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Category: News
ARL Caring for Mom and Puppies Involved in Animal Cruelty Investigation

ARL Law Enforcement Working with New Bedford Police

This past week, a video surfaced on social media showing a man in New Bedford allegedly hitting a dog with an unknown object.

New Bedford Police and Animal Control Departments responded and removed a female dog and her three puppies from the home and contacted the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department for assistance.

Female dog from New Bedford settling in at ARL.

ARL Law Enforcement then brought the animals to Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment facility in Walpole for X-rays and forensic exams.

Click here to see local media coverage of this story.

The following day the dogs were transferred to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center for on-going care and shelter.

Despite their ordeal, the animals are doing well, but are NOT currently available for adoption and it is unknown when their status will change.

The New Bedford Police Department has filed animal cruelty charges against the suspect in the video and are continuing to investigate the matter. ARL Law Enforcement has also made itself available to assist in the investigative process in any way needed.

Witness Animal Cruelty? Dial 9-1-1 Immediately

ARL Law Enforcement encourages anyone who suspects animal cruelty, neglect, or abuse to contact ARL at (617) 426-9170 or cruelty@arlboston.org to file a report. However, in an emergency situation, anyone who witnesses these unspeakable acts against an animal should dial 9-1-1 immediately.


ARL Commends Everett Police in Animal Cruelty Conviction

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) would like to commend the hard work and commitment of the Everett Police Department which led to the conviction of a Peabody man who was accused of killing his girlfriend’s dog in 2018.

The one-day trial at Malden District Court recently concluded, with 31-year-old Steven Severino being found guilty and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Courtesy WHDH

Severino denied killing the dog, telling police that “Coco” escaped and he later found the dog in front of an apartment building collapsed.

During trial this story was proven false by the introduction of surveillance video that showed Severino’s involvement in the dog’s death.

ARL Law Enforcement provided support to Everett Police throughout the investigation, as well as necropsy and cremation services for Coco.

Providing Expertise and Support

ARL Law Enforcement works with local, state and federal agencies to investigate animal abuse, cruelty and neglect.

In 2018, ARL investigated cruelty and neglect cases involving nearly 3,000 animals, resulting in 56 prosecutions.

We cannot do this work alone. ARL receives no government grants or public funding and relies on individuals like you to support this important work.

Donate today and help ARL continue to confront animal cruelty, abuse and neglect.


ARL, Middleboro Police Seize Animals at Kennel Facility

Animals found living in inhumane, unsanitary conditions

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department, in conjunction with Middleboro Police and Animal Control Departments, recently executed a search warrant at a commercial kennel facility to inspect and seize animals from the property.

Most of the 24 animals removed were young adult Cane Corso and Dogo Argentino dogs, however, a peacock, donkey, ducks and a chicken were seized as well.

The animals were found living in poorly ventilated, unsanitary, cruel and dangerous conditions. They have been transported to ARL’s Dedham, Boston and Brewster, as well as municipal facilities in Middleboro, Auburn, Mansfield, Norton, and Framingham. The animals are friendly and will undergo ongoing medical care and behavioral evaluations before being made available for adoption.

The entire operation took approximately 12 hours, and ARL would like to thank the Middleboro Police, Animal Control and our partner shelters who assisted in rescuing these animals from their cycle of neglect.

Your emergency gift today can support:

  • Veterinary care and rehabilitation for the sudden influx of animals that have suffered
  • On-going investigations of cruelty to pursue justice for animals
  • Emergency response when crisis strikes and animals are in dire need

Click here to make a life-saving gift today. 

This is an on-going investigation, however, potential charges may be pending at the conclusion of the investigative process.

This story will be updated as further details emerge.


Halloween Pet Safety Tips for a Spook-Free 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 2018 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 spook-free 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: Good Samaritan Helps ARL Save Feline’s Life

‘Space Ghost’ likely hit by car, found unresponsive

This past week, a facilities worker in Jamaica Plain made a phone call to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) that literally saved a cat’s life.

The Good Samaritan found the 2-year-old Snowshoe cat named Space Ghost, by an outdoor staircase, lying unresponsive in a pool of blood. Several onlookers stated that the cat had been hit by a car.

The facilities worker called ARL Field Services, who immediately responded to the scene and were able coax the hurting, but hungry, cat into a carrier with food. Space Ghost was then transported to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center for emergency medical treatment.

