Watch & Share: It’s TOO HOT FOR SPOT

Leaving a pet alone inside a hot car can have dangerous consequences

To raise awareness for this HOT animal welfare issue, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care ask our followers and the media to share important information about the dangers of leaving pets in parked cars during the warm summer months.

Pets don’t sweat like humans do and cannot cool their bodies efficiently in hot temperatures. Even when the outside temperature is 80 degrees, the inside of a car can heat up to more than 120 degrees in just minutes – even with the windows cracked! That’s why leaving your pet inside of a hot car is the most common cause of deadly heat stroke.

In following video, “Too Hot for Spot® – Dangers of Hot Cars for Pets”, ARL’s shelter animals explain the risks of leaving your pet alone inside a parked car.

Click the “play” button below to watch:

Spot a pet alone in a parked car? Follow these 3 steps:

  1. Take down the car’s make, model, and license plate number.
  2. Ask nearby store managers or security guards to make an announcement to find the dog’s owner.
  3. If the owner can’t be found, call the non-emergency number of your local police department or Animal Control Officer.

Help us spread the word about this HOT summer safety issue! Stop by ARL’s shelters in Boston and Brewster this Summer and pick up a Too Hot for Spot car magnet!  A donation is appreciated by not required.

SPECIAL THANKS to our Too Hot for Spot media sponsor Animal Hospital of Orleans and our media partners Cool 102, WBZ 1030, NECN, WEEI-FM, WEEI-AM/ESPN, and WRKO-AM.

too hot for spot

It’s Too Hot for Spot! Signs of Heat Stroke

BVC answers your FAQs about this potentially fatal condition

All Summer long, the ARL has been sharing advice during our TOO HOT FOR SPOT® campaign on how to

heat stroke

Never leave your pet alone in a parked car on a warm day- even with the windows cracked. It’s just TOO HOT FOR SPOT!

keep your pet safe in the warmer months. This week, we focus on identifying the symptoms of, and how to prevent heat stroke in your pet.

When temperatures begin to rise, so do concerns about animal safety. Even when the thermometer dips below 80 degrees, the threat for heat stroke still exists. Fortunately, pet owners who take the proper precautions can greatly reduce the risks of this potentially fatal condition.

Want to learn more? Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) answers some of your most FAQs:

Q. What is heat stroke?

A. Heat stroke is a serious condition caused by your pet’s body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. Immediate medical attention by a veterinarian is required.

Q. What makes cats and dogs susceptible to heat stroke?

A: Pets don’t sweat the way humans do, which makes them unable to cool their bodies efficiently in the heat. If their core body temperature rises too high (typically 104 degrees or higher), they run the risk of going into shock or organ failure.

Q. Which symptoms should I look for when trying to diagnose heat stroke in my pet?

A: More obvious symptoms of potential heatstroke in cats and dogs include: difficulty breathing, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness. More subtle symptoms include: heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, excessive thirst, lethargy.

Q. Is there anything I can do until my pet receives medical attention?

A: While you wait for assistance, apply cool wet towels to the groin and “underarm” areas. If your pet is alert enough, try having them slowly sip cold water. Even if your pet begins to appear better or more alert, you should still make an emergency visit to your pet’s veterinarian as only they will be able to diagnose whether or not your pet is suffering from heat stroke.

Q. How can I protect my cat or dog from getting heat stroke altogether?

A: Prevention is always your best bet. On hot days, leave your pet at home in a cool humidity and temperature-regulated room and keep them hydrated with a bowl of cold water accessible at all times. If your pet must be outdoors, find a shady spot with ample air flow and limit exercise to the morning or evening hours when temperatures are at their coolest.

Finally, never leave your pet alone in a parked car—even with the air conditioner on or the windows cracked. On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a car can rise above 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes, which is why it is the most common cause of deadly heat stroke. It’s just TOO HOT FOR SPOT!

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heat stroke, seek immediate medical attention from a veterinarian.

For more warm weather pet safety tips, visit arlboston.org/summer-safety

5 Tips for Dog Swimming Safety

Advice to keep your pup (and family!) safe and secure in the water

dog swimming safety dog with goggles

Did you know… dogs can still overheat even when in the water? Remember these 5 dog swimming safety tips during your next visit to your local watering hole.

