Thank You Thursday: ARL Marathon Team Was Boston Strong

ARL Boston Marathon Team Raises Over $37k for Shelter Animals

We are so very proud of our Boston Marathon team! Monday was a very special day for the City of Boston and the ARL and we are so grateful to them and everyone who supported these extraordinary runners.

To our own Carolyn Curran who was joined by Turner Smith, Karen Gondoly and Polly Hallowell who gave their all to run and raise more than $37,000 (surpassing the goal of $30,000)— thank you!

Read more about this year’s runners.

While Turner (pictured right) unfortunately suffered a fracture and couldn’t run, she was there at the sidelines cheering on the ARL Boston team!

The three ARL runners who did run expressed that the experience was unforgettable. Runner Polly Hallowell said, “I’m giddy because the experience was so heartwarming…it was embracing, healing, fun, encouraging…so many things!”

We also want to acknowledge our past marathoners who ran again this year: Naomi Johnston, Bill Tanguay and Keegan Garnsey.

ARL president Mary Nee said it best when she stated, “They are forever a part of a tragic event in the city’s history but also a reminder of Boston’s strength and resilience—thank you!”

If you didn’t get the chance to support our marathon team, but would still like to do so, please visit crowdrise.com/arl2014bostonmarathon

Carolyn Curran, Assistant Shelter Manager in Boston.

Carolyn Curran, Assistant Shelter Manager in Boston.

Visit our blog every Thursday for more Thank You Thursday posts and to see how the community is helping animals in need.

 

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

 

ARL’s Lt. Borgal Featured in New Book About Local Legends

Congrats to Our Own Lt. Borgal for His Feature in Legendary Locals of Boston’s South End

Image courtesy of the Animal Rescue League of Boston

It looks like our director of the Center for Animal Protection, Lieutenant Alan Borgal is a local celebrity!

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the South End Historical Society is featuring people and information from Legendary Locals of Boston’s South End in its South End Trivia and South End Fact social media posts.

Yesterday’s South End Trivia post read:

“Name the Lieutenant who works at the non-profit that stands at the corner of Tremont and Arlington.”

Did you know the Lieutenant? Lt. Alan Borgal!
Do you know the non-profit? The Animal Rescue League of Boston!

04-23-14 Alan Legend book-logoHere is a selection from Lt. Borgal’s profile in the book: “Lieutenant Alan Borgal began working at the Animal Rescue League (ARL) almost 40 years ago as a shelter kennel worker. He became a Massachusetts Special State Police officer in 1981 and began investigating incidents of animal cruelty and abuse. Today, Lieutenant Borgal is the director of the Center for Animal Protection at the ARL.”

To learn more about Lieutenant Borgal, his advocacy on behalf of animals, and the awards he’s won, check out his profile on page 10 of the book (it comes out on May 5th). Pre-order your copy here.

Special thanks to Hope Shannon and the South End Historical Society for featuring the ARL so prominently.

 

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.

04-19-14 Sunshine Bunny

SUNSHINE is currently available at the ARL’s Boston shelter.

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.

Marianne G., Manager of our Boston shelter, has the following advice “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?’” She also notes that “rabbits make fun and entertaining pets.  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

 

Lt. Borgal on the Link Between Animal Cruelty and Community Violence [VIDEO]

As a reminder that April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month, today we’re sharing a video featuring Lt. Alan Borgal, director of the ARL’s Center for Animal Protection. Lt. Borgal emphasizes the link between cruelty to animals and family and community violence and encourages you to contact local authorities if you suspect animal cruelty or neglect. Remember YOU can give a voice to the victims of animal cruelty, if when you see something, you say something!

A very special thanks to GreatGrandPaws for producing the video for us!

You can give a voice to the victims of animal cruelty. Learn more at arlboston.org/take-action

Download our flyer on how to spot potential signs of animal cruelty.

 

ARL Celebrates Today’s SJC Ruling

Decision provides critical tool for preventing animal cruelty

We’re celebrating the decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC)—the first animal-related decision in 40 years!—to extend the emergency aid exception to the warrant requirement to animals.

The emergency aid exception allows police to enter a home without a warrant when they have objectively reasonable belief that there may be someone inside who is injured or in impending danger of physical harm.

The office of Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett argued the case before the SJC for applying the emergency aid exception to animals.

The ARL joined several local officials and national organizations including the Attorney General, the Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund in filing a friend of the court brief in support of extending the emergency aid exception as well.

11-6 See something say somethingToday, the SJC issued an opinion agreeing the exception applies “with equal force” to animals:

“In light of public policy in favor of minimizing animal suffering in a wide variety of contexts, permitting warrantless searches to protect nonhuman animal life fits coherently within the existing emergency aid requirement, intended to facilitate official response to an ‘immediate need for assistance for the protection of life or property.’”

The timing of the ruling during Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month is particularly meaningful to our ongoing efforts to rescue animals from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect. Four out of five cases of animal cruelty remain undiscovered; reporting concerns to your local authorities is critical to prevention.

Learn more about the ARL’s See Something, Say Something campaign.

Congratulations to the office of Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett for successfully arguing the case!

 

 

7 Warning Signs of Potential Animal Cruelty

Subtle indications that may indicate an animal is at risk

During Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month this April, we want to help the public better understand the importance of reporting suspected animal cruelty to local authorities.

While most members of the public recognize that punching, kicking, burning, choking, or hitting an animal with an object are acts of animal cruelty, there are some more subtle signs to watch for that could indicate mistreatment, neglect, or abuse:

  1. Howling or barking for a sustained period of time or hearing an animal cry in pain with higher pitched, more persistent vocal sounds than usual
  2. Singed, matted, chronically or excessively dirty hair or fur
  3. Wounds, unusual scars, hair loss, frequent limping often on different legs, or signs of improper nutrition such as weight loss or prominent visible ribs
  4. Animals kept caged or tied with little room to move for long periods of time or without regular interaction with people
  5. Lack of protection from the weather or fece- or debris-strewn living areas for animals
  6. Collars, leashes, or halters so tight they visibly dig into the animal’s face or neck
  7. A large number of animals coming or going from a property

See Something, Say Something

If you know or suspect animal cruelty, report concerns to your local authorities.  Learn more about how you can give a voice to the victims of animal cruelty: arlboston.org/take-action