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.

Boston, MA
EIN 04-2103714
emergency care
sick animals
animal rescue
spay and neuter
Denis, James & 15 others backed this

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 2020, ARL assisted over 16,700 animals in need in Massachusetts.
In 2018, 12,155 animals provided with medical care through shelter veterinary medicine and private clinic.
In 2020, 2,276 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 Community Cats
can provide a shelter dog with special enrichment while they wait for their new homes


2018 Budget
73%Program Spend
21%Management Spend
7%Fundraising Spend


Animal Care & Adoption

Animal Care and Adoption services include admissions and surrender, shelter and care, behavioral assessment, enrichment, and adoption. These services are offered at three centers located in Boston, Dedham, and Brewster.

The Transport Waggin’ links together ARL’s locations and programs so that animals have access to the exact resources they need. The vehicle also allows ARL to transport out-of-state animals, and assist municipal shelters, animal control facilities, and smaller rescue groups.

Dog Training courses in Boston and Dedham, instructed by certified and experienced trainers, help pet owners teach their dog good manners and healthy socialization skills.

Healthy Moms, Happy Litters provides complimentary assistance to local families and their pets. The program offers free high-quality spay/neuter services and vaccinations for mother/father cats or dogs, and wavied surrender fees for the parent’s litter of kittens/puppies, that will be placed up for adoption once eligible.

Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement investigates crimes of animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect. ARL employs Special State Police Officers, with the authority to enforce animal cruelty and neglect laws. These officers work closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and animal control officers throughout the Commonwealth.

Community & Shelter Medicine

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

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

The Wellness Waggin’, a mobile veterinary unit, hosts low cost weekly pet wellness clinics in Greater Boston.

The Community Surgical Clinic provides both veterinary and surgical services twice weekly at our Dedham campus, including the Community Cat Initiative.

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

Community Programs

Field Services provides technical (tree climbing and swift/ice water) and non-technical rescues for injured domestic animals -including community cats– livestock, and raptors (turkey vultures, ospreys, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls).

The Community Cat Initiative addresses the estimated 700,000 “community cats” (feral, semi-feral and outdoor cats) unowned and living in harsh weather conditions. A dedicated field services agent assesses a colony of cats and formulates TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) plans. Cats also receive veterinary treatment and are evaluated for sociability and adoption potential.

The Healthy Animals—Healthy Communities Initiative in Greater Boston works to improve the welfare of animals and deepen the understanding of the human-animal bond and its connections with individual and community health, through partnerships with local organizations in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan. The initiative includes community-based pet education and animal care services.

Learn more at