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ARL Advocacy: Poaching

While Massachusetts has one of the country’s oldest animal welfare laws and has made strides to protect companion animals over the past decade, laws regarding poaching are woefully outdated. Poaching includes illegal hunting, trapping, and fishing. Many of the penalties for violating these laws have not been updated for almost a century.

Poaching is often depicted as something that targets exotic animals; we see pictures of endangered species illegally hunted as a trophy. However, poaching is not limited to endangered or exotic species. Poaching is simply a violation of hunting laws and include many animals that are lawful to hunt.

Concerns about violations of hunting laws lead to the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, an agreement signed onto by 48 states to suspend hunting privileges for violations in other states. Massachusetts is one of only two states not signed onto this compact. What does this mean? It means that Massachusetts does not automatically consider out-of-state violations from for those with a hunting license in Massachusetts.

An Act further regulating the enforcement of illegal hunting practices (H.4131, text here) filed by Senator Michael Moore, Representative Lori A. Ehrlich, and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante would bring Massachusetts penalties in line with those commonplace in other states, join Massachusetts with the 49 other states as members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, and strengthen protections for wildlife in Massachusetts. This bill was reported favorably from Committee and is in House Ways and Means.

Poaching harms wildlife populations, impacting conservation efforts and lawful hunters alike. Enforcement and appropriate penalties for such violations across the country is a crucial component of protecting animals in their habitats.

Learn more about ARL’s position on hunting here: ARL Position Statement on Hunting


Thank you to our Paws to Celebrate event sponsors

On October 7, 2020, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) hosted the 3rd annual Paws to Celebrate event to honor the organization’s supporters and highlight the remarkable impact of their generosity during this year of uncertainty.

This year’s event was hosted virtually, though it did not diminish the purpose nor the success of the event: thanks in large part to dedicated corporate and individual sponsorships, the event raised more than $83,500 in funds that will benefit animals in need and the people who love them.

ARL graciously recognizes the 2020 Paws to Celebrate sponsors and event committee, listed below, for their shared passion for animals in need. Together with ARL’s donors, their generosity will ensure that the animals that ARL serves will continue to receive the loving care they deserve.


Thank you to our generous sponsors

Leader of the Pack

Hills

Best in Show

Best in show logos

 

Top Dog

 

Top Dog sponsors

Top Cat

Top Cat sponsors

 

Animal Advocate


Alison Erbig and William Goldberg

Dedham Savings

Deloitte.

The McCreary Family

Wade Gulbransen


and to the event committee:

Mary Bainbridge, Beth Baker, Kristin Casey, David Cawley, Richard Davey, Alison Erbig, Richard Kelly, Walter Kenyon, Cynthia Kettyle, Elena Kirkiles, Constance Lacaillade, Anne-Marie Litchfield, Patti Lotane, Mark & Mikki Manganaro, Christina Nagler, Tara Oliver, Alisa Plazonja, Christopher Primiano, Heather & Park Ridill, Kim Roderiques, José Rodriguez-Villalobos, and Laura Tomasetti


ARL Locations Holding Drive-Thru Pet Food Donation Drive

Donated Items to Support ARL’s Keep Pets S.A.F.E. Program

On Saturday, October 17, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) will be holding a drive-thru pet food donation drive at its Boston, Dedham and Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers.

The donation drive will be held from Noon-4 p.m.

Recipient of ARL’s Keep Pets S.A.F.E. Program.

Donated items will go in support of ARL’s Keep Pets S.A.F.E. (Supporting Animals Facing Emergencies) pet food pantry.

The S.A.F.E. Program was established to help families cope with the ongoing struggles related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pantry is in need of: unopened/unexpired dry or wet dog and cat food; cat litter; and house-training pads. Masks or facial coverings are required for all drop-offs, and ARL requests that all dogs be left safely at home for this special donation drive.

Donations can also be made at home through ARL’s Amazon Wish List at bit.ly/ARLDedhamWishList, and financial contributions can be made by texting “PETS” to 44-321.

ARL Animal Care and Adoption Centers are located at:

Boston: 10 Chandler Street, Boston, MA 02116 (Please use Tremont St. Entrance)

Dedham: 55 Anna’s Place, Dedham, MA 02026

Brewster: 3981 Main Street (Route 6A), Brewster, MA 02631


Massachusetts Animal Control Officer of the Year 2020

The Animal Rescue League of Boston and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) are pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for the annual Massachusetts Animal Control Officer (ACO) of the Year award.

