Friends Fall/Winter 2016
WESTPORT ARL Responds to Largest Farm Animal Cruelty Case in the Northeast
and how you help them
Sasha This 2-year-young Siberian Husky was surrendered to the ARL because her owner could not meet her energy needs. It didn’t take long for this sweet girl to find the active home of her dreams — she was adopted in just two days!
ARL carries out its mission through the following programs: • Animal Advocacy • Animal Care and Adoption Centers (Boston, Dedham, & Brewster) • Anti-Cruelty Law Enforcement • Boston Veterinary Care • Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery • Rescue Services • Shelter Veterinary Medicine • Spay Waggin’ (Affordable Spay & Neutering)
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.
We do not receive government funding and rely solely on the generosity of our supporters to help animals in need.
Stay connected with us! arlboston.org AnimalRescueLeagueofBoston @ARLBoston arlboston
VOLUME 120 Fall/Winter 2016
Managing Editor: Lisa Graham Photographer: Angela Altobelli Contributing Writers: Dot Baisly Lisa Graham Mary Nee Nadine Pellegrini Cheryl Traversi
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 12 Message from the President 15 Vision for the Future 16 Safford Memorial Shelter in Dedham Reopens 18 “Too Hot for Spot” Becomes Law ARL Responds to Largest Farm Animal 10 Westport: Cruelty Case in the Northeast
14 Meet Rick Tagliaferri, ARL’s Chief Development Officer Animals, Healthy Communities: 16 Healthy Dorchester Pilot Program
Animal Cruelty and Protection 17 Task Force Report Completed
18 People & Paws 20 A Visit from Pierce 1
Message from the President The ARL is an unwavering champion for animals in need Dear Friend, The response of ARL’s staff nd volunteers to the horrific ase of farm animal cruelty in Westport, MA this past July was like watching our mission in action: “We are unwavering champions for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes.” Each day at the ARL, I’m privileged to see our mission in action. Whether it’s a Shelter Manager keeping a dog under foot in their office ecause they’re too anxious in the kennel; or our Director of Law Enforcement rescuing a pet pig roaming on a busy street and returning the animal to its family; or the volunteers who assisted at an emergency vaccination clinic in the pouring rain to protect cats from a deadly virus in a Boston neighborhood. To the champions all around me, I deeply and genuinely thank you for all you do for animals in need and for the people who care about them! We recently celebrated a milestone— the reopening of our Safford Memorial Shelter in Dedham. It’s quite simply a magnifice t environment for animals and people. If you missed our open house, I encourage you to come in for a tour to see our new modern animal care and adoption center in action. Our advocacy for animals took a big step forward this summer with the passage of State Law 2369, An Act to Prevent Animal Suffering and Death. Building on ARL’s Too Hot for Spot educational campaign, this new law provides a host of new protections for animals.
Th s forward progress in state legislation was followed by Governor Charlie Baker, who responded to ARL’s request to reduce the quarantine periods for animals with “wounds of unknown origin” from 6 to 4 months. What seems like a short period is consistent with disease control standards and makes a world of difference for an animal that is healthy enough to be adopted. All of this work, and so much more, is made possible by people like you — supporters of the ARL! As we enter the fi al months of 2016, I hope you will continue your generous support so that we enter the New Year ready and able to respond to even more animals in need. Thank you. Sincerely,
Mary Nee President
Tuti 13-year-young Tuti, along with her bonded feathered friend, Pepito, was adopted in September 2016.
Parsley & Radish After spending some time with an ARL foster family, siblings Parsley and Radish found their perfect home.
Vision for the Future In 2016 the ARL adopted a new mission, vision, and values. These expressions of why we exist and our aspiration for the future build off of ARL’s rich legacy of animal welfare, and sets the direction for how we can have greater impact for animals and people in the years to come. Our Vision: Animals are safe and healthy in the communities where they live.
Our vision is to confront animal cruelty and neglect at its root causes. Th ough programs, services, and facilities focused on accessible animal care, public advocacy, and sustained anti-cruelty efforts, we will be a resource for people and an unwavering champion for animals most in need.
Our focus will be to meet people and animals where they are, bringing veterinary and wellness services directly to those who need it most, so that animals are safe and healthy living in communities and out of shelters. We will align our resources to support this vision through a coordination of existing programs and the development of new, community-based services.
The impact of our work will be seen in the lives of animals most in need across Massachusetts, with the greatest effect in our primary service areas of Greater Boston, Eastern Massachusetts, and the Cape Cod regions. We will strive to provide high-quality direct animal care which meets best practice standards in animals welfare. To meet these standards, we will pursue continuous improvement and innovation in program models and administrative operations, and we will continually measure and evaluate our performance and impact. Acknowledging that our success rests upon the skills and commitment of a well-trained and supported team of staff nd volunteers, we are committed to cultivating an organization where they can excel. In turn, this ARL team will collaborate with community groups and other animal welfare organizations to leverage even greater impact and positive outcomes for animals.
Our Guiding Principles We believe that an animal’s welfare should be considered in terms of “Five Freedoms.” The freedoms guide our approach to animal welfare. 1 Freedom from Hunger and Thi st 2 Freedom from Discomfort 3 Freedom from Pain, Injury, or Disease 4 Freedom to Express Normal Behavior 5 Freedom from Fear and Distress
Safford Memorial Shelter in Dedham Reopens An Essential Resource for Animals and the Dedham Community On a crisp afternoon in late September, ARL’s Board of Directors, supporters, volunteers, and staff g thered together to celebrate the newly renovated Safford Memorial Shelter in Dedham, MA. The event was held to recognize ARL’s most dedicated supporters, including the original donors of the Safford Memorial Shelter, for sharing in our organization’s vision and goals, and for reaffirming the commitment to the future we all hope to achieve. Situated on the beautiful grounds of the former sanctuary for Boston’s working horses, the new modern shelter design allows the ARL to provide high-quality animal care now, and opportunities for new innovative programs in the future. “The Dedham facility is a critical hub in the work that we do across all of our programs for animals in need. We are so pleased to be fully operational again,” said ARL’s Board of Directors Chairman, Malcolm McDonald. In the few short weeks since we reopened, we have seen scores of animals whom have received critically needed care, have been united with loving families, and were safely returned to their natural habitats. “We look forward to serving animals in Dedham for years to come and realizing our mission that we are unwavering champions for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes,” remarked ARL’s President, Mary Nee.
The latest in modern shelter design, the Safford Memorial Shelter in Dedham boasts the following improvements for animals and the people who care for them: • Large cat colony suite equipped with easy-care furniture for hiding and climbing • 24 individual cat units with custom environmental control to reduce stress and illness • 12 dog kennels of varying sizes with heated fl ors for comfort, and separate covered outdoor run access for safety • Fenced-in dog play yard carpeted with canine grass for maximal sanitation and comfort • Dedicated small animal room with elevated cages and outdoor visibility for enrichment • 2 meet-and-greet rooms for cats and dogs to get to know potential adopters in a private setting • Designated area for Rescue Services dispatch and receiving • Separate animal intake booking and exam room • State-of-the-art surgical suite, prep, and recovery area • Large multi-purpose room for dog training classes, meetings, and events • Enlarged break room with amenities for volunteers and staff
Please Visit Us Soon! ARL’s Safford Memorial Shelter in Dedham is located at 55 Anna’s Place in Dedham, MA. For an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the animal care and adoption center, contact Matt DeAngelis at (617) 226-5638.
Linus 7-year-young Linus enjoyed exercising in the new dog play yard for only a few short days before meeting his forever family.
Ebony 10-year-young Ebony, one of the first residents of the new cat colony suite, was adopted in October 2016.
“Too Hot for Spot” Becomes Law ARL’s annual safety campaign, “Too Hot for Spot,” reminds pet owners about the dangers of leaving an animal in a hot car. Th s important message, as well as the efforts of ARL’s Advocacy Team and our many supporters, turned this campaign into permanent law this year. As of November 16, 2016, S.2369, An Act to Prevent Animal Suffering and Death, prohibits pet owners from confini g any animal in a motor vehicle when extreme heat or cold could reasonably be expected to threaten the health of the animal.
What can first responders do? First responders — including animal control offic s, law enforcement offic s, and fi efi hters — may, after making reasonable efforts to locate the motor vehicle’s owner, enter the vehicle by any reasonable means to protect the health and safety of an animal. The entry must be for the sole purpose of assisting the animal. The responders may not search the vehicle or seize items unless otherwise permitted by law. The fi st responder must leave a written notice with the officer r fi efi hter’s name, title, and the address of the location where the animal may be retrieved. What can regular citizens like me do? If a citizen fi ds an animal in a vehicle, the citizen must make reasonable efforts to locate a motor vehicle’s owner. A citizen shall not enter a motor vehicle to protect an animal in immediate danger unless the citizen notifies aw enforcement or calls 911 and determines that the motor vehicle is locked or there is no other reasonable means for exit; does not use more force than reasonably necessary to enter the motor vehicle and remove the animal; and has a good faith and reasonable belief, based upon known circumstances, that entry into the vehicle is necessary to prevent imminent danger or harm to the animal.
Additionally, the citizen must remain with the animal in a safe location in reasonable proximity to the vehicle until law enforcement or another fi st responder arrives. What else does this new law include? This new law also amends the anti-tethering statute, which means that dogs cannot be: • Tethered to a stationary object for longer than 5 hours in a 24-hour period • Tethered outside from 10:00 PM until 6:00 AM unless for not more than 15 minutes and when the owner, guardian or keeper is present • Confi ed outside when a weather advisory, warning, or watch is issued by local, state or federal authority or when environmental conditions such as extreme heat, cold, rain, now or hail pose an adverse risk to health or safety of the dog, based upon the dog’s breed, age, or physical condition and unless tethered for less than 15 minutes. Additionally, law enforcement offic s from the ARL and the MSPCA, who come upon situations where this new law is being violated, now have the authority to issue citations to violators when an Animal Control Officer s unavailable or unresponsive.
Cola Cola came to our Boston Adoption Center malnourished and extremely scared. She spent some time getting acclimated to people as an office foster and has since been adopted. She is enjoying life with her Chihuahua brother named Peanut.
Animal Cruelty & Protection Task Force Report Completed On August 20, 2014, Governor Patrick signed Senate Bill 2345, An Act Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety (“PAWS”). Th s new legislation was as a result of a suspected cruelty matter when a puppy — who became known as “Puppy Doe” — was found to have been systematically and severely tortured over several months. Among other things, the legislation created the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force and directed it to consider future protections for animals and ways to strengthen Massachusetts’ cruelty laws. Over the next nineteen months, the Task Force addressed these and many other issues. The widely-ranged topics included the current structure and use of animal cruelty laws, education, housing, training, seizure of animals, and the creation of an animal abuse registry. ARL’s President, Mary Nee, was a designated member of the Task Force. Additionally, the Task Force included other individuals who provided expertise and research on particular matters. Lt. Alan Borgal, ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement, and Nadine Pellegrini, ARL’s Director of Advocacy, were both included among this group. The Task Force Findings and Recommendations Report was voted on and approved by the designated Task Force members on July 12, 2016. The report has been sent to the House and Senate as well as the Governor’s Offi . Each issue included a summary; an analysis of the importance of each issue; the current practice(s); and the recommendation(s) of the Task Force. The recommendations vary, and range from amending current laws to urging creation of new laws. To read the full text, visit https://malegislature.gov/ Bill/189/Senate/SD2649
To say what the ARL found â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which was eventually described as the largest case of farm animal cruelty in the Northeast â&#x20AC;&#x201D; does not begin to describe the conditions of over a thousand animals.
Westport: ARL responds to over 1,400 animals living in deplorable conditions It is a hallmark of ARL’s Law Enforcement Department to be prepared for any eventuality. But nothing could have prepared even these veterans who have seen just about everything when they entered a 70-acre parcel in Westport, MA on July 19, 2016. ARL’s Law Enforcement team was there at the request of the Westport police department to assist in the investigation. They knew what their job was and they knew what they were there to do — but they had no way of knowing what they would see as they entered and walked the property. To say what they found — which was eventually described as the largest case of farm animal cruelty in the Northeast — does not begin to describe the conditions of over a thousand animals. Whether it was the poor physical condition of the many animals themselves or the lack of proper water, food, shelter and protection from the weather, nothing was as it should have been. Many dogs were tethered tightly with their chains entangled. Two adult cats lived inside a hot, disabled camper with no ventilation. Some goats were so thin that you could see their ribs through their skin while other goats were lying dead next to the feed trough. Rabbits were crammed into cages with so many animals in one cage that they were on top of one another. Pigs were standing in filth and plastic trash. Calves were penned, barely able to turn around in the enclosures, and severely dehydrated. Each day brought a multitude of issues — how to care for the animals on site in a week of high heat and humidity; how and what to feed; how to provide veterinary treatment on a large 70-acre parcel; how to make the difficult decisions to end an animal’s suffering; and how to fi ally transport the animals off-s te. In a situation of many “fi sts,” one of the most signifi ant was that this was the fi st time that volunteers were deployed to assist in a law enforcement case.
(Continued from page 11)
Over 525 volunteers strong, the ARL relies on this dedicated and knowledgeable group on many aspects of direct animal care, especially in the areas of behavioral training and enrichment. Their support, however, is usually only limited to our adoption centers, administrative office and special events.
Volunteers also helped transport the animals off-s te and provided follow-up care for the over 100 animals that came back to ARL’s shelters.
Due to the scale of this case, it was only natural that we tap into our biggest resource for assistance. “Obviously, we didn’t plan for this,” says Debby Vogel, ARL’s Associate Director of Volunteer Services. “But when we realized the scope of what we were dealing with, we knew that we needed extra hands beyond our full-time staff.”
their eyes was looking at hope.”
And the response to help was overwhelming. Although they knew that they were walking into one of the most complex and emotionally difficult cases anyone has ever seen, the ARL’s pool of volunteers jumped at the opportunity to get involved and make an immediate impact on the lives of these animals. Maria Uribe, an ARL volunteer for over 15 years and one of the fi st to arrive at the Westport farm recalls, “Everyone stayed extremely positive throughout the weeks that we were on site. It was amazing to see the collaboration between the ARL, ASPCA, Westport offi als, and other organizations.” Volunteers like Maria spent long days over the course of many weeks assisting with direct animal care, such as feeding, cleaning, and setting up temporary housing. They also used the enrichment experience they gained at the ARL to keep the animals happy.
“The animals were excited to see us,” recounts Maria. “Looking into
Another group of volunteers who were critical to helping the animals in this case was ARL’s extensive foster care network. “Th s case would have been next to impossible to handle without our devoted foster care families, since the number of animals in this case greatly exceeded the capacity at our shelter locations,” explains Debby Vogel. ARL’s foster families were instrumental in ensuring that rabbits, cats, dogs, and other animals rescued from the property were provided with adequate shelter, nutrition, and care. Furthermore, housing animals in safe homes also freed up space, time, and resources for the animals that needed to come to the ARL due to medical, behavioral, or other individual factors. “There are no words to express the deep gratitude I have to the ARL for trusting me and my fellow volunteers to participate in this difficult case,” remarks Maria Uribe. “We hope nothing like this ever happens again; but, if it does, we’re all ready to answer the call for help.”
Meet Rick Tagliaferri ARL’s Chief Development Officer
Th s past August, the ARL welcomed aboard Rick Tagliaferri as its new Chief Development Offic . In his new role, Rick will manage leadership and major giving and events, as well as oversee ARL’s Leadership Council. Rick joins the ARL after having served the last 14 years as the Executive Director of the Boston Arts Academy (BAA) Foundation. Prior to this role, he led the United Way’s major gifts rogram. Complementing his fundraising experience, Rick brings a deep passion for animal welfare. As the Executive Director at the American Red Cross in Daytona Beach, Florida, Rick designed and implemented a nationally acclaimed pet CPR/First Aid course. He also grew up in a home that fostered injured and homeless animals, and volunteered at the Museum of Science working with injured wildlife. We sat down with Rick to fi d out why major gifts re so important to helping local animals and people in our community. Here’s what he had to say…
ARL: One of your key responsibilities is managing ARL’s President’s Council. Who makes up this group and how can someone join? Rick Tagliaferri (RT): Joining ARL’s President’s Council (PC) is an extraordinary opportunity to change the lives of local families, animals, and neighborhoods. For those who have the means, the PC is comprised of individuals contributing $1,000 or more annually. Many friends in our Champions Circle, people who make a recurring monthly gift become PC members with an $83 donation each month to help animals in need all year long. ARL: Why are ARL’s PC members important to helping animals in need? RT: They’re important for a couple of reasons. First of all they send a powerful message! Anyone who gives a gift f $1,000 or more says that they deeply believe in ARL’s mission, the impact it’s having, and that they trust it. Th s also encourages others to do the same. The second reason is that, in this way, they really help raise the funds needed
to care for over 14,000 animals in need each year — AND respond to unexpected emergencies like the Westport Farm case this past summer involving over 1,400 animals. ARL: We often talk about the Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society. Can you explain what it is? RT: One of the most flex ble and powerful investments that people can make is by joining ARL’s Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society. Planned giving, commonly associated with naming an organization as a benefic ary in one’s will, is the ultimate expression of belief and trust in an organization. When an individual gets in touch with me to say that he or she named the ARL in his or her will, I say three things — may this be the last time we talk about it for many years, may you spend most of it in good health, and on behalf of animals and families you will never get to meet, thank you for ensuring that the ARL will always remain an unwavering champion of animals in need. ARL: You’re also heavily involved in ARL’s Leadership Council. Tell us more! RT: The Leadership Council is comprised of President Council members who go one step further. The Leadership Council (LC) is an exceptional group of compassionate volunteers and advocates who serve the ARL as experienced external advisors and dedicated ambassadors that help drive support for our mission. LC members play a critical role in building momentum and expanding support for the ARL and our vision that all animals are safe and healthy. Members are asked to make a personal gift nd to engage their business and social networks in supporting animals in need through fi ancial contributions; meeting or exceeding an annual goal of $5,000. ARL: What made you join the ARL? RT: Animals have always brought joy to my life and this very organization was used a lot by my family when I was growing up in Dorchester, Massachusetts. There are new programs underway at the ARL that explore the human-animal bond as well as the root causes of cruelty and neglect. It is no longer enough to respond — we also have to prevent. Animals are a vital natural resource and deserve to be fie cely protected.
Animals Can’t Say “THANK YOU,” But We Can!
Join ARL’s President’s Council We gratefully acknowledge annual gift of $1,000 or more with membership in ARL’s President’s Council. Members receive special acknowledgments and benefits based on their gift l vel. The ARL receives no government or public funding. We rely entirely on the kindness and generosity of supporters like you to help animals in need. LEARN MORE
about ARL’s President’s Council Contact Rick Tagliaferri at (617) 226-5668.
Healthy Animals, Healthy Communities ARL Launches Initiative in Dorchester to Create Positive Lasting Change for Animals & People As the ARL continues to identify how to address the root causes of the problems facing animals, it is becoming increasingly clear that without addressing the human side of the equation, we will only be responding after the fact; when an animal has already suffered. Many other animal welfare organizations across the country are also acknowledging this reality, and program models are beginning to shift way from shelter-based services and increasingly more towards preventative, community-based solutions. ARL’s latest pilot program, Healthy Animals, Healthy Communities, hopes to do just that. Thanks to the Cummings Foundation for selecting the ARL as a recipient of their “$100K for 100” grant, we are launching the initiative this fall to help animals and people in Dorchester. Why Dorchester, you ask? By tracking our animal surrenders, rescues, communitiy cats, and law enforcement cases, the ARL was able to identify local “hot spots,” geographic locations where high incidences of animal need strongly correlate with other social indicators such as poverty and health issues. One of the largest “hot spots” identifi d in Eastern Massachusetts occurs in Dorchester, just outside of the Codman Square Business District. Over the last two years, Dorchester represented the most frequent location for animal intake across all of ARL’s facilities, with nearly 1,400 animals coming from this section of Boston alone.
While individual animals would indeed benefit if we were to shift acce s to our core services within this targeted “hot spot” — veterinary care, rescue services, community cat trap-neutervaccinate-release (TNR), and anti-cruelty law enforcement — it would not address underlying conditions present in this area, nor would it prevent future animal need. In designing this community-based model, we determined that a more comprehensive approach was critically needed. The three components of ARL’s Healthy Animals, Healthy Communities initiative are: 1. Partnerships with community organizations, such as the Codman Square Health Center, to motivate health and human services organizations to recognize key issues and collaborate with the ARL and other animal welfare organizations to form solution-based partnerships. 2. Community-based animal care services to develop an action plan that is tailor-made to the needs of the animals and people in Dorchester. 3. Community-based education, which includes seminars on pet ownership, animal care, and civic action reporting incidents of animal abuse or neglect. The ARL is excited to collaborate with the Dorchester community to effect positive, lasting change for the animals and people who live there for years to come.
Maroni 3-year-young Maroni came to the ARL from an animal hoarding situation back in February 2016. It didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take long for this affectionate feline to find her purr-fect family â&#x20AC;&#x201D; she was adopted in just a few days and has since made herself the center of her new household.
People & Paws A Hole-in-One for Animals in Need For ARL’s President’s Council members, Mike and Debi McAleer, raising money for shelter animals is par for the course. On September 17, 2016, the twosome hosted their 15th annual golf tournament benefitting the ARL, which raised $5,500. The tournament was started back in 2001 in memory of Mike’s fi st wife Emily, who lost her battle with cancer. “Our love for animals is shared by many and we are fortunate to have generous people assisting us with our quest to help animals in need,” says Debi McAleer. “ARL is a non-profit organization that relies solely on donations and we do our best to help where can.” And she’s not kidding; the couple has also adopted four cats from ARL’s Dedham shelter!
HOST A DIY FUNDRAISER! Learn more at arlboston.org/getinvolved
Cheers to Animals’ Biggest Supporters On the evening of May 12, 2016, over 125 of ARL’s biggest supporters came together at the historic Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston for the 2nd Annual Whiskers & Wine President’s Council Spring Social. The event was generously sponsored by Blue Hills Bank, Katherine Burdon, David McGrath, and many other individuals and corporations! ARL’s Board of Directors, Leadership Council, President’s Council, volunteers, and staff oasted our most committed supporters over sparkling wine and delicious hors d’oeuvres for making our important work possible. ARL’s President Mary Nee conveyed the impact that our donors’ generosity has had on over 14,000 animals last year, and how their commitment will help even more animals and communities in our vision for the future. Thank you to our 400+ President’s Council donors for generously expressing your love of animals, compassion, and kindness for animals through your support of the ARL — YOU make our important work possible!
SAVE THE DATE! Whiskers & Wine is scheduled for May 2017 .
ARL’s Leadership Council member Claire Mansur with Jax, an ARL alum.
Claire Mansur: Leadership Council Member OFFF: Not only are you a Leadership Council member, but you’re also a volunteer at ARL’s Boston shelter. Why do you so generously give back to ARL? Claire Mansur (CM): First and foremost, it’s because I love animals. Walking ARL’s shelter dogs as part of their daily exercise and enrichment is an especially joyful experience for me. Secondly, it’s because the ARL doesn’t pick and choose which animals they bring into their shelters; they are committed to helping all of the animals that they can. Th s organization has incredible dog trainers which is why I chose to host this year’s Fall Educational Forum that highlights ARL’s Behavior and Enrichment Program. OFFF: You clearly love all animals, but have a special place in your heart for dogs. Have you always been this way? CM: Oh, yes. I always had dogs in my home growing up. My last dog, Poppy, was returned twice due to behavioral challenges. When we adopted her, it was clear that she spent a lot of time in her crate and was depressed and low-energy as a result. I knew I needed to take her home. Just a short time
later, Poppy really came to life and carved out a special spot on the couch — and in my heart — as my loving companion. OFFF: What is your most memorable ARL shelter animal story? CM: When I fi st began volunteering, the Boston shelter took in a three-legged German Shepard named LJ. I thought he would have a difficult time being adopted because of his handicap, but I was completely wrong! He was a wonderful dog and went on to have the beautiful life that he deserved. I love watching each animal progress and fi d loving homes, especially ones like LJ with health challenges, or those who have previously suffered from neglect or abuse. OFFF: From your experience as an ARL volunteer, what advice would you give to potential adopters? CM: Personality is always more important than looks, so adopt an animal that you have a connection with. If you meet an animal that you love, act fast! Animals are adopted very quickly thanks to ARL’s volunteers and staff reparing each individual animal for life in their new home.
