DAWS Celebrates Another Pets for Patriots Adoption


We’re celebrating!  Dolly, a 6-year-old Coonhound mix, became the second DAWS dog to be adopted as part of the Pets for Patriots progam.

Pets for Patriots Adoption

On May 1st, the second Pets for Patriots adoption was finalized, and we’re thrilled!

Dolly, a 6-year-old Coonhound mix, became the second DAWS dog to be adopted as part of the Pets for Patriots program.  Dolly, a 70-lb. gentle giant, quickly wormed her way into the heart of her new dad when he met her at the 5K race on April 24th.  As a U.S. veteran, he took advantage of the program, which helped to expedite Dolly’s adoption.

Before Dolly met her soul mate, she won over the hearts of the staff and volunteers at the shelter with her nightly sing-alongs.  Dolly’s howls would encourage her fellow canine companions to bark and howl from their kennels, erupting in what we’re sure they believed was sweet, sweet music.

DAWS is proud to be a partner of the Pets for Patriots program, and we hope to match many more animals with loving families as a result of it.

Learn more about Pets for Patriots. 

Your Voice Can Make a Difference!

The voices of animal lovers throughout Connecticut wer heard! Desmond’s Law passed the House and Senate and is making its way to the Governor’s office for signing.  Three additional pro-animal bills need your support.  Learn how you can help.

Raise Your Voice for Animals

Thanks to animal lovers like you, Desmond’s Law (HB 5344) is on its way to be signed into law by the Governor.  There are three additional animal-related bills that are awaiting a vote in the House that need your support:

SB 227:  Cecil’s Law – would prohibit the importation of hunting “trophies”

HB 5578: would prohibit the cruel trade of elephant ivory and rhino horn

HB 5147: would increase the maximum penalty for malicious animal cruelty crimes

These three bills are awaiting action in the House of Representatives.  You can contact your State Representative and ask him/her to support these bills.  Look up their contact information and reach out to them.  Let your voice be heard in support of animals.

Is Your Pet Suffering from Allergies?


The same allergens that can wreak havoc on your nasal passages can also cause discomfort in your pets.  Pets affected by allergies may suffer all of their lives because we don’t recognize the symptoms.  Knowing the signs of allergies in our furry companions can help alleviate that suffering.

Allergies in Your Pet

There are many types of allergies that can affect your pet.  Recognizing the symptoms of allergies in your furry friends can alleviate their suffering.

Atopy is an allergic reaction to environmental allergens that are inhaled or come in contact with skin.  This is the most common form of allergy in dogs and cats. Atopy is often seasonal and includes allergens that also affect humans, such as spring tree pollen, ragweed, and dust mites. Symptoms of atopy include:

  • Chewing at the feet
  • Constant licking of the side and groin area
  • Rubbing of the face
  • Inflamed ears or recurrent ear infections
  • Recurrent hot spots in dogs and pinpoint facial scabbing in cats
  • Asthma-like wheezing and respiratory problems (more likely in cats)

Contact dermatitis is an allergy to something your pet comes in contact with.  This form of allergy is less common.  Allergens may include carpet fibers, cleaners, or plastic. Symptoms of contact dermatitis include:

  • Red itchy bumps or blisters on sparsely-haired areas of the skin and those exposed to the allergen such as the belly, feet, or muzzle
  • Intense scratching
  • Hair loss (in chronic conditions)

Ten to fifteen percent of allergies in dogs and cats are caused by food. Symptoms include:

  • Itching, especially face, feet, trunk, limbs and anal area
  • Ear problems, often yeast-relates
  • Skin infections that respond to antibiotics, but then recur as soon as the antibiotic therapy ceases

Food allergies can be confused with food intolerances, which generally cause diarrhea and vomiting, but food intolerances are not true allergies.

If you suspect that your pet has allergies, visit your veterinarian who can determine how best to treat him.  It is the best way to relieve his suffering and help him live a happy, healthy life.

Adapted from:  http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=75

Realtor Kim Gifford Sponsors 5K Race

Kim Gifford Picture v2DAWS is pleased to announce Kim Gifford, Realtor with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, as the Title Sponsor for the 4th Annual Run Your Tail Off 5K Race. As a realtor, Kim helps families find their home, and she is thrilled to help cats and dogs find loving homes through her sponsorship of our event.

Kim Gifford has been a realtor since 2003 and is working with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in Danbury, CT.  She is a Connecticut native who grew up in Middlebury, raised a family in Bethel, and now lives in Danbury. Kim is the proud mother of two terrific sons, Michael (20) and Peter (19).  Michael is a sophomore at Colorado School of Mines studying mechanical engineering/economics. Peter has Down syndrome and is a senior in high school who loves math, science, and sports.

Kim and her sons are animal lovers. When they wanted to adopt a puppy, they searched Petfinder™ and found Oreo, a 2 ½ month-old Border Colie/Golden Retriever mix in Tennessee.  “Before we knew it, we were holding Oreo in our arms and were instantly in love!  Now Oreo is almost 8 years-old and is such an integral part of the family,” Kim says. “He’s also a wonderful real estate dog, too.  He loves going out on appointments and meeting clients, and many of them request that Oreo come along!”

Kim is thrilled to be able to support DAWS through her sponsorship of the 4th Annual Run Your Tail Off 5K Race.  “Since I help people find their new homes, I love knowing that I’m also able to help cats and dogs find their forever homes,” Kim says. “Pets bring so much joy to a family; I truly believe that a home isn’t complete until you have a loving furry pet!”

Danbury Animal Welfare Society is grateful for Kim’s support of our organization through her generous sponsorship of the 5K.

Custom DAWS T-Shirts for Mother’s Day!

PO7200015-front-CUGet your beautiful, custom designed DAWS T-Shirt for Mother’s Day! Surprise the mom in your life with our unique “Love” design, printed on a 100% cotton, soft quality Gildan short or long sleeve T-shirt, available in several color choices.  Featuring a dog and a cat, this design will let everyone know how much you love your pets.  All proceeds go directly towards providing our animals with shelter, heat,  food, and on-site veterinary care while they await adoption. Thank you!

Click here to order online today!

Focusing on Animal Rights in Connecticut

As the February session of the Connecticut General Assembly begins, a number of bills have been raised that can help in the fight to ending animal abuse and neglect in Connecticut.  Raise your voice in support of these bills.

The Connecticut General Assembly Considers Bills That Will Benefit Animals

CTGA Official_Logo_mdThe February session of the Connecticut General Assembly is underway, and three Bills will be introduced that may benefit the welfare of animals.


This Bill would permit the use of animal advocates in certain legal proceedings relating to neglected or cruelly treated animals.  Representatives can advocate for the interest of the animal or the interest of justice in the event the animal is deceased.  The law was named in honor of Desmond, a former shelter dog, whose abuser and killer was able to avoid jail time.


This Bill is aimed at increasing the penalty for subsequent animal abuse offenses and generally prohibiting the availability of accelerated rehabilitation for violators committing multiple offenses.


This Bill would REQUIRE signage in state parks and forests showing people what to do when they encounter bears. It would also promote regulations that prohibit the feeding of bears.This is proactive legislation that would help minimize human vs. bear encounters, and save lives – both human and bear – as a result.


This Bill would limit the potential for insurers to use the breed of a dog as a factor in underwriting insurance policies for homeowners and tenatnts.

Public testimony has been heard, but you can always lend your voice.  Contact your Representatives and let them know you support these bills.  To find your local Representative, click here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp

From Love Stories to Love Matches

Not long after being featured in the Love Stories article in the February newsletter, three of our long-term residents at DAWS found the love that they deserve with new families.

From Love Stories to Love Matches

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, an article called Love Stories was written for the February newsletter to feature some of the long-term residents at DAWS who were in need of some luck to find forever homes.  We’re happy to report that three of those animals have found the love that they deserve.

Just as the article was being published, Tonya went into foster care with a family who was willing to give her theLove Stories Adoptions 2_0time she needed to get comfortable in her new surroundings.  With new doggie friends to guide her, Tonya settled in and found her way into the hearts of her new foster family.  This family went (for at least the second time) from Foster Family to Foster Failure!  Tonya officially became a full-fledged member of the family on February 15thafter being in the shelter for 11 months.

Patch found his match not long after Tonya.  A lovely couple who have adopted many cats from DAWS over the last decade and a half fell in love with Patch when they saw him.  They wanted to give him the chance he deserved.  On February 20th, Patch went home with his new family, and to meet his new sister Abby, after being in the shelter since April 2014.  Patch has settled in nicely, is cohabitating very well with Abby, and is even spending time sleeping on the bed with mom, dad and Abby!

Eve found her forever home just in time to make it into this edition of the newsletter.  On February 27th, she took her “comfy curl” position on the couch in the Real Life Room at the shelter for the last time.  Donning a cozy grey sweater, she snuggled next to her new mom as her adoption paperwork was finalized.  It was a bittersweet moment.  Eve had been with us since April, 2015, and many folks had become quite attached to her.  While it was hard to say goodbye, we are all thrilled that Eve has finally found a forever home to call her own.

