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Category: Events
2018 Fall Educational Forum: ARL in the Community

Every autumn, members of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Leadership Council gather in Dedham to get an up-close glimpse of what ARL programs are doing to help animals in need. This year was all about ARL’s community programs to bring services directly to those that need them most.

Proactive vs. Reactive

Animal adoption is of course a facet of ARL that’s widely recognized, however as the world of animal welfare continues to evolve, we must be proactive instead of reactive; with the goal of keeping animals safe and healthy in their homes, not in a shelter environment. To be proactive, we must move beyond the walls of our shelters and into the communities that are in need our services.

What are Community Programs?

  • Law Enforcement – Investigates crimes of animal cruelty, abuse and neglect. In 2017, ARL’s Law Enforcement Department investigated cases involving nearly 3,000 animals.
  • Rescue Services – ARL is the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with a technically-trained department dedicated to animal rescue. In 2017, Rescue Services assisted nearly 2,000 domesticated animals and wildlife in need.
  • Community Cat Initiative – Launched in 2017, this program addresses the estimated 700,000 community cats living in harsh conditions throughout Massachusetts. In its first year, the program assisted 622 community cats, 78 percent of which found loving homes, while the remaining cats were returned to the field where they are monitored and fed by members of the community.
  • Spay Waggin’ – Serving eight locations throughout the South Shore, South Coast and Cape Cod, this mobile spay and neuter clinic offers high-quality and low-cost services and in 2017 surpassed 50,000 surgeries since being launched in 2000.
  • Healthy Animals, Healthy Communities – This on-going pilot project was made possible through a grant from the Cummings Foundation, and centers on bringing services to the Codman Square area in Dorchester, MA. The initiative includes a weekly, low-cost wellness clinic, as well as a number of partnerships, including the Codman Academy.

Two New Additions

Attendees at this year’s Fall Forum were also introduced to two new exciting additions to ARL’s community programs that aim to bring services directly to areas they’re needed most.

Transport Waggin’

Thanks to a generous donation from Leadership Council members Peter and Connie Lacaillade, this specially-equipped vehicle allows ARL to help more animals in need by providing a missing resource – mobile response.

The Transport Waggin’ will be able to pick up surrendered animals from owners that are unable to come to the shelter; assist concerned citizens who find stray animals in their communities; assist Animal Control Agencies and smaller rescue groups with transport; assist ARL Law Enforcement and Rescue Services; and transport existing animals in our shelter system for any outside needs or services.

Wellness Waggin’

Although not on the road as of yet, the Wellness Waggin’ will drastically increase ARL’s ability to bring veterinary services to communities where they’re needed most.
The vehicle will include an exam room and surgical suite, and is slated to be in operation every Monday, Wednesday and Friday – each day in a different location in the Boston metropolitan area.

By bringing these vital and affordable veterinary services to communities, we can eliminate part of the financial burden of pet ownership, prevent animal surrender, and allow animals to remain in their homes.

A Special Thank You

ARL wishes to thank our Leadership Council members who attended the annual Fall Educational Forum, and stay tuned for more exciting updates of our expanding community programs and initiatives!


Governor Baker and MSP Join ARL for Too Hot for Spot Demonstration

ARL’s fifth annual public awareness campaign

This past Friday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) was joined by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, legislators, and the Massachusetts State Police Major Richard Ball to once again remind pet owners of the dangers of heat stroke for pets, particularly in hot cars.

It is the fifth year ARL has imparted the “Too Hot for Spot” summer pet safety message throughout the Commonwealth. ARL is spreading this message through social media, flyers, car magnets, media partnerships, and digital billboards throughout the state thanks to billboard space generously donated by MassDOT and IBEW Local 103.

The event took place in front of the Massachusetts State House, and included a demonstration with ARL’s stuffed dog “Spot” to show how quickly the inside of a car can heat up – even with seemingly mild temperatures and the windows cracked.

It was a perfect summer day with temperatures hovering around 80 degrees. In just 10 minutes the temperature inside ARL’s Rescue Services vehicle rose to well over 120 degrees. It’s important to remember that animals do not sweat like humans do, and cannot efficiently regulate their body temperature in an environment such as a hot car.

Massachusetts General Law Ch. 140, Section 174f was signed by Governor Baker in 2016, and prohibits confining 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 or cold”. The law also allows first responders and ordinary citizens to enter a vehicle to remove an animal if it’s deemed that its life is in imminent danger.

