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.