Rescue Services

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts that has an entire department dedicated to animal rescue.

Rescue Services provides emergency assistance to injured wildlife, livestock and domestic pets in distress.  Rescue agents are technically trained in a host of skills including: tree climbing, swift water and ice rescue, chemical immobilization, and large animal rescue. Rescue Services also assists Law Enforcement with cases of animal cruelty.

In 2017, Rescue Services assisted over 1,839 animals, their families, and their communities.  Follow us on Twitter to see ARL’s latest animal rescues.

Although we work closely with the state, as well as many cities and towns, ARL does not receive any government or public funding and relies solely on the support of compassionate individuals like you. Donate now to help us continue our important work to serve animals and communities in need!

Rescue Services Hotline

dog tethered outside

See an animal in distress? Call (617) 426-9170, press option 1

Rescue Services’ hours of operation are Tuesday – Saturday, 9:30AM – 5:30PM; closed on Sundays and Mondays. While we are currently unable to provide 24/7 emergency response, ARL makes every effort to answer an animal’s call for help as quickly as possible.

To ensure that an animal gets the assistance that it needs, please follow these steps:

1. Leave a message for the team, if you are asked to do so.
2. Include this information in your message:

      • A telephone number where we can call you back, if needed.
      • The location of the animal. Please include the street address; town/city; as well as any helpful landmarks, such as “under the porch of the red house”.
      • The type of animal.
      • A description of the situation, such as “cat stuck in tree”.

3. Contact your local Animal Control Office or Police Department for possible assistance, as they may have quicker access to an emergency scene.

In compliance with state regulations, some animal species require notification and special authorization from state agencies before the ARL’s Rescue Services team can provide assistance. We will inform you of any restrictions when responding to your call.

Thank you for taking the first step to help an animal in need! We all have a role to play to in keeping animals and people safe and healthy in our community.

Is Your Pet Lost?

Read these tips for the best chance at bringing your pet home safely.

After-Hours Emergency Assistance

If an animal is in imminent danger contact your local Animal Control Office or Police Department.

Wildlife Resources

Below are website links that you may find helpful with your wildlife inquiry.

If you need to find help with injured wildlife or finding a wildlife rehabber:

For general information:

If you found a baby bird or baby mammal: