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The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Edward Schettino, DVM, PhD as the 9th President & CEO of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). His term will begin May 1, 2020.

After thoughtfully examining the qualities and skills desired in a new president, ARL’s Board concluded that Dr. Schettino’s extensive knowledge of veterinary medicine, deep understanding of animal welfare, business acumen, and leadership skills, makes him uniquely qualified to lead ARL’s vision for the future.

Dr. Edward Schettino

For the past five years, Dr. Schettino has served as ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services, and before this post was the organization’s Director of Veterinary Medical Services. As Vice President, he has overseen ARL’s animal care and operations, law enforcement, community and shelter medicine, and community programs. He has been instrumental in advancing ARL’s vision for the future—to reach animals and people most in need—and led the program design and implementation of many ARL’s innovative community-based programs.

Previously, Dr. Schettino worked for over 12 years in both private veterinary hospitals and animal shelter settings. He is an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and, on behalf of ARL, has trained hundreds of police officers and veterinarians on reporting animal cruelty.

Dr. Schettino is recognized for his ability to collaborate with local and national organizations to enhance the animal welfare field as demonstrated by his service on a variety of boards and committees. This service includes the Massachusetts Animal Coalition Board, Massachusetts Veterinary Medicine Association, the Tufts at Tech Advisory Board, the Shelter Medicine Steering Committee at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and the Veterinary Technology Advisory Committee at North Shore Community College.

Today, ARL stands as the Massachusetts leader in providing affordable veterinary care to underserved communities, is in the forefront of responding to animal cruelty and neglect, and is a tireless advocate for law and public policies that will protect all animals from harm. We believe Dr. Schettino possesses the skills, passion, and leadership to support these objectives and advance our vision to reach, and positively impact even more animals and people in the years to come.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our current president, Mary Nee, for her enormously effective leadership of ARL. During her tenure, Mary conducted a strategic assessment of ARL’s programs, facilities and resources. Guided by this resulting plan, and through her vision, determination and hard work, she enhanced areas of strength, implemented necessary changes and successfully led the organization through a period of changing animal welfare needs. ARL today is helping more animals more meaningfully and effectively than ever before. The Board of Directors congratulates Mary for leading ARL to this proud place, and we wish her the best in her retirement.

 

 

 

Walter Kenyon, Chair

Animal Rescue League of Boston Board of Directors


An Amazing Transformation

Olive, seized in law enforcement investigation, finds her forever home

When we first met Olive in September 2019, she had just been rescued along with 18 other Cane Corsos as the result of an Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) law enforcement case.

Back then she was known only as MD46.

Like the majority of the animals seized from the unsanitary conditions at the Middleboro, MA breeding kennel, Olive was terrified at the world beyond her kennel and it was clear the days and weeks ahead would be challenging.

However, nearly six months later, Olive has continuously shown her resilience, and her amazing transformation has come full circle, as she recently found her forever home!

A Slow Process

For Olive, ARL’s shelter staff and volunteers immediately went to work, providing daily encouragement and enrichment, and slowly began introducing her to new things like outdoor walks and playtime.

At first these activities would be short, and she would quickly retreat to the more familiar and self-imposed sanctuary of her kennel.

But as the days and weeks passed, more and more Olive was enjoying the time spent outdoors (highlighted by sudden bursts of the zoomies in Brewster’s outdoor paddock) and her once sad and sullen expression was replaced with joy and happiness.

Going Home

It did take a bit of time to find the right match for Olive, but when she met her new owner, the connection was instantaneous.

Olive is now enjoying a quiet life in Western Massachusetts and everyone who worked with Olive was thrilled when her adoption was finalized.

The Importance of Enrichment

For Olive and her fellow Cane Corsos, they came to ARL after living sheltered and unhappy lives.

ARL’s behavioral staff was steadfast in ensuring that these animals received the love, attention, and encouragement to help them break free of their previous circumstances in order for them to thrive.

