Pet Spotlight: Meet Ozzy

Ozzy is an adorable chap, indeed! Just look at his face. And with abounding energy and spunk, it’s hard to imagine why this handsome devil is still in our shelter.

While he may be eligible for his AARP card (Amazing Association for Retired Puppies), Ozzy is all about busting stereotypes. He enjoys going for walks with his friends and is thrilled to play fetch in the yard with anyone who wants to throw a ball (did you see his video on Facebook?). He’s an active “senior” who is ready to join in on whatever adventures you have in mind.

Ozzy is full of life and is ready to enrich yours for many years to come. Stop by and visit him and see what we mean. Then…adopt Ozzy!

Maximize Your Donation on Giving Day

Help us win cash prizes on Giving Day!

Your donation can be multiplied by helping DAWS win two of the various cash prizes offered as part of Giving Day.

DAWS is competing to win the $1,000 Get Up and Give Launch prize and the $5,000 Top of the Morning prize.  Details of how these prizes will be awarded are as follows:

Get Up and Give Launch Prize–Beginning at 12:00 AM EST on March 1st, the first 20 nonprofits to receive 25 unique donors of $25 or more will receive a $1,000 prize.  You can help us win this prize by planning your donations to maximize the number of unique donors during this time period.

Example:

  • The Smith family plans to donate $100 to DAWS on Giving Day
  • John, Jane, Jenny, and Jeremy Smith log on at 12:00 AM EST and each donate $25 to DAWS (NOTE:  the minimum donation during this prize contest is $25)
  • DAWS raises $100 and earns credit for 4 unique donors towards the cash prize

Top of the Morning Prize–Between 12:00 – 9:00 AM EST on March 1st, the organizations with the most money raised during this time period will win the prize. You can help us win this prize by planning your donations to maximize the dollar amount raised by DAWS by 9:00 AM EST on March 1st.

Example:

  • The Jones, Roberts, Masters, and Murphy families all plan to donate $500 to DAWS on Giving Day
  • Members of each family log on sometime between 12:00-9:00 AM EST and each donate $500 to DAWS
  • DAWS raises $2,000 and earns credit towards the cash prize

Any donation during the 24-hour event will directly benefit the cats and dogs in our care.  Give where YOU live on March 1st and help us reach our $15,000 goal!

Click to Donate on March 1st!

To learn more about Giving Day, log onto FCGives.org.

In the past event, more than 230 donors supported DAWS during the 24 hours to “give where you live” event.  This money was used to directly benefit the 756 cats and dogs who found loving homes last year. You can help us make a difference in the lives of animals in need. Please donate on Giving Day!

Love Lost and Found

Winnie the dog was selected by our intake coordinators to come to DAWS for another chance at a forever home. After making the long journey from Kentucky to Connecticut, it soon became clear that she was one lucky dog.

Winnie was surrendered by her owner to one of our partner shelters. She wasn’t a dog who was neglected; she didn’t suffer from behavioral issues that led to her surrender. Her owner simply no longer could or wanted to care for her. She was, in fact, a highly adoptable dog, and therefore a good candidate for transfer. Lucky for her, she was selected to come to DAWS.

When Winnie was seen by our Clinic staff after arriving at the shelter, they scanned her for a microchip. Low and behold, Winnie had one. Because we often don’t know all the details about how these dogs ended up in a shelter, the staff followed our standard procedure and called the number associated with Winnie’s chip. It turns out that Winnie had a dad back in Kentucky who was missing her terribly. He had adopted Winnie as a puppy, but when he and his wife divorced, he lost “custody” of her. Winnie was ultimately surrendered to the shelter without his knowledge.

Winnie’s dad was thrilled to know that Winnie was safe and very much wanted to be reunited with her. We quickly made arrangements for Winnie to travel back to Kentucky to be returned to the dad who loves her.

Love that was lost was once again found. What a happy ending!

 

 

 

 

Winnie the dog was selected by our intake coordinators to come to DAWS for another chance at a forever home. After making the long journey from Kentucky to Connecticut, it soon became clear that she was one lucky dog.

Winnie was surrendered by her owner to one of our partner shelters. She wasn’t a dog who was neglected; she didn’t suffer from behavioral issues that led to her surrender. Her owner simply no longer could or wanted to care for her. She was, in fact, a highly adoptable dog, and therefore a good candidate for transfer. Lucky for her, she was selected to come to DAWS.

When Winnie was seen by our Clinic staff after arriving at the shelter, they scanned her for a microchip. Low and behold, Winnie had one. Because we often don’t know all the details about how these dogs ended up in a shelter, the staff followed our standard procedure and called the number associated with Winnie’s chip. It turns out that Winnie had a dad back in Kentucky who was missing her terribly. He had adopted Winnie as a puppy, but when he and his wife divorced, he lost “custody” of her. Winnie was ultimately surrendered to the shelter without his knowledge.

Winnie’s dad was thrilled to know that Winnie was safe and very much wanted to be reunited with her. We quickly made arrangements for Winnie to travel back to Kentucky to be returned to the dad who loves her.

Love that was lost was once again found. What a happy ending!

A Generous Gift Brings a New Look for DAWS

In just a few short days, the DAWS website will have a brand new look and feel. This has been made possible by an incredibly generous gift from Rockport Technology Group. Rockport donated design and development work to create a new look for our website. Along with its fresh and modern look, the new website will be running on a platform that offers responsive design, making it viewable whether our visitors are at home on their laptops or out and about and on their mobile devices.

The project is the result of a personal relationship between a DAWS Board member and Rockport Technology Group’s founder, Tom Moore. A small team of volunteers worked in partnership with our Webmaster and the Rockport team to develop the concept and wireframe for the new site design. The team has been working diligently since June to bring the new website to life.

The donation of these services is incredibly generous. We are extremely grateful to the Rockport team for supporting DAWS with this invaluable gift.

Check back with us in a few days. We hope you appreciate our new website as much as we do!

rockport-logo1

What it Means to be a Responsible Pet Owner

When choosing to add a pet to the family, you may spend more time focusing on the joy and happiness you expect your new pet will bring. While pets can certainly deliver happiness and joy, they also come with a set of obligations that everyone should consider. February is Responsible Pet Ownership month, and it is a great time to be reminded about what it means to be a good pet parent. While there is no true definition of a responsible pet parent, these are a few widely accepted tips to help you create a happy, healthy life for your furry friends.

Commitment

Petting CatWhen adopting your pet, you should commit to caring for him for his entire life. Pets depend on their human companions for their daily care throughout their entire lives. You should consider your ability to care for a pet for however long his lifespan may be. Certainly life hands us things we don’t expect, so you should also consider who may be able to care for your pet if circumstances prevent you from being able to do so yourself.

Much like in marriage, this commitment should also be thought of as one that lasts through good times and bad, in sickness and health. Our pets are not always perfect, and you should be willing to invest the time, effort and money to work through any behavioral or health challenges that might arise.

Food and Shelter

Providing your pet with the basic necessities of life should go without saying. Your pets will need continuous access to clean water, healthy and nutritious food, and shelter from the elements, preferably within the home. Cats and dogs will live healthier, happier, more rewarding lives when they are treated as full members of the family, living side-by-side with us in our homes.

Healthcare

Regular preventive care is key to helping your pet live a long and healthy life. It’s best to establish a relationship with a veterinarian to help keep you on track with regular check-ups and vaccinations. Your veterinarian can also guide you on how to address your pet’s hygiene and grooming needs, as well as tackling seasonal issues like fleas, ticks and worms. An established relationship with a vet can also be helpful as your pet ages. Most pet owners will have to face the decline of their pets’ health as they age. Your vet can help you keep your pet comfortable, pain free, and loved, and guide you in making decisions on end-of-life care.

Spay and Neuter

Animal overpopulation is a real issue in our country and all over the world. Responsible pet ownership includes preventing your pets from reproducing by getting them spayed or neutered. Until every homeless pet has a home, there is no reason for any companion animal to reproduce.

Training and Socialization

Behavioral issues are the number one reason why animals are surrendered to shelters, so training and socializing our pets helps make sharing our homes with them much easier. A dog who has been trained in basic obedience knows what behaviors are acceptable and what is expected of him.  This can help him be more cooperative, comfortable, and confident in the home environment. Cats who are trained to stay off certain surfaces and are trained where it is appropriate to scratch will be much easier to get along with in the home.

Exercise and Enrichment

Our pets need to stay in shape just like we do. Regular exercise is necessary to keep their muscles strong, their hearts healthy, and immune systems more resilient. Regular exercise also provides the mental stimulation that keeps pets happy. It is also important to pay attention to our pets’ emotional needs. Pets long for the attention of their human companions. One of the most inhumane things to do is to leave a cat to persistently meow outside at an unanswered door or to leave a dog chained to a tree in the yard.

Love

This may be the most important responsibility of all. Our pets are not possessions we own. They are companions who depend on us for their care. They need our love and devotion throughout their lives and should be welcomed into our homes as full members of the family. Our pets are in tune with us and live for our happiness. Responsible pet parents work hard to do the same for them.

Celebrating Our Successes in 2016

2016 marked another successful year for Danbury Animal Welfare Society and our ability to adapt to the ever-changing and demanding needs for animal welfare organizations.  DAWS could not accomplish this without the efforts of our staff and volunteers and our many supporters.

DAWS achieved a 19% growth in adoptions year over year. We found loving homes for 756 animals, 365 cats and kittens and 391 dogs and puppies. This is up from 636 adoptions in 2015. In addition to these exceptional statistics, we also said goodbye to some of our long-term residents. Our cat program made forever happiness a reality for Winston, Gem, Sylvester, Tigra, and Patch to name a few. These cats spent more than two years in our care. The dog program made love happen for Charity, Angel, Jock, Tonya, Sumo, and Siro. These dogs spent ten months or more waiting for new families.

We partnered with the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation to implement the Senior Paw Project, finding Adoption Ambassadors for a number of our senior pets. All of them have since been adopted, either by their Ambassadors or other families. We also continued our promotion of the Pets for Patriots program, matching two dogs and one cat with U.S. Veterans.

Our first Operations Director, Teryl Flynn, stepped down from the organization in preparation for her husband’s retirement and their move back to Texas. While we were sad to see Teryl go, we welcomed Judy Slason to the organization. Judy brings an extensive background of proven success in helping not-for-profit organizations achieve their goals. She is already positioning DAWS for long-term success with her visionary plans.

DAWS added new Board members to the organization who bring skills in the areas of business and people management. The Board also continued its collaborative relationship with the Fundraising Advisory Council to bring forth ideas for the generation of new forms of revenue. After an evaluation of the organizational structure, changes were implemented that will better position DAWS for financial success in the future and help us achieve our goal of renovating the shelter, discussions for which were initiated in 2016.

Members of the Marketing Committee and Fundraising Advisory Council initiated work on the redesign the DAWS website. This redesign will incorporate responsive design to create a better user experience in today’s mobile world.

DAWS hosted a number of successful fundraising events throughout the year, generating needed funds to support our Mission to save lives. We also participated in numerous Community Outreach events, ensuring our organization and the animals we serve gained exposure within our community.

The great accomplishments of 2016 could not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our staff and volunteers. Our thanks goes to the:

  • Transport drivers who drive many miles and hours to bring our dogs to the shelter.
  • Cat Program where the never ending supply of “drop-offs” and hard luck stories makes managing the census a herculean effort.
  • DAWS Clinic staff who provide expert medical care to all of the cats and dogs before we them find forever homes
  • Cattery and Kennel staff that ensures our animals have a clean home, are fed, receive their medication and lots of love
  • Volunteers who ensure our animals are socialized, exercised, and loved
  • Program Chairs and Adoption Counselors who excel at matching animals with the best possible forever homes
  • Maintenance team who continuously work miracles to keep our shelter operational
  • Operations Director for managing our business and positioning us for success in the future
  • Marketing team for supporting our financial success by promoting our events and programs

We are also incredibly grateful to YOU, our many supporters who play an equal role in helping us with our life-saving work. Thank you for helping us deliver JOY to animals in need.

Here’s to our success in 2016; here’s to making a difference in the lives of animals!

Tips for Alleviating Your Pet’s Arthritis Pain During the Winter

Arthritis, an inflammation of the joint, is one of the most comment ailments of older dogs and cats, causing chronic pain and potentially affecting their quality of life. Over 90% of geriatric cats and one in five dogs over the age of seven are afflicted with the condition. The most common arthritis in dogs and cats is osteoarthritis, which occurs when a joint is unstable causing abnormal movement of the bones within it. This abnormal movement breaks down the cartilage lining joints, and over time the bones begin rubbing against one another, creating chronic inflammation and pain.

Recognizing the Signs

Some signs and symptoms of arthritis, like limping or favoring one or more legs, may be easily recognizable. Others are more subtle. You may notice that your pet no longer wants to do things she used to do. Your dog may have difficulty going up and down stairs, or your cat may no longer jump onto countertops or high perches. Your pet may tire more easily and spend more time sleeping. Pets in pain may spend more time licking, chewing, or biting an area and may become more irritable, potentially biting or snapping at you if you pet or handle them in a way that could cause pain. Cats may start urinating or defecating outside of the litter box because getting in and out of it is painful. Arthritic pets also often develop muscle atrophy due to inactivity and decreased use of the muscles.

Arthritis and Cold Weather

Scientific research on the effects of weather on arthritis is limited, but many people dealing with arthritis themselves agree that the changing season can cause additional stiffness and pain. This can occur this in pets as well.