All summer long, the ARL is sharing advice on how to protect your pet in the warmer months because some hot weather situations can just be TOO HOT FOR SPOT. With temperatures soaring this week, we focus on keeping your dog safe as you cool off swimming!

Whether it’s your backyard or neighborhood pool, creek, pond, or beach, taking a dip on these hot summer days can be an enjoyable and refreshing experience for both you and your canine companion.

Just as there are risks for any human during a swim session, the same goes for your pet. Preparedness and attentiveness are key to making sure that every member of the family practices water safety.

Here are 5 important dog swimming safety tips to keep in mind this summer:

1. Not all dogs can swim. Although one of the first swimming strokes we learn as humans is coined the “doggy paddle”, it does not necessarily mean that all dogs can swim.

In fact, some dogs may never feel comfortable in the water. Certain breeds with short snouts or broad compact bodies such as American bulldogs and pugs  are not always “naturals” when it comes to swimming and may require “lessons.”

Buying your pet a life vest flotation device is a great investment and will keep your pup afloat while you teach them to swim—and help support them later on should they get themselves into a watery situation.

2. Practice, practice, practice. Tossing a stick or a ball in the water, progressively further from shore or shallow steps is a good way to teach your pooch to feel comfortable in the water. When they’re ready for a real swim session, move on to a small pool or other contained body of water.

While some dogs may eager to jump right in, others may panic, so be prepared for either scenario.  If there’s only one set of stairs or a ramp, continue to refresh your pup’s memory about the quickest way to make an exit.

3. Limit access to bodies of water. Just as you would keep unsupervised children a safe distance with a gate or fence, the same should go for your canine companion. If a physical barrier isn’t possible, make sure your dog knows how to come when called in case they get too close to a body of water that they shouldn’t be near.

Taking your pup boating? During the day, be sure your dog is wearing a life vest at all times. At night, your canine companion should be kept securely in an inside room on the boat, as it may be too dark to locate them should they jump or fall overboard.

4. Supervise your dog at all times. Even strong swimmers can get into trouble, especially if they’re tired. Always take notice of your pooch’s energy level and call them in for frequent breaks. Have fresh water available and encourage them to drink whenever possible; dogs can still overheat when swimming!

Supervision is especially important if your dog is swimming in a river or ocean with a lot of movement. Before you allow Fido to jump in, take note of the current and tide, and check the water temperature. Look for any flags or postings related to potential swimming hazards. Even if water conditions look ideal, always make sure that you pup stays close to shore, so that you have the ability to react quickly should they get into trouble.

5. Beware of ear infections. After swimming, be sure to dry your pup’s ears thoroughly and carefully with a cotton ball. Since most dogs have ear canals that point straight down, it is easy for water and bacteria to get trapped, causing a painful ear infection.

Common symptoms of an ear infection in dogs include excessive ear scratching or rubbing against floor or furniture, redness, swelling, odor or discharge coming from the ear canal, unbalanced movement, and hearing loss. If you see signs of an ear infection, contact your dog’s veterinarian right away.

TOO HOT FOR SPOT!  For more summer safety tips, visit arlboston.org/summer-safety

7 Steps to Keep Your Dog Safe at the Park

Protect your pup from harm and health risks by following these important planning and safety tips

One of the most enjoyable activities during the summer months is a leisurely trip to your local park. Whether it’s for a picnic or a stroll, Fido will be more than happy to tag along!

A park can be an ideal venue for your dog to get the mental stimulation and physical exercise that they crave. All of the open space, fresh air, unique smells, and various types of people and animals can be a very exciting and stimulating experience for your pooch.

Of course, all the stimulation and interaction with unfamiliar people and dogs–not to mention the heat and humidity–can be hard on your pup.