“While our hope is that no one ever has to rescue an animal from a hot car, we understand those situations unfortunately do arise and lives can depend on a quick response,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Educating the public on the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars and the measures they can take to rescue an animal in need is a key prevention tool, and I thank the ARL for once again launching this important campaign.”

“Our pets provide limitless love and companionship, and we must do everything to protect them from neglectful owners who time and time again have shown a cruel disregard for their welfare,” said State Senator Mark Montigny, lead sponsor of the 2016 law penalizing the leaving of pets in hot cars.

Despite having a law on the books in Massachusetts, unfortunately Animal Control Officers and law enforcement are still seeing a high number of incidents where animals are left in hot vehicle and enduring needless suffering.

“The Massachusetts State Police and all law enforcement agencies consider animal cruelty and neglect to be serious crimes and assist animal rights organizations in investigating such crimes aggressively,” said Major Richard Ball, commander of MSP Troop H. “We urge the public to be familiar with the law that allows them to take action to rescue an animal confined in a hot car, and to tell law enforcement about any type of animal abuse they see or suspect. If you see something, say something.”

“The ‘dog days’ of summer are the perfect time to keep the safety of our pets in mind,” said State Representative Lori Ehrlich. “I hope this law never has to be used, but everyone should know the dangers of a hot car and what to do if you see an animal in danger. Prevention is best so I’m grateful to the Animal Rescue League of Boston for raising awareness.”

Prevention is Key

ARL’s “Too Hot for Spot” campaign is focused on reminding the public that prevention is always the best solution. When temperatures rise, ARL urges pet owners to leave their animals at home.


Whiskers and Wine 2018

Because of our supporters, ARL’s mission and vision are possible

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) hosted its 4th Annual Whiskers and Wine at the historic Fairmont Copley Plaza. The emcee for the evening was NBC Boston Correspondent and iHeart Radio Host, Colton Bradford. Turtle, a former bait dog turned therapy dog, also made a cameo appearance!

Click here for event photos.

ARL Board Chair, Malcolm McDonald, acknowledged our incredible 568 volunteers for their compassion and dedication; and ARL Director of Law Enforcement, Lt. Alan Borgal, for being a 2018 Maddie’s Fund Awardee. He also gave special thanks to our departing four Board Members for their combined 58 years of dedicated service to ARL: Barbara Burg, Lee Ann Leahy, Chuck Joyce, and Dr. Holly Kelsey.

Event guests were given a look back at how supporters positively impacted the lives of over 18,000 animals in 2017.

Click here to watch the video.

ARL President Mary Nee, also discussed our vision for 2018 and beyond. In our work to address the root causes of problems facing animals, it has become increasingly clear that ARL’s program model must shift away from shelter-based services and more towards preventative, community-based solutions. As a result of this shift, ARL plans to focus its growth on its Community Medicine, Community Cat, and Law Enforcement programs.

VERY SPECIAL THANKS to our 2018 Whiskers & Wine sponsors, who made the evening’s festivities possible:

 


Lobbying for PAWS II Passage

ARL Co-Hosts Event at Massachusetts State House

On Wednesday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) joined legislators, animal advocates and other animal organizations for a special event at the Massachusetts State House, to directly lobby law makers for the passage of S. 2347: An Act to Protect Animal Welfare and Safety in Cities and Towns (PAWS II).

PAWS II recently passed in the Massachusetts Senate and will soon be addressed in the House.

Nearly 100 constituents and animal advocates were on hand to learn specific aspects of the omnibus bill, lobbying strategies, and finally to meet face to face with legislators.

PAWS II

On the heels of the horrific discovery of Puppy Doe and ensuing investigation in 2013, the original PAWS Act was passed in 2014, which strengthened animal cruelty penalties in Massachusetts, and also created the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force, of which ARL was a member.

PAWS II derives from recommendations made by the task force and would protect animals in the Commonwealth in a multitude of ways.

If passed, the bill would:

  • Require the cross-reporting of animal abuse;
  • Prohibit the drowning of animals;
  • Prohibit the automatic killing of animal fighting victims;
  • Prohibit discrimination against dog breeds;
  • Require property owners to look for animals when property is vacated and notify the police or an animal control officer if an animal is found; and
  • Prohibit sexual contact with an animal or forcing a child to engage in sexual contact with an animal.

