Dedham Campus Plan
The Animal Rescue League of Boston was founded in 1899 by a social worker and humanitarian, Anna Harris Smith. In 1907, Anna purchased the Chamberlain Farm on Pine St. Dedham as a country annex to care for small animals awaiting placement and to provide working horses respite. For the past 112 years, ARL’s Dedham campus has served as a sanctuary for animals and a resource for the community.
Anna Harris Smith
Today, the campus houses an Animal Care and Adoption Center, a historic pet cemetery, dog training, program management in the founder’s former bungalow and, a barn and paddocks supporting horses and other livestock rescued from animal cruelty or neglect.
ARL is licensed by the town of Dedham for a 25-dog kennel and a barn. Additionally, through contractual agreement, the Animal Care and Adoption Center serves as the stray dog facility for Dedham; saving the town the expense of operating a municipal shelter.
About the project
In 2018, ARL commissioned a masterplan for the campus; assessing site conditions and capacity. The plan supported the addition of an administrative building and training facility, reconfiguration of the roadways, and relocation of the current maintenance garage.
The proposed administrative building will provide a consolidated facility for program management, now located on the campus and administrative staff now housed in Boston. The training facility will support dog training (a current program) and occasional staff meetings, professional trainings, and donor functions. The space will also be made available as a community meeting space. The proposed plans do not expand animal care programs on the campus.
The project was also carefully designed as not to disturb the existing animal graves in Pine Ridge Cemetery. As of 2016, ARL stopped the sale of new burial plots, however will continue to care for the existing plots in perpetuity.
ARL has completed schematic design of the new administration facility and maintenance garage. In July 2019, we submitted a comprehensive application for a Special Permit to the Town of Dedham Planning Board. The application includes not only the facility design, but also several additional studies including traffic analysis, landscaping and other environmental considerations. The public hearing process began in early August 2019, and will continue for several months as the board reviews each element of the proposed plan.
The building design and site plan are shown in the presentation link below. Also, please see a “FAQ” link that responds to questions raised at two pre-filing neighborhood meetings held in November 2018 and April 2019.
Through both the masterplan and schematic design phases ARL has taken great care to respect the rural feel and historic legacy of this campus. The design of the administrative building has an intention and esthetic reminiscent of a traditional New England farmhouse cluster. Wood exteriors, lush landscaping with native plantings and building mass distributed in three sections are all geared to create an architecturally beautiful design that blends into the landscape set back from Pine St.
ARL looks forward to continuing dialog with our neighbors and the town to address questions and concerns regarding these plans. As the permitting and design process proceeds we intend to update this page with additional information.
Neighbors who have concerns about barking dogs on the Dedham campus should contact Lisa Lagos, Dedham Animal Care Manager, at (857) 350-8718.