Animal Welfare Society

We were so happy when we were invited along to have a tour of the Animal Welfare Society in New Milford. We’re both huge animal lovers and don’t know where we’d be without the furry friends we each have in our lives. Lora has 3 adopted cats and I have 1 Great Dane!

Animal Welfare Society

Here’s Renee Gardner (shelter manager at AWS for the past 26 years), showing us around and telling us a little bit about the work that goes into running the shelter. Renee also puts us to work and gives us a couple of dogs to walk…or gives us to a couple of dogs who take us for a walk; depending how you look at it.

AWS just celebrated their 50th anniversary in rescuing, caring for, and finding responsible homes for abandoned and homeless animals in our area (and beyond). Janet Bloch, volunteer and president of the shelter for the past 25 years, explained to us how they rely on the amazing volunteers who come to help out in many different capacities (walking, feeding, bathing, clerical, cleaning, fundraising). They pride themselves on the shelter’s successful teen volunteer program, which has a limited number of spots. Adult volunteers are always in demand and the shelter is happy to receive any time commitment someone is willing to give.

Volunteers who interact with the animals are taught how to teach the animals basic manners. The shelter tries to train both the animals and adopting families these basics, in the hopes that all adoptions are as successful as possible.

We loved meeting Kirby, the dog Unlocking Litchfield has been sponsoring online. (While researching this post I see that Kirby was adopted! Lora…do you have anything you want to tell me?)[Lora’s note: I swear, it wasn’t me!]. We felt a special connection right away. Yep, we totally got attached through a photograph. Imagine if there was a video of each cat or dog! Maybe a fun little voice-over? AWS thought that was an interesting idea too – so we’ve decided to pop in once in a while, to make a special video of somebody who’s been waiting for their forever family a bit longer than the others (for whatever reason). Maybe a photoshoot with Lora to help boost their confidence. Look out for these on our FB and Instagram.

Sponsoring a dog or cat at the shelter is really easy to do, and again, no amount is too little. As little as 27 cents a day can ensure your sponsor animal has shelter, a proper diet, exercise, toys, and treats. Click right here if you’re interested.

Other than monetary donations, the shelter always takes donations of other items such as – dog/cat food, treats, cleaning supplies, and pet beds (Lora’s mom made the shelter a dozen quilted cat blankets in about a day – super efficient; wonder where Lora gets it?). For a full list of needs, click here.

All in all, I’d say Lora is definitely cat-ist and I’m maybe slightly dog-ist. Though we’d claim we love both equally. Nevertheless, when looking at the pics she had taken a few days after our shoot at the Animal Welfare Society, Lora wrote to me that she hadn’t got many (any) dog pics. I accused Lora of being cat-ist and sent her back for dog pics! She was happy to oblige; I think she did it just to go back for another round of visiting with cute kitties and dogs! Here’s some of our faves (and the rest of our faves are up top).


8 Dodd Road
New Milford, CT 06776

Article by Beverley Canepari, photos by Lora Karam. Video by Tim Lenz.

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