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Category: Dedham

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Edward Schettino, DVM, PhD as the 9th President & CEO of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). His term will begin May 1, 2020.

After thoughtfully examining the qualities and skills desired in a new president, ARL’s Board concluded that Dr. Schettino’s extensive knowledge of veterinary medicine, deep understanding of animal welfare, business acumen, and leadership skills, makes him uniquely qualified to lead ARL’s vision for the future.

Dr. Edward Schettino

For the past five years, Dr. Schettino has served as ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services, and before this post was the organization’s Director of Veterinary Medical Services. As Vice President, he has overseen ARL’s animal care and operations, law enforcement, community and shelter medicine, and community programs. He has been instrumental in advancing ARL’s vision for the future—to reach animals and people most in need—and led the program design and implementation of many ARL’s innovative community-based programs.

Previously, Dr. Schettino worked for over 12 years in both private veterinary hospitals and animal shelter settings. He is an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and, on behalf of ARL, has trained hundreds of police officers and veterinarians on reporting animal cruelty.

Dr. Schettino is recognized for his ability to collaborate with local and national organizations to enhance the animal welfare field as demonstrated by his service on a variety of boards and committees. This service includes the Massachusetts Animal Coalition Board, Massachusetts Veterinary Medicine Association, the Tufts at Tech Advisory Board, the Shelter Medicine Steering Committee at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and the Veterinary Technology Advisory Committee at North Shore Community College.

Today, ARL stands as the Massachusetts leader in providing affordable veterinary care to underserved communities, is in the forefront of responding to animal cruelty and neglect, and is a tireless advocate for law and public policies that will protect all animals from harm. We believe Dr. Schettino possesses the skills, passion, and leadership to support these objectives and advance our vision to reach, and positively impact even more animals and people in the years to come.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our current president, Mary Nee, for her enormously effective leadership of ARL. During her tenure, Mary conducted a strategic assessment of ARL’s programs, facilities and resources. Guided by this resulting plan, and through her vision, determination and hard work, she enhanced areas of strength, implemented necessary changes and successfully led the organization through a period of changing animal welfare needs. ARL today is helping more animals more meaningfully and effectively than ever before. The Board of Directors congratulates Mary for leading ARL to this proud place, and we wish her the best in her retirement.

 

 

 

Walter Kenyon, Chair

Animal Rescue League of Boston Board of Directors


An Amazing Transformation

Olive, seized in law enforcement investigation, finds her forever home

When we first met Olive in September 2019, she had just been rescued along with 18 other Cane Corsos as the result of an Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) law enforcement case.

Back then she was known only as MD46.

Like the majority of the animals seized from the unsanitary conditions at the Middleboro, MA breeding kennel, Olive was terrified at the world beyond her kennel and it was clear the days and weeks ahead would be challenging.

However, nearly six months later, Olive has continuously shown her resilience, and her amazing transformation has come full circle, as she recently found her forever home!

A Slow Process

For Olive, ARL’s shelter staff and volunteers immediately went to work, providing daily encouragement and enrichment, and slowly began introducing her to new things like outdoor walks and playtime.

At first these activities would be short, and she would quickly retreat to the more familiar and self-imposed sanctuary of her kennel.

But as the days and weeks passed, more and more Olive was enjoying the time spent outdoors (highlighted by sudden bursts of the zoomies in Brewster’s outdoor paddock) and her once sad and sullen expression was replaced with joy and happiness.

Going Home

It did take a bit of time to find the right match for Olive, but when she met her new owner, the connection was instantaneous.

Olive is now enjoying a quiet life in Western Massachusetts and everyone who worked with Olive was thrilled when her adoption was finalized.

The Importance of Enrichment

For Olive and her fellow Cane Corsos, they came to ARL after living sheltered and unhappy lives.

ARL’s behavioral staff was steadfast in ensuring that these animals received the love, attention, and encouragement to help them break free of their previous circumstances in order for them to thrive.

Olive is just one example of the incredible work that goes into helping thousands of animals overcome adversity and find loving homes each and every year.

Congratulations to Olive and her new owner!


It’s National Spay and Neuter Awareness Month!

Spay and Neutering Pets Promotes Health and Longevity

For all of us, the health and well-being of our beloved family pets is paramount; and the simplest way to reduce nuisance and aggressive behaviors, improve long-term health and longevity, is to have your dog or cat spayed or neutered.

February is National Spay and Neuter Awareness Month, and here at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), we field questions about spay and neuter on a daily basis which typically revolve around two issues – cost and understanding the real and long-term benefits for you and your pet.

Affordable Options Exist

Don’t let cost be a barrier, as there are numerous affordable options throughout Massachusetts that are readily available.

Be sure to talk with your veterinarian about your best course of action, but here are a couple of options.

ARL’s Spay Waggin’ is a mobile veterinary clinic offering high-quality and affordable spay and neuter services. The Spay Waggin’ has been serving Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, the South Shore and South Coast for nearly 20 years; serving more than 59,750 animals.

Another place to turn is your local Animal Control Officer. The Massachusetts Animal Fund’s spay and neuter voucher program allows low-income residents receiving state assistance to get their pets this important surgery free of charge. Vouchers can be obtained through your city or town’s Animal Control Officer and are redeemed at participating providers, including ARL’s Spay Waggin’ and Community Surgical Clinic.

By the way, you can help keep this program going by donating on your state tax form on line 33f!

Long-Term Health Benefits

Caring for animals can be expensive, especially when it comes to their health. But consider this – having your pet spayed or neutered can reduce the risk of serious, and costly, health problems later in life.

Neutering male dogs and cats before six months of age prevents testicular cancer and spaying female cats and dogs before their first heat reduces the risk of uterine infections and breast cancer.
Spaying and neutering can also reduce behavioral problems such as marking territory, howling or barking, aggression and wandering.

We all want our pets to live long and healthy lives, and having an animal spayed or neutered actually increases their longevity. According to published reports, neutered male dogs live 18 percent longer than unneutered males, and spayed females live 23 percent longer than spayed females.

Healthy Moms, Happy Litters

How about if you have a pet at home with an unwanted or accidental litter of puppies or kittens? No problem, the Animal Rescue League of Boston can help.

Through the Healthy Moms, Happy Litters program, ARL will provide free spay and neuter services and vaccinations for mother/father dogs and cats. Once the procedure is complete, and animals are returned to the owner.

ARL will also waive the surrender fee for the litter of puppies or kittens, who will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and placed up for adoption.

Remember, there are an abundance of resources and help available to those who need it so please consider having your pet spayed or neutered for their happiness, their health, and for your piece of mind.


Take Action for MA Animal Protection Legislation

Join ARL at 2020 Lobby Day for Animals

Right now, Massachusetts legislatures are sifting through thousands of bills and deciding which ones should become law in the Commonwealth.

These bills cover everything from transportation, healthcare, education, animal welfare, among many others.

During the 2019-2020 legislative session, more than 90 animal welfare bills were filed, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is asking for your help in advocating on behalf of animals so the bills with the most impact can be passed.

It is crucial that elected officials hear from YOU – the people they represent about the issues most important to them.

Have Your Voice Heard

We invite you to join ARL, along with other animal welfare advocates, at the Massachusetts State Houses for the 2020 Lobby Day for Animals on March 24 to encourage law makers to take action to protect animals throughout the Commonwealth.

To register for this important event click here!

Advocating to legislators may be something you’re used to, or maybe it’ll be your first time. Regardless of your experience, it’s important to remember that animals cannot speak for themselves and rely on you to be their voice.

 We’ve Got You Covered

All attendees will get information before the big day, as well as a “how-to” day of and the ability to ask any questions.

The Legislature will see thousands of phone calls, emails, and letters over the next few months, so please join us for Lobby Day for Animals to ensure that animal welfare legislation receives the attention it deserves.

The Time is Now

The Massachusetts Legislature meets in a two-year cycle.

Our elected officials do most of their important work before July 31 of the second year of the session – which means that July 31, 2020, will be the deadline for controversial matters to be considered and voted on.

Legislation has to pass both the House and Senate with the same language, which can take days, weeks, or even months of conversation and compromise between legislators.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has a robust legislative agenda, focused on improving the lives of animals both in habitats and homes.

ARL supports a wide array of legislation supporting kennel regulations, improving citation enforcement for animals kept in cruel condition, ensuring animals from puppy mills do not find their way into Massachusetts pet stores, just to name a few.

We encourage you to take a look at ARL’s legislative agenda to see what bills we support and oppose.

There is strength in numbers and we are their voice!

Lobby Day Information

Lobby Day for Animals will be held at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and will being at 10:15 a.m.

There is a $10 charge for breakfast, lunch and to help offset the cost of the event. You must also register to take part in this event.

To register, click this link: https://secure.everyaction.com/OD7Xo7xMYEaCqDiou4_aQw2 


Press Release: As Temperatures Drop, Be on Lookout for Homeless Cats

Despite relatively mild daytime temperatures in recent weeks, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has still seen several cases of homeless cats winding up in some curious places while trying to escape the nighttime chill.

With colder air moving in for the upcoming weekend, ARL is reminding residents to keep an eye out for stray animals, particularly community cats, who may be seeking shelter from the storm.

Recent cases include a stray cat worming its way into the basement of a multifamily home in Dorchester, and a mom and kittens found under a house in Roxbury.

Eight-week-old Katrina was found with her mom and litter mates underneath a home in Roxbury.

Along with the aforementioned places, stray cats may find window wells, space underneath porches, backyard woodpiles, sheds, even the engine compartments of vehicles to get out of the cold.

If you spot a stray animal looking for shelter, you’re urged to contact local animal control, or ARL’s Field Services Department for assistance.

DIY Community Cat Shelter

If you live in an area where community cats are prevalent, you can provide temporary shelter by building a DIY community cat shelter. It’s cheap, easy, and could offer an animal a respite from the cold – for directions on how to build click here!

ARL Community Cat Initiative

With approximately 700,000 community cats living throughout Massachusetts, ARL launched its Community Cat Initiative in 2018, and has already helped thousands of these animals in a variety of ways. For more information about the initiative click here.

ARL Field Services

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

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

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


A message from ARL’s President, Mary Nee

Animal Rescue League of Boston supporters,

I have some news that I want to share with you.

I have decided to retire in May 2020 and step down as President of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). I am honored to have served as ARL’s president since 2012, only the eighth person in 120 years to hold this position, and just the second woman, since our founder, Anna Harris Smith.

This decision is entirely personal as I am eager to join my husband Jim in retirement and begin the next chapter of our lives. I hope that this chapter will include some travel, and, an unscheduled life, with more time to read, reflect, and enjoy family and friends.

While my decision is personal, it is also made with a sense that ARL is in a very good place. Having established a strategic vision focused on serving animals and people most in need, we are seeing the benefits of this direction through increasing impact to the most vulnerable of our community.

In addition, the next five years will see new facilities and services that will further strengthen this amazing organization, with master planning and design work to replace aging facilities complete or well underway.  I am confident in our ability to achieve these goals and appreciate the continued effort that will be required for success. I believe it will be most beneficial for ARL to have in place leadership who can see these projects and progress through to completion, taking this historic animal welfare organization to even higher levels of innovation and impact.

I leave knowing that we have that leadership in ARL’s Board of Directors and our talented staff. The board has been closely involved in my retirement planning and are reviewing the skills and attributes desired in a new president. In the coming weeks they intend to communicate their plans for future leadership.

Anticipating retirement is exciting, but leaving ARL is difficult. My career has spanned nearly 43 years in mission-based organizations in Boston. Prior to coming to ARL, this work revolved around issues related to human or community conditions. In joining ARL, I thought I was taking a detour from my past work. I was wrong.

The world of animal welfare is inextricably linked to humans, both the good and the bad. This link and the complexity of navigating through animal and human conditions makes for fascinating and highly complex work. My experiences here have been both tremendously rewarding and, at the same time, eye opening.  I now look at community quite differently, particularly the interplay of humans, animals, and the environment. I cannot adequately convey all of my learnings here and I intend to share with you my reflections on this transformative experience in a future communication.

As some of you know, I have a favorite quote attributed to Justice David Souter that has always resonated with me in terms of one’s life’s work. “For most of us the very best work we do sinks into the stream very quickly. We have to find satisfaction in being part of the great stream.”

For me being part of ARL, its compassionate work and the tireless efforts of staff, volunteers and donors alike who have responded to nearly 125,000 animals over the past 7+ years, is enormously rewarding and I will cherish having been part of this great stream for the rest of my life.

In the coming months I hope I can connect with many of you that have supported my journey at ARL and in the Boston community to reminisce and say thank you. Your friendship and support has sustained my many professional adventures and made possible any measure of success achieved. For this, I am eternally grateful.

Sincerely,

Mary signature

Mary Nee
President
Animal Rescue League of Boston

Click here to read Mary’s executive profile in the January 24, 2020 edition of the Boston Business Journal.   

Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff/Globe staff


Press Release: Stray Cat Found Frozen to Shipping Container Recovering

Schooner’s Holiday Miracle

Update: Schooner has found his forever home! Once he was made available for adoption, he found his new family in a matter of hours. Congratulations to Schooner and his new family!

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is continuing to care for a stray cat found frozen to a shipping container outside a Dedham restaurant during last week’s cold snap. Miraculously the cat, now named Schooner, not only survived, but is well on his way to finding a new home.

ARL was contacted by Dedham Animal Control Officer Jayson Tracy, after discovering the cat in the early morning hours last Wednesday, stuck to the container outside of TGI Fridays along Providence Highway. The cat was carefully removed from the container, and brought to ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Center in Dedham.

It’s likely that Schooner’s fur was wet and with bitter cold and real-feel temperatures well below freezing, once the cat came in contact with the container he was immediately stuck. It’s unknown how long the cat was frozen to the container.

Schooner was very thin, dehydrated and showing the typical bumps and bruises of living outdoors which included a fractured tooth, but amazingly he did not suffer from hypothermia.

While at ARL in Dedham, Schooner has eaten ravenously and has already gained a pound and he has also become a staff favorite for his easy-going and friendly demeanor.

Schooner will soon be placed in foster care for two weeks so he can continue to gain weight, will have his fractured tooth removed, be neutered and then will be ready to find his forever home.

Holiday Caring

For many, the holiday season brings feelings of warmth, comfort, and friendship – and our wish for you and all the animals in our care is to experience the joy of the holidays.

Your generous support made this wish come true for thousands of animals so far this year, including:

  • 4,420 pets and community cats who were spayed and neutered to keep them healthy
  • 2,770 animals who were rehabilitated and adopted into forever homes
  • 980 pets who received affordable pet wellness services in the convenience of their own community
  • 275 cats and dogs who were transported away from overcrowded shelters in other states

But this important work to help animals is not close to being done. Your support is critical to ensure that ARL is ready to respond when animals are in need of help. Please consider donating to ARL this holiday season, so together we can help animals like Schooner and thousands like him!


Home for the Holidays

For many, the holiday season brings feelings of warmth, comfort, and friendship – and our wish for you and all the animals in our care is to experience the joy of the holidays.

Your generous support made this wish come true for thousands of animals so far this year, including:

  • 4,420 pets and community cats who were spayed and neutered to keep them healthy
  • 2,770 animals who were rehabilitated and adopted into forever homes
  • 980 pets who received affordable pet wellness services in the convenience of their own community
  • 275 cats and dogs who were transported away from overcrowded shelters in other states

But this important work to help animals is not close to being done.

In the last two months alone, ARL rescued over 160 animals from the horrors of neglect — and even more cases are under active investigation.  There has been a troubling increase in the number of animal cruelty and hoarding-type cases that result in a sudden influxes of animals in dire need, which is why your donations are critical to make sure we can stand ready to answer the call for help at any time.

At the same time, our shelter population is changing and we are seeing more animals with complex medical and behavior issues that require additional resources, skilled staff, and extra time to improve.

These animals need you now more than ever, and it’s not too late to help!

Animals give us so much.  Please consider giving back by donating today.

symbolic gifts

Thank you for your thoughtful year-end gift that makes happier lives possible for animals all year long!

Need assistance or want to give by phone? Please call us at (617) 426-9170 x603

Prefer to donate by check? Please have it postmarked by December 31, so that it may be considered tax-deductible for 2019 to the extent allowed by IRS regulations.


Winter is here – ARL reminds pet owners to protect animals from the cold

Winter is finally here in New England, and with the first extreme cold snap upon us, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) reminds pet owners to take cold-weather precautions to protect pets — frigid conditions can endanger the well-being, safety, and the lives of the pets we love.

Here are some things to keep in mind not just for this arctic blast, but for the remainder of winter:

  1. Prepare your dog for the elements. If you have a longer coat dog, let it grow out for the winter; it will provide warmth and protection from the cold. For shorter coat dogs, sweaters, coats and booties can go a long way to protect your pooch.
  2. Wipe off your dog’s paws and stomach. Sidewalks are treated with a number of chemicals. These chemicals can irritate your dog’s paws, and can be poisonous if ingested. When coming in from the cold, clean and dry your dog’s stomach to keep them healthy!
  3. Keep outdoor trips quick. Bathroom breaks or walks, keep it short and sweet and keep your pets indoors as much as possible.
  4. Never leave your dog alone in a cold car. Many Massachusetts residents are aware that it’s illegal to keep an animal in a hot car, under the same law it’s ALSO illegal to keep your animal in a cold car (Ma. Ch. 140, Section 174F. (a) A person shall not confine an animal in a motor vehicle in a manner that could reasonably be expected to threaten the health of the animal due to exposure to extreme heat or cold). When going out, leave your animals at home.
  5. Pay attention to your pet’s grooming and health. An animal with a matted coat cannot keep him or herself warm! Long-haired pets especially during heavy periods of shedding, need extra help maintaining a healthy coat. Senior pets also suffer from increased arthritis pain in the cold, so check with your veterinarian on how to keep your pet comfortable.
  6. Check under the hood. Cats love to warm up underneath the hood of a car, as the residual heat from the engine burns off. Unfortunately, this method of warming up can have dangerous consequences, such as severe burns and other grave injuries. Always pound on the hood of your vehicle and do a quick visual check before starting the engine.

The chill can kill! So bottom line, if it’s too cold for you to be outside, it’s also too cold for your pet to be outside.

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Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT) Signed into Law

President Trump signed into law the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or the PACT Act. The PACT Act is the first felony animal cruelty charge at the federal level.

The PACT Act may be the first felony animal cruelty law at the federal level, but it is a continuation of work that began almost 20 years ago. In 1999, Congress passed a law prohibiting creation, sale, and ownership of so called “animal crush videos.” These videos, a cruel and horrific depiction, were not illegal under any federal law. This 1999 law sought to stop the spread of these videos by targeting the videos themselves. However, there were concerns about the wording of the original law, and in 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States found the law was unconstitutional on the basis that the wording was broad and vague. After this setback, Congress passed the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010. This law more narrowly prohibited the creation and distribution of such videos, but failed to criminalize the underlying animal cruelty in these videos.

Animal advocates have pushed for years to include these protections at the federal level, and finally, in 2019, we have a federal felony for the worst kinds of animal cruelty. This law prohibits conduct where mammals are “purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury…” Federal laws have limits as to what they can reach. To be a federal crime, it has to affect interstate commerce, or occur on federal lands. What this means practically is that many animal cruelty cases, which do not go across state lines, and may not include interstate commerce, can only be prosecuted at the state level. However, the omnipresent use of the internet brings “interstate commerce” into our lives almost every day.  

Animal cruelty is illegal in all 50 states. However, this law gives law enforcement another tool to stop the most horrendous of acts towards animals, often done for monetary gain.

ARL Advocacy in Action
The Animal Rescue League of Boston continues to support legislation that enhances and improves protections for animals. Click here to view our 2019-2020 Legislative Agenda.