Our Four-Footed Friends Fall/Winter 2017

Page 1


Friends Fall/Winter 2017

Kittens affected by Hurricane Irma welcomed

and how you help them

Avalon This beautiful 7-year-old female chinchilla was adopted in July 2017.

We carry out our mission through the following programs: • Advocacy • Animal Care and Adoption Centers (Boston, Dedham, & Brewster) • Anti-Cruelty Law Enforcement • Community Services • 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.

Managing Editor: Jean Morse

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



—————————————— Fall/Winter 2017 Photographers: Michael DeFina Lauren Rose Danielle Stanevicz Erin Whooley Contributing Writers: Michael DeFina Mary Nee Lauren Rose Jackie Smith Caitlin Tomlinson 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 ARL's President, Mary Nee 4 Animal Hoarding — 25 Days, 112 Animals 6 Exciting Happenings at Boston Veterinary Care! 19 Helping Animals Near and Far — Animal Transport Q & A 10 Ways to Give 12 Rescue in Action 14 Healthy Animals — Healthy Communities 17 ARL Happenings in 2017 18 Eleanor Update Young Philanthropists — 20 Boys and Girls Club / Youth Leaders Support ARL


Diana A sweet 2-year-old Pomeranian adopted in July 2017.


Message from ARL's President Dear Friend, Over the past few months our attention has been captured by Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria. Unfortunately, these are not the names of adorable animals but instead devastating hurricanes that have impacted millions of people, their pets, and local wildlife. We were reminded how destructive flood damage can be, but, we were also continually inspired by ordinary people, who in crisis turn to help one another and their companion animals. If there is any good news from these horrible events it is in seeing the progress that has been made in our national emergency response system which is better organized to rescue and shelter pets. After Katrina, Congress passed legislation requiring local and state authorities who want federal emergency grants to include pets in disaster plans. It also authorized the use of federal funds for pet-friendly emergency shelters. From Katrina we have also learned that — while our instincts when witnessing these disasters is to want to collect food, clothing and get in a car and help — these individual actions can overwhelm struggling

Claymore A 4-month-old kitten from our Hurricane Irma transport.

communities and that financial support, large scale food and supply distribution and highly coordinated rescue is most helpful. We saw our national and local animal welfare partners, in the days preceding the storms, transport animals from local shelters to receiving shelters across the country. This way, space was made available to accept homeless animals impacted by the storm. This strategy is also a lesson learned from Katrina because we know that once settled, pet owners will seek out their pets and it is better to keep animals close by where they can be reunited with their families. This is exactly what happened at ARL where we received a transport of kittens from a Florida shelter, that freed up critical space for other animals. With high demand for kittens in Massachusetts, these animals were adopted in record speed. Ironically, just a few weeks before the hurricanes we received transports of puppy and kittens from Puerto Rico and Florida. On page 9, you can read an interview with Caitie Tomlinson, our Associate Director of Shelter Operations,

explaining why ARL is forging new partnerships to accept animals from other states and territories. In the pages that follow you will also read about the many varied ways that ARL is working to keep animals safe and healthy in their communities. We give tribute to: donors like Sadhana and Rick Downs who are supporting our efforts with community cats; to an inspiring group of youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Boston who chose ARL for a philanthropic gift; and to ARL’s law enforcement and rescue services that are addressing a multitude of local crises including several animal hoarding cases. Finally, in September we remembered our dear colleague of 46 years, cemetery caretaker, Mike Thomas, who passed in 2016 but who leaves a legacy of service that will not be forgotten. If you visit our Dedham campus in the future, a memorial bench in his honor will welcome you as Mike always did. Witnessing these crises makes you count your blessings. I am so grateful to the community of ARL volunteers, staff and supporters, who travel this road with us and celebrate and work for humane treatment of animals and sustaining the human animal bond. Sincerely,

Mary Nee President


Animal Hoarding 25 Days, 112 Animals Animal hoarding is a serious, yet underrecognized community issue that is responsible for extensive animal suffering. It can often be associated with adult self-neglect and/or mental illness, and animal hoarding can also put children, the elderly, dependent adults, property, and public health at risk. In late August, ARL saw a dramatic influx of animals due to three separate hoarding situations in Central and Southern Massachusetts. ARL’s law enforcement, rescue, shelter, and veterinary staff coordinated efforts to remove the animals safely, arrange accommodations, and immediately triage and begin veterinary treatment. The animals involved were in desperate need of veterinary care, including 40 cats who tested positive for ringworm, a zoonotic disease that’s transferable to other animals and humans. These cats needed to be isolated, handled delicately, and undergo treatment for six weeks in addition to a host of other veterinary care and behavioral needs. From medical care to providing sanctuary and food, the costs of these three cases alone exceeded over $30,000 in care.

For years, animal hoarding has been recognized as one of the most complex categories of animal cruelty. “Any time we have a hoarding case, we are cognizant to both the animal condition and the owner awareness,” said Darleen Wood, ARL’s Associate Director of Law Enforcement. “Each case is unique and the animal owner may need interventions which could include: mental health, medical, elder, veterans or addiction services.” Animal hoarders typically fall into one of the three following groups: 1. Overwhelmed caregivers are often wellintentioned in their behavior and experience a steady decline in animal caretaking ability due to changes in financial or medical circumstances. 2. Rescue hoarders are those who acquire animals due to their strong sense of mission to save animals from death or other circumstance and will not seek the assistance of animal welfare agencies or authorities. 3. Exploiter hoarders acquire animals to serve their own needs and lack guilt and remorse for the harm that their actions may cause animals or other humans. The four main characteristics of animal hoarding are: 1. Failure to provide minimal standards of sanitation, space, nutrition, and veterinary care for animals. 2. Inability to recognize the effects of this failure on the welfare of the animals, humans in the household, and environment. 3. Obsessive attempts to accumulate/maintain a collection of animals in the face of progressively deteriorating conditions. 4. Denial or minimization of problems and living conditions for people and animals.

Suspect animal hoarding, neglect, or abuse? Call our confidential reporting line 617-226-5610.



Exciting Happenings at Boston Veterinary Care!

Monday-Thursday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM Friday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Saturday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM Sundays & Holidays: Closed

EXTENDED HOURS Weekday nights are most popular for Boston Veterinary Clinic (BVC) clients so we extended our normal business hours to meet this growing demand. Starting September 5th, the clinic will now open Thursday and Friday evenings in addition to Monday-Wednesday!

CAT-ONLY NIGHTS “Cat-Only Nights” at the clinic! Thursday evenings are now exclusive for cat appointments at BVC. No more boisterous dogs stressing out felines in the waiting room. This started along with our extended hours release on September 5th.

MEET OUR NEW DOCTOR Extended hours are possible because we have added a wonderful new Veterinarian to the team. Dr. Michelle Guarin (Dr."G") received a BA cum laude in Biology at Tufts College and graduated from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. She has a special interest in surgery, anesthesia and emergency medicine. We are very excited to have her on board! Welcome Dr. G! Dr. Guarin (at right) with Lead Veterinarian, Dr. Breda.

Boston Veterinary Care is a clinic with


a mission. All of the profits from this


high-quality veterinary clinic support


ARL’s shelter animals.

Visit us at bostonvetcare.com


Zach A shy kitten was socialized and adopted in August 2017.


Freddy A “Sato� puppy being transported with his sister, Mercury and 8 of their friends from Puerto Rico to ARL in August 2017.


Helping Animals Near & Far Animal Transport Q & A ARL has partnered with several organizations ARL has partnered with organizations to transport animals from other to transport animals from otherseveral regions of the country. notthe for these efforts,Ifmany of these regionsIfof country. not for these efforts, many of these animals would not get animals would not get a second chance to find a aloving second to find a loving home.chance Why is that? For the answers,home. we sat Why is that? For the answers, we sat down down Caitlin Tomlinson,ARL’s ARL’s Associate with with Caitlin Tomlinson, Associate Director of Shelter Operations. Director of Shelter Operations. OFFF: Why does ARL transport animals? Caitlin Tomlinson (CT): ARL transports animals for a couple of reasons. The animal population in New England has changed over the years and we are seeing less and less kittens and puppies. While we do see kittens being born to stray cats and in feral colonies, we don’t often have litters of puppies coming in the shelters as strays. Much of this has to do with our animal control officers working to take in stray animals and finding them homes but also due to spay/neuter efforts in New England. While our intake number of kittens and puppies has gone down, the number of adopters that come to us looking for kittens and puppies has not decreased. So transporting kittens and puppies In August 2017, 60 kittens were transported on a into our shelter from other areas of the country private jet from Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League helps to meet local adoption needs. in West Palm Beach, Florida. OFFF: And the second reason? CT: It also helps the animals find a home and it OFFF: How many animals is ARL expecting to helps the originating shelter. The shelters that we transport in 2017? transport animals from are in areas of the country CT: So far we have brought in 132 puppies and dogs that have low spay/neuter rates and large stray this year. We anticipate bringing in another 80 to 90 population of dogs and cats. The euthanasia rates dogs and puppies and 60+ kittens this year. So around in these shelters are high because animals come 275-290 animals total are expected in 2017. into the shelters faster than they are adopted out. By taking animals from these shelters, it gives OFFF: What factors went into the decision to these animals a chance at a new home and opens transport animals? How did ARL decide to up kennel space for more animals transport animals? to be sheltered. CT: We looked at our shelter intake numbers and OFFF: What transport groups does ARL considered whether we were meeting all the local work with? needs first. We also looked at our resources to handle Massachusetts required isolation periods and CT: We currently have three partnerships for regulations. Finally, we reviewed our shelter – vaccine transporting dogs and puppies into Massachusetts. requirements, cleaning protocols, transport protocols, The first is with Animal Rescue Front, who works etc. All of these considerations went into our decision to bring up dogs from Mississippi. The second is that we could meet local adopter demand, assist fellow with All Sato Rescue, who is based in Puerto Rico. shelters, reduce euthanasia and most importantly The third is a new partnership with Peggy Adams ensure the health and safety of the transported animals. Animal Rescue League to transport kittens from Florida to Massachusetts.


Champions for Animals "Significant need requires significant support. We believe in making a multi-year gift to ARL's Community Cat Initiative because tens of thousands of unowned cats are living in the streets and suburbs of Boston. This unique program aims to help both these cats and our communities." — Sadhana and Rick Downs

Ways to Give Learn about all the ways you can help make a powerful difference to animals in need PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL The President’s Council is a special group of leadership donors who make annual gifts of $1,000 or more. Their generosity provides the critical resources needed to care for homeless or endangered animals, develop innovative community programs, strengthen laws, and raise awareness to prevent animal neglect and abuse everywhere. For more information, please contact Rick Tagliaferri at rtagliaferri@arlboston.org or 617-226-5668. CHAMPIONS CIRCLE The Champions Circle is a dedicated community of monthly givers who support shelter animals all year long as recurring donors. Monthly giving is a convenient, affordable, and efficient way to provide help where it’s most needed. For more information, please contact Jackie Smith at jsmith@arlboston.org or 617-226-5608.


ANNA HARRIS SMITH LEGACY SOCIETY The Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society is a group of supporters who are passionate about helping animals now and after their lifetime. By including ARL in their estate plans, each member has started to build a personal legacy of compassion that will support our vision that all animals are safe and healthy. For more information, please contact Rick Tagliaferri at rtagliaferri@arlboston.org or 617-226-5668. MAKE A GIFT ONLINE Donating online at arlboston.org is a secure and easy way to show your compassion and love for animals. We accept all major credit cards. For assistance, please contact Derek Stemmler at dstemmler@arlboston.org or 617-226-5662. GIFTS OF STOCK Gifts of stock not only help animals in need, but can also provide tax benefits including avoiding capital gains tax. Gifts of outright stock are tax deductible up to 30% of your adjusted gross income and are equal to the stock’s fair market value. For assistance, please contact Matt DeAngelis at mdeangelis@arlboston.org or 617-226-5638.


MEMORIAL OR TRIBUTE GIFT Tribute gifts are a special way to honor or remember a loved one, friend, colleague, or a pet. When you make a gift in honor/in memory of a person, pet, or occasion, we’ll notify the individual with a personalized card. To make a tribute gift, select “I would like to make a tribute” at the bottom of our donation form. For special requests, please contact Derek Stemmler at dstemmler@arlboston.org or 617-226-5662. MATCHING GIFTS Many companies offer matching gift programs that will double, even triple a donation value. To find out if your company will match your donation to ARL, check with your HR department or visit arlboston.org/matching-gifts.

“I've adopted three of my pets from ARL over the last decade and the staff has become family. I'm a Champion's Circle/President's Council donor because as someone who serves on non-profit boards and committees, I'm confident that each dollar I contribute to ARL is carefully and thoughtfully utilized for a cause I passionately believe in."

— Michael Cannon Donor

Visit arlboston.org/donate


ARL Happenings


Thank you for attending these successful events in 2017 Volunteer Appreciation April 26-28 Humane Lobby Day May 9 3rd Annual Whiskers & Wine May 16 Boston Pride Parade June 10 2nd Annual Paw Palooza July 15-16 Arnold’s September 15 Remembering Mike Thomas September 18 SAVE TH E DATE ! 4th Annual Whiskers & Wine May 15, 2018 13

Healthy Animals — Healthy Communities ARL Making a Difference in Dorchester In the last year, ARL’s Healthy Animals — Healthy Communities (HA-HC) initiative has grown significantly, both in presence and impact. The program, funded by a generous grant by the Cummings Foundation $100K for 100 is centered in the Codman Square neighborhood in Dorchester, MA and aims to establish a connection between human and animal services that benefits the community and integrates animal needs into the work of local agencies. In order to better serve resident pet owners and promote pet retention, ARL wanted a deeper understanding of what residents identified as the most pressing animal needs. Over the past summer, Mara Walton, an extern with the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, hit the streets to engage the community with a short pet ownership survey. The survey study aimed to learn more about pet demographics, the pet ownership challenges that

exist in Codman Square, and why residents make the veterinary choices they do. Despite veterinary costs posing a great challenge to a number of survey participants, nearly three quarters of the pets that made up the survey had seen a veterinarian in the past, and more than half of pets have access to preventative veterinary medicine. The findings of this study give ARL and its partnering organizations in Codman Square a better understanding of what residents need in order to not only promote pet retention, but also keep animals safe and healthy in their homes. ARL is currently exploring a number of strategies to bring additional veterinary services and other support to increase the health of both pets and people that care for them in the Codman Sq. neighborhood.




49% CATS


Veterinary Costs

15% Other Small

Behavior and Training


Daily Care and Cleaning


28% 27% 20% According to the study results, nearly half (49%) of pets in Codman Square are cats, and one third (36%) are dogs. Pet ownership in the neighborhood also included a number of other small species.


The top challenges for pet owners in Codman Square were aspects related to daily care and cleaning (28%), behavior and training (27%), and paying for veterinary costs (20%).

ARL window display at Codman Academy, Dorchester, MA.

Welcome Samantha Fincke: Community Initiative Coordinator As ARL’s Healthy Animals — Healthy Communities Initiative enters its second year, we are pleased to introduce the newest member of the team who is set to make a great impact in the Codman Square neighborhood in Dorchester, MA. Samantha (Sam) has a wealth of academic and practical experience in the animal welfare world and earned her Masters of Science degree in Animals and Public Policy, from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. While studying at Tufts, she researched accessible veterinary care in the United States by surveying organizations, programs, and veterinarians who were providing low cost medical care to the pets in their community. Through this project Sam identified trends in the models of accessible veterinary care that operate throughout multiple geographic areas of the US. From this research, Sam developed an appreciation for the importance of a community-based services and the Healthy Animals — Healthy Communities Initiative is an ideal opportunity for Sam to apply her knowledge of successful animal welfare programs. ARL welcomes Sam as part of the team to help improve the lives of animals and residents in Boston.


ARL's Rescue Team 16

Taking a technical course in tree climbing.

Rescue in Action Over the past year, ARL has taken steps to strengthen the capacity of our rescue services to target animals and communities most in need and assist the law enforcement efforts. ARL remains the only animal welfare organization in Massachusetts with a dedicated technical animal rescue staff reaching more than 2,200 animals in 2016. These steps include new investments, strategies and volunteer involvement. Four full-time rescue technicians, one of whom is now dedicated to community cats, respond to calls to rescue animals. Additionally, a full-time dispatch position was created to more efficiently deploy resources to the field. This team is based out of ARL’s Dedham campus but serves all locations. Two new, fully equipped rescue vehicles were also purchased this summer to replace aging equipment. Supporting the rescue staff is a new volunteer team dubbed the “Wild Bunch”. These volunteers allow the rescue team to do recovery of injured wildlife, and then hand over the contained animal to the Wild

Bunch volunteers for safe and speedy transport to a wildlife rehabilitator. This unique group of volunteers is alerted via group text message when there is an animal in need of transport. Getting these injured animals to the rehabilitator quickly gives them the best chance at a full recovery. During the spring and summer months there are a high volume of calls for cats being stuck in trees. Sometimes a cat will climb upwards of 100 feet into a tree. Rescue agents need to safely climb the tree, retrieve the cat, and descend the tree requiring precision and concentration. In September, ARL held “cat in tree” training, which involved a double-rope technique with specialized safety gear and harnesses to prepare staff for these difficult rescues. Annually ARL invests over $400K to provide these rescue services. It receives no government, corporate or foundation funding for this service. Support from individuals is essential for the ongoing operations of this emergency service.

Jarin A 23-week-old Mastiff puppy adopted in June 2017.


Eleanor Update Blind, deaf, severely neglected, and dumped on the side of Route 9 in Ware, Massachusetts, Eleanor is an 11-year-old Lhasa Apso mix who came into ARL’s care because of a conscientious passerby and a responsive local animal control officer. With intensive treatment by ARL’s veterinary and animal care staff and, a pair of loving foster parents; Eleanor has been given a second chance at life. Arriving in early May to ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center her condition was heart-breaking and the level of neglect was deemed criminal. Along with hearing loss, she had an untreated “dry-eye” condition which contributed to her loss of vision, and chronically untreated skin disease that had caused fur loss and extreme discomfort. Eleanor was also suffering from dental disease, matted fur, overgrown nails, and two masses on her head. During her time at ARL, one of Eleanor’s eyes needed to be removed, the two masses were excised and numerous other treatments were conducted to improve her health and comfort.




Eleanor’s story reached media outlets throughout Massachusetts and the 11-year-old received an outpouring of support from the general public. A Ware couple, who wished to remain anonymous, saw Eleanor’s story and opened their home to foster Eleanor. While in foster care, she has undergone a miraculous transformation; much of her fur has grown back revealing the beautiful girl she truly is. Eleanor has learned her way around her new home despite her blindness and her foster parents report, “she’s very sweet and deserves to be loved.” From exams, surgery, ongoing treatments and extended foster care, Eleanor’s rehabilitation was lengthy and costly. ARL allocates nearly $500,000 annually for veterinary and care for animals like Eleanor. ARL relies on the generosity of so many so that positive outcomes like this one are possible.

Pablo 2-year-old white dove available for adoption.


Young Philanthropists Boys and Girls Club / Youth Leaders Support ARL The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) was recently presented with a check of $5,000 by the youth participants in the Youth Philanthropy Initiative at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, Roxbury branch sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation. The Youth Philanthropy Initiative is an innovative 12-week intensive program that educates young people on the impact of nonprofits and philanthropy in their community. The program culminates in an opportunity for the young people to make a gift to the charity of their choice. The members of this group are teenaged students who work during the summers at the Roxbury-based club as peer leaders. As many of the youth expressed a love of animals, ARL was chosen as one of several non-profits to visit and learn about the mission, finances, and services. During their tour of ARL’s Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center, the students fired off questions such as, “What is your yearly operating budget? How many animals do you serve? and, How would our money help animals?”

Young philanthropists presenting donation check to ARL in August 2017.


“I loved how passionate they were about learning about the ARL. It was amazing to see their presentation and all that they had retained from their visit.”

— DEBBY CHAPLIC, ARL’s Associate Director of Volunteer Services

After much consideration, ARL was chosen as the recipient of the $5,000 donation and the students hosted staff at the club where they presented their analysis and decision rational. It was gratifying to see ARL through a young person’s eyes. One girl said, “I wanted to choose you because of the individual and personal stories on specific animals, like the cat Geneva that got hurt falling out of a window.” Another boy said, “I love the ARL because they treat the animals with the same love and respect as they do other humans.” ARL is deeply grateful to all of the students who collectively decided on this donation and to the Highland Street Foundation for supporting this wonderful program.

Thank you for making our work possible. Love, Sato Puppy, Rubi


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

“I’m proud to support the ARL’s work for animals in need now and in the future.” – Kelly McKernan,

ARL Board of Directors

Hug them today,


Like Kelly, 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.


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