Keeping your pet warm and comfortable during the winter months can help ease his discomfort. Create a warm, cozy, and comfortable place for him to rest, potentially in a spot slightly elevated off the floor. Remember, the air near the floor is much colder than a few feet above, and cold drafts are more easily felt closer to the floor. Special equipment, such as ramps can help pets go up onto higher furniture, giving them the ability to rest in a warm spot with fewer drafts. Sleeping on hard surfaces can make your pets feel achy and stiff. Give your pet a bed that is soft, supportive, and heated. There are a number of options for pet beds made of memory foam or with built-in heating pads, that can ease some of your pet’s pain.

Keeping your pet moving is also important to ease arthritis pain, but this often is challenging during the winter months. We often feel less inclined to get up and moving in the cold. Supporting our pets with arthritis means we must combat our own reluctance to stay active. Keep your cat moving by entertaining her with her favorite toys, like a laser pointer or wand toy. To ease potential pain from rolling around on a hard floor, put down some bedding in the area where she is playing to cushion her as she stalks and pounces. Make an effort to get out at least twice a day to walk the dog. Decreased activity means muscle atrophy will more likely increase, giving our dogs less strength to partake in activities that ultimately can help their arthritis improve. It may also be a good idea to give your dog a warm coat when venturing outside. While a lot of dogs do have thick hides to protect them from the cold, most dogs do require an additional layer of covering to feel warm.

Dogs need to go outside to relieve themselves, and this can be more difficult in the snow and ice. Posturing for these activities is a significant challenge senior pets face daily, and it is more challenging when ice and snow accumulate. Make it a point to clear ice and snow in driveways and around fences, and give your dog a clear path to navigate when going out side to do his business.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of arthritis in pets is essential to helping treat them. Taking a few additional steps to alleviate their discomfort in the winter months can go a long way to improving your pets quality of life and happiness.

For more information about pet arthritis and alleviating their pain in pets during the winter months, check out some of these resources:

PetMD

Pet Health Network

vetSTREET

Eight Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Your Pets

The holidays are a time to celebrate with family, including our four-legged children. Many of us include them in our holiday photos or get them gifts to open alongside the rest of the family. Whatever your traditions include, here are a few other ideas to consider to ensure your pets are part of the family celebration throughout the holidays.

8 Ways to Celebrate the Season of Giving with Our Pets

by Sloan McKinney

Our four-legged friends are just like family, and we treat them as such during the holidays. After all, we purchase them Dog Reindeergifts, include them in our photographs, and they’ve even become a part of a relatively new tradition known as ugly Christmas sweaters.

But apart from these traditional types of holiday celebrations, what are some other special ways we can celebrate the season with our pets? Honoring of the number of Santa’s reindeer, here are eight ways to celebrate the holidays with our pets in mind:

#1 – Take Them on a Snow Outing

Take your furry friend out for a romp in the snow. Most dogs, and even some cats, enjoy running and playing in the white, powdery stuff. Lightly pack snowballs and toss them to your dog to catch, or simply chase them around the yard. If you live in an area that doesn’t get snow on a regular basis, but there are mountains nearby, think of taking your animal up to see the snow. Enjoy a road trip for some refreshing playtime in the crisp air.

#2 – Have a Holiday Photo Contest

Whether you’re using the “ugly sweater” concept, going after the cuteness effect, or are including your animals within your holiday decor, consider having a photo contest with friends and family. Really open up your holiday pet platform on social media!

#3 – Royal Feast

Search the internet for “pet-friendly” recipes for a special, homemade treat for your four-legged best friend. Perhaps you’ll make your own holiday cookies from scratch for your dog or a catnip infused cake to give your favorite feline.

Christmas-cat 2_0#4 – Spa Day

Just like some of us give gift certificates for a day of beauty at a spa or health resort, considering giving your dog or cat the gift of a pet massage. Search for a provider in your area or look for some soothing animal massage techniques that you can learn yourself on the internet.

#5 – Make Their Bed Extra Cozy

Another relatively simple gift to give your dog or cat for the holidays is a nice, fluffy warm blanket for their bed, the couch, or other favorite hang-out spot. You can always buy them one at most pet and department stores, but you can also make one (without sewing a stitch) in an afternoon.

#6 – Their Own Decoration

Many people hang an individual Christmas stocking for their pet(s), but they can also have their very own special decoration for the tree. Whether it’s store-bought or homemade, give your pet a special spot on the tree for their own, unique ornament.

#7 – Extra Playtime

During the holiday rush, with all the hustle and bustle of planning, shopping and everything else the season entails, don’t overlook your animals. While you always remember when it’s time to feed them, give them some extra attention and playtime as well.

#8 – Give to Other Animals

It is the season of giving after all, and you can honor your pet by giving to other animals in need. On our homepage under the “Donate” tab, you’ll find many different ways you can help out other dogs and cats to ensure they’ll have a better holiday.

#9 – BONUS: From Rudolph

Here’s our ninth recommendation, directly from Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer – have a fun and safe holiday with your friends, family and especially your pets. Speaking of safety, check out this list of potential dangers for our dogs and cats during the holiday season courtesy of the ASPCA.

Have a safe, loving, giving holiday season and a joyous New Year!

Keep the Holidays Safe for Pets

While the sparkle and glitter of the holiday season can bring joy to many, the decorations we use to create our holiday
homes can be dangerous for pets. Ensure the holidays are happy for everyone. Keep these tips in mind to keep your holiday home safe for your furry friends.

Keeping Pets Safe as You Create Your Holiday Home39200-Silver-Christmas-Candles

The holidays are a time to decorate your home and create a festive environment. For families with pets, it’s important to keep the safety of your pets in mind while creating the perfect holiday atmosphere. Pets are curious in nature, and many holiday decorations are tempting to our furry friends. Unfortunately, they can also be harmful. Here are some things to consider that can help you keep the holiday season happy and safe for everyone.

Christmas trees are a staple in many holiday homes, but it is important to ensure your tree is secure and stable. Trees can topple over when curious cats try to climb them or your rambunctious pooch gets a little too close. Live trees can also be hazardous if your pets decide to chew on them. The fir tree oils can irritate the tissues in the mouth and ingested needles can puncture the intestines or bunch together causing an obstruction. Chemical preservatives sprayed onto live trees can also leach into the water dish, making the water poisonous to drink, which pets will do if the water is left uncovered.

Shiny tinsel is sometimes too irresistible to pets, but it can be extremely dangerous. If ingested, tinsel can create a linear foreign body, which can wrap around the base of the tongue or anchor in the stomach, making it unable to pass through. As the intestines contract, the linear foreign body can slowly saw through the tissue, resulting in risk of severe injury to, or rupture of their intestines.

Artificial snow, angel hair, and flocking can be toxic to pets if ingested in significant amounts. It is best to leave these off of your trees and other holiday decorations.

Pets often consider electrical cords to be great chew toys, but we all know that is not the case.Chewing on electrical cords can burn a pet’s mouth or result in electrical shock or death by electrocution. Use pet-proof extension cords, and spray cords with a deterrents such as bitter apple.

Ingested ribbons, yarn, and string can bunch in the intestines and cause blockages. These conditions require surgery and can be fatal. Keep these items out of reach of your pets.

Lit candles create that warm glow of the season, but lit candles can burn pets that get too close to them. A candle knocked over by a curious cat or a playful pup can cause a house fire with dire consequences. Never leave candles burning unsupervised and within reach of your pets.

Many people use potpourri to bring the smells of the season indoors. The oils used to create those smells can be toxic to pets when ingested. Don’t leave potpourri in a spot easily reached by your pets.

Keeping these tips in mind when decorating your home for the holidays can help you create a welcoming and safe ambiance that everyone can enjoy.

Help Us Shelter Feral Cats This Winter

Winter is approaching, and caretakers of feral cats are in desperate need of new houses to provide shelter and safety for the many colonies throughout the area. If you’d like to donate money or supplies or help us build new shelters, we’d welcome your support.

Feral Cat Shelter Project

DAWS will be working to build new outdoor cat shelters to support the many caretakers throughout the area who dedicate their time to caring for homeless and feral cats. We need money, supplies, and volunteers to help us build the shelters to keep these cats warm and safe this winter.

Supplies needed:

  • 18-20 gallon Rubbermaid-type storage bins with lids
  • Styrofoam (specific type needed – contact DAWS)
  • Straw

Donated supplies can be dropped off at the shelter prior to November 20th. If you’d like to donate money for this cause, please donate online or send a check made payable to DAWS to the shelter. Please indicate “Feral Cat Shelter Project” on your check or in the special instructions section on PayPal.

Anyone who wishes to help build these outdoor houses is welcome to join DAWS volunteers for a “build” event.

November 20, 2016

11 AM-2 PM

Our Clinic has moved! During our Renovation at 147 Grassy Plain Street, our Clinic will be located at Pleasant Paws, 94 South Main Street, Newtown Ct.

*Donations may be dropped off in the back of the building

Please reach out to Karen Madsen with questions about the supplies needed or to indicate your attendance at the “build” event.