Animal Rescue League of Boston Rescues Dozens of Sick Birds

Animal owners in the Dorchester Neighborhood notified to be cautious while walking their dogs

Dorchester birds

Today, the ARL will send 15 birds to Tufts Wildlife Center in Grafton, MA for additional treatment.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) responded to 33 Bakersfield Street in Dorchester, MA on September 8, 2016  in response to a resident who called regarding her sick cat and the observation of birds falling from trees.

The ARL immediately gave emergency treatment to one cat, but unfortunately the cat could not be saved.

Additionally, 47 Grackle-type birds were either falling to the ground, sick, thrashing and unable to fly, or were found unresponsive.

It was determined that the birds should be isolated and neighbors notified to keep dogs and other animals from the area.

Current update on the 47 Grackles:

  • 12 birds found deceased on scene
  • 8 birds passed away shortly after rescue on their way to the shelter
  • 12 birds were humanely euthanized due to their poor condition
  • 15 birds remain in good condition in the custody of the Animal Rescue League of Boston Veterinary Team. Today, these animals will be sent to Tufts Wildlife Center in Grafton, MA.

The ARL continues to work with the State Department of Agriculture, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, City of Boston Inspectional Services Department, and Boston Public Health Commission to determine the cause of this unusual incident.

DONATE NOW to ensure that animals in need, like the many Grackles involved in this case, receive the critical veterinary care that they need.


BVC’s September offer will keep your feline friend in PURRfect shape!

It’s no surprise that American families love their cats- and their cats love them back! According to the 2015-2016 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, there were over 85 million owned cats in the United States making them the new “man’s best friend”. MEOW!

September is Happy Healthy Cat Month at Boston Veterinary Care (BVC), so what better time to bring in your kitty companion for their annual wellness exam! Your feline friend will love you even more for keeping them in tip-top shape, since, well, you know how meticulous they are!

healthy cat

Schedule an appointment with Dr.Breda, BVC’s Lead Veterinarian, at (617) 226-5605 or meet the rest of our team at

Yearly check-ups are essential for cats of every age so that their veterinarian can carefully monitor their overall health and nutrition, while also making sure that they are up-to-date on all vaccinations and internal and external parasite preventatives.

Click here to download our promotional flyer – be sure to share this flyer with your friends and family!

Take advantage of BVC’s Happy Healthy Cat Month offer this September and receive:

  • 25% OFF a cat wellness exam*, even for seniors!
  • FREE goody bag filled with pawsome items for your feline friend, while supplies last.

To make an appointment, call (617) 226-5605 or visit

All profits from Boston Veterinary Care support the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Boston Veterinary Care is located at 10 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116 in the South End with easy access via I-90 and I-93. FREE on-site parking is available for your convenience.

*Not to be combined with any other offer. Offer ends 9/30/16. 


Shelter Veterinary Services: Not Just For Cats & Dogs

Espresso, a 1-year-old rat, recovering from surgery to remove a large tumor

Everyone knows that the Animal Rescue League of Boston helps cats and dogs, but did you know that we help all other types of small animals, livestock, and wildlife too?

Espresso, a 1-year-old female rat, was picked up by ARL’s Rescue Services after being abandoned at a local veterinary clinic with her sister, Mocha. The adorable pair were brought to our Boston shelter where they received a veterinary exam, behavioral evaluation, and kind attention from staff and volunteers.

Unfortunately, during Espresso’s initial examination at the shelter, a large tumor was found over her left shoulder. Our Shelter Veterinary Services team immediately brought her to surgery, which cost approximately $250, to remove the tumor.

Espresso rat surgery before & after

Espresso, a 1-year-old rat, is recovering comfortably from tumor-removal surgery at the ARL. She and her sister Mocha are available for adoption and looking for a loving family!

DONATE NOW to ensure that animals like Espresso receive the critical preventative or emergency veterinary care that they need.

Espresso was a trooper throughout her surgery and recovered very well. In fact, she was walking around her enclosure and eating within an hour after waking up.

Through all of this process, Espresso never lost her love of people and remained as sweet as ever!

After surgery, the removed mass was sent to a lab for analysis and was determined to be a benign mammary tumor.

Mammary tumors are very common in middle-aged to older rats. Because rats have mammary tissue that extends well beyond the area of their mammary glands, mammary tumors can occur in locations you wouldn’t necessarily expect.

Thankfully, the tumors are nearly always benign, as was the case for Espresso.  This means it’s very unlikely that they will metastasize or recur in the same location.

It’s important to know, however, that rats who develop one mammary tumor will often go on to have additional mammary tumors develop at new locations in the future.

We recommend that Espresso’s adopters have a discussion with their family vet about whether to consider additional treatment, such as hormone injections, to help prevent future tumors from forming.

MEET ESPRESSO AT OUR BOSTON ADOPTION CENTER! Espresso and her sister Mocha are both available for adoption and would make lovely little additions to your home. Visit us at 10 Chandler Street in Boston, email, or call (617) 226-5602 for more information about this pair.

UPDATE 9/5/16: Espresso and her sister Mocha have been adopted!


5 Tips for Labor Day Pet Safety

Some holiday weekend activities may be TOO HOT FOR SPOT!

Although Labor Day signifies the end of summer for many New Englanders, the warmer weather and outdoor activities are sure to continue well into fall. Whether it be a family get-together, BBQ, or beach day,  the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) remind you that the heat and stimulation of the holiday weekend festivities may be overwhelming to your pup.

Follow these 5 pet safety tips to ensure a fun holiday weekend for you and your canine companion:

      1. Rupert Patriotic

        Keep these 5 pet safety tips in mind to ensure a fun Labor Day Weekend for the entire family!

        Leave your pup indoors in a small quiet cool room. Turning on a TV or radio at a low volume can help detract from outside noises. Leave them free to roam around so that they don’t feel too confined.

      2. Always keep your canine on a leash or in a carrier if they must be outside. Set them up in a cool shady spot with ample air flow and plenty of fresh water.
      3. Keep your pooch away from potentially hazardous objects. Secure your pet a good distance from BBQs and pools. Remember that some pets can become “fearfully aggressive” due to loud noises, so monitor them closely.
      4. Never leave your pup alone in a parked car if they must travel with you. On a hot day, the temperature inside a parked car can cause deadly heatstroke- even with the windows cracked. S.2369, An Act to Prevent Animal Suffering and Death, will take effect on November 17, 2016.
      5. Make sure your dog’s microchip and ID tag information is current. Many animal shelters report increases of “stray” animals during the summer when pets are more likely to slip out into the sunshine. Be sure your contact information is current and always on your pup’s collar to ensure an easy reunion should they be separated from you.

For more summer pet safety tips, visit


One New Law – Three New Ways to Protect Pets

Combination of Animal Welfare Measures Triples Protection

At a ceremony at the State House on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, Governor Baker signed S.2369, An Act to Prevent Animal Suffering and Death, into law. The law will take effect on November 17, 2016.

Watch a snippet of the State House ceremony

Did you know that S.2369 actually is 3 bills in one? The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is thrilled because the new law provides protection for pets in several ways! While there has been a great deal of attention –and rightly so– on the pets in vehicles portion of the bill, the ARL is pretty excited about the other provisions as well.

“With the signing of this bill, animals in Massachusetts will be safer. The need to enact S.2369 was met with widespread support throughout the House and Senate and now by the Governor’s office,” said Mary Nee, president of the ARL.

Having 3 separate animal welfare measures enacted helps keep Massachusetts at the forefront of animal protection…

s.23691. Pets in vehicles, a new legal tool in place

The ARL’s “Too Hot for Spot” campaign is aimed at educating pet owners on the dangers of leaving a pet in a vehicle and it certainly underscored the need for this measure.

The new bill now allows first responders, such as animal control officers, law enforcement officers, and police officials, and firefighters, to intervene early and rescue a pet from a hot car –or from a car in extreme cold weather– before the pet is suffering.

Additionally, there’s a new consequence for people who put their pets in harm’s way by leaving them in cars, separate and apart from animal cruelty. People who violate the law will be given tickets, and the fines increase if they are repeat offenders.

Citizens may also help rescue pets left in vehicles, but only under limited conditions that require them to first call 911 and make reasonable efforts to find the owner. If the pet is taken from the vehicle, the rescuer must stay with the pet at the scene until law enforcement personnel arrive at the scene.

Dog tethered2. Tethering of dogs, now reduced to 5 hour time limit

The new bill updates a law already in place, which didn’t seem to be working as well as it should have been. Under the old law, a dog could be tethered (tied or chained up) for up to 24 hours. The law did not prohibit tethering outside in terrible weather.

The new law now limits the time of tethering outside to up to 5 hours. Additionally, a dog cannot be tethered between the hours of 10PM and 6AM, or outdoors when a weather advisory, warning, or watch has been issued.


s.23693. The ARL and MSPCA can further help enforce the law

The new bill gives the ARL’s and MSPCA’s law enforcement officers the ability to rescue animals that are confined under “cruel conditions”, which includes exposure to excessive animal waste, garbage, dirty water, noxious odors, and other potentially dangerous circumstances.

Under the new law, the ARL and MSPCA will now be able to enforce the prohibitions under this section. They are also permitted to write citations to violators if an animal control officer is unavailable or is unable to respond to the scene.

“We are grateful that first responders and citizens can protect the well-being of animals,” says Mary Nee. “We are also excited that our law enforcement officers now have the ability to enforce the law and stop animals from living in, and being exposed to, cruel and inhumane conditions.”

KNOW THE LAW… Click here to read the details of S.2369, An Act to Prevent Animal Cruelty and Death.

THANK YOU to Governor Charlie Baker, Senator Mark Montigny, Rep. Lori Ehrlich, Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Rep. David Rogers, Rep. Louis Kafka, Senator Pat Jehlen, Senator Barbara L’Italien, Rep. Speliotis, and the many other legislators for their commitment to helping animals across the Commonwealth and for taking action to prevent animal suffering and death!

SPECIAL THANKS to the MSPCA and HSUS for their partnership on getting this important piece of legislation passed for animals in Massachusetts!


Rep. Lori Ehrlich takes the podium.


This adorable pup couldn’t help posing for the camera!


Left to Right: Rep. Lori Ehrlich, Senator Mark Montigny, and Senator Tarr.



ARL Seeks Public’s Help in Finding Animal Cruelty Suspects

Umbrella Cockatoo Recovering Well After Being Severely Neglected

DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS BIRD? Contact ARL’s Law Enforcement, (617) 226-5610

On July 25th, 2016, a concerned citizen noticed something odd with the trash put out around Norfolk Street in Dorchester, Massachusetts; in the middle of the garbage to be collected was a birdcage filled with maggots and cockroaches– and an Umbrella Cockatoo.

umbrella cockatoo

Mayfield, the Umbrella Cockatoo found in the trash, is recovering well at the ARL after emergency surgery.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue services quickly responded to the call to help the discarded bird.

When found, the Cockatoo, now named “Mayfield”, was emaciated and had a serious medical condition that required emergency surgery. Luckily, she is now recovering at the ARL and doing well enough to soon be able to find a loving home!

Sadly, Mayfield is not the first animal we’ve seen who was abandoned and left to die in the trash or on the streets. We understand that tough economic conditions also affect pets, but let’s get the word out that the last resort is not throwing your pet away.

Learn the 7 warning signs of animal cruelty

There are many organizations like the ARL, agencies, and individuals, who can be a dependable resource for families who need help caring for their pet. There are always options, but throwing an animal away is not one of them.

The ARL needs your help in identifying Mayfield’s owners…

The person(s) responsible for neglecting and cruelly abandoning this lovely bird needs to be held accountable for their actions. Failure to provide proper food, drink, shelter, and a sanitary environment and willful abandonment of an animal are felony violations of Massachusetts’s anti-cruelty laws. A person convicted of these crimes could receive a prison sentence of up to 7 years.

If you recognize Mayfield or have any information regarding her case, please contact the ARL’s Law Enforcement Department at (617) 226-5610.


Update on Westport Farm Animals

Over 1,400 animals found on 70-acre property

From July 19 through August 6, 2016, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) worked around-the-clock to assist in the rescue, removal, and specialized emergency veterinary treatment, of over 1,400 animals from the Westport, MA farm.

ARL Westport

Over 1,400 animals were found on 70-acre Westport, MA farm since the ARL Boston first arrived on the scene on July 19.

Many species of animals were in dire need of assistance, including goats, pigs, horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, cattle, and birds.

While on scene, Lt. Alan Borgal, ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement, and Dr. Kyle Quigley, ARL’s Lead Community Veterinarian, led the efforts to address and provide for the well-being and care of many of the animals.

All because of the generous help of many individuals and organizations, the ARL was able to bring the animals to safety by relocating them to farms, sanctuaries, shelters, and foster homes. And, as the many animals in the ARL’s care heal, they are being connected with loving families.

THANK YOU to everyone who supported the ARL during this critical time to make our important work possible!

Help stop cruelty and neglect at its root cause…

Every animal deserves a safe and healthy home, which is why we must continue our important work to ensure that extreme cases of animal cruelty and neglect never happen.

It is only with YOUR SUPPORT that we can eliminate the conditions that lead to animal abuse – this is your opportunity to help animals in need.

Please make a gift today to stop animal cruelty at its root cause. Click here or on the green button below to donate now!



Help S. 2369 Become Law TODAY

Bill 2369 has passed the House & Senate – now it just needs Governor Baker’s signature

Great news! Senate Bill 2369 — An Act to Prevent Animal Suffering and Death — has passed the House and Senate. The bill is now on Governor Baker’s desk and we’re hoping he signs this into law soon.

Many of you are familiar with our “Too Hot for Spot” educational campaign. For several years now, ARL has been reminding pet owners that when the temperature heats up, it’s best to leave your pet at home. Sadly, pets still are left in vehicles and we’ve still seeing deaths that could have been avoided.

Too Hot for Spot

Thanks to S. 2369, animals have a greater chance of surviving this sad fate. Law enforcement and other first responders are allowed to intervene early to rescue and prevent animals from suffering and dying from extreme heat. Under certain circumstances, other individuals will also be able to enter vehicles to save an animal from death.

S. 2369 also will prohibit dogs from being tied up to fixed structures for long periods of time, overnight, and in bad weather. The change in the law goes a long to ensure that dogs do not end up living on chains and left outside for long periods of time, especially in extreme weather conditions.

Take Action: Please make a quick call to Governor Charlie Baker’s office at (617) 725-4005 and urge him to sign S. 2369 into law today! 


MEMA Issues Situational Awareness Statement: Excessive Heat & Heavy Rainfall

Expected high heat and humidity are a dangerous combination for pets

This weekend will be Too Hot (and Too Humid) for Spot!

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) advises that hot and very humid weather is expected through Saturday. Rounds of showers and thunderstorms are expected with heavy rainfall in the Greater Boston Area at times until Monday. The combination of high heat and humidity will make it feel like it is 100 and 105 degrees during the afternoons.

Follow these 4 tips to ensure your pet stays safe and cool this weekend:

  1. Leave your pet at home. We all like to spend time with our pets, but in weather like this, traveling with your pet can put them at risk. If you are heading out and know that you cannot take your pet into the store, the post office, the dry cleaner, or other destination, then please leave your pet at home.
  2. Don’t leave your pet in any vehicle – even with the windows cracked. Even a few minutes in a vehicle can result in dangerous and deadly conditions for your pet. Leaving the windows open does not help!  Dogs and cats cannot sweat. Vehicle temperatures can quickly rise to over 145 degrees in less than 20 minutes. Heat stroke and death for your pet can quickly follow, especially if your pet is older, overweight, or has a physical ailment.
  3. Avoid mid-day outdoor activities. When walking or playing with your pet outside, try to do so early in the morning or after the sun has set.  Always make sure that fresh cool water is available for your pet.
  4.  Prepare your pet for thunderstorms. Hot and humid days often bring booming thunderstorms with flashing lightning. If your pet shows signs of anxiety during a storm, consider putting them in an enclosed room (with no windows) and create a comfortable and safe environment. Turning on music or “white noise” machine can help muffles other noises. If these techniques don’t work, you might consider speaking with your vet.

Learn more about hot weather pet prepardeness at


August is Microchip Month at Boston Veterinary Care!

Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) answers your FAQs and encourages you to take advantage of their special monthly offer – 25% off your pet’s microchip – registration included!

Did you know… that microchipping your pet DOUBLES their chances of finding their way home?

August 15 is National Check the Chip Day, and for good reason: During the Summer months, pets will be spending more time outside—or may find themselves extra eager to slip out the door into the sunshine. In the event that you and your pet ever become separated, you’ll want to make sure that you are reunited as quickly and easily as possible.

That’s where a microchip comes in handy! Once microchipped, your pet can be identified throughout its life with a one-of-a-kind ID number. For this reason, microchipping has become extremely popular for pet owners, and scanning pets for microchips has become standard practice in veterinary offices, animal hospitals, and animal shelters.

BVC answers your FAQs about microchips and why they are a great idea for you and your pet:

Q: What is a microchip?

A: A microchip is a tiny computer chip, about the size of a grain of rice, programmed with an identification number that is unique to your pet. It is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and will last the life of your pet with no maintenance required. The microchip is injected with a needle beneath the skin between the shoulder blades and is anchored in place as a thin layer of connective tissue forms around it.

Q: Will the implantation of the microchip cause my pet pain?

A: Your pet may feel a slight “pinch” as they would with any other needle injection. Once the microchip in place, however, it does not cause pain and cannot be felt by touch. Many pet owners opt to microchip their pet during routine exams, spay or neutering, or dental cleanings; it’s one less trip to the vet, and your furry companion will probably be too distracted to notice that the injection is happening.

size of a pet microchip

Ever wonder what a pet microchip looks like? It’s as small as a grain of rice! Check out BVC’s August promotion and get your pet microchipped today!

Q: Can all cats and dogs receive a microchip, and at what age?

A: Absolutely! A microchip is recommended for all cats and dogs (even toy breeds) and can be implanted as early as 6-8 weeks of age.

Q: How does microchip identification work?

A: A special non-intrusive scanner is used to send a signal to the microchip to read the identification number. The person reading the scanner can search a national microchip registry to find out the pet owner’s information.

Q: Why should I microchip my pet; isn’t a collar enough?

A: In short, things happen. While a collar with ID tags is an excellent start, there is always a chance that they can be removed or fall off.  Think of a microchip as a permanent ID tag for your pet—and a fail-safe way to verify that you’re their owner.

Microchips have reunited thousands of pets with their owners, even ones who have been missing for years or traveled many miles away! If your pet were to go astray, any veterinarian’s office, animal hospital, or animal shelter would be able to scan your pet’s microchip and contact you immediately. Be sure to keep your contact information current in the national microchip registry database to ensure an easy reunion with your pet – some microchip companies even let you add a backup contact.

Q: My microchipped pet is missing. What do I do?

A: The first step is to contact your pet’s microchip manufacturer (e.g, PetLink, Home Again) and provide them with your pet’s unique microchip number. If your pet has already been located, they’ll be able to tell you where to pick up your pet. If your pet’s whereabouts have not yet been located, it means that their microchip has not yet been scanned by a local animal shelter, animal hospital, or veterinarian. The microchip manufacturer will put an alert in the system so that when your pet’s microchip IS scanned they can contact you right away.

Take advantage of Boston Veterinary Care’s special August promotion!

This month, BVC clients will receive 25% off microchipping – registration included – with an exam or procedure; not to be combined with any other offer. Click here or call (617) 226-5606 for more details or to make an appointment.

TOO HOT FOR SPOT! For more advice on how to keep your pet safe in the warmer months, visit