ARL Field Services Hosts Cat Handling Training Session for Animal Welfare Professionals

Cat handling session continues ARL’s commitment to educational opportunities for animal welfare professionals

This week the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department hosted a cat handling training session for more than two dozen animal welfare professionals from throughout Massachusetts.

Over two dozen animal welfare professionals attended this week’s training session.

ARL is the only large animal welfare organization with dedicated staff to address community cats, and Field Services also responds to countless calls to help animals, including cats, who are in distress and need immediate assistance.

Animal control officers, shelter workers, among others, attended the informative training session which covered a variety of cat-related topics including safe-handling, trapping, overcrowding situations, and other scenarios where knowledge can go a long way to ensuring safety for the animals and people involved.

Whether it’s saving a cat from a tree, assessing and trapping in a large colony of homeless cats, addressing animal overcrowding or situations that involve cats finding themselves in precarious situations like a stray cat with a light fixture stuck on its head, or a mom and babies hiding in a crawl space – ARL Field Services agents have a wealth of knowledge and routinely collaborate with animal control officers to safely remove the animals from these situations.

ARL has a commitment to education and this training session is just one of an ongoing series of training sessions the organization holds throughout the year for animal welfare professionals.

About ARL Field Services

As part of its Community Outreach programs, ARL’s Field Services provide technical (tree climbing and swift/ice water) and non-technical rescues for injured domestic animals – including community cats – livestock, and raptors (turkey vultures, ospreys, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls).

Field Services also assists governmental agencies with equipment and training, and plays an essential role in supporting ARL’s Law Enforcement Department in cases of animal abuse, cruelty, and neglect.

To contact Field Services, call (617) 426-9170 x563.

ARL Caring for Stray Rabbit Found in Cape Cod National Seashore

Stray rabbit lucky to have been spotted by Good Samaritan

A one-year-old rabbit is on the mend at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Cape Cod Tom Kingman Memorial Campus, after being found as a stray in the Cape Cod National Seashore in the vicinity of Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, MA.

The rabbit, named Eeyore, was discovered along Doane Rd. in late April by a trail-walker who noticed that the rabbit did not look wild and then notified a nearby park ranger.

The ranger trapped the rabbit and contacted Eastham Animal Control who then transported Eeyore to ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Eeyore was very thin and had numerous abrasions and healing lacerations, signs that he had likely come in contact with wildlife and was also having difficulty discovering a food source.

He is currently unavailable for adoption as he continues to recover and gain weight, and there is no timeline on when he may be made available.

Despite his medical ailments, Eeyore is incredibly friendly, social, and easy to handle.

Although it is unknown how he wound up on his own, ARL thanks all those involved in rescuing this animal, and reminds the public that domesticated animals cannot survive on their own in the wild.

If you are no longer able to care for an animal, contact your local animal control office, ARL, or local animal shelter to surrender the animal.

ARL understands pet ownership can be difficult, and offers a judgement-free environment for anyone looking to surrender.

For more information on animal surrender, visit arlboston.org, or contact an ARL Animal Care and Adoption Center by calling (617) 426-9170.

National Get Caught Reading Month

It’s time for children to Paws to Read!

Launched in the spring of 2023, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Humane Education program seeks to create the next generation of compassionate animal advocates.

Two young girls sitting on the floor reading to a kitten who is laying in a blanket in one of the girl's laps.

Read along with us by selecting a book from our children’s reading list to learn more about animals.

Paws to Read Book List

1 to 4-years-old
Tails Are Not for Pulling, by Elizabeth Verdick

3 to 7-years-old
May I Pet Your Dog?, by Stephanie Calmenson
Jeannie Houdini A Hamster’s Tale, by Mary-Ann Stouck
So, What’s It Like To Be A Cat?, by Karla Kuskin
Please Don’t Tell Cooper He’s a Dog, by Michelle Lander Feinberg
Hens for Friends, by Sandy De Lisle
Lucky Loki is Okey Dokey, by Bette M. Vogel

6 to 10-years-old
Looking Out for Sarah, by Glenna Lang
The Cormorant and the Clam, by Consie Berghausen
Oh, Theodore Guinea Pig Poems, by Susan Katz
Mrs. Crump’s Cat, by Linda Smith
The Forgotten Rabbit, by Nancy Furstinger
Buddy Unchained, by Daisy Bix

Learn more about ARL’s Humane Education programs, including reading to animal opportunities.

ARL Caring for Stray Puppy with Severe Mange

Puppy with severe mange found wandering along Boston highway

A 4-month-old puppy with severe mange is receiving treatment at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), this after being found this past week as a stray who was roaming along the busy Cummins Highway in Roslindale.

For local media coverage of this story click here!

The puppy, named Petunia, was found last week along the Cummins Highway and taken to an emergency veterinary hospital for assessment and then transported to Boston Animal Control the next day.

Given the puppy will require long-term treatment, Boston Animal Control contacted ARL and brought Petunia to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center.

While it is unknown where she came from or how she found her way to the busy roadway, ARL’s focus right now is getting this helpless puppy on the path to recovery.

Petunia is suffering from severe demodectic mange, which is caused by mites living in the hair follicles of an animal, and results in fur loss and itchy skin.

The puppy has fur loss on the majority of her body, but it’s important to note that her condition is not contagious to other dogs or people.

The puppy’s course of treatment will involve medicated baths twice-a-week to help soothe her skin and oral medications to clear the mange.

Her treatment is expected to last 3-12 weeks and additionally, she will spend this time in foster care to provide her a quiet and calm environment to recover.

How you can Help Petunia and Animals Like Her

Petunia is going to need extensive and long-term care, and your emergency donation today can give Petunia and animals like her everything they need including emergency response when they are in danger, veterinary care to treat their health issues, and all the time they need to heal.

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Future Focus: Strategic Plan Goal 2

Support animal health with our professional services


Advance pet health and well-being through dog training courses and exceptional veterinary care.

Vision in Action

Gigi was adopted from ARL and her new mom, Chelsea, reached out to our dog training team to help provide Gigi with more structure and enrichment. Since completing their first course, Chelsea now has a better understanding of Gigi’s needs and it has improved the way they interact. This is just one of the ways we can help strengthen the human-animal bond and support pet families in our community.

Learn more about ARL’s 2024-2028 Strategic Plan for the Future.

A dog standing looking up at his owner to the side

Gigi and her owner during an ARL dog training class.

ARL Participates in Lobby Day for Animals

Lobby Day for Animals aims to cast light on animal-protection legislation

This past week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) joined a number of animal welfare organizations at the Massachusetts State House to participate in Lobby Day for Animals, to help citizen animal advocates make an impact by meeting and encouraging their elected officials to prioritize animal-protection legislation.

ARL at Lobby Day for Animals.

Dozens of animal advocates representing counties throughout the Commonwealth gathered to learn more about legislation and hear from both advocates and elected officials who are passionate about animals including Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, Senator Adam Gomez, and Representative Sam Montaño.

With the current legislative session ending in July, ARL continues to advocate for a number of priority bills including:

An Act to Increase Kennel Safety aka Ollie’s Law (H.4564; S.2731)

Currently, kennels in Massachusetts have limited standards. This proposed bill would create regulations for kennels, including commercial boarding and daycares. The bill is named after Ollie, a puppy who died from injuries sustained at a pet daycare in Western Massachusetts.

An Act Relative to the Use of Elephants, Big Cats, Primates, and Bears in Traveling Exhibits (H.3245; S.2197; S.2189

If passed, this piece of legislation would end the cruel use of these types of animals in circuses and other traveling exhibits.

An Act to Maintain Stable Housing for Families with Pets in an Economic Crisis and Beyond (H.1367; S.876)

This bill would provide housing protections during states of emergency and immediately afterward, preventing animals from being used as a reason for eviction. It would also prohibit insurance companies from refusing coverage, canceling, or increasing rates on the basis of dog breed.

Get Involved

The Legislature will take up the aforementioned bills in the coming weeks, and ARL encourages anyone invested in animal-protection law to contact their elected officials and as them to consider the current legislation to further propel Massachusetts in being a national leader when it comes to protecting animals.

Learn more about ARL’s Legislative Agenda and how you can become involved.

Press Release: ARL Receives $25,000 Donation as Part of Hale Family $26.2 Million Giving Effort Tied to the Boston Marathon

BOSTON – The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) announced today that they are one of 72 organizations who received a donation from Rob Hale and his wife, Karen, as part of a $26.2 million giving effort tied to the Boston Marathon.

Hale, co-founder and President of Granite Telecommunications LLC, ran the marathon for the first time on April 15.

The generous $25,000 donation will greatly help the animals in ARL’s care and will also support ARL’s community-based programs, which are aimed at bringing services directly where they’re needed and making it possible to keep owned pets out of shelters and in homes where they belong.

These programs include Keep Pets S.A.F.E. (Supporting Animals and Families Everyday), the Wellness Waggin’, Spay Waggin’, among others that involve partnerships with numerous human-service organizations.

“The Animal Rescue League of Boston is grateful to be included among the deserving recipients of the incredible philanthropic efforts by Rob and Karen Hale to support organizations that are a vital part of the fabric of Boston,” stated Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL President and CEO. “This donation will go a long way in providing care for animals in need throughout our partner communities.”

