Thank You Thursday: Stop to Smell the Roses at our Brewster Shelter

Volunteer Donates Garden to Brewster Shelter

Things are looking a lot more vibrant around the ARL’s Brewster shelter, thanks to one very talented volunteer and some generous Cape Cod businesses and individuals.

Donelle Denery, a master gardener and ARL volunteer, orchestrated a new garden outside our Brewster shelter.  This Orleans resident has been volunteering with us for almost two years and we really appreciate all of her dedication.

She coordinated with local businesses about donating supplies including, plants, flowers, mulch, compost and fertilizer and then she went to work to create this beautiful outdoor masterpiece! We are all enjoying this lovely addition to the landscaping around the shelter and even the pups are stopping to smell the flowers!

Thank you to Donelle and everyone who donated supplies including:

  • Daniels Recycling Co. –  Flip
  • TruValue Hardware – Jim Moran
  • Orleans Agway- Justin and Jennifer
  • The Farm – Sassy Richardson
  • Snow`s – Susan Snow
  • Irene Cooper

07-09-14 Thank You Brewster Flower Pic


Meet Rugby!

A real miracle puppy ready to find a new home

“Rugby’s story highlights all the wonderful people in the ARL network who are dedicated to helping neglected animals.”
– Dr. Edward Schettino, Director of Veterinary Medical Services, ARL

When we first met Rugby back in April, he could have been the poster child for our “See Something, Say Something: Report Animal Cruelty,” campaign running that month.

At the time, he was 4 1/2 months old and had been cruelly abandoned in the middle of the road in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.  His front legs were severely twisted at the wrists, so Rugby could only get around by doing a haphazard crawl.  Thankfully, someone reported spotting Rugby inching his way along the road where he’d been left, and Lt. Alan Borgal, director of the ARL’s Center for Animal Protection, brought him to the ARL’s Boston Shelter.

When Dr. Edward Schettino, the ARL’s director of veterinary medical services, examined Rugby at the shelter, he observed the spirited young dog was very underweight.  Dr. Schettino concluded the condition of Rugby’s front legs was probably due to poor nutrition and long-term confinement to a very small crate.  After reviewing x-rays of Rugby’s front legs with his colleagues, Dr. Schettino preliminarily diagnosed Rugby with bilateral carpal laxity syndrome, a condition that could require surgery or could also respond to a diet of well-balanced adult dog-food and a program of rigorous exercise.

Rugby Licking His NoseRigorous exercise seemed to be the best course of treatment for Rugby!  A rambunctious dog, Rugby already had ARL behaviorists, staff,  and trained volunteers working with him to help him channel his energies into playing with other dogs and chew toys.

And getting him moving helped on the medical and behavioral front indeed!

Within a few weeks, Rugby’s front legs were improving.  The ARL collaborated on his treatment with colleagues at the ARL and Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.  To increase strength in his legs, Rugby began underwater treadmill therapy twice a week, under the supervision of the ARL’s Dr. Alett Mekler and the physical therapists at Animotion in Stoughton, Massachusetts, who donated their time and services.

Watch more videos of Rugby.

06-10-14 Rugby & Schettino PicIn just under three months, Rugby has come incredibly far in his rehabilitation.  He is moving well on his front legs and his sweet, playful personality makes everyone at the shelter smile–even when he’s a bit of a handful (written with love and a smile, of course).

Thanks to the collaborative effort of our Center for Animal Protection, shelter veterinarians, dog behaviorists, shelter staff, volunteers, Tufts University Cummings School, and Animotion, this miracle puppy is now ready for a new home!

According to shelter staff, an experienced dog owner preferably with another dog would be the best situation for Rugby–the guy really needs a playmate to keep him on his toes and moving!  He’s still working on his jumpy/mouthy behavior, so an active household with older children would be more suited to his big personality and energy-level.

View Rugby’s adoption profile.

Stay tuned for further updates about his progress!



See What’s New at the ARL in Our Magazine

Fall Issue of Our Four-Footed Friends Available Online Now

The latest issue of our magazine, Our Four-Footed Friends is now available online.

Stories include:

  • OFFF Fall Cover PhotoMessage from the President
  • Going Above and Beyond: Michelle Gelnaw, Board of Overseers
  • 10 Minutes with Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore
  • Hope for Food Aggressive Dogs
  • A Season for Rescue
  • Puppy Doe: Stunning Cruelty that Shocked us All
  • Any many more

Read the electronic version of Our Four-Footed Friends and find out how your donations are helping animals in need.


Middleboro Puppies Update: Getting Stronger Every Day

They’re Playing Through the Day and Sleeping Through the Night

We’ve promised to give you regular updates on the Middleboro Puppies who were rescued during a drug and weapons raid on a home in Middleboro, MA back on October 3, so here’s a little something on how they’re doing. They’ve been in the care of ARL foster parents for almost a month now and are making enormous progress. One of our foster parents shared this little tidbit about her foster pups whom she has lovingly named Franny and Ollie.

