ARL Law Enforcement Investigating Abandoned Cat Rescued on Fisher College Campus

ARL seeks public assistance as new image shows moment cat was abandoned on Beacon Street

 The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Law Enforcement Department is currently investigating after an abandoned cat was rescued by Fisher College police after someone took the animal out of a vehicle in its pet carrier and dumped it on college property, which is located along Beacon Street in Boston.

The incident is being investigated as a case of animal cruelty and the ARL is seeking the public’s help in identifying the person believed to be responsible.

Local news coverage of this incident.

The two-year-old male cat, now named Fish, received a thorough veterinary exam upon arrival at ARL, and was found to be in good health, with no obvious signs of abuse or neglect.

However, surveillance video of the incident demonstrates the willful abandonment of the animal, which is illegal under Massachusetts’ animal cruelty statute Ch. 272 S.77 and is punishable by up to seven years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Fish has been neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and will soon be made available for adoption to start the next chapter of his life.

ARL wishes to thank Fisher College Police as well as the maintenance employee who found and reported the incident in an urgent manner.

Given the busy city surroundings, if Fish was not found in a timely fashion, he would have been at tremendous risk of injury or death.

Case Background

On April 4, 2023, a Fisher College Maintenance staff member notified Fisher College Police about the discovery of a box that contained one adult cat.

The box was identified as a cardboard cat carrier, and soon after Fisher College Police notified ARL Law Enforcement for assistance.

ARL Law Enforcement responded to the scene, and the cat was transported to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center for treatment and care.

Surveillance video shows what is believed to be a white male, wearing orange gloves, dark jacket, and a baseball hat park in front of the college campus on Beacon Street.

The suspect then removes the carrier from the back of the vehicle, throwing it on the ground before getting back in the vehicle and driving off towards the direction of Storrow Drive.

The vehicle is described as a grey or tan 4-door hatchback.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact ARL Law Enforcement at (617) 426-9170 x110, or by emailing cruelty@arlboston.org.

Ollie’s Law Coalition Rallies on State House Steps

Coalition urges Legislature to take action on Ollie’s Law to regulate Massachusetts boarding facilities

This week, the “Ollie’s Law Coalition”, which includes the Animal Rescue League of Boston, rallied on the steps of the Massachusetts State House, asking legislatures to step up and help protect pets throughout the Commonwealth while in the care of a boarding facility.

Currently there are no state regulations for these types of facilities, and during the rally, a number of Massachusetts residents relived their harrowing experiences while expressing how uniform regulations may have prevented the pain and suffering their animals endured while being boarded.

An Act to Increase Kennel Safety (H.2019; S.1309) aka Ollie’s Law, would establish standards regarding animal health and employee safety, allowing pet families to choose the best facility to suit their animal’s needs.

The coalition consists of a number of organizations including ARL, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA), Dakin Humane Society, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Boston Dog Lawyers, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, JM Pet Resort, among others.

The Ollie’s Law proposed legislation was born out of tragedy.

In 2020, Amy Baxter brought her Labradoodle Ollie to a Western Massachusetts doggie daycare facility, only to receive a text shortly after saying Ollie had been attacked by other dogs.

He was severely injured, and sadly died of his injuries two months later.

While the facility was shuttered by town officials, Baxter was stunned to learn that there were no state regulations regarding boarding facilities, and soon took up the fight to help ensure tragedies like this never happen again.

ARL’s Board Safely™ Campaign

While there are currently no regulations for boarding facilities in Massachusetts, ARL’s Board Safely™ campaign helps guide pet owners when choosing a facility for their pets.

The campaign includes steps to take while researching boarding facilities, as well as what questions you should be asking.

How Can I Help?

ARL urges proponents of Ollie’s Law to contact their state elected officials, to urge the discussion and ultimate passage of this important piece of legislation.

ARL will continue to advocate not just for Ollie’s Law, but for other proposed bills to further protect animals throughout the Commonwealth.

Learn more about ARL’s Legislation Agenda, and how you can help advocate for animals in Massachusetts!

ARL Provides Life-Saving Surgery for Dog that Recently Gave Birth

ARL and MAF collaborate to help offset cost of life-saving $10,000 surgery

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and the Massachusetts Animal Fund (MAF) recently collaborated to help provide a life-saving procedure to a dog who had recently given birth and was suffering from a prolapsed uterus.