Space Ghost is happy, playful and comfortable since his emergency procedure at ARL.

The cat was thin, dehydrated, severely muscle wasted, and quiet. He also had outward physical injuries including scabbing, several broken toenails, and a fractured tooth. However, it was his internal injuries that were concerning.

X-rays revealed foreign matter in his stomach and colon, bruised lungs and severe pneumothorax (air in the chest outside the lungs).

Throughout an entire day, ARL shelter medicine staff tapped Space Ghost’s chest to remove more than 100mL of air, which in turn made the cat much more comfortable. Since this procedure, Space Ghost has made remarkable strides.

ARL is thankful to the Good Samaritan for their quick actions to save the life of this animal. ARL is the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts able to respond to this type of emergency situation in the field, and the organization looks forward to getting Space Ghost healthy and into a loving home.

**Update 10/9/19 at 3:00 PM: Space Ghost has been adopted!**

Ready to Respond

As part of its Community Outreach programs, ARL’s Field Services provides technical (tree climbing and swift/ice water) and non-technical rescues for injured domestic animals -including community cats– livestock, and raptors (turkey vultures, ospreys, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls).

In 2018, Field Services assisted 1,503 animals.

To reach ARL Field Services, call (617) 426-9170 and press option 1.


Committee Hearings Continue on Beacon Hill

This past week the Joint Committees on the Judiciary and Financial Services both convened to hear testimony on more than 40 bills, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) was present for both sessions to advocate on behalf of animals throughout the Commonwealth.

The Joint Committee on the Judiciary heard testimony regarding S. 989: An Act Enhancing the Issuance of Citations for Cruel Conditions for Animals, a piece of legislation that ARL is actively supporting.

ARL President Mary Nee addresses the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.

This bill would allow law enforcement to issue citations for animals kept in “cruel conditions” which would include exposure to excessive waste, non-potable water, noxious odors that post a health risk to animals or people, among others.

Right now, the only tool law enforcement has to address animal cruelty is a felony cruelty charge. If passed, this bill would provide an additional resource to address cruelty and would act as a deterrent, rather than a form of punishment.

The Joint Committee on Financial Services heard testimony from ARL regarding three bills – S. 595/H. 1037: An Act Concerning the Use of Certain Insurance Underwriting Guidelines Pertaining to Dogs Harbored Upon the Insured Property.

Simply put, this bill would prohibit homeowners or renters insurance from refusing to issue or renew, cancel or charge an increased rate on a specific breed(s) of dog on the property.

The Committee also heard testimony on H. 1038: An Act to Prohibit Housing Discrimination Against Responsible Dog Owners.

This bill would prohibit condo associations from banning certain types of dogs based on breed/weight/size. Further it would prohibit similar bans on any lease/rental agreements.

Additionally, it would require the Department of Housing and Community Development to establish and maintain a program of pet ownership for those residing in state-aided public housing.

ARL’s testimony highlighted that breed specific legislation and insurance prohibitions are not supported by science – breed bias are often assumptions based on physical characteristics.

Breed has no bearing on individual animal behavior – the most accurate predictor of animal behavior is an individual assessment of the animal, including a check into the pet’s background with training, behavior and social abilities.

ARL believes that like people, dogs are individuals no matter what breed they happen to be, and hopes this important piece of legislation moves favorably out of committee.

Be an Advocate for Animals

With more than 90 animal-related bills filed for this legislative session, this hearing was critical to help move these important animal protection bills forward in the legislative process.

But we can’t do it alone. Your elected officials work for you, so please take a look at ARL’s 2019-2020 legislative agenda, and contact your representatives to show your support for improving laws to protect animals in Massachusetts.


ARL Recognized by Boston City Council

On Wednesday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) had a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the organization’s 120th anniversary and brief Boston City Councilors about the direct impact ARL is having on their respective districts.

For an hour before the council’s scheduled session, councilors and staff received an overview of ARL by watching a special 120th anniversary video, followed by a presentation with ARL President Mary Nee.

The presentation informed those in the audience about ARL’s programs, especially those that bring services directly to neighborhoods including Field Services and ARL’s Pet Wellness Clinics.

For more than a century ARL has provided service in the Metro Boston region, and continues to be a vital resource for the region.

