Category: Brewster
Dawn Leelaub Celebrates 25 Years at the ARL

ARL’s Dawn Leelaub gives animals at our Brewster shelter a chance at a better life- and is grateful for how much they’ve given her in return

ARL’s Brewster shelter has served the community of Cape Cod since 1921 providing care, housing, and an adoption center for animals of all species, including horses, livestock, and companion animals.

In 2014, ARL’s Brewster shelter found permanent homes for 723 animals thanks in part to assistant shelter manager, Dawn Leelaub, as well as the amazing volunteers and shelter staff! One word that can sum up this shelter’s success over the years is TEAMWORK. “I’m always collaborating with the same people- from animal intake, to behavioral evaluations, to daily cage cleaning, to adoption- which I really love,” explains Dawn.

brewster shelter

Dawn can often been seen giving lots of love and attention to the Brewster Shelter’s furry residents.

ARL Blog sat down with Dawn to find out more about the important work that she does at ARL’s Brewster shelter. Here’s what she had to say…

ARL Blog: You’ve been with the ARL for 25 years! Congratulations! How had your position within the organization evolved?

Dawn Leelaub: Thank you! I have had the luxury of growing up, so to speak, within the ARL. I started at the Brewster shelter when I was 19-years-old as a “kennel attendant.” Following that, I actually went back to school to become an Animal Control Officer! Later, I was promoted to supervisor of the Brewster shelter, and currently I am the assistant manager.

I work for an unbelievable organization that is constantly re-evaluating itself to become better and better. The ARL offers many types of training opportunities, so my colleagues and I are constantly evolving and learning something new in our field. Additionally, as a person, I’ve learned to listen more than I speak and to just be more aware.

ARL Blog: What made you stay with the ARL so long? I’m sure it has a little something to do with the adorable animals you spend time with every day!

DL: I have so much respect for the ARL; it has given me purpose. Someone once told me that when you look in the mirror you have to like the reflection appearing back onto you. I’m proud of what I do and am very lucky to have found it at 19!

Without sounding too cliché, I help animals and people, but they helped me as well! It’s very special to know that I have made an impact on someone’s life and then find out that they want to do the same for me in return.

ARL Blog: ARL’s Brewster shelter has been helping animals in the Cape Cod community since 1921! Is there anything that makes the Brewster shelter unique compared to the Boston and Dedham locations?

DL: The Brewster shelter is very special in its own right. First and foremost, we have the most amazing community! We are surrounded by people who really care about us and are willing to jump in and help out by donating supplies or whatever the shelter may need; it’s very humbling. I’ve lived in the area my entire life, so I definitely have my own deep connection with Brewster.

People from the community will casually drop by to say hello to our staff and the animals and see how we’re doing. On a Saturday alone, we’ll have upwards of 150 visitors! It’s amazing to see adopters who I helped 25 years ago come here with their children.

ARL Blog: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

DL: The opportunity to help and be surrounded by so many amazing animals that I can’t help but love! Recently, a dog came into our Brewster shelter with not a stitch of fur and in really bad shape; she had never been seen by a veterinarian in her life. When she first arrived, she was really shy and afraid, but within a few days she’s completely transformed!  Now she loves talking to me and always has a happy and peaceful expression on her face. You can tell that she feels good and knows that she’s being well taken care of. We’ve definitely bonded and I know we’re going to make her life better.

I get so excited when the animals I’ve helped come back to visit me with their new families. I’m so thankful that the animals have found a loving home and that I’m able to develop a relationship with their adopters. My hope is that the families will come back and adopt other animals from the ARL in the future- and most of them do!

ARL Blog: What is the most challenging part of your job?

DL: I’m always working to help to change the public’s perception about the animals that come into our shelters. There is no such thing as a “bad” dog, cat, guinea pig, etc. The fact is that many animals find their way into ARL’s shelters through no fault of their own–and we’re here to help them. It’s important for me to help the community understand what the ARL does and why we’re here.

ARL Blog: What’s your favorite “happy tail” moment at the shelter?

DL: Perhaps one of my favorite memories is the adoption of pot-bellied pig, Albert Swinestein. He was an unbelievable character and we really bonded. In fact, he was so special that his adopters drove all the way up from West Virginia during a blizzard to pick him up! The family recently sent an update letting me know that his new best friend is their pet bulldog.

To learn more about ARL’s Brewster shelter, visit arlboston.org/brewster-shelter

DIY Dog Obstacle Course

Keep your pup in tip-top shape with this fun backyard activity

It’s National-Adopt-a-Dog month and the ARL is celebrating our beloved canine companions all October long! While summer presents us with natural opportunities to stay active with our pet, such as hiking and swimming, the fall weather often leaves us questioning how we can continue the outdoor fun.

The answer is simple and can actually be found in your own backyard: a DIY dog obstacle course! Inexpensive and easy to set up, a DIY dog obstacle course will keep Fido entertained and agile by challenging him both physically and mentally. An added bonus: it will help you and your pooch bond even more!

Is your dog a master of physical fitness? Keep things interesting by adjusting the level of difficulty or encouraging them to complete the course within a certain amount of time.

diy dog obstacle course

Placing treats inside the tunnel can help your pooch feel more comfortable when crawling through.

Gather your pup, some yummy treats, and a few basic supplies to get your dog maneuvering over, under, and through these 6 fun obstacles… READY, SET, BARK!

  • Weave poles: Evenly space out about 10-12 traffic cones, poles, or flat markers and use a treat or toy to help Spot maneuver through. Increase the wooficulty: Slide the weave poles or markers closer together.
  • Leave it: Scatter objects of temptation (extra tasty treats, a paper towel roll, an old shoe, etc.) around your yard. When your dog approaches an object, command them to “leave it”; if they look at you or walk away, immediately reward them with a treat. Increase the wooficulty: Try it without reward treats.
  • Tunnel-through: Anchor a children’s flexible play tunnel and have your pooch crawl through. Decrease the wooficulty: A tunnel can be a dark, scary environment! Place treats every 6-12” inside the tunnel and ask a second person to stand on the opposite end to call your pet’s name.
  • Hurdle jump: Place a PVC pipe on top of a couple of cement blocks and direct Rover to hop over. Increase the wooficulty: Turn the cement blocks vertically or add another set to raise the height.
  • Doggie catwalk: Place a 2×4” plank of wood on top if cement blocks (make sure it’s sturdy!) and have Fido walk carefully across the plank. Decrease the wooficulty: Place the plank of wood on the ground and see if your pup can walk a straight line.
  • Tire jump: Hang an old bike tire from a sturdy tree branch so that it’s a couple of inches off the ground and direct your dog to jump through it. Increase the wooficulty: Raise the tire another couple of inches.

DID YOU KNOW… that pet obesity is the #1 health problem for pets in the US?  Boston Veterinary Care shares 5 tips on how to manage your pet’s weight.

A big thank you to our Adopt-a-Dog month media sponsor CITYSIDE SUBARU and to our media partners WCVB TV 5 and MeTV for sharing the importance of dog adoptions with our community, and your viewers!

adopt-a-dog month

Do You Know the 7 Warning Signs of Animal Cruelty?

Learn the 7 signs of animal cruelty & DONATE to protect animals from harm

If you SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING – Report Animal Cruelty. By many estimates, 4 out of 5 cases of animal cruelty remain concealed, leaving animals to suffer in silence. 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 more subtle warning signs that could indicate mistreatment, neglect, or abuse.

7 warning signs of animal cruelty

Learn the 7 warning signs of animal cruelty and DONATE to ARL’s Cruelty Prevention fund drive to help protect animals from future harm!

Learn the 7 warning signs of animal cruelty:

  1. Howling or barking for a sustained period of time, or hearing an animal cry in pain with a persistent high-pitched vocal sound
  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
  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.

DID YOU KNOW… that the ARL’s law enforcement department is often called upon to assist local and state agencies, and police and animal control officers with a variety of animal protection issues?

Although the team works closely with the state, as well as many cities and towns, the ARL receives no government funding to provide this kind of assistance to animals in need.

When you give during the ARL’s CRUELTY PREVENTION FUND DRIVE, you will help pay for the on-going efforts of our law enforcement team to provide animals suffering from abuse and neglect with the assistance that they need to recover.

