Our Four-Footed Friends Spring/Summer 2018

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Friends Spring/Summer 2018

Together we helped


Animals in 2017

and how you help them

We carry out our mission through the following programs: • Advocacy • Animal Care and Adoption Centers (Boston, Dedham, & Brewster) • Anti-Cruelty Law Enforcement • Community Programs • Boston Veterinary Care • Rescue Services • Community and Shelter Medicine • Spay Waggin’ (Affordable Spay & Neutering)

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 @ARLBostonRescue arlboston

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


—————————————— Spring/Summer 2018 Managing Editor: Lisa Graham Photographers: Jaq Chen Michael DeFina Lauren Rose Contributing Writers: Debby Chaplic Michael DeFina Lisa Graham Mary Nee 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


Your Impact on Animals in 2017


ARL Pet Wellness Clinic Helps Hundreds of Animals


Starved Dogs on Road to Recovery


Emotional Support Bunny Provides Life-Changing Assistance to Teen


ARL Volunteers Give Cats with Ringworm a Second Chance


Cold Weather Animal Rescues


Hundreds of Animals Transported to Safety


The PAWS II Act — What You Need to Know


Puppy Doe Abuser Convicted


Leaving a Legacy to Keep Animals Safe & Healthy


Haba This 15-year-old cockatiel was adopted in January 2018.

Message from ARL's President Dear Friend, When the year comes to a close, ARL takes time to reflect on what was accomplished for animals and people. This review involves hundreds of pieces of data, program evaluation, and much discussion. From this reflection we can celebrate and communicate progress, as well as identify emerging needs to guide our efforts going forward. 2017 was a year in which we had much to celebrate with over 18,000 animals served, a 5.4% increase over 2016. Our Live Release Rate, the rate of adoptions or return to field outcomes, reached an all-time high of 94%. This was particularly noteworthy because during the year we saw a substantial increase in the number of medically and behaviorally compromised animals coming through our doors. Much progress was made with new initiatives like the Community Cat Initiative, where hundreds of cats were assessed and medically and behaviorally treated. Remarkably, 78% of these cats, that had previously lived outdoors, were adopted. This initiative represents just one of many community efforts including, the new Community Surgical Clinic, the Spay Waggin’, and the Dorchester-based Healthy Animals– Healthy Communities Initiative where services are brought directly to people and their pets.


In the pages that follow you will find the Impact Report, an infographic of 2017 progress, along with heartwarming stories of individual animals and special people: donors, volunteers, and staff, who literally saved lives. Among these stories you will meet Kelsey and her emotional support bunny, Joey. Theirs is a wonderful example of the magic of the human-animal bond and how animals can enhance our emotional well-being. As I write this letter, we are also marking another milestone with the conclusion of the Puppy Doe trial; a case involving a young dog that suffered extreme cruelty. On March 27, 2018, Radoslaw Czerkawski was convicted in a Massachusetts court of 12 counts of animal cruelty and sentenced to 8-10 years in prison for acts of extreme torture. The conviction was the culmination of 4 years of hard work and a collaborative effort among animal control, police, prosecutors, ARL, and other animal welfare organizations. The public outcry to this case also prompted Massachusetts to pass the Protect Animal Welfare and Safety Act, which increased penalties

for animal cruelty, mandated veterinarian reporting of suspected abuse, and created the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force. The work of this task force is now reflected in pending legislation (PAWS II). This victory however, might not have been possible if it were not for the actions of the veterinarian who first treated and humanely euthanized Puppy Doe. Although not mandated to report under the law at the time of this crime, Dr. Amanda Duffy suspected that the dog’s injuries were not accidental, and she reported her concerns to an ARL Law Enforcement Officer.

The importance of reporting cruelty and neglect cannot be understated. In the case of Puppy Doe, one phone call, by one veterinarian, set in motion the investigation that secured justice and put a dangerous individual behind bars. This conviction is progress, but the work is far from finished.

In 2017 alone, ARL was involved in 84 cruelty and neglect prosecutions involving 2,966 animals. These are just the cases that came to our attention because someone made a report. Nelson Mandela said, “It is in our hands to make a difference.” If you are receiving this edition of OFFF you are already part of the community of people who are committed to making a difference for animals. Thank you! Puppy Doe will remain in our collective memories, but true justice will be demonstrated in our continued dedication to educate, investigate, and advocate for the humane treatment of animals and people in Massachusetts and beyond. Sincerely,

Mary Nee President


2017 | Impact Report

Total animals served in 2017:


Your support in 2017 made the difference for 18,018 animals in needkeeping them safe and healthy in the communities where they live… CONFRONTED ANIMAL CRUELTY

h o a r d in g

Investigated cruelty and neglect cases involving 2,966 animals resulting in 84 law enforcement prosecutions

kennel conditions

do m es t i c vi o l e n c e

farm animal neglect PROVIDED HIGH-QUALITY ANIMAL CARE Committed to finding permanent homes quickly Median # of Days in the Shelter


Adoptions to forever homes

10 4



21 6



94% 8


Adopted or returned to field (Live Release Rate)



spay/neuters on the Spay Waggin’ since inception


spay/neuters performed by Community Veterinary Services


animals rescued from 4 hoarding cases, who required intensive veterinary care - all survived


1.2 million

informational emails sent


Educational Campaigns Too Hot for Spot Spay & Neuter Awareness


social media followers reached


Responded to the victims of hurricanes and overpopulation

306 dogs, cats, kittens & puppies in 22 transports

Community Cat Outcomes


102 cat colonies assessed involving 622 cats, 437 medically treated





Developed partnership with Codman Academy Charter Public School

Completed community survey of greatest needs for pet owners in Dorchester

Pet Wellness Clinic Codman Square funding secured


568 volunteers dedicated 26,014 service hours


Supported Humane Lobby Day at Massachusetts State House


dogs in 30 shelters across the country benefited from ARL’s behavioral assessment tool


Animal Control Officers trained on new cruelty enforcement law

To learn more about the impact you can have for animals, visit arlboston.org


Hundreds of Animals to Benefit from ARL Pet Wellness Clinic Removing barriers to high-quality veterinary services in Dorchester In 2016, ARL embraced a vision for the future which included an aspiration to “meet people and animals where they are, bringing veterinary and wellness services to those that need it most.” ARL and others in the animal welfare community acknowledge that lack of access, due to both location and finances, prevents owners from getting their pets necessary vaccinations, exams, and medicine which can help to prevent and treat illness and disease. From our work over the past 18 months in Codman Square through ARL’s Healthy Animals–Healthy Communities Initiative, we have confirmed that there is a great need for these services; which is why we decided to meet the residents and their pets right in their own neighborhood.

A community effort In February, ARL officially launched its Pet Wellness Clinic – Codman Square. The weekly, low-cost veterinary clinic takes place on Fridays from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the Dorchester YMCA, located at 776 Washington Street. For $10, pets residing in Dorchester can receive the following services administered by ARL’s veterinary staff: physical exam, rabies vaccine, distemper vaccine, microchip, and flea treatment. Information and resources for preventative care and spay/neuter are also available.

“We are overjoyed for the opportunity to be able to bring these vital services right into the community where they’re needed. Through support and partnerships, we are able to promote pet health, as well as pet retention.” — Mary Nee, ARL President & Dorchester resident ARL’s hope over the next year is to help 420 cats and dogs in Dorchester, and to learn more about the veterinary needs of pet owners in the community. The Pet Wellness Clinic — made possible by a grant from PetSmart Charities, and in partnership with the Dorchester YMCA, and the Codman Academy Charter School — is part of the Healthy Animals–Healthy Communities Initiative. Centered around the Codman Square neighborhood of Dorchester, Healthy Animals–Healthy Communities connects the work of ARL for animals with community organizations for the benefit of both animals and people. The Initiative is supported by generous grants from the Cummings Foundation and Jane’s Trust.

Healthy Animals - Healthy Communities Learn more about ARL’s work in the community at arlboston.org/services/community-programs


ARL Pet Wellness Clinic — Codman Square ARL's Medical Director, Dr. Kyle Quigley, examines Shadow, a pet living in Dorchester.



Bentley This 2-year-old is gaining weight and on the road to recovery.



Starved Dogs on Road to Recovery Utility worker's quick action lead to life-saving results Nothing could have prepared Susan Sweeney, a long-time employee at Eversource, for what she was about to witness during a routine call. When she pulled up to a home in Rochester, Massachusetts on a cold February day, she came upon two dogs in serious trouble. Both pups were alone, scared, and so thin that their ribs were visible. They barked with such fervor that it shook her to the core. Something was terribly wrong. “It broke my heart,” Sweeney said. “The poor dogs were just happy to see somebody, which made me believe they had just been left there.” Susan’s compassion led her to take action. She immediately contacted the Rochester Police Department, who along with Animal Control Officers, responded to the location.

While 9-year-old Astro battled conjunctivitis, the health of 2-year-old Bentley was extremely worrisome. He was severely dehydrated and starved. His emaciated frame was now only 20 pounds, which was a stark contrast to his 2017 veterinary files which recorded his weight at 50 pounds. Bentley also had a number of scars on his face and ears.

The road to recovery… and loving homes! While Astro could be put on a regular diet, Bentley required more regimented feedings, and in just the first two weeks, Bentley gained five pounds! Just a few weeks later, both dogs were adopted!

Upon inspection, the two dogs, later named Bentley and Astro, were found to be malnourished and living in deplorable conditions, with no food or water available. Both dogs were brought to ARL’s Brewster Animal Care & Adoption Center for immediate medical attention.

“Bentley was so emaciated weighing in at only 20 pounds. Feeding and treatment were done slowly in order for his health to improve gradually and safely.” — Dr. Erin Doyle, ARL Senior Veterinarian for Shelter & Forensic Medicine

Eversource employee Susan Sweeney Receives ARL's "A Champion for Animals" award in recognition of her compassion and quick action.

Prevent Animal Cruelty & Suffering In 2017, ARL’s Law Enforcement Department assisted over 2,966 animals. Learn how to keep animals safe at arlboston.org/protection


Emotional Support Bunny Provides Life-Changing Assistance to Teen Matching adoptable animals with a permanent home They say that good things come in small packages. Well, that’s definitely the case for 2-year-old Joey, a rabbit adopted from ARL’s Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center, who changed the life of his owner. Kelsey, a 17-year-old diagnosed with high-functioning autism, never dealt well with crowds… until Joey came into her life. “Just holding him makes me more confident and calm,” Kelsey said. “Joey has done so much for me; I know he can help others as well.” Since being adopted, Kelsey had Joey registered as an emotional support animal!

Making a connection like Joey and Kelsey’s is what ARL strives to do every single day. ARL’s new “Adoption-Forward” philosophy builds upon our

ARL's conversation-based, application-free process is designed so that the needs of both the animal and the adopter are understood and compatible with one another. commitment to matching adoptable animals with a permanent home. “ARL is progressive in animal welfare, and we’re a forward-thinking organization,” said Caitlin Tomlinson, ARL’s Associate Director of Animal Care & Operations. “The process is really meant to cater to individuals so that when a person comes into our shelter, we’re looking at what’s going on in their lives, what their needs are, and which animals are going to fit those needs.” Transitioning to the Adoption-Forward process meant hours of training for ARL’s animal care staff. “We don’t have customer service situations like your typical retail business has,” Tomlinson explains. “We’re dealing with living animals, not products or services. It’s important for our staff to be able to engage in open and honest dialogue, to set up both the adopter and the animal for long-term success.”

Adopt a Pet In 2017, ARL adopted out 3,474 animals to their forever homes. Find your match at arlboston.org/adopt


Joey This 2-year-old bunny is an emotional support animal for his owner, Kelsey (pictured).


Treated Cat One of 33 cats that found their forever home.

ARL Volunteers Provided ringworm cats with extensive treatment over several months including a twice-a-week bath with a topical spray solution.


33 Cats with Ringworm Get a Second Chance ARL volunteers go above and beyond for animals in need

This past Fall, ARL volunteers took extraordinary measures to save the lives of animals who, in other circumstances, may not have had a second chance. When ARL rescued nearly 50 cats from a hoarding situation in Bristol County, 33 of them tested positive for ringworm, a fungal infection that is transferable to other animals and humans.

"We have a very selfless and dedicated group of volunteers. I believe that their positive attitude only helped to make the cats heal more quickly." — Debby Chaplic, ARL’s Associate Director of Volunteer Engagement

In order to rehabilitate these cats and give them a second chance at life, great lengths had to be taken to keep staff, volunteers, and other animals safe from infection. In fact, an entire room at ARL’s Boston Animal Care & Adoption Center was quarantined off for treatment purposes.

Months of intensive treatment The treatment for the cats infected with ringworm was extensive; it involved daily medication and twice weekly cultures and baths. Over the course of several months, a half-dozen dedicated ARL volunteers dressed in protective gear to meticulously bathe each cat with a topical spray solution. The volunteers also used this time to interact and socialize with the cats, so that they would be ready to find their forever homes once treatment was completed. The treatment time for each cat varied, but by January, all of these cats were ringworm-free and adopted! “It was a lot of work”, said ARL volunteer Jane Urban, “but at the end of the day these cats went to good homes, so it was extremely rewarding.”

Jazzy Adopted October 2017.

Become a Volunteer In 2017, 568 volunteers dedicated 26,014 hours helping animals in ARL’s shelters. Get involved at arlboston.org/get-involved/volunteer


Coming in from the Cold Animals rescued during harsh winter weather The cold temperatures in New England this past winter were unprecedented, causing enormously hazardous conditions for any animal that was outdoors. ARL’s Rescue Services undergoes hours of specialized training to prepare for any environment or rescue situation. Here are a few heartwarming rescue stories made possible by your support — and the intervention of kind citizens!

A cat under-cover In February, a Dorchester resident was shocked by what she saw on top of her backyard grill. Underneath the cover was a grossly underweight female cat huddling for warmth in the bitter cold. The kitty had also suffered a devastating injury; several toes were missing, and the bones on her left front paw were exposed, causing severe pain. “Addie” was transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center, where she received the compassionate medical treatment she needed to get well. While her left front leg needed to be amputated, she adapted quickly and was soon moving around ravenously eating to put on weight and gain back strength. Given her quick recovery, Addie was available for adoption in just a few weeks and is now enjoying life with her new family!


Donkey and pony rescued in freezing temperatures In December, an 11-year-old donkey and a 16-year-old pony were rescued from a farm property in Bristol County. The temperature was well below freezing, and they were without adequate shelter, food, or water. After making their way to ARL’s Brewster Animal Care & Adoption Center, the pair became an immediate sensation, drawing onlookers and potential adopters from throughout Cape Cod. Just a few weeks later, the two found their forever home – together!

UPS driver makes a special pick-up In January, a UPS driver making deliveries in Boston made a miracle pick-up. The driver witnessed two 5-week-old kittens clawing at a doorstep in a desperate attempt to get out of the cold. The heart-wrenching sight of these frozen felines compelled the driver to contact ARL. The kittens were transported to ARL’s Dedham Animal Care & Adoption Center for immediate care. Thin, dehydrated, cold, and hungry, Lou Lou and Ladybug were in a fragile condition. After a few weeks of recuperating in foster care, however, these brave kittens found their forever homes!

UPS Kittens

Keep Animals Safe & Healthy 14

Make sure animals stay safe and healthy in the communities where they live at arlboston.org/donate

Misty This 16-year-old pony, and an 11-year-old donkey, were rescued from a farm. The pair were later adopted — together!


Chispi This 21-week-old is one of the 306 animals ARL transported to Massachusetts to find a loving home.


306 Animals Fly Thousands of Miles to Safety Transports give cats and dogs a chance to find loving homes In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Tatita was lonely and afraid. She had been hit by car, which shattered her pelvic bone. Suffering without shelter, food, and water, she had an uncertain future ahead. Fortunately, ARL worked with All-Sato Rescue to transport her over 1,500 miles from Puerto Rico to Boston. At ARL, she was treated for her injuries and provided with compassionate care. Tatita quickly recovered in foster care and was adopted just in time for the holidays!

Tatita Adopted in November 2017.

Helping animals near and far In 2017, ARL partnered with other organizations to transport 306 animals from Puerto Rico, Florida, North Carolina, and Mississippi. All of these areas have one thing in common: an overwhelming number of homeless cats and dogs. Conversely, there is an adoption need in Massachusetts, so many families come to ARL’s adoption centers looking for kittens and puppies.

Arda Adopted in February 2017.

"By bringing kittens and puppies in from areas facing overpopulation, we’re finding animals homes that may otherwise not have survived." — Caitlin Tomlinson, ARL’s Associate Director of Animal Care & Operations While ARL first and foremost serves animals in need right in our own backyard, reaching out to other regions benefits animal welfare on the whole. “Transporting animals into our shelters does not and will not prevent ARL from helping community animals in need,” explains Tomlinson. “In fact, this is our little part that ARL can do to help other shelters and animal welfare as a whole.”

Gatos in Old San Juan come from a world-renowned colony The history of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico goes back 500 years. Along the Paseo del Morro, which once served as a maintenance road for the city’s protective walls, there is a large colony of feral cats, or “gatos,” that call the area home. Many say that some of these felines are direct descendants of the cats that came ashore with the original Spanish settlers back in the 1600s! ARL is pleased to address the needs of this colony through our partner organization Save A Gato.

Help Bring More Animals to Safety Prevent animal overpopulation and suffering at arlboston.org/donate




What you need to know


When the PAWS (Protect Animal Welfare and Safety) Act was passed in 2014, it was a groundbreaking victory for animal protection legislation in Massachusetts. Four years later, the proposed PAWS II – An Act to Protect Animal Welfare and Safety in Cities and Towns, looks to build upon that victory. The original PAWS Act increased penalties for animal cruelty, and created the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force, of which ARL President Mary Nee was a member. The task force examined the effectiveness of existing animal protection laws, while at the same time determining what gaps exist.


Animal abuse is often the red flag warning sign of concurrent and future violence, and the earlier professionals can intervene, the higher the rate of

Key provisions of the PAWS II Act include:

success for both the victims and the

✔ Mandate cross-reporting between human and animal welfare agencies

animals. When animals are abused people are at risk; when people are abused animals are at risk. PAWS II is a direct result of the task force’s recommendations and is the next step in ensuring Massachusetts laws protect both animals and the people who care for them.

✔ Prohibit discrimination against dog breeds ✔ Ensure landlords check vacant properties for abandoned animals ✔ Prevent the automatic euthanasia of animal fighting victims ✔ Prohibit the drowning of animals ✔ Ensure efficient enforcement of animal control laws

Support ARL Advocacy View our 2018 Legislative Agenda at arlboston.org/legislative-agenda-2


Puppy Doe Abuser Convicted Cruelty case makes national headlines and inspires new animal protection law In late March, ARL joined animal welfare advocates across the Commonwealth and the nation in victory, as a measure of justice was secured for the 2-year-old dog known to many as “Puppy Doe.” The man who was accused of appalling acts of cruelty against her was found guilty of 12 separate counts of animal cruelty, and sentenced to 8-10 years in prison for his crimes. The conviction and sentencing of Radoslaw Czerkawski was the culmination of four years of hard work and a tremendous collaborative effort between ARL, Quincy Police, the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office, and many others.

