Animal Rescue League of Boston

EstablishedHometown HeroSocial Butterfly

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

Frankie came to ARL like so many animals do - sick and scared. He was found wandering the streets, suffering from gum disease, a heart murmur, and a damaged eye. This sweet senior dog needed medical care, but what he needed even more was a loving home. Frankie spent three months healing and recovering at our shelter, and when he was ready, we matched him with his perfect family!

In 2022, ARL assisted over 20,653 animals in need in Massachusetts.
In 2022, 65,152animals received care at ARL and our outpatient clinic, Boston Veterinary Care
In 2022, 2,855 animals found their forever home.
can provide food, toys, and treats for rescued animals to help them feel safe and loved
can provide vaccines for up to five animals
can provide a shelter dog with special enrichment while they wait for their new homes


2022 Budget
75%Program Spend
20%Management Spend
4%Fundraising Spend



Animal Adoption services are available in our centers located in Boston, Dedham, and Brewster. ARL’s Adoption Forward conversation-based process helps ensure that the needs of both the adopter and animal are met.

Animal Admissions assists in the process of surrendering and rehoming your pet when circumstances arise.

Taming Tiny Tigers provides socialization of fearful kittens, eight to twenty weeks old, to prepare them for a life with human companions.

Working Cats places cats best suited to an active working lifestyle with homes and facilities looking for the benefits of both a working cat and feline friend.

Healthy Moms, Happy Litters offers free spay/neuter services and vaccinations for mother/father cats or dogs.

Shelter Veterinary Services provides comprehensive veterinary services for ARL’s Animal Care & Adoption Centers, and forensic assessments related to law enforcement investigations.


Field Services provides technical (tree climbing and swift/ice water) and non-technical rescues for injured domestic animals, including community cats, livestock, and raptors.

Humane Law Enforcement investigates crimes of animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect. ARL employs Massachusetts Special State Police as Humane Law Enforcement Officers, with the authority to enforce animal cruelty laws.

Animal Advocacy works to draft humane laws, animal welfare policies and regulations, and engages staff, volunteers and ARL supporters to advocate/promote local, state and federal legislation.


Community Veterinary Services helps animals and people in the communities where they live.

Spay Waggin’, a mobile veterinary surgical unit that provides low cost spay and neuter services in Greater Boston, Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and the Islands.

Wellness Waggin’, a mobile veterinary unit that provides low-cost pet wellness clinics in Greater Boston.

Community Surgical Clinic provides veterinary and surgical services at ARL’s Dedham campus to support our programs, other organizations, and animal control.

Transport Waggin’ links together ARL’s locations and programs so that animals have access to the essential resources they need.

Community Cats Program addresses the 700,000 unowned cats (feral, semi-feral and outdoor cats) in Massachusetts, by assessing cat colonies and formulating TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) plans.

Keep Pets S.A.F.E. (Supporting Animals Facing Emergencies) provides critical services, such as temporary pet housing, veterinary care, pet food and supplies, in response to urgent community needs.

Temporary Pet Housing supports several ARL programs, including Keep Pets S.A.F.E, with the goal of reuniting a pet with its owner.

Healthy Animals—Healthy Communities improves the welfare of animals, and deepens the understanding of the human-animal bond and its link to individual and community health, by offering pet education and animal care services through partnerships with organizations in Greater Boston.


Pet Behavior Helpline provides free advice to owners with behavioral questions about their cat, dog, or small animal.

Shelter Behavior & Enrichment prepares ARL shelter animals for life in their new home through behavior evaluation, modification, and enrichment.

Match-Up II® offers an evaluation and rehoming tool to other animal shelters in order to assist them in rehoming dogs in their care.

Volunteering + Events

Group Volunteering Opportunities

ARL welcomes groups to join us for one day of service. Past groups have assisted with socializing kittens, washing vehicles, painting, cleaning; play-yards, animal rooms, barn stalls, and much more!

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Paws to Celebrate Truro

Join ARL on Thursday, September 7, 2023, from 6PM – 8PM on the beautiful grounds of Truro Vineyards as we celebrate the achievements in animal welfare made possible by our Cape community!

Your ticket includes light bites, a sampling of Truro Vineyard wines, hosted bar, and entertainment by American Idol finalist and ARL volunteer Natalia Bonafini. Well-behaved dogs are welcome!

A rain date has been scheduled for Thursday, September 21 in the event of inclement weather. An email will be sent if the event is postponed.

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