Our Four-Footed Friends Spring/Summer 2019

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A happy client and his dog outside the newly-erected Boston headquarters in 1956.

Twelve decades of helping animals, people, and communities in need

We carry out our mission through the following programs: Advocacy

Animal Care and Adoption Centers (Boston, Dedham, & Brewster) Anti-Cruelty Law Enforcement Community Programs Boston Veterinary Care Rescue Services Community and Shelter Medicine Spay Waggin’ (Affordable Spay & Neutering) Wellness Waggin' (Affordable Veterinary Services)

We do not receive government grants or public funding and rely solely on the generosity of our supporters to help animals in need.

Stay connected with us! arlboston.org @AnimalRescueLeagueofBoston @ARLBostonRescue @arlboston

Our Four-Footed Friends is a publication of the Animal Rescue League of Boston, 10 Chandler Street, Boston, MA 02116. Please address all editorial and subscription correspondence to us at the address above, attention Our Four-Footed Friends Managing Editor. ——————————————


—————————————— Spring/Summer 2019 Managing Editor: Lisa Graham Photographers: Angela Altobelli Mike DeFina Contributing Writers: Mike DeFina Lisa Graham Mary Nee Jackie Smith Michelle Surka

Our Mission The Animal Rescue League of Boston is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes.

Contents 13 Message from ARL's President, Mary Nee 4 You Helped 16,938 Animals in 2018! 17 ARL Marks 120




2019-2020 Legislative Agenda


The Kennel-9: Nine Things to Consider Before You Board Your Pet


Ways You Can Make a Difference for Animals

12 Boston Veterinary Care, a Clinic with a Mission 14 Wellness Waggin', ARL's Mobile Veterinary Clinic 16 Unique Adoption Stories 17 Leave your Print for Animals 1

Donkey Donkey and his siblings came to ARL when they were just 12-weeks-old. They have grown into healthy, happy rabbits and have all found wonderful homes.


Message from ARL's President Dear Friend, This year, we celebrate 120 years of service to animals and people in Massachusetts. This history began with one woman, Anna Harris Smith, who saw a need, had a vision, and took action. She was joined in 1899 by 110 like-minded people to establish the Animal Rescue League of Boston and promote the humane treatment of animals as a core value for our local community and for the nation as a whole. I am pleased to report that the legacy Anna Harris Smith established is alive and well 120 years later. Over the past twelve decades ARL’s programs and services have evolved, reflecting the emerging issues of the day and advancements in veterinary and animal care, law and community needs. What hasn’t changed is our underlying mission; to be a champion for animals, keeping them safe and healthy in communities where they live. You will see in the pages that follow ARL’s 2018 Impact Report, detailing the programs and services outcomes achieved last year. We are proud to share that with your support, we were able to reach nearly 17,000 animals in need. We are also proud of the 93% Live Release Rate, a measurement of live outcomes for the animals served, and length of stay statistics for animals coming into our animal care and adoption centers. We believe deeply that animals should live in habitats and

homes, not shelters, and through great effort by staff and volunteers alike, we are able to keep these shelter stays as short as possible. We moved from applications to a conversation-based process known as to better understand the characteristics of animals and people in order to make the best match for everyone. We also began a weekly Pet Wellness Clinic in Dorchester to bring veterinary services to people and pets in a community that faces barriers because of financial constraints or limited access to care. These clinics have been a great success and generated support to purchase a dedicated Wellness Waggin’ which will allow us to expand these clinics to additional Boston neighborhoods in 2019. Our work to confront animal cruelty and advocate for law and policy to protect animals remains strong. Through aggressive law enforcement investigation and prosecution, four individuals who committed extreme acts of animal cruelty, were sentenced to prison for a total of 22-26 years in 2018. On the final page of this publication you will see a profile of José RodriguezVillalobos, a member of the Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society. This society includes individuals who, like our founder Anna, believe in our mission and have included ARL in their estate plans; leaving their “print for the future”.

As we reflect on our past and look to the future, we recognize that all of this work is made possible by a broad community of people who, like Anna, believe that we should aspire to the humane treatment of animals and people. As a supporter of ARL I know you share this vision and you have contributed to this important history. I thank you for your support and ask you to share this publication and your commitment with family and friends, so we can expand the circle of people who believe this is work worth doing. Sincerely,

Mary Nee President



2018 Impact Report


Your support makes everything we do possible! We are pleased to share the outcomes and innovations you helped us achieve in 2018.