An anonymous donor has challenged us to triple a $5,000 donation and raise $15,000 in October to support the ARL’s law enforcement department! The team can only do this work on behalf of animals in our communities with your support!


AS A SPECIAL THANK YOU… Be one of the first 5 people to DONATE $25 or more TODAY, October 9 and you will receive an exclusive ARL steel red water bottle!

Click here or on the green button below to make a donation to the ARL’s Cruelty Prevention Fund Drive.


VERY SPECIAL THANKS to our anonymous challenge donor and everyone who has made a donation to support animals in need during the ARL’s Cruelty Prevention fund drive!

Remember: Animal cruelty affects your community. Reporting suspicions to authorities is critical to prevention. Learn more at arlboston.org/take-action

If You See Something, Say Something – Report Animal Cruelty!

What you need to know about animal hoarding

In support of National Animal Safety and Protection month this October, the ARL is kicking off its fall “See Something, Say Something – Report Animal Cruelty” campaign.

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

This month, we’re focusing on the topic of animal hoarding- an increasingly frequent and challenging issue in Massachusetts.  In less than 12 weeks alone, ARL’s law enforcement team assisted in at least 6 hoarding-type cases and removed more than 200 animals from these situations.

Surprised? Unfortunately, there are many more animal hording cases reported across the country annually.

In the United States each year, approximately 3,500 animal hoarders come to the attention of authorities, which involve at least 250,000 animal victims. 80% of animal hoarders have diseased, dying, or dead animals on the premises.

Startled by these statistics? These numbers don’t even include the many animal hoarding cases that go un-detected or unreported.

With such a serious form of animal cruelty so prevalent in our community and across the country, the ARL answers your FAQs on animal hoarding and what the public needs to know*:

Q. What is animal hoarding?

A. Animal hoarding is a serious, yet under-recognized community problem that is responsible for substantial animal suffering. Often associated with adult self-neglect and/or mental illness, animal hoarding can also place children, elders, and dependent adults at serious risk. It is also responsible for property damage, which can be an economic burden to taxpayers

Animal hoarding is defined by 4 main characteristics:

  1. Failure to provide minimal standards of sanitation, space, nutrition, and veterinary care for animals
  2. Inability to recognize the effects of this failure on the welfare of the animals, humans in the household, and environment
  3. Obsessive attempts to accumulate or maintain a collection of animals in the face of progressively deteriorating conditions
  4. Denial of minimization of problems and living conditions for people and animals

Q. Are there different types of animal hoarders?

A. Yes! 70% of animal hoarders who come to the attention of authorities are single, widowed, or divorced females, although community-sampling studies have found that there is an equal ratio of males to females. In general, there are 3 main classifications of animal hoarders:

  1. Overwhelmed caregivers, commonly referred to in lay terms as a “crazy cat lady”, and are often well-intentioned in their behavior. Overwhelmed caregivers experience a gradual decline in animal caretaking ability due to changes in financial or medical circumstances. They exhibit awareness of the situation and will make an initial effort to provide the proper care for their animals, as they consider them to be an equal member of the family. Ultimately, the caregiver becomes overwhelmed and is unable to properly care for both themselves, and the animals in their household.
  2. Rescuer hoarders actively acquire animals due to their strong sense of mission to save animals from death or other circumstances. They believe that they are the only one who can provide adequate care for the animals and will not seek the assistance of an animal welfare agencies or authorities.
  3. Exploiter hoarders actively acquire animals to serve their own needs. They lack guilt and remorse for the harm that their actions may cause other humans or the animals. Under this category falls Incipient hoarders, someone who achieves the minimum standards of animal care under the law which continues to deteriorate, and Breeder hoarders, someone who breeds animals for show or sale and only has moderate insight regarding the condition of the animals and how to properly care for them.

Q. What should I do if I suspect a neighbor of being an animal hoarder?

A. While some hoarding situations may be obvious, others may not be as simple to spot. Here are 3 ways you can help stop animal cruelty:

  1. Know the warning signs. Do you know what subtle cues to look for? Learn the 7 warning signs of animal cruelty.
  2. Take action. If you SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.  If you suspect a hoarding or other animal cruelty situation in your community, explain your concerns to your local authorities who can do a proper investigation.
  3. Donate. Sadly, thousands of animals in Massachusetts suffer from abuse and neglect every year. Your donation during our Cruelty Prevention Fund Drive will help protect more animals from harm!

The ARL works with local authorities to prevent, investigate, and prosecute animal cruelty. The ARL receives no government funding, so your donation today will support the on-going efforts of our law enforcement team to provide animals suffering from abuse and neglect the assistance they need to recover.

Learn more about how you can prevent animal cruelty.

*Information gathered from research conducted by Dr. Gary J. Patronek, Lynn Lora, and Jane N. Nathanson, Animal Hoarding: Structuring Interdisciplinary Responses to Help People, Animals, and Communities at Risk.

The ARL’s 2014 Annual Report

Thank you to our generous supporters who make our work possible

A few weeks ago, a fragile 8-year-old little white dog wandered up to a kind citizen in a parking lot, whimpering in distress.

Chicken Little, as she is now called, was missing much of her fur and had very low body weight.  Her small spine and ribs stuck out of her stick-thin frame.

The kind citizen called Dedham Animal Control, who in turn called the ARL to ask for help.

annualreport_chickenlittleFast forward to today, and Chicken Little is well on her way to recovery at the ARL’s Boston Shelter.  She is slowly putting on weight and her fur is starting to grow back.  Her spunky personality is beginning to emerge as she happily rips apart toys and tackle balls during playtime.

You can truly feel her gratitude when she looks at you with bright eyes and a happy, playful face.

Animals like Chicken Little get this chance at a better life all thanks to supporters like you.

Our Annual Report is our way of expressing our sincerest appreciation for your continued support of the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

We are truly grateful that we can help thousands of animals like Chicken Little—through our law enforcement and rescue teams, community veterinary services, and our shelters—lead safer, healthier, and happier lives.

Read the ARL’s 2014 Annual Report

In 2014, the ARL rescued 15,100 animals from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect. That’s incredible considering that we receive no government or public funding and rely solely on donations from people like you.

As we approach the last quarter of the year, we ask you to consider expressing your kindness and compassion for animals with a gift to the ARL.  We still need to raise over $1.5 million to reach our budget goal and will keep you updated on our progress towards this goal throughout the Fall.

Thank you for your dedication to improving the protection and treatment of animals in our community!

Mike Thomas Celebrates 45 Years at the ARL

ARL’s Mike Thomas is there to guide owners through the final care process at Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery

Established in 1907, ARL’s Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery is the oldest pet cemetery in the country owned and operated by an animal welfare agency. The cemetery is situated on the beautiful grounds of the former summer home of ARL founder Anna Harris Smith. In fact, Anna’s own beloved pets were among the first to be buried here.

Final care is a sensitive and important time in the life of a family pet and perhaps no one understands the depth of the human-animal bond quite like Mike Thomas, caretaker of the Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery since 1970. Losing a pet is difficult, but Mike does his best to honor and bring closure to the departure of your beloved furry family member.

ARL Blog sat down with Mike to find out more about the unique and important work that he does at Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery.  Here’s what he had to say…

pine ridge pet cemetery

Did you know… that Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery is the oldest pet cemetery in Massachusetts?

ARL Blog: You’ve been working at ARL’s Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery since April of 1970. That’s 45 years! Congratulations!

Mike Thomas: Thank you! I started working at ARL’s Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery when I was 19. This is the only full-time job I’ve ever had! After all these years, it’s who I’ve become: the “pet cemetery guy.”  I feel very appreciative when families that I’ve helped in the past call and are surprised to find out that I’m still here. Nobody wants to have to see me, but when they do, they’re glad.

One thing that’s changed is the “oddness” of my job. When I first started working here in the 1970s, new acquaintances or former classmates who I hadn’t seen in a while couldn’t believe how I made my living. Today, however, the general public has much more understanding about why this work is important — in part because many people now consider their pets to be an equal member of the family.

ARL Blog: What made you remain in your job and with the ARL for so long?

MT: Initially, I fell in love with the Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery property. Then I just fell in love with what I do — helping people at a very difficult time for their family.

ARL Blog: Is there anything that makes Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery unique?

MT: Well, for one, we’ve been doing it the longest. Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery is the oldest in Massachusetts and the oldest in the country operated by an animal welfare organization. It’s also closest to the Boston Metro Area.

As far as the types of animals that we have buried or cremated here, the majority are cats and dogs, however, we have horses, rabbits, iguanas, snakes, and many other “pocket pets”, which are more common now. We even have a margay and an ocelot (wild cats native to South America) buried here!

ARL Blog: How has Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery evolved since you started working there in 1970?

MT: The cemetery didn’t look as is does today; the land was ours, but it wasn’t used. For the first 15 to 20 years I worked here, there was no tractor to dig the grave sites with; we did it all by hand and it was very difficult physically.

Since then, the cemetery has doubled in both size and in the number of families we help each year.  In 1970, we had about 69 total animals buried in our cemetery plots; today, we bury 100-200 animals per year. Additionally, our pet cremation business has gone up significantly.

ARL Blog: On the topic of cremation, more pet owners seem to choose it over burial plots. Why do you think that is?

MT: Cremation is much more cost-effective than burials, and it’s also easier to move your pet’s remains, should you ever need to. Many families choose to cremate their pet and bring the remains home. Or, if they have already buried a former pet in the cemetery, they will bury the most recent pet’s ashes in that same lot to keep all their pets together in one place.

Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery

Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery is situated on the beautiful grounds of the former summer home of ARL founder Anna Harris Smith. In fact, Anna’s own beloved pets were among the first to be buried here!

ARL Blog: How do you keep a positive attitude around your clients who are grieving? It must be difficult.

MT: My clients don’t need my sadness; they are already sad. I can’t bring your pet back, but if I can make you laugh or feel better, even if it’s for a minute or a second, then I’ve done my job. I also remind my clients that whatever final care they decide on for their pet is the right thing; there is no judgment. The only thing that I can do is to treat their pet the way I would want them to treat mine.

If a family has a pet that is terminally ill or in its last days, they’ll meet me to make the final care arrangements in advance. Then, when they know it’s their pet’s final moments, they’ll call me and I’ll get everything prepared for when they arrive at the cemetery to make the goodbye process as stress-free as possible.

ARL Blog: National Pet Memorial Day was this past Sunday, September 13. What are some ways that families can commemorate the loss of their pet?

MT: If your pet is buried in a cemetery, take a moment to think of a happy memory and leave flowers on the burial site.  At home, you can create a memorial flower garden or plant a tree or shrub in your yard. You can also volunteer your time at or donate to your local animal shelter, like the ARL.

ARL Blog: What’s the best part of your job?

MT: The best aspect of my job is just doing my work. If I don’t have my job, then I don’t have my work. I also love the people I do it for. I have a lot of repeat clients and some I’ve had relationships with for over 25 years! It’s very rewarding.

To learn more about ARL’s Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery, visit arlboston.org/pine-ridge-pet-cemetery.

It’s Back-to-School Time for Your Dog Too!

7 steps to keep your pup happy this September (Hint: Enrolling in ARL’s training courses is #7)

September is here, which means that back-to-school season is upon us. While the thought trading in swimsuits for sweaters is daunting for kids everywhere, your canine companion, believe it or not, may be feeling the end-of-summer blues too.

In a survey conducted by Pet360, 20% of pet owners with school-aged children reported that their dogs showed signs of anxiety or depression when the members of their household returned to their back-t0-school routines.

According to Dot Baisly, behavioral and enrichment manager at the ARL, any major shift in schedule or pace within the day can trigger separation anxiety in your dog. With the sudden absence of family and activity in the house, pups can become bored and may develop disagreeable behaviors, such as destructive chewing, whining, or insomnia.

dog training

The ARL offers dog training classes for puppies as young as 8 weeks old!