Olive is just one example of the incredible work that goes into helping thousands of animals overcome adversity and find loving homes each and every year.

Congratulations to Olive and her new owner!


It’s National Spay and Neuter Awareness Month!

Spay and Neutering Pets Promotes Health and Longevity

For all of us, the health and well-being of our beloved family pets is paramount; and the simplest way to reduce nuisance and aggressive behaviors, improve long-term health and longevity, is to have your dog or cat spayed or neutered.

February is National Spay and Neuter Awareness Month, and here at the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), we field questions about spay and neuter on a daily basis which typically revolve around two issues – cost and understanding the real and long-term benefits for you and your pet.

Affordable Options Exist

Don’t let cost be a barrier, as there are numerous affordable options throughout Massachusetts that are readily available.

Be sure to talk with your veterinarian about your best course of action, but here are a couple of options.

ARL’s Spay Waggin’ is a mobile veterinary clinic offering high-quality and affordable spay and neuter services. The Spay Waggin’ has been serving Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, the South Shore and South Coast for nearly 20 years; serving more than 59,750 animals.

Another place to turn is your local Animal Control Officer. The Massachusetts Animal Fund’s spay and neuter voucher program allows low-income residents receiving state assistance to get their pets this important surgery free of charge. Vouchers can be obtained through your city or town’s Animal Control Officer and are redeemed at participating providers, including ARL’s Spay Waggin’ and Community Surgical Clinic.

By the way, you can help keep this program going by donating on your state tax form on line 33f!

Long-Term Health Benefits

Caring for animals can be expensive, especially when it comes to their health. But consider this – having your pet spayed or neutered can reduce the risk of serious, and costly, health problems later in life.

Neutering male dogs and cats before six months of age prevents testicular cancer and spaying female cats and dogs before their first heat reduces the risk of uterine infections and breast cancer.
Spaying and neutering can also reduce behavioral problems such as marking territory, howling or barking, aggression and wandering.

We all want our pets to live long and healthy lives, and having an animal spayed or neutered actually increases their longevity. According to published reports, neutered male dogs live 18 percent longer than unneutered males, and spayed females live 23 percent longer than spayed females.

Healthy Moms, Happy Litters

How about if you have a pet at home with an unwanted or accidental litter of puppies or kittens? No problem, the Animal Rescue League of Boston can help.

Through the Healthy Moms, Happy Litters program, ARL will provide free spay and neuter services and vaccinations for mother/father dogs and cats. Once the procedure is complete, and animals are returned to the owner.

ARL will also waive the surrender fee for the litter of puppies or kittens, who will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and placed up for adoption.

Remember, there are an abundance of resources and help available to those who need it so please consider having your pet spayed or neutered for their happiness, their health, and for your piece of mind.


Take Action for MA Animal Protection Legislation

Join ARL at 2020 Lobby Day for Animals

Right now, Massachusetts legislatures are sifting through thousands of bills and deciding which ones should become law in the Commonwealth.

These bills cover everything from transportation, healthcare, education, animal welfare, among many others.

During the 2019-2020 legislative session, more than 90 animal welfare bills were filed, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is asking for your help in advocating on behalf of animals so the bills with the most impact can be passed.

It is crucial that elected officials hear from YOU – the people they represent about the issues most important to them.

Have Your Voice Heard

We invite you to join ARL, along with other animal welfare advocates, at the Massachusetts State Houses for the 2020 Lobby Day for Animals on March 24 to encourage law makers to take action to protect animals throughout the Commonwealth.

To register for this important event click here!

Advocating to legislators may be something you’re used to, or maybe it’ll be your first time. Regardless of your experience, it’s important to remember that animals cannot speak for themselves and rely on you to be their voice.

 We’ve Got You Covered

All attendees will get information before the big day, as well as a “how-to” day of and the ability to ask any questions.

The Legislature will see thousands of phone calls, emails, and letters over the next few months, so please join us for Lobby Day for Animals to ensure that animal welfare legislation receives the attention it deserves.

The Time is Now

The Massachusetts Legislature meets in a two-year cycle.

Our elected officials do most of their important work before July 31 of the second year of the session – which means that July 31, 2020, will be the deadline for controversial matters to be considered and voted on.

Legislation has to pass both the House and Senate with the same language, which can take days, weeks, or even months of conversation and compromise between legislators.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has a robust legislative agenda, focused on improving the lives of animals both in habitats and homes.

ARL supports a wide array of legislation supporting kennel regulations, improving citation enforcement for animals kept in cruel condition, ensuring animals from puppy mills do not find their way into Massachusetts pet stores, just to name a few.

We encourage you to take a look at ARL’s legislative agenda to see what bills we support and oppose.

There is strength in numbers and we are their voice!

Lobby Day Information

Lobby Day for Animals will be held at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and will being at 10:15 a.m.

There is a $10 charge for breakfast, lunch and to help offset the cost of the event. You must also register to take part in this event.

To register, click this link: https://secure.everyaction.com/OD7Xo7xMYEaCqDiou4_aQw2 


Press Release: As Temperatures Drop, Be on Lookout for Homeless Cats

Despite relatively mild daytime temperatures in recent weeks, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has still seen several cases of homeless cats winding up in some curious places while trying to escape the nighttime chill.

With colder air moving in for the upcoming weekend, ARL is reminding residents to keep an eye out for stray animals, particularly community cats, who may be seeking shelter from the storm.

Recent cases include a stray cat worming its way into the basement of a multifamily home in Dorchester, and a mom and kittens found under a house in Roxbury.

Eight-week-old Katrina was found with her mom and litter mates underneath a home in Roxbury.

Along with the aforementioned places, stray cats may find window wells, space underneath porches, backyard woodpiles, sheds, even the engine compartments of vehicles to get out of the cold.

If you spot a stray animal looking for shelter, you’re urged to contact local animal control, or ARL’s Field Services Department for assistance.

DIY Community Cat Shelter

If you live in an area where community cats are prevalent, you can provide temporary shelter by building a DIY community cat shelter. It’s cheap, easy, and could offer an animal a respite from the cold – for directions on how to build click here!

ARL Community Cat Initiative

With approximately 700,000 community cats living throughout Massachusetts, ARL launched its Community Cat Initiative in 2018, and has already helped thousands of these animals in a variety of ways. For more information about the initiative click here.

ARL Field Services

ARL Field Services provides technical and non-technical rescue operations for injured or lost domestic animals, livestock, and raptors (turkey vultures, osprey, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls).

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

If you need assistance, call (617) 426-9170 to reach ARL Field Services dispatch, which operates from 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM Tuesday-Saturday.


Spread the Love and Double Your Impact: A Matching Gift Challenge

DONATE NOW FOR DOUBLE THE IMPACT

Throughout the month of February, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) will celebrate the bond between people and pets with a match in memory of a beloved cat.

Generous donors Alisa and Dmitry have offered a special challenge—help raise $25,000 for animals, and they will match it to honor the memory of their cat, Brother.

Brother laying down

Brother

Brother came to his caretakers as a feral kitten, under-socialized and terrified. He resisted contact for six months. Then, almost overnight, Brother transformed into a love bug, almost as if he was making up for lost time.

He became the “embodiment of love”, seeking out affection wherever he could. He would steal your seat the moment you stood up, and was Alisa and Dmitry’s constant companion.

Sadly, Brother passed suddenly earlier this year, and he is sorely missed. It is in his honor that the Spread the Love challenge match is being offered, and we hope that you contribute in the name of your loved ones, both two and four-legged.

From February 1stthrough midnight on February 29th, your gift will be DOUBLED to help animals in need!

Here are four ways you can help us reach our goal:

  1. Express your love for animals by making a gift today
  2. Send a Valentine’s Day tribute with an eCard or mailed card
  3. Join the Champions Circle and spread the love all year!
  4. Share this post with your fellow animal lovers!

