Update: Stitch Continues to Receive Intensive Care

ARL and the Dedham Police Department’s Animal Control Division thank public for support

HAVE TIPS AND INFORMATION? Contact Dedham Animal Control at (781) 751-9106.

Stitch, the dog abandoned in the cold earlier this week in Dedham, Massachusetts, continues to receive intensive care from the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL).

Dedham animal control officer Jayson Tracy discovered the extremely emaciated dog and immediately contacted the ARL for help.

“Stitch is getting extensive medical assistance,” explains Dr. Erin Doyle, the ARL’s lead veterinarian for shelter veterinary services. “He’s still very weak and we are monitoring his condition very closely.”

The ARL also continues to assist the Dedham Police Department’s Animal Control Division in following-up on information provided by the public.

Stitch is a dilute brindle pit-bull-type dog that had no collar on when he was found near the Bridge Street area of Dedham.  He is approximately 2 years of age.

We urge anyone with information about him to please contact Dedham animal control at (781) 751-9106.


Sadly, thousands of animals just like Stitch will suffer from abuse and neglect every year in Massachusetts. We all have a role to play in prevention and encourage urge the public to contact their local animal control officers anytime they suspect animal cruelty.

On behalf of everyone at the ARL, THANK YOU for the outpouring of support and information about Stitch.

DO YOU RECOGNIZE STITCH?  Please contact Dedham Animal Control at (781) 751-9106.

dedham dog


Dog Sweaters: Fashion vs. Function

Does your dog need a sweater this winter? Answer these 5 questions!

Love it or hate it, many animal-lovers can’t resist a dog in clothing. Whether it be a holiday sweater, a Halloween costume, or simply a fancy collar, photos of a dressed-up doggies are shared by the millions on social media each day.

While the pet retail business may seem frivolous to some, the reality is that some dogs, just like humans, need a little extra help staying warm in the colder months. Sure, your dog naturally sports its own “overcoat”, but some breeds are just not suited to survive in harsh winter climates.

Dog sweaters, coats, and booties may be fashionable, but they can also be extremely functional as well!

Not sure if your if your canine companion needs a dog sweater this winter? Answer YES or NO to our questions below:

protect your pet

Dog sweaters can be both fashionable AND functional! Answer YES or NO to these 5 questions to determine if your dog needs a sweater this winter!

1. Is your dog’s coat made up of short hair like a Boston Terrier’s or French Bulldog’s?

2. If your dog’s coat is made of fur, do you keep it groomed short, as you would a Poodle?

3. Is your dog considered a puppy (under one-year-old), a senior (over 7-years-old), or a toy breed, such as a Chihuahua?

4. Does your dog have a weakened immune system due to health issues, such as hypothyroidism?

5. Do you live in a climate where temperatures dip below freezing during the hours your dog spends time outside?

If you  answered “YES” to one or more of the questions above, you may want to consider buying a dog sweater for your canine companion to wear on cold days or during snowfall.

While this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to run out and purchase 17 hound’s-tooth sweater options (unless you want to, of course!) you should browse a little to select outerwear that will work best for your dog.

Take your pooch shopping with you to determine what style, size, and fabrics fits your pup. Make sure whatever you select is simple to put on/pull off and has closures (buttons, zippers, etc.) that are easily accessible.

Your dog’s new sweater may just get everyone at the park saying, “now that’s one practical pup”!

For more useful pet safety advice, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips.


Breaking News: Starved Dog Abandoned in Cold

ARL and Dedham Animal Control Seeking Public’s Help with Information

DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS DOG? Contact Dedham Animal Control, (781) 751-9106


Stitch was found very weak with no body fat. If you have tips or recognize this dog, contact Dedham Animal Control at (781) 751-9106.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and the Dedham Police Department’s Animal Control Division need the public’s assistance with information about a starved dog abandoned in the cold earlier today in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Dedham animal control officer Jayson Tracy received a call about the dog just before noon this morning.