In order to make sure the fun trip to the park you have planned stays that way for everyone in the family, follow these 7 steps:

  1. Choose your park wisely. Whether you’re planning to lay out a blanket and stay a while or just to take a stroll, select a park with plenty of shade and bring fresh drinking water. Your dog may not signal you when they’re overheated or tired, so build in frequent breaks in the shade for rest and re-hydration.  If you see signs of heatstroke, contact your pet’s veterinarian right away!
  2. Leave the retractable leash at home. The “locking” mechanism on a retractable leash can be tricky and an unreliable way to keep your dog close by.  Use a standard 4-6’ leash and you’ll be able to prevent or gain control of a potentially risky situation more quickly.  After all, any dog who sees a squirrel across a nearby street becomes a flight risk!  Very seriously, dog bites occur much more frequently in the warmer months due to heightened arousal from the heat, crowds, and smells.  A short leash will help prevent them from making uninvited contact with other dogs or children.
  3. Keep an eye on your dog at ALL times. Remain attentive, especially if you’re visiting an off-leash dog park, which can quickly turn into a stressful situation for your pet. Observe the other dogs and people in the park and your pup’s body language when they interact with them. Remember that even a dog that your pooch knows well can have an unexpected reaction, as the group dynamic can change any time a new dog enters or leaves the park.
  4. Plan early morning or evening outings. Between the hours of 10am-4pm, the sun and temperature is at its peak. Aim to limit outdoor exercise to breakfast and dinnertime so that Fido (and you!) doesn’t overheat. Remember, pets don’t sweat the way humans do, making them unable to cool their bodies efficiently in the heat.
  5. Keep up-to-date on all vaccinations and parasite preventatives. This is especially important if your pup is interacting with other dogs. Respiratory illnesses like canine tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) and harmful parasites like heartworm, can easily spread from one dog to another. If you’re not certain if your pet’s vaccinations are current, contact your veterinarian.
  6. Pick up after your pup. Not only is it the “considerate” thing to do, but it’s also the sanitary thing to do. Many intestinal parasites, such as tapeworm and whipworm, can easily spread from one dog to another.  Like it or not, dogs sometimes do a little too much up close investigation into the interesting smells they encounter!  Many parks come equipped with garbage disposals and some even with pet waste bags, in case you run out.
  7. Consider leaving Fido at home. While many of us consider pets to be family and want to include them in every outing, the reality is that some events can be just too stressful on your pooch. If you plan to visit a crowded area or a lengthy event at the park–especially if you know your dog is shy or snippy when he or she first meets other people and dogs–the best decision for you and your pet is to leave them safely at home.

Summer can be TOO HOT FOR SPOT! No matter what the circumstance, remember to never leave your pet alone in a parked car—even with the air conditioner on or the windows cracked. On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a car can rise above 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes, which is why it is the most common cause of deadly heat stroke

For more warm weather dog safety tips, visit arlboston.org/summer-safety

July is Parasite Awareness Month

5 helpful tips and a special at Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) to help protect your pet

During National Parasite Awareness Month this July, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) focus our attention on intestinal parasites that live in the inside the gastrointestinal (digestive) tract of dogs and cats.

Read BVC’s FAQs on intestinal parasites:

Q: What are intestinal parasites?

A: Intestinal parasites, sometimes referred to as “worms”, are organisms that typically live inside an animal’s intestinal wall. The most common forms of intestinal parasites are roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms. These parasites are usually ingested by mouth and then work their way into the intestines where they can reproduce and cause symptoms.

While some intestinal parasites don’t show any signs, others can cause more noticeable symptoms, such as diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, or dry fur or hair. In some dogs or cats, worm eggs can lay dormant (inactive) and only bring about symptoms during times of stress.

Q: Is only my pet at risk of contracting parasites? Or can it be transmitted to humans too?

A: Unfortunately, if your pet contracts an intestinal parasite, it can easily spread onto other pets and human family members too. Pets and young children are most at risk because they are more likely to ingest contaminated soil, sand, grass, or food that has fallen on the ground.

Q: How do veterinarians diagnose intestinal parasites in pets?

A: Most intestinal parasites are diagnosed by using a microscope to find eggs in a fecal sample. Because animals are exposed to parasites in their environment throughout their life, routine fecal examinations allow many parasites to be treated before they can cause symptoms or spread to other animals and humans.

