Animal Rescue League of Boston Rescues Dozens of Sick Birds

Animal owners in the Dorchester Neighborhood notified to be cautious while walking their dogs

Dorchester birds

Today, the ARL will send 15 birds to Tufts Wildlife Center in Grafton, MA for additional treatment.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) responded to 33 Bakersfield Street in Dorchester, MA on September 8, 2016  in response to a resident who called regarding her sick cat and the observation of birds falling from trees.

The ARL immediately gave emergency treatment to one cat, but unfortunately the cat could not be saved.

Additionally, 47 Grackle-type birds were either falling to the ground, sick, thrashing and unable to fly, or were found unresponsive.

It was determined that the birds should be isolated and neighbors notified to keep dogs and other animals from the area.

Current update on the 47 Grackles:

  • 12 birds found deceased on scene
  • 8 birds passed away shortly after rescue on their way to the shelter
  • 12 birds were humanely euthanized due to their poor condition
  • 15 birds remain in good condition in the custody of the Animal Rescue League of Boston Veterinary Team. Today, these animals will be sent to Tufts Wildlife Center in Grafton, MA.

The ARL continues to work with the State Department of Agriculture, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, City of Boston Inspectional Services Department, and Boston Public Health Commission to determine the cause of this unusual incident.

DONATE NOW to ensure that animals in need, like the many Grackles involved in this case, receive the critical veterinary care that they need.


ARL Seeks Public’s Help in Finding Animal Cruelty Suspects

Umbrella Cockatoo Recovering Well After Being Severely Neglected

DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS BIRD? Contact ARL’s Law Enforcement, (617) 226-5610

On July 25th, 2016, a concerned citizen noticed something odd with the trash put out around Norfolk Street in Dorchester, Massachusetts; in the middle of the garbage to be collected was a birdcage filled with maggots and cockroaches– and an Umbrella Cockatoo.

umbrella cockatoo

Mayfield, the Umbrella Cockatoo found in the trash, is recovering well at the ARL after emergency surgery.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue services quickly responded to the call to help the discarded bird.

When found, the Cockatoo, now named “Mayfield”, was emaciated and had a serious medical condition that required emergency surgery. Luckily, she is now recovering at the ARL and doing well enough to soon be able to find a loving home!

Sadly, Mayfield is not the first animal we’ve seen who was abandoned and left to die in the trash or on the streets. We understand that tough economic conditions also affect pets, but let’s get the word out that the last resort is not throwing your pet away.

Learn the 7 warning signs of animal cruelty

There are many organizations like the ARL, agencies, and individuals, who can be a dependable resource for families who need help caring for their pet. There are always options, but throwing an animal away is not one of them.

The ARL needs your help in identifying Mayfield’s owners…

The person(s) responsible for neglecting and cruelly abandoning this lovely bird needs to be held accountable for their actions. Failure to provide proper food, drink, shelter, and a sanitary environment and willful abandonment of an animal are felony violations of Massachusetts’s anti-cruelty laws. A person convicted of these crimes could receive a prison sentence of up to 7 years.

If you recognize Mayfield or have any information regarding her case, please contact the ARL’s Law Enforcement Department at (617) 226-5610.


Update on Westport Farm Animals

Over 1,400 animals found on 70-acre property

From July 19 through August 6, 2016, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) worked around-the-clock to assist in the rescue, removal, and specialized emergency veterinary treatment, of over 1,400 animals from the Westport, MA farm.

ARL Westport

Over 1,400 animals were found on 70-acre Westport, MA farm since the ARL Boston first arrived on the scene on July 19.

Many species of animals were in dire need of assistance, including goats, pigs, horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, cattle, and birds.

While on scene, Lt. Alan Borgal, ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement, and Dr. Kyle Quigley, ARL’s Lead Community Veterinarian, led the efforts to address and provide for the well-being and care of many of the animals.

All because of the generous help of many individuals and organizations, the ARL was able to bring the animals to safety by relocating them to farms, sanctuaries, shelters, and foster homes. And, as the many animals in the ARL’s care heal, they are being connected with loving families.

THANK YOU to everyone who supported the ARL during this critical time to make our important work possible!

Help stop cruelty and neglect at its root cause…

Every animal deserves a safe and healthy home, which is why we must continue our important work to ensure that extreme cases of animal cruelty and neglect never happen.

It is only with YOUR SUPPORT that we can eliminate the conditions that lead to animal abuse – this is your opportunity to help animals in need.

Please make a gift today to stop animal cruelty at its root cause. Click here or on the green button below to donate now!



Breaking News: ARL Takes Care & Custody of 57 Animals (and Counting!) from Westport Tenant Farm

Your support is URGENTLY needed to help the many animals in this case

red donate button

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has been working around-the-clock alongside the Westport Police Department and other local and state officials in and on-going effort at 465 American Legion Highway in Westport, Massachusetts.

Since early Tuesday morning, the ARL has been assisting in the rescue, removal, and emergency veterinary treatment of hundreds of animals on the 70-acre property.

Today, we were back on-site to help the many more animals still living in these cruel and unsanitary conditions.

ARL team on site rescuing animals in westport

ARL team on site rescuing animals in westport

ARL team on site rescuing animals in westport

Thus far, the ARL has taken care and custody of 57 animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, goats and other animals; removing them from a dangerous environment where they suffered without adequate shelter, food, or care.

Once they are healed, the animals in our care and will be connected with the caring families that they deserve.

Lt. Alan Borgal, ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement, and Dr. Kyle Quigley, ARL’s Lead Community Veterinarian continue to lead the efforts in Westport to provide for the well-being and care of all the animals in this case.

“This is the worst [case] I’ve ever seen, as far as scale and conditions,” says Dr. Kyle Quigley. “Animals here had been living in deplorable conditions for months, probably years”.

Your support is critical…

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is on the ground in Westport, MA and we need your help to provide the animals suffering in these deplorable conditions with the emergency assistance they so desperately require.

Thousands of dollars are needed to provide URGENT care to these animals who have suffered from abuse and neglect. Your gift today makes this important work possible!

Click here or on the red button below to donate now

red donate button

We’re in need of livestock foster families! If interested, please email with your name, phone number, type of livestock you’d like to foster, and how many animals you can accommodate. Please note that all of our slots for fostering dogs, cats, and other small animals are filled at this time. Thank you!


Happening Now: ARL Rescues Animals from Cruel and Unsanitary Conditions on Westport Farmland

ARL assists Westport Police with removal of hundreds of animals

DONATE NOW to help the many animals involved in this case receive the emergency medical attention they need.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has been working alongside the Westport Police Department and other local and state officials in an ongoing effort at 465 American Legion Highway in Westport, Massachusetts.

This 70 acre property has over 20 tenant farms that are in various degrees of condition.

ARL Boston’s Director of Law Enforcement, Lt. Alan Borgal, along with Lead Veterinarian, Dr. Kyle Quigley, will continue to lead our investigation and the efforts to provide for the well being and care of all animals in this case.

As of this morning, the ARL took care and custody of the following animals:

  • 7 dogs surrendered by their owners to the ARL and Westport Animal Control
  • 2 adult cats, 2 kittens, 1 pigeon, and 1 Canadian Goose were taken into custody at ARL’s Boston shelter

These animals are now in our care and will receive the specialized veterinary care they desperately need. We will connect them with caring families once they are healed.

Due to their dire physical condition and suffering, 3 goats had to be euthanized on site.

The ARL is back on site today for the inspection of several more of the tenant farms. It is expected there will be many more animals found today.

Your support is critical to help the many animals in this case…

The ARL team is on the ground in Westport, MA assisting in the rescue, removal, and emergency veterinary treatment of hundreds of animals from the deplorable conditions on the 70 acre farmland.

Thousands of dollars are needed to provide these animals in Westport who have suffered from abuse and neglect with the immediate assistance and care they so desperately need.

This is an URGENT situation and it is YOUR HELP that makes all of ARL’s important work possible!

Click here or on the green button below to DONATE NOW



Tomorrow: Hot Car Demonstration at MA State House Underscores Danger to Pets

Hot car demonstration helps urge lawmakers to protect pets in the summer heat

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and other leading animal protection organizations and citizen advocates are calling on the Massachusetts state legislature to pass S. 2369—An Act to Prevent Animal Suffering and Death—which would enable faster rescue of pets trapped in hot cars, just as summertime temperatures are heating up.

To drive awareness for the plight of pets left in hot cars, which—according to the American Veterinary Medical Association—claims the lives of hundreds of animal lives every year—the MSPCA-Angell, ARL, and HSUS will underscore the threats pets face when trapped in hot cars, all while a thermometer tracks the steadily rising temperature inside a “hot car” demonstration vehicle.

Too Hot for Spot

Stop by the Massachusetts State House tomorrow, July 14, at 12:00 noon to see a live hot car demonstration to see how quickly temperatures rise inside a vehicle on a sunny day.

Stop by to see the live demonstration!
Thursday, July 14
12:00 p.m
“The well” at the Massachusetts State House

ARL’s Director of Advocacy, Nadine Pellegrini, will be speaking in support of S. 2369, as well as the bill’s sponsors, Senator Mark Montigny and Representative Lori Ehrlich, and officials from MSPCA-Angell and HSUS.

Local law enforcement, fire fighters, and animal control officers who respond to calls about animals in hot cars will also be in attendance.

