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Articles Tagged with: ARLBoston
Animal Cruelty and Human Violence: Q&A with Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore

Today marks the end of Animal Cruelty and Human Violence Awareness week, a time to discuss the growing body of evidence demonstrating the strong connection between animal abuse and other forms of family and community violence.

Law enforcement agencies, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police have expressed concern about the relationship between animal cruelty, domestic violence, child and elder abuse, usually referred to as “The Link”.  Studies have confirmed a relationship between animal abuse and other violent crimes.

Download our fact sheet on animal cruelty and human violence.

Dr. Smith X-Ray

Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore

We asked Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, vice president of animal welfare at the ARL, for her perspective on the link between animal cruelty and human violence.  Here’s what she had to say:

ARL Blog: How would you define “animal abuse?”

Dr. Smith-Blackmore: Animal abuse can include physical abuse (non-accidental injury), emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse and staged animal fights.

Physical abuse is characterized by the deliberate inflicting of injuries or causing pain, including inappropriate methods of training. Emotional abuse may include repeated or sustained ‘mental violence’(intimidation through loud yelling or threatening behaviors) or deliberate isolation through the  withholding social interactions.

Neglect is the failure to provide adequate levels of food, water, shelter, and veterinary care to animals. Sexual abuse includes any sexual conduct with animals, which may or may not result in physical injury to the animal.

Unfortunately, examples of all of these kinds of animal abuse have been investigated by the ARL’s Law Enforcement department.  Last year alone, our Law Enforcement team led or assisted in the investigation of 576 cruelty cases.

ARL Blog:  Most people would agree that reporting animal cruelty helps the animals involved and for that reason is importance to do.  But is there an even bigger impact reporting animal cruelty has on a community?

Dr. Smith-Blackmore: Absolutely.  Animal abuse is an important social issue affecting animals, families, and communities.

Recognizing and reporting animal abuse is especially important, due to the link between animal abuse and human violence. A correlation between animal abuse, family violence and other forms of community violence has been established.

Family and animal protection professionals have recognized this connection, noting that abuse of children, elders, domestic partners and animals result in a self-perpetuating cycle of violence.

ARL Blog:  So reporting concerns about animal cruelty can really make a difference to both animals and people?

Dr. Smith-Blackmore: Yes, when animals in a home are abused or neglected, it’s a warning sign that others in the household may not be safe. In addition, children who witness animal abuse are harmed and are also at a greater risk of becoming abusers themselves.

Laws provide animals with protection from abuse; however successful prosecution depends on reporting by witnesses to law enforcement authorities.  Protecting animals and creating safe and humane communities has to be a priority for us all.

Learn more about animal cruelty and domestic violence.

For more on this topic visit arlboston.org/take-action


Happy Earth Day! 3 Ways to Recycle for Your Cat

Since 1970 Earth Day has reminded us about the importance of protecting our planet and making conscious decisions regarding our impact on the environment. So, in honor of keeping things green, here are three easy ways to recycle with your feline in mind:

blog_egg carton1. Food Puzzle Egg Carton

Yes, it’s really that easy. Just take some of your cat’s favorite dry food and sprinkle it into an empty egg carton. It immediately becomes a food puzzle as your cat figures out how to get the food!

Food puzzles are a great way to stimulate your cat’s problem-solving skills while giving it an active way to obtain dinner. Food puzzles are a great way to have your cat burn a few extra calories while slowing down food intake to prevent vomiting.

blog_castle2. Cardboard Castle

Sure, your cat will most likely hop into a cardboard box without any alterations. But why not turn it into a more sophisticated kitty playground? By taping it closed and cutting out a couple doors and windows, it will add fun to playtime as your cat tries to grab at toys through the holes. Put a couple boxes together and you could have your very own cat jungle gym!