Q: How can I prevent my pet and other family members from contracting intestinal parasites?

A: Simple preventative measures can reduce the risks associated with the transmission of intestinal parasites to pets and people. Protect your pet and family by following these 6 important guidelines:

  1. Clean up and dispose of pet waste regularly. Dog and cat feces should be picked up immediately and cat litter boxes should be changed daily. Be sure to dispose of pet waste properly and never handle directly with your bare hands.
  2. Maintain good personal hygiene within your household. Wash your hands immediately after coming into contact with pet waste, raw meat, sand, or soil. Encourage children to wash their hands after playing outdoors or coming into contact with an animal, especially one that is not your household pet.
  3. Feed pets cooked or packaged food; never feed them raw meat. Change their water bowl several times a day.
  4. Supervise young children sitting in the yard, sandbox, or playground. Discourage them from eating food that has fallen on the ground or putting their hands in their mouth after touching sand or soil.
  5. Cover sandboxes and play areas when not in use. This will prevent wildlife and stray animals from contaminating the areas where your pets or children play.
roundworm, whipworm, hookworm, tapeworm parasites

During Parasite Awareness Month this July, protect your pet and family members from “worms” that can cause gastrointestinal issues!

As always, prevention is key! Schedule your pet for annual veterinary appointments and be sure to ask your veterinarian about year-round parasite preventatives. To make an appointment with Boston Veterinary Care, please call (617) 226-5605 or email bvc@arlboston.org.


Some July 4th Activities Can Be Too Hot for Spot

Keep your pup cool with these 5 safety tips and a DIY frozen treat

For humans across the United States, the Fourth of July signifies a time for family and friends, BBQs, beaches, and fireworks. For our canine friends, however, the holiday can be one of over-stimulation – too many people, too much sun, loud noises, and overwhelming smells.

This July 4th, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) want to remind you that the summer heat and bustle of the weekend’s festivities may be too stressful on your pup.

Keep your dog safe by following these 5 important tips:

  1. Leave your pup indoors in a small quiet cool room. Tuning 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 fireworks, sparklers, BBQs, and pools. Remember that some pets can become “fearfully aggressive” due to loud noises, so monitor them closely, especially around small children.
  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.
  5. Make sure your dog’s microchip and ID tag information is current. Many animal shelters report increases of “stray” animals after July 4th due to the number of pets running away from the noise and excitement. 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.

Your best bet? Leaving your dog at home is always the right decision for you and your pet. Prevention is responsible pet ownership.

Learn more at arlboston.org/summersafety

Want to keep your pup cool and occupied in the summer heat? Learn how to make this simple DIY frozen dog treat!

DIY summer dog treats

Summer Situations May Be TOO HOT FOR SPOT

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) shares advice all summer long on how to keep your pet safe in the warmer months

After a long [record-breaking] snowy Winter in New England, Summer is finally upon us! We’ve been waiting a long time for sunny and warm weather, so we’re all understandably eager to spend as much time as possible with our two-legged and four-legged family members and friends enjoying the outdoors.

Just as we humans protect ourselves from the sun and elements with sunscreen, hats, bug repellant, and staying hydrated in the hot sun, our pets need that kind of protection too.

it's too hot for spot to be alone in a parked car

Never leave your pet alone in a parked car on a warm day- even with the windows cracked. It’s just TOO HOT FOR SPOT!

When temperatures begin to rise, so do concerns about animal safety.

Even when temperatures dip below 80 degrees, the threat for heat stroke still exists. Remember that pets don’t sweat the way humans do, making them unable to cool their bodies efficiently in the heat.

From July through September, our Too Hot For Spot public education campaign will offer a series of tips on how to keep your pet safe throughout the summer.

Keep your furry family members healthy by following these important basic guidelines:

  • Prevention is always your best bet. Whenever possible, leave your pet at home in a cool humidity- and temperature-regulated room.
  • If your pet must be outdoors, find a shady spot with ample air flow to prevent overheating.
  • Hydration is key. Keep a bowl of cold water accessible at all times.
  • Limit exercise to the morning or evening hours when temperatures are at their coolest.
  • Never leave your pet alone in a parked car—even with the air conditioner on or the windows cracked. On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a car can rise above 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes, which is why it is the most common cause of deadly heat stroke. It’s just too hot for Spot!