A Visit from Pierce Dog Finds Forever Home Through ARL’s Behavior Adoption Program At the ARL we fi d ourselves working with dogs of all kinds — particularly those that have behavior challenges. One of the most special of these dogs was Pierce, a young pup who came to the ARL in April of 2015. Our staff nd volunteers worked with Pierce for many months to help him become a more wellrounded dog. However we knew that he would never fully become his truly wonderful self until he was settled down with a family that loved him. “As is the case with many animals in his situation, the stress of living at the shelter did not help Pierce break his troubling hardmouthing behaviors,” says Dot Baisly, ARL’s Manager of Shelter Behavior & Enrichment. It took six months for Pierce to fi d Katy and John, his forever family. The ARL’s staff and volunteers were excited beyond belief and determined to set them all up for success through our behavior adoption program. Providing new owners with all of the information about their dog’s history, behavior evaluation, and observed activities while in shelter care is the fi st step of any behavior adoption. In Pierce’s case we had a great deal of information that mostly refl cted a young dog that had been taken from his mother and litter too young. Th s resulted in a dog that lacked confide ce and a sense of security, and manifested into meltdowns in which he hard mouthed people because he had not learned mouth control from his mom and litter mates. Pierce’s new mom and dad spent a great deal of time working with Dot and the Behavior Mod Squad, ARL volunteers specially trained in behavior modifi ation, getting to know Pierce and how to handle his meltdowns. They came in for multiple informational sessions in which
Pierce with owners John and Katy
they learned all about his challenges, personality, and individual needs. Katy and John were able to prepare themselves, their house, their two cats, and a support team of daycare providers and trainers for Pierce to come home and thrive. Six months later, Pierce came with his mom and dad for a visit and to tell us about how well he was doing. Th s was a true gift hat his parents gave to ARL’s staff nd volunteers. Everyone had worked so hard to bring Pierce to a point where he could become his truly wonderful self and now they got to see the fruits of their labor. Just like anyone who brings home a new pet, Pierce’s mom and dad reported some hard days with trials and tribulations especially in the beginning. Those bumps in the road aside, however, Katy and John said that the adoption
ARL’s Manager of Shelter Behavior and Enrichment, Dot Baisly, (far right) and the Behavior Mod Squad helped Pierce to thrive in his new home.
process was very complete and prepared them for the challenges ahead. And those challenges were certainly worth it! The couple adores Pierce and couldn’t imagine their family without him. Although Pierce represents one of the most difficult cases, it’s part of ARL’s mission to
match a dog with his or her perfect family, and to make every effort possible to keep them in their new home. Informing new adopters on their pet’s behavioral and medical history and behavior concerns, as well as teaching them how to continue training in the home, is the recipe ARL follows to set everyone up for success.
Become a Volunteer! Looking for a way to match your skills and interests with your love for animals? ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Centers, Spay Waggin’, and administrative offices often need assistance. For more information about becoming a volunteer, contact Debby Vogel at (617) 226-5670.
Animal Rescue League of Boston 10 Chandler Street Boston, MA 02116-5221
“I want my future giving plans to refle t my values and goals.”
— Randi Cohen,
ARL Board member and supporter
Hug them today,
HELP THEM TOMORROW
Like Randi, many compassionate members of our community want to create a better, more humane community for the animals and people we care about most… now and in the future. Including the Animal Rescue League of Boston in your estate plan is the ultimate expression of your long-term commitment to this goal.
TALK WITH US ABOUT JOINING THE ANNA HARRIS SMITH LEGACY SOCIETY Contact Matt DeAngelis at (617) 226-5638.