S. 2369 would give first responders including police officers, fire fighters and animal control officers explicit authority to rescue an animal from inside a car when conditions, such as extreme heat or cold, are reasonably expected to threaten the health of the animal. The bill would also allow an individual to enter a car if the animal is in imminent danger, and no other options exist.

Click here to learn more about S. 2369 and related animal protection legislation currently under consideration in Massachusetts.

For more information on summer pet safety visit:


Conviction Upheld for Inhuamane Confinement & Chaining of Dogs

ARL provided essential testimony in support of “overwhelming evidence” that dogs were kept in filthy and dirty conditions

A Cape Cod woman’s convictions for violating Massachusetts State law by confining her two dogs in a condemned home and a fenced-in yard, has been upheld by the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Leanne Trefry, of Brewster, MA, challenged her convictions and claimed that she did not violate the law because her dogs were not confined outside. The Court disagreed, finding that keeping dogs in filthy and dirty confinement both inside and outside was, in fact, a violation of law.

Trefry's Shetland sheepdogs, Kenji and Zach, peer through a fence on her property in Brewster on July 2013, just a few days before they were removed. Photo credit: Cape Cod Times

Trefry’s Shetland sheepdogs, Kenji and Zach, peer through a fence on her property in Brewster on July 2013, just a few days before they were removed. Photo credit: Cape Cod Times

Read the story, as reported by Cape Cod Times.

The Court found also that the dogs were effectively left alone on the property which was clogged with trash, inside and outside; emitted odors of trash (inside); dog feces (outside); and that there were many items which posed a threat to the dogs’ health and safety.

ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement, Lt. Alan Borgal, was one of the witnesses to the deplorable conditions in which the dogs were kept. He became aware of the situation when Brewster Animal Control Officer (ACO) Lynda Brogdan-Burns told him about the dogs and requested investigative assistance from the ARL.

Lt. Borgal went to see Trefry with the Brewster ACO and she agreed to allow the dogs to be taken to the ARL’s Brewster shelter for veterinary care and grooming because of the tick infestation.

At the time of the rescue, the dogs had effectively been left alone virtually all day every day for over a year with only intermittent contact with friends, a caretaker, and Trefry who provided food and water. One dog had Lyme disease and was limping badly from an injury. Both dogs were both tick-infested and described as “matted”, “ravaged” and “traumatized.”

During the trial, Lt. Borgal told the court that he had visited the home and found that the yard was overgrown, dog feces had not been picked up and removed and that, consequently, the yard itself smelled.

Both dogs were transferred to ARL’s Brewster shelter and were later boarded and fostered by Brewster Animal Control. After the conclusion of the case, the dogs were adopted.

Why is this case important? This is one of the first cases interpreting the Massachusetts law which prohibits cruel and dangerous conditions and inhumane tethering or chaining.


May 14 is National Disaster Animal Preparedness Day!

Follow these 6 steps to be “pet prepared” during an emergency

In 2010 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated the second Saturday in May as National Disaster Animal Preparedness Day, to help pet families focus on the importance of having a family disaster plan that also includes their pets.

In recognition of National Disaster Animal Preparedness Day, the ARL and Hill’s Pet Nutrition remind pet owners to always be ready for the unexpected.

Whether it’s a fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or other natural disaster, emergencies happen. Just as you’ve created an “in case of emergency” plan for your family, it’s smart to do the same for your pet. Keep in mind that what’s safest for you is typically also what’s safest for them.

Not sure what to do to prepare for an emergency? First and foremost, be sure to prepare a pet emergency bag. Keep it handy in case you need to evacuate your home in a hurry. Take a look at ARL’s list of supplies that your pet will need.

Then follow these 6 important steps to keep your furry family members safe:

National Pet Preparedness Day

 For more National Disaster Animal Preparedness Day tips, visit


ARL Saves Baby Owl and Kittens during Snowstorm

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


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

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.


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

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!

…or follow them live on Twitter @ARLBostonRescue!


Winter Weather Closings

ARL programs and administrative offices closed on February 8

Due to the winter weather, the following ARL programs will be closed to the public on Monday, February 8:

  • ARL adoption centers in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham
  • ARL rescue services
  • Boston Veterinary Care
  • Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery
  • Spay Waggin’

Shelter staff and volunteers will stay at the shelter to make sure the animals remain safe, warm, and in good spirits as the snow flies on Monday.

winter shelter ferl cats

You can provide feral cats with shelter during a snow storm! An elevated foam bin filled with straw offers warm shelter.

When a snow storm hits, we often receive an increasing number of calls from concerned citizens with questions about feral cats.  Our rescue team suggests trying to coax a feral cat indoors to a garage or basement if possible for shelter during a storm.

If that’s not possible, watch our helpful how-to video to build a DIY cat shelter.  Make sure to line the inside with straw and use cinder blocks or boards to get the cat shelter off the ground.

For more winter weather pet safety tips, visit