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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, vendors, staff, volunteers – and all of the animals in our care – is our top priority.

Reopening Dates

We are very excited to welcome the community back inside of our facilities on the following dates:

Monday, June 14 – Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) will welcome all clients back inside the clinic. Read this important information before you arrive for your next visit.

Tuesday, June 15 – ARL’s Animal Care & Adoption Centers in Boston, Dedham, and Brewster will reopen to the public under the current hours of operation: 

      • Tuesdays – 2PM to 6:30PM by appointment only.  Please call (617) 426-9170 and dial the extension for the location where you wish to make an appointment: Boston x604, Dedham x605, Brewster x305.
      • Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays – 1:00PM – 6:30PM
      • Mondays and Holidays – Closed

Please bookmark this page on your web browser,
and continue to check before each visit, for the most current updates.

(Last updated 7/29/21)


Current Health and Safety Protocols:

ARL and BVC align with State and CDC guidelines, as follows:

      • Face coverings are required inside of all ARL and BVC facilities, regardless of vaccination status.
      • All visitors are asked to follow the most current guidelines on social distancing.
      • Clients who are feeling ill, should refrain from visiting our facilities or community programs at this time.
      • Using the protocols we already have in place for animals, ARL has increased cleaning and disinfecting areas of our buildings visited by the public.
      • Hand sanitizer will be made available for use for all visitors and staff.

View ARL’s full Client Health and Safety Guidelines.

Changes in ARL Operations

Please check this page before each visit for the most current updates.

Animal Care & Adoption Centers

On June 15, 2021, ARL’s Animal Care & Adoption Centers in Boston, Dedham, and Brewster will reopen to the public under the current hours of operation:

      • Tuesdays – 2PM to 6:30PM by appointment only.  Please call (617) 426-9170 and dial the extension for the location where you wish to make an appointment: Boston x604, Dedham x605, Brewster x305.
      • Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays – 1:00PM to 6:30PM
      • Mondays and Holidays – Closed

*Note, the main lobby doors of the Boston Animal Care & Adoption Center will be locked outside of adoption hours.  For assistance, please call (617) 426-9170, ext. 0.

Supply donations are now being accepted during hours of operation.  And you can still send much needed animal supplies through Amazon shelter wish lists for BostonDedham, and Brewster.

In an effort to keep our clients and staff safe, ARL aligns with State and CDC guidelines, as follows:

      • Face coverings are required inside of all ARL and BVC facilities, regardless of vaccination status.
      • Follow the most current guidelines on social distancing.
      • Clients who are feeling ill, should refrain from visiting ARL.

View ARL’s full Client Health and Safety Guidelines.

Animal Admissions

Are you a pet owner who was or may be forced to vacate your current living situation due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic? If so, ARL may be able to offer temporary housing for your pet!
To begin the prescreening process, please call (617) 426-9170 and dial the extension for the ARL Admissions office nearest you Boston x140; Dedham x404; Brewster x305.  Learn more about ARL’s Temporary Pet Housing Initiative.

Animal surrenders have resumed a normal schedule by appointment-only. Call (617) 426-9170, then follow the prompts for the ARL Admissions office nearest you.

In an effort to keep our clients and staff safe, ARL aligns with State and CDC guidelines, as follows:

      • Face coverings are required inside of all ARL and BVC facilities, regardless of vaccination status.
      • Follow the most current guidelines on social distancing.
      • Clients who are feeling ill, should refrain from visiting ARL, and call to reschedule their appointment.

View ARL’s full Client Health and Safety Guidelines.

Boston Veterinary Care

On June 14, 2021, Boston Veterinary Care will fully reopen to the community. Before arriving at the clinic, please follow the below procedure depending on your type of visit:

Clients with appointments – who wish to accompany their pet during their visit

      • Should wait in their car and text (617) 819-5499 when you arrive for their appointment.
      • You will receive a text back when your appointment room is ready. At that time, please proceed inside the lobby where a staff member will greet you.
      • Please limit to 2 clients per appointment.
      • Face coverings are required inside of all ARL and BVC facilities, regardless of vaccination status.
      • Clients who become ill should call to reschedule their appointment. If you are sick and your pet has an emergency, 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.

Clients with appointments – who prefer curbside service

      • Should wait in their car and text (617) 819-5499 when they arrive for their appointment.
      • You will receive a text back when your appointment room is ready. At that time, please proceed to the front entrance to drop off your pet with a staff member.  A veterinarian will call to go over results and recommendations along with a cost estimate.  Once you approve and pay by phone, we will bring your pet to you outside.
      • Clients who become ill should call to reschedule their appointment. If you are sick and your pet has an emergency, 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.

Clients picking up food and medication only – no veterinary appointment

      • Should come directly inside of BVC. You do not need to call or text upon arrival.
      • Face coverings are required inside of BVC facilities, regardless of vaccination status.
      • Clients who become ill should call (617) 226-5605 and arrange for someone else to pick up food and medication.

View ARL’s full Client Health and Safety Guidelines.


*NEW*
 BVC is excited to offer telemedicine to our clients in 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, 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
Field Services has resumed its normal Community Cat operations.

Supply donations are now being accepted during hours of operation – and you can still send much needed animal supplies through wish lists for BostonDedham, and Brewster.

Dog Training

Our Summer 2021 schedule is now available – view our dog training course offerings.

Boston Courses: Will be held primarily indoors. We ask that clients bring their own dog training treats, water/water bowls, folding chair, and any other supplies you may need.

Dedham Courses: Will be held primarily outdoors. We ask that clients bring their own dog training treats, water/water bowls, and any other supplies you may need.

In an effort to keep our clients and staff safe, ARL aligns with State and CDC guidelines, as follows:

      • Face coverings are required for the duration of classes conducted indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
      • Follow the most current guidelines on social distancing.
      • Clients who are feeling ill, should refrain from attending class.

View ARL’s full Client Health and Safety Guidelines.

Pet Behavior Helpline

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
Field Services has resumed 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, 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;
      • 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, 0212, 02125 or 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
Law Enforcement has resumed normal operations.


Spay Waggin’
The Spay Waggin’ has resumed normal operations. Click here to schedule an appointment.

In an effort to keep our clients and staff safe, ARL aligns with State and CDC guidelines, as follows:

      • All visitors are asked to follow the most current guidelines on social distancing.
      • Clients who become ill should call 1-877-590-SPAY(7729) to reschedule their appointment.

View ARL’s full Client Health and Safety Guidelines.

Temporary Pet Housing Initiative

Are you a pet owner who was or may be forced to vacate your current living situation due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, ARL may be able to offer temporary housing for your pet!

The Massachusetts eviction moratorium expired on October 17.  Any pet owner who may be experiencing housing instability or who may be at imminent risk of homelessness is potentially eligible for ARL’s Temporary Pet Housing Initiative.

To find out if your pet is eligible for temporary housing and for more information, call (617) 426-9170 and dial the extension of the ARL Admissions office nearest you: Boston x140; Dedham x404; Brewster x305.

Wellness Waggin’
The Wellness Waggin’ has resumed normal operations. To schedule an appointment, call (857) 350-8720 or click here.  Walk-ins will be accepted beginning June 15, 2021.

In an effort to keep our clients and staff safe, ARL aligns with State and CDC guidelines, as follows:

      • All visitors are asked to follow the most current guidelines on social distancing.
      • Clients who become ill should call the Wellness Waggin’ at (857) 350-8730 to reschedule their appointment.

View ARL’s full Client Health and Safety Guidelines.

Stay connected with ARL from home

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

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

Ways you can help animals from home
Pet Resources

COVID-19 AND PETS

If you have pets, treat them as you would other human family members to protect them from a possible COVID-19 infection.

Because there is a risk that people with COVID-19 could spread the virus to animals, pet owners should limit their pet’s interaction with people outside their household.

  • Keep cats indoors when possible and do not let them roam freely outside.
  • Walk dogs on a leash at least 6 feet away from others to protect them from interacting with people outside the household.
  • Avoid public places where large numbers of people gather.
  • Do not put a mask on pets. Masks could harm your pet.

Protect pets if you are sick

If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), you should avoid contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would with people.

  • 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, sharing food, and sleeping in the same bed.
  • If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a mask and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

If you are sick with COVID-19 and your pet becomes sick, do not take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself. Call your veterinarian and let them know you have been sick with COVID-19.  Some veterinarians, like Boston Veterinary Care, offer telemedicine consultations or other plans for seeing sick pets. Your veterinarian can evaluate your pet and determine the next steps for your pet’s treatment and care.

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 staff, volunteers, vendors, and clients to please follow the state and CDC guidelines for personal health and hygiene:

  • Face coverings are required inside of all ARL and BVC facilities, regardless of vaccination status.
  • All visitors are asked to follow the most current guidelines on social distancing.
  • Using the protocols we already have in place for animals, ARL has increased cleaning and disinfecting areas of our buildings visited by the public.
  • Hand sanitizer will be made available for use for all visitors and staff.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; or shaking hands.

Do not visit ARL facilities, community programs, or BVC if you are sick: Clients who are feeling ill, or unvaccinated clients who may have been in close contact with someone 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, or unvaccinated clients who may have been in close contact with someone 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 Mass.gov COVID-19 online resource centers.