Indicates 2018 innovation for pets and people

Keeping Animals in Habitats and Homes


Adoptions to forever homes

Finding the perfect match for pets and people through thoughtful conversation

Median # of days in the shelter Committed to finding permanent homes quickly


9 dogs









Live Release Rate Adopted, returned to field/owner, or transferred

Animals transported to ARL – relocated from areas facing pet overpopulation


Confronting Cruelty and Advocating for Animals

Investigated cruelty and neglect cases involving animals, resulting in


56 prosecutions

3 major cases came to a close, including the

16 cases of animal hoarding

historic “Puppy Doe” trial, resulting in felony

and overcrowding involving

convictions with

22-26 years of sentencing

Passage of PAWS II

Produced “Reporting Animal Cruelty, The Role of the Veterinarian”

An act to protect animal welfare and safety in cities and towns

Manual to assist veterinarians with identifying and reporting suspected animal cruelty in Massachusetts

1,024 animals

Reaching Communities in Need





Spay/neuter surgeries on ARL’s Spay Waggin’

Animals served at ARL’s Community Surgical Clinics

Cats helped through ARL’s Community Cat Initiative

Dogs and cats served at ARL’s 38 Pet Wellness Clinics

ARL on the Move




Mobile veterinary clinic serving pet owners in Greater Boston

Affordable spay/neuter clinic serving pet owners in southeastern Massachusetts

Connecting animals to the services they need

Unwavering Champions Who Make Our Work Possible

11,426 Dedicated donors 230 Foster families

544 Volunteers 27,114 Volunteer hours


Social media followers

Supporting Our Local Communities

Boston Pride Parade

Dedham Flag Day Parade

Paw Palooza Cape Cod

THANK YOU for your support! To learn more about your impact, visit arlboston.org


2019 120




A Champion for Animals Since 1899


ARL Marks 120th Anniversary Twelve decades of helping animals, people, and communities in need This year, ARL is celebrating 120 years of support from compassionate people like you! For twelve decades, ARL has responded to the needs of animals and supported a community in which animals are protected, safe, and healthy – in homes and out of shelters. Our “reason for being” dates back to our founding in 1899 when Anna Harris Smith, a social worker from Dorchester, took action when she saw both the cruel mistreatment of Boston’s working horses, and the number of stray and homeless animals living on the streets.

the very first meeting of the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Soon after, ARL moved into its first headquarters at 51 Carver Street in Boston. In 1907, Anna purchased a sprawling property in Dedham as a sanctuary for working horses and homeless animals. Over the years, the work of ARL expanded well beyond Boston, across all of Eastern Massachusetts, and onto the Cape Cod region. Through Anna’s fervor for humane education and the growing impact of her work for animals in need, communities across the country began to take notice – and used ARL as a model of how to form their own rescue societies. ARL became much more than a local shelter!

In a vividly-worded editorial in the Boston Evening Transcript, Anna advocated for a centrally located shelter for the rescue and care of homeless cats and dogs. She remarked, “While getting dogs and cats off the street is work worth doing, the teaching of thoughtful kindness is the work that changes families, communities, and a nation.”

“Our rich 120-year history is a huge source of pride for us,” says ARL President, Mary Nee. “ARL’s present and future are still rooted in Anna Harris Smith’s original vision and beliefs about animal welfare, its intersection with human well-being, and what our role must be in maintaining both.”

Anna understood that true change required more than just responding in times of crisis—it required a long-term vision. And so, on February 7, 1899, 110 people gathered at the Park Street Church for

Thank you to our incredible supporters—from the first 110 members who gathered in 1899 to today’s vibrant and passionate community of donors and volunteers!




2019-2020 Legislative Agenda Making long-term change for animals in need On January 2, the Massachusetts General Court began its 2019-2020 legislative session. The Massachusetts Legislature runs in a two-year cycle by calendar year, with each new cycle beginning in January after the state election. Each session, thousands of bills are filed by members of the House and Senate, and by the Governor, but only a select few actually become law. ARL will continue to support legislation that enhances and improves protections for animals and oppose reforms that endanger the welfare of animals across the Commonwealth. ARL actively supports the following bills, which are closely related to our current work and will be the primary focus of our advocacy efforts:

An Act banning the retail sale of cats and dogs in pet shops Prohibits the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits from pet shops unless the animals come from shelters or rescue organizations, as pet stores are a preferred sales outlet for inhumane commercial breeding facilities known as "puppy mills" An Act relating to the remedy for the sale of sick puppies and kittens Provides consumer protection through an improved “Lemon Law," allowing families who have purchased a sick puppy or kitten from a pet shop or breeder the ability to choose between returning the animal, or keeping the animal with the expectation of reimbursement for medical expenses

An Act enhancing the issuance of citations for cruel conditions for animals Allows animal control officers, police officers, and special state police officers with ARL and MSPCA to issue citations for animals found in “cruel conditions� Provides an additional tool to address cruelty matters, as ticketing acts as a deterrent, rather than a form of punishment An Act protecting the health and safety of puppies and kittens in cities and towns Requires the creation of regulations for the operation of boarding kennels and daycare facilities, such as staff qualifications, provider to dog ratios, play group sizes and supervision, physical facility and care requirements, emergency response training, and insurance Updates laws related to kennel licensing Prohibits the sale of puppies and kittens under eight weeks of age Prohibits the roadside/parking lot sale of animals

Advocacy in Action To see a full list of bills that ARL supports and opposes, visit: arlboston.org/our-work/legislative-agenda


9 The K ennel

Nine things to consider before you board your pet 1

SEE FOR YOURSELF Can you see the kennels and common areas where your animal will be boarded? During your pet’s stay, can you check on them remotely via webcam?


SOUND THE ALARM Does the facility have a written emergency response procedure in the event of fire, power outage, or other disaster? Does the kennel have working fire and carbon monoxide detectors, sprinkler systems, and a back-up power generator?


LICENSE, PLEASE Does the kennel have a current operating license issued by a local city or town? According to the license, how many animals can be boarded at one time? How many animals are currently housed?


IN CASE OF A MEDICAL EMERGENCY Are you contacted if your animal experiences an unexpected medical condition or injury? Is there a veterinarian on staff, or does the facility have a veterinarian on call? Do you sign a waiver giving permission to have your animal treated?


TLC What is the ratio of staff to animals? Is there 24-hour on-site supervision? If not, are animals monitored by video camera? What training or experience does the staff caring for animals have?



SOCIAL CIRCLE Do dogs play together in common areas? Are these play groups supervised at all times? Are dogs grouped together by size and/or temperament? Can you choose to have your dog not participate in group activities?

INFECTION PRECAUTIONS Does the facility require up-to-date vaccination records for all boarders? What documentation is required for your pet to be admitted?


FELINE FRIENDS Does the facility allow cats? Are they separated from the sight and noise of dogs?


GET IT IN WRITING Will the facility give you written documentation of their procedures or confirmation of any special requests for your pet?

Currently there are no state-wide regulations that govern boarding kennels and animal daycare facilities in Massachusetts. ARL and other animal welfare organizations are advocating for standards that would mandate the creation of new state laws to protect pets.

Learn more at www.arlboston.org/Kennel-9


Donate and Make a Difference for Generations to Come Your generosity makes this important work for animals possible.

PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL The President’s Council is a group of leadership donors who make annual gifts of $1,000 or more. Their thoughtful investment in ARL’s mission helps us to be a leader in animal welfare.

ANNA HARRIS SMITH LEGACY SOCIETY Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society members are passionate about helping animals now and after their lifetime. By including ARL in their estate plans, they will leave a legacy of compassion for animals.


Gifts of stock not only help animals in need, they can also provide tax benefits including avoiding capital gains tax.

OTHER TAX BENEFITS All donations to ARL are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by IRS regulations. If you are faced with required withdrawals from your retirement accounts, a gift can help offset additional income taxes.

For more information, contact Jackie Smith at jsmith@arlboston.org or (617) 226-5608







The Champions Circle is a dedicated community of monthly givers who support shelter animals all year long as recurring donors.

Tribute gifts are a way to honor or remember a loved one. When you make a gift in honor / in memory of a person, pet, or occasion, we’ll notify the individual with a personalized card.

Many companies offer matching gift programs. To find out if your company will match your donation to ARL, check with your HR department or visit www. matchinggifts.com/ search/rit

Donate your vehicle to help animals in need. Our partner will pick up your car and give you a tax receipt. For more information, visit: https://careasy.org/ nonprofit/animalrescue-league-of-boston

For more information, contact Derek Stemmler at dstemmler@arlboston.org or (617) 226-5662


A Clinic with a Mission Boston Veterinary Care supports the programs of ARL A Chihuahua with dental disease. A young cat with an infection. A guinea pig with a tumor. All of these beloved pets, and so many more, come to Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) every day to heal and find comfort. “Helping animals get healthy and stay healthy, and showing their families how to best care for their pets, is always our number one priority”, says Dr. Breda, BVC’s Medical Director. “I’m lucky to see so many positive outcomes from our work here.” What many of these furry patients and their

BVC provides high-quality outpatient services, including: Wellness examinations & vaccinations Preventative medicine Dentistry, including dental radiographs Surgery, including spay & neuter Routine blood work Digital radiology Senior pet wellness screens Pain management Weight loss management

families may not know is that BVC isn’t just a regular veterinary office—it’s a clinic with a mission! All of BVC’s profits support the programs and services of ARL, as part of its commitment to keeping animals safe and healthy in their habitats and homes. When a client brings their beloved family pet to BVC for care or a check-up, ARL can continue to help shelter pets find forever homes, run community programs, and protect more animals from neglect, abuse, and cruelty.

Along with exceptional veterinary care, BVC is proud to offer: Free first exam for new clients A $25 account credit when you refer a friend Extended weekday and Saturday hours Tuesday Cat-Only night! For your cat’s comfort, BVC reserves appointment slots for felines every Tuesday after 5pm

To schedule an appointment, contact (617) 226-5605 or bvc@arlboston.org


Rutger Rescued from an overcrowding situation in January 2019, Rutger spent over 3 months receiving medical care at ARL, until he was adopted in April 2019.


13-week-old Maly receives a wellness exam by Dr. Kyle Quigley, ARL's Medical Director of Community and Shelter Medicine.


ARL on the Move Wellness Waggin’ meets pets and people in their community In the fall of 2017, ARL embarked on a pilot program to bring veterinary and wellness services to animals and people where they are. As part of its Healthy Animals – Healthy Communities Initiative, ARL launched its first Pet Wellness Clinic in Codman Square at the Dorchester YMCA, which helped over 431 pets and their families over the course of 38 weeks. The success of the pop-up clinic reinforced ARL’s desire to expand its affordable highquality veterinary services to serve even more communities in targeted areas of need, where pet owners often lack access to care, due to barriers like location and finances.

For $10, pets residing in these communities can receive the following services administered by ARL’s veterinary staff: physical exam, rabies vaccine, distemper vaccine, microchip, and flea/tick treatment. Information resources for preventative care and spay/neuter are also available.

Building community partnerships

Meeting residents and their pets right in their own neighborhood This spring, ARL will debut its newest mobile veterinary unit, The Wellness Waggin’ – the first of its kind in New England. Thanks to generous grants from PetSmart Charities and the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation, ARL was able to purchase, outfit, and operate this state-of-the-art vehicle, which boasts a dedicated exam area and separate surgical suite. The Wellness Waggin’ will make weekly visits at the Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) in the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan/Hyde Park.

“ARL is thrilled to partner with ABCD, as a groundbreaking example of the importance of collaboration between human and animal service organizations,” says Dr. Edward Schettino, Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services at ARL. “This partnership allows us to reach countless households and provide pets and their owners with guidance, support, and assistance.” ABCD serves more than 100,000 residents in the Metro Boston area, offering a variety of programs including education, heating, health, housing, and basic necessities assistance. ARL’s relationships with ABCD and PetSmart Charities allow us to expand our important work for animals outside of our shelter walls, to provide services to communities that prevent animal surrender, to keep animals in their homes where they belong.

Wellness Waggin' Learn more about ARL’s community programs at arlboston.org/services/community-programs


Unique Adoption Stories Your donations helped place these animals in permanent homes!


reunites with his family

In the fall of 2018, George, a 23-year-old saddlebred horse came to ARL from an owner who could no longer care for him. Volunteers and staff quickly discovered that there was something special about this animal; George was once a well-known show horse performing under the name “Midnight Memory Maker”. Through great efforts by his ARL foster parent, George was recognized - and the wife of his original owner was contacted. A short time later, the former show horse made the 1,300 mile trek from Boston to Ocala, Florida to be reunited with his first family!


experiences love at first sight

In September 2018, a married couple came across a frightened dog wandering alone in the rain. They took the shivering pup to a nearby veterinary hospital for emergency treatment, where they discovered that he was severely matted, emaciated, and partially blind and deaf. Lucky was transferred into ARL’s care, while we investigated his case. The couple that found Lucky agreed to foster him – and then officially adopted him a few months later!


find a home together

In November 2018, 6-month-old kitten siblings Helga and Arnold were found abandoned in a cardboard box along a busy road. Other than Helga’s fractured leg, both felines were in good health. The pair headed to foster care to allow Helga’s leg to heal – and to help them both recuperate from their ordeal. A few months later, Helga’s leg healed completely and this bonded pair found their forever home!

Adopt a Pet 16

Find your match at arlboston.org/adopt

LEAVE YOUR PRINT Join the Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society

Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society members are passionate about helping animals now and after their lifetime and have included ARL in their estate plans.

José Rodriguez-Villalobos

ARL consistently goes the extra mile for animals in need. Whether through law enforcement or making sure that animals get the best care possible, I’m always impressed by ARL’s commitment to go above and beyond.

We decided to include ARL in our wills because we care deeply about animals. We wanted to make sure that something that is so meaningful to us can last forever, and so including a legacy gift for ARL and the animals in their care was an easy choice. - José Rodriguez-Villalobos and Chris Lapan Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society Members

Planned giving can take many forms including bequests and listing ARL as a beneficiary of retirement plans, life insurance, and more. To leave your legacy of compassion for animals, contact Jackie Smith at (617) 226-5608.

Animal Rescue League of Boston 10 Chandler Street Boston, MA 02116-5221

Thank you for making our work possible!