A New Direction for the Center for Shelter Dogs


The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and the Shelter Medicine Program and Center for Animals and Public Policy at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University are pleased to announce the next phase of growth and development for the Center for Shelter Dogs (CSD).
In October 2014, ARL transferred the CSD program to the Tufts Shelter Medicine Program at Cummings School’s Center for Animals and Public Policy, which will enrich both CSD and the Cummings School programs, build on past research collaborations, and provide new educational platforms for addressing the welfare and adoptability of shelter dogs. Notably, Cummings School’s standing and reach as a leading veterinary academic institution will fuel the national expansion and influence of CSD’s research and applied programs.

CSD was founded at the ARL six years ago with a simple mission: to improve the welfare and successful placement of homeless dogs. By providing resources, training, and scientifically-validated behavior assessment and modification tools, CSD worked to ensure adoptable dogs found homes that matched the personalities and needs of both dog and owner.

Thanks to generous funding from the Stanton Foundation, CSD built an impressive body of work, including an information-rich website viewed by over 49,000 visitors; educational seminars and institutes reaching over 3,500 animal welfare practitioners; behavioral assessments of over 15,000 dogs; and ground-breaking research on problem behavior, stress and enrichment, and canine personality.

After this period of remarkable achievement, ARL recognized that to grow and sustain the program over the long term, it would require greater organizational capacity and reach. After a selective search, Tufts University presented the strongest case to strengthen the Center’s national reputation as an evidence-based resource and, in turn, utilize CSD’s expertise to enhance the Tufts Shelter Medicine Program and the Cummings School’s Center for Animals and Public Policy.

The ARL has felt truly honored to serve as the incubating organization for such a tremendous asset to the field of animal welfare. Most meaningfully, CSD’s work has helped more homeless dogs get a chance at a better life. That this work will not only continue, but will also have an even greater impact on the well-being of dogs in the future is exciting and momentous for the ARL.

CSD can be found at the same web site, www.centerforshelterdogs.org. To contact CSD at Cummings, please email centerforshelterdogs@tufts.edu.

The ARL will continue to support its ground-breaking behavior evaluation program, the Match-Up II Shelter Dog Rehoming Program and the online portal Match-Up II Online. Match-Up II Online can be found at the same url, matchupiionline.centerforshelterdogs.org. For Match-Up II support, please contact csdexpert@arlboston.org or csdtechsupport@arlboston.org.