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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.


Press Release: Stray Cat Found Frozen to Shipping Container Recovering

Schooner’s Holiday Miracle

Update: Schooner has found his forever home! Once he was made available for adoption, he found his new family in a matter of hours. Congratulations to Schooner and his new family!

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is continuing to care for a stray cat found frozen to a shipping container outside a Dedham restaurant during last week’s cold snap. Miraculously the cat, now named Schooner, not only survived, but is well on his way to finding a new home.

ARL was contacted by Dedham Animal Control Officer Jayson Tracy, after discovering the cat in the early morning hours last Wednesday, stuck to the container outside of TGI Fridays along Providence Highway. The cat was carefully removed from the container, and brought to ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Center in Dedham.

It’s likely that Schooner’s fur was wet and with bitter cold and real-feel temperatures well below freezing, once the cat came in contact with the container he was immediately stuck. It’s unknown how long the cat was frozen to the container.

Schooner was very thin, dehydrated and showing the typical bumps and bruises of living outdoors which included a fractured tooth, but amazingly he did not suffer from hypothermia.

While at ARL in Dedham, Schooner has eaten ravenously and has already gained a pound and he has also become a staff favorite for his easy-going and friendly demeanor.

Schooner will soon be placed in foster care for two weeks so he can continue to gain weight, will have his fractured tooth removed, be neutered and then will be ready to find his forever home.

Holiday Caring

For many, the holiday season brings feelings of warmth, comfort, and friendship – and our wish for you and all the animals in our care is to experience the joy of the holidays.

Your generous support made this wish come true for thousands of animals so far this year, including:

  • 4,420 pets and community cats who were spayed and neutered to keep them healthy
  • 2,770 animals who were rehabilitated and adopted into forever homes
  • 980 pets who received affordable pet wellness services in the convenience of their own community
  • 275 cats and dogs who were transported away from overcrowded shelters in other states

But this important work to help animals is not close to being done. Your support is critical to ensure that ARL is ready to respond when animals are in need of help. Please consider donating to ARL this holiday season, so together we can help animals like Schooner and thousands like him!


Abandoned 19-Year-Old Cat Needs Home for the Holidays

Cats of this age rarely seen in shelters

UPDATE: Tangee has been adopted!! Thank you to the hundreds of caring individuals who reached out regarding this sweet girl. She has found a wonderful home not only for the holidays, but for the rest of her life.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is looking to find a home for a 19-year-old cat who was recently abandoned by her owner, who has apparently moved out of state.

Tangee has quickly become a staff favorite!

Given her age, ARL is determined to find someone willing to open their home and heart for this special animal just in time for Christmas.

“Tangee” was initially brought to Boston Animal Control by a woman who had dropped a man off at Logan Airport. When exiting the vehicle, he handed the woman the cat and a note which indicated that he was moving to Florida and could not take the cat.

A forwarding phone number left by the man was to a pharmacy, and while the cat is microchipped, it was not registered so there is no possible way to follow-up with the owner.

While there’s no exact way to equate an animal’s age to human years, best estimates are that a 19-year-old cat is roughly 96-years-old in human years.

Tangee does have signs of early renal disease primarily due to her age, but overall she is in good health and is very friendly. She deserves to be out of the shelter and in a loving home for the holidays, and with your help, we will make it happen.

Home for the Holidays

For many, the holiday season brings feelings of warmth, comfort, and friendship – and our wish for you and all the animals in our care is to experience the joy of the holidays.

Your generous support made this wish come true for thousands of animals so far this year, including:

  • 4,420 pets and community cats who were spayed and neutered to keep them healthy
  • 2,770 animals who were rehabilitated and adopted into forever homes
  • 980 pets who received affordable pet wellness services in the convenience of their own community
  • 275 cats and dogs who were transported away from overcrowded shelters in other states

But this important work to help animals is not close to being done. Your support is critical to ensure that ARL is ready to respond when animals are in need of help. Please consider donating to ARL this holiday season, so together we can help animals like Tangee and thousands like her!


New England Patriots Cheerleaders Visit ARL

This past weekend, members of the New England Patriots Cheerleading squad spent some time at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center to make some cat treats and to spread some holiday cheer to some adorable adoptable puppies!

The visit to ARL was part of the Patriots Cheerleaders Holiday Service Day and was a perfect fit as several members of the squad are avid animal lovers. ARL thanks the Patriots Cheerleaders for spending a little time with ARL’s animals, staff, volunteers and even some lucky patrons!


Surrendered Puppy Finds a Home for the Holidays

Back in July, Peaches, a one-year-old Fox Terrier, had a scary accident that would terrify any pet owner – she fell out of a second-story window!

Suffering a broken leg, her owners unfortunately could not afford the associated medical costs for such an injury and surrendered her to their local animal control officer.

Animal control reached out to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), who happily took the puppy in and started her on the road to recovery.

The leg was bandaged and splinted, and over the next 12 weeks Peaches had a regimented routine.

Every week the leg was cleaned, re-bandaged and splinted, and every four weeks Peaches would be x-rayed to see how she was healing.

With a lengthy recovery at hand, Peaches was placed into foster care some extra TLC, and to heal in a quiet, stress-free environment.

While in foster care, Peaches made such an impression that her foster home became her forever home!

Home for the Holidays

For many, the holiday season brings feelings of warmth, comfort, and friendship – and our wish for you and all the animals in our care is to experience the joy of the holidays.

Your generous support made this wish come true for thousands of animals so far this year, including:

  • 4,420 pets and community cats who were spayed and neutered to keep them healthy
  • 2,770 animals who were rehabilitated and adopted into forever homes
  • 980 pets who received affordable pet wellness services in the convenience of their own community
  • 275 cats and dogs who were transported away from overcrowded shelters in other states

But this important work to help animals is not close to being done. Your support is critical to ensure that ARL is ready to respond when animals are in need of help. Please consider donating to ARL this holiday season, so together we can help animals like Peaches and thousands like her!


Home for the Holidays

For many, the holiday season brings feelings of warmth, comfort, and friendship – and our wish for you and all the animals in our care is to experience the joy of the holidays.

Your generous support made this wish come true for thousands of animals so far this year, including:

  • 4,420 pets and community cats who were spayed and neutered to keep them healthy
  • 2,770 animals who were rehabilitated and adopted into forever homes
  • 980 pets who received affordable pet wellness services in the convenience of their own community
  • 275 cats and dogs who were transported away from overcrowded shelters in other states

But this important work to help animals is not close to being done.

In the last two months alone, ARL rescued over 160 animals from the horrors of neglect — and even more cases are under active investigation.  There has been a troubling increase in the number of animal cruelty and hoarding-type cases that result in a sudden influxes of animals in dire need, which is why your donations are critical to make sure we can stand ready to answer the call for help at any time.

At the same time, our shelter population is changing and we are seeing more animals with complex medical and behavior issues that require additional resources, skilled staff, and extra time to improve.

These animals need you now more than ever, and it’s not too late to help!

Animals give us so much.  Please consider giving back by donating today.

symbolic gifts

Thank you for your thoughtful year-end gift that makes happier lives possible for animals all year long!

Need assistance or want to give by phone? Please call us at (617) 426-9170 x603

Prefer to donate by check? Please have it postmarked by December 31, so that it may be considered tax-deductible for 2019 to the extent allowed by IRS regulations.


Update: Lost Pup Undergoes Hip Replacement Surgery

Charlotte recovering but remains fearful

ARL first told you about Charlotte, a 10-month-old mixed-breed puppy in late September, when she was found in Belmont, MA, after being lost for a month. It’s miraculous she was able to survive on her own for that amount of time.

Charlotte was emaciated, weighing just 23 pounds when she was found, and also suffered from a fracture in the balled-end of the femur, which connects to the hip joint. To alleviate the pain and discomfort and to avoid lasting impacts, ARL Shelter Medicine Staff decided that a complete hip replacement was necessary.

Charlotte’s surgery was successful, and is now well on her way to recovery.

However, like many animals who are transported from the South, Charlotte was under-socialized and remains fearful of new people, places and other animals. But that’s where ARL’s behavioral experts come in.

Charlotte is currently in foster care, where there are other dogs in the home. She is learning to be around other animals, and is also becoming braver by the day with new people. Despite her skittishness, Charlotte is extremely friendly and does warm up fairly quickly.

Animals are of course resilient, and Charlotte will continue her physical and mental recovery, and will hopefully be made available for adoption soon.

Have a Behavioral Questions?

If you have basic behavioral questions about your pet, such as excessive barking, crate training, house soiling, etc., call ARL’s FREE Pet Behavior Helpline at (617) 226-5666 or email behaviorhelpline@arlboston.org and an ARL representative will respond within 48 hours.

Help Charlotte and Other Animals Like Her

ARL Shelter Medicine provides all levels of high-quality care – from wellness exams to complex surgeries. ARL’s Behavioral Department evaluates every dog and cat that enters ARL’s facilities and then tailors an individual plan to help the animal overcome behavioral issues and blossom.

Our goal is to ensure that animals are healthy and happy, and it’s because of the support of caring and compassionate people like you who make this possible. Please consider a donation to ARL today to help Charlotte and other animals like her.

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Winter is here – ARL reminds pet owners to protect animals from the cold

Winter is finally here in New England, and with the first extreme cold snap upon us, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) reminds pet owners to take cold-weather precautions to protect pets — frigid conditions can endanger the well-being, safety, and the lives of the pets we love.

Here are some things to keep in mind not just for this arctic blast, but for the remainder of winter:

  1. Prepare your dog for the elements. If you have a longer coat dog, let it grow out for the winter; it will provide warmth and protection from the cold. For shorter coat dogs, sweaters, coats and booties can go a long way to protect your pooch.
  2. Wipe off your dog’s paws and stomach. Sidewalks are treated with a number of chemicals. These chemicals can irritate your dog’s paws, and can be poisonous if ingested. When coming in from the cold, clean and dry your dog’s stomach to keep them healthy!
  3. Keep outdoor trips quick. Bathroom breaks or walks, keep it short and sweet and keep your pets indoors as much as possible.
  4. Never leave your dog alone in a cold car. Many Massachusetts residents are aware that it’s illegal to keep an animal in a hot car, under the same law it’s ALSO illegal to keep your animal in a cold car (Ma. Ch. 140, Section 174F. (a) A person shall not confine an animal in a motor vehicle in a manner that could reasonably be expected to threaten the health of the animal due to exposure to extreme heat or cold). When going out, leave your animals at home.
  5. Pay attention to your pet’s grooming and health. An animal with a matted coat cannot keep him or herself warm! Long-haired pets especially during heavy periods of shedding, need extra help maintaining a healthy coat. Senior pets also suffer from increased arthritis pain in the cold, so check with your veterinarian on how to keep your pet comfortable.
  6. Check under the hood. Cats love to warm up underneath the hood of a car, as the residual heat from the engine burns off. Unfortunately, this method of warming up can have dangerous consequences, such as severe burns and other grave injuries. Always pound on the hood of your vehicle and do a quick visual check before starting the engine.

The chill can kill! So bottom line, if it’s too cold for you to be outside, it’s also too cold for your pet to be outside.

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