And when your cat is no longer interested or you need to clear out some space, it’s easy to recycle and make a new one.blog_scratcher

3. Home-made Scratching Post

Have a lot of leftover cardboard from the holidays? While this project takes a bit of time (several hours for the larger sized scratcher), it costs hardly anything to make and will last! Take a box such as an empty can tray (pictured) or go smaller with an empty tissue box. Carefully cut strips of cardboard (from discarded packaging or clean recycling) and glue them together with any type of non-toxic glue. Then add a dash of catnip and your cat will be happily scratching where its supposed to!


Bunnies are Not Just for Easter. They’re for Life!

Bunnies and Easter go hand-in-hand, but when deciding on giving a rabbit as an Easter gift, consider the chocolate, candy and stuffed animal toy kind first, and if you’re really serious, then think about adopting a rabbit. Adding a real, live rabbit to your family should be a well thought-out decision.

Here’s what you should know about rabbits:

  • They should live indoors.
  • They have a lifespan of about 10 years.
  • Rabbits are sensitive and can be stressed out by small children.
  • They like to chew on cords and furniture, so your home must be bunny-proofed.
  • Rabbits should be neutered or spayed or they will mark your house.
  • They make great apartment pets.

If you are thinking about adopting a rabbit this Easter remember to ask yourself the question, ‘Was I interested in a rabbit before Spring or am I getting caught up by the holiday fever?’ It can be an exciting surprise to add one to your family at Easter time as long as you have considered the commitment and the care that will last long after you’ve devoured your last Cadbury Crème Egg!


Limited Release “See Something, Say Something” Doggy T-Shirts Now Available

You & Your Dog Can Make a Difference!

Dog T-shirt 1April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and yesterday marked the beginning of Animal Cruelty and Human Violence Awareness Week.

Your dog can raise awareness about animal cruelty by wearing one of the ARL’s doggy t-shirts!

Starting this weekend when you make a $25 donation at any of the ARL’s shelters in Boston, Brewster, or Dedham you’ll receive a limited release “See Something, Say Something” doggie t-shirt.

We have many sizes available!

Learn more at arlboston.org/take-action


Thank You Thursday: Urban Grape Raises $1500 for ARL

Thank You Amelia Hughes, Urban Grape & Polka Dog Bakery

urban grape signThis past Saturday, the Urban Grape – a neighborhood wine store with locations in Boston’s South End and Chestnut Hill – held a B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Dog) wine tasting event at their shops and donated 10% of Saturday’s sales to the Animal Rescue League of Boston. They raised $1500 for our shelter animals!

We’d like to extend a special thank you to Amelia Hughes, an extraordinarily generous volunteer and donor, and member of the ARL’s Board of Overseers, who was named Urban Grape’s customer of the month and selected the ARL as her charity of choice!

While humans were enjoying tasting various wines, Polka Dog Bakery was on site providing snacks of the canine-kind for all of the dogs in attendance. They generously donated all proceeds from treats purchased at the tasting to the ARL.

Thank you to everyone who helped support the animals at the ARL through this event! We are so very grateful to have such a wonderful community of supportive donors and businesses!

urban grape photo 2


Today! Pet-Friendly Spring Event at BVC

Pet Photos with the Easter Bunny!

FIVER will be at BVC's event this afternoon.

FIVER  is one of the bunnies who’ll be at the event. His adoption fee has been waived thanks to a generous sponsor.

Please join Boston Veterinary Care for a special Easter event celebrating their dedicated clients and welcoming new faces.

Bring the whole family (pets too) today, Saturday, April 12 from noon-3pm for photos with the Easter Bunny, refreshments, and Easter egg hunt and YES live, adoptable bunnies from the ARL!

Learn more at bostonvetcare.com

Special thank you to the Berkeley Perk Cafe for donating refreshments for the event!


Today: Rabies & Microchip Clinic in Dedham

Microchip Your Pet!

It’s that time of year again, so please join us!

The ARL’s Dedham shelter will host their annual Rabies and Microchip Clinic on Saturday, April 5 from 10A.M.-2P.M.

Rabies vaccines are $10 each ($7 for seniors citizens)
Microchips are $15 each ($12 for senior citizens)
For everyone’s safety, all dogs must be on leash and cats in carriers.