The award was established to honor an animal control officer whose efforts in his/her local community throughout the year demonstrate:

  • A dedicated, humane attitude toward the treatment and well-being of all animals
  • Effective enforcement of pet responsibility laws;
  • Commitment to public awareness and humane education programs
  • Cooperative working relationships with other agencies, such as state and local government departments, other ACOs, and animal protection groups.

Nominations should be submitted in writing and may come from government officials, other officers, animal protection organizations, or private citizens.

Submissions should explain how the nominee has met the above criteria and should be sent to both:

Joseph King
Animal Rescue League of Boston
10 Chandler Street
Boston, MA 02116
JKing@arlboston.org

Kara Holmquist
MSPCA
350 South Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02130
kholmquist@mspca.org

The deadline for nominations is October 29, 2020.


Cane Corso with ARL for One-Year Ready to Find Her Forever Home

Alexandria seized from Middleboro Breeding Facility in September 2019

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is excited to announce that the last animal remaining in ARL’s care from a September 2019 law enforcement case is finally ready to find her forever home.

Alexandria, a three-year-old Cane Corso, was one of 24 animals (20 dogs) seized from a Middleboro, MA, breeding facility in September 2019, who were found living in poorly ventilated, unsanitary, and dangerous conditions.

Click here for local media coverage of Alexandria’s story!

The owner of the property was charged with five felony counts of animal cruelty, as well as 23 misdemeanor charges of neglect. The case remains in the Plymouth County judicial system.

All of the dogs from this ongoing law enforcement case have been adopted and enjoying their new lives, however Alexandria has taken longer to become ready to find her new home.

The majority of the animals were traumatized by their former living situation, compounded by limited outdoor access and socialization. Sadly for Alexandria, her level of traumatization was extreme, and caused her to become quite fearful of everything around her.

Alexandria, like her kennel mates, spent the majority of their time in cages, so in her reality, everything beyond the kennel door was unfamiliar and scary.

Her situation required months of encouragement, support, and help from ARL staff, and over the past year Alexandria has made tremendous strides.

While she would not come out of her kennel for her first months at ARL, Alexandria now enjoys being outdoors and loves playing with other dogs and is even more eager to approach a new person.

Ready to Go Home

ARL is thrilled that Alexandria is ready to find her new home, however she will still require multiple meets with her potential adopters to ensure she is comfortable.

ARL’s behavioral staff will also be providing post-adopt behavior/training support to make sure she settles into her new surroundings.

Please note that all animal adoptions at ARL are currently by appointment only and for more information on the adoption process click here.

You Make These Outcomes Possible

While it is difficult to predict the on-going impacts of this global crisis, one thing remains constant – animals in our communities are still in need.

And with a great need for these ongoing and expanding community services, Champions Circle members are there to answer the call for help.

Thanks to you, Alexandria was able to not only be rescued from her situation, but received the extensive support she needed in order to have a second chance.

Champions Circle members provide steady support that sustains life-saving measures and second chances for homeless and at-risk animals all year long.

During unprecedented times like these when fundraising events have been cancelled or modified, monthly gifts are crucial to providing life-saving care and assistance to animals when they need it most.

By becoming a Champions Circle member today, you are ensuring that animals in need will the care they deserve, even during crisis.

Why does monthly giving matter?

  • Spreading out your donation in increments throughout the year makes your giving budget work harder and creates an even bigger impact for animals.
  • Monthly giving is a convenient, affordable, and efficient way to make a difference in the lives of animals in our community.
  • 60% of ARL’s funding comes in during the last quarter of the year- and most of it during the last 2 weeks in December – yet animals need help every day. Monthly support from Champions Circle donors provides animals with care and assistance when they need it most.

Use this secure link to join now, or call Derek at (617) 426-9170 x162.

Join by September 30th, and receive a special 2021 wall calendar!


Stray Cat Survives Barbed Wire Injury, Finds Forever Home

“Ant” needed extensive medical treatment

In May, while many of us were working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department remained busy on the front lines providing a number of services, including the rescue of a two-year-old stray cat in Middleboro that had been severely injured by barbed wire.

Ant had been spotted in a quiet neighborhood, and when ARL arrived on-scene, it was clear that the cat was in a tremendous amount of pain.