What your gift means to animals:

Symbolic gift levels for spread the love match

 

Your gift today has twice the power to change the lives of animals in Massachusetts.

From sweet snuggles to tender moments, animals give us so much. Don’t miss your chance to give back when they need it most!

 

DONATE NOW FOR 2X THE IMPACT

 

A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU TO THE SPREAD THE LOVE MATCH SPONSORS, ALISA AND DMITRY!


Animals need your voice today!

The Massachusetts Legislature operates on a two-year timeline, with a deadline of February 5, 2020 to move bills forward from initial committees. The following bills are on ARL’s Legislative Agenda and need your help to move forward.


S. 989: An Act enhancing the issuance of citations for cruel conditions for animals
Allows law enforcement to issue citations for all animals in “cruel conditions” to intervene before it rises to the level of felony animal cruelty.

Joint Committee on Municipalities

House Chair, Representative James O’Day: (617) 722-2090 James.O’Day@mahouse.gov

Senate Chair, Senator Rebecca Rausch: (617) 722-1555 Becca.Rausch@masenate.gov


H.1822: An Act enhancing the issuance of citations for cruel conditions for animals
Allows law enforcement to issue citations for all animals in “cruel conditions” to intervene before it rises to the level of felony animal cruelty.


H.1774/S.114: An Act protecting the health and safety of puppies and kittens in cities and towns
Regulates the operation of boarding kennels and daycare facilities, as well as prohibits roadside sales and sales of puppies and kittens under 8 weeks.

Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure

House Chair, Representative Tackey Chan: (617) 722-2014 Tackey.Chan@mahouse.gov

Senate Chair, Senator Paul Feeney: (617) 722-1222 Paul.Feeney@masenate.gov


S.175/H.800: An Act banning the retail sale of cats and dogs in pet shops
Prohibits the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits from pet shops unless the animals come from shelters or rescue organizations.


TAKE ACTION: Contact the committee chairs and your legislators to ask them to support these bills out of committee!

Joint Committee on the Judiciary

House Chair, Representative Claire Cronin: (617) 722-2396 Claire.Cronin@mahouse.gov   

Senate Chair, Senator James Eldridge: (617) 722-1120 James.Eldridge@masenate.gov


A message from ARL’s President, Mary Nee

Animal Rescue League of Boston supporters,

I have some news that I want to share with you.

I have decided to retire in May 2020 and step down as President of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). I am honored to have served as ARL’s president since 2012, only the eighth person in 120 years to hold this position, and just the second woman, since our founder, Anna Harris Smith.

This decision is entirely personal as I am eager to join my husband Jim in retirement and begin the next chapter of our lives. I hope that this chapter will include some travel, and, an unscheduled life, with more time to read, reflect, and enjoy family and friends.

While my decision is personal, it is also made with a sense that ARL is in a very good place. Having established a strategic vision focused on serving animals and people most in need, we are seeing the benefits of this direction through increasing impact to the most vulnerable of our community.

In addition, the next five years will see new facilities and services that will further strengthen this amazing organization, with master planning and design work to replace aging facilities complete or well underway.  I am confident in our ability to achieve these goals and appreciate the continued effort that will be required for success. I believe it will be most beneficial for ARL to have in place leadership who can see these projects and progress through to completion, taking this historic animal welfare organization to even higher levels of innovation and impact.

I leave knowing that we have that leadership in ARL’s Board of Directors and our talented staff. The board has been closely involved in my retirement planning and are reviewing the skills and attributes desired in a new president. In the coming weeks they intend to communicate their plans for future leadership.

Anticipating retirement is exciting, but leaving ARL is difficult. My career has spanned nearly 43 years in mission-based organizations in Boston. Prior to coming to ARL, this work revolved around issues related to human or community conditions. In joining ARL, I thought I was taking a detour from my past work. I was wrong.

