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

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.


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.


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


Today! Pet-Friendly Spring Event at BVC

Pet Photos with the Easter Bunny!

FIVER will be at BVC's event this afternoon.

FIVER  is one of the bunnies who’ll be at the event. His adoption fee has been waived thanks to a generous sponsor.

Please join Boston Veterinary Care for a special Easter event celebrating their dedicated clients and welcoming new faces.

Bring the whole family (pets too) today, Saturday, April 12 from noon-3pm for photos with the Easter Bunny, refreshments, and Easter egg hunt and YES live, adoptable bunnies from the ARL!

Learn more at

Special thank you to the Berkeley Perk Cafe for donating refreshments for the event!


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!



Track the ARL’s Runners on Marathon Monday

Marathon Monday is 2 Weeks Away!

01-19-14 Boston Marathon Team PicsThe Boston Marathon is two weeks away and our runners could not be more prepared!

After months of training through extreme winter weather conditions, the runners are relieved to finally enter into the taper portion of their training.  This means that they run less and rest more for the last 3 weeks before race day, giving their bodies time to recover from the intense training that they have been doing.

They’ve been working hard and deserve some love! Please show your support for the ARL’s Boston Marathon Team, by donating to them on their Crowdrise page and cheering for them on Marathon Monday. For information on how to track the progress of our runners using the AT&T Athlete Alert visit:

To receive alerts for our runners, you’ll need their bib numbers which are listed below:

Carolyn: #28887

Karen: #28886

Margaret: #28884

Turner: #28885

Donate to the team today:




Watch for 7 Warning Signs of Animal Cruelty, Says Animal Rescue League of Boston

As part of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, ARL encourages public to report concerns to local authorities

 Boston, MA – During Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month this April, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to help the public better understand the importance of reporting suspected animal cruelty to local authorities.

“All too often, animal cruelty remains undiscovered,” explains Mary Nee, president of ARL. “By many estimates, four out of five cases remain concealed from authorities. Public awareness and reporting suspicions of animal cruelty play a critical role in prevention.”

According to the National Link Coalition, a strong connection exists between animal abuse and other forms of family and community violence. Law enforcement agencies including the International Association of Chiefs of Police have also expressed concern about the relationship between animal cruelty, domestic violence, child and elder abuse, and other violent crimes.

“Breaking the self-perpetuating cycle of violence, protecting animals, and creating safe, humane communities has to be a priority for us all,” adds Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, vice president of animal welfare at the ARL.

See Something Tear Card Image

During Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month, pick up an emergency contact card from an ARL animal shelter in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham.

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 also more subtle signs to watch for that could indicate mistreatment, neglect, or abuse. 

To help the public better understand the issue, the ARL offers 7 warning signs of animal cruelty:

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 or suspect animal cruelty, Nee says contact your local authorities as quickly as possible: “We can all give a voice to victims of animal cruelty if, when we see something, we say something to local law enforcement.”

 Visit an ARL animal shelter in Boston, Brewster or Dedham in April to pick-up a “See Something, Say Something” emergency contact card. Learn more about preventing animal cruelty at

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.



Turtle’s Story: From Bait Dog to Therapy Dog and Lobbyist

National Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month Starts Today

Turtle in the place where she was discovered.

Turtle in the place where she was discovered.

April is National Prevention to Cruelty to Animals Month and we’d like to share with you the story of a dog who exemplifies how much reporting concerns of animal abuse, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect to local authorities truly impacts the lives of animals in our communities.

On the night of December 14, 2009, the Animal Rescue League of Boston responded to a call about an injured dog in Hyde Park. Had someone not called, Turtle probably would not have made it through the night.

The ARL found an emaciated and gravely wounded female pit bull dog – who we named Turtle because she was discovered near Turtle Pond Parkway – lying curled up and motionless in the cold. She was extremely weak and covered with scars and open sores.

