Pet Spotlight: Meet BeeBee

BeeBee is a petite princess who is as sweet as sweet can be. She came to DAWS because her family moved away and was unable to take her with them. This beautiful girl has silky black and white fur and gorgeous yellow-green eyes. And, at five years-old and fully grown, she’s only 7.5 pounds. Don’t let her size fool you; BeeBee has tons of spunk and loves to romp and play. We know that she will make a great addition to someone’s family. Come visit BeeBee today!

Your Membership Matters

The 2017 Annual Membership Drive is underway! Thanks to members like you, we are able to provide homes for helpless animals in need and bring hope for a better future. In 2016, our generous donors helped us provide more than 800 animals with care and support. Members who support DAWS make a significant impact on our shelter, community, and most importantly animals in need.

Be the source of hope for at least one homeless animal.



A Parent’s Guide to Pet Loss & a Child’s Grief

Loss is part of life. We all will face the death of a loved one at some point in our lives; and, while we may understand that loved ones will pass, death is never easy to process. No one deals with loss the same way. Death—and how we cope with it—is incredibly personal. While time is unfortunately the great healer, that permanent loss can be incredibly traumatic…especially for children.

Grief is a process. There are stages of grief that must be experienced to allow the mind to accept a loss, and, sometimes, those steps can happen like rewinding a tape. Sometimes the cycle may seem completed, when really, more processing must occur.

Children also experience grief, although they don’t always process their loss in the same way as adults. For kids, the first loss they may experience is the death of a beloved pet. Breaking the news that a pet has died can be a subject parents might wish to avoid with a little white lie…but the truth—while it hurts—must be told to children. While the loss can bring emotional devastation, it also can bring ambivalence. Reactions may vary, and parents should be prepared.

According to the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB), how a child handles a loss depends on their age. Death isn’t understood on the same level at every age, and young children don’t perceive death in the same way as adults.

While young elementary age children know death is permanent, they don’t know why it happened. According the, they may blame themselves. Parents need to reinforce that there was nothing that the child did to cause the death. Children also might need more emotional security and comfort from parents.

However, preschoolers see death as something that isn’t forever. According to the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, a preschoolers understanding of death as temporary is “reinforced by cartoon characters who die and come to life again.” They may need more explanations from parents and may continue to ask about their beloved friend.

Older kids understand death in the same way as adults and may cycle through the stages of grief: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and, finally, acceptance. However, every child may experience these stages in different ways.

Parents can help children cope with loss by offering support. Allow kids to grieve. Let them be involved in a ‘funeral’ or memorial. If they express a need to say goodbye, allow them.

Some children may cry for days. They may have trouble eating or sleeping. Grief can be consuming and strong. If parents feel that a child is succumbing to depression, they should consult with a pediatrician to discuss the situation. Sometimes, a child may need to speak with a therapist to move through their grief and emotions.

APLB also advises parents to encourage children to draw pictures of their pets or parents and kids also can honor the pet with a memorial photo album. If the pet has been cremated and the family has kept the ashes, kids may help decide where to place the urn in the home. Or the family may discuss where to scatter the ashes. Involve kids in the process, as long as they wish to be included.

Some families also may decide to make a monetary gift to an animal charity in the name of their pet. Talk as a family about ways to honor the family’s best friend.

Death is difficult at any age. However, for kids the idea of death can be confusing, scary and heart wrenching. The death of a pet may be the first loss a child experiences, and that loss may hit them extremely hard. While every child experiences grief and loss in their own way, the only true cure for heartbreak is time.

Written by Sloan McKinney

Finding Fido-Friendly Activities Near You

Every year The Huffington Post publishes their list of “The Most Dog-Friendly Cities In America,” and offers their top twenty-five choices based on certain criteria including:

  • Pet Accessibility: The number of dog parks per capita, and if there are pet-friendly shopping areas and restaurants nearby that allow animals in their outdoor arenas.
  • Quality of Life: Which considers housing costs, areas of dog-walkability, and the local weather and precipitation rates.

While these are all great precursors to finding perfect pet locations for co-habitation, some of us are perfectly happy where we already live. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find places in our area where we can be more content while being active with our canine companion.

Let’s say you live in an neighborhood without any designated dog parks or other places designed to exercise and play with your dog on a regular, outdoor basis. This doesn’t mean there aren’t other areas where you can go with your canine for some fun in the sun. Many National Parks with beautiful trails to explore often allow dogs. Or, check out other local city, county, or state parks where pets are welcome, even schools and churches could be pet friendly.

Be sure to check any rules and regulations first. Many parks and pet-friendly playgrounds require dogs to be leashed and their waste removed. There may even be other restrictions in place, like disallowing certain larger animals, dogs that have been labelled as troublesome, even some smaller breeds may be disallowed.


You Can Lead A Dog To Water

Taking a dog to the beach is a great way to spend the afternoon, but when you live inland and far away from these coastal areas, this obviously isn’t a choice. But there are many other water options in the form of lakes, rivers, and streams that offer a source of fun to H₂O loving canines and their masters. If there aren’t any wetlands in your area, there’s another choice to consider. What if this waterpark atmosphere was brought to you and your dog instead? There are a number of different groups like Splash Dogs that travel all around the country and transport portable water playgrounds to places near your community. In these arenas you can participate in a sport known as dock diving, where canines are pitted against each other in contests to see how far and high they can jump into the water compared to other dogs.

Seek and Ye Shall Find

You can always search for restaurants, shopping grounds, common areas, and other venues where dogs are welcome, but think about going social with your search for other canine companions. There are many online communities where pet lovers get together to share their experiences and tips and tricks about places to go and things to do inside their own neighborhoods.

This is also a great way to hook up with other pet owners and go on canine playdates. Not only will this be a great way to meet new people, it also helps to socialize our beloved four-legged best friends with other dogs. Sometimes this type of interaction creates bonds that enrich all of our lives.


Ready To Retire, But Not Expire

In closing, If you’re looking to the future, perhaps to relocate to an area that’s pet-friendly and tailored to your animal-associated lifestyle. The Huffington Post also recommends the “Top Places To Retire With Your Dog.” They tout locations like Portland, Oregon that cater to the dog-lover in all of us with tons of leash-free parks, pet-friendly restaurants, dozens of doggie day-care locations, qualified veterinarians, and even pet psychics that cater to our every animal need.

Whether you’re looking to relocate or content in the city where you currently reside, if you want to be happier and more active with your pet, take a look around at some of your available options. You and your best friend will both be happier with more experiences, environments, people, and pets available to you for some healthy interaction.

Article written by: Sloan McKinney

Canine Company Continues Their Commitment to DAWS

We are thrilled that Canine Company has renewed their partnership with DAWS as our 2017 Gold Annual Sponsor. Canine Company has been a generous partner to DAWS for many years, and we’re thrilled to have them as a sponsor in 2017!

Canine Company was founded by an entrepreneurial family with a love for animals. In 1981, while living in Swarthmore, PA, Henry and Carol Hill noticed a few neighbors’ pets staying happily and safely in their yards – a constant struggle for their dogs. They discovered that their neighbors were using an Invisible Fence® Brand system which was in a beta testing phase for a new concept of electronic pet containment. When they moved to Weston, CT in 1983, the Hill Family tried to buy an Invisible Fence® system only to discover that there was no reliable source. After finally finding an avenue to purchase the electronic pet containment system, they installed one in their yard for their beloved Bassett Hound and Lab.

Pleased with the results, the Hills contacted Invisible Fence® Inc. to inquire about becoming a distributor of the product. The Hills signed a Dealership Agreement, allowing them to sell the product within the NY Metropolitan area.

With a slow start, the Hill family evolved from a dealer to a distributor with exclusive distribution rights to RI, CT, Southeastern NY, and Northern NJ. In 1986, after signing this agreement, the Canine Fence Company (known today as Canine Company) was born. With this new model, Canine Fence operated as a retailer and wholesaler.

In 1990, Henry and Carol’s daughter Jennifer decided to join the business full-time after college. What was originally planned as an opportunity to gain experience would eventually become Jennifer’s long and successful career. In 1992, Invisible Fence® Inc. signed over exclusive distribution rights to the remainder of NJ, MA, NH, VT and ME. Jennifer then moved to Boston to take on the challenge of developing the newly acquired Boston market. After leading the new market to a successful start and obtaining her MBA, Jennifer moved back to CT to manage the company’s marketing efforts while strengthening the infrastructure of the company to create a platform for growth. Today, dealing directly to consumers as the largest Invisible Fence® Brand retailer in the entire northeast, the company also supplies more than 16 Independent Dealers throughout the region.

Over the years the company perfected the art of reliable electronic pet containment installation and training protocols. With repeated requests from pleased clients who wanted to utilize more of the company’s training expertise, the Manners in-home obedience training program was born in 2010. In 2012, with an online retail store and the new obedience training program, the company had expanded beyond pet containment. The owners realized that the name “Canine Fence” was no longer fitting for the myriad of products and services offer. The company expanded beyond the fence and became Canine Company.

