As life as we knew it across the world slowed down for many of us this year – that wasn’t the case here at the Danbury Animal Welfare Society. As an essential provider to our community that has been saving thousands of displaced animals since 1974, a health crisis hasn’t prevented us from carrying out life-saving work. It was quite the contrary, as DAWS has had a record-breaking year, surpassing 1,000 cat and dog adoptions already! Clinic services, community outreach, and programs to prevent animal over-population are also thriving.

Your compassion is what makes this possible – for countless animals to escape high kill shelters and find loving homes, for families in the community to know they may turn to us in these unprecedented times for low-cost veterinary services and assistance – our door has been knocked on more than ever before. We remain committed to animal welfare and hope your commitment to DAWS will continue in these extraordinary times of need.

These heartwarming stories are proof of your kindness…

Comfort & Joy

Sweet Freddy was greatly impacted by loss due to the pandemic. He was rescued by one of our partners in West Virginia after his owner sadly lost their battle to COVID-19. Freddy was embraced by all that were graced by his peaceful presence during his time at DAWS until he found his new home!

“I adopted my daughter Li from China 18 years ago because I knew there were so many children in the world who needed love. Since then, we rescued two cats and a dog that has since passed away. We knew there would be another dog in our future and just as me and my daughter found each other, “the right dog would find us.” As a mental health counselor at Webster University in St. Louis, I hoped the next member of our family would be suitable as a therapy dog. Unfortunately, that narrowed my options immensely. I thought it might be the perfect time to train a dog as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), but could not find the right pup!

As my daughter and I were now doing our work remotely, we decided to head up to Monroe, CT to be closer to my 92-year-old father. He had been grieving the loss of my mother on top of being quarantined at his assisted living. We knew about DAWS from relatives who are puppy fosters. Maybe “our dog” would be at DAWS?

Soon after arriving in CT and reaching out to DAWS they called and said, “WE HAVE YOUR DOG!” – a mellow 8-year-old Havanese-Shih Tzu. He was about to be adopted when sadly that person contracted COVID-19 as well. We had an instant connection and he slept on my daughter’s lap all the way back to Monroe.

We discussed names that would fit this dog’s Zen nature since one of our cats is also named Freddy. Then, it came to me…TONY! – after Dr. Anthony Fauci. Politics aside, I simply knew this white-haired wonder would bring comfort to so many, just as Dr. Fauci had been doing. When Tony met my Dad, he climbed onto his lap, peered gently at him nose to nose, and snuggled in for a long nap. This was the dog we had been waiting for!

I cannot thank the staff and volunteers at DAWS enough. Our newest family member will touch the lives of so many just as he heals from the trauma of losing his beloved first owner. Now when we encounter anyone in pain, we can exclaim, “Don’t worry, there IS A DOCTOR in the house!”– Carol Hodson

Second Chances

At DAWS, especially in 2020, there have been many hardships. Owners are often faced with the difficult decision to surrender their beloved pets due to illness, eviction, or other financial constraints. That is how Squeaky and Beans, a fiveyear-old bonded pair, came to us. Their owner entrusted us to find them a new home. Fortunately, the Wells Family was looking to add an addition…or two.

“We had been waiting for a few years to get a new cat after our last cat, Huck, passed away. When we saw Squeaky and Beans, we thought they would be perfect for us. We ended up applying for another cat because we had assumed someone had scooped them up by then, being that they were just so sweet! When we got the call that we were approved, I just burst into tears. Our family has felt incomplete without a cat and it was so exciting to know that we were going to have one again!

When we met Squeaky and Beans at the shelter, Eli said, “It’s been so long since I pet a cat!” and I just about cried. He had to write a story for school about something he was looking forward to and he wrote about adopting a kitty. Eli originally wanted to write two letters — one to DAWS, and another to the previous owners to thank them for taking such good care of them. He promised to do the same. I can only imagine how hard it is to have to let go of a pet.

We brought the cats home and they just instantly fit into the family! We ended up renaming Squeaky, Frank. He loves to play and uses the scratching post like a champ. Frank is always following the kids around and they love it! Beans is a favorite with my colleagues as he is often jumping into my lap during Zoom calls. We love their different personalities and are each wonderful in their own ways. They get along well with our dog and they’ve made the house feel like a home now. They are the best boys!” – Erin Wells

Frank and Beans were given a second chance at life – one filled with love and affection. We thank the Wells family for keeping this bonded pair together and saving them both.

Paw it Forward

The community has stood by DAWS for over four decades – in turn, allowing us to support those in our own backyard. During our “Paw it Forward” holiday drive, the outpour of donations was overwhelming! From PPE, pet food, toys, laundry and other supplies, the list is endless. So far, we assisted 10 families in need. One recipient said, “From the bottom of my heart, I thank DAWS immensely for helping me with my baby and for not looking down on me because I asked for help. As soon as COVID-19 is no longer a danger, I plan to meet with you and give you a big hug.”

Please consider a gift that will allow our dedicated team to improve the lives of animals in our community and beyond. The more support we receive, the more lives we can save!

What will the future hold for all of us? Well, at DAWS, our home is in desperate need of repair. Despite these challenging times, we anticipate breaking ground on our long-awaited renovated shelter in 2021. We are confident that with your continued generosity we may move forward to provide a safe haven for so many animals as they await their forever home.

We wish you and your family a season filled with warmth, happiness, and good health. Thank you for pawing it forward and keeping the DAWS family close to your heart.

See you in 2021!
With gratitude,

Alice Meenan
Director of Development and Marketing
203 794-4223 |