ARL’s Role in Unprecedented Cruelty Case On August 31, 2013, citizens found a severely injured dog (Puppy Doe) in their neighborhood and called Quincy Animal Control, who brought her to the Quincy Animal Shelter. They in turn, rushed her to the South Shore VCA for treatment. Due to the extreme nature of her injuries, it was determined that humane euthanasia was necessary. Fortunately, the attending veterinarian recognized the extreme trauma this animal had endured and reported it to an ARL’s Law Enforcement officer. An ARL rescue agent was dispatched to transport her body to Boston where a necropsy was performed. ARL law enforcement and veterinary staff, including long-time veterans of animal cruelty cases, reported that this was, “the worst case of animal abuse they had ever encountered in their careers.” ARL notified the Quincy Police and sent the necropsy report to the Norfolk County District Attorney. Presented with the report, which detailed an unprecedented level of abuse and torture, the District Attorney and the Quincy Police immediately began an investigation including appeals to the public

"With the conviction and sentencing of Radoslaw Czerkawski, it has been demonstrated that people who commit animal cruelty, and in this case extreme cruelty, will be held accountable." — Mary Nee, ARL President

for information. During the investigation and the trial, ARL assisted the Quincy Police and Norfolk County officials. The Puppy Doe case prompted the Massachusetts to pass the PAWS ACT (Protect Animal Welfare and Safety Act). This law increased the penalties for animal cruelty, mandated veterinarian reporting of suspected cruelty and, created the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force. This case also illustrates the vital importance of reporting abuse and neglect, particularly from veterinarians who suspect abuse.


Hug Them Today, Help Them Tomorrow Leaving a legacy to keep animals safe and healthy ARL’s Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society is an exceptional group of supporters who are passionate about helping animals in need now and for many years to come.

ARL: Naming ARL in your will is a powerful expression of belief in ARL's work and its commitment to helping animals. What inspired you?

By naming ARL in your will — or as a

Roberta Solomon (RS): It was your founder, Anna Harris Smith, who said that “kindness uplifts the world.” Well, that was my late sister, Janet. I adored her and was blessed to have her as a role model. She was the kindest person to both people and animals. There wasn’t an animal that didn’t touch her heart.

beneficiary of a retirement account or insurance policy — you make a timeless commitment to combat animal cruelty, and ensure that all animals remain safe and healthy in their habitats and homes. We recently met with Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society member Roberta Solomon to learn why she included ARL in her estate plans, and the special tribute that it brings to her family.

ARL: As a huge animal lover, was your sister, Janet, also a supporter of ARL? (RS): Yes, very much so. I have fond memories helping her carry old sheets and blankets to ARL so that the animals would have something soft to sleep on. Janet was so complementary of the love that staff and volunteers gave to each animal and the unique situation that brought them there. Compassionate care is the best medicine to make animals heal! ARL: Is your decision to join the Anna Harris Smith Legacy Society in part because you know that Janet would be proud? (RS): I know she would! She is smiling right now. But I give this too, in honor of our parents, Leo and Gladys. Our father would bring in homeless dogs, and our mother would care for them. There was “Queenie,” the shepherd, and “Sugar,” the terrier. We didn’t have much but it was a loving and generous home in every way.


ARL: Sounds like you come from a long line of “champions for animals in need” — just like ARL!

Gladys an d Leo

(RS): That’s why I’m here! Sure, I’m making provisions for gifts to other places too, like hospitals. But what kind of world would it be without animals? Someone has got to speak for them. ARL has been helping animals for over 100 years and I want to be sure that it’s here for the “Queenies” and the “Sugars” for another 100!

Leave a Legacy Contact Rick Tagliaferri at rtagliaferri@arlboston.org or (617) 226-5668.


Thank You for making our work possible.

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

Monthly giving is a convenient, affordable, and efficient way to help where it's most needed. When you become a member, your gift each month will provide animals with: ✔ Emergency rescue, anti-cruelty efforts, and advocacy ✔ High-quality veterinary care ✔ Shelter and adoption services