He had suffered severe lacerations which were clearly infected, and he needed medical attention immediately. Ant was transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center for treatment.

Unfortunately the injury to his left hind limb was beyond repair, and needed to be amputated.

Following his surgery by ARL’s shelter medicine staff, Ant was required to go into a state-mandated, four-month quarantine for a wound of unknown origin.

Given he was a stray, Ant showed signs of anxiety around people, and needed plenty of socialization during his recovery and quarantine period.

While Ant was initially hiding and tense, shelter staff and volunteers began spending time with Ant, approaching slowly, and using purr machines, soft music and even reading aloud to get him to relax.

Over time Ant’s body language improved, he was hiding less and was even allowing brushing, full-body pets, and chin scratches!

Finding a Forever Home

Ant’s tremendous progress over a four-month period made him an easy decision for his adopter, who fell in love at first sight!

Ant is settling in to his new home well and is sure to give plenty of love and purrs for years to come.

You Make These Outcomes Possible

While it is difficult to predict the on-going impacts of this global crisis, one thing remains constant – animals in our communities are still in need.

And with a great need for these ongoing and expanding community services, Champions Circle members are there to answer the call for help.

Thanks to you, Ant was able to not only be rescued from the streets, but received the extensive medical care he needed in order to have a second chance.

Champions Circle members provide steady support that sustains life-saving measures and second chances for homeless and at-risk animals all year long.

During unprecedented times like these when fundraising events have been cancelled or modified, monthly gifts are crucial to providing life-saving care and assistance to animals when they need it most.

By becoming a Champions Circle member today, you are ensuring that animals in need will the care they deserve, even during crisis.

Why does monthly giving matter?

  • Spreading out your donation in increments throughout the year makes your giving budget work harder and creates an even bigger impact for animals.
  • Monthly giving is a convenient, affordable, and efficient way to make a difference in the lives of animals in our community.
  • 60% of ARL’s funding comes in during the last quarter of the year- and most of it during the last 2 weeks in December – yet animals need help every day. Monthly support from Champions Circle donors provides animals with care and assistance when they need it most.

Use this secure link to join now, or call Derek at (617) 426-9170 x162.

Join by September 30th, and receive a special 2021 wall calendar!


ARL Holds Spay/Neuter and Pet Wellness Clinic in East Boston

Spay Waggin’ Returns to Boston after a Decade

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) unveiled its brand new Spay Waggin’ during a special spay/neuter and pet wellness clinic in East Boston Thursday, bringing expanded high-quality and accessible veterinary services to this historically underserved community.

The mobile clinic was held in collaboration with the Massachusetts Animal Fund, which provides eligible Massachusetts pet owners with spay/neuter vouchers to cover the cost of surgery and associated services, such as vaccinations.

For local news coverage from WCVB click here!

ARL provided free spay/neuter services for more than 20 animals, whose owners have been on the Boston waiting list for services for six months or more due to both demand and COVID-19-related restrictions.

“We’ve been on the waiting list for about a year,” said Dayanara G., who’s dog Blanca was spayed. “It’s very helpful, I rescued her so I didn’t have all the funds to get all her medical treatment. With COVID it was just so hard, a lot of the vets were closed so even just shopping around for them was hard.”

ARL’s Wellness Waggin’ was also on-site to provide low-cost basic and preventive veterinary care for at least an additional 20 animals whose owners were referred by community partner Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD)’s East Boston location.

Additionally, the East Boston Shaw’s location, who offered it’s parking lot as a staging area for the clinic, also hosted a pet food and supplies drive during the week leading up to the clinic.

When picking up their animals, clients were able to take home the pet food and supplies collected via ARL’s Transport Waggin’.

Need for Services

For the estimated 16,000 pets and 40,000 residents living in East Boston, pet resources are extremely limited, with just one veterinary clinic and one pet supply store in the immediate area.

By establishing a monthly Spay Waggin’ location in the community beginning with this September clinic, and by adding ABCD’s East Boston location as a weekly location for the Wellness Waggin’ beginning in 2021, ARL will significantly increase East Boston residents’ access to basic veterinary care and spay/neuter.