He discovered the dog suffering from extreme starvation and immediately contacted the ARL for assistance.

“This dog was cruelly abandoned,” explains Lt. Alan Borgal, director of the ARL’s law enforcement team.  “He has no body fat to speak of — he could have easily died of exposure in the cold today if he wasn’t found so quickly.”

Now known as Stitch, the dilute brindle pit-bull-type dog had no collar and is approximately 2 years of age.

Though he is clearly weak and sore, Stitch has greeted everyone he has met with a friendly tail wag.  He happily accepted pats, cheek scratches, and kind attention at the ARL’s Boston shelter.

“Anyone who might recognize this dog, please come forward,” urges Lt. Borgal. “We want to find the person who did this to Stitch and prevent cruelty against other animals in the future.”

Contact Dedham Animal Control at (781) 751-9106.

PLEASE NOTE, Stitch is currently not available for adoption. 





DIY: Winter Pet Emergency Kit

Simple and inexpensive to make, a pet emergency kit is a must for your home

Blizzards, flooding, and power outages are par for the course during the harsh New England winters. When you’re stocking your pantry and gathering snow removal equipment for the next big storm, don’t forget to plan ahead for your pet too!

In the event of an evacuation, natural disaster, or other emergency the Animal Rescue League of Boston wants to make sure that your pet is already packed and ready to go with you!

Follow these 7 steps to keep your pet safe during an emergency

In addition to having a sturdy comfortable crate or carrier on-hand for transporting your pet, be sure to prepare a pet emergency kit ahead of time with the following supplies:

  • Water-resistant backpack or lightweight bag to hold everything

    pet emergency kit

    Don’t forget to bring a photocopy or portable USB drive of your pet’s medical records.

  • Food and water – at least 3 days worth!
  • Portable food and water bowls
  • Manual can opener and fork, or measuring cup
  • Litter or newspaper to shred and litter boxes
  • Paper towels and trash bags for additional pet sanitation needs
  • Bleach (dilute 9 parts water to 1 part bleach for cleaning)
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Collar with ID tags – be sure the information is up-to-date!
  • Leash
  • Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Bedding
  • Grooming items

ALSO, DON’T FORGET… to make your pet easy to ID! If you become separated from your pet, you’ll want to locate and claim them as quickly as possible. Microchipping your pet is always a good idea and a fail-safe way to verify that you’re their owner. Also, keep a photo of you and your pet together handy to help others easily identify them.

For more useful pet safety advice, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips.


Winter Routine: The Dos and Don’ts

These 5 cold weather habits will help keep animals safe

Let’s face it: residents of New England are no stranger to the frigid temperatures and harsh precipitation that winter can bring. Whether it’s salting our walkway, defrosting our car windows, or layering ourselves with heavy fabrics, we are quick to adapt to the changing elements.

When the blustery weather hits, adjusting a few more of your daily habits can actually help protect your pet and the animals in your community too! Just add these 5 Dos and Don’ts to your winter safety routine:

1. DO watch the thermometer. Although some animals are conditioned for cold weather, many are not. Whenever possible, bring all pets indoors when the temperature plummets below 20 degrees. Animals with short hair, puppies and kittens, senior pets, and those that have a lowered immune system are most at risk and should be moved inside when the mercury drops below 40 degrees.

2. DON’T forget to check under the hood. Cats love to warm up underneath the hood of a car, as the residual heat from the engine burns off. Unfortunately, this method of warming up can have dangerous consequences, such as severe burns and other grave injuries. Always pound on the hood of your vehicle and do a quick visual check to wake a napping kitty before you stick the key in the ignition.

3. DO winterize outdoor accommodations. If your livestock or neighborhood feral can’t be moved into a warm garage or basement, ensure that they have adequate protection against the elements. A winter-friendly outdoor shelter should have three enclosed sides, be raised off the ground, have heated water bowls to prevent freezing, and contain bedding, such as clean straw. The space should be big enough for the animal to lay down, stand, and turn around, but small enough to help trap the heat.

4. DON’T leave flames unattended. Pets gravitate toward warm spaces when they’re cold, just as humans do. If you have a working fireplace, wood stove, space heater, candles, or other heat source supervise your pet at all times to keep them a safe distance from hot surfaces and to avoid serious burns.

5. DO pay attention to your pet’s grooming and health. An animal with a matted coat cannot keep him or herself warm! Long-haired pets, especially during heavy periods of shedding, need extra help maintaining a healthy coat. Senior pets also suffer from increased arthritis pain in the cold, so check with your veterinarian on how to keep your pet comfortable..

For more helpful tips about dog and cat health and behavior, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips.


January is National Adopt a Bird Month

5 reasons to SPREAD THE LOVE and ADOPT a feathery friend today!

January is national Adopt a Bird Month and the ARL wants to SPREAD THE LOVE! Often overlooked in animal shelters, these beautiful and majestic creatures can make great pets, especially for families with limited living space or allergies.

If you feel like a furry friend may not be quite the pet you’re looking for then consider birds like Pipsqueak and Saphire that promise to make your heart soar! Search adoptables

Here are 5 other reasons why YOU should branch out and adopt a bird this month:

adopt a bird month pipsqueak

January is National Adopt a Bird Month and parakeets like Pipsqueak are eager to meet their new family! Click his photo to learn more about him.

1. You’ll have someone to talk to. Because of their above average intelligence, birds are very communicative and love to socialize with humans.

2. You’ll have fun training them. Since birds are relatively small, training them can be less physically demanding than working with larger creatures, making them a good choice for the young, elderly, or disabled.

3. You’ll have more space. A bird’s, food, water, and toys are typically self-contained in their cage, so smaller households will still have plenty of room to move around.

4. You’ll have a loyal friend for the long-run. Many bird species have extraordinarily long life expectancies, some living more than 100 years! This often eases the concerns of people who want to make sure they adopt a pet that they can love and enjoy for a very long time.

5. You’ll save money. Most landlords only charge “pet fees” to tenants with cats or dogs. Additionally, at the ARL, all of this is included in your pet’s adoption fee: health screening and veterinary exam, behavioral screening and evaluation, vaccinations, parasite treatment, and more!

DON’T FORGET… to bring a photo! If you’re interested in adopting a bird or other small animal, the ARL requires that you bring a picture of the cage that your new companion will be living in to ensure it’s adequate.


Play it Safe in the Snow

5 winter pet safety tips to protect your dog from the elements

Oh, the weather outside is frightful… but playing in it is so delightful!

It’s winter in New England and the snow, ice, and frigid winds from the Atlantic are upon us. While our human instincts are to cozy-up indoors with a heated blanket and cup of hot cocoa, we know that it’s impossible –and unhealthy–to hibernate all winter long.

Just as people need to keep active, healthy, and — of course— warm during the colder months, our canine companions need to as well. In fact, January was designated as National Walk Your Dog Month for that very reason!

When you and your pup brave the outdoors for exercise, follow these 5 winter pet safety tips to ensure fun for everyone:

1. Prepare Rover for the elements. If your dog typically has a longer coat, let it grow out for the winter; it will provide warmth and protection from the cold. If your pup has a short coat, keep him warm with a coat or a sweater. Just like you, your furry friend will enjoy the outdoors much more if he isn’t shivering!

winter pet safety tips

BONUS TIP: Snow can sometimes affects a pet’s sense of smell and their ability to navigate home! Make sure your pet’s microchip and identification tag are up-to-date in the event you and your pet become separated.

2. Keep Fido on a leash. Dogs can easily lose their scent in the snow, so never let your pet off-leash during a snowstorm, or when there’s ice or snow on the ground. If you’re walking near “frozen” ponds, lakes, or streams, remember that ice is not always uniformly thick or stable, and your pup could fall through into the icy water!

3. Wipe off your dog’s paws and stomach. Sidewalks are often treated with rock salt, antifreeze, and other dangerous chemicals. Not only can these chemicals sting your pooch’s paws, but they can be poisonous if ingested. Keep pet wipes by your front door to clean off you dog’s paws and stomach before he licks them first!

4. Never leave Spot alone in a cold car. Just as it’s TOO HOT FOR SPOT in the summer, the temperature in your car can become TOO LOW FOR FIDO and dangerously cold in the winter. The toasty temperatures inside your vehicle don’t stick around for long once the engine is turned off. Always bring your dog indoors with you or leave them safe and warm at home!

5. Pay attention to your pooch’s protein. If your dog spends a lot of time frolicking outdoors make sure he’s getting enough protein in his diet. Among other benefits, protein helps maintain a healthy coat–a thick barrier that will help protect him from the cold!

For more helpful tips about dog and cat health and behavior, visit arlboston.org/helpfultips.


Cold Weather Warning: Bring Your Pets Indoors

The ARL asks pet owners to please bring their animals inside, when possible

Our local weathermen issued a cold weather warning: bundle up this week!

A wave of frigid air hit New England, causing temperatures to plummet 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit below normal around The Greater Boston Area. Overnight temps are expected to drop into the teens and single digits in some of the northern and western suburbs.

Just as you’ll protect yourself with a warm coat, hat, and gloves when you head outdoors, your pets will need the extra protection too! Though they may have furry coats, animals are by no means immune to dangerously cold temperatures. Even rabbits, cats, and dogs that typically live outdoors need extra assistance keeping warm as temperatures drop to alarming lows.

5 steps to keep animals safe during this cold weather warning:

  1. If possible, bring pets or feral cats that you’re familiar with indoors to a garage or basement.

    cold weather warning

    Keep community cats safe this winter by building your own DYI cat shelter in your yard. Click the photo for a basic how-to video.

  2. Bundle up your pup in a jacket or sweater during their walk, especially if their coat is made of hair (vs. fur)
  3. Before you start your engine, look under and pound on your vehicle’s hood to wake a napping cat trying to keep warm.
  4. Never leave your pet alone inside your vehicle, which won’t stay warm for long after your engine has turned off.
  5. If your pet MUST remain outdoors, make sure that are in a winter-friendly shelter that has the following components: three-sided enclosure, stands off the ground, contains generous amounts of bedding, and plenty of (un-frozen!) drinking water.

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. If you’re concerned about a neighborhood animal outdoors in the cold this week, be sure to contact your local animal control office or authorities.

For more information about winter pet healthy and safety, visit arlboston.org/winter-pet-health.


Put Your Pet’s Best Paw Forward in 2016

Enroll your pup in one of the ARL’s many dog training classes!


Start your dogs New Year off on the right paw by enrolling him in one of ARL’s many dog training and enrichment courses!

DID YOU KNOW… that January is National Train Your Dog Month?

Whether your dog is a newbie, needs a refresher on his basic commands, or just wants to meet a few new canine pals, the ARL has a class for you!

Help Rover keep his New Year’s resolutions by registering him for one of ARL’s Winter 2016 dog training and enrichment courses offered at our Boston shelter location at 10 Chandler Street.

The ARL offers a variety of dog training classes at our Boston shelter for dogs of all ages and levels as part of our commitment to supporting positive relationships between people and their pets.

Our certified, experienced, and caring dog trainers help you teach your dog basic and advanced commands, manners, socializing skills, and agility training.

Click here to view course descriptions.

Dogs who were recently adopted from one of ARL’s shelters will receive a 25% discount! Boston Veterinary Care clients receive a 10% discount!

Check out ARL’s Winter 2016 dog training course schedule:

Puppy Kindergarten

Beginners age 8–20 weeks, No dogs for class 1







Saturdays Jan. 09 Feb. 13 10am Leah Register
Thursdays Jan. 14 Feb. 18 6pm Karin Register
Sundays Jan. 17 Feb. 21 10am Carol Register
Tuesdays Jan. 26 Mar. 01 6pm Karin Register
Saturdays Feb. 27 Apr. 02 10am Leah Register
Sundays Mar. 06 Apr. 17 10am Carol Register

Good Manners

Beginners age 5+ months, No dogs for class 1







Saturdays Jan. 09 Feb. 13 11am Leah Register
Thursdays Jan. 14 Feb. 18 7pm Karin Register
Sundays Jan. 17 Feb. 21 11am Carol Register
Tuesdays Jan. 26 Mar. 01 7pm Karin Register
Saturdays Feb. 27 Apr. 02 11am Leah Register
Sundays Mar. 06 Apr. 17 11am Carol Register

Advanced Puppy

Age 4-12 months – Prerequisite: PK or GM







Saturdays Jan. 09 Feb. 13 9am Leah Register
Sundays Jan. 17 Feb. 21 9am Carol Register
Saturdays Feb. 27 Apr. 02 9am Leah Register
Sundays Mar. 06 Apr. 17 9am Carol Register

Advanced Good Manners

Age 5+ months – Prerequisite: PK or GM

**JUST ADDED: Advanced Good Manners-January 9th-starting at 1pm**ENROLL NOW







Saturdays Jan. 09 Feb. 13 12pm Leah Register
Saturdays Feb. 27 Apr. 02 12pm Leah Register

Agility for Fun

Age 6+ months – Prerequisite PK or GM







Sundays Mar. 06 Apr. 17 12pm Carol Register

Sniffing for Fun

Age 6+ months – Prerequisite PK or GM







Sundays Jan. 17 Feb. 21 12pm Carol Register

Canine Good Citizen

Prep. for AKC’s Good Citizen Certificate. Prerequisite: PK or GM







Sundays Jan. 17 Feb. 21 1pm Carol Register
Sundays Mar. 06 Apr. 17 1pm Carol Register


For questions or more information about ARL’s dog training courses, contact us at 617-426-9170 or behavior@arlboston.org.


LAST DAY! Help Us Start-Off 2016 on the Right Paw

ONE DAY LEFT to make it a happy new year for animals in need! DONATE

We still have to raise just over $550,000 to start-off 2016 fully funded and ready to help give deserving animals a chance at a better life!


Your gift TODAY will help thousands of deserving animals in 2016…

….Animals like Titan and Nina who got the emergency surgery they needed to save their life.

donate now

Thanks to supporters like YOU, Wilson now has a place to call home!

….Like Austin and Wilson who were protected from further animal cruelty by ARL’s law enforcement team.

….Like Pearce, Athena, and Big B. who underwent hours of behavioral and enrichment training to help them find a home.

….Like the Berlin raccoon and Lowell goat who make it out of dangerous situations safely thanks to ARL’s rescue services team.

….Like Oliver Twist and Dancer and Prancer who received the special attention they needed to recover from extreme neglect.

….Like Johnny Cash and many other dogs and cats on Martha’s Vineyard who received high-quality, affordable spay/neuter services from ARL’s Spay Waggin’.

….Like the thousands of Massachusetts farm animals who will benefit from the 2016 ballot initiative.


Only with YOUR SUPPORT can we provide high-quality compassionate care for animals where and when they need it most! The ARL does not receive any government funding and relies solely on donors like you to keep our important work going! 

Visit arlboston.kintera.org/donate or click on the DONATE button below to make a donation to the Animal Rescue League of Boston!


donate nowTHANK YOU to our generous donors, incredible supporters, and dedicated volunteers for your overwhelming kindness and compassion for animals in 2015. The ARL wishes you, your family and friends, and all the special pets in your life a SAFE, HEALTHY, AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!