Animal lovers and entrepreneurs, Henry, Carol, and Jennifer  have grown a family owned start-up from modest origins into a multi-million-dollar pet services business. Perhaps more important to them as animal lovers, they have created an innovative, affordable way for dog and cat owners in the northeast to keep their beloved four-legged family members safe and alive, both indoors and out. Moreover, with the addition of new products and services they are dedicated to nourishing the unique bond between pet and owner by simplifying life for the pet owner, while ensuring that pets remain safe, happy, and healthy.

Pet Spotlight – Meet Domino & Rogue

Domino and Rogue are quite the dynamic duo. They were brought to DAWS because their owner was no longer able to care for them. They are about 1 1/2 years-old, and they have been together all their lives, so we are hoping to find a family who is willing to open up their hearts and home to both of them.

Domino loves affection and is always happy to get a chin scratch from anyone willing to give one. He suffers from a mild case of Cerebellar Hypoplasia, which makes him a little off balance when he walks, but that has not slowed him down in the least. He’s incredibly playful and is living a full life!

Rogue is finding it a bit harder to adjust to his new surroundings, but with the love and attention provided by the DAWS staff and volunteers, he’s starting to come around. Being with his brother certainly helps. He’s not afraid to show his sweet side, and he absolutely loves to play with toy mice.

If you have room in your heart to spare, please consider adopting this duo.

Pet Spotlight – Meet Amos

Amos holds a special place in the hearts of many staff members and volunteers at DAWS. He is an incredibly smart dog who is eager to learn new things; he’s gotten the hang of urban mushing. With all those “smarts,” however, he sometimes gets in trouble. That’s why he has a dedicated team of handlers in place, working with him to help him learn to be the best dog he can be. The work has paid off, and Amos is learning to mind his manners. He’s consistently demonstrating just how good he can be with a little bit of love and some consistent training.

Amos is loving and sweet and is incredibly loyal to the people he trusts. He’s eager to please and sorry when he makes a mistake. Those who know him best understand his full potential and want nothing more than for him to find a loving family who will help him reach it. Could it be you?

If you’d like to meet Amos, please reach out to our Dog Program Chair directly.


Meet Sydney

Sydney is as sweet and as pretty as a cat can get. She’s a lovely muted calico with an endearing little face and a few extra toes. At just 5 years old, Sydney will be warming hearts for many years to come.

Sydney is a classy kitty who loves to lounge and be pampered. She loves fleece blankets, pets on the head, and scratches under her very chin — which is very pronounced! She will be a quiet and loving addition to your home.

We Can Make A Difference Together

As a no-kill shelter, DAWS is committed to caring for animals until they find their forever homes, for however long it takes. And for some animals, finding a loving family takes a little bit longer than expected. When you make a donation on Giving Day, 100% of what you give goes toward caring for animals in need, and that helps make a difference for those animals who have to wait a little longer to find their forever families.

Amos is a handsome boy who has been waiting for a family for over 400 days. Our dedicated staff and volunteers ensure that he is healthy and as happy as possible while in our care. His kennel is cleaned daily, and he gets a comfy blanket to sleep on every night. His belly is kept full with two square meals a day and plenty (too many?) of treats. He even gets a peanut butter Kong every so often. With every 90 days that pass, Amos gets a check-up in our clinic to make sure that he is healthy and up-to-date on all his vaccines…and perhaps in need of a diet program with a few less treats! Amos has his own dedicated team who take him for walks and romps in the yard. They are specially trained to work with him and help him become the best dog that he can be.

Amos is wicked smart, happy to learn, and eager to take direction from his “crew.” He is a special dog who needs an equally special family to welcome him into their home. Until he finds his perfect match, DAWS will care for Amos, providing him shelter, food, medical care, and—most of all—love.

You can help us ensure that Amos and other animals like him are cared for until they find their forever home. Please donate on Giving Day.

Don’t forget—you can maximize your donation by helping us win the Get Up and Give launch prize and the Top of the Morning prize. Plan your giving on Giving Day.

Give Where You Live! Donate to DAWS on Giving Day.

Pet Spotlight: Meet Raven

We’re just raving about Raven! This black beauty is ready and waiting for a new family to call her own. Raven longs for attention and will gladly make that known to anyone who passes by her. She’ll gladly engage you in conversation and reach out to you from her cage in order to get the attention she knows she deserves.

Raven faced some tough challenges as a stray on the streets. Unfortunately, that included becoming infected with FIV. Even still, that hasn’t dampened her spirit. Her sweet, loving nature shines through to everyone who meets her.

This affectionate beauty will make a wonderful addition to anyone’s home. With love and care, she will bring happiness and joy to the heart of whomever adopts her – for MANY years to come.

Adopt Raven!