Category: Brewster
Halloween Pet Safety Tips for a Safe Holiday

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) share important tips to keep your pets safe and happy this Halloween season.

Boston Terrier in Halloween costume

Tip: If it’s your pet’s first time wearing a costume this Halloween, spend a few days before the big holiday getting them acclimated to wearing it. Keep in mind, some pets are just not fans of wearing costumes and would much rather wear a festive collar or bandanna instead.

With the month of October almost half over, Halloween 2021 is right around the corner! You may be a fan of the spookiest time of year, but for your pet, this haunting holiday can be truly scary.

Not to worry though, enjoying the festivities and keeping your pets safe is easier than you think – Follow these 3 tips to ensure your pet has a safe Halloween this season:

1. Keep your pets inside. The Halloween season often brings out tricksters who might taunt or harm an animal left outdoors. It’s always a good idea to keep pets inside with proper, up-to-date identification. If your pet must be outdoors, be sure to keep them leashed and an eye on them at all times.

2. Stash the sweet treats. Chocolate, especially darker chocolates, are highly toxic to cats and dogs. Additionally, many candies and gums contain Xylitol. This sugarless sweetener is highly toxic to pets. Always keep chocolate and candies out of your pet’s reach.

3. Be careful with costumes. If you decide to dress your pet up for this festive holiday, costume safety is key. Keep these costume safety tips in mind:

  • Always supervise your pet while they’re wearing a costume.
  • Make sure your pet’s costume fits properly and does not restrict their movement.
  • Be cautious of loose or dangling pieces that pets could potentially choke on.
  • Ditch the masks or other accessories that could potentially make it difficult for your pet to breath or obstruct their vision.

No plans for Halloween? Spend the day getting to know some of our adoptable animals.


Press Release: Last Dog from Randolph Law Enforcement Case Still Seeking New Home

In early-August, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department collaborated with Randolph Police to rescue 24 dogs living in unsanitary conditions from a private residence.

The dogs were removed from the home, and the previous owner has been charged with two dozen counts of animal cruelty.

Of the 20 puppies and 4 adult dogs, all have found loving homes — with the exception of Benjamin, a 2-year-old male Pitbull-type dog.

When Benjamin arrived at ARL, staff noted that while extremely friendly, the young dog lacked socialization, focus, and basic manners.

He was excitable, jumpy/mouthy, and reactive to walking on a leash.

Over the past two months, ARL’s behavioral staff and volunteers have worked extensively with Benjamin, and he has made tremendous strides maintaining focus and working on his manners.

ARL is looking forward to finding Benjamin his new home and is committed to providing behavioral council and advice for his new family once he’s home.

Click here to see Benjamin’s online profile. 

Original Release:

RANDOLPH, MA — On Wednesday, Aug. 4 at approximately noon, Randolph Police officers responded to a home on Bossi Avenue after receiving a report that a male resident at the home had threatened a person who was doing work at the residence.

Upon arrival, officers spoke with the suspect, later identified as URIE LOUISSAINT, AGE 28, OF RANDOLPH, who consented to a search of his home. Officers entered the home and found its interior to be in a state of squalor with animal waste throughout.

Inside the home, officers located four adult dogs and 20 puppies allegedly living in unsanitary conditions without adequate access to food and water.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Law Enforcement Department was immediately contacted and responded to the scene, coordinating with ARL Field Services to remove the dogs and transport them to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

In all, one male and three female dogs that are approximately two to four years of age, and 20 puppies ranging from two to four months old — all believed to be Pitbull-type dogs — were removed from the home. ARL’s shelter medicine team has examined the dogs.

One puppy, a 4-month-old male, was determined to have a broken leg and will remain in ARL’s care until healed. Umbilical hernias have been detected in some of the dogs, which will require surgery before adoption and some of the animals have heart murmurs.

“The Animal Rescue of Boston cannot commend Randolph Police and Animal Control enough,” stated ARL Law Enforcement Senior Investigator Lt. Alan Borgal. “Everyone involved in this situation demonstrated a high level of professionalism, compassion and the steadfast commitment to removing these animals from the residence quickly and getting them the care they needed.”

Randolph Police Commander Robert Emerson said, “We are pleased to have been able to remove these animals from the poor conditions they were living in. I would like to thank the ARL Law Enforcement and Field Services teams for their quick response and assistance at the scene, as well as the shelter medicine teams and foster care network for their dedication to caring for the dogs. I would also like to praise our responding officers who were called to the house on an unrelated issue and noticed that the situation the animals were living in was not acceptable.”

LOUISSAINT was charged with 24 counts of Animal Cruelty and one count of Threats to Commit a Crime. He was issued a summons to appear in court and will be arraigned at a later date at Quincy District Court.

5 Facts About Pit Bull-type Dogs

As part of National Pit Bull Awareness Month, we wanted to share some important information about Pit Bulls, a “breed” that often gets a bad rap. Unfortunately, Pit Bull-type dogs often come to our Animal Care & Adoption Centers because their owners face housing and insurance restrictions prohibiting certain breeds of dogs.

Here are 5 facts that you need to know about Pit Bull-type dogs:

1. FACT: The “Pit Bull” is not an official breed.
“Pit Bull” is an umbrella term commonly reported to contain the following 3 registered breeds of dogs: Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Pit Bull Terrier.

Many dogs that are classified as “pit bulls” are actually a combination of mixed breed dogs of unknown pedigree or other purebred dogs which bear some physical resemblance. It is not easy to identify a dog’s breed origin(s) from appearance alone, therefore many dogs who are labeled as Pit Bull-type dogs are actually not.

2. FACT: While some Pit Bull-type dogs were historically bred for the purposes of “blood sports”, the majority were bred to become family dogs and farm help.
In the 1970s, dog “blood sports” (i.e., dogfighting, street fighting) began to get more attention by law enforcement and, therefore, the media—making the public much more aware of these cruel practices. The hype drew people to the conclusion that the Pit Bull-type dog’s history of involvement in “blood sports” made them uniquely dangerous.

The truth is that one cannot predict a dog’s behavior based on what the ancestral breed was “historically bred for.”  Instead, each dog should be assessed as a unique individual based upon their overall temperament and upbringing.

3. FACT: Pit Bull-type dogs are not born aggressive
Ever heard the phrase “nature vs. nurture”? Well, that applies here too. Pit Bull-type dogs, just like any other type, follow “learned” behavior taught by the humans who raise them.

To put it simply: an attentive caring owner will raise a happy well-adjusted pet. A neglectful and abusive owner will raise an unhappy aggressive pet. More often than not, Pit Bull-type dogs who display aggressive behavior are often the victims of irresponsible ownership.

4. FACT: Pit Bull type dogs do not have “locking jaws”
No such “locking jaw” mechanism exists in a Pit Bull-type dog or any other dog type or breed. There is nothing uncommon about the size and functionality of a Pit Bull-type dog’s jaws or teeth. Additionally, there is no evidence which proves that one dog type or breed is uniquely capable of inflicting serious injury to humans or other animals.

5. FACT: You should consider adopting a Pit Bull-type dog from your local shelter
If you’re looking to add a new furry family member to your household, think about saving a life and adopting. When a Pit Bull-type dog is properly matched to your family and lifestyle, it is a success story in the making. Pit Bull-type dogs are loyal companions, quick learners, and make great exercise buddies.

If you are considering adopting, make sure you visit a shelter that offers behavioral assessments and enrichment programs for all adoptable animals.  At the ARL, for example, staff can that provide insight into a dog’s overall temperament, health, and upbringing. It is always a good idea to bring everyone in the household (including other dogs) to the shelter with you to ensure that your new addition is the right fit for your home and family.

If you’re looking to add a Pit Bull-type dog or another type of pet to your family, visit our adoptable pets at our Animal Care & Adoption Centers. 

ARL Hosts Cape Cod Supporter Events

ARL Volunteer presented with annual Champion for Animals Award

2021 has been exciting year for the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), especially on Cape Cod.

ARL is proud to mark a century of service to the Cape Cod region, and this past month ARL hosted two Paws to Celebrate events to bring Cape-based supporters together to mark this special milestone.

Two wonderful venues, the historic Chatham Orpheum Theatre and Truro Vineyards, hosted these events.

Along with words of thanks and appreciation from ARL President and CEO Dr. Edward Schettino, and ARL Board of Directors Chair Walter Kenyon, both events also featured an amazing documentary from photographer, documentarian, and ARL volunteer Kim Rodgriguez, along with cinematographer Geoffrey Bassett.

The Way Home: A Century of Finding Loving Companions for Shelter Animals, is a celebration of ARL’s century of service on Cape Cod, and highlights the human-animal bond through touching stories of animals and the families who adopted them from ARL.

“I have had a love affair with the Animal Rescue League of Boston since adopting our first family dog, Snubby, in 1975,” Roderiques said. “ARL has been a pillar in the Cape community finding homes for countless animals for one hundred years. Having the opportunity, thanks to a grant from Rockland Trust, to document their journey through the lens while sharing the most moving and riveting stories of animals surviving and thriving, along with acknowledging those who have been integral in making adoptions successful, is a dream come true.”

As a companion piece to the documentary, Kim published a photo book also titled, The Way Home, featuring a collection of images related to ARL’s rich history on the Cape, as well as photos of animals that have been adopted from the Brewster Animal Care & Adoption Center.  The book’s production has been graciously sponsored by Agway of Cape Cod, and is available at Agway’s three locations for a suggested donation amount of $25.

A Champion for Animals

The Cape event in Chatham also afforded the opportunity for Dr. Schettino to present Kim Roderiques with the Champion for Animals Award, given annually to a person who goes above and beyond to make meaningful impacts for animals in need.

Kim has volunteered at ARL for 10-plus years, being involved with numerous events and lending her photographic talents to make sure adoptable animals look their best!

“Kim is a remarkable person and her contributions to ARL over the years are truly incredible,” said Dr. Schettino. “Her compassion for animals is immeasurable, and ARL is proud to be able to honor her with the 2021 Champion for Animals Award.”

Thank you to our Paws to Celebrate host committee and sponsors:

Mary and Bob Bainbridge, Grace Fey, Tony Guthrie, Brian Hyde and Joe Fiorello,

Michael Kaplan and Matt Bell, Susan Kurtzman, Connie and Peter Lacaillade, Patti Lotane,

Sharon Mabile, Trish Regan, Heather and Park Ridill, José Rodriguez-Villalobos and

Christopher Lapan, Kim Roderiques, Carol Warshawsky, and Cape Cod 5 Foundation

It’s World Rabies Day!

Today marks World Rabies Day, a day to raise awareness about the public health impacts of human and animal rabies.

Rabies is a viral disease that can affect all mammals, including humans, and kills nearly 60,000 worldwide annually.

The virus attacks the central nervous system and can be secreted in saliva. Infected animals show no fear of humans, drool and act in an agitated fashion.

While we mostly associate rabies to wild animals – mainly skunks, raccoons, bats, coyotes, and foxes, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), cats have become the most common domestic animal infected with rabies.


Rabies vaccines are approved for dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, cattle, and sheep – and vaccination is the best measure to prevent rabies.

Every dog, cat, and ferret adopted from the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is vaccinated for rabies, however, it’s important to remember that after receiving an initial vaccination, your pet will need boosters.

Boosters are administered every year, or every 3 years, depending on which vaccine your pet receives.

It’s also important to remember that rabies vaccination in Massachusetts is the law!

To help ensure your pets are vaccinated, ARL’s Dedham and Brewster locations host rabies clinics annually, and for clients of either ARL’s Spay Waggin’ or Wellness Waggin’, rabies vaccines, if needed, are included for every pet seen.

ARL vaccinates thousands of animals annually!

Additional Prevention

Along with having your pet vaccinated, some other measures to prevent rabies exposure include:

  • Do not let your pets roam free. Keep cats indoors, and keep an eye on your pup when they are outside
  • Do not leave exposed garbage or pet food outside – it may attract wild or stray animals
  • Observe wild animals from a distance, and never handle unfamiliar animals, even if they appear friendly
  • If you see a wild animal acting strangely, contact your local animal control officer

Take a moment today to see if your pet’s rabies vaccine is up-to-date, and help us spread the word about World Rabies Day to ensure you, your family, and your pets stay safe from the rabies virus.

Cat with Chronic Skin Issues Finds Her Home

“Nala” diagnosed with rare autoimmune skin condition

Skin issues are just one aspect of what the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) shelter medicine staff diagnoses and treats on a daily basis, but for Nala, a 6-year-old Himalayan-Lynx-mix cat, her skin condition was bit more complicated than normal, leading to a nearly 8-month-stay with ARL.

Nala was surrendered to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center in March 2021, and presented with a number of skin lesions on her head, ears, and paws.

After x-rays, a biopsy, and wound debridement, Nala was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called pemphigus foliaceus (PF).

For Nala, her condition was causing her immune system to attack the upper skin layers, causing the lesions. But while autoimmune skin disease is rare in cats, it is treatable.

Nala’s initial course of treatment included medication, medicated wipes, and medicated foot baths.

She was then placed into foster care and over the next several months her condition began to improve with treatment, as the lesions healed and her fur grew back.

Nala required frequent veterinary visits, nearly two dozen, but by September, her condition was under control with medication, and was at the point where she could find a new home.

A Special Home

While PF is something that can be controlled or brought into remission with treatment, the condition is chronic, and is something Nala likely have to treat for the rest of her life.

Daily immunosuppressive drugs are needed to keep Nala’s PF in check, however because these types of medications limit the immune system to fully function as it should, Nala is prone to secondary infection, which could lead to further treatment.

Because of this, Nala will need frequent trips to the veterinarian to ensure her long-term health.

But her condition and ongoing treatment did not stop her from finding a wonderful home, as Nala found her new family this past week!

Help Animals Like Nala

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is an unwavering champion for animals in need, however in order to provide emergency treatment for animals like Nala, ARL relies on the compassion and support from people like YOU.

Nala’s chronic condition is under control after months of treatment, but there are countless animals out there that will need ARL’s help at some point in the future and we cannot do this work alone.

Whether it’s a one-time donation or joining more than 840 others to contribute monthly, click here to see all the ways you can join ARL to support animals in need today, tomorrow, and in the future.

ARL Caring for Stray Kitten with Traumatic Injuries

Kitten was likely entangled in fence

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is currently caring for a 13-week-old former stray kitten that is beginning a long road to recovery, due to suffering traumatic injuries.

The kitten was discovered on the side of the road in Dorchester last week, and seeing the kitten was in extreme pain and distress, the finder brought the kitten to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

ARL’s shelter medicine staff carefully examined the kitten, now named Nick, who was yowling and scratching due to his pain, and surmised his injuries were caused by being entangled in a fence and/or an embedded collar.

The kitten suffered deep abrasions and fur loss around his neck and front paws and a piece of wire was also removed from the back of his neck. An ARL veterinarian treated his wounds and is also fostering the kitten to monitor his condition and recovery.

As his pain has subsided, he is beginning to show a fantastic personality and ARL is grateful for the opportunity to care for him and give him the chance at the life he deserves.

There is no time table on when Nick will be well enough to find a new home, and he is currently not available for adoption.

Help Animals Like Nick

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is an unwavering champion for animals in need, however in order to provide emergency treatment for animals like Nick, ARL relies on the compassion and support from people like YOU.

Nick is on the mend, but there are countless animals out there that will need ARL’s help at some point in the future and we cannot do this work alone.

Whether it’s a one-time donation or joining more than 840 others to contribute monthly, click here to see all the ways you can join ARL to support animals in need today, tomorrow, and in the future.

September is Champions Circle Month!

And we’re celebrating our Champions all month long.

ARL’s Champions Circle members provide reliable support in the form of monthly gifts. With their recurring contributions, members give animals the critical support they need now, and dependable support that ARL can count on, ALL YEAR LONG.

As we continue to navigate the pandemic, this type of support is vital and we are so grateful.

To our current Champions Circle members,

Thank you!

Click here to see a list of our members

Not yet a member? Now is the perfect time to join the over 840 compassionate people who are already a part of this amazing group!


While it is difficult to predict the ongoing impact of this pandemic, one thing remains constant – animals in Massachusetts are still in need. 

And when disaster strikes, Champions Circle members are there to answer the call for help.

Champions Circle members provide the unwavering support that sustains life-saving measures and second chances for animals all year long.

By becoming a Champions Circle member today, you are ensuring that animals in need will the care they deserve, even during difficult times.

Will you help us reach our goal of 50 new members?


Why does monthly giving matter?


    • The effects of the pandemic continue to reverberate throughout our community. Pets and the people who love them are still in need, and your support is critical to helping them.
    • 60% of ARL’s funding comes in during the last quarter of the year- and most of it during the last 2 weeks in December – yet animals need help every day. Monthly support from Champions Circle donors provides animals with care and assistance when they need it most.
    • Monthly giving is a convenient, affordable, and efficient way to make a difference in the lives of animals in our community.
    • Spreading out your donation in smaller increments throughout the year makes your giving budget work harder and creates an even bigger impact for animals.

Join by September 30 and receive an exclusive 2022 wall calendar!

Each September, we send members an exclusive wall calendar featuring some of the many success stories that their monthly support made possible.

 And, when you join the Champions Circle before the end of the month, we will send one to you so you can look forward to 2022 with uplifting adoption stories and joyful photos!


The calendar is a special gift that portrays the incredible impact of this community of dedicated supporters. It’s a small token of our appreciation for their unwavering support of animals in need.


In addition to the calendar, you can expect:

Champions circle gifts

What your monthly gifts mean for animals in need:

Champions Circle symbolic gifts

Don’t miss your chance to get your calendar by signing up for monthly giving before midnight on Thursday, September 30, 2021!

It’s easy to join…

  • Use our secure online form by clicking here
  • Call Derek at (617) 426-9170 x162 to set up your monthly gift over the phone

Banfield Foundation® Grant to Supply ARL Wellness Waggin’ with Vital Medications

Grant of $12,000 to ensure pets stay healthy

 Boston, MA (August 26, 2021) – The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) announced today a $12,000 grant investment from the Banfield Foundation®, to support their lifesaving work for animals in the Greater Boston area.

The generous Community Care Grant will offset the cost of medications and supplies for ARL’s Wellness Waggin’, and will help treat owned pets in the Greater Boston area for approximately 64 clinic days. The Banfield Foundation is also donating 1,852 doses of First Shield flea product to be provided for Wellness Waggin’ clients.

Additionally, the Jim Parker Charitable Trust helped increase the impact of the generous grant award by contributing $5,000 specifically for medications and drugs for approximately 34 clinic days.

Muenca being examined by ARL vet

ARL Veterinarian, Dr. Hannah Donnelly examines Muenca at the Mattapan Wellness Waggin’ site.

“The Animal Rescue League of Boston is grateful to the Banfield Foundation and the Jim Parker Charitable Trust for their generosity,” said Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL President and CEO. “ARL’s Wellness Waggin’ provides accessible and affordable pet wellness services and this grant will allow the program to have an even greater impact in the Greater Boston communities we serve.”

In 2020, ARL’s community programs provided a multitude of services including spay/neuter, vaccinations, and general wellness care to more than 4,000 animals in Greater Boston and Southeastern Massachusetts.

For more information about ARL’s Wellness Waggin’, visit arlboston.org/wellness-waggin.


About the Banfield Foundation®
At the core of the Banfield Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the belief that all pets deserve access to veterinary care. In support of this belief, the foundation funds programs that enable veterinary care, elevate the power of the human-animal bond, provide disaster relief for pets, and advance the science of veterinary medicine through fostering innovation and education. It also leverages the expertise and passion of Banfield Pet Hospital associates to care for pets in need. At the Banfield Foundation, we are committed to making a better world for pets because they make a better world for us. For more information, visit BanfieldFoundation.org

ARL Field Services Assists Cat Caregiver

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently took in more than three dozen cats from a residence in Eastern Massachusetts, while working with the caregiver to be able to keep a more manageable number of animals in the home.

Concerned friends of the caregiver reached out to ARL’s Field Services for assistance, and with any situation involving a large number of animals, the concern for ARL is not only for the animals involved, but for the caregiver as well.

With that many animals in the home, daily care can become overwhelming.

The cats were signed over to ARL and were transported to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center, where they received thorough veterinary exams, were vaccinated, and spayed and neutered.

Additionally, more than half the cats required extensive dental procedures to keep them healthy and happy.

Cats from these types of situations do have the tendency to be nervous around new people, and ARL’s behavioral team worked extensively with these animals to not only assess their behavior, but worked to socialize and get these cats ready for new homes.

While the bulk of the animals have found new homes, several do remain with ARL for behavioral reasons, however it is expected that by the time the calendar turns to fall, all cats involved in this situation will have found their new homes.

Reach Out for Assistance

ARL encourages anyone who may be overwhelmed or who may know someone who may be overwhelmed, to reach out for assistance.

ARL is a resource, and will work with diligence and respect to resolve any issues a caregiver may be having.

While the bulk of the animals in this situation were removed from the home, ARL is pleased that the caregiver was able to keep a small number of cats and will remain available in the future for any concerns or issues.

For more information about ARL’s Field Services Department, including contact information, click here!