The world of animal welfare is inextricably linked to humans, both the good and the bad. This link and the complexity of navigating through animal and human conditions makes for fascinating and highly complex work. My experiences here have been both tremendously rewarding and, at the same time, eye opening.  I now look at community quite differently, particularly the interplay of humans, animals, and the environment. I cannot adequately convey all of my learnings here and I intend to share with you my reflections on this transformative experience in a future communication.

As some of you know, I have a favorite quote attributed to Justice David Souter that has always resonated with me in terms of one’s life’s work. “For most of us the very best work we do sinks into the stream very quickly. We have to find satisfaction in being part of the great stream.”

For me being part of ARL, its compassionate work and the tireless efforts of staff, volunteers and donors alike who have responded to nearly 125,000 animals over the past 7+ years, is enormously rewarding and I will cherish having been part of this great stream for the rest of my life.

In the coming months I hope I can connect with many of you that have supported my journey at ARL and in the Boston community to reminisce and say thank you. Your friendship and support has sustained my many professional adventures and made possible any measure of success achieved. For this, I am eternally grateful.

Sincerely,

Mary signature

Mary Nee
President
Animal Rescue League of Boston

Click here to read Mary’s executive profile in the January 24, 2020 edition of the Boston Business Journal.   

Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff/Globe staff


ARL’s First Cat in Tree Rescue of 2020

On a raw and blustery day late last week in Dorchester, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services Department recorded its first cat-in-tree rescue of the New Year.

Midnight had been perched approximately 25 feet up in the tree for four days in her backyard, and with sub-freezing temperatures persisting, immediate action needed to be taken to get the cat safely out of the tree.

Three Field Service agents responded to the scene and after assessing the situation, scaled the tree and successfully rescued Midnight.

Despite being in the tree for four days, Midnight was not harmed and according to his owner Tasha, was thrilled to be on the ground and back indoors.

ARL Field Services

ARL Field Services provides technical and non-technical rescue operations for injured or lost domestic animals, livestock, and raptors (turkey vultures, osprey, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls).

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

If you need assistance, call (617) 426-9170 to reach ARL Field Services dispatch, which operates from 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM Tuesday-Saturday.


Updated: ARL Field Services Rescues Injured Hawk

This past week the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Field Services team responded to a home in Somerville, MA, where an injured red-tailed hawk had sought refuge after being unable to fly.

The concerned homeowner stated the hawk had been in the backyard for approximately 36 hours and had made several attempts to take flight, but was unsuccessful.

Equipped with a net and blanket, an ARL Field Services agent assessed the situation.

He then approached the hawk slowly and calmly, and despite the bird being alert, he stayed still as the agent gently wrapped a blanket around him, then placed the hawk into a portable carrier for transport.

The hawk was transported to Tufts Wildlife Clinic in Grafton, MA for medical care.

Below is a statement provided by Tufts Wildlife Clinic regarding the hawk’s condition:

The red-tailed hawk was brought to Tufts Wildlife Clinic at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University on Friday, January 10, from Somerville, MA, by the Animal Rescue League of Boston. At intake, the hawk was pale and had bruising on its right wing, as well as dried blood on its right foot, but no fractures were found. The hawk received oxygen upon arrival, as well as fluids. Further examination and testing revealed a low red blood cell count and impaired blood clotting, which together with the other symptoms was consistent with anticoagulant rodenticide toxicosis. Veterinarians are administering vitamin K, which is the antidote to intoxication with this type of rodent poison. The hawk is more alert and beginning to eat on its own, but it will require additional monitoring and medical care given the severity and unpredictability of this diagnosis.

ARL Field Services

ARL Field Services provides technical and non-technical rescue operations for injured or lost domestic animals, livestock, and raptors (turkey vultures, osprey, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls).

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

If you need assistance, call (617) 426-9170 to reach ARL Field Services dispatch, which operates from 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM Tuesday-Saturday.