Adopt & Un-“Leash” Your Dog’s Inner Red Sox Fan

Let’s Go, Red Sox!

In honor of Red Sox opening weekend, all ARL shelter locations will be giving away a FREE official MLB Red Sox leash with every dog adoption from April 10-12th, while supplies last.

Now, that sounds pawstively awesome!

Search adoptables

David Ortiz holding puppy

An instant fan! This pup can’t help but show love to his favorite Red Sox player, David Ortiz.

For information on available dogs or other 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.

Boston Shelter:

10 Chandler Street | Boston, MA 02116 | 617-226-5602

Dedham Shelter:

55 Anna’s Place | Dedham, MA 02026 | 781-326-0729

Brewster Shelter:

3981 Main St (Rte 6A) | East Brewster, MA 02631 | 508-255-1030





Bark-off Your Calendar: 51 Days ’til Paws in the Park

Agway of Cape Cod Joining the Fun as a Presenting Sponsor

paws in park kissing booth

Join the fun at Paws in the Park 2015! Bark off your calendar for May 30, 11 am – 3pm at Drummer Boy Park in Brewster, MA!

ARL’s Paws in the Park signature event is back, promising fun for your family and pets! This popular dog-friendly event is one of the largest pet festivals on Cape Cod and features activities, entertainment, and exhibitors for the whole family to enjoy. We expect over 1,000 people and pets in attendance!

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*
  • Photo “Doggie” Kissing Booth
  • Frisbee Dog Show
  • K9-unit demo
  • Pupcasso art activity for dogs
  • Face painting and temporary tattoos
  • Contests
  • Book signings*
  • DJ music
  • And much more!
 paws in the park 2015

Members of the Wile Family, owners of Agway of Cape Cod, recently adopted a puppy from the Animal Rescue League’s Brewster shelter. Pictured are Josh and Meaghan Wile with children Conor and Kiera, and new puppy Buckley!

We’re pleased to announce Agway of Cape Cod will join the fun at Paws in the Park 2015 as a presenting sponsor!

“The Agway team is thrilled to be a presenting sponsor at this year’s Paws in the Park,” said Jessica Thomas, Vice President of Business Operations at Agway of Cape Cod. “We are honored to have this opportunity. This has become our favorite community event of the year to participate in.  We are proud to support our local ARL shelter!”

Find more announcements about activities, food, and entertainment at

ARL ON CAPE COD QUICK FACT #1: In 2014, the Brewster shelter found permanent homes for over 720 animals.


See Something, Say Something: Investigating Animal “Blood Sports”

Recognizing National Dog Fighting Awareness Day

The ASPCA designated April 8 as National Dog Fighting Awareness Day  to increase understanding and awareness about dog fighting.  As part of our continuing “See Something, Say Something – Report Animal Cruelty” campaign, we encourage animal-lovers to take action against all blood sports, an extremely brutal form of cruelty.

What are “blood sports”? Blood sports are defined as an illegal sport or contest involving the bloodshed of animals for the purpose of gambling or entertainment, and include:

  • Dog fighting is a brutal sport or contest in which two dogs—specifically bred, conditioned, and trained to fight—are placed in a pit/ring to fight one another for the purposes of entertainment and gambling. The fight ends when one dog can’t continue due to exhaustion, injury, or death. Each year in the US, an estimated 140,000 people and 250,000 dogs are involved in dog fighting despite the fact that it is prosecuted as a felony crime in all 50 states.
  • Street fighting is an impromptu altercation between two dogs instigated by their respective owners or gangs in either a private location or common public gathering area, such as school yards, parks, or abandoned buildings. In some cases, the owner encourages their dog to attack a stray.
  • Cockfighting is a sport in which two gamecocks (roosters), specifically bred for aggressiveness, are placed in a small ring and encouraged to fight to the death. Owners often will inject doses of stimulant drugs, hormones, or vitamins to increase endurance and attach knives to the gamecocks’ legs.
  • Finch fighting is a sport between two male and one female perched birds that has become increasingly popular due to the birds’ small size, docile nature, and ease of transport. Owners typically attach blades to the males’ feet and sharpen their beaks to ensure the female finch’s demise.

Our Law Enforcement team works with animal control officers to identify signs of blood sports. Here are 3 common warning signs:

3 warning signs of dog blood sports

Whether you live in a rural, suburban, or urban neighborhood, animal “blood sports” happens in all types of areas across the country, including Massachusetts.  The ARL’s Law Enforcement team, for example, continues to assist the Bridgewater, MA police department in an investigation involving two dogs who had sustained injuries consistent with involvement in blood sports.

Blood sports are a major concern for public safety as it’s often linked with gang activity and other serious crimes such as human assault, homicide, drug possession/distribution, and illegal gambling.

Based on the ARL Law Enforcement team’s experience, building an effective legal case against this type of crime is complicated, due to the multitude of individuals, groups, and gangs that can be involved.  Fighting animals – especially dogs – are bred in Massachusetts and transported to other states to fight, making it very difficult to track the activity.

How can communities prevent blood sports from happening?

  1. Animal control officers and humane investigators focus on breaking up an animal fighting enterprise and immediately remove animals from the situation.
  2. You can help raise awareness and encourage intervention; both are critical to preventing this type of crime before it occurs!

We ALL have a role to play in prevention. Report suspicions of animal cruelty. If you SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.

Learn more about what you can do at


Today Only! Whole Foods South End Supporting Rescue Fund Drive

5% of ALL sales at Whole Foods South End will go to ARL’s Rescue Services Team

Whole Foods South End is springing to action to help kick off our “Spring into Action” dog holding a whole foods bagRescue Fund Drive this week!  On Wednesday, April 8, from open to close, 5% of all sales at Whole Foods South End location at 348 Harrison Avenue will go directly to benefit the ARL’s Rescue Services Team.

Domestic animals and wildlife can get trapped, displaced, injured, or otherwise distressed anywhere at any time of day, and our Rescue Services team is trained to help all kinds of species – from snakes to donkeys, kittens to bald eagles -  in a variety of emergency situations.

In fact, the ARL is the only animal welfare organization in Massachusetts that has an entire department dedicated to rescuing animals in distress.  In 2014, the team provided assistance to over 3,864 animals.

See the ARL Rescue Services team in action in this profile story by

An anonymous donor has challenged us to double a $5,000 donation and raise $10,000 in just 7 days for animal rescue. In other words, your donation today to the ARL’s Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive will go even further aiding animals in distress!

We rely entirely on people like you to help animals in distress in our community, as the ARL does not receive any government or public funding!  All donations to our “Spring Into Action” Rescue Fund Drive will benefit the ARL’s Rescue Services program.

SPECIAL THANKS to Whole Foods Market South End for bringing attention, excitement, and contributions to our Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive!

Can’t make it to the store? Make a donation online now!
Visit or click the green button below to make a donation April 7-14 and help ensure animals in distress will get assistance when they need it most!

Donate Now




Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive, April 7-14

Spring into action today and support the ARL’s Rescue Services!

From high in trees to icy ocean waters, from burned out building to spillways with surging currents, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services team has trained to save domestic animals and wildlife from all these situations and more.

The ARL is the only animal welfare organization in Massachusetts that has an entire department dedicated to rescuing animals from a variety of emergency situations. Domestic animals and wildlife can get trapped, displaced, injured, or otherwise distressed anywhere at any time of day, and our Rescue Services team stands ready to help as quickly as possible.

Animal Rescue League of Boston's rescue services team

See the ARL Rescue Services team in action in this profile story by

No one wants to see animals suffering.

Gloucester ice rescue

Our rescue services team swam out to save this poor duck trapped on the ice, tangled in finishing line.

Whether it’s a duck trapped in fishing line, a mother cat and kittens stuck under a shed, or a deer trapped in mudflats, having trained and experienced rescue team to call is critical to protecting the safety and welfare of animals in our community. But providing emergency rescue services for thousands of animals every year is very expensive.

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

An anonymous donor has challenged us to double a $5,000 donation and raise $10,000 in just 7 days for animal rescue. In other words, your donation today to the ARL’s Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive will go even further aiding animals in distress!

All donations made from April 7-14, 2015 will go directly to support our Rescue Services program.

Donate now

Visit or click the green button below to make a donation now.

Donate Now

SHARING IS CARING! Spread the word about our Spring Into Action Rescue Fund Drive and encourage your friends and family to support emergency rescue services for animals in distress!


4 Pet Safety Tips for a Hoppy Easter!

Keep your pets safe during the festivities

Spring is in the air and what better way to celebrate than with colorful eggs, bright flowers, and bunny-shaped chocolate– besides, perhaps, adding a new furry member to your family!

Spring Into Love and consider adopting an animal from the Animal Rescue League of Boston!

When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  All adoptable animals at the ARL also receive:

  • Spay or neuter services
  • Health screening and veterinary examination
  • Behavior screening and evaluations
  • Vaccinations and flea/tick/mite treatment
  • Microchip identification and registration

Search adoptables now or visit our adoptable pets at our shelters, 1 pm – 6:30 pm, excluding some holidays.

With the Easter and Passover holiday upon us, remember that your pets will be curious about the new decorative items and delish goodies that you bring into your household. Be sure to keep these 4 pet safety tips in mind during the festivities:

  1. Leave lilies at the store. Although beautiful and iconic to Easter, a lily’s leaf, pollen, and flower are highly toxic if ingested by cats. Make sure to keep a special eye on cats as their excellent climbing skills can give them easy access to flowers and plants.

    say no to lilies

    Say no to lilies!

  2. Keep fake grass, candles, and other decorations out of reach. When your pet ingests stringy objects like ribbons or Easter basket grass, they can become wrapped around the base of the tongue or stomach and cause serious intestinal issues. Ceremonial Passover candles should be monitored at all times to prevent pets’ fur from catching fire.
  3. Chocolate and candy are a no-no. Chocolate, especially the darker bitter kind, is poisonous to pets. Chocolate contains methylxanthines, a relative of caffeine, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and death. Many candies and gums contain the sugarless sweetener Xylitol, which is also highly toxic to pets.
  4. Hide eggs from your pets too. Secure pets during Easter egg hunts or other activities where plastic eggs or other small objects can be ingested. Consuming real eggs can cause illness as well if they have spoiled. Keep your pet busy with toys and treats and don’t forget to pick up all hidden gems once the activity is over.

From everyone at the ARL, Happy Easter and Passover!


See Something, Say Something – Report Animal Cruelty

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Awareness Month

In support of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month this April, the ARL is kicking off its Spring “See Something, Say Something – Report Animal Cruelty” campaign.

Animal cruelty comes in many forms, including physical abuse, neglect of basic care, abandonment, dog fighting, and animal hoarding. Because many studies have demonstrated a strong link between cruelty to animals and other forms of domestic and community violence, prevention plays a critical role in improving the safety and welfare of both animals and people in Massachusetts.

Know your state’s animal cruelty laws

In 2014, the ARL’s Center for Animal Protection assisted in over 300 animal law enforcement cases. Unfortunately, this is a small number when you consider the startling statistic that 4 out of 5 animal cruelty cases go unreported.

We all have a role to play in prevention. Be aware and get to know the animals in your neighborhood. If you suspect animal cruelty, call your local authorities right away.  Help raise awareness and educate others about this issue.

Learn the 7 most common warning signs of animal cruelty and take action!

While most of us recognize that punching, kicking, burning, choking, or hitting an animal with an object are acts of animal Give a voice to animals.cruelty, there are also several more subtle warning signs of animal cruelty 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.

If you know of or suspect animal cruelty, report concerns to your local authorities.  Learn more about how you can prevent animal cruelty at

Report suspicions of animal cruelty. If you see something, say something.


It’s Hip to Snip on the ARL’s Spay Waggin’!

Learn about the ARL’s largest community spay/neuter program

The ARL’s mobile Spay Waggin’ is our largest community spay and neuter program, bringing affordable, accessible, and – most importantly – high quality spay and neuter services to pet owners in Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod every month.

community spay program coordinator

The ARL’s Cheryl Traversi welcomes a new patient onto the Spay Waggin’.

As the longest running mobile spay and neuter clinic in Massachusetts, the staff on the Spay Waggin’ has been building their expertise providing mobile veterinary care since 2000.

Staffed by an ARL veterinarian and two certified veterinary technicians, the Spay Waggin’ follows the same high-level of surgical protocols as a stationary clinic and your pet’s comfort and well-being is the top priority.

Through the years, the  community reach and involvement has continued to develop, and 2014 was no exception.

Just ask Cheryl Traversi, shelter & community veterinary medicine program coordinator at the ARL.

She describes 2014 as the “best, feel-good year yet” for the Spay Waggin’. Thanks to the generosity of supporters, over 3,900 cats and dogs received spay or neuter services and other veterinary care.

The Spay Waggin’ also formed very important partnerships with the Massachusetts Animal Fund, a tax-funded spay/neuter program, as well as many local and city town officials and animal control officers. With help from new partners, the mobile program reached deeper into the local communities to help pet owners in financial need and prevent animal homelessness.

community spay program

ARL shelter veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley assisting a patient during last week’s Commonwealth Fix.

