the animals received a post-operative evaluation and went home with instructions for their owners for care at home.

spay waggin helping martha's vineyard

ARL vet tech Bonnie Morrissey and community and shelter vet outreach coordinator Cheryl Traversi prepping for surgery.

Of the many dogs that were spayed/neutered, the most notable were mother and father Pit Bull-type dogs who had parented 22 puppies in the last 7 months!

The ARL’s Spay Waggin’ and Vineyard ACOs hope to arrange another visit in the coming weeks to help more pet owners in financial need.

For a schedule of the Spay Waggin’s upcoming stops on the South Shore and Cape Cod, visit arlboston.org/spay-waggin

DID YOU KNOW? Animal control officers in Massachusetts may request Massachusetts Animal Fund vouchers for homeless animals being cared for in  a municipal animal control shelter, for pets owned by residents who have demonstrated financial need, or for feral cats in your community.

Up to five vouchers may be requested on one form, and the requests must be made for specific identified animals – no general requests accepted. Learn more about the Mass Animal Fund’s spay/neuter voucher program.



Impressive Turnout for Humane Lobby Day 2015!

ARL participated alongside notable local and national animal welfare organizations

On May 13, 2015, staff and volunteers proudly represented the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) at Humane Lobby Day held at the Massachusetts State House. Strong attendance of both state representatives and citizen animal advocates reinforced to legislators how important animal welfare is to their constituents.

ARL staff standing behind table

ARL staff and volunteers participated in Humane Lobby Day 2015 at the Massachusetts State House to show support for the cause of animal welfare and to thank legislators who have helped push through important laws impacting animal rights.

ARL staff and volunteers welcomed all Humane Lobby Day participants to speak with us about who we are and the important work that we do in the community. All were impressed by ARL’s courageous Rescue Services team, our awesome adoptable shelter pets, and our continuous efforts to educate the public about animal welfare and safety.


ARL staff spoke with state representatives and citizen animal advocates about what makes our local organization unique.

A big THANK YOU to our fellow Humane Lobby Day partners- The Humane Society of The United States, MSPCA, and ASPCA for giving animals a voice and asking state legislators to pass laws that benefit both animals and humans alike!

Lincoln, a rescue dog

MSPCA rescue, Lincoln, stole the show. He was adopted by Massachusetts State Senator Karen Spilka after meeting one another at last year’s Lobby Day!

The Animal Rescue League of Boston will continue to support legislation that enhances and improves protections for animals, and to oppose reforms that endanger the welfare of animals in Massachusetts. Continue to check our legislative agenda for updates on the status of legislation impacting animal welfare in Massachusetts.

May is Tick and Flea Awareness Month

6 helpful tips to protect your pet from sneaky parasites

As the days get longer and warmer, pets and their owners are eager to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Although spring is the start of picnics, strolls through the park, hiking, and other outdoor activities, it also marks the beginning of tick and flea season.

Ticks and fleas are small parasites that live off the blood of cats, dogs, humans, and other mammals.


Photo courtesy of avma.org

Ticks typically hide in leaves or grass and climb onto an unsuspecting animal when it brushes by. If a tick burrows into your pet’s skin, they may transmit serious illnesses, such as Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Areas with sandy soil, trees, rivers, and the presence of deer usually signify a dense tick population.

Fleas are much more agile and can jump from one animal or object to another with ease. Flea eggs are resistant to many cleaners and flea control products, which means they have the ability to grow into an adult and cause risk to your pet. A flea bite can cause Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), Anemia, Tapeworm, and Rickettsiosis, which may result in skin conditions, lethargy, or other serious health effects.

Keep your pet covered with these 6 helpful tips:

  1. Tick and flea preventative should be administered year-round starting at 8 weeks of age. Although ticks and fleas tend to show up in the warmer months when more time is spent outdoors, larvae and adults can hide out in a multitude of places, such as other animals, bushes, and shrubbery, as well as in flooring, carpets, and sofas in your home.
  2. Don’t give ticks and fleas a chance to invade your home. Outdoors, cover waste bins, crawl spaces, and overgrown grass and shrubbery where ticks, fleas, and infected wildlife could hide. Indoors, vacuum carpets and sofas frequently and periodically wash your pet’s blankets, bed, and fabric toys in hot water and dry on high heat.
  3. Pets are good about hiding the “evidence.”  Cats, in particular, are very good at grooming adult fleas and ticks off of themselves. Just because you don’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there.
  4. Make “tick checks” part of your routine. When you settle down with your pet for their daily scratch session, pay extra close attention. If you spot a tick, remove it right away with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull directly outward with steady force. Don’t forget to disinfect the bite area thoroughly after tick removal.
  5. Your pet may not show symptoms of being bitten by a tick or flea right away. In most cases, you will not actually see a tick or flea unless your pet has an allergic reaction to the bite(s). Only a blood test taken by your pet’s veterinarian can confirm an illness was transmitted by a tick or flea.
  6. Don’t wait, start now. If you haven’t already, ask your veterinarian about starting a preventative tick and flea treatment plan for your pets.

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Awareness Month

Animal cruelty comes in many forms, including physical abuse, neglect of basic care, abandonment, dog fighting, and animal hoarding. Because many studies have demonstrated a strong link between cruelty to animals and other forms of domestic and community violence, prevention plays a critical role in improving the safety and welfare of both animals and people in Massachusetts.

Know your state’s animal cruelty laws

In 2014, the ARL’s Center for Animal Protection assisted in over 300 animal law enforcement cases. Unfortunately, this is a small number when you consider the startling statistic that 4 out of 5 animal cruelty cases go unreported.

We all have a role to play in prevention. Be aware and get to know the animals in your neighborhood. If you suspect animal cruelty, call your local authorities right away.  Help raise awareness and educate others about this issue.

Learn the 7 most common warning signs of animal cruelty and take action!

While most of us recognize that punching, kicking, burning, choking, or hitting an animal with an object are acts of animal cruelty, there are also several more subtle warning signs of animal cruelty to watch for that could indicate mistreatment, neglect, or abuse:

  1. Howling or barking for a sustained period of time or hearing an animal cry in pain with higher pitched, more persistent vocal sounds than usual.
  2. Singed, matted, chronically or excessively dirty hair or fur.
  3. Wounds, unusual scars, hair loss, frequent limping often on different legs, or signs of improper nutrition such as weight loss or prominent visible ribs.
  4. Animals kept caged or tied with little room to move for long periods of time or without regular interaction with people
  5. Lack of protection from the weather or fece- or debris-strewn living areas for animals.
  6. Collars, leashes, or halters so tight they visibly dig into the animal’s face or neck.
  7. A large number of animals coming or going from a property.

If you know of or suspect animal cruelty, report concerns to your local authorities. Click here to learn more about how you can prevent animal cruelty. 

Do You Have Feral Cats In Your Neighborhood?

Help keep them safe by building a simple DIY cat shelter in your yard

A “feral” cat is defined as a cat that has had little or no human contact since birth. Many were initially former domestic cats that were either lost or abandoned. In many cases, these cats still depend on human caregivers for food and shelter.

Learn more about ARL’s Community Cat Program

Some feral cat colonies find shelter for themselves under sheds and uninhabited buildings. Living in these structures poses a risk for these cats because their safety is usually uncertain.

To help keep the feral cats in your neighborhood safe from the elements and potential predators, consider building your own shelter. DIY shelters are inexpensive and simple to build. Please keep in mind, there are many ways to build feral cat shelters.

Watch this video to learn how to build your own feral cat shelter:



ARL Joins City of Boston Animal Control Commission

Maryann Regan to serve on important animal welfare group

Late last week, Maryann Regan, the ARL’s Director of Shelter Operations, received a letter announcing her appointment by the Mayor to the City of Boston’s Animal Control Commission. The Mayor convened the commission to ensure continued forward progress on animal care and control in the City.

After bringing concerning conditions at the Boston Animal Control facility in Roslindale to the attention of Mayor Walsh this summer, the ARL has continued to support the City’s reform efforts.

Maryann Regan signing

Maryann Regan signing after taking the Oath of Office

Yesterday, we followed Maryann to Boston City Hall where she completed the swearing in process. We’re happy to announce Maryann along with eight others are now officially members of the Animal Control Commission!