Here are 7 things you can do keep your dog happy as the leaves begin to turn:

    1. Ease into it. Transitioning from two months of a bustling household to 10 hours alone in silence will shock any pup’s system. In the days leading up to back-to-school, practice leaving your dog alone for an hour or two at a time. This will help teach Fido that he can enjoy his alone time, and know you’ll be back at home soon enough.
    2. Keep regular feeding times. For most pets, mealtime is an important and exciting part of their day, so it’s key to keep breakfast and dinner at the same time every day. Animals often nap after they eat, so your pooch may snooze away after a meal.
    3. Stay active. Before and after work, get in the pattern of going on a walk, run, or to your local dog park. “Your pet will be happier and healthier if he is getting the proper amount of exercise,” says Dot Baisly. “Try to work in at least 15 minutes of socializing and playtime every day as well.”
    4. Visit the vet. Just like people, animals need regular checkups too. Take your pets to their veterinarian once a year to make sure that they’re healthy.
    5. Beat boredom. Engage your pet while you’re out of the house, by leaving food puzzles for them to play with. DIY frozen dog treats, such as a KONG stuffed with yogurt and peanut butter, will keep Fido’s mouth and mind busy.
    6. Teach an “old dog” new tricks. Pick a new trick to teach your pet and have the enitre family work together on training him. Your pet will enjoy the stimulation of learning something new.
    7. Get back to class. The fall is a great time for you and your pup to bond and add an exciting and challenging element to your weekly routine. Signing up for dog training and enrichment classes will benefit your pup, your family, and everyone around you. Not only does it teach man’s-best-friend safety and good manners, it also keeps him from getting bored.

The ARL offers a variety of dog training classes at our Boston and Dedham locations as part of our commitment to supporting positive relationships between people and their pets. Our certified, experienced, and caring dog trainers help you teach your dog basic and advanced commands, manners, socializing skills, and agility training.

For more information and to enroll in a dog training class at the ARL, visit arlboston.org/dog-training.

September is Champions Circle Month

Become a Champion for animals – join the Circle!

The Animal Rescue League of Boston is celebrating our Champions all month long! In honor of our monthly donors and their ongoing support, the ARL has named September “Champions Circle Month”!

Our community of caring monthly givers provide the critical support needed to rescue animals from suffering, cruelty, abandonment and neglect ALL YEAR LONG.

In 2014, over 15,000 animals received the help and care they needed with the support of Champions. THANK YOU to our current Champions Circle members and friends for your loyal support!

Not yet a member? Learn more about joining ARL’s Champions Circle and helping animals in need now…

champions circle

Join ARL’s Champions Circle in September and help animals in need ALL YEAR LONG!

What is the Champions Circle? The Champions Circle is a dedicated community of monthly givers who support shelter animals all year long as recurring donors.

Monthly giving is a convenient, affordable, and efficient way to provide help where it’s most needed. Our members like it because they are able to give more when their donations are spread out into smaller increments.

How will my recurring gift help shelter animals? 80% of ARL’s funding comes in during the last quarter of the year- and most of that during the last 2 weeks in December.

Because animals in our shelters and our community need immediate help every day, having monthly financial support from Champions Circle donors ensures we can respond with care and assistance when and where animals need it most.

Your gift will provide year-round support, such as:

  • Emergency rescue from cruelty and neglect
  • High-quality veterinary care
  • Food, shelter, loving attention, and time to play

Are there any other perks? Yes! In exchange for your reliable generosity, all Champions Circle members receive:

  • A “behind-the-scenes” guided tour of an ARL shelter to see your gift in action
  • Annual giving statements each January for tax purposes
  • Great membership gifts*
    • *September sign-up BONUS! Join during the month of September to receive a special Champions Circle Frisbee!

Sounds great! How do I sign up? There are several ways to join ARL’s Champions Circle:

  • Use our secure online form at  arlboston.org/champions
  • Call (617) 426-9170 x615 to set up your monthly gift over the phone

To learn more about the Champions Circle, visit arlboston.org/champions

BREAKING NEWS: Lowell Puppy Tossed Out of Moving Vehicle Now Recovering at the ARL

Lowell Puppy Austin needs your help with information related to his case

**Update: Austin has been adopted!**

The ARL is seeking the public’s assistance with information regarding a puppy thrown from a moving vehicle earlier this week in Lowell, Massachusetts.