ARL thanks Senators Mark Montigny, Bruce Tarr, and Karen Spilka for their continued efforts to fight animal cruelty and abuse in the Commonwealth. ARL would also like to thank our colleagues at the MSPCA, HSUS for collaborative advocacy efforts.

PAWS II is just one of several bills that is a part of ARL’s Legislative Agenda. With your help, we can further protect animals throughout the Commonwealth!

WE ARE CHAMPIONS FOR ANIMALS.


PAWS II Lobby Day: Protect Animal Welfare and Safety

On Wednesday, May 9, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) will join the Animal Cruelty Task Force, Massachusetts legislators, and other organizations for a special lobbying event to advance S.2347: An Act to protect animal welfare and safety in cities and towns (PAWS II).

PAWS II Lobby Day will take place on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Room 428 at the Massachusetts State House.

Legislative Action

The discovery of Puppy Doe in 2013, and the subsequent investigation that followed inspired legislative action to protect animals. As a result, in 2014, the original PAWS Act was passed and strengthened penalties against animal abuse. It also created the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force.

Puppy Doe.

Massachusetts can continue to strengthen animal protection laws by passing PAWS II (S.2347: An Act to protect animal welfare and safety in cities and towns). The bill has passed the Senate and is currently in the House.

PAWS II includes several provisions, some of which are included below. PAWS II would:

– Require the cross-reporting of animal abuse;
– Prohibit the drowning of animals;
– Prohibit the automatic killing of animal fighting victims;
– Prohibit discrimination against dog breeds;
– Require property owners to look for animals when property is vacated and notify the police or an animal control officer if an animal is found; and
– Prohibit sexual contact with an animal or forcing a child to engage in sexual contact with an animal.

PAWS II is just one of several bills that is a part of ARL’s Legislative Agenda. With your help, we can further protect animals throughout the Commonwealth!

WE ARE CHAMPIONS FOR ANIMALS.


Maddie’s Fund® Honors ARL’s Lt. Alan Borgal

Hero Award Recognizes Excellence and Dedication

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is proud to announce that Law Enforcement Director Lt. Alan Borgal has received the prestigious Maddie’s Fund® Hero Award – one of just 10 recipients in the United States.

Maddie’s Fund, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, established the Hero Award to honor those who are leading the way in animal welfare with innovative ideas, progressive thinking and lifesaving actions. Award winners also exemplify Maddie’s Fund’s core values of honesty, integrity and mutual respect.

In addition to the award, Maddie’s Fund is also bestowing a generous $10,000 grant to ARL in Lt. Borgal’s name.

Lt. Borgal has been employed by ARL for 42 years, and has been a Massachusetts Special State Police Officer since 1981. With his extensive experience and knowledge he is considered by many in the Commonwealth to be the foremost expert in his field.

“Lt. Borgal is an inspiration to all and this honor could not be more deserving,” ARL President Mary Nee said. “His contributions to protecting the safety and well-being of animals throughout the Commonwealth simply cannot be measured.”

Today, Lt. Borgal continues to be a key member of ARL’s Law Enforcement Department. He also assists ARL’s Rescue Services, and loves the hands-on work of rescuing animals in difficult circumstances. Perhaps Lt. Borgal’s most notable rescue was in 1986, when he saved ‘Ruthy’ the Asian Elephant while issuing a search warrant in Essex, MA. ‘Ruthy’ is still alive today and living out her life at the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford, MA. After all these years, Lt. Borgal still visits her to this day.

Congratulations to Lt. Alan Borgal for this well-deserved award!

Making a Difference

In 2017, ARL’s Law Enforcement Department investigated cruelty and neglect cases which involved nearly 3,000 animals and resulted in 84 law enforcement prosecutions. If you suspect or witness animal cruelty or neglect, contact ARL Law Enforcement at (617) 226-5610.


We Love our Volunteers!

Volunteer Appreciation Week 2018

Every April, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) dedicates a week to thank each and every one of the 568 volunteers who make our mission and vision possible.

From walking dogs, socializing cats, gathering laundry, cleaning kennels, assisting in shelter operations, even bathing ringworm-infected cats – the tasks our volunteers do impacts the entire spectrum of ARL’s daily operations.

Recognizing Excellence and Dedication

To show our appreciation, celebrations were held in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham; and included staff-choice awards to individual volunteers.

Those who were honored this year include:

  • Best of Boston – Tori Reilly
  • Cape’d Crusader – Graham and Nicki Hird
  • Dedham’s Most Dignified – Elizabeth Schneider and Natalie Gesin
  • Mobile’s Most Marvelous – Andrew Verbitzki and Stacey Coyne
  • ARL’s Unsung Hero – Scott Kreiger and Elain Heilemann
  • Admin’s Above and Beyond – Marna Terry
  • Our Four Footed Friends Favorite Foster Parent – Judy Komarow

Congratulations to all, and thank you for all you do for animals in need!

Additionally, each award ceremony now includes a volunteer’s choice award for a stand-out staff member:

  • Boston – Caitlin Phillips
  • Brewster – Veronica Sarmento
  • Dedham – Jenna Illingworth

Volunteer Opportunities

ARL is always looking for those willing to lend their hands and hearts for animals in need. If interested, please visit our volunteer page to see what opportunities are available!


News Release: ARL Announces Receipt of PetSmart Charities Grant

ANIMAL RESCUE LEAGUE OF BOSTON RECEIVES $70,000 GRANT FROM PETSMART CHARITIES® TO SUPPORT A POP-UP PET WELLNESS CLINICS

December 29, 2017 — BOSTON, MA — Today, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) announced its receipt of a new $70,000 grant from PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America. The new grant will support intake diversion programs at ARL that will help local pets thrive and keep people and pets together.

ARL’s intake diversion grant is designed to provide a weekly, subsidized pet wellness clinic in the Codman Square neighborhood in Dorchester. The clinic is part of an on-going pilot project in the neighborhood to ensure pets in the community stay safe, healthy, and happy.

“Our research shows that in this neighborhood, the lack of access to affordable pet health services is bordering on crisis levels,” said Cheryl Traversi, ARL’s Associate Director of Community Services. “This generous grant allows ARL to truly impact our local community by bringing pet health and wellness services where they’re needed, thereby helping to keep pets safe, healthy, and at home with the people and families who love them.”

Historically, funding to support emerging best practices like intake diversion programming has been hard to come by in animal welfare. That’s why PetSmart Charities identified this as an area of great need, both for shelters and for pet parents across North America, and developed this new grant category.

“At PetSmart Charities, we understand that access to veterinary care can be a challenge, so we’ve allocated funding for local intake diversion programs to help subsidize health and wellness clinics aimed at keeping pets and people together,” said Sima Thakkar, regional relationship manager at PetSmart Charities. “We wish the Animal Rescue League of Boston great success with their pop-up pet wellness clinic in Dorchester and we are proud to support access to high-quality, affordable pet health and wellness services for Codman Square residents.”

Intake Diversion is just one of PetSmart Charities’ ten grant categories designed to support their expanded mission: to find lifelong loving homes for all pets by supporting programs that bring people and pets together. Funding from PetSmart Charities supports best practices and thought leadership that enhance the human-animal bond and keep more pets in loving homes and forever families. For more information, visit PetSmartCharities.org.

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ABOUT THE ANIMAL RESCUE LEAGUE OF BOSTON:

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes. Founded in 1899, ARL provides high quality veterinary care, adoption, and rescue services; while also confronting the root causes of animal cruelty and neglect through innovative community programs, police investigations, and public advocacy. In 2016, ARL served more than 17,800 animals throughout Massachusetts. ARL is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. We receive no government funding and rely solely on the generosity of individuals to support programs and services that help animals in need.

For more information please visit us online at www.arlboston.org; and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization with a mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together.  In addition to finding homes for almost 500,000 shelter pets each year through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities provides funding to non-profits aligned with its mission through four key areas of grant support:  Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets; and Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the pin pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores.  In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses 90 cents of every dollar donated and has become the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, donating about $300 million to date. PetSmart Charities, a 501(c)(3) organization, has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, an independent organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 14 years in a row — placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization.  To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org


Follow PetSmart Charities on Twitter: 
@PetSmartChariTs
Find PetSmart Charities on Facebook: 
Facebook.com/PetSmartCharities
See PetSmart Charities on YouTube: 
YouTube.com/PetSmartCharitiesInc

 


7 Holiday Pet Safety Tips

DON’T FORGET… to help your pet have a furry and bright holiday too!