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heat stroke, seek immediate medical attention from a veterinarian.

Common symptoms of heatstroke in dogs and cats include: heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.

For more warm weather pet safety tips, visit arlboston.org/summer-safety

Steel Leghold Traps: What You Need to Know to Keep Animals Safe

ARL’s director of law enforcement explains the dangers of this illegal trapping device

Earlier this month, we shared the incredible story of Wilson, a 6-year-old stray cat in Westport, Massachusetts who found himself in a very painful situation—an illegal steel leghold trap snapped shut on his right paw.

Read Wilson’s full story

Though Wilson kept his leg, more often animals suffer amputations and even death as a result of becoming trapped in this illegal hunting device.

In fact, the cruel suffering that animals stuck in leghold traps endured inspired the ARL to team up with other animal welfare organizations to push for legislation prohibit their use.  In 1996, the ARL and others successfully helped pass legislation that made it illegal to use or possess a leg hold trap.

Unfortunately, recently proposed legislation seeks to loosen or eliminate restrictions.

Lieutenant Alan Boral, director of the ARL’s law enforcement team, describes the dangers of illegal steel leghold traps (also called foot-hold traps) and why they are inhumane.

ARL Blog: Can you explain to our readers what a steel leghold trap is typically used for and what happens once an animal triggers it?

Lt. Alan Borgal: Of course. Steel leghold traps are a hunting device commonly used to capture so-called nuisance animals to keep them away from communities, livestock, endangered wildlife, and public water systems. People may think that this is the only way to manage certain animals, when, in fact, there are other legal and more humane methods.

leghold traps

In June of 2013, Philbert, a stray from Athol, was rescued and brought to the ARL with an illegal leghold trap clamped to his left leg. Unfortunately, his leg had to be amputated due to the extent of its injuries. Lucky for Philbert, he was adopted by a wonderful family and is now living happy and comfortably.

There are different types of leghold traps, but the overall mechanism is the same. A steel leghold trap is a spring-operated trap that is shaped similar to an animal jaw. It is supposed to be anchored by a short chain attached to a stake in the ground to keep the captured animal in that exact spot. The weight of the animal stepping on the trap triggers the “jaws” to snap shut on the animal’s leg- or other body part- in a vice-like grip.

ARL Blog: How can an animal free itself from a steel leghold trap—or can it?

AB: The force of the steel leghold trap snapping shut on an animal’s leg has already inflicted serious damage and pain. In most situations, the animal can only be freed from the trap by human hands. However, even officials trained in animal rescue cannot always remove a trap without causing further injury.

Sadly, most animals instinctively react to the shock and pain by frantically trying to pull their leg out of the trap. In a desperate attempt to free themselves, the animal often sustains more injuries, such as

bone fractures, muscle and tendon tears, and tooth and mouth damage from biting at their trapped limb and the trap itself.

If a trapped animal is not found soon enough, it can die from blood loss, shock, or starvation—or other deadly circumstances such as environmental conditions and falling prey to other animals.

Author of DOGS ON CAPE COD Supports ARL Shelter Animals

Hosts event and donates a portion of the book’s proceeds to shelter animals

Group photo at Dogs on Cape Cod fundraising event

ARL staff members pose for a photo with Kim Roderiques (pictured second from left) to celebarate the launch of her new book, DOGS ON CAPE COD. A portion of the book’s proceeds will go to animals in need at ARL’s Brewster Shelter!

A big thank you to Cape Cod photographer Kim Roderiques for hosting an event to celebrate the launch of her book, Dogs on Cape Cod, and raise funds for animals in need at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Brewster (Cape Cod) Animal Care & Adoption Center.

Dogs on Cape Cod captures over 255 vibrant photos of dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes frolicking leash-free against the breathtaking backdrop of Cape Cod.

