USSC Increases Animal Fighting Penalties

ARL sent a proposal to the USSC urging higher guidelines for individuals found guilty of federal animal fighting crimes

Earlier this month, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) reported that the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) was considering increasing penalties for animal fighting.

The ARL believes that these higher guidelines will help deter any potential offenders, and help to protect animals like Turtle from becoming “bait dogs”.

The ARL believes that these higher guidelines will help deter any potential offenders, and help to protect animals like Turtle from becoming “bait dogs”.

Click here to learn more.

The ARL, along with countless other animal welfare organizations, sent letters urging the USSC to consider higher sentencing ranges for individuals found guilty of federal animal fighting crimes.

Our voice was heard!

On April 15, 2016, the USSC voted unanimously to approve increases for the sentencing penalties associated with animal fighting. Previously, the range was 6 to 12 months in federal prison; the range is now 21 to 27 months in federal prison.

The USSC also authorized judges to impose upward departures – sentences above the usual range – for those cases where:

  • The suffering of animals was prolonged.
  • The fighting enterprise was on an exceptional scale (an exceptionally large number of animals was involved in the fighting enterprise).

The ARL believes that these higher guidelines will help deter any potential offenders, and help to protect animals like Turtle from becoming “bait dogs”.

It is for Turtle and so many other animals like her that the ARL continues to urge that those who are responsible for such harm and cruelty are brought to justice.

TAKE ACTION FOR ANIMALS! Learn the 7 most common warning signs of animal cruelty and report any suspicious activity to your local authorities.

 

ARL Saves Baby Owl and Kittens during Snowstorm

All in a day’s work: Rescue Services helps newborn critters in New England

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ARL’s Rescue Services pulled nine kittens from an old work duct in Jamaica Plain. The kittens are now safe in ARL’s foster care!

On Monday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Service team, Danielle Genter and Mike Brammer responded to a call for help from an employee of the VA Hospital in Jamaica Plain, MA.

The concerned citizen contacted the ARL when the feral cat that she feeds on Monday mornings did not come out as usual. She could, however, hear the animal whimpering and assumed it was stuck somewhere outdoors.

ARL’s Rescue team arrived on the scene and quickly identified two holes near the building. During their initial inspection, they looked into the holes and took photographs, but did not hear anything. Shortly after placing food inside the hole, however, they heard a faint meow coming from one of the holes.

ARL’s expert rescue technicians, Danielle Genter and Mike Brammer, try to place the baby owl back in its nest.

ARL’s expert rescue technicians, Danielle Genter and Mike Brammer, attempt to return the baby owl to its nest.

Click here to read the full story, as reported by Boston.com.

After pulling one kitten out of the small hole under the building, Danielle and Mike were in for a surprise: in total they found nine 4-week-old kittens taking cover from the storm inside the old duct work!

“Gradually, one by one, we pulled all nine kittens out. We were there for about an hour trying to catch them,” says Mike.

Although cold and hungry, all nine kittens were in perfect heath and were transferred to ARL’s foster care program where they’ll stay until they’re old enough to be put up for adoption.

Earlier in the week, the kittens’ feral cat mom had also been taken into ARL’s Boston shelter for spay surgery and later released.

Meanwhile…

While in Jamaica Plain, the Rescue Team also responded to the Arnold Arboretum where a small baby owl was found on the ground below its nest. At first, Danielle and Mike attempted to return the owl to its home.

With the help of arboretum staff and a bucket truck, the baby owl was returned to its nest where its two siblings were waiting. The team was packing up and ready to leave when someone spotted the baby owl on the ground- again! It had either fallen, or been kicked out by its siblings.

Click here to read the full story, as reported by Boston.com.

With the threat of freezing overnight temperatures coming in and the possible predators that could harm the young bird, the team ultimately determined that the baby owl would be safest at the Blue Hill’s Trailside Museum in Milton, MA.

TO LEARN MORE about ARL’s Rescue Services team, visit http://www.arlboston.org/rescue-services/!

…or follow them live on Twitter @ARLBostonRescue!

 

ARL Urges USSC to Impose Higher Guidelines for Animal Fighting Cases

The proposal would protect animals like Turtle from becoming “bait dogs”

animal fighting

BEFORE: Turtle was found severely injured and cruelly abandoned on the side of the road in 2009. AFTER: Today, Turtle is happy, healthy, and loving life with her new family!

Animal fighting is not a crime that just happens ‘someplace else’.

Sadly, the brutality and suffering that result from animal fighting are all too familiar to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). Each year, ARL’s law enforcement department, rescue team, and shelter veterinarians and staff are called in to help domesticated animals and wildlife in Massachusetts found in these extreme situations.

One of the most inhumane cases that we’ve encountered was that of Turtle, the Pit Bull-type dog who had been left for dead on the side of the road.

In December 2009, the ARL responded to a call about an injured dog in Hyde Park, MA. Turtle was discovered lying curled up and motionless in the bitter cold. Her body was covered with old bite wounds that had been inexpertly stitched, as well as dozens of new bites on her face and underbelly, and a fractured leg. All of these were classic signs of a “bait dog” used in dogfighting.

Turtle received emergency medical attention and surgery to stabilize her condition. Afterward, she underwent months of long and strenuous physical and behavioral rehabilitation at the ARL.

The ARL proposes higher guidelines for animal fighting cases…

It’s because of dogs like Turtle, and so many other animals used for blood sports, that the ARL recently sent a letter to the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) urging higher guidelines for individuals found guilty of federal animal fighting crimes.

Although the maximum penalty for animal fighting was raised to 5 years in federal prison in 2007, the guidelines used to determine the actual sentence length had not changed. This means that those convicted for animal fighting may not have received any jail time at all.

Turtle fully recovered and listening intently to ARL's President Mary Nee at the State House during Lobby Day 2014!

Turtle fully recovered and listening intently to ARL’s President Mary Nee at the State House during Lobby Day 2014!

Based upon our own experience, as well as that of other law enforcement agencies, the ARL has proposed that the USSC:

  • Consider adding additional penalty levels for animal fighting crimes where guns and/or drugs were involved.
  • Urge the sentencing judge to consider other factors to impose a higher sentence, such as extreme cruelty or failure to provide adequate shelter, food, and medical care.

The ARL believes that these new proposals would result in longer sentences and appropriately punish a current offender and possibly deter any potential offenders.

Turtle was lucky that she was found in time to save. Her recovery is a testament to her own strength and courage, as well as the wonderful veterinary and rehabilitative care she received at the ARL.

It is for Turtle and so many other animals like her that ARL continues to fight and urge that those who are responsible for such harm and cruelty are brought to justice.

TAKE ACTION FOR ANIMALS! Learn the 7 most common warning signs of animal cruelty and report any suspicious activity to your local authorities.

 

ARL Shelters Closed TODAY – Thursday, March 31

ARL shelters & Boston Veterinary Care are closed for all-staff meeting

Dedicated ARL volunteers will be on-site throughout the day caring for our animals. A special thank you goes out to those pawsome folks!

You can search adoptable animals now to learn more about the cats, dogs, and small animals who are looking for a home and contact our shelters tomorrow, Friday, April 1, during regular hours, 1:00 pm-6:30 pm.

Boston Shelter: (617) 426-9170 or adoption@arlboston.org
Brewster: (508) 255-1030 or brewster@arlboston.org
Dedham: The shelter is currently closed for remodeling.

Boston Veterinary Care will re-open tomorrow, Friday, April 1, at 8:00 am.

For emergencies, please contact Bluepearl – specialty + emergency medicine for pets at (781) 684-8387.

 

ARL Recovers 18 Game Birds from Tewksbury Home

Suspects arraigned in connection with illegal animal fighting ring

Earlier this week, 24 suspects were arrested and arraigned for their suspected involvement in an illegal cockfighting ring in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.

ARL's manager of rescue services, Brian O'Connor, helped recover 18 modern game birds from the illegal cockfighting ring in Tewksbury, MA. Photo courtesy of the Tewksbury police department

Lt. Alan Borgal, director of law enforcement at the ARL, and Brian O’Connor (pictured), manager of rescue services at the ARL, helped recover 18 modern game birds from the illegal cockfighting ring in Tewksbury, MA. Photo courtesy of the Tewksbury police department.

The Tewksbury Police Department acted on a tip that multiple people were gambling on a “cock fight” at the residence of 969 Chandler Street.

When officials entered the home surrounded by surveillance equipment, they discovered 24 people participating in a “cock fight”. Several packages of spurs, kits with tape, and over $13,000 in cash, were also found on the scene.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), Tewksbury Animal Control, and the Massachusetts Environmental Police were called in for help.

“There were 18 modern game birds involved,” says Lt. Alan Borgal, director of law enforcement at the ARL. “Many of them had artificial plastic spurs attached to their legs to inflict more damage to one another during the fight.”

Sadly, 5 of the modern game birds were critically injured and did not survive. The remaining 13 birds are in the custody and control of the ARL’s law enforcement department.

On Monday, all 24 suspects were arraigned in Lowell District Court on charges of cruelty to animals and being present at an animal fight. The two organizers of the cockfighting ring were also charged with keeping or promoting an animal fight.

SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING - We all have a role to play in prevention! Report suspicions of animal cruelty, abandonment, neglect to your local authorities. Learn more at arlboston.org/take-action

 

Take Action for Animals on Humane Lobby Day 2016

ARL participating in Massachusetts lobby day for animals on April 6

Want to show support for improving animal welfare in the Commonwealth- and meet other animal advocates just like you?

Join the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and other local and national animal welfare organizations for Humane Lobby Day 2016 on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at the Massachusetts State House!

Every spring, hundreds of supporters across the Commonwealth gather at the State House to ask their legislators to push for stronger animal-protection laws. On Humane Lobby Day, citizen animal advocates like you are invited to learn and practice lobbying for relevant animal welfare bills in the Massachusetts state legislature.

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Register today for Humane Lobby Day on April 6, 2016 and help us ask our Massachusetts state legislators to push for stronger animal-protection laws!

The ARL will focus on informing legislators about how they can help increase awareness about important animal welfare, safety, and health issues among their constituents.

EVENT DETAILS
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
10:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
The Great Hall at the Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108

Attendance Fee: Please note that there is a $9 fee per attendee, which offsets the cost of lunch and materials.

A formal speaking program, catered lunch, and special awards ceremony recognizing legislators for their work to help animals are also on the day’s agenda.

Visit the website for the ASPCA to get involved. March 30 is the last day to register. We hope to see you there!

 

It’s Hip to Snip Fund Drive Goal Met

A big THANK YOU to all our donors for supporting spay/neuter

YOU DID IT –  You turned $5,000 into $20,000 for spay and neuter in just 14 days!

hip to snip

Your donations during the It’s Hip to Snip Fund Drive will give animals in need like Gremlin access to spay/neuter services to help them lead a healthy and happy life!

Thanks to your generous donations animals in need will get access to the high-quality affordable spay and neuter services they deserve.

All donations made during the It’s Hip to Snip fund drive, which wrapped up on February 29, will go directly to the ARL’s community spay and neuter programs including the Spay Waggin’, the ARL’s mobile surgical unit.

The ARL receives no government or public funding to keep animals safe and healthy in their community — YOU make this important work possible!

There are too many homeless animals in Massachusetts, which is why your donations are especially meaningful to everyone at the ARL and to the many pet owners who do not have access to affordable spay/neuter services. Your compassionate gift will be put to work immediately to help prevent pet overpopulation in a very humane way!

PUT YOUR PAWS TOGETHER FOR…

…our challenge donor, The Ellen B. Gray Memorial Fund!

…Seaport Boston Hotel, Da Vinci Ristorante, Pure Barre Boston, Bowchies, and the anonymous concert tickets donor!

…our media sponsors and partners Friends of Jake and Liam, WBZ, WEEI, WRKO, WZLX, 98.5 The Sports Hub, and WBOS!

…and to and everyone who made a donation to support ARL’s spay/neuter programs during the It’s Hip to Snip Fund Drive!

hip to snip

 

Last Day To Provide Spay/Neuter To Animals In Need!

ARL’s Dr. Schettino answers FAQs about spay/neuter

Let’s face it: there’s nothing cool about pet overpopulation.

Dr. Edward Schettino with Moose, an ARL alum from the Boston shelter.

Dr. Edward Schettino with Moose, an ARL alum from the Boston shelter.

According to Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s vice president of animal welfare, a large portion of the animals coming to ARL shelters every year are a result of unplanned or abandoned litters of puppies and kittens. “If we can increase spay and neuter rates then we can help prevent pet overpopulation in a very humane way.”

YOU CAN HELP!  The Ellen B. Gray Memorial Fund has challenged us to turn a generous $5,000 donation into $20,000 before the end of February during the It’s Hip to Snip fund drive.