When the council session was brought to order, City Council President Andrea Campbell again recognized ARL, and allowed Nee to address the entire council and those in attendance on the on-going work ARL is doing to help animals in need and keeping people and pets together.

ARL would like to thank the entire council, particularly District 4 and City Council President Andrea Campbell, and District 6 councilor Matt O’Malley for their steadfast commitment to helping animals in need.


Press Release: Emaciated Puppy Could Be Facing Extensive Surgery

Puppy lost for a month, surrendered to ARL

Charlotte, an 8-month-old mixed-breed puppy, has experienced a lot in her young life, including surviving on her own for a month. Although she’s now in the care of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), Charlotte is not only fighting to regain her total trust with humans, but is also grossly underweight and facing fracture repair surgery.

Despite being incredibly sweet, Charlotte has a long road ahead of her. ARL is dedicated to doing everything possible to get her healthy and into a forever home, however, the cost of Charlotte’s care is already in the thousands and ARL is asking for the public’s assistance.

Charlotte came to ARL via Belmont’s Animal Control Officer after she had been lost for approximately a month – it’s miraculous she even survived.

She was only 23 pounds upon her arrival, about half of what she should weigh and is still extremely skittish.

X-rays have indicated a fracture in the balled-end of the femur which connects to the hip joint. She will at least need surgery to remove the fractured part of the bone to alleviate the pain and discomfort – but there are risks involved given that she’s a growing puppy and ARL Shelter Medicine staff do not want this issue to be on-going.

Once a medical plan is established and she undergoes surgery, Charlotte will be recovering for approximately two months and will be constantly monitored and rechecked to avoid any complications.

With a clean bill of health, Charlotte will hopefully be in a new home just in time for the holidays.

Banning Roadside Sales

Charlotte was originally transported from a rescue group in Alabama, but her former owner picked her up at a parking lot in Connecticut just over the Massachusetts border – she was lost just 4 hours after being adopted.

State law mandates a 48-hour quarantine for animals brought over the state line (this was completed when Charlotte arrived at ARL) to properly assess their health and wellbeing. These types of parking lot pickups side-step the mandate and if the animal is ill, threaten harm to other animals they may come in contact with.

When you adopt from a reputable organization like ARL, animals are properly quarantined, medically checked, vaccinated and spayed/neutered before they are adopted. This typically is not the case when an animal is purchased during a roadside sale which also includes ads in the paper, Craigslist, illegal breeders, among others.

Roadside sales are a dangerous practice as the person who buys the animal does not have a clear picture of exactly what they’re getting – and should an issue pop up, the adopter has no recourse for reimbursement to cover medical costs.

S.114, H.1774: An Act Protecting the Health and Safety of Puppies and Kittens in Cities and Towns is currently in committee at the Massachusetts State House, and if passed would ban these types of animal sales.

ARL strongly supports this bill, and urges anyone interested in furthering animal protection law in Massachusetts to contact their elected officials to voice support.

Help Charlotte and Others Like Her

ARL Shelter Medicine provides all levels of high-quality care – from wellness exams to complex surgeries. Our goal is to ensure that animals are healthy and happy, and it’s because of the support from caring and compassionate people like you who make this possible. Please consider a donation to ARL today to help Charlotte and other animals like her.

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ARL Brewster Takes in Senior Cat When He was Surrendered to Local Vet Office

Annual exams, medications – these are costs that any pet owner can expect over the duration of an animal’s life. However, when an underlying disease or sudden injury needs attention and treatment, these costs can unfortunately be out of reach for some.

This was the case for Clyde, a 13-year-old handsome cat, who was brought to Barnstable Animal Hospital just a few weeks ago.

As with many animals in advancing years, Clyde was starting to show signs of age, confirmed with diagnostic testing, which revealed that Clyde is in the early stages of renal disease. His examination also discovered a low-grade heart murmur.

Renal disease is common in middle to older age cats and is associated with a gradual loss of kidney function. There is no cure as the kidney cannot regenerate, however the disease is manageable and Clyde is expected to sustain a high quality of life for the foreseeable future.

Clyde undergoes exam at ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Due to the cost of testing and the need for ongoing treatment, Clyde was surrendered to the animal hospital – but of course a veterinary office is not a shelter and Clyde needed a place to stay while waiting for the opportunity to find a new home.