On Monday afternoon, witnesses spotted an unidentified male suspect throw a puppy out of the driver’s side window near the Tsongas Arena while his vehicle was still in motion, and speed away from the scene.

Two kind citizens had been driving behind the suspect and immediately pulled over to help the approximately 10-week-old male teacup Yorkshire Terrier, now known as Austin.  The pint-sized four pound dog appeared injured.

lowell puppy

After contacting the Lowell police department to report the incident, one of these good Samaritans rushed Austin to the Wignall Animal Hospital in Dracut for emergency medical treatment.

“When he arrived at the animal hospital, sweet little Austin was clearly shaken up from the incident,” reports Darleen Wood, Lowell Police Animal Control Compliance Officer. “He had bleeding on the left side of his jaw and neck, and could not stop drooling and crying.  He was clearly in a lot of pain.”

Hospital staff promptly treated Austin with pain medication and did a thorough exam, including full-body x-rays to check for broken bones. Overall, the emergency medical treatment incurred over $400 in veterinary expenses.

The Lowell Police animal control division contacted the ARL for assistance with Austin’s medical expenses, caring for him as he recovers, and the investigation in the case.

Make a donation to help cover Austin’s medical care and protect animals like him from cruelty and abuse in the future.

Fortunately for Austin, most of the wounds were superficial and he began to heal quickly.  He arrived at the ARL on Wednesday afternoon for further veterinary evaluation and will soon go home with a dedicated ARL foster volunteer to complete his recovery.

While officials gather camera and video footage from the area of the incident, the ARL is also asking anyone who may have information in this case to come forward to help identify the suspect or the vehicle.

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Austin needs your help! If you have any information related to his case, please contact:

Animal Rescue League of Boston’s law enforcement department: (617) 226-5610

Lowell Police Department Crime Stoppers Tip Line: (978) 459-TIPS (8477)

Dog Camping Safety

5 tips to protect your pup during your next outdoor adventure

Although back-to-school season is just around the corner, the beautiful summer weather in New England extends throughout most of September! With at least a month of more warm days ahead of us, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) continues to share important pet safety advice during our TOO HOT FOR SPOT® campaign.


Follow ARL’s 5 tips for dog camping safety to ensure a fun outdoor experience for everyone. Photo source: 50campfires.com

Planning an upcoming wilderness adventure? Call the campground in advance to confirm pet requirements; some may mandate such regulations as dogs must remain on 6-foot leash at all times and need to sleep inside your tent.

If you and your pup take the proper precautions and follow the campsite rules you’ll be both guaranteed to have fun in the great outdoors.

The ARL shares 5 tips for dog camping safety:

  1. First aid’s first. Pack a pet first aid kit to cover all types of scenarios. In preparation for more a serious situation, be sure to research emergency animal clinics in close proximity to your campsite. While park rangers are there to help, they may not have all of the medical equipment that your dog needs.
  2. Pet-proof your campsite. Before pitching that tent, thoroughly inspect the immediate area for any potentially harmful items, such as broken glass bottles or spoiled food, that previous campers left behind.
  3. Avoid roaming. Supervise your pooch at all times, even if it means keeping them on a leash or having them wear a reflective collar at night. Since your pet is not familiar with the area, they could become lost, walk too close to a campfire, ingest poisonous plants, or encounter potentially dangerous wildlife.
  4. Keep contact info current. Make sure your dog’s microchip and ID tag information is current and keep your canine companion’s collar on at all times to ensure an easy reunion should they be separated from you.
  5. Prevent parasites and illnesses. Keep your pup up-to-date on all parasite preventatives and vaccinations, such as flea and tick repellants. If you’re not certain if your pet’s vaccinations are current, contact your veterinarian. Be vigilant about checking your pet for ticks during and after your trip.

If you plan to bring Fido with you, remember that man’s-best-friend should remain by your side at all times. Never leave your pet alone in a parked car—even with the air conditioner on or the windows cracked. On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a car can rise above 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes, which is why it is the most common cause of deadly heat stroke. And that’s just way too hot for Spot!

ACHOO! Pets get allergies too. If your pooch can’t stop sneezing during your fresh air activities, learn how to help keep those airborne allergens at bay.

For more summer safety tips visit: arlboston.org/summer-safety