Dog Training Classes Start November 1

Loose Leash Workshop and more at the ARL!

There are still a few days to register for our November dog training classes. We’ve added a special Loose-Leash Walking Workshop to the list too!

The ARL’s experienced trainers offer beginner and advanced level classes for dogs of all ages. All classes are held at our Boston headquarters and we have free on-site parking.

The following classes are starting on Saturday, November 1.

loose_leash_walk_workshop_graphicPUPPY KINDERGARTEN: A six-week course for puppies 8-20 weeks old.  The first week is for owners only (as we have much more to learn than our puppies).  Classes include: an off leash puppy play period for puppy socialization, training games for the enjoyment of both puppies and owners, basic commands, and discussions about puppy behavior problems, proper nutrition and veterinary care.

ADVANCED PUPPY: A six-week course designed for dogs 4 months to 11 months.  Classes include: an off-leash puppy play period for puppy socialization, training games for the enjoyment of both puppies and owners, continuing basic commands such as sit, down, stay, loose leash walking, coming when called, leave it, and no jumping (with and without distractions). Requirement: must have completed Puppy Kindergarten

ADVANCED GOOD MANNERS: A six-week course designed for dogs 5 months and older.  Your dogs will accompany you to all six classes and they will learn ‘go to your place’, train with distractions, attention and much more.  Requirement: must have completed Puppy Kindergarten or Good Manners class.

SNIFFING FOR FUN: A six-week course designed for dogs who know all of their basic obedience commands with distractions. Great for all ages – even seniors! Dogs have an amazing sense of smell. Why not tap into their natural ability to hunt? This is a fun class for you and your dog, to build their natural ability to hunt and find food, objects and toys. It’s a great way to build your dog’s confidence and burn energy mentally and physically. Requirement: Dogs must attend Good Manners or Puppy Kindergarten class before attending this class.

*NEW* Loose-Leash Walking Workshop:  Requirements: Puppy Kindergarten and Good Manners. Need help getting your dog to walk nicely on a leash? We’ll teach you the techniques and advise on equipment you may need so you can teach your dog to walk nicely on leash. Loose-Leash Walking is three, 1-hour sessions for you and your dog. Please, no leash-reactive, dog-aggressive or people-aggressive dogs.  Ages 6 months & up.

Enroll in a class today!



Dog of the Week: Elle, as Athletic as They Come

 October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month! Open Your Heart to Elle.

Elle is a beautiful 3-year-old athletic dog who loves to play! She has lots of energy and will need a person who will keep her busy and spend time with her outside.

10-24-14 Elle_picElle has been at our Dedham shelter since August 4. She came to the ARL from another shelter and it seems like she never had much contact with other dogs. While Elle loves to play with her fellow canines, she may be too much for some dogs to handle. Elle plays very rough and does best with dogs who play like her and who correct her if she is being too rough. Because Elle is a big, powerful dog, she would do best in a home without children.

Elle is a sweet, quirky girl. One of our Dedham staff members has been bringing Elle home for the past few weeks to give her a taste of family life and she has shown that she is a very good house dog. She is learning her basic commands and is getting a jump start on house training. She loves playing with squeaky toys and will bop around your house chasing one. Watch her adorable video below!

Elle enjoys going for walks and does well on leash when walked using a Gentle Leader.  She would make a great companion for someone who has lots of energy to dedicate to Elle. She is a very sweet dog

Visit our Dedham Shelter Tuesday-Sunday 1:00-6:30pm to meet this amazing young lady!

Read Elle’s profile.

ARL’s Cat Food Bank Drive Seeks Donations for Holiday Season

 Two-day cat food drive to help feed homeless cats in Boston

Boston, MA –The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) will host a Cat Food Bank Drive on Saturday and Sunday, November 22 and 23, to provide food for the homeless cats of Boston. The ARL will take donations of unopened wet or dry cat food from 9 am to 3:30 pm both days in the lobby of organization’s Boston headquarters located at 10 Chandler Street in the South End.

The cat food bank drive marks the start of the ARL’s “Home for the Holidays” community outreach campaign to encourage adoption and support for animals in need during the holidays. All donations of cat food will defray the food cost associated with the on-going care of homeless cats in the community.

“Every day, dedicated feral cat community caretakers feed multiple cats living in areas around the city—often at their own expense,” explains Maryann Regan, director of shelter operations at the ARL.

Regan says cat food donations will go to feral cat caretakers in Boston, as well as ARL foster volunteers who provide one-on-one care to cats recovering from surgery or re-acclimating to life in a home prior to adoption.