Our rescue team immediately determined that Turtle’s injuries were consistent with her being used as a “bait dog” to train fighting dogs. Bait dogs are commonly discarded after a life of cruel and inhumane treatment, and she had obviously been left for dead.

Turtle at Tufts

Turtle at Tufts

Turtle was transported to Tufts Veterinary Emergency Hospital where veterinarians were able to stabilize her condition. She successfully underwent surgery to close numerous bite wounds and she received treatment for broken teeth, intestinal parasites, fleas and nutritional deficiencies. Once she recovered from her surgery she faced a long and arduous period of physical and behavioral rehabilitation at the ARL.

After months spent in the care of the ARL’s foster program, Turtle became a completely different dog. She was soon after adopted by her attending veterinarian from the evening she was found, Dr. April Paul. from Tufts who helped save her life.

Today, Turtle lives a happy, healthy life, spending much of her time visiting schools and hospitals as a therapy dog and lobbying for animals and encouraging people to give a voice to victims of animal cruelty at the Massachusetts State House.

Turtle after her recovery, bringing joy to children.

Turtle after her recovery, bringing joy to children.

See Something, Say Something:
3 Signs a Dog May Be Being Used for Dog Fighting
Source: Pets for Patriots

  1. Obvious signs of trauma, such as scars, open wounds, infections,
  2. Missing body parts, such as ears, eyes and partial tails.
  3. Training equipment on a property, such as treadmills or spring poles.

Learn more about how you can give a voice to the victims of animal cruelty:

Turtle on the steps of the Massachusetts State House.

Turtle on the steps of the Massachusetts State House.


Pets of the Week: Rio and Sid, Miss Luna and Pebbles

Pets Seeking Human Companions

All of the animals listed below are patiently waiting for loving human companions to call their own. Will you lend them a paw by sharing their information?

Rio & Sid
Rio and Sid are a bonded pair of 4-year-old neutered male ferrets looking for a home with room for two! They are very playful and entertaining to watch! When they’re not running around and playing, you’ll often find them napping together.

They’ve been at our Boston shelter for almost two months and it’s about time they found a fun family!

Read Rio & Sid’s Profile

If Rio and Sid sound like the pets for you, come meet them at our Boston shelter! Or, if you think they’d make the a great match for a friend, please spread the word.

03-28-14 Miss Luna

Miss Luna is a beautiful 6-year old kitty with a shy, but sweet disposition. She warms up to new people quickly, but would probably prefer a quiet home.

We do not know how she would do with other animals, but a slow introduction is best if bringing her home to other animals.

Her previous owner said that once she’s comfortable with you, she’s quite the snuggler.

Read Miss Luna’s profile

Miss Luna is eagerly waiting to meet you today, so come meet her at our Dedham shelter!

03-28-14 PebblesPebbles is one handsome, young bunny! This 7-month-old rabbit is friendly, curious, and likes to be petted. In his previous home Pebbles was used to spending time in and out of his cage, so he’s mostly litter box trained. He is a netherland dwarf mix and is probably going to stay on the smaller side that he is now.

Read Pebbles’ adoption profile

If Pebbles sounds like the bunny for you, visit him at the Brewster shelter!


Thank You Thursday: Dog Treat Bakeries Donate to ARL

Thank You to PolkaDog Bakery & The Barkery

Last week’s Lobby Day was made a little sweeter (for the dogs that is) thanks to ARL supporters Polka Dog Bakery and The Barkery.

We distributed their generously donated, custom dog treats throughout the Massachusetts State House to legislators and Lobby Day participants.

Thank you to both PolkaDog Bakery and The Barkery for helping to get the word out about the ARL and for providing us with such awesome items to hand out. We really appreciate your generous donations!

The Barkery's custom treats looked good enough for human to eat!

The Barkery’s custom treats looked good enough for human to eat!

03-27-14 Thank You Oscar Photo

Little Oscar couldn’t get enough of these treats from PolkaDog Bakery.