Franny is much smaller than her brother…but she is very rambunctious and usually in charge.  She likes to chat (and has the cutest little bark) and she also likes to follow us everywhere and cuddle up on your lap the minute you sit down.  She loves food and she loves playing hard and napping hard with her brother.

Ollie is just the sweetest puppy.  His beautiful eyes just melt your heart.  He is very gentle and calm for a puppy (I don’t think that we have ever heard him bark) and he is SO interested in people…and cats.  He is also very smart…very good with the food puzzles.

They both sleep through the night very well.  They love to play with sticks and chase each other in circles in our backyard.  It’s amazing in three weeks how much they have grown and thrived from the condition they were in when rescued.  It really makes Jon and I grateful for all the components of the League that make outcomes like this possible. They are amazing little pups that are going to make wonderful companions and bring immense joy to their future adopters!” ~ Amelia Hughes

When the puppies arrived at the ARL they were in terrible condition. All the the puppies were emaciated and dehydrated, covered in feces and riddled with worms. You can imagine how grateful we are to have a network of foster parents who care for these little guys and gals until they are healthy and strong enough to be adopted. The puppies still have a way to go and are not yet available for adoption, but we’ll let you know as soon as they are!

Read their story:

Franny and Ollie play outside in the leaves.

Franny and Ollie play outside in the leaves in their adorable sweaters. Photo Credit: Amelia Hughes


Alice’s New Beginning Thanks to Cape Cod Community

 A Heartwarming “Happy Tail” for Adopt-A-Dog Month

10-23 Alice & Dr Quigley

Dr. Quigley & Alice when she first arrived at the ARL.

Alice, a 7-month mixed breed puppy had a rough start.

When she arrived at the ARL, veterinarian Dr. Kyle Quigley immediately noticed she was having trouble with her back legs. He discovered that she had almost no muscle development in her hind limbs and was having trouble being a regular puppy.

Her hips were severely disabled and would require extensive and expensive surgeries as she grew older.

In spite of her medical condition, the Brewster shelter found a wonderful adoptive family for Alice from Sandwich, MA.

Rachel, her fiance David and son Daniel knew that Alice would require a lot of TLC and they were up for the challenge of caring for this puppy. The family agreed to take Alice as a foster pet and to start her on physical therapy to build strength in her legs before surgery.

Alice in underwater therapy at CARE.

Alice in underwater therapy at CARE.

Therapists at Cape Animal Referral and Emergency (CARE) generously offered to do underwater treadmill sessions with Alice at no cost. Using water to take stress off of Alice’s delicate joints, therapists helped Alice exercise safely and build critical muscle tone and control of her back legs.

The underwater therapy at CARE was so effective that Alice’s veterinarians decided that an operation on her hips was no longer needed! According to Dr. Quigley “her recovery and the muscle mass that she developed were truly remarkable and a testament to the powerful benefits of physical therapy.”

Alice’s foster family fell so much in love with her that they adopted her! Rachel said that “Everyone keeps saying how lucky Alice is to have had so many chances and so many champions, but we feel like we’re the lucky ones. We love her to pieces!”

Alice continues her water treadmill therapy twice a week at CARE and enjoys regular romps, walks and swims at Barnstable’s Sandy Neck Beach with her new family!

Thank you to everyone at CARE and Nancy Bishop and Heather Garre for so generously donating their therapy services to Alice.

Alice with her new family at her favorite place. Rachel (L), David (C) and Daniel (R).

Alice with her new family at her favorite place. Rachel (L), David (C) and Daniel (R).




UPDATE: Middleboro Puppies Getting Stronger in Foster Care

Puppies Are Receiving Lots of TLC in Foster Care

One of our foster parents sent this picture of her two foster pups! How adorable are they? Photo: Amelia Hughes

A foster parent sent this picture of her two foster pups! Aren’t they just the cutest?
Photo: Amelia Hughes

We are happy to report that the puppies seized during a drug and weapons raid in Middleboro, MA on October 2 are all making excellent progress!

In spite of their rough start on life, these little guys and gals are snugly, playful, and sweet-as-can-be. The thirteen puppies have been sent to all three of our adoption centers are currently living with foster families in an environment where they can socialize with people and other dogs and get the TLC they so desperately need.

We’d like to thank all of our foster parents who are taking such excellent care of the puppies until they are healthy and strong enough to be available for adoption!

Please note that the puppies are NOT yet available for adoption, but we’ll keep you poster on their story and let you know as soon as they’re at our shelters.

Watch the video below from the Cape Cod Times for more about the four puppies that are down on Cape Cod.


Throwback Thursday: Dogs of 1941

Historic Dog Photos for Adopt-A-Dog-Month

In celebration of Adopt-A-Dog-Month, here are a few photos of dogs that came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston in 1941. Since our founding we have believed that every dog is unique and different.

