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Important Information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 has generated understandable concerns in our community. The health, safety, and well-being of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) clients, donors, community partners, staff, volunteers – and all of the animals in our care – is our top priority.

ARL IS TAKING PROTECTIVE MEASURES

ARL is taking the necessary steps to do what we can today to protect against the spread of COVID-19, so that we can respond to and prepare for what the animals and people in our community may need from us in the coming months.

Please continue to check this page on a daily basis for the most current ARL updates.
(Last updated 5/27/20)


Changes in ARL’s social distancing, hygiene, and cleaning protocols:

Until further notice, to comply with mandatory safety guidelines from the state, all ARL staff, volunteers, clients, and visitors, are required to wear face masks or covering, stand at least 6-feet apart, and practice good personal hygiene. View ARL’s full Client Health and Safety Guidelines.

We ask that clients who are feeling ill, have traveled outside of MA in the last 14 days, or have been in close contact with someone who might be infected with COVID-19, refrain from visiting ARL Animal Care and Adoption Centers, ARL community programs, and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) at this time. If you are a BVC client and would like to reschedule your appointment, please call (617) 226-5605.

Using the protocols we already have in place for animals, ARL has increased cleaning and disinfecting areas of our buildings visited by the public, in compliance with CDC guidelines. Staff and volunteers are being asked to practice good personal health hygiene, wear face coverings, and are being provided with hand sanitizers and cleaning supplies.

Changes in ARL Operations

Until further notice, the following changes to ARL’s programs and services are effective immediately:

Animal Care & Adoption Centers
Beginning June 2nd, animal adoptions will resume by appointment-only, Tuesday – Sunday, 1:00PM – 6:00PM.

        • On May 27th, animals available for adoption beginning June 2nd will be posted on our website.
        • On May 28th, the Adoption Center phone lines will open for appointments to be scheduled beginning June 1st. If you are interested in adopting an animal that you saw on ARL’s website or social media, call (617) 426-9170 and dial the appropriate extension: Boston x604, Dedham x605, Brewster x305.  Our staff will be happy to conduct an adoption interview with you via the phone and arrange a meeting, if both parties think it’s a good match.

Please note that the public will not be permitted in the shelter or lobby waiting areas without an appointment; and that face coverings and CDC hygiene guidelines are required for staff and clients until further notice. View ARL’s full Client Health and Safety Guidelines.

At this time, we are unable to accept bedding or other “soft goods”, or in-person supply drop-offs at our Animal Care and Adoption Centers. However, you can still send much needed animal supplies through Amazon shelter wish lists for BostonDedham, and Brewster.

Animal Admissions
Beginning June 2nd, animal surrenders will resume a normal schedule. Call (617) 426-9170 (press 3, then press 1) to discuss surrendering your pet.

Please note that number of people entering the admissions office will be restricted to allow for social distancing; and that face coverings and CDC hygiene guidelines are required for staff and clients until further notice. View ARL’s full Client Health and Safety Guidelines.

Animal Advocacy
Animal Lobby Day has been postponed until September. Please check back here for updates.

Boston Veterinary Care
Beginning March 15th, BVC Clients should wait in their car and call when they arrive for their appointment. A staff member will meet you outside and take your pet inside for the exam.  The veterinarian will call to go over results and recommendations along with an estimate.  You can approve and pay by phone and we will bring the pet outside. For owners who do not have a car, please call when you arrive outside of BVC and a staff member will meet you outside and take your pet into the exam room.

Please note that face coverings and CDC hygiene guidelines will be required for staff and clients until further notice. View ARL’s full Client Health and Safety Guidelines.

For medications and preventatives: When picking up, BVC clients should call from outside of the clinic; we will take payment by phone and bring the medications out to you.

For food orders: BVC clients should call from outside of the clinic; we will take payment by phone and bring the food out to you.

Clients who become ill should call to reschedule their appointment.For clients with who have been exposed to COVID-19, and whose pet has an emergency should call us at (617) 226-5605 so we can discuss the appropriate clinical action. We may ask you to have someone else bring your pet in for treatment.

*NEW* BVC is excited to offer telemedicine to our clientsin the convenience of their own home! To get started, call our front desk at (617) 226-5605 to see if your appointment can be scheduled via telemedicine.  Once your appointment is confirmed, download the TeleVet – Remote Pet Care app and you are on your way for a virtual consult! Prior to your appointment, please set up an account with your payment information. At the conclusion of your telemedicine appointment, if our veterinarian determines that your pet needs to come into BVC for a physical exam, the telemedicine appointment fees will be applied as a credit to that visit.

Operations changes: Until further notice, BVC will close at 4:00pm on Mondays and Wednesdays; and Tuesday Cat’s-Only Nights are suspended in an effort to provide critical and urgent care to as many pets as possible. We appreciate your understanding!

Community Cats
Beginning May 18th, Field Services will resume its normal Community Cat operations.

At this time, we are unable to accept bedding or other “soft goods”, or in-person supply drop-offs at our Animal Care and Adoption Centers.  However, you can still send much needed supplies through our Amazon kitten wish list.

Dog Training
Classes are postponed. Please check back soon for updates on timing.

Need pet behavior advice?  If you have any training/behavior questions about your pet, call our FREE Pet Behavior Helpline at (617) 226-5666 or email us behaviorhelpline@arlboston.org.

Field Services
Beginning June 1st, Field Services will resume normal operations.  To contact the Field Services Hotline, call (617) 426-9170, press option 1, then 1.

Keep Pets S.A.F.E. (Supporting Animals Facing Emergencies)
Do you find yourself having to decide whether or not you can keep your pet due to emergency medical, financial, or personal reasons?  If so, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) may be able to help!

Funded by a generous $30,000 grant through PetSmart Charities®, ARL’s Keep Pets S.A.F.E program is offering the following emergency services for qualified residents of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan during the COVID-19 pandemic:

        • Deliver pet food and other essential pet supplies to clients’ homes and partner-supported community housing;
        • Pick up and transfer pets to provide critical veterinary care and return them to their owner;
        • Provide temporary emergency shelter for pets and offer pick up and return of the pet to their owner or a designated caregiver;
        • Arrange for emergency surrender of pets with pick up service.

To qualify for this program, you must be a client of Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), Boston Senior Home Care (BSHC), or ARL’s Wellness Waggin’ and live in one of the following zip codes 02119, 02120, 02121, 02122, 02124, 02125, 02126.

To request assistance, call the Keep Pets S.A.F.E. hotline at (857) 350-8730, Monday – Saturday, 9AM – 5PM, or visit www.arlboston.org/safe

Law Enforcement
Beginning May 4th, Law Enforcement will resume normal operations.


Spay Waggin’
Beginning June 1st, the Spay Waggin’ will resume spay/neuter appointments. Click here to schedule an appointment.

Please note that you will notice some changes, to ensure the health and safety of our staff and our clients in accordance with CDC guidelines, social distancing and face coverings are required for staff and clients until further notice. All new policies and guidelines will be communicated to you via email prior to your appointment. View ARL’s full Client Health and Safety Guidelines.

Clients who become ill should call 1-877-590-SPAY(7729) to reschedule their appointment.

Wellness Waggin’
Beginning June 1st, the Wellness Waggin’ will resume wellness appointments for our partners, and those whose appointments were previously cancelled. Please check back here for updates on when new appointments can be scheduled.

Please note that you will notice some changes, to ensure the health and safety of our staff and our clients in accordance with CDC guidelines, social distancing and face coverings are required for staff and clients until further notice. All new policies and guidelines will be communicated to you via email prior to your appointment. View ARL’s full Client Health and Safety Guidelines.

Clients who become ill should call the Wellness Waggin’ at (857) 350-8730 to reschedule their appointment.

Volunteer Engagement & Foster Family
We are humbled by our community members’ offers to volunteer and foster for ARL during this uncertain time. While we appreciate all of the support, we are not adding new volunteers and foster parents at this time. Please be assured that our current staff, volunteers, and foster parents are diligently taking care of our animals. Check back here for updates as to when we can safely begin to add new members to our volunteer and foster care programs again. Thank you again for your continued support of ARL and its programs!

Stay connected with ARL from home

Please follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, check out our blog, and sign up for ARL e-newsletters to receive breaking ARL updates and animal stories.

This is a rapidly changing situation and we appreciate your continued patience and support as we navigate it together. ARL is monitoring the changing circumstances very closely and are reviewing our protective measures and protocols on a daily basis to protect the health and safety of our community.

Thank you!
– The ARL Team


COVID-19 AND PETS

While cats and dogs are susceptible to coronavirus, there remains no evidence that pets can pass the virus onto others. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals, including pets, could be affected by COVID-19.

With many unknowns about the virus, ARL recommends that pet owners heed the following CDC recommendations:

        • Do not let pets with people or other animals outside the home
        • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people
        • Walk dogs on leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people or animals
        • Avoid dog parks or public places where people with animals may gather

For those who are suspected to carry the illness or have already tested positive, the CDC recommends:

        • When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick
        • Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding
        • If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them
        • ARL reiterates that while cats and dogs may be susceptible to coronavirus, if you are practicing good hygiene, social distancing and other precautions, you, along with your pets, will have a lower risk of infection.

More information on animals and COVID-19
More information about testing in animals

ANIMAL RESCUE LEAGUE OF BOSTON AND BOSTON VETERINARY CARE – CLIENT HEALTH & SAFETY GUIDELINES

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, we require all ARL and BVC clients to please follow the state and CDC guidelines for personal health and hygiene:

        • Wear a protective face covering or mask while at ARL facilities or community programs, or BVC;
        • Keep a safe social distance (at least 6-feet) between yourself and others, and abstain from shaking hands;
        • Wash your hands with soap and water prior to visiting to ARL facilities or community programs, or BVC;
        • Use provided hand sanitizer upon arriving and leaving ARL facilities or community programs, or BVC;
        • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;

Please note that you may be asked the following COVID-19 screening questions prior to or upon your arrival to ARL or BVC:

        • Have you or anyone in your household experienced any cold or flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days, such as fever, cough, sore throat, respiratory illness, or difficulty breathing?
        • Have you or anyone in your household been in contact with someone who is suspected of or confirmed COVID positive in the last 14 days?
        • Have you or anyone in your household traveled outside MA in the last 14 days?

Do not visit ARL facilities, community programs, or BVC if you are sick: Clients who are feeling ill, have traveled outside MAin the last 14 days, or have been in close contact with someone who might be infected with COVID-19 should refrain from visiting ARL or BVC.  Please call (617) 426-9170 and follow the prompts to reschedule your appointment for the appropriate program or service.  

In case of a pet emergency: Clients who are feeling ill, have recently traveled, or have been in close contact with someone who might be infected with COVID-19 should call BVC at (617) 226-5605 so we can discuss an appropriate clinical plan. Upon speaking, we may ask you to find someone else to bring your pet in to receive care.

For the Latest Information on COVID-19

For the latest information about COVID-19 visit the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health COVID-19 online resource centers.