Quotes from famous dog-lovers such as Mary Oliver and Milan Kundera are interspersed throughout the book and captions with each dog’s name and breed, along with the shot’s location accompany each photograph.

Kim and her publishers very generously agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds from DOGS ON CAPE COD to help care for animals in need at the ARL’s Brewster Shelter.

Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL's vice president of animal welfare, was invited to speak at the Dogs on the Cape fundraising event.

Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s vice president of animal welfare and veterinary services, spoke about the many dogs that the Brewster Shelter has helped on the Cape over the years at the DOGS ON CAPE COD fundraising event.

Last week, Kim also hosted a fundraising event for animals at the Brewster at the beautiful Wequassett Inn in Harwich, MA.  She invited the ARL’s vice president of animal welfare and veterinary services Dr. Edward Schettino to share stories about the many animals the shelter has helped find homes for on Cape Cod.

The event brought together 150 attendees who donated more than $2,900 for the ARL’s Brewster shelter!

Thank you, Kim, for your incredible generosity and support of the Animal Rescue League of Boston!

Breaking News: Cat Caught in Brutal Illegal Trap in Westport, MA Now Recovering and Awaiting Adoption at the Animal Rescue League of Boston

Learn what you can do to protect animals like Wilson!

At the end of May, the Westport animal control and police department contacted the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) asking for assistance with a cat caught in an illegal trap.

cat caught in illegal leg hold trap

A close-up of Wilson’s paw caught in the illegal leg hold trap and after it had been treated by emergency and ARL veterinarians.

A concerned citizen had spotted the approximately 6-year-old stray orange and white cat, now named Wilson, struggling with a heavy metal object attached to his right leg. Officials identified the metal object as an illegal leg hold trap.

Leg hold traps are a hunting tool widely considered inhumane due to the severe injury they can inflict on an animal, such as bone fractures, amputations, or even death. Once a trap is set, any animal can trigger it, putting domesticated animals such as dogs and cats like Wilson at risk.

Once captured, Westport animal control and police rushed Wilson to Mass-RI Veterinary ER animal hospital in Swansea.  After his right leg was freed from the leg hold trap, veterinarians observed incredible swelling in Wilson’s front paw and he couldn’t move his right leg properly. Thankfully, they did believe Wilson’s leg would heal.

Two days later, Wilson came to the ARL’s Boston shelter, where he was examined by lead shelter veterinarian Dr. Erin Doyle. “On initial exam, Wilson’s right paw was significantly less swollen than it had been at the hospital and he was able to bear weight on it approximately 50% of the time.”

The superficial wounds related to the trap itself were healing very well.  Just days after his ordeal, Wilson only had a faint limp when we walked and the swelling in his right paw was almost completely gone.

“Fortunately, Wilson’s injuries were much less severe than they could have been,” Dr. Doyle was relieved to report. “His right front leg and paw will return to normal function.”

According to Dr. Doyle, Wilson is ready to find a new home.  He has clearly become one of her favorite patients: “Wilson is a super sweet cat! Through all of the time I’ve spent with him handling his injured paw, he hasn’t grumbled a bit.”

Unfortunately, difficult stories like Wilson’s are sometimes what bring cats into our shelters. During Adopt-a-Cat Month this June, consider adopting cats like Wilson and give them a chance at a better life!  For more information on Wilson or other available adoptable cats, call or visit our Boston Shelter at or visit arlboston.org/adopt.

illegal leg hold trap

Law enforcement’s photo of Wilson’s fur still caught in the illegal leg hold trap, even after it had been safely removed from his paw.

The ARL and other animal welfare organizations in Massachusetts successfully pushed for legislation in 1996 to prohibit the use of leg hold traps. By current State law setting a leg hold traps is against the law, except in a handful of specific instances.

Registered voters should contact their legislators to oppose any change to the current law. Find your legislator.


If you see something, say something. If you have any information about Wilson or the leg hold trap, please contact the Westport Police Department at (508) 636-1122.

Watch out for and report animal traps. Keep an eye on outdoor pets during the summer and report any illegal animal traps that you come across to your local police department.

Donate to help animals like Wilson recover from injury and abuse…and protect them from harm in the future.