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!