Members of the Animal Control Commission will meet at least once a month to coordinate the work of public and private agencies concerned with animal care, protection, and control. They will also establish and maintain a spay and neuter clinic within the city. Learn more about the Animal Control Commission.

A special thank you to City Clerk Maureen Feeney and everyone at the Boston City Hall for graciously welcoming the ARL!


Piper the Kitten Getting Special Care at the ARL

“She’s like our very own Tiny Tim”

ARL_Piper_Vet_1_emailThe Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) newest addition, little Piper the kitten, is recovering from delicate surgery performed on Monday to repair her broken back leg.

Just as the cold weather hit, kind Samaritans discovered the 6-8 week-old brown tabby all alone and struggling to walk near an ice cream shop in Orleans, MA. After police brought her to the ARL’s Brewster shelter, ARL veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley recommended bringing Piper up to Boston to explore all the options for repairing her leg.

“Piper was anemic, dehydrated, and clearly in some discomfort because of her broken leg,” Dr. Quigley explained. “Because she was so little, we wanted to make sure we helped her heal with minimal pain.”

An x-ray of Piper's leg with the pins and steel plate post surgery.

An x-ray of Piper’s leg with the pins and steel plate post surgery.

The ARL funded Piper’s surgery at Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment and Specialties in Walpole, MA, where veterinary surgeons inserted a steel plate and pins to repair the serious fracture in her thigh. The organization will continue to help Piper rehabilitate over the next 6-8 weeks and begin the process of finding her a permanent home.

“She’s like our very own Tiny Tim,” said Marianne Gasbarro, the ARL’s Boston shelter manager. “She got the treatment she needed just in time and will have a much better life in the new year ahead.”

The ARL expects Piper’s medical costs will top $2,000 with surgery and after care. The organization does not receive any government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters to help stray animals like Piper recover.

To make a donation to help Piper and other animals just like her, visit arlboston.kintera.org/piper



Fireworks, BBQs, and Cars Can Be Too Hot for Spot!

The Animal Rescue League of Boston and Boston Veterinary Care Offer Pet-riotic Advice For July 4

Boston, MA – As temperatures start to sizzle, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) want to help dog owners keep their canine companions healthy and safe in the summer heat and bustle of activity this July 4.

“We live for the summers in New England. We want to be outside and do more things, and we want our dogs to be part of the fun,” explains Mary Nee, president of the ARL. “We need to keep in mind what’s fun for us, might actually cause discomfort and injury to our much-loved pet.”

She points to firework displays as a good example of where people and dogs may not agree.

The loud popping and banging noises and fiery flashes of light easily startle and alarm dogs. Animal control officers receive a large volume of calls about pets who broke loose from their families or escaped from yards after getting frightened by the noise of parades and fireworks.

Another popular Fourth of July activity, backyard barbeques can also pose problems for dogs. The smell of food, a large group of adults, playing kids, and other excited pets can easily overstimulate a dog, increasing the potential for poor behavior and bites.

“Leaving your dog at home as you head out for holiday activities and events is the best thing for you and your pet,” adds Nee. “Prevention is responsible pet ownership.”

Allowing your dog to wait for you at home and not in your hot car is another pet-friendly summer habit.

“On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can top one hundred degrees in less than 10 minutes – even with all the windows cracked,” explains BVC veterinarian Dr. Rashel Shophet-Ratner. “That’s why leaving a pet inside a parked car is the most common cause of potentially deadly heat stroke.”

As part of their “Too Hot for Spot” campaign, the ARL and BVC will continue to offer pet safety tips throughout the summer. Visit arlboston.org for more campaign information and updates in July and August.

About the Animal Rescue League of Boston
Founded in 1899, the ARL is dedicated to rescuing domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect. In 2013, the ARL served over 14,000 individual animals through our shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham, and our law enforcement, rescue, and veterinary services. The ARL receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters to help animals in need. Visit arlboston.org for more information.

About Boston Veterinary Care

BVC is a clinic with a purpose: providing high quality veterinary care to Boston pet owners while supporting the services of the ARL. The friendly and caring staff at BVC provide a full range of outpatient veterinary services to pet owners at the clinic’s location in Boston’s historic South End. All profits support the care and rehabilitation of homeless animals at ARL shelters. Visit arlboston.org/bvc for clinic hours and appointment information.