For more information or if you have questions please call (781) 326-0729 or email dedham@arlboston.org.

kitten in pet carrier


Pets of the Week: Rio and Sid, Miss Luna and Pebbles

Pets Seeking Human Companions

All of the animals listed below are patiently waiting for loving human companions to call their own. Will you lend them a paw by sharing their information?

Rio & Sid
Rio and Sid are a bonded pair of 4-year-old neutered male ferrets looking for a home with room for two! They are very playful and entertaining to watch! When they’re not running around and playing, you’ll often find them napping together.

They’ve been at our Boston shelter for almost two months and it’s about time they found a fun family!

Read Rio & Sid’s Profile

If Rio and Sid sound like the pets for you, come meet them at our Boston shelter! Or, if you think they’d make the a great match for a friend, please spread the word.

03-28-14 Miss Luna

Miss Luna is a beautiful 6-year old kitty with a shy, but sweet disposition. She warms up to new people quickly, but would probably prefer a quiet home.

We do not know how she would do with other animals, but a slow introduction is best if bringing her home to other animals.

Her previous owner said that once she’s comfortable with you, she’s quite the snuggler.

Read Miss Luna’s profile

Miss Luna is eagerly waiting to meet you today, so come meet her at our Dedham shelter!

03-28-14 PebblesPebbles is one handsome, young bunny! This 7-month-old rabbit is friendly, curious, and likes to be petted. In his previous home Pebbles was used to spending time in and out of his cage, so he’s mostly litter box trained. He is a netherland dwarf mix and is probably going to stay on the smaller side that he is now.

Read Pebbles’ adoption profile

If Pebbles sounds like the bunny for you, visit him at the Brewster shelter!


Thank You Thursday: Dog Treat Bakeries Donate to ARL

Thank You to PolkaDog Bakery & The Barkery

Last week’s Lobby Day was made a little sweeter (for the dogs that is) thanks to ARL supporters Polka Dog Bakery and The Barkery.

We distributed their generously donated, custom dog treats throughout the Massachusetts State House to legislators and Lobby Day participants.

Thank you to both PolkaDog Bakery and The Barkery for helping to get the word out about the ARL and for providing us with such awesome items to hand out. We really appreciate your generous donations!

The Barkery's custom treats looked good enough for human to eat!

The Barkery’s custom treats looked good enough for human to eat!

03-27-14 Thank You Oscar Photo

Little Oscar couldn’t get enough of these treats from PolkaDog Bakery.


Thank You Thursday: The Broadway Dog Spa Donates Grooming Services for Lynnfield Dogs

Thank You Broadway Dog Spa!

The six dogs that the ARL’s Rescue Team removed from the Lynnfield hoarding house a few weeks ago underwent a dramatic transformation thanks to The Broadway Dog Spa in South Boston. The ARL doesn’t have professional groomers on staff, so whenever we take in a dog with a dire need for grooming, we rely on support from local businesses to help the dog look his or her best.

From the moment we took in the Lynnfield dogs we knew that they needed to see a groomer as soon as possible! All of their coats were overgrown and some were caked in feces and urine. Not only was a good grooming important to the dogs getting adopted, it was important to their overall health and self esteem.

The Broadway Dog Spa generously agreed to donate their grooming services to help. Take a look through our before and after photos and you’ll see the dramatic transformation. They look like entirely different dogs!

Most importantly, the grooming seemed to change their dispositions. They were clearly happier after their grooming. The dog with the most obvious shift was Zorro. Initially, very timid, he would hide in the back of his kennel and cower. Immediately after his grooming it was as though a huge weight had been lifted off of him. His tail wouldn’t stop wagging and he would run to the front of his kennel, eager for attention.

Today’s Thank You Thursday is dedicated to Michelle at The Broadway Dog Spa for coming to the aid of these dogs and generously donating grooming services to the ARL. Thank you!

Bella Before-After Buddy Before-After Shadow Before-After Sugar Before-After Zorro Before-After

Georgina Before-After