View the dogs that are currently waiting for loving homes on our website.

Learn more about ARL history:



Be A Champ: Help Animals Year-Round

Your Continuous Support Matters to Animals

By joining our Champions Circle you will make an immediate impact by providing the ARL with a steady source of revenue year-round.

This group of faithful animal lovers who make a regular, monthly donation to the Animal Rescue League of Boston all year long make a HUGE difference in the lives of needy animals. As a Champions Circle member your donation amount can vary from $5 per month to $100+ per month and it’s up to you how much you give.

Know that your ongoing, generous support is crucial to our ability to rescue, treat and care for the animals in your community.

As an active Champions Circle member you will receive:

  • A monthly letter with updates on the current animals in our care and any upcoming League events.
  • A copy of our bi-annual magazine, Our Four Footed Friends, that highlights the amazing work made possible by you.
  • You will have the opportunity for a behind-the-scenes tour of any of our shelters to see your gift in action.

Signing up is easy! Visit or click the SIGN UP NOW button below and indicate the frequency of your gift – we will take care of the rest!

If you prefer to receive monthly reminders and pay by check please contact Keegan Garnsey at or 617-226-5608.


09-18 Champions Circle Photo Ad


Five Maltese Dogs Who Need Your Help

Five very special guests at our Boston shelter can all use your help.

08-29 Maltese TWO

Photo Credit: Maria L. Uribe

As reported in the MetroWest Daily News today, Marlborough Animal Control removed five Maltese dogs from the home where they were staying due to unsanitary conditions.

The dogs were filthy and appeared thin and dehydrated, so were taken to Foster Hospital for Small Animals at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine for evaluation. Because their fur was so matted and caked in urine and feces, they had to be shaved before they were returned to Marlborough Animal Control.

Later in the week, the dogs were delivered to us for continued care and treatment of a wide range of medical issues.

Everything we do for these dogs—from rescue to shelter and veterinary services—is with one goal in mind:  to help them get better and find loving homes.  And it’s only through the generosity of supporters like you that we can provide this kind of comprehensive assistance to animals in need.

Please visit or click the button below to make a donation to help us pay for the care and treatment of these dogs and others like them.

Donate Today

In spite of the terrible living conditions from where they came just a short time ago, all the members of this Fab Five are doing amazingly well—sweet as can be  and eager for love and attention.

They do all have medical concerns that will require veterinary attention and monitoring in the future, but as of this morning are all available for adoption!

Visit for more information and the address of our Boston shelter.

ONE Photo: Maria L. Uribe

Photo Credit: Maria L. Uribe

THREE Photo Credit: Maria L. Uribe

Photo Credit: Maria L. Uribe


FOUR Photo Credit: Maria L. Uribe

Photo Credit: Maria L. Uribe






National Dog Day is Today!

A Chance to Recognize Dogs

Today is National Dog Day. This special day serves to help recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day and they offer us something extraordinary, unconditional love.

If you already have a canine companion, show how much you appreciate him by taking him for an extra long walk or getting him his favorite treats. Help shelter dogs by adopting or donating today!

Founded in 2004, National Dog Day was created to show deep appreciation for our long connection to each other – for their endearing patience, unquestioning loyalty, for their work, their capacity for love and their ability to impact our lives every day in the most miraculous ways.

In honor of National Dog Day, has partnered with the League and is sharing photos and information about seven of our shelter dogs with their readers.

Visit any of our three shelters this Saturday (August 31) for our “Take Me Home Today Adoptathon” and adopt one of our amazing dogs! And remember that although,“saving one dog will not change the world,  surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”

Here are just a few of our spectacular dogs who would love to come home with you by August 31:

Camilla is a beautiful 6-year-old Miniature Pinscher and is available for adoption at our Boston shelter.

Camilla is a beautiful 6-year-old Miniature Pinscher and is available for adoption at our Boston shelter.

Mikki is a 1 and a half year old sweetheart with a very enthusiastic personality. He is available for adoption at our Dedham shelter.

Mikki is a 1 and a half year old sweetheart with a very enthusiastic personality. He is available for adoption at our Dedham shelter.

Kermit is an adorable 3-month-old Chihuahua mix puppy. He recently came here all the way from California! Meet his at our Boston shelter.

Kermit is an adorable 3-month-old Chihuahua mix puppy. He recently came here all the way from California! Meet his at our Boston shelter.

Annie Oakley is a sweet 10 month-old spayed female pup. She can be shy at first but once she warms up to you, she likes to rest her head in your lap and wag her tail while you scratch her back. Meet her at our Boston shelter.

Annie Oakley is a sweet 10 month-old spayed female pup. She can be shy at first but once she warms up to you, she likes to rest her head in your lap and wag her tail while you scratch her back. Meet her at our Boston shelter.