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!



Throwback Thursday: Horses at the League in 1940

Horses have been an important part the the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s history. ARL founder, Anna Harris Smith was very passionate about Boston’s working horses and dedicated much time and resources to helping them. Here are a few photos of horses that we helped in 1940. The August 1940 issue of Our Four Footed Friends featured two horses! Learn more about the ARL’s history:



Horses Strawberry & Shortcake Make Progress

Both Mare and Filly are Making Excellent Progress!


Hoof soaking

We are excited to report that Strawberry’s surgery at the Myhre Equine Clinic in Rochester NH, was successful and her recovery at our Dedham Barn is going well. While under our care, Strawberry receives daily medical attention, including hoof soaking, bandage re-wrapping, and daily hand walks while she is on stall rest.  In conjunction with this, she is on daily antibiotics and pain medications. With the care and dedication of our loving staff, she continues to improve daily.

Shortcake at the League.

Shortcake at the League.

Strawberry’s two-year-old filly, Shortcake, has also made great progress. She has now successfully been weaned from her mother, with the help of “Fancy” her babysitter horse from the MSPCA. Through daily training sessions, Shortcake has gone from a challenging filly, who has had little to no handling experience, to one who is learning to enjoy human contact.  She now wears a training halter to help facilitate her training sessions.

At this point in her training she has learned to lead, be groomed, be bathed, and be bug sprayed (of which she has come to enjoy!)  But more importantly, she is lstarting to accept the touch of a humans hands without being frightened by the different stimuli that normal horses are exposed to on a daily basis.


Special thank you to Equine Veterinarian Dr. Pantano, the Myhre Equine Clinic and the MSPCA for their assistance.

Read the whole story.


Neglected Mother Horse & Daughter Need Your Help

Caring for horses is costly and sometimes people just get overwhelmed…

Strawberry and her filly, Shortcake, were brought to our Dedham barn late last month to start a new life and receive proper care after being rescued from an owner in Southeastern MA who was just too overwhelmed to care for them properly.

We are asking for your help to raise the $3,650 to pay for Strawberry’s surgery and the two horses’ care. Please donate today. We need your financial support to continue caring for these horses.


The Story of Strawberry & Shortcake

StrawberryFACELast month, the League received a call from an Animal Control Officer in Southeastern, MA about an injured mare and her two-year-old baby horse (known as a filly) that were being kept on a small tenant farm. The severely neglected mare, now lovingly named Strawberry, had overgrown hooves and had stepped on a nail that caused her left leg to become infected and swollen. The two-year-old filly, Shortcake, had never been weaned or trained to interact with humans and as a result, she is so attached to her mare that she still suckles on her.

Strawberry's hoof.

Strawberry’s hoof.

The League immediately investigated the farm after receiving the call. The farm had extremely muddy paddocks and it lacked  any shelter for the horses, forcing them to be exposed to the elements and to stand in manure-soaked mud. Additionally, they were only receiving moldy bread and poor-quality hay to eat. Lieutenant Alan Borgal, Director of the League’s Center for Animal Protection, observed that, “the mare was in extreme pain and both horses had difficulty even getting to their water trough because of the mud.”

The owner could not afford veterinary care for the horses and had no safe place that he could keep them, so he voluntarily surrendered the horses to the League.  We knew we had to act fast to get the horses out of the farm so that Strawberry could receive the medical attention she so desperately needed.

Strawberry's left front leg in the mud.

Strawberry’s swollen leg in the mud.

The clock was ticking for Strawberry, so we immediately sent her to get surgery for her leg. The surgery went smoothly, but the road to recovery for both horses will be long. While under our care, she receives daily medical attention, including hoof soaking, bandage re-wrapping,  and daily hand walks while she is on stall rest.  In conjunction with this, she is on daily antibiotics and pain medications. Shortcake is so attached to her mom that while Strawberry was recovering from her surgery we had to bring in a babysitter horse from MSPCA Methuen to keep Shortcake company. Shortcake is already learning to be independent from her babysitter horse and with training and socialization should grow into a fine mare.

The owner of the farm and the owner of the horses were both issued “Notices of Violations” for their neglect of the horses and the owner of the farm is already making improvements to the farm.

Special thank you to Equine Veterinarian Dr. Pantano, the Myhre Equine Clinic and the MSPCA for their assistance.

Please help by making a gift today! Your support makes it possible for us to rescue and care for Strawberry and Shortcake and animals like them.  Thank you.


Bergmann’s Not Horsing Around, He’s Ready For A Home

BergmannBergmann is a 16hh, 19 year old Trekener gelding horse. Don’t let his age fool you, he is young at heart!

He loves going on long rides and loves people, dogs and other horse friends. He is a solid walk, trot, canter horse who enjoys going for a trail ride or walk through the field. He is very athletic and picks up the canter from the walk, swaps his feet, and has a trot that is quite comfortable! He can sometimes be spooked with new stimuli and situations so he should only go to a home with an experienced rider. (Though he will not buck or take off with you.)

Bergmann is the perfect gentleman on the ground and leads very quietly. He stands patiently on the cross ties, you can bathe him and groom him all day long – he loves the attention! Did we mention that he love carrots and apples?

If you are looking for a good guy who is sweet, kind and an all around good doer, and cute to boot – Bergmann is your man!

Bergmann’s original owner stated he is registered, but we do not have access to papers. He is also trained in 2nd level dressage. Would not be a suitable jumper, or lesson horse (we are looking for a home where he can enjoy his later years as a pleasure mount.)

Bergmann is barefoot and currently has no known medical or soundness issues.

His adoption fee is $1,000. If you are interested in learning more about Bergmann, please call the Animal Rescue League of Boston‘s Dedham Adoption Center at 781-326-0729, or e-mail

AmandaandBergmann 2 b&w

“Joey” the War Horse Visits the League’s Dedham Branch


The League’s Dedham shelter received a special visit today from Joey, the star of the five-time Tony Award winning play “War Horse” opening at the Boston Opera House tomorrow. War Horse has been packing houses from London to New York, and we were grateful that Joey took the time to visit and bond with Celeste, a miniature horse rescued by the League in March.

War Horse personifies the power and beauty of the human-animal bond. Albert goes to war in the hope of finding his beloved horse Joey after he was sold to the cavalry and shipped from England to France in 1914. Albert risks his life in order to be reunited with Joey. We thought it was especially fitting for Joey to meet Celeste since both endured a long journey to their forever homes.

Joey is a remarkably life-like 8-foot tall horse puppet that comes to life courtesy of 3 puppeteers: Jessica Krueger, Danny Yoerges and Brian Robert Burns. Jessica, Dannny, Brian and Andrew Veenstra (who plays Albert Narracott) answered questions from the 4th grade class of Dedham Country Day School, and the students were thrilled to be able to interact with Joey. They also enjoyed the having a chance to pet the sweet and friendly Celeste, who also loved the attention.

In honor of Joey’s visit, October 9th has been officially named “Joey Day” at the League. We would like to thank Ann Sheehan and Natalie Tomaselli of Broadway in Boston and the cast of War Horse for a wonderful visit!