WHAT: Cat Food Bank Drive

WHEN: Saturday November 22 and Sunday November 23, 9 am to 3:30 pm

WHERE: Animal Rescue League of Boston, 10 Chandler Street, in the Lobby, Boston, MA 02116

For more information about Cat Food Bank Day, visit


About the Animal Rescue League of Boston

Founded in 1899, the ARL is dedicated to rescuing domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect. In 2013, the ARL served over 14,000 individual animals through our shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham, and our law enforcement, rescue, and veterinary services. The ARL receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters to help animals in need. Visit for more information.



Gooseneck Vineyards Partners with Animal Rescue League

Thank You Thursday: Every Bottle of Gooseneck Benefits ARL Shleter Pets

From October 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014, for every bottle of Gooseneck wine purchased in Massachusetts, a $1 donation will be made to the Animal Rescue League and our efforts dedicated to rescuing animals from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect.

Gooseneck Vineyards is a proud supporter of New England causes and events and we’re grateful that they’ve chosen to help the Animal Rescue League this holiday season.

All Gooseneck wines are available throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and on-line through several retailers. For store locations and wine selections visit

Thank you to Gooseneck Vineyards for supporting animals in need!



FREE Spay/Neuter Day for Pit Bulls

Free Spay/Neuter Services for Pit Bulls in Brockton on November 13

On Thursday, November 13, 2014 the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Spay Waggin’ will be in Brockton offering free spay/neuter services to pit bull type dogs. Please note that this is by appointment only and is restricted for low-inclose residents of Brockton.

2014_Brockton_Pit_Spay_Social_Pic_2The spay/neuter day services include:

  • Spay/neuter surgery
  • Microchip
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Distemper vaccine
  • Flea treatment

This is a great opportunity for pit bull owners, so if you live in Brockton or know anyone who does, please help get the word out about our FREE spay/neuter day for pit bulls and pit bull type dogs.

To make an appointment please call 877-590-7729.

Questions? Email

Download and print the event flyer.

Special thank you to the Massachusetts Animal Coalition for sponsoring this event.


Dog of the Week: Louisa, Tiny Lap Dog with a Big Personality

 October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month! Open Your Heart to Louisa.

Louisa_for_web_1Louisa is a gal who knows what she wants – a human to call her very own. She’s a tiny 5-year-old chihuahua who came to the Animal Rescue League from another shelter after having puppies and has been waiting for a home since September 5.

She can be shy with strangers, but once she knows you’re here to stay, she’ll be your shadow. She gets very attached to her person and would be happy to hang out with you all day and snuggle. But, as much as she enjoys staying at home, the moment she sees her leash and you tell her she’s going for a walk, she gets very excited and dances in circles all around you! Watch her video below to see what we mean.

While she is very small, Louisa does have a mighty bark and will sound the alarm when you aren’t by her side, so she’ll need a little help working on her separation anxiety. Because she can be a little nervous, we think she would prefer a quiet home without a lot of visitors and activity, so a home with small kids would not be ideal.

Louisa would make the perfect lap dog for someone who spends a lot of time at home and can give her all the love and attention she needs. She wouldn’t mind being your spoiled little princess!

If Louisa sounds like the perfect dog for you, come meet her at our Boston adoption center and help make this a fantastic Adopt-a-Dog Month for Louisa!

Read Louisa’s online profile.


Thank You Thursday: After 6 Years at ARL, CSD Moves to Tufts

A New Direction for the Center for Shelter Dogs

After six years with the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the Center for Shelter Dogs (CSD) has transitioned to the Shelter Medicine Program and Center for Animals and Public Policy at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

If you’re not familiar with the Center for Shelter Dogs, it started with a simple mission: to improve the welfare and successful placement of homeless dogs. By providing resources, training, and scientifically-validated behavior assessment and modification tools, CSD worked to ensure adoptable dogs found homes that matched the personalities and needs of both dog and owner.

10-16-14 CSD Thank You_Pic 2Thanks to generous funding from the Stanton Foundation, CSD built an impressive body of work, including:

  • an information-rich website viewed by over 49,000 visitors
  • educational seminars and institutes reaching over 3,500 animal welfare practitioners
  • behavioral assessments of over 15,000 dogs
  • ground-breaking research on problem behavior, stress and enrichment, and canine personality

So, why the transition? We recognized that to grow and sustain the program over the long term, it would require greater organizational capacity and reach. This new home for the Center will enrich both CSD and Cummings School programs by building on past research collaborations, and providing new educational platforms for addressing the welfare and adoptability of shelter dogs. It will also allow CSD to have greater impact across the country.

10-16-14 CSD Thank You_Pic 1Here at the Animal Rescue League we feel truly honored to have served as the incubating organization for such a tremendous asset to the field of animal welfare.  Thank you to the Center for Shelter Dogs for 6 years of incredible work that has helped more homeless dogs get a chance at a better life. This work will not only continue, but will also have an even greater impact on the well-being of dogs in the future.

The ARL will continue to support its ground-breaking behavior evaluation program, the Match-Up II Shelter Dog Rehoming Program and the online portal Match-Up II Online.  Match-Up II Online can still be reached at,  For Match-Up II support, please contact

The Center for Shelter Dogs can be found at the same web site, To contact CSD at Cummings, please email



Run for ARL in the 2015 Boston Marathon

Ready. Set. Run.

Every year nearly 30,000 runners come together to participate in the world’s oldest marathon right here in Boston. Want to join them and help your favorite charity? Apply to be a part of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s 2015 Boston Marathon team!

John Hancock has once again graciously offered the ARL four marathon bibs. This year we’re challenging the 2015 ARL Boston Marathon team to match or top the 2014 team and raise $30,000+ to support animals in need. The individual minimum is $7.500, all of which benefits the Animal Rescue League.

Run_guinea_pig_web_logoIf you run the 2015 Boston Marathon with the ARL Team, not only are you helping shelter pets, but you’ll also enjoy:

  • An opportunity to tour the Animal Rescue League’s Boston animal shelter
  • Team training opportunities
  • Your own cheering section for friends and family to cheer you along
  • Custom singlet and ARL swag
  • Hands-on help with fundraising, online fundraising and social media promotion

If you’re a social media savvy runner with a passion for animal welfare, this is your chance to run for ARL in the 2015 Boston Marathon and make a difference!

Learn more and apply for the ARL’s Boston Marathon team by visiting:

JH logo with clear space reqs


Dog of the Week: Rita Has a Reduced Adoption Fee

October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month! Open Your Heart to Rita.

Rita is an approximately 10-year-old rat terrier mix who came to us after being found as a stray. Don’t let her age fool you – Rita is very active and full of spunk! She is curious about everything and gets very excited when she see squirrels. Despite being very energetic, she also has a cuddly side to her too and will enjoy hanging out with you on the sofa after a long walk.

Rita is a bit overweight, so she’ll need a home where she’ll receive regular exercise along with a proper diet to get back down to a healthier weight.

Rita_Close_upRita loves to go for walks and play with her toys. She gets along well with some dogs, but can be a bit choosy. If you have any dogs at home, be sure to bring them along with you to meet Rita. 

Thanks to a very generous donor, Rita’s adoption fee is only $100 and includes:

  • Spay services
  • Health screening and behavioral evaluation
  • Vaccinations
  • Heartworm test and preventative medication
  • Microchip identification and registration
  • Collar and leash

If Rita sounds like the perfect dog for you, come meet her at our Boston adoption center and help make this a fantastic Adopt-a-Dog Month for Rita!

Read Rita’s online profile.



Pet Obesity and What it Means for Your Pet’s Health

Many Health Risks Result from Pet Obesity

Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day. Did you know that pet obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S.?

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention “an estimated 52.6% of US dogs and 57.6% of US cats are overweight or obese.” When it comes to your pets being over weight there is much more at stake than just good looks.

obese catSome of the many health risks resulting from pet obesity include:

  • Diabetes
  • Joint stress
  • Arthritis
  • Blood pressure issues
  • Heart disease
  • Overall quality of life
  • Maintaining your pet’s everyday quality of life can be much more difficult when he or she is overweight. Obesity in our animals is not only important to recognize, but to control and prevent.

So how can you really tell if your pet is over weight? Boston Veterinary Care‘s Dr. Kasja Newlin explains, “when feeling over your dogs ribs it should feel similar to the way your knuckles do when your hand is laid out flat. On the contrary, if your pets ribs feel the same way your knuckles do when forming a fist then your pet are under-weight.” An easier way to tell might be to stand over your pet and look down at them you. You should be able to see a waist. If you do not see a waistline, then your pet is too heavy.

Keep track of your pets weight just as you would your own, this way any gains or losses can be easily detected. It is important for pet owners to understand that your pet being a few pounds over weight may not sound like much to you, it is to him or her. An interesting thing to note is your pets constant eagerness to eat is easily confused for actual hunger. The truth is that our pets are a lot like us, we eat because we like to and not necessarily because we are hungry!

If your pet hasn’t been to the vet in a long time, consider making an appointment with Boston Veterinary Care. As part of your exam, you’ll receive nutritional counseling. Boston Veterinary Care is currently offering your first wellness exam for free. More details.

Thumbnail  and featured photo credit: Association for Pet Obesity Prevention