Your Donations Gave Pearce a Chance at a Better Life

5 days and $763,300 left to help animals like him in 2016 – DONATE NOW

Only because of YOUR generous donations are special animals like Pearce able to find a home for the holidays!

In March of this year, 7-month-old Pearce arrived at the ARL’s Boston shelter.

Adorable and playful, the tortoise shell-colored Pittie-mix was adopted quickly despite his jumpy-mouthy behavior. Confident that he would outgrow this puppy-like demeanor, his new family enrolled him in ARL’s training courses. Unfortunately, after a few weeks without improvement, his owners made the difficult decision to return him to the ARL.

home for the holidays

Thanks to your incredible support, Pearce will enjoy many years of nature hikes with his forever family! Click his photo to DONATE to the ARL and help other animals like him.

Two weeks later, Pearce’s beaming smile won the hearts of an optimistic young couple. Up for the challenge, the duo brought the lovable, but over-the-top dog home. Within 48 hours, however, they were forced to return Pearce to the shelter after he mouthed at them so intensely that he caused bruising.

A couple of weeks after that, the strong-willed pup was adopted by a third family. Despite counseling and behavioral training, Pearce was returned within 24 hours for exhibiting the same rough behaviors.

At this point it was clear to ARL’s behavior and enrichment manager, Dot Baisly, that Pearce’s behavior was not that of “typical” puppy, but instead stemmed from a serious underlying issue.

“This poor dog had no stability in his life and displayed the tendencies of dogs that are weaned away from their mother and littermates too young to help them learn mouth control,” explains Dot. “Anytime Pearce changed his surroundings, he experienced feelings of intense anxiety. These nerves manifested into temper tantrums, which made the forceful mouthy behavior more pronounced.”

YOUR generous donations gave Pearce hope for the future… DONATE NOW

Every day for the next 5 months, Pearce underwent intensive training to teach him how to appropriately interact with people and other dogs. Dot in conjunction with ARL’s Behavioral Modification (MOD) Squad, volunteers, staff, and outside professionals dedicated over 100 hours to rehabilitate him.

Pearce’s extensive enrichment and behavioral program consisted of nose work and agility training, social activities with other dogs, such as walks and playgroup, kennel enrichment and obedience training, and office and home fostering to help him decompress from the busy shelter environment. Pearce even attended an off-site 3-week board, train, and daycare program- and did wonderfully!

home for the holidays

“He makes us laugh daily,” exclaims Pearce’s new mom! Oh, and his favorite time of the day? Snuggle time with his dad Jon, of course!

8 long months after he arrived at the ARL, Pearce found a home for the holidays!

The snuggly pup has been in his new home with his mom, dad, and feline brothers for just over a month now and has adjusted very well!

Pearce is also making big strides in his obedience training with a professional trainer and is a favorite at the daycare he attends 4 times a week!

“He makes us laugh daily,” says Pearce’s new mom Katy Hayes. Thank you to the ARL for all of your work with Pearce and giving him a chance to find his forever home. We really appreciate the hours upon hours you gave to him and to us to ensure he transitioned and adjusted in a healthy and productive manner!”


The clock is ticking and we still need to raise$763,300 by December 31!

At the ARL, a love for animals inspires us to do more. We receive no government or public funding and rely entirely on the support of people like you to give deserving animals like Pearce the chance at a better life!

Visit or click on the DONATE button below to make a donation to the Animal Rescue League of Boston!


A big THANK YOU to Macy’s for helping to more animals like Pearce find a home for the holidays, and to everyone who has donated to the ARL to help animals in need!


Lend a Paw to Big B!

Lend a Paw during National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week

It’s Day 3 of our Lend-a-Paw Match-a-Thon and also happens to be the last day of National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week!

We want to take a moment to say a big THANK YOU to all the hardworking volunteers and staff who treat every animal with kindness and respect.

A great deal of time and effort goes into  understanding not only how to help an animal feel comfortable while they are in our shelters, but also what we can do with training and other enrichment activities to make sure they”ll be successful in their new home.

YOU MAKE THIS WORK POSSIBLE!  The ARL receives no government or public funding to provide this level of care to animals in need.

DONATE NOW during our Lend-a-Paw Match-a-Thon and a generous anonymous donor will automatically double every dollar you give to help animals!

Click here to watch a video about the animals your donations help support.

Every day during our Match-a-Thon, we’re sharing special stories of animals who got a chance at a better life thanks to supporters like you.

Yesterday, we shared the story of Athena and today we would like you to….

Meet Big B

national animal shelter appreciation week

Big B quickly stole the hearts of ARL’s staff and volunteers with his charming personality and good looks!

When Big B, a rugged 6-year-old gentleman cat, first arrived at the ARL, he was very timid about meeting new people.  Yet shyness was not his biggest challenge to finding a new home — he had tested positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).

FIV is a disease that attacks a cat’s immune system. Although not typically fatal, FIV does cause an AIDS-like syndrome.  While cats with FIV can live relatively healthy lives as carriers of the disease for many years, the disease can be passed along to other cats.

Though staff and volunteers at ARL shelters explain FIV to potential adopters, because he was shy, older, and would need to live in a one-cat household, Big B had a harder time finding a home.

So staff and volunteers worked with him to make him comfortable, giving him lots of one-on-one attention.  They got to know his likes and dislikes, and discovered he was happiest to just be around people and “listen” to their conversations.

“Most shelters put an emphasis on the medical and physical aspects of animal care,” says Maryann Regan, director of shelter operations. “At the ARL, we know that an animal’s mental and emotional well-being is equally as important. We want to make each animal happy and comfortable for however long they are with us.”

After almost 7 months of patient waiting, Big B. finally met his purrfect match! It was love at first sight for his new owner who renamed him Ravioli because, well, he kind of looks like one!

“Ravioli has filled my life with so much love!” exclaimed his owner Aislinn. “He’s become so much more social [at home] in just one week. I can’t wait to see him become even more comfortable and his personality to blossom even more!”

Aislinn also made sure to add, “And yes….he’s the man of the house and I spoil him rotten… Thanks to everyone at Animal Rescue League of Boston. Your work is so special and important!”


national animal shelter appreciation week

Big B (now Ravioli) is so happy to have found the purrfect home! His adopter, Aislinn, even built him his own “cat cave”!

national animal shelter appreciation week

DOUBLE the difference you make for animals in need by making a donation during our Lend a Paw Match-a-thon! Click the photo to donate now.

Inspired by her cherished lab and goldens who offered many years of comfort and unconditional love to family and friends, an anonymous donor wants to lend a paw and will double every dollar donated to the Animal Rescue League of Boston during our Lend a Paw Match-a-Thon, November 5-10.

Our goal is raise $6000 in six days—matched dollar-for-dollar by the anonymous donor for grand total of $12,000—to provide care and assistance to animals, when and where they need it most.


As a special thanks… Donate $100 or more by midnight TODAY, November 7, and you will automatically be entered to win a one night’s stay at the Seaport Hotel in Boston!

Click here or on the DONATE button below to make a donation to ARL’s Lend a Paw Match-a-thon!


THANK YOU to Seaport Hotel and everyone who has donated to the Lend A Paw Match-a-thon to help animals in need!



Happy Tail Tuesday: Tuukka a Middleboro Puppy

1 Year Later, Tuukka’s One of the Kids

Tuukka today.

Tuukka today.

During a drug and weapons raid on a home in Middleboro in October of 2013, the police found 13 puppies in a small crate. The tiny puppies were rescued and brought to the Animal Rescue League.

After extensive time with our foster volunteers, where they grew strong enough to come to our adoption centers, the puppies were all adopted out to loving homes.

Their story touched the hearts of people across Eastern Massachusetts and their photos graced the cover of the Fall 2013 edition of the ARL’s magazine.

One year later, we are happy to report that the puppies are healthy and doing well. We have a very special update on one of the puppies named Tuukka (f.k.a Ollie).

Celebrating his 1st birthday.

Celebrating his 1st birthday.

According to his new family, Tuukaa is “the biggest love. He needs to be next to someone at all times.” Hi mom said, he “literally is our ‘baby’.”

