Spring Into Action Animal Shelter Fund Drive, May 7-30

Spring into action and support the ARL’s animal shelters! Donate Now

Whether answering questions for pet owners struggling with a pet’s behavior issues, providing shelter animals with enrichment opportunities, or working closely with adopters to find a pet to match their lifestyle, finding animals homes means so much more at the ARL’s shelters in Boston, Dedham, and Brewster.

shelter fund drive

Your donation during our Spring Into Action Shelter Fund Drive will help animals like the four tiny kittens pictured above get the care and help they need to find a home!

In 2014, 5,620 animals received care at our shelters. 

No matter how they came to the shelter – through a law enforcement case such as a hoarding situation, as a stray brought in by a kind citizen or an animal control officer, or when owner passes away – cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, reptiles, and even pot-bellied pigs are treated with kindness and compassion.

“Most shelters put an emphasis on the medical and physical aspects of animal care,” says Maryann Regan, director of shelter operations.

“At the ARL, we know that an animal’s mental and emotional well-being is equally as important. We want to make each animal happy and comfortable, and to prepare them for life in their future home.”

The ARL does not receive any government or public funding to provide high quality care for the animals who come to our shelters.  Shelter animals count on supporters like you to get the care they need and find a new home!

Summer is our busiest season, which means that your donations are needed NOW to help the increasing number of animals coming through our doors.

The Logan and Lucy Rescue Fund for Shelter Animals has challenged us to triple a $5000 donation and raise $15,000 by May 30!  All donations during the ARL’s Spring Into Action Shelter Fund Drive will go directly to the ARL’s shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham.

Visit arlboston.kintera.org/shelters or click the green button below to make a donation now.

Donate Now

SHARING IS CARING! Spread the word about our Spring Into Action Shelter Fund Drive and encourage your friends and family to help care for animals coming into our shelters!




May is Tick and Flea Awareness Month

6 helpful tips to protect your pet from sneaky parasites

As the days get longer and warmer, pets and their owners are eager to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Although spring is the start of picnics, strolls through the park, hiking, and other outdoor activities, it also marks the beginning of tick and flea season.

Ticks and fleas are small parasites that live off the blood of cats, dogs, humans, and other mammals.


Photo courtesy of avma.org

Ticks typically hide in leaves or grass and climb onto an unsuspecting animal when it brushes by. If a tick burrows into your pet’s skin, they may transmit serious illnesses, such as Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Areas with sandy soil, trees, rivers, and the presence of deer usually signify a dense tick population.

Fleas are much more agile and can jump from one animal or object to another with ease. Flea eggs are resistant to many cleaners and flea control products, which means they have the ability to grow into an adult and cause risk to your pet. A flea bite can cause Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), Anemia, Tapeworm, and Rickettsiosis, which may result in skin conditions, lethargy, or other serious health effects.

Keep your pet covered with these 6 helpful tips:

  1. Tick and flea preventative should be administered year-round starting at 8 weeks of age. Although ticks and fleas tend to show up in the warmer months when more time is spent outdoors, larvae and adults can hide out in a multitude of places, such as other animals, bushes, and shrubbery, as well as in flooring, carpets, and sofas in your home.
  2. Don’t give ticks and fleas a chance to invade your home. Outdoors, cover waste bins, crawl spaces, and overgrown grass and shrubbery where ticks, fleas, and infected wildlife could hide. Indoors, vacuum carpets and sofas frequently and periodically wash your pet’s blankets, bed, and fabric toys in hot water and dry on high heat.
  3. Pets are good about hiding the “evidence.”  Cats, in particular, are very good at grooming adult fleas and ticks off of themselves. Just because you don’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there.
  4. Make “tick checks” part of your routine. When you settle down with your pet for their daily scratch session, pay extra close attention. If you spot a tick, remove it right away with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull directly outward with steady force. Don’t forget to disinfect the bite area thoroughly after tick removal.
  5. Your pet may not show symptoms of being bitten by a tick or flea right away. In most cases, you will not actually see a tick or flea unless your pet has an allergic reaction to the bite(s). Only a blood test taken by your pet’s veterinarian can confirm an illness was transmitted by a tick or flea.
  6. Don’t wait, start now. If you haven’t already, ask your veterinarian about starting a preventative tick and flea treatment plan for your pets.

Take advantage of Boston Veterinary Care’s May Promotion* for each of your pets!

Receive 10% off up to a one-year supply of Frontline, Vectra 3D, or Revolution when purchased with an exam, plus manufacturer’s rebates.

Also receive a free flea comb with purchase of Frontline, Vectra 3D, or Revolution when purchased with an exam, while supplies last.

*Not to be combined with any other offer


Bark-off Your Calendar: 30 Days ’til Paws in the Park

Even more local exhibitors to join the fun

Just one month to go until ARL’s signature annual event! Mark your calendar for May 30, 11am-3pm for Paws in the Park, one of the most popular pet festivals on Cape Cod. We’re pawsitive your family will enjoy a fun-filled day of activities, entertainment, and exhibitors. This is an event not to miss!

Saturday, May 30
11AM – 3PM
Drummer Boy Park, Brewster
Rain or shine!

$5 admission fee for adults, FREE for children under 12 years old and dogs. All proceeds from the event benefit the Animal Rescue League’s Brewster Shelter.

Here is a sneak peek of the fun to expect: *NEW for 2015

k9 demo

Don’t miss the exciting K9-unit demo!

A special swag bag for the first 500 entrants

Paws Pool Pavillion*

Paws Raffle Prize Pavillion*

“Sniff it Out” Scavenger Hunt*

Photo “Doggie” Kissing Booth

Frisbee Dog Show

K9-unit demo

Pupcasso art activity for dogs

Fleece tug toy activity for dogs*

Face painting and temporary tattoos


Book signings*

DJ music

And much more!

Paws in the Park exhibitors

2015 Paws in the Park exhibitors

Thank you to the following local businesses who will join Paws in the Park 2015 as exhibitors!

Nauset Pet Services – Photo “Doggie” Kissing Booth

Lower Cape Veterinary Service

Veterinary Association of Cape Cod

Find more announcements about activities, food, and entertainment at arlboston.org/paws-in-park

ARL ON CAPE COD QUICK FACT #4: Anna Harris Smith founded the ARL in 1899 with plans to open shelters across the state. Her motto: “Kindness uplifts the world.”


April 30 is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

Top 5 reasons to adopt a shelter pet


Winifred is available for adoption at our Dedham shelter. Click the photo to learn more about this pretty lady.

Adopt, don’t shop! In honor of National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, the ARL asks you to consider saving a life and adopting from a reputable animal shelter.

The Humane Society of America estimates that 6 to 8 million pets end up in animal shelters every year, primarily through no fault of their own. “Moving”, “landlord restrictions”, and “new baby” are a few of the most common reasons why families have to make the difficult decision to give up their pets.

The silver lining? That means that many shelter pets have already had the basic training and socialization skills they need to become part of your household!

Here are the top 5 reasons to adopt a shelter pet:

  1. You will give an animal a home. Your compassion will help give a deserving shelter pet a safe loving home and your adoption fee will support other animals in need.


    Adorable Rosie is available for adoption at our Boston shelter. Click the photo to learn more about her.

  2. You will have help finding your perfect match. Every animal at the ARL receives individualized behavioral assessments and enrichment programs. Our staff learns as much as possible about each animal so they can help adopters find the perfect pet for their family and lifestyle.
  3. You will save money. At the ARL, all this is included in your pet’s adoption fee:  spay or neuter services, health screening and veterinary examination, behavior screening and evaluations, vaccinations and flea/tick/mite treatment, and microchip identification and registration.
  4. You will feel good about yourself. When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  Your shelter pet will thank you constantly with tons of affection and by becoming your new best friend.
  5. You will be supporting responsible pet ownership. When searching for an animal companion, always consider the source and the support you will get following the adoption if you have any questions.  The ARL, for example, has a behavior helpline and shelter staff can answer questions for you after you take your pet home.

For information on adoptable animals at our ARL shelter locations, please call or visit us. All of our shelters are open Tuesday – Sunday, 1PM-6:30PM, excluding some holidays.

Search adoptables

Don’t have the means right now to adopt a shelter pet? There are other ways to make a difference:

Dedham puppies with staff and volunteers

Sign up as a volunteer. Donate your time to caring for animals or helping with administrative tasks. The ARL staff will match you to a position aligned with your skills and interests. View ARL’s current volunteer opportunities.

Become a foster parent. Opening up your home to an animal on a temporary basis gives a shelter pet the comfortable loving environment they crave until they’re ready to be adopted. Learn more about becoming an ARL foster parent.

Make a donation. All monetary contributions, no matter how big or small, go a long way to helping shelter pets receive the care they need. An adoption fee also goes toward helping other homeless animals. Look at all the ways you can give to ARL.

Remember that not all donations need to be monetary! Shelters are just as needing of supplies. View ARL’s shelter wish list.

IT’S THANK YOU THURSDAY!  Special thanks to MassRealty for promoting the importance of adoption!  Check out their recent article about adoption and the ARL: massrealty.com/articles/greater-boston-s-plan-to-rescue-our-animals


We Need Your Help! Foster a Kitten, Save a Life

The ARL is seeking on-call foster families for neonatal kittens

four cute neonatal kittens

Foster a neonatal kitten, save a life! If you live in South End or in close proximity to Dedham, apply to be an on-call volunteer today!

If you live in the South End of Boston or in Dedham/very close proximity to our Dedham shelter and have a flexible schedule, a cozy home, and big heart, please read on….

Our Boston and Dedham shelters developed the On-CallNeonatal Kitten Foster Program in response to the need for trained individuals to care for abandoned nursing kittens found in Massachusetts each year, primarily between the months of May through October.

The term “neonatal” refers to a kitten during its0-4 weeks of life. Kittens at this stage are very delicate and are completely reliant on their mother for protection, warmth, and nutrition.

When a neonatal kitten comes in without a mother, it’s up to human caregivers to step in to provide care for these little ones.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the on-call neonatal kitten foster program:

Q: What do neonatal foster volunteers need to do?

A: We’re looking for foster families who are available on-call to take in one to three kittens at a time for a minimum of 4-5 weeks, with some flexibility on an emergency basis.  Prior experience preferred, but not necessary.

You need to be able to stay with the kitten(s) for a significant part of the day and dedicate bottle-feeding time every 2-4 hours.

Q: Will I get training?

A: Yes, absolutely!  We will provide you with:

  • Foster care orientation
  • Neonatal kitten bottle feeding training
  • A bottle and KMR (Kitten Milk Replacement) formula starter kit

We also provide emergency contacts, so you have access to support 24-hours a day when you are fostering kittens in your home.

Q: Where will I need to go to pick up kittens?

A: We are looking for foster volunteers who live close to our Boston shelter located at 10 Chandler Street, Boston, MA, and our Dedham shelter located at 55 Anna’s Place, Dedham, MA.  Because kittens frequently come in at the end of the day, we need volunteers who live in close proximity who can quickly and easily come pick them up.

Q. How do I apply to become a neonatal kitten foster volunteer?

A. Click here to fill out a foster volunteer application

For more information about the ARL’s Neonatal Kitten Foster Program, contact:

CCurran@arlboston.org at our Boston Shelter

BFinn@arlboston.org at our Dedham Shelter

Though caring for neonatal kittens requires time and patience, helping a fragile newborn become a healthy adoptable kitten is an extremely rewarding experience!

Additional fostering opportunities

We’re also looking for foster families to care for:

  • Cats with medical conditions
  • Cats with behavioral challenges, such as litter box training and fearfulness.
  • Dogs with behavioral challenges, such as anxiety and fearfulness.

Training is always provided!


Bark-off Your Calendar: 37 Days ’til Paws in the Park

Don’t miss out! A few sponsorship opportunities left

Join the fun on May 30, 11am-3pm for Paws in the Park, one of the most popular dog-friendly pet festivals on Cape Cod featuring activities, entertainment, and exhibitors for the whole family to enjoy.

08-19-14 Summer Social Today_Featured

Paws in the Park is a fun event for the whole family! Bring the kids and your pup to ARL’s popular annual festival.

Saturday, May 30
11AM – 3PM
Drummer Boy Park, Brewster
Rain or shine!

$5 admission fee for adults, FREE for children under 12 years old and dogs. All proceeds from the event benefit the Animal Rescue League’s Brewster Shelter.

Here is a sneak peek of the fun to expect: *NEW for 2015

A special swag bag for the first 500 entrants

Paws Pool Pavillion*

Paws Raffle Prize Pavillion*

“Sniff it Out” Scavenger Hunt*

Photo “Doggie” Kissing Booth

Frisbee Dog Show

K9-unit demo

Pupcasso art activity for dogs

Fleece tug toy activity for dogs*

Face painting and temporary tattoos


Book signings*

DJ music

And much more!

We’re pleased to announce the following local businesses who will join the fun as a 2015 exhibitors!

Animal Hospital of Orleans

DogWatch of Cape Cod

The Black Leash

Cabo Cado

Find more announcements about activities, food, and entertainment at arlboston.org/paws-in-park

ARL ON CAPE COD QUICK FACT #3: The original shelter in Provincetown was relocated to Brewster in 1967 in order to care for more animals.



5 Facts About Pit Bull-type Dogs

Learn why Pit Bull-type Dog popularity is on the rise

As part of our See Something, Say Something campaign, we wanted to share some important information about Pit Bulls, a “breed” that often gets a bad rap.  Unfortunately, Pit Bull-type dogs often come to our shelters because their owners face housing and insurance restrictions prohibiting certain breeds of dogs.

Here are 5 facts that you need to know about Pit Bull-type dogs:

1. FACT: The “Pit Bull” is not an official breed.
“Pit Bull” is an umbrella term commonly reported to contain the following 3 registered breeds of dogs: Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Pit Bull Terrier.

Many dogs that are classified as “pit bulls” are actually a combination of mixed breed dogs of unknown pedigree or other pure bred dogs which bear some physical resemblance. It is not easy to identify a dog’s breed origin(s) from appearance alone, therefore many dogs who are labeled as Pit Bull-type dogs are actually not.

2. FACT: While some Pit Bull-type dogs were historically bred for the purposes of “blood sports”, the majority were bred to become family dogs and farm help.
In the 1970s, dog “blood sports” (i.e., dogfighting, street fighting) began to get more attention by law enforcement and, therefore, the media—making the public much more aware of these cruel practices. The hype drew people to the conclusion that the Pit Bull-type dog’s history of involvement in “blood sports” made them uniquely dangerous.

The truth is that one cannot predict a dog’s behavior based on what the ancestral breed was “historically bred for.”  Instead, each dog should be assessed as a unique individual based upon their overall temperament and upbringing.

3. FACT: Pit Bull-type dogs are not born aggressive
Ever heard the phrase “nature vs. nurture”? Well, that applies here too. Pit Bull-type dogs, just like any other type, follow “learned” behavior taught by the humans who raise them.

To put it simply: an attentive caring owner will raise a happy well-adjusted pet. A neglectful and abusive owner will raise an unhappy aggressive pet. More often than not, Pit Bull-type dogs who display aggressive behavior are often the victims of irresponsible ownership.

4. FACT: Pit Bull type dogs do not have “locking jaws”
No such “locking jaw” mechanism exists in a Pit Bull-type dog or any other dog type or breed. There is nothing uncommon about the size and functionality of a Pit Bull-type dog’s jaws or teeth. Additionally, there is no evidence which proves that one dog type or breed is uniquely capable of inflicting serious injury to humans or other animals.

5. FACT: You should consider adopting a Pit Bull-type dog from your local shelter
If you’re looking to add a new furry family member to your household, think about saving a life and adopting. When a Pit Bull-type dog is properly matched to your family and lifestyle, it is a success story in the making. Pit Bull-type dogs are loyal companions, quick learners, and make great exercise buddies.

If you are considering adopting, make sure you visit a shelter that offers behavioral assessments and enrichment programs for all adoptable animals.  At the ARL, for example, staff can that provide insight into a dog’s overall temperament, health, and upbringing. It is always a good idea to bring everyone in the household (including other dogs) to the shelter with you to ensure that your new addition is the right fit for your home and family.

The good news is Pit Bull-type dog popularity is on the rise due to their awesome physical and mental characteristics that make them the perfect companion for responsible, active, and caring owners.

Just ask uber celebrities Tom Brady, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Bacon, Jessica Biel, and Rachel Ray (just to name a few) why they chose a Pitty as their family pet who they can’t live without!

If you’re looking to add a Pit Bull-type dog or another type of pet to your family, visit our adoptable pets at our shelters, Tuesday – Sunday 1 pm – 6:30 pm.

Search adoptables

If you SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Learn more about what you can do to prevent animal cruelty at arlboston.org/take-action.


Track the ARL Boston Marathon Runners

After months of training through extreme winter weather conditions, our runners are ready to take on 26.2 for animals in need!

team photo with bib numbersYou can show your support for the ARL’s Boston Marathon Team by:

1. Donating to the team to help them reach their stretch goal of $40,000 by visiting crowdrise.com/arl2014bostonmarathon

2. Tracking their race progress at http://bit.ly/1e9LjEZ using their bib numbers

Chris    30015
Mal       29782
Scott    30005
Alexis  30083

3. Joining us in Coolidge Corner near the 7- Eleven to cheer for our runners at they near the finish line

A VERY SPECIAL THANKS to the dedicated runners on our 2015 Boston Marathon team!

Boston Marathon sponsor JH

Thank you to Boston Marathon sponsor John Hancock for including the ARL in the 2015 charity bib program!










April is National Heartworm Awareness Month

ARL’s Boston Veterinary Care Offering April Special!

Did you know… it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to spread Heartworm disease to your pet?

Heartworm disease

Source: www.heartwormsociety.org

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal illness for cats, dogs, and ferrets, as well as other mammals. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of affected animals. Heartworm may result in lung disease, heart failure, or other organ damage.

Although this sounds scary (it is!), Heartworm disease can be avoided altogether with the necessary preventative measures.

Protect your pet by reading these 6 FAQs about Heartworm:

  1. How can Heartworm disease spread to my pet? Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes carrying the parasite Dirofilaria Immitis. When an infected mosquito bites a cat, dog, ferret, or other mammal, larvae are transmitted into the bloodstream and ultimately settle in the heart, arteries, blood vessels, and lungs after a period of months.
  2. Which pets are most at risk? Outdoor cats and dogs who spend a significant amount of time outside are most at risk, as well as those indoor pets who live in particularly mosquito-dense areas.
  3. What symptoms should I look for? Signs of Heartworm disease can be very subtle or very severe depending on the case. Symptoms may include persistent cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, decreased appetite, vomiting, and weight loss. As the disease progresses, an animal may experience fainting, seizures, difficulty walking, or fluid accumulation in the abdomen. Kittens, puppies, and senior pets face the highest risk of developing the more severe symptoms.
  4. How is Heartworm disease diagnosed? It takes approximately 6 months after being bitten by an infected mosquito for your pet to test positive for Heartworm. A veterinarian can make a diagnosis by doing a physical examination and running blood tests.
  5. Is Heartworm disease treatable? For dogs in the US, there is treatment available. Unfortunately for cats in the US, there is currently no approved treatment. The good news, however, is that many Heartworm-infected cats are able to fight the infection themselves and can be monitored every few months, while waiting out the worms’ lifespan. Medications can also be given to help alleviate some symptoms, such as coughing and vomiting.
  6. How can I prevent my pet from contracting Heartworm disease? There are several FDA-approved medications* on the market available for both cats and dogs. Your pet should begin a heartworm preventative around 8 weeks of age, which should be taken year-round. Dogs should be tested for Heartworm every 12 months and regular check-ups for all pets are key to early detection.

Take advantage of Boston Veterinary Care’s special April offer!

Enjoy 50% off your pet’s heartworm test with your purchase of 12 months of heartworm preventative medication.
To make an appointment, please call (617) 226-5605 or email bvc@arlboston.org

*Always consult with your veterinarian before administering any type of medication to your pet.

Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive A Success!

Thank you for your support for the ARL’s Rescue Services Team!

You made it possible! In just 7 days we more than TRIPLED the fundraising goal for our Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive!

Gloucester ice rescue

Your donations make rescues like this possible. Pictured here: ARL’s Rescue team saving a duck trapped on the ice in Gloucester.

All proceeds will go directly to ARL’s Rescue Services to ensure that domestic animals and wildlife get emergency rescue assistance when they need it most.

The ARL does not receive any government or public funding for providing rescue services to the community and relies entirely on supporters like you to continue this important work.

Check out Rescue Services in action as seen on Boston.com.

On behalf of everyone at the ARL, thank you for your kindness and compassion for animals in need!

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO the anonymous donor who challenged us to match their $5,000 contribution during the Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive and to Whole Foods Market, South End for helping us kick off the fund drive by donating 5% of sales on April 8!