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Animals need your voice today!

The Massachusetts Legislature operates on a two-year timeline, with a deadline of February 5, 2020 to move bills forward from initial committees. The following bills are on ARL’s Legislative Agenda and need your help to move forward.


S. 989: An Act enhancing the issuance of citations for cruel conditions for animals
Allows law enforcement to issue citations for all animals in “cruel conditions” to intervene before it rises to the level of felony animal cruelty.

Joint Committee on Municipalities

House Chair, Representative James O’Day: (617) 722-2090 James.O’Day@mahouse.gov

Senate Chair, Senator Rebecca Rausch: (617) 722-1555 Becca.Rausch@masenate.gov


H.1822: An Act enhancing the issuance of citations for cruel conditions for animals
Allows law enforcement to issue citations for all animals in “cruel conditions” to intervene before it rises to the level of felony animal cruelty.


H.1774/S.114: An Act protecting the health and safety of puppies and kittens in cities and towns
Regulates the operation of boarding kennels and daycare facilities, as well as prohibits roadside sales and sales of puppies and kittens under 8 weeks.

Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure

House Chair, Representative Tackey Chan: (617) 722-2014 Tackey.Chan@mahouse.gov

Senate Chair, Senator Paul Feeney: (617) 722-1222 Paul.Feeney@masenate.gov


S.175/H.800: An Act banning the retail sale of cats and dogs in pet shops
Prohibits the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits from pet shops unless the animals come from shelters or rescue organizations.


TAKE ACTION: Contact the committee chairs and your legislators to ask them to support these bills out of committee!

Joint Committee on the Judiciary

House Chair, Representative Claire Cronin: (617) 722-2396 Claire.Cronin@mahouse.gov   

Senate Chair, Senator James Eldridge: (617) 722-1120 James.Eldridge@masenate.gov


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


DONATE NOW to DOUBLE your impact for animals

On December 3, ARL will participate in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving back to the charities nearest and dearest to our hearts.

To celebrate this day of giving, our Board of Directors, past Board members, and President, have teamed up to offer a special challenge: Raise $120,000 and they will match it!

Our match goal is especially meaningful – this year we are marking the 120th anniversary of the founding of ARL. As we look ahead to the next 120 years, your generosity and kindness will ensure that ARL remains an unwavering champion for animals in need.

Make your gift between now and December 3 to make your life-saving gift go further for animals in need.  Your gift will be DOUBLED and help provide:

Symbolic gifts

Our #GivingTuesday goal is ambitious: $240,000 in 24 hours.  You can help make it happen!

Here are TWO ways to get involved to help make TWICE the difference!

  • Make your gift today! No need to wait and the deadline is tomorrow at midnight
  • Help spread the word! Share with your fellow animal lovers by sharing this post or posts on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

    Tune into our special, #GivingTuesday Facebook Live videos

    Monday, December 2, 2019 

    1:00 PM: ARL Shelter Veterinarian, Dr.Forline, introduces Gunner, a 10-month-old Pitbull-type dog who recently underwent heart surgery and is looking for a forever home. Click here to watch
    5:30 PM: Meet Tippie, a Cerebellar Hypoplasia kitty adopted from our Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center earlier this year. Click here to watch

    Tuesday, December 3, 2019
    1:00 PM: Update on Charlotte with ARL’s Behavior & Enrichment Manager, Laney Nee. Click here to watch
    5:30 PM: Why your #GivingTuesday gift matters TWICE as much to animals in need with ARL’s President, Mary Nee. Click here to watch



Almost 60% of ARL’s funding comes in during the last quarter of the year – and most of it during the last two weeks in December.
  Your #GivingTuesday gift is essential to helping us reach our goal before the year ends.

THANK YOU to our Board of Directors, past Board members, and President for offering this amazing challenge!

Barbara Burg & Priscilla Golding

David Cawley & Lisa Buesking

Randi Cohen & Al Ossorio

Richard Davey & Jane Willis

Jeffrey A. Kaplan

Richard Kelly & Carol Akerson

Dr. Holly Kelsey

Walter & Elizabeth Kenyon

Lee Ann & Michael Leahy

Neal G. Litvack

Malcolm McDonald & Susan Passoni

Kelly & Brian McKernan

Christina & Daniel Nagler

Mary Nee & James Chapin

Tara & Christophe Oliver

Alisa Plazonja

Heather & Park Ridill

Malisa & Andrew Schuyler


Press Release: ARL Files Charges Against Middleboro Kennel Owner

Five Felony Counts Included

Today, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department filed criminal charges at Wareham District Court, stemming from a September 24 operation where ARL, in conjunction with Middleboro Police and Animal Control Departments, seized 24 animals from a commercial kennel facility in the town.

Charges levied against the kennel owner include five felony animal cruelty charges, and 23 misdemeanor charges for neglect and abuse.

With charges officially filed, ARL will not be commenting further until judicial proceedings conclude. Any media inquiries can be directed to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office.

ARL and partnering municipal shelters continue to provide daily care for the 24 animals, primarily Cane Corso dogs, seized from the property in September.

ARL Providing On-Going Care

The majority of the animals were traumatized due to their surroundings, and remain under evaluation and are currently NOT available for adoption.

ARL is providing providing on-going care for these animals, which includes veterinary and behavioral services, as well as socialization and basic necessities. This is still an emergency situation for these animals and they need your continued support.

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. 


Paws to Celebrate… Around the State

Celebrating ARL’s Leadership Donors

ARL is an independent nonprofit organization that receives no government grants or public funding – so we must rely on the generosity and compassion of individuals like you to help animals in need.

This year ARL launched a series of Paws the Celebrate events in Brewster, Dedham, and Boston.

The cocktail receptions, hosted by ARL’s Leadership Council and regional event committees, were a special opportunity for leadership donors to network, celebrate ARL’s 120th anniversary, and discuss our organization’s vision for the future of animal welfare.

View photos of ARL’s  Cape Cod event, Dedham event and Boston event.

 

Thank You!


 

ARL gratefully recognizes our leadership donors and sponsors of Paws to Celebrate

LEADER OF THE PACK
Peter & Constance Lacaillade
HillsDr. David J. McGrath

 

BEST IN SHOW
Grace Fey
LoomisArthur & Paula Rabe

 

TOP DOG

360PR+Eastern BankGrossman Marketing
UNIT REALTY

TOP CAT
Century Bank
Kirkiles & Associates Commercial Insurance in Partnership with Starkweather & Shepley
Malcolm McDonald & Susan Passoni

 

ANIMAL ADVOCATE
Dedham Institute for Savings
East Boston Savings Bank
ProPrint
Sydney Rosen

ARL wishes to thank our event committees for coordinating these special events, and our sponsors. Be sure to check out the Boston Business Journal’s November 15th edition to see a special thank you!


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 2019 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.

 


ARL Advocates for Banishment of Retail Sale of Dogs/Cats in Pet Shops

On Monday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) joined fellow animal welfare organizations to address the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure on two pieces of legislation that ARL is actively supporting.

The hearing chambers were standing room only, indicating the passion behind these bills.

The bills were part of a lengthy agenda at the Massachusetts State House, and address two important issues: the retail sale of animals at pet shops, and the inhumane practice of declawing.

For WFXT’s coverage of the hearing click here!

S.175 and H.800 – An Act Banning the Retail Sale of Dogs and Cats in Pet Shops aims to cease the operation by pet stores of obtaining animals from “puppy mills” because they allow the cruelty at the mills to remain hidden from consumers.

“Plain and simple, where pet shops acquire their animals are inhumane,” stated Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services. “Although these breeding facilities are inspected by the USDA, the standards are extremely low and continually allow for this inhumane treatment.”

The legislation does not prevent consumers from acquiring a dog, cat, or rabbit from a responsible breeder or shelter or rescue organization. Further, it does not prohibit pet shops from partnering with shelters or rescues to provide animals in their store.

ARL also made public comment on S.169 – An Act Prohibiting Inhumane Feline Declawing.

This proposed bill would prohibit declawing as an elective procedure, simply for the purposes of convenience or to mitigate property destruction.

Under the proposed bill, declawing would only be allowed for “therapeutic purposes”. These would include addressing an existing or recurring infection, disease, injury, or abnormal condition in the claw that jeopardizes the cat’s health as a medical necessity.

Violations of the proposed bill would include fines upward of $2,500 for repeated offenses and the possibility of forfeiture of the animal as well.

ARL believes that declawing a healthy cat is not only inhumane, but may cause the cat a multitude of long-term medical issues.

“We (ARL) are opposed to these needless, elective surgeries which can and do cause unnecessary pain and discomfort that can affect the cat for its entire life,” Dr. Schettino testified.

Get Involved

Government is of course “of the people, by the people, and for the people” and you can have a direct impact on these important bills moving forward in the legislative process.

If you support these measures, contact your elected officials and urge them to further animal protection law in Massachusetts by supporting the proposed bills.

We encourage you to read ARL’s 2019-2020 legislative agenda. See what bills ARL supports and opposes and what you can do to make sure your voice is heard!


Video: ARL Conducts Recruit Training with Massachusetts State Police

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently made a trip to the Massachusetts State Police Academy in New Braintree, MA, to conduct Animal Cruelty training for the 171 members of the Massachusetts State Police 84th Recruit Training Troop.

ARL Director Law Enforcement Lt. Alan Borgal and ARL Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services Dr. Edward Schettino instructed these future troopers in a number of facets of animal cruelty.

These included how to recognize signs of animal abuse, existing animal cruelty laws, and how ARL and other animal welfare organizations can assist state and local police in investigating suspected cruelty cases.

“Our goal was to help them understand, first animal cruelty, what it is and how you identify animal cruelty,” said Dr. Schettino. “They are going to be the first responders to many situations.”

“We recognize that laws on the books not only protect people, they protect animals as well,” stated MSP Academy Commandant Det. Lt. Michael Baxter. “We want our troopers to be mindful of those laws, to be able to recognize animal cruelty and abuse.”

ARL is extremely honored to have had this incredible opportunity to instruct the next generation of MSP Troopers.


A Community Cat’s Incredible Journey Home

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) helps hundreds of community cats annually. More often than not, these animals need routine medical treatment and socialization before finding their forever homes. However, other times these cats come to ARL having suffered severe injuries and need immediate and sometimes life-saving medical care.

Tucker was one of the latter and this is his story.

In December of 2018, Tucker, an approximately five-year-old cat, was found as a stray in Freetown, MA. He was injured and needed prompt medical attention, or likely would not have survived due to infection and other complications.

Before roaming the streets, Tucker was most likely in a home, as he was wearing a collar at some point. Unfortunately, Tucker had tried to break free of the collar, and it had become lodged underneath his right leg. Over time the collar became embedded – with skin actually growing over it.

He was in tremendous pain, but was social and friendly. Freetown’s Animal Control Officer notified the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and he was transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center for treatment.

The collar was removed before coming to ARL, however his open wounds were ghastly and stretched from around his neck to his right arm pit area.

Warning: Some of the pictures below are graphic in nature.

Knowing the healing process would be slow, Tucker was placed into long-term foster care, giving him the chance to heal in a quiet environment. Aside from healing, Tucker had also survived on the streets for an unknown amount of time and had to relearn how to live in a home and fully trust humans again.

First and foremost, Tucker’s wounds needed to be addressed.

Extraordinary Care

Tucker’s wound management was extensive. Along with suturing the wound, the healing process was aided by scalpel debridement, constant dressing changes, antibiotic ointments and even sterile honey was utilized when the sutures were removed.

Over a five-month period, the brave cat made a dozen trips into the surgical suite in Dedham, and he was strong through it all.

Ready to Go Home

In late May, ARL’s shelter medicine team concluded that Tucker’s wounds had fully healed, and he was made available for adoption. In early June, Tucker’s time at ARL came to an end as he met his new family and is now happily in a wonderful forever home!

A Cadre of Care

Along with extraordinary medical care, Tucker had a loving and supportive foster family to help guide him through his healing process. This involved bringing him to ARL’s Dedham campus for veterinary appointments, making sure he took his medicine and monitoring him to detect complications – and of course giving him a comfortable, quite space to heal! Interested in becoming a foster parent? Click here for more information!

If you’d like to make a difference for animals like Tucker, please consider a donation to help fund ARL’s ongoing work to help animals in need. ARL does not receive any government grants or public funding. We rely on the generosity of individuals like you to make positive outcomes like Tucker’s possible.


Update: 50 Cats Removed from Metro Boston Home Easter Weekend

Cats are slowly gaining trust and settling in

During the Easter holiday weekend, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department was busy removing 50 cats from a Metro Boston home, which has since been condemned due to deplorable and uninhabitable conditions.

We’re made aware when these animals are removed from these difficult situations, but what happens then?

These animals have needed extensive medical treatment over the last three weeks, but perhaps more importantly, the majority of these cats are traumatized and shut down emotionally.

This unfortunately is a common byproduct of animal hoarding and one ARL sees too often.

The cats need constant interaction with humans to break free of the trauma, learn to trust, and to take the next step – which is finding a forever home.

ARL volunteers and staff have taken extraordinary measures to get these cats to break free of their fear by talking softly with encouragement, offering treats, using backscratchers to simulate petting, playing purring sounds – and finally when the cat is ready to move on to the next step, a reassuring hand is slowly extended towards the animal.

To see local media coverage of this story click here!

These measures are used to break through the wall of fear, but it’s done on the cat’s own terms.

It’s a painstaking process where there is no timeline on when a break-through may occur. ARL is committed to making these animals whole, and to give them the second chance they deserve.

So far one of these cats has been adopted, while another is waiting to find their forever home, sure signs that these animals are progressing with each passing day.

Hoarding-Type Situations Increasing

The number of hoarding-type incidents involving large numbers of animals is unfortunately on the rise. In 2018, ARL handled 16 of these incidents, which involved 1,024 animals.

As spring melts into summer, warm temperatures bring a surge in the animal population and ARL expects to respond to more hoarding-type incidents over the next few months.

With hoarding-type situations, ARL is ready to help both the animals and people involved. If you are aware of such a situation, please contact ARL Law Enforcement or your local Animal Control Officer immediately.