DAWS Gets TV Exposure on Pound Posse Presents

Thanks to DAWS supporter, artist ShawnaLee Kwashnak, DAWS benefited from some unexpected TV exposure on the February 6thepisode of the weekly local show Pound Posse Presents. ShawnaLee relayed the story of how she was asked to paint the mural that adorns a wall in our shelter’s Greeting Room.  This was unexpected, but fantastic promotion.

DAWS Mural Featured on Pound Posse Presents

DAWS got some unexpected exposure when artist ShawnaLee Kwashnak appeared as a guest on the TV show, Pound Posse Presents, a weekly series that promotes adoptable animals in shelters, pounds, and foster care in the Waterbury, CT area and beyond.  ShawnaLee was invited to share how she combines her passion for animals with her love of art on the episode that aired February 6th.  During the interview, ShawnaLee relayed the story of how she came to paint the mural that adorns a wall in our shelter’s Greeting Room.  After working with DAWS on a TNR project, ShawnaLee was approached to see if she would be willing to paint the mural.  ShawnaLee agreed, and reached out to DAWS adopters to get her inspiration.  The mural has been gracing the wall of our Greeting Room since 2011.

ShawnaLee remains a DAWS supporter today.  You can find her on our partner page, as she will donate 10% of the cost of a portrait you commission from her if you mention DAWS.

If you didn’t catch the episode live, you can view it on YouTube.  Thanks, ShawnaLee!

Angel in the City by Sarah Matula

Angel at BarkboxLong-term resident, Angel, got to strut her stuff on the February 19thepisode of BarkBox’s new web series #PitBullFridays.  Angel’s performance was a big hit, gaining over 100,000 views on Facebook since airing.  Watch the video and read about Angel’s big adventure in the big city.

Watch the video of Angel’s film debut!

Angel made her big debut on BarkBox’s #PitBullFridays on February 19th.  When I arrived at the shelter to meet Angel and fellow volunteer, Kristen Backus, who organized this opportunity, Angel came bounding out of the shelter with a spring in her step, and a twinkle in her eye – she knew that adventure awaited.

With no hesitation she jumped into the strange car, and with some happy snorts, settled herself down for the long trip into New York City.   The happy snorts continued throughout the trip, interspersed with snuggling Kristen as she was taking in her surroundings.

As we hit traffic, and everything slowed down, Angel enjoyed surveying the sights and smells of the city.  We found an underground parking lot and despite the slight tension as I tried to ease the car into it with paint intact, Angel just looked around ready for the next step of her adventure.

Hitting the streets of Manhattan, Angel confidently stepped out on the sidewalk and followed her nose.  She exhibited no hesitation with foot traffic, all kinds of people, construction, or buses clattering across manhole covers.  She took it all in stride, and as she made her way through the busy city, she got more than her fair share of compliments: “what a lovely dog,” “super dog,” “can I pet her?” Of course she was the perfect ambassador for DAWS.

After checking out a line of cabs, and seeing a food truck with a hotdog as big as her, Angel confidently led us on to Central Park, with a brief stop to try to understand what pigeons are all about.  Once in the Park, she sniffed her way around before settling on a spot for a quick picnic.  Then it was time to get back on the road toward our final destination, BarkBox HQ.

Construction and one-way streets conspired to have us several blocks away with the clock ticking, and no parking spot.  So, undaunted, Kristen and Angel sprang from the car, and headed off through the crowded streets of Chinatown while I tried to find somewhere to park the car.  Angel and Kristen sprinted along the crowded sidewalks as if they were heading for a touchdown…ducking and weaving; Angel took it all in stride.  They arrived at Barkbox HQ, and Angel got to try out an elevator for the first time.

It wasn’t her favorite, but she did it, and still had a confident tail wag and kiss for our hosts upon arriving for her filming.

While Kristen handled the interview like a pro, Angel was endearing, charming, gave kisses, and snorted her way into everyone’s hearts.  She also made quick work of destroying a toy given to her by the hosts, but they didn’t seem to mind.  After filming, Angel went to all of our hosts for petting, and to offer kisses –  they all loved her.

With DAWS the only destination now, Angel had the opportunity to take a slower trip through Chinatown on the way to the car.  She continued to stride confidently on the sidewalks, while sitting at crosswalks, unbothered by strollers, rolling trash cans, and roving bands of selfie-taking tourists – she has got what it takes to be a city girl.

Back in the car, Angel settled in, and soon the sound of happy snores was coming from the back of the car.  We made our way back through remarkably light traffic to the shelter.  I won’t say home…finding Angel her home was the purpos of all this; it’s why we do this.  Hopefully the exposure Angel has had will not only get her into a home, but will help other DAWS animals as well.