Volunteer Profile, Brewster: Dianne Wadsworth

From Loss to a Sense of Place

Arrive at the Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Boston’s Brewster branch and there is a good chance you’ll see Dianne Wadsworth patiently preparing an eager dog for a walk. Since 1984, she has been firmly planted within the ARL of Boston’s Brewster branch, walking dogs along the eight-minute route that she designed herself. The route guarantees that each dog receives an equal amount of activity, attention and exercise, and is a symbol of her thoughtful devotion to them.

Dianne’s legacy began on a day that every pet owner dreads. Barely settled after her move from California, she was faced with a 15-year old Newfoundland shepherd in failing health. Knowing it was time to let him go, she stepped into the ARL of Boston’s Brewster shelter preparing to say goodbye to her dear friend. Through her tears, she happened to peer into a nearby kennel and spontaneously asked permission to walk a dog. She strapped on the leash, walked out the door and, at that moment, realized that a passion was born. Since that day, Dianne has been a devoted friend to the animals under her care, as well as an integral part of the day-to-day workings of the shelter.

“Dianne is everything you could want in a volunteer,” says Sandra Luppi, manager of the ARL of Boston’s Brewster branch.  “Although she has numerous other responsibilities, she takes her duties here very seriously. Dianne is here through the rain, sleet and snow. She knows the animals rely on her.”

Dianne’s love for the dogs is matched only by her respect for the ARL of Boston’s employees. She is a gracious co-worker and host; each year she throws a Christmas party for Brewster’s staff and volunteers, giving everyone a moment to relax, have fun and spend time together.

From what began as a deeply personal experience of grief for a beloved dog grew a passionate, 23-year commitment to uplifting the lives of our shelter animals, as well as the people, who care for them.


To help the Animal Rescue League of Boston continue to help abused, abandoned and neglected animals, please consider making a donation.

High Angle Rescue Training

Rescue specialists at the ARL of Boston receive special training that enables them to perform ice rescues, high angle climbing, technical rope work for cats in trees, swift water rescues, large animal rescues, disaster response and chemical capture. Our rescue specialists are supported by fully-equipped, state-of-the-art animal rescue vehicles and trailers containing nets, catch poles, snares, remote-controlled drop nets, humane traps, kayaks and ice boats.

Below are some photographs from our High Angle Technical Animal Rescue training.

Third Annual Paws for a Cause


Proceeds Benefit the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Brewster Branch

On Saturday, February 9, 2008, more than 80 canines took their human companions out for a fun-filled evening at the Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster, Mass., to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The third annual Paws for a Causeevent brought together a variety of dogs and their human companions and raised more than $3,000 for the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Brewster Adoption Center.

Special thanks to the following sponsors who graciously donated raffle items: Katrina Boucher, The Cape Cod Dog; Elizabeth Curran, Lady Brett Flowers; Joy Paules, Agway of Cape Cod; Brewster Shelter Agent Penny Loverme, Brewster; and Love of the Breed, Orleans. Also, a note of thanks to Brewster Volunteer Kim Roderiques who photographed the event, Cynthia Gordon O’Neil for her harp music, and Ocean Edge Resort for allowing dogs to roam the event hall.

To help the dedicated staff and volunteers at the ARL of Boston’s Brewster Adoption Center continue to care for and find homes for homeless animals on Cape Cod, please make a donation today.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston Celebrates 96th Annual “Christmas for Horses”

“Why not give these faithful, hard working servants of ours some little Christmas treat? Why not have Christmas for horses?” – Anna Harris Smith, founder, the Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Boston.

Boston Parks and Recreation and Police Department horses assemble to await treats from Santa.

On December 15, 2007, the ARL of Boston hosted its 96th annual “Christmas for Horses” celebration at Boston’s City Hall Plaza to honor the hard working horses of the Boston Police Department and the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department. Reverend Patricia Handloss of the Old North Church conducted a “Blessing of the Horses,” the New Liberty Jazz Band featuring Soprano Sandi Hammond hit holiday holiday high notes with Christmas classics, and Master of Ceremonies Dan Rea of WBZ Radio welcomed ARL of Boston President Jay Bowen and Santa Claus himself to personally deliver much deserved treats to the horses.

Sandi Hammond and the Liberty Jazz Band provide the cheer while Santa's elves look on.

Santa and WBZ's Dan Rea greet the crowd.

Santa, ARL of Boston President Jay Bowen (center) and Reverend Patricia Handloss of the Old North Church (right) pose with Santa's elves.

Volunteer Profile: Adam de Parolesa

From a Childhood Passion, a Career Path Emerges

While the other kids he knew were working after school jobs to save money for cars, proms and clothes, Westwood high school student Adam De Parolesa preferred volunteering to clean the horse paddocks and tend to the sheep, birds, cats, dogs and other small animals he befriended at the Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Boston’s Dedham branch.

When his family adopted a dog from the ARL of Boston a few years earlier, he knew that when he was old enough to volunteer, he would be back. He was drawn to the close-knit nature of the Dedham branch’s staff and volunteers, and their obvious love, expertise and concern for the animals in their care left a strong impression on him.

Lieutenant Alan Borgal, director of the ARL of Boston’s Law Enforcement Department, noticed Adam’s natural rapport with animals immediately. “The animals seem to implicitly trust him and to enjoy his company. For example, we had a German Shepard that was extremely timid and anxious around people.  But he just took to Adam. Adam had a calming effect on him, and he came to life whenever Adam walked or played with him.”

A few years later, Adam’s commitment to animal welfare grew when he had the chance to care for a number of horses and sheep that arrived in Dedham due to a law enforcement seizure. “I had never worked with horses before and, when they first arrived, I was shocked by how badly neglected they had been – they were literally skin and bones,” he explains. “But the staff and volunteers have spent the last two years giving them the veterinary and behavioral care they need, and they are now being adopted into good homes.”

His experience with this particular case also exposed him to a different facet of animal welfare investigating cruelty and neglect. Now a freshman at Massachusetts Bay Community College, Adam is majoring in Criminal Justice with a focus on animal-related issues. Despite his hectic schedule, he continues to spend his weekends volunteering at the Dedham branch. “He’s one of the most caring, hardest working and reliable volunteers we’ve ever had” Borgal says. “We hope he’ll be with us for many years to come.”

To help the Animal Rescue League of Boston continue to help abused, abandoned and neglected animals, please consider making a donation.

Volunteer Profile: Keri Nixon

This Place Saved My Life
For Greco, Nikita, Godzilla, Noel, Marvin and More…

Keri Nixon and I are sitting at a picnic table on a humid summer day, right outside the doors to the Animal Rescue League of Boston. She’s telling me about Noel a ferret that she held as he was put to sleep due to an insurmountable neurological disorder. Even now, it’s easy to see the weight of the memory; the innate desire she has to help rescue some of the smaller, more unusual animals at the shelter.

In 2006, Keri was presented with the opportunity to volunteer at the Animal Rescue League of Boston while living at the YWCA and searching for something substantial to occupy her time. In an attempt to save herself from an abusive husband, Keri ended up homeless and was left with no choice but to leave her son to be cared for by his grandparents. Making matters worse, Keri was riddled with depression and poor health as she began a journey in search of a simple, peaceful existence. With each visit, Keri learned a vital life lesson by helping others, we often help ourselves.

Most recently, Keri was offered a part-time position at the shelter. From monitoring the daily habits of animals like Snoopy the rabbit to maneuvering brazen birds like Marvin the Macaw, it is easy to see that these animals are Keri’s family. As we enter the back area where a few ferrets reside – an iguana, some rabbits, an assortment of birds and other small creatures her movements reflect the value of the human-animal bond.  These are her animals. This is her domain. The Animal Rescue League of Boston is her living, breathing sanctuary.

To help the Animal Rescue League of Boston continue to help abused, abandoned and neglected animals, please consider making a donation.

Canine Helping Canines

Skinner to Auction Rare Charles Schultz “Snoopy” Animations from the Estate of CBS President Frank Stanton to Benefit the Animal Rescue League of Boston and New England Wildlife Center

BOSTON, Mass. Jan. 29, 2008  Skinner, Inc., one of the nation’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art, today announced the auctioning of a rare collection of Charles Schulz “Snoopy” and other “Peanuts” animations.  Nineteen lots of Schulz’ material, from the collection of past CBS president Dr. Frank Stanton, will be offered within Skinner’s upcoming American & European Paintings and Prints sale to be held on March 7th 2008 in Skinner’s Boston gallery.  The print session will begin at 12 noon, and the paintings session, including the Frank Stanton collection, will begin at 4 p.m. Stanton was a life-long animal lover and as such the proceeds from the sale of his collection will benefit two local animal organizations: the Animal Rescue League of Boston and The New England Wildlife Center.

The creator of the internationally beloved “Peanuts®” comic strip, Charles Schulz debuted Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the gang in 1965 in seven U.S. newspapers.  The strip was one of the most popular and influential in the history of the medium, and by Schulz’ retirement in 1999, Peanuts was in more than 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries worldwide.  17,897 strips were published in all, boasting a readership of 355 million.

Schulz became acquainted with Frank Stanton, a celebrity in his own right, when Stanton first approached him to purchase a piece of his work.  The two later developed a long-standing friendship which inspired the first broadcast of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on CBS in 1965.  In tribute to this friendship, several of the animations include a television antenna on Snoopy’s doghouse.  Stanton, one of the television industry’s founding fathers, served as president of CBS for 25 years, longer than any other network TV head.  Throughout his tenure at CBS, Stanton was an eloquent and successful defender of the First Amendment and the initiator of the first modern presidential debates.  Stanton passed away in December of 2006, leaving behind the collection of animations, many of which were affectionately address and signed by his dear friend Charles Schulz.

The collection includes depictions of the Peanuts gang in advertising and color separation proofs, in hardcovers with dust jackets, and softcovers; as well several strips on cardstock.  Estimates range from $150 at the low end to $25,000 at the high.

A private preview and cocktail reception for supporters of the Animal Rescue League of Boston and New England Wildlife Center will be held on March 6th from 6 to 8 p.m.  Illustrated catalog #2399 is available by mail for $32 ($39 for foreign requests) from the subscription department at 978-779-6241 ext. 1240.  It is also available at the gallery for $29.  Prices realized will be available athttp://www.skinnerinc.com/ during and after the sale.  For more information, visithttp://www.skinnerinc.com/.  Skinner’s site also allows users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, and order catalogs online.

Skinner, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art.  With expertise in over 20 specialty collecting areas, Skinner draws the interest of buyers from all over the world and its auctions regularly achieve world record prices.  Skinner provides a broad range of auction and appraisal services, and it is widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the auction business.   Skinner’s appraisal experts regularly appear on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, and its specialty departments include American Furniture & Decorative Arts, American & European Paintings & Prints, European Furniture & Decorative Arts, 20th Century Design, Fine Ceramics, Fine Jewelry, Couture, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Works of Art, Fine Wines, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Science & Technology, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, Fine Judaica, Antique Motor Vehicles, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, and Discovery.  Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Bolton, Mass.  For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit Skinner’s web site http://www.skinnerinc.com/.


New England Wildlife Center
New England Wildlife Center is the country’s first to be LEED certified “green” wildlife hospital and environmental education center.  Located in South Weymouth, Massachusetts, the Center provides veterinary care to thousands (225 species) of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife each year and uses this process as a first-hand platform to reconnect people to the natural world.  All animals successfully treated are returned to the wild.  Each year we provided education to 24 different audiences ranging from school age children to veterinary students. New England Wildlife Center is a nonprofit organization, is not funded through tax dollars, and relies on individual donations to support our mission.