“ARL is excited and humbled to be able to provide these essential services to pet owners in East Boston,” said Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL President and CEO. “East Boston was identified as an area of great need, which was further compounded by COVID-19. ARL’s new Spay Waggin’ will join the Wellness Waggin’ to increase our capacity to help, and our continued partnership with ABCD will further allow ARL to broaden its reach in this great community.”

The Spay Waggin’ joins ARL’s Wellness Waggin’ and Transport Waggin’ as ARL continues to expand its comprehensive community programs approach to help alleviate barriers to care, such as cost and lack of transportation, that prevent many pet owners from accessing basic veterinary care.

Brand New Spay Waggin’

The new Spay Waggin’ is a state-of-the-art mobile surgical unit, and is the third unit in the programs’ 20-year history.

Since 2000, ARL’s Spay Waggin’ program has served the South Shore, South Coast, and Cape Cod region, and has performed well over 60,000 spay/neuter surgeries during operation.

You Make Community Services Possible

While it is difficult to predict the on-going impacts of this global crisis, one thing remains constant – animals in our communities are still in need.

And with a great need for these ongoing and expanding community services, Champions Circle members are there to answer the call for help.

Champions Circle members provide steady support that sustains life-saving measures and second chances for homeless and at-risk animals all year long.

During unprecedented times like these when fundraising events have been cancelled or modified, monthly gifts are crucial to providing life-saving care and assistance to animals when they need it most.

By becoming a Champions Circle member today, you are ensuring that animals in need will the care they deserve, even during crisis.

Why does monthly giving matter?

  • Spreading out your donation in increments throughout the year makes your giving budget work harder and creates an even bigger impact for animals.
  • Monthly giving is a convenient, affordable, and efficient way to make a difference in the lives of animals in our community.
  • 60% of ARL’s funding comes in during the last quarter of the year- and most of it during the last 2 weeks in December – yet animals need help every day. Monthly support from Champions Circle donors provides animals with care and assistance when they need it most.

Use this secure link to join now, or call Derek at (617) 426-9170 x162.

Join by September 30th, and receive a special 2021 wall calendar!


Lil’ Dumplin’ Ready to give a Lil’ Lovin’!

Former stray’s Quarantine Period Ends

In April, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) received a call from a concerned United States Postal Service mail carrier regarding a friendly stray in the Dorchester neighborhood they serve.

The mail carrier had been feeding the cat, and upon receiving the call, ARL’s Field Services Department were dispatched to pick up the animal and bring her to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Lil’ Dumplin’ enjoying the feline suite.

Despite spending time on the streets, the 3-year-old female cat was incredibly friendly. Overall she was healthy, however a wound on her neck was discovered and classified as a “wound of unknown origin.”

With this type of wound, the state mandates a four-month quarantine period, just in case the cat had come in contact and was wounded by a rabid animal.

Lil’ Dumplin’ has spent the last four months in a special feline suite, providing her with a large space away from the shelter environment, and she has had plenty of visitors and attention during her quarantine period.

Quarantine Period Used to Be Longer

In 2016, ARL encouraged Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to make some changes to shelter regulations, including reducing the rabies quarantine period from six months to four.

Governor Charlie Baker

Gov. Baker discusses shelter regulations at ARL in 2016.

The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians recommended the reduction due to evidence that showed that animals in isolation for an extended period of six months could become stressed and depressed, even with regular human socialization.

Not only is the reduced quarantine period beneficial for the overall health and wellbeing of the animals involved, it also allows organizations like ARL to help more animals and to ease financial constraints.

Ready to Go Home

**Update: Lil Dumplin’ has been adopted!**

With Lil’ Dumplin’s quarantine period over, she is now ready to find her forever home!

If you are interested in meeting Lil’ Dumplin’ and believe she may be a perfect fit for you and your family, contact ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center at (617) 426-9170 x604. 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 Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York or New Jersey, 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 mass.gov.

How a Bill Becomes a Law: PAWS II

As we talked about a few weeks ago, the PAWS bill of 2014 was a wonderful example of how the legislature can be truly committed to protecting animals in Massachusetts.

After the tragic finding of a dog who had been sadistically tortured in 2013, the legislature acted to make sure other animals would not suffer this fate.

With the bill moving on a rapid timeline, concerns were raised that more laws regarding animal welfare needed strengthening. The legislature convened a task force to examine some of these issues. The task force included representatives from animal welfare groups including ARL, law enforcement, attorneys, animal control, and human service providers.