7 holiday pet safety tips to guarantee a celebratory season for everyone in your family:

holiday pet safety

Ditch the tinsel. Our feline friends often think this eye-catching decoration is a toy. Ingestion of this seemingly harmless material can lead to a obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery.

1. Decorate with care. Ribbons and tinsel are especially attractive and hazardous to cats, as they can end up their intestinal tract, causing string foreign body blockage. Holiday plants like mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias can cause vomiting, upset stomach, and blisters in your pet’s mouth. Avoid placing lit candles anywhere your pet can reach or on a surface that can be toppled over.

2. Secure your Christmas tree. Your frisky feline won’t be the first to topple over a 6-foot fir! Support your tree with a sturdy stand and wires to prevent tipping, should they decide to make a leap for it. For your canine companions, consider surrounding the base with a baby gate and hanging fragile ornaments higher on your tree.

3. Watch out for wires. Chewing on electrical cords can cause severe oral burns and even fatal shocks for cats and dogs. Secure cords with plastic casing you can find at a hardware store, or cover with a bitter-tasting, non-toxic product from your local pet supply shop.

4. Toss out table scraps. Although it’s tempting, avoid giving  your dog any meat bones that can become lodged in their throat, stomach, or intestinal tract. Also steer clear of sugary or alcoholic beverages, fat trimmings, raw dough and cake batter, onions, mushrooms, and grapes, which can cause severe abdominal issues, organ failure, toxicity, and even death. Allow your furry friend  to indulge with extra tasty pet treats instead!

5. Travel safely. If your entire family is making the trip to grandma’s house, securing your pet in a crate or seat belt harness may save their life should you get into an accident. If your pet isn’t used to being on the road, place treats and toys in and around your parked car a few days before your travels to let them sniff around. Then take a spin around the block to get them comfortable in the moving vehicle. You don’t want to begin a two hour trek only to find out that they become easily carsick!

6. Keep your pet stress-free. The holidays can be a stressful time of year for everyone- including your pets!  If your pet is timid around new people or those they rarely see, it may be best to keep them in a separate quiet room with toys and treats to keep them occupied.

7. Check the (micro)chip. Many animal shelters report increases of “stray” animals during the holidays when pets are more likely to escape as visitors go in and out of the front door. Be sure your microchip contact information is current and that your pet’s collar is always on to ensure an easy reunion.

From everyone at ARL,

Happy Holidays!

 

For more pet owner resources, click here.


Double Your Impact: Matching Gift Challenge

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Donate now through June 15 and have your gift matched dollar for dollar!

A special group of generous donors will match your donation to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) dollar for dollar, up to $50,000, today through June 15.

These donors, who share your compassion for animals, were inspired to create a matching gift opportunity to honor the memory of Stitch, a young dog who was rescued too late to save. Your gift will be doubled to provide safety, shelter, and veterinary care so that more animals can get the second chance that Stitch did not.

Your generosity will make stories like Phil’s possible… Phil Post Pic

(Above) Phil, a Maltese-type dog, was found abandoned inside a crate along the side of a busy road in Hingham, MA. Though he was left with a blanket, toys, and food, he was also left shivering in near-freezing temperatures. Fortunately he was found in time and brought to ARL where he received immediate care.

Our shelter veterinarians determined Phil to be about two years old and, despite his harrowing ordeal, in good health. While skittish upon intake, the friendly pup was quick to warm up, showing off his energetic personality to ARL staff and volunteers.

Much to our delight, Phil quickly found a new loving home. We don’t know why Phil was abandoned. We do know that because of you, Phil was saved and received the care he desperately needed.

There are so many animals like Phil who need your help now. Last year over 6,400 rescued, abandoned, and surrendered animals came through our doors and we need you to help the thousands that will come to us this year.

Your gift today has twice the power to change the lives of animals most in need in Massachusetts. This means you can support twice as many emergency rescues, twice as many anti-cruelty investigations, and twice as many adoptions.

Please make the most out of this tremendous opportunity to double your impact for animals!

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THANK YOU for expressing your kindness and compassion for animals through your gift to the Animal Rescue League of Boston!

VERY SPECIAL THANKS to our Matching Gift Challenge Sponsors; Joan Bendery, Rosemarie & Charlie Boucher, David Fike, The Ellen B. Gray Memorial Fund, Molli Krauz, Charley & Kenneth Levine, Robert & Kathy Mahoney, Tara & Christophe Oliver, Cassie Ryan, and Marilyn Wales.