“Recognizing the immense impact the fabled Marathon has had on our proud city, we are humbled to be able to make these gifts to wonderful organizations throughout our region that support our community,’’ said Hale in an email letter to local charities sent moments after he crossed the finish line at Copley Square. “Please take and use this gift to further your vital mission. Together we make Boston Strong.”

ARL Spay Waggin’ Visits Martha’s Vineyard

ARL Spay Waggin’® provides spay/neuter surgeries, rabies vaccinations

This past week the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Spay Waggin’ traveled to Martha’s Vineyard to provide a number of much-needed services for pet owners within the island community.

During the day-long trip, ARL spayed or neutered nearly two dozen pets, and also participated in a rabies vaccination clinic in collaboration with Tisbury Animal Control that was able to vaccinate 23 animals.

This is ARL’s first trip to Martha’s Vineyard in several years, and given the need on the island, ARL does plan on making further trips to provide a low-cost spay/neuter option for pet owners.

“Being an island community, pet services are limited and ARL is committed to assisting more pet owners in the coming years by partnering with agencies on the island to bring services directly where they’re needed,” stated Dr. Erin Doyle, ARL’s Senior Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services.

About ARL’s Spay Waggin’

If getting your pet spayed or neutered is cost-prohibitive, ARL can help.

The Spay Waggin’ offers low-cost, high-quality spay/neuter services for Boston, the South Shore, and Cape Cod and the Islands with rotating and convenient monthly stops.

Since first hitting the road in 2000, more than 75,000 spay/neuter surgeries have been performed on the mobile surgical unit.

The spay package for dogs or cats includes a brief veterinary exam, spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations, and a nail trim.

The Spay Waggin’ operates by appointment only, and anyone looking to schedule an appointment can do so online and can call 877-590-SPAY (7729) or email spaywaggin@arlboston.org with any questions.

Transport Puppy with Gunshot Wound Seeking New Home

Puppy suffered gunshot wound at former home in Mississippi

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is ready to find a special home for a puppy transported from a shelter in Mississippi who is lucky to be alive after suffering a gunshot wound at his former home and ready for his next chapter.

Biscuit, a 6-month-old male Lab-mix, was transported to ARL as part of the organization’s partnership with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Relocation Program, where animals are transferred from overcrowded shelters to organizations that have the capacity to take in the animals and find them permanent homes.

Biscuit’s wound was certainly noticeable, but because is was unknown how the wound happened, he was facing a state-mandated four-month quarantine for a wound of unknown origin.

Given his age, a four-month quarantine would have stunted his ability to properly socialize with other animals, so ARL shelter staff went to work to see if it was possible to confirm how he was wounded.

The source shelter in Mississippi confirmed that Biscuit’s wound was the result of a gunshot.

His former owner brought the puppy to the shelter for his safety, saying that their neighbor was discharging a firearm at the property, and that a bullet had grazed the puppy’s head.

Biscuit is lucky to be alive, however, he was likely traumatized by the event.

While friendly and playful, the puppy is very nervous with new people and situations.

He will make for a wonderful pet and his new family will need to exercise patience with Biscuit to help him work through the trauma, let him know he’s safe, and take the steps necessary to help him become a well-mannered young adult dog.

Biscuit is currently available for adoption at ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Trio of Pug Puppies at ARL Through Community-Based Program

ARL’s community-based Healthy Moms, Happy Litters program provides care for parent pets and offspring

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is ready to find homes for a trio of 5-month-old Pug puppies that came to the organization through an innovative community-based program aimed to promote spay/neuter and assist pets as well as the people who care for them.

Healthy Moms, Happy Litters is a community-based program established in 2016, and provides complimentary assistance to local families and their pets in the event of an unplanned or unwanted litter.

The program, available at all three ARL locations, provides free spay/neuter services and vaccinations for mother/father cats or dogs.

After surgery, the mother/father pair or individual are returned to their owner. ARL also waives surrender fees for the parent(s) litter of puppies or kittens.

The offspring are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and once eligible, are placed up for adoption.

Aside from offsetting the cost of a spay/neuter surgery, pet owners can be assured their pets will greatly benefit from the surgery, as spaying female dogs and cats helps prevent uterine infection and reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Neutering males can eliminate their risk of testicular cancer and spay/neuter can also help in reducing spraying, wandering and other behavioral concerns.

The three pug puppies, which include two females and a male, still need to undergo spay/neuter surgery, but will be available for adoption very soon.

Anyone in the situation of having an unplanned or unwanted litter of puppies or kittens are urged to contact ARL, and can learn more about Healthy Moms, Happy Litters by contacting ARL’s Boston, Dedham, or Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers.