Category: Events
Tis the Season for fun contests!

Help spread cheer this season by participating or voting!

Ugly Sweater Contest

Did you know that the third Friday in December marks National Ugly Sweater Day? What better reason to break out your ugliest holiday sweater and pose with your pets!

All you need to do to enter is to submit a photo of yourself in your most festive sweater with your favorite animal friend OR a photo of your pet in holiday attire or accessories. Photos can be sent to marketing@arlboston.org or tag us on social media on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Contest opens: Wednesday, December 9

Deadline to submit your photo: Wednesday, December 16 at Midnight

Voting: Begins at 9AM on Friday, December 18, National Ugly Sweater Day!

    • Four finalists will be selected by ARL and votes will be cast on social media.
    • Each entry will be assigned a number. To vote, comment on the social posts with the number of your favorite finalist. Please, just one vote per person, but you can ask your friends and family to vote!
    • The winner will be announced at 5pm on Friday, December 18.
    • The winner will receive ARL Swag and bragging rights!

Coloring Contest

Show off your creativity and coloring skills in this contest that is suitable for all ages!

Download our printable coloring sheet by clicking here.


barn coloring page

We’re asking contestants to show us how you would decorate our Dedham Barn for the Winter Holidays.  Make it as festive as you like, but don’t forget to add animals!

We have many adoptable livestock animals that would make the scene look perfect.

ARL Barn animals

All you need to do to enter is to submit your completed coloring page by emailing marketing@arlboston.orgor tagging us on social media on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Contest opens: Wednesday, December 9

Deadline to submit your coloring page: Tuesday, December 22 at Midnight

Voting: Begins at 9AM on Monday, December 28

    • Finalists will be selected by ARL and votes will be cast on social media.
    • Each entry will be assigned a number. To vote, comment on the social posts with the number of your favorite finalist.
      Please, just one vote per person, but you can ask your friends and family to vote!
    • The winner will be announced at 5pm on December 28.
    • The winner will receive ARL Swag and bragging rights!


Cape Cod Foundation Grant Funds Spay/Neuter Surgeries

ARL’s Spay Waggin’ Makes Special Stops in Falmouth

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) would like to thank The Cape Cod Foundation for its generous $5,000 grant that made it possible for more than two dozen Cape Cod residents to have their pet spayed or neutered free of charge.

ARL reached out to a number of Cape-based human service support organizations to refer clients with pets in need of spay/neuter. Clients then brought their animals to the parking lot outside Petco along Davis Straits Road, where ARL’s Spay Waggin’ was parked.

The Spay Waggin’ is a state-of-the-art mobile surgical unit, and clients were able to drop their pets off in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon following the surgical procedure.

Since 2000, more than 60,000 animals have been spayed/neutered aboard ARL’s Spay Waggin’, for clients throughout the South Coast, South Shore, and Cape Cod and the Islands.

Giving Tuesday 2020

December 1st is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving back to the causes closest to our hearts.

To celebrate this day of giving, ARL’s Board of Directors, past Board members, Leadership Council, and President & CEO have come together with unique challenge: raise $155,000 between now and 12/1 and they will match it!

This year of extraordinary need calls for extraordinary measures, and this our largest match ever!

COVID-19 has created challenges and strained ARL’s limited resources. During this difficult year full of uncertainty, animals and the people who love them need you now more than they ever have before.

Gifts made before midnight on 12/1 will be DOUBLED, dollar for dollar, up to $155,000, to provide food, sanctuary, medical, love, and emergency care to animals in need.

This is your chance to DOUBLE your impact, and provide hope, comfort, and stability to an animal in need during a tumultuous time.

 There are THREE ways to have TWICE the impact:

1 icon

Make your gift today

2 icon

Set up your own Facebook Fundraiser

3 icon

Share this post with your fellow animal lovers

symbolic gifts

THANK YOU to our generous match donors for this incredible challenge:

Barbara Burg & Priscilla Golding

David Cawley & Lisa Buesking

Lisa A. Clifton

Randi Cohen & Al Ossorio

Richard Davey & Jane Willis

Craig Davis & Steve Vondran

Sadhana & Frederick Downs

Quentin P. Faulkner

Grace & Ted Fey

Ellen & Gilbert Forest

Judith F. Gregg

Jeffrey A. Kaplan

Richard Kelly &
Carol Akerson

Dr. Holly L. Kelsey

Walter & Elizabeth Kenyon

Cynthia &
William Kettyle

Constance &
Peter Lacaillade

Lee Ann & Michael Leahy

Roderick & Barbara MacDonald

Jeffrey & Jane Marshall

Malcolm McDonald &
Susan Passoni

Kelly & Brian McKernan

Christina & Daniel Nagler

Mary Nee & James Chapin

Tara & Christophe Oliver

Alisa M. Plazonja

Christopher B. Primiano

Heather & Park Ridill

José Rodriguez-Villalobos &
Christopher Lapan

Sydney Rosen and The Mike and
Toni Rosen Family Fund

Dr. Edward Schettino

Dr. Stephen Spiegelberg &
Denise Saltojanes

Laura Tomasetti &
David Beardsley

Donations of $100 or more will be included on ARL’s #GivingTuesday Wall of Honor on arlboston.org

Thank you to our Paws to Celebrate event sponsors

On October 7, 2020, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) hosted the 3rd annual Paws to Celebrate event to honor the organization’s supporters and highlight the remarkable impact of their generosity during this year of uncertainty.

This year’s event was hosted virtually, though it did not diminish the purpose nor the success of the event: thanks in large part to dedicated corporate and individual sponsorships, the event raised more than $83,500 in funds that will benefit animals in need and the people who love them.

ARL graciously recognizes the 2020 Paws to Celebrate sponsors and event committee, listed below, for their shared passion for animals in need. Together with ARL’s donors, their generosity will ensure that the animals that ARL serves will continue to receive the loving care they deserve.

Thank you to our generous sponsors

Leader of the Pack


Best in Show

Best in show logos


Top Dog


Top Dog sponsors

Top Cat

Top Cat sponsors


Animal Advocate

Alison Erbig and William Goldberg

Dedham Savings


The McCreary Family

Wade Gulbransen

and to the event committee:

Mary Bainbridge, Beth Baker, Kristin Casey, David Cawley, Richard Davey, Alison Erbig, Richard Kelly, Walter Kenyon, Cynthia Kettyle, Elena Kirkiles, Constance Lacaillade, Anne-Marie Litchfield, Patti Lotane, Mark & Mikki Manganaro, Christina Nagler, Tara Oliver, Alisa Plazonja, Christopher Primiano, Heather & Park Ridill, Kim Roderiques, José Rodriguez-Villalobos, and Laura Tomasetti

ARL Locations Holding Drive-Thru Pet Food Donation Drive

Donated Items to Support ARL’s Keep Pets S.A.F.E. Program

On Saturday, October 17, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) will be holding a drive-thru pet food donation drive at its Boston, Dedham and Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers.

The donation drive will be held from Noon-4 p.m.

Recipient of ARL’s Keep Pets S.A.F.E. Program.

Donated items will go in support of ARL’s Keep Pets S.A.F.E. (Supporting Animals Facing Emergencies) pet food pantry.

The S.A.F.E. Program was established to help families cope with the ongoing struggles related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pantry is in need of: unopened/unexpired dry or wet dog and cat food; cat litter; and house-training pads. Masks or facial coverings are required for all drop-offs, and ARL requests that all dogs be left safely at home for this special donation drive.

Donations can also be made at home through ARL’s Amazon Wish List at bit.ly/ARLDedhamWishList, and financial contributions can be made by texting “PETS” to 44-321.

ARL Animal Care and Adoption Centers are located at:

Boston: 10 Chandler Street, Boston, MA 02116 (Please use Tremont St. Entrance)

Dedham: 55 Anna’s Place, Dedham, MA 02026

Brewster: 3981 Main Street (Route 6A), Brewster, MA 02631

ARL Holds Spay/Neuter and Pet Wellness Clinic in East Boston

Spay Waggin’ Returns to Boston after a Decade

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) unveiled its brand new Spay Waggin’ during a special spay/neuter and pet wellness clinic in East Boston Thursday, bringing expanded high-quality and accessible veterinary services to this historically underserved community.

The mobile clinic was held in collaboration with the Massachusetts Animal Fund, which provides eligible Massachusetts pet owners with spay/neuter vouchers to cover the cost of surgery and associated services, such as vaccinations.

For local news coverage from WCVB click here!

ARL provided free spay/neuter services for more than 20 animals, whose owners have been on the Boston waiting list for services for six months or more due to both demand and COVID-19-related restrictions.

“We’ve been on the waiting list for about a year,” said Dayanara G., who’s dog Blanca was spayed. “It’s very helpful, I rescued her so I didn’t have all the funds to get all her medical treatment. With COVID it was just so hard, a lot of the vets were closed so even just shopping around for them was hard.”

ARL’s Wellness Waggin’ was also on-site to provide low-cost basic and preventive veterinary care for at least an additional 20 animals whose owners were referred by community partner Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD)’s East Boston location.

Additionally, the East Boston Shaw’s location, who offered it’s parking lot as a staging area for the clinic, also hosted a pet food and supplies drive during the week leading up to the clinic.

When picking up their animals, clients were able to take home the pet food and supplies collected via ARL’s Transport Waggin’.

Need for Services

For the estimated 16,000 pets and 40,000 residents living in East Boston, pet resources are extremely limited, with just one veterinary clinic and one pet supply store in the immediate area.

By establishing a monthly Spay Waggin’ location in the community beginning with this September clinic, and by adding ABCD’s East Boston location as a weekly location for the Wellness Waggin’ beginning in 2021, ARL will significantly increase East Boston residents’ access to basic veterinary care and spay/neuter.

“ARL is excited and humbled to be able to provide these essential services to pet owners in East Boston,” said Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL President and CEO. “East Boston was identified as an area of great need, which was further compounded by COVID-19. ARL’s new Spay Waggin’ will join the Wellness Waggin’ to increase our capacity to help, and our continued partnership with ABCD will further allow ARL to broaden its reach in this great community.”

The Spay Waggin’ joins ARL’s Wellness Waggin’ and Transport Waggin’ as ARL continues to expand its comprehensive community programs approach to help alleviate barriers to care, such as cost and lack of transportation, that prevent many pet owners from accessing basic veterinary care.

Brand New Spay Waggin’

The new Spay Waggin’ is a state-of-the-art mobile surgical unit, and is the third unit in the programs’ 20-year history.

Since 2000, ARL’s Spay Waggin’ program has served the South Shore, South Coast, and Cape Cod region, and has performed well over 60,000 spay/neuter surgeries during operation.

You Make Community Services Possible

While it is difficult to predict the on-going impacts of this global crisis, one thing remains constant – animals in our communities are still in need.

And with a great need for these ongoing and expanding community services, Champions Circle members are there to answer the call for help.

Champions Circle members provide steady support that sustains life-saving measures and second chances for homeless and at-risk animals all year long.

During unprecedented times like these when fundraising events have been cancelled or modified, monthly gifts are crucial to providing life-saving care and assistance to animals when they need it most.

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

Why does monthly giving matter?

  • Spreading out your donation in increments throughout the year makes your giving budget work harder and creates an even bigger impact for animals.
  • Monthly giving is a convenient, affordable, and efficient way to make a difference in the lives of animals in our community.
  • 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.

Use this secure link to join now, or call Derek at (617) 426-9170 x162.

Join by September 30th, and receive a special 2021 wall calendar!

Update: 2020 Virtual Lobby Day for Animals Postponed

UPDATE: This event has been indefinitely postponed due to ongoing actions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We are hoping to reschedule the event before the end of the legislative session on July 31, 2020. Thank you for your understanding, please stay tuned for further updates.

State House suspends sponsored events due to COVID-19 precautions

Due to on-going precautionary measures put in place in regards to the continued spread of COVID-19, the 2020 Lobby Day for Animals that was scheduled for March 24 at the Massachusetts State House has been postponed.

In light of this postponement, ARL and its animal welfare partners have decided to take Lobby Day in a virtual direction.

As you may know, the Commonwealth has taken a number of actions to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The State House informed our coalition late yesterday that all sponsored events—including Lobby Day for Animals—are being postponed for at least the next 30 days.

Ideally, we hope to reschedule this important event before the end of the legislative session on July 31. However, that will of course remain dependent upon the ongoing developments related to COVID-19, the potential for large events to impact public safety, as well as the ability of the State House to accommodate the number of events that will need to be rescheduled.

We will be cancelling the appointments we have made with your legislators, however, you can still take action for animals! 

  1. Please contact your state senator about several priority animal protection bills referred to Senate committees.
  1. Please contact your state representative about several priority animal protection bills referred to House committees.
  2. We will be hosting a Virtual Day of Action for Animals on Tuesday, March 24, including a lunchtime webinar and afternoon call-in to your legislators. Please register to join us for the webinar.

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 

New England Patriots Cheerleaders Visit ARL

This past weekend, members of the New England Patriots Cheerleading squad spent some time at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center to make some cat treats and to spread some holiday cheer to some adorable adoptable puppies!

The visit to ARL was part of the Patriots Cheerleaders Holiday Service Day and was a perfect fit as several members of the squad are avid animal lovers. ARL thanks the Patriots Cheerleaders for spending a little time with ARL’s animals, staff, volunteers and even some lucky patrons!

ARL Partners with ABCD in Pet Wellness Program Expansion

Clinics being held in Dorchester, Roxbury, and soon Mattapan/Hyde Park

On Wednesday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) announced a groundbreaking partnership with Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), to bring pet wellness services directly to four Boston communities where they’re needed most.

The organizations hosted a special event at ABCD’s Roxbury location to mark the occasion and included a number of comments from stake holders and clients, as well as a ribbon-cutting.

Click here to see WBZ’s coverage of the event!

ABCD helps Greater Boston’s most vulnerable and at-risk individuals and families transition from poverty to stability and from stability to success. Every year, the agency serves more than 100,000 individuals, families and the elderly.

The Need to Expand

In 2018, ARL’s 38 Pet Wellness Clinics in Dorchester’s Codman Square were an enormous success, serving 431 pets. The success, combined with the need for veterinary services, supported the fundraising to expand these clinics and in addition to the Dorchester and Roxbury clinics, an additional clinic will soon be added to serve Mattapan and Hyde Park. Clinics are held outside ABCD locations.

During ARL’s pilot program in Codman Square which began in 2017, the organization received direct feedback from the community on what barriers existed concerning pet ownership. Top responses included a lack of affordable care and access to services. ARL’s Pet Wellness Clinics drastically reduces these barriers.

For just $10, pets receive a physical exam; rabies and distemper vaccines; flea treatment and microchip. These services would normally cost upwards of $300 in a traditional veterinary clinic setting.

“The Animal Rescue League of Boston of course cares for animals in need, but also helps the people who love them,” said ARL President Mary Nee. “Cost or accessibility to care should never be a barrier to having a healthy and happy animal in the home and we are thrilled to be partnering with ABCD to bring these vital services where they’re needed most to help eliminate these barriers.”

“Making veterinary care accessible and affordable for everyone regardless of where they live or what their income is, is important,” said Sharon Scott-Chandler, Executive Vice President/COO of ABCD.

“Communities are stronger when pets are in them and what we see with ARL and ABCD is a shining example we hope others will emulate,” said Deborah Tucott, Acting President and COO of PetSmart Charities.

Keeping Pets Healthy in Loving Homes

The partnership between animal and human service organizations creates a larger reach to help those in need, and the end goal of ARL’s Pet Wellness Clinics are to keep animals healthy and in loving homes where they belong.

“I found out about this service at ABCD’s food pantry,” said Wellness Waggin’ client Iris Z. “(Today) is my second visit to ARL’s Wellness Waggin’; I really think it’s something we needed in the community and it’s been a wonderful experience for myself and my pets.”

“I absolutely love this service,” said Wellness Waggin’ client Sequoia J. “It’s a really good service to have for locals at an affordable price.”

Thank You

ARL wishes to express its extreme gratitude to ABCD for its partnership, and is also grateful to generous grants from PetSmart Charities and the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation, who made it possible for ARL to purchase and outfit its brand-new Wellness Waggin’. The vehicle is state-of-the-art, and features a separate exam and surgical area.

Wellness Waggin’

The Wellness Waggin’ makes weekly stops in Roxbury, Dorchester, and starting August 30 in Mattapan. Click here to schedule an appointment and to find out about these high-quality, low-cost services!