Forever Friends

As you plan for your own future, you can now plan for your pet!

Our animals give us so much and we love and protect them unconditionally. And if the unexpected happens, you can still provide for your beloved companion(s).

When you enroll in the Forever Friends program, your pet(s) can count on the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) for comfort, care, and adoption services.

For more information, please contact Jackie Smith at 617-226-5608 or jsmith@arlboston.org

How Does it Work?

In exchange for the promise of a legacy gift, a pre-registration fee of $100, and completion of intake paperwork for your pet(s), ARL will recognize you as a member of the Forever Friends program, and, as a member of the Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society®.

As a member of Forever Friends, ARL agrees to admit your cherished pet(s) to one of our Animal Care & Adoption Centers should they outlive you, or in the event that you are unable to care for them.

In accordance with our standard operating procedures, we will evaluate your pet and, barring any serious behavior or health concerns, will place them for adoption.

Enroll in Forever Friends

What Is a Legacy/Planned Gift?

Legacy/planned gifts, most commonly bequests from a Will, are a powerful investment that will care for animals, improve communities, and prevent animal neglect and abuse long into the future.

ARL gratefully accepts legacy gifts of any size including:

  • A gift or bequest from your Will or trust

  • Adding ARL as a beneficiary of your retirement plan or assets

  • Naming ARL as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy

We are happy to work with your attorney to discuss annuity or charitable remainder trusts.

There is no minimum required gift size.

View our gift acceptance policy

The following sample language may be used in your will, trust, or other estate papers:

I wish to provide for the care and welfare of any and all pets that I own at the time of my death. It is my desire that they live the remainder of their lives in a home environment. Accordingly, I give, devise, and bequeath my pet(s) to my spouse. If my spouse does not survive me:

      1. I give, devise, and bequeath my pets to The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), 10 Anna’s Place, Dedham, MA, Tax ID 04-210-3714, to be received by the ARL under the auspices of its Forever Friends program.
      2. In gratitude for caring for my pet(s), and to support ARL’s programs and services, I give $__________________ or ______% of my estate to ARL to provide funding for the ongoing activities of the organization as determined by the board of directors.
      3. I request that ARL arrange for the placement of my pet(s) in a suitable home through the ARL’s pet adoption program. I understand, however, that adoption may be precluded if a pet is ill or injured, or has behavior concerns, and that ARL may humanely euthanize any pet determined by ARL in its sole and absolute discretion to be ill or injured, or to have behavior concerns.
  • Always consult your financial and/or legal advisors when making additions or changes to your will, trust, or estate papers.


What pets are eligible?

Forever Friend is open to cats, dogs, small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs, and companion birds such as parakeets, doves, and parrots.

Is my pet a good fit for the Forever Friends Program?

Pets who are seriously ill or injured, or who have serious behavior concerns, such as aggression towards people or pets, are not a good fit for the program. In accordance with our standard operating procedures, we will evaluate your pet and may humanely euthanize any pet determined by ARL in its sole and absolute discretion.

How do you make adoption matches?

ARL is committed to matching adoptable animals with a home. Our conversation-based, application-free adoption process is designed so that the needs of both the animal and the adopter are understood and compatible with one another.

How should my family contact ARL if my pet survives me?

In the event that your pet survives you, your family, or other personal representatives should contact ARL’s Field Services hotline at 617-426-9170 x563. Field Services’ hours of operation are Tuesday – Saturday, 9:30AM – 5:30PM; closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Can ARL assist with transportation of my pet?

ARL can assist as long as the pet in within MA and within reasonable time parameters.