It’s been an exciting year for Tuukka between fun with kids, vacations and his first birthday, he’s been a busy pup. He took his first vacations this summer to Newport, RI and New Hampshire and loved exploring the new places. On August 27 he turned one and his family celebrated in style by taking him to Petco and spoiling him with gourmet treats, new toys and a goofy birthday hat.

Tuukka absolutely loves children and is a big cuddle bug whenever someone comes over to pet him. According to his owners, “he is definitely the best dog ever.”

Not only does Tuukka have a great new family, but he actually gets to see his real dad. A relative of the family adopted Tuukka’s father, named Dante, also seized during the Middleboro raid.

Tuukka (L) with his father Dante (R)

Tuukka (L) with his father Dante (R)

Dante is doing great as well. He’s a big couch potato and loves lounging around. He and Tuukka are the best of friends and enjoy playing together. Tuukka loves to antagonize his dad, as all sons do, and Dante is so good with him, as if he knows that his son is just a baby and must be handled with patience and care.

Tuukka’s owners just had a baby and report that Tuukka has adjusted great around the newborn. He gets very concerned when he cries and tries comforting him by licking him. Congratulations, to Tuukka’s family on their newest addition! We’re so happy that Tuukka found such a loving family who clearly cares so much about him! Everyone at the ARL wishes you all the best.

Read more about the Middleboro puppies and view photos of Tuukka as a puppy.

Tuukka and the kids, including the family's new baby.

Tuukka and the kids, including the family’s new baby. Congrats!


Madeline Update: Sweet Survivor Cat is the Princess of the House

A Happy Tail for Your Caturday


Madline enjoys spending time gazing out the window.

We just got an update on Madeline, the sweet survivor cat we told you about back in June!

Madeline’s fur had been so thickly matted that she had lost the ability to walk. Thanks to the dedicated staff at our Dedham shelter, Madeline made a great recovery.

Read Madeline’s story.

Today Maddie, as her new family calls her, is definitely the princess of the house! She is walking well, given her mobility issues, and can climb up and down the stairs in her home.

Maddie’s new-found joy is playing with catnip toys and a fluffy mouse on the end of a string. She plays with both the mouse end and the string end and gets very excited when the string twirls around and she has to grab it.

Her fur is growing back, slowly, but surely. The fur around her face is now very full, and she loves sitting up straight and puffing up a bit to get admiration from anyone looking in her direction! Her adopters say that “Maddie is a wonderful addition to our family and we love her very much!”

Thanks to you, Maddie is clearly getting the royal treatment in her new home!

maddie 3

Maddie plaing with one of her many feather toys.


SUGAR Waited 399 Days for this Sweet Moment

Sugar – A Young Horse at our Dedham Shelter Finally Found a Home this Weekend!

07-21-14 Sugar Adopted PhotoAfter 399 days at the Animal Rescue League’s shelter in Dedham, Sugar, a playful three-year-old filly, went home with a wonderful new family over the weekend. She’ll be living on beautiful Cape Cod with a family that’s excited to take on the feat of starting her under a saddle and treating her like a family pet.

Sugar first came to us with her mother back in July of 2013 after we rescued her from a small tenant farm in Southeastern, MA. She was severely neglected – left on a muddy paddock with no food or water – and had never been trained to interact with humans.

Read her story.

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of our Dedham staff who worked with Sugar regularly to teach her to trust humans again, this great horse will make a great companion for her new family.

On Saturday, Sugar walked onto the trailer carefree and ready for her next adventure!

We’re so happy that this fantastic family has brought Sugar into their lives and are giving her the chance to be a beloved pet and best friend to their 16-year-old daughter!



Rugby Update: Parade Goers Adopted this Playful Pup

Rugby is Settling into a New Home!

Rugby at the Boston Pride parade.

Rugby at the Boston Pride parade.

Rugby clearly made an impact at the Boston Pride Parade. When parade goers Maddy and Pam saw him marching with the ARL on June 14, it was love at first sight! They immediately contacted our Boston shelter about adopting him and he went home last week. Our Boston shelter supervisor, Naomi Johnson, said his new family is “dedicated to giving Rugby what he needs to thrive.”

When Rugby first arrived at the ARL his front legs were so severely twisted that he could barely walk. Thanks to a lot of TLC and very specialized therapy regimen, he has made enormous progress.

Read Rugby’s story.

We knew this amazing puppy would need a special home that could give him the attention that he needs and we’re absolutely thrilled that he found himself a great home with new canine and feline siblings and a large back yard to romp around in!

Rugby snuggling with his new brother.

Rugby snuggling with his new brother.

Maddy and Pam said that Rugby loves playing with his new 10-year-old canine brother, Tito and they’re having a fantastic time together.

Rugby is adjusting well and is starting his first day of puppy day care today. Good luck on your first day of “school” Rugby!

Everyone here at the ARL could not be happier for Rugby and his new family! We’d like to thank all of the staff, volunteers, and Dr. Alett Mekler and the physical therapists at Animotion in Stoughton, Massachusetts, who donated their time and services to help with his rehabilitation!

On his second day in his new home, Rugby got a pool!

On his second day in his new home, Rugby got a pool!




Happy Tail: Bruschi is Truly a Part of the Family

Update from Bruschi (Adopted 11/25/13)

Bruschi, his new fam,. staff and volunteers on the day he was adopted.

Bruschi, his new fam, staff ,and volunteers on the day he was adopted.

Happy Mutt Monday! Start your week off with a heartwarming update about a lovable dog named Bruschi.

When Bruschi came in to the Animal Rescue League in October of 2013, we knew he was special. This lovable big boy adored human attention and would do just about anything for a hug. He quickly became a staff and volunteer favorite and received that attention he so desperately craved!

It took a little over a month for Bruschi to find a home, but when he did, boy did he score big! He was adopted on November 25, 2013 by Lauren and Tom and had a heartfelt send-off. Since his adoption they’ve kept the ARL staff up-to-date with Bruschi’s daily life and progress.

Here’s their latest note:

“Hi ARL staff!

Bruschi is doing great – He’s truly a part of our family.  He is so happy the snow is melting finally, and he loves to play catch with tennis balls! He also loves to cuddle as you see [in the pictures]! He is so gentle and is a big baby. We love him and couldn’t be more grateful that we had the chance to adopt him! We will have to bring him in soon to visit!” – Lauren, Tom & Bruschi

Bruschi 7

The family out in the snow.

bruschi 1

Bruschi is all smiles.

We currently have several very friendly Pit Bull-type dogs available for adoption at our Boston shelter. View them online or stop by during adoption hours, Tuesday – Thursdfay 1p.m.-7p.m. and Friday – Sunday 1p.m.-4p.m.).


Happy Tail: Philbert Update, Happy at Home

Cat Saved from Illegal Trap Has Been Adopted!

01-28-14 Philbert Update Philbert Photo

Philbert at home.

Philbert was saved by the ARL’s Rescue Team from an illegal leg hold trap back in June and left with a constant reminder of his traumatic experience – the loss of his left front leg.

Read more about his incredible rescue.

His recovery was long and difficult, but thanks to a lot of TLC and a wonderful foster home he became available for adoption earlier this month and just last week he found his purrrfect match!

Not only did he gain a new human family, but he also has a new ARL brother named Sparrow. Thank you so much to his Philbert’s new family for opening their hearts and home to not one, but two special needs cats. Here’s an update from his new mom:

“Phil has made himself completely at home with us.  He and Sparrow, who is the same age and is also a neutered male, seemed interested in getting to know one another from the start. They do spat from time to time, but only over which one perceives the other is getting more attention!

01-28-14 Philbert Update Sparrow Photo


Phil is just a lovely, big, soft, warm pillow of a cat who loves to give (and receive!) head-butts and ear-rubs.

He and Sparrow enjoy going ‘out’ on the three-season porch in the morning after breakfast to watch the birds at the feeder.  He can keep up with Sparrow on his three legs when they go running through the house – and is remarkably graceful doing it –  but for the most part he prefers to lounge.

He likes to spend time with us in the morning and evening, and is content to sleep under or on top of the guestroom bed during the day.

He has made it part of his routine to put both our kids to bed in the evening, staying on their beds until they’re asleep.  He loves both the boys and they love him.  He met the family vet and seemed to love him, too (or at least, he certainly didn’t mind the exam)!

We’re happy that Phil has adopted us and is becoming a part of the family!” – Jennifer

Congrats to this happy family!



An Adopter’s Animal Shelter Tradition

Shorty Collins Hill the First and His Story

08-27 Shorty2Every year on Shorty’s birthday, Cecilia likes to make a visit to the League to look at all of the little  kittens. She hopes that all of them will be just as lucky as her cat and will find loving homes of their own. When we recently learned of how Shorty came into Cecilia’s life and we knew that we simply had to share their story with our online community. Here’s what Cecilia had to say about Shorty:

“Shorty Collins Hill 1st was born on July 27, 2006. Shorty’s shelter name was Prince and he came from a litter of eight. There are a couple of things that are very different about Shorty, that not too many people know about. Shorty was returned to the League at three months old. The day that I saw him at the shelter I knew he was the kitten for me, however, someone was already interested in him. The person adopted him and his sister, but brought him back because they decided that they didn’t want him maybe because of his bob-tail, and the fact that his back legs were bow-legged.  My family got a call from one of the shelter agents who said that “the cat that we looked at was returned, and if we still wanted to adopt him, to come on over.”  So we did, but once we arrived, a little boy and his mother were already looking at the kitten. My heart was on the floor, I wanted that kitten so bad that I was about too cry.

08-27 ShortyI waited to see if the little boy and his mother were going to adopt the kitten, and thankfully for me, the lady told her son that maybe later they would get a kitten, but not right now. Once I heard that the kitten was available again, I was very happy, I said to one of the shelter agents, I am here and this little one is going home with me!

I took the little kitten and sat down with him in the meeting room, and we looked at each other like a mother looking at her child for the first time. He licked my nose and when I sat him in my lap, he crawled into my jacket pocket. Once we processed the paper work and he was officially ours, I asked my daughter what she wanted to name him? She said “Collins” mommy, we’ll name him after one of the men from the TV Show “Fab-Five.” Shorty became his first name, and we gave him my daughters last name, “Hill.” So, he become Shorty Collins Hill 1st.  (The reason why we said the 1st is because he’s neutered, and that means no babies from him, sorry!)

Shorty turned seven this year and he has grown up to be a very big cat, in good shape, and every time it’s his birthday I like to take a visit to the A.R.L.” –  Cecilia

If you’re thinking about adding a new cat to your family, please adopt from the League. We have many kittens and adult cats waiting for loving homes. If you adopt on or before August 31, you’ll be helping us reach our goal of finding homes for 1200 cats and dogs by August 31.

Senior ARL Alums, Puff and Frances, Make A Move

Puff & Frances

Puff & Frances

Senior cats make amazing pets. Just ask Robyn who adopted Puff and Frances from the Animal Rescue League of Boston in December of 2010. Both cats were 12-years-old at the time of their adoption. The good-looking duo recently moved to Arlington, Virginia. They handled the move in stride and have settled into their new home without a hitch. Robyn said that “both [cats] are extremely affectionate and very well-behaved (for the most part) and I am so lucky to have them.” These two kitties were very popular among staff and volunteers during their time here at our Boston Adoption Center and we all loved them. We are so happy to see that they have such an awesome home. Puff and Frances are super affectionate and love their human companion they have learned to share Robyn, i.e. Puff sleeps with her at night, and Frances gets to lie in Robyn’s lap when she’s on the couch watching TV! These fabulous felines must be living the good life, because they don’t look a day over 5! Wishing Puff, Frances and Robyn all the best in 2013!



If you’re interested in adopting a senior cat 12-year-old Mittens and 10-year-old Honey are waiting for their forever homes at our Cape Cod shelter in Brewster. The Adoption Center is open Tuesday-Sunday.

Love reading about cats and want to read more about them? Check-out our other Feline Focus stories: