Our Four Footed Friends Spring 2016

Page 1


Friends Spring 2016

Advocacy Taking Action for Animals

Foster Care

Community Ambassador Program Launched

and how you help them

Pickles, Adopted


Daphne is now safe in her new home after being abandoned by her owner.

Our Mission We are an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes. The ARL carries out its mission through the following programs: • Emergency Rescue Team • Animal Advocacy • Anti-Cruelty Law Enforcement • Animal Care and Adoption Centers (Boston, Dedham, & Brewster) • Shelter Veterinary Medicine • Spay Waggin’ (Affordable Spay & Neutering) • Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery • Boston Veterinary Care (Boston Clinic)

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

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

Our Four-Footed Friends | Spring 2016

We are equipped to care for a variety of species of animals that most shelters cannot help. 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. ——————————————


—————————————— Managing Editor: Lisa Graham Contributing Writers: Angela Altobelli Lisa Graham Mary Nee Caitlin Oates Jackie Smith Contributing Photographers: Angela Altobelli Lisa Graham Deb Ratner Maria L. Uribe Debby Vogel

Save a life. Donate today!

617.426.9170 x 615

arlboston.org/donate use enclosed envelope

C o n te n ts


Message from the President


Meet Nadine Pellegrini, Director of Advocacy


ARL Happenings

Chip, Adopted


Foster Care Ambassador Program


Winter Rescues


Anti-Cruelty Task Force


It’s Hip to Snip


Happy Tails


Left Behind, But Not Forgotten


World Spay Day arlboston.org 1

Message from the President A community of unwavering champions for animals in need ARL’s President Mary Nee with Cookie.


or the past two years we have engaged in conversation and reflection with ARL’s staff, volunteers, and supporters, along with colleagues in the field, to examine the most pressing needs of animals in Massachusetts and determine the ways we are best able to respond to these needs.

This reflection began with an examination of ARL’s mission — our reason for being — and, a question, how will we know if we are achieving our mission? Today, I am delighted to share with you our newly adopted mission:

In the coming months and years this mission will guide current and future programs to protect animals in need and, to support the people who care for them. This work will be informed by the conditions we see every day through our unique, on-the-ground services including: emergency rescue, law enforcement, shelter veterinary medicine, and our community-based Spay Waggin’. From these programs we witness first-hand, animal suffering, gaps in services and law, and the struggles and barriers faced by the people who care for animals in our communities.

We are an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes.

Your support for these critical programs, along with the work of our three animal adoption centers, is essential. We receive no government funding and rely solely on the contributions of people like you who believe in our mission.

Underlying this mission statement is our deep commitment to preventing cruelty and neglect, targeting our resources towards animals most in need, and whenever possible, keeping animals in loving homes or their natural habitats.

One of our first initiatives to advance this mission is the introduction of a formal advocacy program led by ARL’s first Director of Advocacy, Nadine Pellegrini. We are fortunate to have found a passionate and talented leader in Nadine. (Please see her profile on page 4.)

2 Our Four-Footed Friends | Spring 2016

The ARL has had a long and proud history of advocating for animals. We are now deepening this commitment with dedicated staff and volunteers to organize our work for legislation and public policy, and to raise public awareness and action to protect more animals in Massachusetts and beyond. In the end, we will measure our success by how we can prevent or reduce the kind of harm experienced by Stitch, Wilson, and Chicken Little, whose difficult stories are profiled in this edition. As our strategies progress, I will continue to update you on the details of our plans for the future and of the opportunities for your participation in this important work. Your support for the ARL has demonstrated that you are an “unwavering champion for animals in need.” Together, with compassionate and caring people like you, we will realize our mission. Sincerely,

Mary Nee President




a chance at a safe and healthy life in 2015!



helped by staff at ARL shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham

spayed or neutered on the ARL’s Spay Waggin’

214 aided by the ARL’s law enforcement team


assisted by the ARL’s rescue services team


vaccinated at ARL community rabies clinics


received veterinary care through the ARL’s private clinic, Boston Veterinary Care


spay/neutered at ARL fix-a-feral clinics

The ARL receives no government or public funding to keep animals safe and healthy in our community. THANK YOU for making a difference for animals in need! ARLBOSTON.ORG/DONATE arlboston.org 3

Meet Nadine Pellegrini, ARL’s Director of Advocacy

Nadine’s advocacy efforts will help animals like Brandi.


arlier this year, the ARL welcomed aboard its first Director of Advocacy, Nadine Pellegrini. In her new role, Nadine will develop and coordinate ARL’s legislative agenda to advance legislation and public policy that improves the welfare of animals in Massachusetts and beyond. In her 25 years as a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston, Nadine worked on a variety of animal welfare cases. As Chief of the major crimes unit, she prosecuted cases involving the enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and more. She also taught animal law at Boston College Law School and gave lectures on federal wildlife protection at the Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy. OFFF sat down with Nadine to find out what it takes to move legislation and policy forward to improve the protection and treatment

4 Our Four-Footed Friends | Spring 2016

Nadine speaking at Humane Lobby Day 2016 at the Massachusetts State House.

of animals in Massachusetts. Here’s what she had to say… OFFF: When you’re working with partners on animal welfare legislation, what are your priorities? Nadine Pellegrini: When developing any new legislation, I always ask myself, “is this law fair” and “is this law clear on who it affects and how it affects them?” Answering “yes” to both questions is important for two reasons. First, the law needs to be able to withstand scrutiny by the courts. Secondly, and most importantly, it should help the people being affected by the law understand its parameters and give them a chance to comply. OFFF: Is your focus on educating the people that the laws affect, so that the situation doesn’t get to a point where taking legal action is necessary? NP: Yes! Educating the community about our local and state laws is my top priority. Laws prohibit and dictate, but I want people to understand the law, agree to follow it, and do this all on

their own without animal control or law enforcement having to intervene. OFFF: Humane Lobby Day in Massachusetts was on April 6. What legislation are you focusing on right now? NP: The ARL is working with other members of the Citizens for Farm Animal Protection coalition to help get a bill on the 2016 ballot that mandates that egg-laying hens, veal calves, and pigs in Massachusetts be given the basic right to be able to lay down, turn around, and spread their wings. The ARL is also supporting legislation that would allow officers to enter a vehicle to assist an animal that might be in danger due to extreme heat or cold. OFFF: How do you feel about taking legal action in animal hoarding situations? NP: Cases of animal hoarding are increasingly more frequent and complex in nature. There is no “right” answer. When it comes to cases involving the “overwhelmed caregiver” for example,

“I have the support of the entire ARL organization — dedicated individuals who want, can, and do make real change for animals.”

Ta k ing Action for A nimals

— Nadine Pellegrini, ARL’s Director of Advocacy taking criminal legal action may not always be the solution. There are typically many other factors involved. There may be deterioration of mental or physical health or domestic abuse. The goal in these situations is to help the person(s) involved reduce the number of animals that they care for to a more manageable level. OFFF: Recently the “Puppy Mill Bill” Ordinance was passed in Boston banning the sale of puppies, kittens, and rabbits from commercial breeding facilities. Would you consider this legislation successful? NP: Yes, I think the passing of the “Puppy Mill Bill” is a small step in the right direction. It doesn’t put all puppy mills out of business, but it does stop the source of animals from coming into Boston. There’s still more to do! The only way to make lasting change is by educating the public. We need to remind consumers that impulsively purchasing a pet from a store or parking lot is not a good idea for many reasons. There is no information about the animal’s health or behavioral history. There’s also no accountability on the “sellers” end, so if the animal becomes ill or worse, the buyer is left in a difficult situation. More often than not, these animals end up in shelters. OFFF: What do you hope to achieve in your role as Director of Advocacy at the ARL? NP: As a former prosecutor who has a passion for animals, I’m fortunate to be able to help advance laws and programs for their protection and safety. I have the support of the entire ARL organization — dedicated individuals who want, can, and do make real change for animals in our community.

Roz, Adopted

ARL Celebrates the Passage of “Puppy Mill Bill” This past March, the Boston City Council approved the “Puppy Mill Bill” which prohibits Boston pet stores from selling puppies, kittens, and rabbits obtained from commercial breeding facilities. The bill also prohibits roadside sales of animals.. In recent years, ARL’s law enforcement team has seen an increase in underage, unvaccinated puppies and kittens sold in parks and public places. Concern about the treatment of animals in large-scale commercial breeding operations also inspired our support for legislative action. “We are grateful to the Boston City Council for taking action for animals,” said ARL’s President, Mary Nee. “The more we do to prevent inhumane breeders from growing their business in Massachusetts, the more we improve the safety and health of animals in our communities.” Mayor Marty Walsh immediately signed the ordinance and the ban on sales in public parks and city streets took immediate effect. The ban on sales of puppies, kittens, and rabbits in pet stores in Boston will take effect on December 31, 2017.

arlboston.org 5


From left: Alexis Sheehan, Andrea Fondulas, Jillian Reig, and Marco Tropeano.

26.2 Miles for Animals in Need

Congratulations to the ARL’s Boston Marathon Charity Team Thanks to the generosity of the John Hancock Non-profit Marathon Program, four compassionate runners — Andrea Fondulas, Jillian Reig, Alexis Sheehan, and Marco Tropeano — trained through bitter cold this winter to get ready for the 120th running of the Boston Marathon. Not only did our dedicated team commit to a rigorous training schedule, they also worked tirelessly to raise over $30,000 to help animals in need. For Jillian Reig, finding the inspiration to meet the challenge was easy. “This

was my first marathon. The only cause that would motivate me to train all winter and run 26.2 miles is helping animals in need. They do not have voices of their own, so I am grateful for this opportunity.” Team member Alexis Sheehan joined the team for the second year in a row. She explains, “My experience last year on team ARL instilled a deep passion and appreciation for how the ARL seeks to save animal’s lives, raise the standards of animal advocacy, change animal legislation, and inspire our community.”

Thank you John Hancock, the members of our marathon team, and everyone who supported their extraordinary efforts.

The Christine Barton Feline Suite Longtime Volunteer Leaves Legacy at ARL’s Boston Shelter Earlier this year, volunteers and staff gathered together at ARL’s Boston shelter to dedicate the newly renovated Feline Suite in memory of longtime volunteer, Christine Barton. A feline friend, photographer, and mentor, Christine spent countless hours caring for the animals at the ARL — right up until losing her battle with cancer in the Summer of 2015. Christine’s devotion to animals spanned from sitting for long periods of time with a shy cat to waiting for the perfect photo of a rambunctious puppy. Her final wish was to have one more chance to visit the ARL’s Boston shelter. The Feline Suite, dedicated in Christine’s name, gives challenging 6 Our Four-Footed Friends | Spring 2016

cats a second chance. The home-like setting gives shy and fractious cats the quiet space they need to rehabilitate and ultimately find a permanent home. In this space, volunteers and staff can carry on Christine’s work to care for the cats in residence there. “Nothing made Christine happier than to see once challenging cats flourish and find a new home,” explained Debby Vogel, ARL’s Volunteer and Educational Programs Manager. “Christine frequently said that she just wanted to do good.” Funding for the Christine Barton Feline Suite was generously donated by the Gelnaw family.

Challenging cats get a second chance thanks to ARL’s new feline suite.

Thank you

to Christine Barton for her many years of dedicated service to animals in need at the ARL! …And to the Gelnaw family for their generous donation to help give struggling cats a chance to find a loving home!

Linus Adopted

“I foster dogs to give them a chance that they might not otherwise have. I love seeing the rewarding results from nurturing puppies. My goal and hope is to see my foster puppies take the next step of being adopted by a loving person or family.” — Susan Lowell, ARL Foster Parent

ARL Introduces Foster Care Ambassador Program

“All animals deserve time out of the shelter in a loving home while waiting to be adopted. ARL’s new FCAP program will give animals the opportunity to do just that- and give our shelters room for more animals in the process!” — Maryann Regan, ARL’s Director of Shelter Operations

This spring, the ARL launched its Foster Care Ambassador Program (FCAP) in all three of its shelter locations in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham. OFFF asked Maryann Regan, ARL’s Director of Shelter Operations, to explain how the program will give deserving animals time out of the shelter — and help save more lives! OFFF: What is FCAP? Maryann Regan: FCAP is a fun and unique way of taking ARL’s existing foster care program to the next level. Not only are lives saved, but space, time, and resources are freed up inside our shelter to care for more animals in need. We supply simple training and a few tools; our foster parents take it from there! OFFF: How does FCAP differ from ARL’s traditional foster care program? MR: Essentially, FCAP is not much different than our existing foster care program. Our traditional program is focused on animals that are not quite ready for adoption due to age, medical issues, and behavioral challenges. With FCAP, the foster parents can bring home any animal they choose.

The biggest difference is that FCAP empowers our foster care parents to not only find loving homes for their foster animals, but also to adopt out the animals on their own. This means doing the adoption counseling, the paperwork that goes along with it, receiving payments for the adoption, and essentially sending the animal home without the animal ever having to come back to the shelter. OFFF: I’m interested in becoming a foster parent through the FCAP program, but I don’t have any training. Is that OK? MR: Yes! Our expert staff will provide you with all the training and tools you need to make it a successful adoption process.

If you’re interested in helping us reach our goal to save more animals in need, we encourage you to apply to the FCAP program to see what it’s all about!

For more information on FCAP or to apply, contact Debby Vogel, ARL’s Volunteer and Educational Programs Manager at dvogel@arlboston.org or (617) 266-5670.

arlboston.org 7

WINTER RESCUES Pepito: Quincy Cat Saved from Bitter Cold On a frigid February day, a little housecat went missing in Quincy, Massachusetts. Pepito had been missing for several days until he was spotted wedged underneath a wooden shed in his owner’s yard. ARL’s Rescue Services team was called to help. Too scared to come out on his own, the rescue team tried to free him using nets, but were unable to reach into the small space. “Cramped working conditions and extreme cold made the rescue a bit challenging,” explained Brian O’Connor, ARL’s Manager of Rescue Services. After exhausting many other options to free Pepito, the team decided to try another tool commonly used in their rescues: a slim pole with a circular loop on the end. By sliding the pole under the shed very slowly and carefully, ARL’s rescue services was able to grab hold of Pepito and pull him out from under the make-shift shelter.

Pepito was stuck under a shed for several days.

Other than feeling thirsty and hungry, Pepito was healthy and was quickly returned to his home, safe and warm.

Frankie: Dog Reunited with His Family After Fleeing from Car Crash

Earlier this year, a tiny dog found himself in a very scary situation. While driving along Revere Beach Parkway one Friday night, Frankie, the tan Chihuahua, and his owner got into a terrible car crash. Startled and afraid from the collision, Frankie jumped out of the vehicle and fled from the scene of the accident. Meanwhile, Frankie’s owner was taken to the hospital for the injuries he sustained in the crash. The next morning, Frankie was spotted running down Interstate 93 South. Fortunately, a good Samaritan spotted him and pulled over to pick him up. He immediately contacted ARL’s Rescue Services to help reunite the dog with his owner. After hours of searching, they were in luck! Thanks to a social media post from Missing Dogs Mass, the rescue team was able to match Frankie with the missing dog’s description.

Frankie was safely returned to his family.

8 Our Four-Footed Friends

Frankie’s owner was contacted and he was reunited with his family the very next day. By all accounts, Frankie is back home and doing great!


if you love our 2015 media and corporate partners


Thank you for demonstrating your commitment to improving the protection and treatment of animals in our community by supporting programs, events, and public education campaigns at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.



AllOver Media Clear Channel Outdoor New England Cable News Radio 92.9 The Pet Gazette The Sports Hub 98.5 WAAF Radio WBZ Radio WBZ TV/CBS Boston WCVB TV WEEI Radio WROR Radio WZLX Radio

Animal Hospital of Orleans Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar Baroo Blue State Coffee Brookline Bank Chestnut Street Animal Hospital Cityside Subaru, Inc. Dedham Savings Dynisco Instruments LLC Halliday Construction Hard Rock Café




Hingham Institution for Savings Jacks All Naturals John Hancock Financial Services Macy’s, Inc. Mintz Levin NuVet Labs Robert Paul Properties Sephora The Fish & Bone The Seaport Hotel Unit Realty Group Whole Foods Winthrop Health Management

Show your customers and employees how much you care about keeping animals safe and healthy! For more information about sponsorship and support opportunities for your business, contact Caitlin Oates, Manager, President’s Council, at (617) 226-5690 or coates@arlboston.org arlboston.org


Stitch On a very cold day this past January, an emaciated dog was found abandoned in Dedham, Massachusetts. A concerned citizen contacted Dedham Animal Control after discovering the 2-year-old Pit Bull-type dog shivering in the frigid air and clearly suffering from extreme starvation. Due to his weakened state and no means to identify him, the ARL was called in for emergency assistance. “This dog was cruelly abandoned,” explains Lt. Alan Borgal, ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement. “He had no body fat to speak of and could have easily died of exposure in the cold if he wasn’t found so quickly.” 10 Our Four-Footed Friends | Spring 2016

Abandoned Dog with Rare Condition Finds Comfort in His Final Moments

Though he was clearly weak and sore, the dilute brindle dog, given the name Stitch, greeted everyone he met with a friendly tail wag. He happily accepted cheek scratches and kind attention at the ARL’s Boston shelter. While the Dedham Police Department’s Animal Control Division followed up on leads related to his case, Stitch received extensive medical assistance from the ARL. “Stitch was very weak and needed round-the-clock care,” explained Dr. Erin Doyle, ARL’s Lead Shelter Veterinarian. “We monitored his condition very closely.”

Unfortunately for Stitch, his body was not responding well to re-feeding, a medically-guided process of providing nutrition after a period of deprivation. This is common in cases of extreme malnutrition. To ensure that Stitch had no underlying conditions that might be interfering with re-feeding efforts, the ARL ordered extensive diagnostic tests. Sadly, the results were not good: the tests revealed that Stitch had a muscular condition affecting his ability to digest food and water called “megaesophagus.” Several diseases can result in megaesophagus. An animal can also be born with a defect that produces it.

The Massachusetts Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force

Two-year old Stitch arrived at the ARL starved and shivering from the cold.

Unfortunately, the results of further testing ruled out the more treatable causes of this condition in Stitch. When he was unable to take water on his own any longer, Stitch’s weakened state and the severity of his condition brought us to the point where the most humane decision was to put him to sleep.

“Stitch closed out his short life with dignity, respect, and love — the way a dog should be treated.” — Lt. Alan Borgal, ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement While we are heartbroken he came to us too late to save, we are grateful to have been there to surround him with kindness and caring in his final days.

On behalf of everyone at the ARL,

Thank you

for the outpouring of support and information about Stitch and for your continued concern for animals in need!

In August 2013, the ARL responded to the case of “Puppy Doe”, a puppy who was systematically and severely tortured over several months. Puppy Doe’s injuries were so extensive; she was humanely euthanized by the veterinary hospital that first saw her. Following this, ARL conducted a forensic analysis of Puppy Doe’s injuries and assisted the Quincy, Massachusetts Police Department with the investigation. From this work a suspect was identified and formally charged with cruelty to animals. At this time the case is awaiting trial. This historic case gained widespread media attention and brought forward many animal supporters across Massachusetts who wanted to seek justice for Puppy Doe and other animals in need like her. One significant response to Puppy Doe was Massachusetts Senate Bill 2345, “An Act Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety” (PAWS) that was approved and signed into law on August 20, 2014 by Governor Patrick. This legislation increased the maximum penalties for animal cruelty from 5 to 7 years in prison and from a $2,500 to a $5,000 fine. It also creates enhanced penalties for repeat offenders; up to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The law also created the Massachusetts Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force to undertake a systematic review of laws pertaining to animal cruelty and protection. ARL’s President, Mary Nee, is an appointed member of the task force along with key representatives and animal welfare experts from across the state. ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement, Lt. Alan Borgal and ARL’s Director of Advocacy, Nadine Pellegrini, also participate as non-voting members, contributing to the research and discussion of cruelty and neglect issues. The task force expects to release a report with recommendations for legislative and policy action in the summer of 2016. Sadly, thousands of animals like Puppy Doe and Stitch will suffer from abuse and neglect every year in Massachusetts. We all have a role to play in prevention. We urge the public to contact their local animal control officers anytime they suspect animal cruelty.

For more information on how you can help prevent animal cruelty, visit arlboston.org/take-action. arlboston.org


ARL Helps 52 Animals in Need on World Spay Day On the 22nd Annual National World Spay Day, ARL’s Spay Waggin’ pulled into Falmouth Petco to host its very first It’s Hip to Snip Free Spay-Neuter-A-Thon. Celebrated on the last Tuesday of every February, National World Spay Day shines a spotlight on the power of affordable, accessible spay and neuter to prevent pet overpopulation. Thanks to a generous grant from Cold Noses Foundation, Dr. Kyle Quigley, ARL’s Lead Veterinarian for Community Veterinary Services, welcomed 52 cat and dog patients aboard the mobile surgical unit for free spay/neuter services during the two day event. “Spaying or neutering your cat or dog offers very important health benefits,” says Dr. Quigley. “Yet finding affordable options can pose a challenge for many pet owners on Cape Cod.”

Dr. Kyle Quigley during and after performing neuter surgery on one of his many Spay Waggin’ clients.

He explains that for many Cape Cod residents, the Spay Waggin’ is a great affordable option that offers exceptional care. In 2016, the Spay Waggin’ will visit

Cape Cod on the third Tuesday of every month. Visits will rotate between Falmouth Petco and The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in Yarmouth.

To view the Spay Waggin’s scheduled stops, visit arlboston.org/spay-waggin.

Thank You to a PURR-FECT Partner!

Your support of the It’s Hip to Snip Free Spay-Neuter-A-Thon provided vital veterinary care for cats and dogs on Cape Cod. 12 Our Four-Footed Friends | Spring 2016

Public Awareness Campaign Shares Importance of Spay/Neuter It’s hip to snip! That’s the important message the ARL shared with pet owners during National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month this past February. “There are too many cats and dogs in our communities that don’t have homes,” explains Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL’s Vice President of Animal Welfare. “If we can increase spay and neuter rates, we can keep more animals from getting left out in the cold.” Through radio public service announcements, billboard ads along I-93, social media, a two day Spay-Neuter-A-Thon event, and most importantly — YOUR SUPPORT — the ARL was able to help break down barriers to getting pets spayed and neutered. The ARL also ran a two-week “It’s Hip to Snip” fund drive during the month of February to help bring more high-quality affordable spay/neuter services to animals in need. In just 14 days, your generous donations turned a $5K challenge donation from the Ellen B. Grey Memorial Fund into $20K for spay and neuter! All donations went directly to the ARL’s community spay and neuter programs including the Spay Waggin’, the ARL’s mobile surgical unit. Last year, more than 5,595 cats, dogs, small animals, and livestock were spayed or neutered through the ARL’s mobile Spay Waggin’, shelter medicine, and feral cat programs… and there’s still more to do in 2016 to prevent pet overpopulation!

It’s Hip to Snip Spokesdog Liam.

5 Reasons Why It’s

Hip to Snip 1. Snipping saves you money 2. Snipping reduces spraying 3. Snipping stops scuffles 4. Snipping lengthens life span 5. Snipping is a safeguard

Marty, Adopted

PUT YOUR PAWS TOGETHER FOR… our challenge donor, The Ellen B. Grey Memorial Fund; Seaport Boston Hotel, Da Vinci Ristorante, Pure Barre Boston, Bowchies, and the anonymous concert tickets donor; our media sponsors and partners Friends of Jake and Liam, WBZ, WEEI, WRKO, WZLX, 98.5 The Sports Hub, and WBOS; and to and everyone who made a donation to support ARL’s spay/ neuter programs during National Spay/ Neuter Awareness Month!

Learn more at arlboston.org/ spay-neuter arlboston.org



FIV-Positive Big B Finds Forever Home When Big B, a rugged 6-year-old gentleman cat, first arrived at the ARL, he was very timid about meeting new people. Yet shyness was not his biggest challenge to finding a new home — he had tested positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Cats with FIV have immune systems that don’t work as well as other cats; but can often live a long and healthy life just like any other feline. Because he was shy, older, and would need to live in a one-cat household, Big B had a difficult time finding a home. ARL staff and volunteers worked with Big B to make him comfortable in ARL’s Boston shelter, giving him lots of one-

on-one attention. They got to know his likes and dislikes, and discovered he was happiest to just be around people and “listen” to their conversations. After almost 7 months of patiently waiting, Big B finally met his perfect match! It was love at first sight for his new owner who renamed him Ravioli because, well, he looks like one! “Ravioli has filled my life with so much love!” exclaimed his owner Aislinn. “He’s become so much more social [at home]. He’s the man of the house and I spoil him rotten. Thanks to everyone at ARL. Your work is so special and important!”

Big B (now Ravioli) with new owner Aislinn.

Wilson Overcomes Leghold Trap Ordeal This past summer, a concerned citizen spotted a 6-year-old stray orange and white cat struggling with a heavy contraption attached to his right leg. Officials later identified the metal object as an illegal steel leghold trap. The injured cat, later named Wilson, was rushed to an animal hospital to treat his front right leg and paw. A few days later, Wilson arrived at the ARL’s Boston shelter to begin his long road to recovery. The staff and 14 Our Four-Footed Friends | Spring 2016

Legislative Update Wilson lounging around in his new home.

veterinarians worked with Wilson daily to mend his wounds and get him back up on his feet. Miraculously, just a few days after his ordeal, the swelling in Wilson’s right paw was almost completely gone and he had only a faint limp when he walked. After spending just over two months at the ARL, Wilson was completely healed and adopted by his new family. Today, Wilson is a happy and healthy kitty loving life in his new home!

In 1996, the ARL successfully pushed for legislation to prohibit the use of body-gripping traps in Massachusetts. Recently, a concerning new bill was proposed to expand the use of these inhumane traps.

Please visit arlboston.org for updates.

Pearce Learns MOD-el Behavior In March of last year, 7-month-old Pearce arrived at the ARL’s Boston shelter. Adorable and playful, the tortoise shell-colored Pittie-mix was adopted quickly despite his jumpymouthy behavior. Pearce’s new family enrolled him in ARL’s training courses, confident they would help him outgrow his puppy-like demeanor. After several weeks without improvement, however, his owners made the difficult decision to return him to the ARL. Pearce was adopted for a second time with the same result. And, again, for the third. It was clear to ARL’s Behavior and Enrichment Manager, Dot Baisly, that Pearce’s behavior stemmed from an underlying issue. “This dog had no stability in his life and displayed the tendencies of dogs that are weaned

away from their mother and littermates too young to help them learn mouth control,” explains Dot. Every day for the next 5 months, Pearce underwent intensive nose work, kennel enrichment, obedience training, and socializing activities. Dot in conjunction with ARL’s Behavioral Modification (MOD) Squad, volunteers, staff, and outside professionals dedicated over 100 hours to rehabilitate him. Pearce even attended an off-site 3-week board, train, and daycare program- and did wonderfully! Eight long months after he arrived at the ARL, Pearce found a home just in time for the holidays. The snuggly pup has been with his mom, dad, and feline brothers since November and has adjusted very well! Pearce is also making big strides in his obedience training and

Pearce takes a nap with his new dad.

is a favorite at the daycare he attends 4 times a week! “He makes us laugh daily,” says Pearce’s owner, Katy Hayes. “We really appreciate the hours upon hours that the ARL gave to Pearce and to us to ensure that he transitioned and adjusted in a healthy and productive manner.”

Chicken Little Finds Her Strength


Chicken Little (now Lexi) is happy and healthy in her new home.

On an early August morning, a fragile 8-year-old dog was found abandoned in a parking lot in Dedham, Massachusetts. The little white pup wandered up to a kind citizen and was whimpering in distress. Chicken Little, as she came to be known, was extremely malnourished, possibly as a result of neglect. In addition to being severely underweight, most of the fur had fallen out from her stick-thin frame. The ARL was contacted immediately to help. “She was all skin and bones,” describes Lt. Alan Borgal, ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement. “Her spine and hips were clearly visible through her skin.” The ARL covered Chicken Little’s initial $410 emergency veterinary bill and provided her with continued

medical treatment to get her up to a healthy weight. For several weeks, Chicken Little recovered at the ARL’s Boston Shelter. She slowly began to put on weight and her fur started to grow back. Her spunky personality began to shine and she quickly became a staff favorite. As soon as she was strong and healthy enough, Chicken Little was adopted by her new mom. By all accounts, she is loving life in her new home and big yard on Cape Cod. “We renamed her Lexi and she’s just a doll,” gushes owner Clarissa StantonMaset. “She’s very strong now and her white and light brown fur has finally grown in.” Clarissa adds that although Lexi still has scars on her nose it’s “quite endearing and a reminder of her existence”. arlboston.org


L eft B ehind , but not forgotten

MA Senate Proposes Bill to Protect Pets like Daphne and Fig, Abandoned by Their Owners

Photos clockwise: Daphne and Fig safe after being locked in a rabbit cage. Daphne settling in at home. Fig adopted by her new family.

At the ARL, we see cases of animal cruelty, suffering, and neglect every day. One of the most thoughtless examples of this is pets that are cruelly abandoned by their owners. An all-too-common occurrence in our state, Lt. Alan Borgal, ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement, investigates 6 to 10 animal abandonment cases each month. One of his most recent cases involved Daphne and Fig, two little dogs who had been left behind by their owners in central Massachusetts. The two emaciated Chihuahuas were found locked in a small rabbit cage in a dark closet. They had been trapped for over a week without food or water. The mother-daughter duo was rushed to the ARL’s Boston shelter where they received emergency veterinary care and a safe place to recover. After all they had been through, these two sweet dogs not only regained their 16 Our Four-Footed Friends | Spring 2016

strength, but also showed off their sweet and spunky personalities. “It is truly awe-inspiring the way animals can recover,” says ARL’s President Mary Nee. “Their resilience during difficult times and their ability to trust and love again is truly amazing.” After several months in foster care, the pair was finally ready to be adopted. Both are now healthy and happy in their new homes! Fortunately in the case of Daphne and Fig, they were rescued in time. Other animals across the state, however, are not as lucky. Desperate and afraid, abandoned animals may consume contaminated water or garbage, and can injure themselves if they attempt to escape. In an effort to prevent animals like Daphne and Fig from finding themselves in such a dire situation, the Massachusetts State Senate has proposed a new bill on animal abandonment.

The bill requires that lessors, owners, or designees of the property shall, when they know or should know that a property has been vacated, abandoned, foreclosed upon, or the tenancy has been terminated, to check the property within 3 days for the presence of abandoned animals.

If an abandoned animal is found, then there must be an immediate notification to a humane officer, an animal control officer, or a police officer about the presence and condition of the animal. Finding abandoned pets must be a priority for everyone in the community. We all have a role to play in the prevention of animal cruelty, and together we can help protect even more animals in need.

Hug them today, h elp t h em tomorrow

5 Steps to Leaving a Humane Legacy Compassionate members of our community want to create a better, more humane community for animals…now and in the future. You can start building a humane legacy that reflects your compassion and kindness TODAY in one of 5 ways:

• • • • •

Talk with the Animal Rescue League of Boston more about your interest in helping animals. Include the ARL in your will or trust. Add the ARL as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy. Name ARL as a beneficiary of your retirement plan. See the positive effects of your support start right away.

MEET THE PETS who inspired members of the Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society to ensure animals in our community will get the help they need, when they need it most.

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

“I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate my eternal commitment to the mission and work of the ARL than to become a member of the Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society. My beloved Susie and Sidney couldn’t agree with me more.” — Barbara Burg, ARL Board of Directors


If you have included the ARL in your estate plans or are interested in joining the Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society, please contact Caitlin Oates, Manager, President’s Council — (617) 226-5690 or coates@arlboston.org



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


Champions Circle monthly donor program



Learn how you can help at arlboston.org/get-involved