ARL Partners with Esplanade Association to Rescue “Essie”

This past week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department worked in collaboration with the Esplanade Association (EA), a nonprofit organization that works to enhance, revitalize, maintain and program the Charles River Esplanade, and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), to rescue a white wayward duck on the Esplanade.

This duck who many call “Essie” (short for Esplanade) has become beloved for its heartwarming story of being ‘adopted’ by a family of Canada geese on the Esplanade.

The Esplanade Association’s Horticulture staff first noticed Essie as a young duckling in June, following around several goslings. They continued to check up on Essie throughout the summer.

Essie’s presence was embraced not only by these geese, but by all the Esplanade’s visitors who saw Essie frequently along the lagoons.

However, as summer turned to fall, temperatures dipped and the time for geese to migrate got closer, Essie’s safety and future needed to be taken into consideration.

Because it is unknown whether Essie would be able to survive the winter on their own, the Esplanade Association reached out to ARL to rescue and once again place the domesticated duck into a new home.

“Following Essie’s journey throughout the summer was very special to our organization and many Esplanade visitors,” said Esplanade Association Executive Director Michael Nichols. “Although we will miss seeing Essie on the Esplanade, we are grateful to the ARL for safely rescuing the duck and finding a long-term home where Essie’s health and safety can be ensured.”

As with any attempt to wrangle an animal, it was important to approach Essie slowly. Using bread as a lure, Essie was coaxed to slowly approach ARL’s Field Services agents, and the agents were able to corral the duck without using nets, a testament to Essie’s temperament.

The operation lasted less than 30 minutes, and then Essie was transported first to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center and then to ARL’s Brewster location.

Ready to Find a Forever Home

**Update 11/16/2020: Essie has been adopted!**

While Essie has settled in quickly at ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center, she is now ready to find her forever home!

If you are interested in meeting Essie and believe a duck may be a perfect fit for you and your family, contact ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center at (617) 426-9170 x305. ARL staff will be happy to conduct an adoption interview via phone and arrange a meeting, if both parties think it’s a good match.

Please note:

  • With the exception of lower-risk states, we are unable to conduct out-of-state adoptions at this time.
  • The public will not be permitted in the shelter or lobby waiting areas without an appointment and will be asked to limit the number of visitors.
  • Everyone must wear a protective face covering or mask that covers both the nose and mouth while at ARL facilities by order of the State of Massachusetts.
    • Please alert our staff if you need to request accommodation due to a medical condition by calling: (617) 426 – 9170 and dialing the appropriate extension: Boston press “0”, Dedham x605, or Brewster x305;
  • For more information on these safety requirements, visit

At this time, we are collecting towels, toys and small bedding for use in our Animal Care & Adoption Centers, but are unable to accept large items such as food or crates. To donate towels, toys and small bedding, please leave them outside Boston or Brewster’s front doors between 9AM – 12PM only; or the donation bin outside of the Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center anytime. You can still send much needed animal supplies through Amazon shelter wish lists for BostonDedham, and Brewster.