The Task Force

The task force report had numerous recommendations to improve animal welfare in the commonwealth:

    • It proposed ending the cruel requirement that animals seized from fighting operations must be euthanized, instead allowing individual assessment of animals.
    • It would clarify that drowning animals was inhumane.
    • Another recommendation was that landlords be required to check vacant properties for pets.

There were many other more technical suggestions that would strengthen animal welfare ordinances across cities and towns.

The results of the Task Force’s findings would be the basis for an extension of the PAWS bill, this one appropriately called PAWS II.

Legislation

Governor Charlie Baker signing PAWS II into law

Governor Charlie Baker signing PAWS II into law.

PAWS II was filed in January in 2017, largely mirroring the recommendations of the task force assembled in 2014.

The hearing for the bill was held in October of the first year of the session, and was reported favorably by the committee in December of 2017.

This gave PAWS II a much longer timeframe to get passed than the first PAWS bill.

In March of 2018, the Senate debated the bill.

Two months later, the House debated their version.

The two had to be reconciled, and on July 17, a conference committee was appointed to settle the differences between the two branches. The group had two weeks to come to an agreement.

The final agreement came late in the final day of the session on July 31.

The conference committee was able to secure many important proposals of the task force, including:

    • allowing increased reporting of animal cruelty by human service agency staff;
    • making animal control officers mandated reporters of abuse of elders, individuals with disabilities, and children;
    • requiring landlords check vacant properties for abandoned animals;
    • prohibiting the drowning of animals, update laws regarding animal sexual abuse, including prohibition on future ownership of animals;
    • ending mandatory euthanasia of animals seized from animal fighting operations and allows for individual evaluation of animals;
    • updating penalties and making technical changes improving enforcement of animal control laws, including improperly kept kennels.

The bill was engrossed in the late hours of the legislative session on July 31.

There were still the steps of enactment and being signed into law by the Governor.

Fortunately, both branches and the Governor recognized the importance of these common sense protections, and ARL was able to celebrate the signing of PAWS II at a ceremonial signing in September 2018.

PAWS II was able to move through the legislative process because of the hard work of legislators, staff, and advocates who contacted the legislature to make their voice known.

Want to learn more about how you can get involved in advocacy? Check out our Advocacy 101 post.


FedEx Driver Spots Stray Bearded Dragon After Rain Storm

Earlier this month when the Metro Boston area was inundated by a period of afternoon thunderstorm activity, an astute FedEx driver wound up making more than deliveries.

On the lawn of a small apartment complex in Dorchester, the delivery driver noticed a bearded dragon lying in the grass.

Concerned for the animal’s welfare, the driver contacted the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department to respond and care for the bearded dragon.

Ballou being rescued.

Upon arrival, Field Services agents noted that the bearded dragon was soaked from the rain and very cold.

Bearded dragons thrive in relatively low humidity environments (between 20 and 30 percent humidity), so given that the animal was caught in a torrential downpour and high humidity was concerning.

Field Services transported the one-year-old bearded dragon, now named Ballou, to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center for a medical exam and treatment.

Ballou has done well since being in Dedham and is now looking for his forever home!

Caring for a Bearded Dragon

You may not know it from a bearded dragon’s stern expression, but these animals are in fact very docile and affectionate with humans!

Unlike many other lizards, bearded dragons are not nocturnal and are active during the day – perfect for forming a bond with your new companion.

Caring for a bearded dragon is fairly simple and here are a few things you’ll need to keep him health and happy in his new environment:

  • A larger capacity glass tank (40 gallons or more) and a secure screen lid
  • Sand, as well as obstacles like a rock or branches that your bearded dragon can climb on or hide behind
  • A heating lamp so your bearded dragon can spend plenty of time basking in the sun
  • A mister to keep your bearded dragon comfortable – a once-a-day spritzing is all that’s needed
  • Bearded dragons are omnivores, so be sure to have a balanced diet of insects, fruits, vegetables, reptile feed, and always keep water at the ready

Ready to Adopt?

Due to COVID-19, adoption services are by appointment only.

If you are interested in talking with an ARL Animal Care Associate about Ballou, you can contact ARL’s Dedham location by calling (617) 426-9170 x605 to set up an appointment.

To ensure Ballou will have an adequate environment in which to thrive, you will also need to provide a picture of the enclosure you plan on keeping him in.