TODAY is your last chance to give during the Hip to Snip Fund Drive and support community spay/neuter programs at the ARL!

DONATE NOW

Despite all the health benefits of spaying and neutering pets, approximately one third of pet owners still have not brought their pet in to have the procedure.

Dr. Schettino believes that lack of affordable options and lingering myths and misconceptions about the low-risk surgery are two major barriers to increasing spay and neuter rates. In fact, the ARL frequently addresses these concerns with clients at our Boston Veterinary Care clinic and Spay Waggin’.

ARL Blog sat down with Dr. Schettino to find out the most FAQs about spay and neuter. Here’s what he had to say…

ARL Blog: What do you say to a pet owner who’s concerned that spay or neuter surgery is painful?

Dr. Schettino (DS): Pain is associated with every surgery. At the ARL, we use pain medication before, during, and after surgery to make the procedure as pain-free as possible. The majority of dogs and cats are acting 100% normal by the next morning. In fact, the challenging part to the surgery is trying to keep the dog or cat rested when they feel so good.

ARL Blog: Is spay or neuter surgery expensive? What are the local low-cost options/clinics in the area?

DS: Spay/neuter surgeries vary in price depending on location and provider – here’s a link with some great resources – massanimalcoalition.com/resources/spay-neuter. Our Spay Waggin’ also provides affordable spay and neuter services to animals in need on the South Shore and Cape Cod. You can also check with your local veterinarian.

ARL Blog: At what age should dogs/cats be spayed/neutered?

DS: Many veterinarians now spay and neuter dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age. You should check with your veterinarian about the appropriate time for these procedures. And remember, it’s never too late to spay or neuter your pet!

ARL Blog: Should pet owners be concerned that their pet’s behaviors will change after the surgery? Will a male dog, for example, be less of a protector?

DS: Your pet’s behavior will not change. A dog’s personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones. It is a dog’s natural instinct to protect the home and family.

ARL Blog: What can people to do help end animal overpopulation?

DS: Spay and neuter your pet! Always talk to family and friends and explain to them the benefits of spay/neuter–tell them it’s hip to snip! Help them understand that this will benefit their pet as well as help prevent animal overpopulation. Additionally, people can donate to their favorite animal welfare charity to help support  spay/neuter efforts.

BRING SPAY AND NEUTER TO MORE ANIMALS IN NEED!

spay and neuter

Click the photo to make your donation today!

All funds donated by midnight TONIGHT, February 29, will go directly to our community spay and neuter programs including the Spay Waggin’, our mobile surgical unit.

The ARL receives no government or public funding to keep animals safe and healthy in their community  – YOU make this important work possible!

DONATE NOW

AS A SPECIAL THANK YOU… DONATE $35 or more by midnight TONIGHT, February 29 and you will automatically be entered to win a pair of tickets to see Heart, Joan Jett and The Black Hearts, and Cheap Trick this summer*!

Click here or on the green button below to make a donation to the ARL’s It’s Hip to Snip Fund Drive!

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VERY SPECIAL THANKS to our challenge donor, The Ellen B. Gray Memorial Fund; our anonymous concert ticket donor; our media sponsors and partners Friends of Jake and Liam, WBZ, WEEI, WRKO, WZLX, 98.5 The Sports Hub, and WBOS; and everyone who made a donation to support ARL’s spay and neuter programs during the It’s Hip to Snip Fund Drive!

For more spay and neuter resources, visit arlboston.org/spay-neuter.

*Click here for official rules. Tickets are valid for the Sunday, July 24, 2016 show at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA; section 5, row J, seats 5 & 6.

 

Give Hope to Animals — Support Spay/Neuter!

What do Gremlin, Leo, and Garfield all have in common?
YOU gave them a chance at a safe and healthy life!

Throughout National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month this February, we’ve shared the many benefits of spaying and neutering animals.

Read about spay/neuter benefits

Not only does spay/neuter improve an animal’s safety and health, it also prevents animal homelessness.

But there’s still more work to do to increase spay and neuter rates in Massachusetts!

To help bring spay and neuter to more animals in need, the Ellen B. Gray Memorial Fund has challenged us to raise $20,000 in just 14 days during the It’s Hip to Snip Fund Drive! Your donations now through February 29 will help more animals in need like Gremlin, Leo, and Garfield receive high-quality, affordable spay and neuter services!

DONATE NOW


hip to snipGREMLIN
, the 6-year-old female Brussels Griffon mix was one of 7 senior dogs who came to the ARL from a recent rescue.

THANKS TO YOU, Gremlin and the other dogs were all spayed and neutered as part of the veterinary care they received when they arrived at our Boston shelter.  Spay and neuter helps prevent cancer, lengthens life span, decreases marking behaviors, and more — with a better health outlook, Gremlin’s future is looking very bright!  She and Gigi, another female dog who arrived with Gremlin, went home with their new family earlier this week!


hip to snipLEO
knows that there’s nothing cool about animal homelessness.  When he was just a kitten, he was found outside in a box.  A kind lady named Cheyenne took him in and when the now 8-month-old rescue cat recently started marking inside the house,  she knew it was time for him to get neutered.

THANKS TO YOU, Leo had the ARL’s Spay Waggin’ mobile surgical unit to go to for help. “Convenient and affordable, I refer the Spay Waggin’ to all my friends,” says Leo’s mom.


hip to snipGARFIELD
, an orange and white cat his current owner befriended and adopted, also received incredible care on ARL’s Spay Waggin’ last year, despite his unusual circumstances. While prepping for the routine neuter surgery, ARL lead veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley discovered that Garfield had a pre-existing infection resulting from a wound.

THANKS TO YOU, the Spay Waggin’ staff worked quickly to treat Garfield’s infection–and were also able to complete the neuter surgery without an additional risk. “Garfield is a love. And thanks to the ARL, a very happy and healthy cat too,” says Garfield’s owner Robert.

YOU MAKE THIS WORK POSSIBLE!

Animals like Gremlin, Leo, and Garfield come to the ARL every day.  The ARL is there to answer their call for help because of YOU!

All donations made now through Monday, February 29 during  It’s Hip to Snip Fund Drive will go directly to the ARL’s community spay/neuter programs to help more animals like Gremlin, Leo, and Garfield.

DONATE NOW

AS A SPECIAL THANK YOU… DONATE $50 or more by midnight Saturday, February 26 and you will automatically be entered to win a one night stay at the Seaport Boston Hotel*!

Click here or on the green button below to make a donation to the ARL’s It’s Hip to Snip Fund Drive!

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VERY SPECIAL THANKS to our challenge donor, The Ellen B. Gray Memorial Fund; Seaport Boston Hotel; our media sponsors and partners Friends of Jake and Liam, WBZ, WEEI, WRKO, WZLX, 98.5 The Sports Hub, and WBOS; and everyone who has already made a donation to support ARL’s spay and neuter programs during the It’s Hip to Snip Fund Drive!

For more spay and neuter resources, visit arlboston.org/spay-neuter.

*Click here for official rules.

 

The ARL Welcomes Nadine Pellegrini

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney to serve as ARL’s new director of advocacy

Please join us in welcoming aboard Nadine Pellegrini, the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s very first director of advocacy! In her new role, Nadine will provide leadership and direction on our organization’s advocacy agenda.

A Natick-resident, Nadine is an animal lover who has two pet dogs and a horse. Her passion for animal welfare rounds out the many talents she brings to the ARL.

nadine pellegirini

“I’m honored to join an organization that does so much to support the health and safety of animals in our community,” says Nadine Pellegrini, ARL’s director of advocacy.

“I’m honored to join an organization that does so much to support the health and safety of animals in our community,” says Nadine. “The opportunity to help advance laws and programs that prevent cruelty, neglect, and abuse is especially meaningful to me professionally and personally.”

Nadine worked on a variety of cases during her 20 years with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston. Most recently, she was a member of the U.S. Attorney’s anti-terrorism unit and on the prosecution team for United States vs. Dzhokar Tsarnaev.

She also served as chief of the major crimes unit, prosecuting cases involving enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and more.

After receiving her law degree from Albany Law School of Union University, a keen interest in animal protection led Nadine to pursue a master of science degree in animals and public policy from the Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy (CAPP) at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Nadine also taught animal law at Boston College Law School and given lectures on federal wildlife protection at CAPP.

Nadine’s extensive knowledge of law enforcement and experience prosecuting crimes will help immenselyas the ARL moves legislation and policy discussion forward to improve the protection and treatment of animals in Massachusetts,” explains Mary Nee, president of the ARL.

Please help us give a warm welcome to Nadine Pellegrini, ARL’s first director of advocacy!