The owner’s efforts to seek emergency help for her beloved pet was harrowing, and if ARL and MAF were not contacted, it’s likely the 9-month-old Yorkshire Terrier would not have survived.

The caretaker had recently adopted Amora, a 9-month-old Yorkshire Terrier, from a family member, and was unaware the dog was pregnant.

When Amora gave birth to a single puppy, a complication arose, resulting in a prolapsed uterus (uterus outside the body).

The puppy did survive, but Amora’s prolapsed uterus was turning necrotic, and she needed emergency veterinary care in order to survive.

The owner brought the dog to a Boston-area veterinary hospital, and was told the procedure to remove the uterus would cost upwards of $10,000, which was financially out of reach for Amora’s family.

Amora’s owner reached out to several organizations looking for assistance, and when she contacted MAF, Program Coordinator Sheri Gustafson took action by reaching out to ARL.

ARL was able to accommodate Amora at Boston Veterinary Care, ARL’s public clinic located next to its Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Furthermore, the collaboration made it possible to offset the bulk of the cost of the procedure, allowing the dog’s life to be saved and giving her the second chance she deserves.

Amora is recovering well from her surgery, and her newborn puppy is also thriving.

ARL and MAF are thrilled to have been able to provide this critical surgery, and is a prime example of the close-knit animal welfare community coming together to care for an animal, and family, in need.

ARL Takes in Over 60 Cats From Overcrowding Situation

ARL program allows caretakers to keep a trio of cats from overcrowding situation

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) recently took in more than 60 cats from from an overcrowding situation in Norfolk County whose caretakers urgently needed to downsize the number of animals in their care.

This marks the fourth large-scale intake of cats from overcrowding situations in 2023 and ARL has cared for nearly 200 overcrowding cats so far this year.

The caretakers contacted ARL seeking assistance in downsizing the number of cats in the home.

While the initial thought was to surrender all the cats in the home, through a conversation with ARL staff, the caretakers learned about ARL’s Healthy Moms, Happy Litters program, making it possible to keep three cats that have special meaning for the family.

The Healthy Moms, Happy Litters program offers free spay/neuter surgery for mother/father cats and dogs, and once the surgery is performed the animals are returned to the owner.

Additionally, the offspring are surrendered to ARL and once spayed/neutered, the animals will be available for adoption.

The cats in the home were not spayed or neutered, and because cats can start breeding as young as four months of age and can have about three litters a year, a few cats turned into many in a very short period of time.

The majority of the cats from this situation are social and friendly, and have received thorough veterinary exams, vaccinations, microchip and spay/neuter surgeries.

A large number have been adopted already, but some remain in the care of ARL and are available at both ARL’s Boston and Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Centers.

ARL has cared for nearly 200 cats from overcrowding so far in 2023, and the organization regularly receives requests for assistance from caretakers with too many animals in the home. If you or someone you know is looking for support for spay/neuter services or to rehome cats, you can contact local animal control, or ARL’s Field Services Department for assistance.

ARL approaches every overcrowding situation with respect, compassion, and a staunch commitment to ensuring the health and safety of the animals involved, as well as their caretakers.

ARL Takes in Over 360 Pet Rodents from a Massachusetts Pet Store

Pet rodents to be available at ARL’s Boston/Dedham locations  

This past week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) expedited a large surrender of more than 360 pet rodents from a Massachusetts pet store and will soon be seeking homes for hundreds of pet mice, rats, hamsters, as well as one chinchilla.

In recent years, ARL has seen a drastic increase in surrender requests for these types of pet rodents, known as pocket pets, a trend that has been echoed by other animal welfare organizations throughout Massachusetts.

Some of the small animals being brought to ARL were accidentally bred after being mis-sexed at pet stores.

Most small animals have large litters and short gestation periods, resulting in two pets becoming many more very quickly.

These types of animals make for wonderful and fun pets, and ARL encourages anyone interested in adding a new pocket pet to the family, to visit a local shelter rather than a pet store to see if they have the right pet for you.

At ARL, all animals receive a thorough veterinary exam, which includes identifying if they are male or female to ensure they will not reproduce in their new homes.

Anyone interested in adopting a new pocket pet can visit ARL’s Boston or Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Centers, or visit arlboston.org/adopt/adopt-a-pet/ for more information and to see who’s available.

Please note, given the large number of animals, not all of the rodents are available for adoption as of yet.

Pet Surrender

At the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), we know that circumstances can make caring for your pet difficult.

As part of our commitment to help animals and the people who care about them, ARL offers a variety of resources, including a FREE pet behavior helpline.

We understand that sometimes the difficult decision must be made to surrender your pet; rest assured that ARL is here to help you with the process.

To speak with an animal admission representative, please contact the ARL Admission Office in your area.

New England Revolution Teams Up with ARL

Pet food collected as part of New England Revolution’s Drive Series, players visit ARL’s Dedham location

This past week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) continued its partnership with the New England Revolution, with events taking place at Gillette Stadium and ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center.

Before this past weekend’s match against FC Cincinnati, Revolution players arrived at Gillette Stadium wearing shirts with photos of adoptable dogs and cats to give attention to just a few of the animals ARL’s is working to find permanent homes for.

Additionally, as part of the Revolution’s Drive Series Presented by Dan O’Brien Automotive group, the team invited fans to donate dog and cat food for ARL’s Keep Pets S.A.F.E. program, which provides pet food and supplies to pet owners in need throughout Greater Boston.

More than 200 pounds of food was collected!

During this past week Revolution players delivered the supplies to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care and Adoption Center, and also enjoyed a tour of the facility and spent some quality time with a number of animals and even took part in a scavenger hunt with a pair of pigs currently looking for their new home!

Partnering for Animals in Need

ARL proudly began its partnership with the New England Revolution in 2022, with the Revs hosting ARL, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Massachusetts State Police at Gillette Stadium to promote ARL’s summer pet safety campaign, Too Hot for Spot®.

ARL thanks the New England Revolution’s players and staff for supporting ARL’s mission and is looking forward to continuing this blossoming partnership!

ARL Celebrates Volunteer Appreciation Week
This past week, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) celebrated Volunteer Appreciation Week – a time when the organization can pause and say thank you to the hard work and dedication of these true champions for animals in need.

ARL held three in-person volunteer appreciation week events at ARL’s Boston, Dedham and Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers to celebrate and personally thank each and every volunteer at ARL.

In 2022, 1,100 volunteers dedicated over 117,000 hours to help animals in need, while ARL’s 504 foster families opened their hearts and homes to 771 animals!

Volunteers are at the heart of ARL’s mission and are the backbone to the organization’s day-to-day operations.

From feeding animals, cleaning kennels, walking dogs, working with behaviorally challenging animals, sorting through linens and donations, to many other duties, ARL volunteers all bring something unique to the organization, but all have one thing in common – the love and dedication to assisting the animals in ARL’s care in any way possible.

During each of this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Week events, ARL also continued the tradition of handing out a number of awards to volunteers and staff that consistently go above and beyond.

Without further ado, the winners!


  • Best of Boston: Stephanie Moura (Dorchester)
  • Dedham’s Most Dignified: Anna Holzhauer (Brighton)
  • Cape’d Crusader: Brianna Wall (Brewster)
  • ARL Unsung Hero: Lorna Keith (Waltham)
  • All Other Creatures: Pam Chatis (West Roxbury)
  • Admins Above and Beyond: Judy Mereschuk (Brewster)


  • Boston: Molly Montgomery (Cambridge)
  • Dedham: Ning Pan (Newton)
  • Brewster: Linda Heath (South Dennis)

Additionally, volunteers also voted for the following awards for ARL staff: 

  • Boston: Katie Bacall
  • Dedham: Susie McCormick
  • Brewster: Wendi Kelsey

Why Volunteer?

First and foremost, nonprofit organizations like ARL simply could not have such a wide reach to help animals in need without volunteers.

Volunteers are integral members of the ARL family.

But volunteering has benefits beyond caring and participating in such a worthwhile cause.

About 63 million people, or 25% of the U.S. population, donate their time and talents to worthy causes.

In addition to making a difference in the community, volunteering has been shown to improve a person’s health by increasing physical activity, enhancing your mood and decreasing stress.

Another bonus?  The majority of hiring managers nationally see volunteerism as an asset in candidates seeking employment.

Learn more about volunteering at ARL.

    ARL Receives Transport Puppies from Tornado-Ravaged Mississippi

    Transport puppies from areas hard-hit by late March tornadoes

    This past week the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) received nearly 30 transport puppies from overcrowded shelters in areas of Mississippi that were recently devastated by tornadoes.

    ARL’s Dedham, Boston, and Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers received the puppies, who will undergo thorough veterinary exams, and receive spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchips, and behavioral evaluations before being made available for adoption.

    While overcrowded animal shelters are common in Mississippi, in the wake of the devastating storms, it was imperative for animal shelters in the impacted regions to clear as much kennel space as possible to accommodate displaced owned pets, and ARL was pleased to have the ability to step up and take a larger transport than usual.

    ARL receives regular transports of puppies and young adult dogs as part of a partnership with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Relocation Program.

    This important program removes animals from areas of the country where overcrowded shelters are an issue and transports them to regions, including New England, where kennel space is ample and there is a high demand for adoptable pets.

    To see who is currently available for adoption, please visit ARL’s adoptable animal page!

    April is National Heartworm Awareness Month

    Did you know… it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to spread Heartworm disease to your pet?

    Heartworm disease

    Source: www.heartwormsociety.org

    Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal illness for cats, dogs, and ferrets, as well as other mammals. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of affected animals. Heartworm may result in lung disease, heart failure, or other organ damage.

    Although this sounds scary (it is!), Heartworm disease can be avoided altogether with the necessary preventative measures.

    Protect your pet by reading these 6 FAQs about Heartworm:

    1. How can Heartworm disease spread to my pet? Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes carrying the parasite Dirofilaria Immitis. When an infected mosquito bites a cat, dog, ferret, or other mammal, larvae are transmitted into the bloodstream and ultimately settle in the heart, arteries, blood vessels, and lungs after a period of months.
    2. Which pets are at risk? Any pet in an area with mosquitos is at risk for Heartworm disease.
    3. What symptoms should I look for? Signs of Heartworm disease can be very subtle or very severe depending on the case. Symptoms may include persistent cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, decreased appetite, vomiting, and weight loss. As the disease progresses, an animal may experience fainting, seizures, difficulty walking, or fluid accumulation in the abdomen. Kittens, puppies, and senior pets face the highest risk of developing the more severe symptoms.
    4. How is Heartworm disease diagnosed? It takes approximately 6 months after being bitten by an infected mosquito for your pet to test positive for Heartworm. A veterinarian can make a diagnosis by doing a physical examination and running blood tests.
    5. Is Heartworm disease treatable? For dogs in the US, there is treatment available. Unfortunately for cats in the US, there is currently no approved treatment. The good news, however, is that many Heartworm-infected cats are able to fight the infection themselves and can be monitored every few months, while waiting out the worms’ lifespan. Medications can also be given to help alleviate some symptoms, such as coughing and vomiting.
    6. How can I prevent my pet from contracting Heartworm disease? There are several FDA-approved medications* on the market available for both cats and dogs. Your pet should begin a heartworm preventative around 8 weeks of age, which should be taken year-round. Dogs should be tested for Heartworm every 12 months and regular check-ups for all pets are key to early detection.


    *Always consult with your veterinarian before administering any type of medication to your pet.

    ARL Caring for Likely Abandoned Dog on Cape Cod

    Likely abandoned dog found in Cotuit neighborhood

    The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center is currently caring for a four-year-old dog that was likely abandoned and found in emaciated condition in a neighborhood on Cape Cod.

    The dog was initially taken in by Barnstable Animal Control before being transferred to ARL’s Brewster facility.

    Little Man.

    The pup, now named Little Man, was found by a resident along Mariner Circle in Cotuit, and told Barnstable Animal Control that the dog had been seen around the neighborhood but not owned by anyone.

    Little Man was not wearing a collar or ID tags and was not microchipped.

    Little Man was likely abandoned, and when he was found he was underweight to the point of emaciation, ravenously hungry, and had a very dirty and unkempt coat.

    During his seven-day stray wait period an owner of the dog did not come forward, and after spending a couple of weeks with Barnstable Animal Control, he was brought to ARL’s Brewster facility where he as undergone a veterinary exam and is scheduled to be neutered before being made available for adoption.

    The dog has put on about five pounds, is incredibly friendly, loves attention, and is well-mannered. ARL thanks Barnstable Animal Control for rescuing this animal in need and is looking forward to finding Little Man the home and family he truly deserves.

    How You Can Help

    ARL has the ability to quickly respond to animals in need, thanks to you and your support!

    By supporting ARL, you will help provide Little Man, and animals like him, with the care he desperately needs and allow ARL to ultimately find him the home and loving family he deserves.

    Thank you for your support, and for being a Champion for Animals in need!

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