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Animal Rescue League of Boston

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal Training, Animals, Veterinary Services

Mission: The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is an unwavering champion for animals in need, committed to keeping them safe and healthy in habitats and homes. Founded in 1899, ARL provides high quality veterinary care, adoption, and rescue services; while also confronting the root causes of animal cruelty and neglect through innovative community programs, police investigations, and public advocacy. In 2018, ARL served 16,938 animals throughout Massachusetts. ARL is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. We receive no government funding and rely solely on the generosity of individuals to support programs and services that help animals in need.

Results: In 2018... 3,444 animal adopted to permanent homes. 93% of animals were adopted or returned to the field (Live Release Rate). Participated in numerous animal transports with 344 dogs, cat, kittens and puppies. Investigated cruelty and neglect cases involving 2,961 animals, resulting in 54 law enforcement prosecutions; 3 major convictions, including Puppy Doe, with total sentences of 22-26 years served for animal cruelty. Investigated 16 cases of animal hoarding and overcrowding involving 1,024 animals. Passage of PAWS II, an act to protect animal welfare and safety in cities and towns. Produced in partnership with Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and Animal Folks (MN), "Reporting Animal Cruelty, The Role of the Veterinarian: Establishing Protocols to Identify and Report Suspected Animal Cruelty in Massachusetts." This manual provides an explanation of Massachusetts law and supporting material so that veterinarians, as mandated reporters, can develop protocols for their practices. 38 communities served involving 431 cats and dogs served at our Pet Wellness Clinic – Codman Square initiative. 624 animals served at our community surgical clinic. 4,231 spay/neuter surgeries performed on our mobile Spay Waggin' for animals in need throughout Cape Cod and the South Shore.

Target demographics: Animals in need and the community.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 16,938 animals across our organization.

Geographic areas served: Massachusetts

Programs: a comprehensive range of services including emergency rescue, law enforcement, Animal Care and Adoption Centers, community veterinary services, and advocacy efforts.

Community Stories

50 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is amazing! We have rescued a very sweet white mouse named Abe and 2 darling goats who came from a truly horrific situation. They were knowledgable, organized and supportive throughout the whole process. You guys are my heroes and Gwenny and Gump think so too!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We adopted Noggin (fka Twine) 3 years ago. He has taught us so much about love, patience, and forgiveness. No dog is perfect, just like no human is perfect, but he fits our life pretty perfectly. He wants nothing more then to be included in everything with our family and our boys are his best friends.

Jenna H.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my kitty Andy in January of 2017. My cat of 13 years had just passed away and I was devastated and lonely. I decided to visit after peeking at the kitties on line and Andy was the last kitty I saw that day. I think I spent about an hour sitting with him and giving him treats and pets. The staff was so kind and patient and went over all of his medical history, he has FIV, and his previous adoptions and returns(yup he was returned twice!). I knew I was going to take him home but just needed a little time to process all the information and get my home ready for him. I placed a deposit and came back the next day to pick him up. Now here is the really speacial and amazing part. The Backes family happened to be at The ARL that day and when I went to “check out” and sign papers and things I was told that the adoption fee had been covered by the Backes Family and that they were actually covering all the fees for any adopted pets that day! ARL is such a special place and the community support is so wonderful. It has been a little over a year, we have moved to a new apartment and are still very happily together- furever!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my sweet kitty Jiggles when he was 4 back in 2011. I'm a person in a wheelchair and the ARL was very sensitive about picking the right cat for me. They were so helpful and just loved the animals. Such a terrific organization. Jiggles is almost 12 now and doing quite well. Thanks ARL!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They were very accommodating, as I am in a wheelchair. They answered all questions and were very nice. The animals were well cared for. They helped me select Jiggles, the perfect cat for me. I have had him since 2011 and he is wonderful. A terrific shelter.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted Dixie at 9 weeks old from the Animal Rescue League, Dedham branch. She’s the sweetest kitty and gets along with both our dogs

Client Served

Rating: 5

i love the rescue league!!!!!!! below is my cat Crow (that i adopted days ago!) and my dog/ furry son Zeus that ive had since 2013, both from the Brewster branch. that shelter has very helpful and kind staff and they care very much for every animal there, and they do such a good job getting their animals adopted.

Mary Elizabeth S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

ARL of Boston is one of the nicest shelters I’ve ever been to. My husband and I adopted our bunny, Thumper (formerly Dandy) last June at the Dedham location and we couldn’t be happier. He is thriving with us. He does binkies, watches TV and loves eating his puff treats. Everything we learned from the ARL staff is still what we do daily for Thumper. You made the adoption process very easy for us. Thanks for all that you do!

Jen H.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Both our babies are from Brewster ARL.. Big Boy Ben is my best bud and hiking companion .. and Mitzy our kitty is a sweet kind “old soul”.. so blessed to have them both in our lives.. Rescues are the best.!! ❤️

1 Sarah306

Client Served

Rating: 5

On a unseasonably warm February day in Boston, a coworker and myself brought some of clients with intellectual disabilities to the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

The clients who attend our day hab program made homemade dog treat and cat toys for animals in shelter. When the shelter staff brought the clients to where the dogs were staying, there was one older lady who walked right up our clients.

This lady was named Maya, a German Shepard/greyhound mix. Two days later my fiance and I took Maya home. We celebrated her one year adoption with us this past Monday and we celebrate her 12th birthday in May. Maya has brought us so much joy; she is the first to greet you at the door and protect you from suspicious looking squirrels.

We are extremely grateful we able to give this sweet senior lady a home and we love her so much for trusting us as pet parents.

Thank you ARL for all the great work that you do!

Sarah Risko

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted Gunner (front), a black mini schnauzer, 7 years ago. He is a cuddle bug and we absolutely adore him. Thank you Animal Rescue League of Boston for giving us the opportunity to have him. Forever grateful.

Greg F.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife and I have adopted 3 cats from ARL Dedham.

Our first cat together (my first cat ever) was Chewie (formerly Cilo). She has been the greatest cat we could ever hope for. She was so shy, and we spent an hour at the shelter quietly trying to get her out of her enclosure. She finally did, and she has been by my side ever since.

Our second cat was Pepper (Asia). We thought Chewie needed a friend, and so we went to look for another cat. I saw Pepper, who was a beautiful Bengal. I fell in love and asked about her. She was already being boxed up for another family. I had talked with the staff that day about Chewie, and about how I loved Pepper; they were very friendly and easy to talk to. Fast forward a few weeks, I get a call from the staff at the Dedham office and they told me that the family that took home Pepper brought her back in because she was throwing up. They remembered that I fell in love with her and asked if I wanted to come and get her. I came in with my wife that night and picked her up. We had Pepper for a little over a year before she passed from heart failure. She wasn't really a friendly cat, and she certainly was annoying, but we realized how much we missed her when there was no noisy orange cat greeting us at the door after work.

We decided to wait before we adopted again. We waited 2 months or so, and the first time we visited ARL again we saw a tiny little orange kitten in the office. We didn't see any other cats that were a good fit for us from the selection they had that day, and decided to chat with the staff and told them about Pepper, etc. They told us that the little kitten was also returned because he was "needy" and "annoying". They let us go to the office to play with him, and again, we fell in love. We stayed for a while and decided this was right for us, and they agreed to hold him until he got some other shots. We picked him up a couple of days later and he has been our "little one" for the last 2 years. Rupert (Logan) is super annoying, but we love him so much. The staff at ARL has been amazing since day 1 and I would recommend them to anybody and everybody.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ARL provides so much care to their animals - both medically and behaviorally. They unflinchingly and compassionately deal with abuse and hoards. An amazing group filled with amazing people.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They work with each animal as an individual. Every animal has a placement plan that is reviewed daily. All are vet checked and then monitored daily. ARL takes in law enforcement cases and works with owners and animals humanely

Lyna M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our little boy Cypress in June 2017 after seeing him at ARL and immediately knew he was different. He was a goofy, energetic, and clever and climbed onto our laps the first night he came home with us. Unfortunately he passed away last winter due to acute leukemia and fought every day until the end, especially for those extra meaty snacks from the vet. We thank ARL for introducing us to the most loving addition to our family!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Such an incredible shelter and so much more! Love the care they take to match animals to the perfect owner, and they do it in a way that doesn't eliminate great families for random reasons. Love their community programs, too-- my aunt took her cat to the Spay Waggin and had a great experience

Donor

Rating: 5

I rescued my new best friend at ARL Boston and my life had never been better! Thank you ARL BOSTON!!

Donor

Rating: 5

We adopted our cat Kuzy from the ARL. He had been living on the streets and was very thin at the time. Now he's grown into a healthy, sweet cat, and is an integral part of our home. We're so grateful that they saved Kuzy and are investing in cutting-edge practices to help other cats across the state.

Donor

Rating: 5

My first story involves a little grey kitten who filled our lives with so much love (and so many stories) for twenty-one years. After our cat, Peanut Little, died, we wanted to find a companion for her sister, Sunrise Serval. We were new to the Boston area, so friends recommended that we try adopting from the Animal Rescue League of Boston. That's where we found Grau Katt. The entire experience was wonderful. Since then, we've sent family and friends to ARL whenever they are looking to adopt a new member of their family, and we are long-time monthly donors.

Tia Q.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Animal Rescue League was so great in helping me with a feral mama cat and kittens in my yard. From communicating by phone, to coming out more than once on the hottest of hot days, they were amazing! The animals they help are lucky to have the wonderful people at the ARL on their side.

Jill S.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started fostering for the ARL in 2015 and have been very impressed with the care they provide to the animals. I have been amazed at the efforts they put into saving an animal through their foster program. The orphaned kittens, pregnant cats, nursing moms (cats & dogs), sick, shy, senior or special needs animals that come through their doors are given extra TLC through their foster program. The volunteers and staff are great to interact with and I really enjoy trying to lend a hand through fostering. Attached are a few pictures of some of our past fosters (all healthy & in new homes now).

CarolHenry

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering here a couple of months now and I am amazed at the staff and their commitment and compassion for these animals. Every animal is treated with just as much love as the next one, whatever their situation and demeanor is. Great great organization. It’s a tireless effort by every single one of the staff in this non profit. I also want to add another piece of information as I saw an earlier review that puzzled me which said that the ARL isn’t a Rescue service but an adoption service. I went out today on my first day on the ride along with the Rescue team. This involved collecting two stray kittens and bringing them back to Boston, back out to rescue an injured seagull from the top of an office building, onto Revere Beach to Rescue a sick cormorant and then back to another Boston location to collect an injured dove. I know that there was also another vehicle out on the road doing rescues all day too. The ARL do a great job and I've seen first hand what they do and I am enormously grateful that we have this team out there helping animals in distress.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer here. Terrific staff and a great training program! I feel fortunate to be a part of the ARL!

Meaghan B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The ARL Boston is simply amazing. My family has adopted 4 dogs from the organization since the 1980s. I couldn't recommend this organization more to family, friends, and the community when looking for an excellent place to adopt an animal from.

As a volunteer I have never felt more appreciated and welcomed than I do at the ARL. The teams there take the time to educate you on animal behaviors and techniques for always having a pleasant time with any animal. I've never met people who work harder for animals. Truly above and beyond in EVERY way!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Each animal is cared for and given the attention they need. There are so many staff and volunteers who are there because they love what they do and it shows in the community the ARL has created.

Angela1991

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't begin to say how amazing this organization is, from finding long-time shelter residents a permanent home to providing life-saving veterinary care to animals in need! Their adoption care staff is extremely compassionate and knowledgeable, not with just cats and dogs but exotic animals (hedgehogs, degus, birds) as well.

Joyce Michelle C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The ARL of Boston is a Great place the many animals there seem to be well cared about and taken care of.
We have been very fortunate over the years to adopt 3 bun rabbits from this center.
Our first bun adopted from them was many years back Mystic a sweet female.We chose there as we found out there are MANY buns in need of a good home at the time my husband was working in Boston he stopped by there to see what buns were there for adopting.THe staff could tell we had experience with rabbits and we were able to visit with Mystic there.Once approved we made sure we had appropriate housing for her and home she came with us.
The second bun we adopted was given up by his pet parent he was about 2 years old and fit in with our family fine both buns were in good health no medical issues.
Our 3 adopted bun came from a place of neglect and abuse where he along with MANY animals was rescued by the ARL.Knowing our case history the staff was happy and made it easy for us to adopt BoSox he is named for the Boston shelter and the Red Sox.
He was neutered before coming home with us which is fine since we do not want babies as we are not set up for that situation.
He has adopted Very well after being with us for a year he loves to play keep me company and like many a male LOVES his food.
We love all our buns so much and they are such a part of our family.
We Highly recommend anyone who can to adopt from this shelter.
Staff are supportive and friendly.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We live in Ma at the time my husband worked in the city.We had 2 buns wanted to adopt another.On his break he went to the Boston Shelter where there were some bun rabbits.Bob visited with some came home and told me about them.WE then went togehther and successfuly adopted our first female bun from them>THey were supportive giving us contact info if we had questions.Also praised us for our knoweldge of bun care.
Mystic was a great companion to our other 2 buns as well as us.I miss her much she lived to 8 years old.
Being an advocate on behalf of animals everywhere when i learned that the ARL was involved in getting animals from a horrid place of neglect and abuse we imediatly contacted them.Yes they had about 6 buns there from this place.WE so wanted to give at least one of them a good home there we found BoSOx a Lionhead bun.He is great and VERY responsive to me going to room to room with me also when in the mood keeps me company on the sofa and ALWAYS makes me laugh with his bundle of energy.
WE Love each and every of our buns they are a big part of our family in part thanks to the ARL of Boston!!!

Donor

Rating: 5

One of the best non-profits out there! The ARLB has a mobile rescue service that comes to the aid of animals in need of rescue. For example, one time, I came across what I thought was an injured cormorant. I called the ARLB, and the rescue technician came out, captured the bird, evaluated him (and determined he was just young and awkward but not injured), and then transported the cormorant to a place closer to water. I love these folks and am so grateful for their animal rescue division!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I found my sweet tuxedo cat Plume there 17 years ago, my previous tuxedo cat Bunny was from ARL also.
So grateful they rescued these wonderful cats. Plume was discovered on a Boston street, and now he's been enjoying life since then, thanks to ARL.

Chris F.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I wish every town had an ARL, but sadly, they don't.

I live on a pond and ARL has helped me many, many times when I find an injured duck or goose, or other animals for that matter. Seeing that I don't have a car to get them help myself, I'd be lost without them. We often work as a team, I catch the animal and wait for them to pick up, or I try to befriend the animal and they help me catch it once it's more approachable.

I wish that more people knew that ARL gets no money from the government. There are so many animals out there who need their help and ARL is reliant upon us to help them provide it.

Sarah D.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

One year ago, I came nervously looking for a cat, and ARL volunteers helped me find the perfect 7-year-old gray lady. The animals were loved and well-cared for. And we couldn't be happier with our cat Astrid.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ARL has been such a great place to me since I moved to Boston two years ago. I moved close by so I signed up to volunteer and also ended up adopting a cat from them a year later. They have some great programs (community cats, spay waggin, happy moms happy litters, bringing animals in from places struck by a hurricane or through their regular transport program, etc) and also pet behavior help. Seeing staff and volunteers care for the animals behind the scenes and being able to adopt an animal from a hoarding case they took in has been amazing!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found a wonderful cat at ARL in Brewster MA. The staff is passionate and knowledgeable. They make every effort to find just the pet you are looking for!
You can absolutely trust that every animal in thei adoption center has received the care and attention they deserve. They are simply the best!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family has adopted several pets from the ARL. One dog was a foster, he was rescued from a terrible situation. Our foster experience with ARL was amazing, we got to see first hand how they advocate for the animals who can't speak for themselves. We often stop by to visit their facility. Here is a picture of my Spock, he's s happy fella

Lauren R.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization far exceeded my expectation in many ways. I love to adopt my pets and I was looking for a puppy. Luckily they had just got a transport from the South in. The puppy came with a behavioral specialist and all of its medical care. They even gave me a discount on dog training classes and referred me to their veterinary clinic (who I adore)! I love supporting ARL and learning more everyday about different things they do in MA.

Donor

Rating: 1

ARL of Boston's Rescue Department was terminated in May of 2017, right after Manager of Rescues left . I have trouble accepting the fact that ARL's President keeps asking for donations - I am a donor- while failing to disclose to donors and the public the truth. Making donors believe that they, ARL, keep rescuing animals in need is quite deceiving. There were 6 rescuers until May of 2017: now only 1 rescuer is left. They do not offer rescue services 7 days a week anymore. Animal "Rescue" League of Boston is now one more animals shelter, not an agency rescuing suffering animals, and its President should tell donors and the public the truth. Otherwise it looks like they are running a scam

Comments ( 1 )

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ARLBoston 10/31/2017

We apologize for any misunderstanding. ARL currently employees three rescue technicians and is actively recruiting additional team members. ARL continues to rescue animals throughout Massachusetts as part of its commitment to helping animals in need and the people who care about them. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact ARL.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my kitten from the ARL of Boston. Amanda was wonderful answering all my questions and concerns. She gave me great suggests for helping my cat adjust to a new kitten. We also thoroughly went over the records kept on my little guy. It was a great experience and would recommend adoption from this organization!

Comments ( 1 )

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ARLBoston 07/19/2016

So glad we could help you find your purr-fect match! Thanks so much for sharing your experience.