Last week, the Spay Waggin’ participated in the Massachusetts Animal Fund’s Commonwealth Fix, a push to spay or neuter more than 500 cats and dogs statewide in one week.  Stationed in Brockton, the Spay Waggin’ welcomed a steady stream of clients who qualified for special spay and neuter vouchers offered by the Massachusetts Animal Fund.

To learn more about the Spay Waggin’, visit

IT’S HIP TO SNIP SPECIAL THANKS! As we wind down our “It’s Hip to Snip” spay/neuter awareness campaign, we wanted to once again thank our media partners Clear Channel Outdoor, The Pet Gazette, 98.5 The Sports Hub, WEEI, WRKO, and WZLX for sharing the benefits of spay and neuter for pets, people, and the community with your readers and listeners.

We also wanted to thank the Ellen B. Gray Memorial Fund who challenged us to triple a $5,000 donation and raise $15K in 15-days for spay and neuter programs during our “It’s Hip to Snip” fund drive.  You inspired us and donors across the state to support programs such as the Spay Waggin’ that prevent animal homelessness!

And of course, thank you to supporters like you who donated during the fund drive and helped spread the word that it’s hip to snip!

hip to snip spay neuter sticker


Do You Have Feral Cats In Your Neighborhood?

Help keep them safe by building a simple DIY cat shelter in your yard

A “feral” cat is defined as a cat that has had little or no human contact since birth. Many were initially former domestic cats that were either lost or abandoned. In many cases, these cats still depend on human caregivers for food and shelter.

Learn more about feral cats

Some feral cat colonies find shelter for themselves under sheds and uninhabited buildings. Living in these structures poses a risk for these cats because their safety is usually uncertain.

To help keep the feral cats in your neighborhood safe from the elements and potential predators, consider building your own shelter. DIY shelters are inexpensive and simple to build. Please keep in mind, there are many ways to build feral cat shelters.

Watch this video to learn how to build your own feral cat shelter:

Did you know…

That the ARL contributes to helping control the feral cat population in the Boston area? The ARL offers FREE spay and neuter TNR (trap, neuter, and release) clinics each year to feral cat caretakers in Boston.

During the clinics, cats receive a behavioral screening to identify “friendlies,” stray animals who could re-adjust to living with people as pets.  In addition to spay/neuter services, cats also receive vaccines and other veterinary services.

Learn more about the ARL’s TNR clinics by visiting


A Mastiff Relief for Titan!

Big and Lovable Lovable Dog thriving after surgery

donations for titan

Titan, 6-year-old Mastiff, needed a $2,000 surgery to remove and test a large tumor in his abdomen.

During a routine neuter surgery,  our shelter veterinarian discovered shelter dog Titan had a large mass in his abdomen.  X-rays confirmed the 6-year-old big and loveable Mastiff had a tumor.

According to ARL shelter veterinarian Dr. Erin Doyle, about 50% of this type of tumor are benign and the other 50% are cancerous.  Sadly, dogs with the cancerous-type of tumor have a 6-month life expectancy after the tumor is removed without additional medical intervention.

Titan needed a $2,000 surgery to immediately remove the tumor and test for cancer.  The ARL moved quickly to get Titan the medical care and testing he needed.

Titan’s goofy grin and happy-go-lucky personality had quickly warmed the hearts of everyone at the shelter.  Everyone was hoping for the best when he underwent surgery a week later.

Thankfully, we got what we were hoping for!

Titan's adoption day

A recovering Titan (Mastiff on the right) post-surgery posing for a photo with his new family on his adoption day!

“Titan’s tumor ended up being a very rare type of benign kidney tumor,” happily reported Dr. Doyle.  “Now that the tumor has been removed, Titan should be able to go on to live a normal life.”

With the tumor gone,  Titan was cured and medically-cleared for adoption. He went home with a new family shortly after surgery and by all reports is doing better than ever!

Would you like to help Titan and other animals like him?

Only with your support can dogs like Titan get emergency medical assistance when they need it most.

The ARL doesn’t receive any government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters like you to provide veterinary care and treatment for shelter animals who have no one else to turn to for help when they’re sick or injured.

MAKE YOUR DONATION GO FARTHER NOW!  The Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund will generously match your donation today dollar for dollar!

Please visit arlboston/ or click the button below to make a donation to help pay for the care and treatment of Titan and other animals like him.

Donate Now