Despite there being a number of options in the surrounding area, the staff at Barnstable Animal Hospital decided to contact the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center – located approximately 20 miles away.

Why?

Because for nearly a century, ARL has had a history of caring on Cape Cod.

Since first establishing a shelter facility on the Cape in 1921, ARL has been the go-to resource for animals in need and today the Brewster location offers much more than adoptable animals.

Community services include spay and neuter resources, pet surrender, pet after-life care, animal cruelty law enforcement investigation, among others. ARL’s staff is also on-hand to answer any animal-related questions or concerns community members may have.

Looking for a Forever Home

Clyde has established himself as an immediate favorite among staff and volunteers, and while he may be comfortable and friendly in the shelter setting, he is still awaiting his perfect forever home.

Ready to Serve

ARL’s reputation as an animal welfare leader is unmatched in Massachusetts, however, your support is critical in order for ARL’s important work to continue. Your support allows ARL to take in and treat more than 17,000 animals in need annually and to deliver services directly to communities who need them most. Please help Clyde and others like him by supporting ARL today!


Kennel Regulations, Increasing MAF Funds, Blue Hills Forest Take Center Stage at State House

ARL Addresses Joint Committee

On Tuesday, the Joint Committee of Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture convened to hear testimony on nearly two dozen bills, many of which were animal-related.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) provided testimony on six separate bills, all of which are a part of the organization’s 2019-2020 Legislative Agenda.

While S. 114/H. 1774: An Act protecting the health and safety of puppies and kittens in cities and towns encompasses several elements, including establishing state-wide regulations regarding boarding kennel and daycare facilities; S. 510/H. 3603/H. 812 are all stand-alone bills that specifically address boarding kennel regulations.

The wording of these individual bills may differ slightly, but each aims to establish regulations for boarding kennel and daycare facilities to include staff qualifications and development, provider/dog ratios and interaction, group sizes and supervision, minimum housing and care requirements, indoor and outdoor facility requirements, utilities, dog handling, emergency response protocols and training, insurance, and penalties for violation, among others.

ARL Law Enforcement Director Lt. Alan Borgal shows the committee images of an animal who was mauled at a South Shore boarding facility.

“Right now it is up to the consumer to be their own advocate and to do their own homework,” Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services, expressed to the committee. “However, most consumers are unaware of this and trust the facility that they choose to take care of their pet, unknowing of the lack of regulations.”

Earlier this year, ARL launched the Kennel-9 safety campaign, giving pet owners 9 things to consider before boarding their pet in an effort to protect animals and their owners from a potentially dangerous situation.

ARL has unfortunately been involved in numerous incidents at boarding facilities where a lack of oversite, improper facilities or protocols led to injury or even death for animals in their care. Law Enforcement Director Lt. Alan Borgal shared one of these incidents with the panel to show the need for regulations.

The organization feels state-wide regulations are critical to improve safety and quality of care for facilities across the Commonwealth.

Mass Animal Fund

ARL also testified on S.501: An Act to provide additional funding for animal welfare and safety programming.

This measure would provide additional monies to the Mass Animal Fund, an organization which strives to prevent animal homelessness by offsetting costs for vaccination and spay/neuter of homeless dogs and cats, as well as dogs and cats owned by low-income residents, and to assist with training of animal control officers.

ARL is a provider of services for the Mass Animal Fund spay/neuter voucher program and through the Community Surgical Clinic and Spay Waggin’, ARL has provided more than 200 spay/neuter surgeries in the past two years.

If passed, this bill would direct funds collected through administrative fines pursuant to Section 37 of Chapter 129. This would be in addition to donations currently generated through Line 33f on the state income tax form.

Blue Hills Reservation

Finally, ARL also testified on H. 757: An Act to study the health of the Blue Hills Forest and ecology to inform long-term reservation management.

This bill would commission a study and scientific survey on the Blue Hills Reservation to determine why the forest health is in decline.

Be an Advocate for Animals

With more than 90 animal-related bills filed for this legislative session, this hearing was critical to help move these important animal protection bills forward in the legislative process.

But we can’t do it alone. Your elected officials work for you, so please take a look at ARL’s 2019-2020 legislative agenda, and contact your representatives to show your support for improving laws to protect animals in Massachusetts.