Our Companions


Our Companions Animal Rescue is a Connecticut based organization that promises to always do the right thing for animals, regardless of the challenge or cost.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Zack's Having A Ball

Zack's Having A Ball!!


They say age is just a number and no one proves that more than our little Zack.  Zack came to us at the age of eight, but just start throwing some tennis balls and you'd swear he was a puppy.  The Our Companions Sanctuary was the perfect place him, with lots of loving volunteers who not only indulged his balls obsession, but brushed his curly fur and willingly gave their laps for his comfort.  He quickly made friends of all sorts and became a star of obedience class as well.  Zack did well and had lots of fun here, but it wasn't home and that's what he needed most of all.


You would think a great dog like Zack would have no problem finding a home in no time, but apparently, for some, age is more than just a number.  He stayed here for a few months, waiting for that home he was meant for, but he didn't complain and neither did we.  We loved having him around and knew we would miss him when that day finally came.  And come it did.  A lovely family came along with the perfect place for our favorite fuzzy friend and Zack went home at last.  





Zack's new family is in love with him, of course.  They tell us "Zack is doing fine. He is a wonderful dog...so cute...so smart...and so funny! Not only do we adore him, the neighborhood does too. He has met other dogs and interacts very positively. He loves the fenced yard and tires us out with throwing whatever toy he has chosen and bringing it back."  Zack is having a ball!!
 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Finding Frankie


We went through a scare at Our Companions last week! A little dog named Frankie ran off from his home just two weeks after being adopted from the Sanctuary. His new home was in Ashford, so once we received word that he was missing we were easily able to help with the search, but what direction did he head? The hilly woods around their home were vast, they bordered a river and lots of wetlands. It made trekking through the woods an impossible  thought.

The owners had already contacted most of their immediate neighbors, local animal control, and searched the woods near their home.  So the only other thing we could hope for was to continue spreading the word that this little dog was on the run. To help with this we printed up lots of posters with his picture, and two contact numbers should he be spotted. We also put it out on Facebook and got a terrific response from our followers.

At our Sanctuary, we outfit each dog with two separate tags—one on their martingale collars, and one on their harness. On this tag are three cell phone numbers and the address of the Sanctuary. Thankfully the new owners kept Frankie’s collar tag on him, so that he was wearing his brand new Ashford License and our tag.  He was also microchipped, so should the tags have fallen off during his adventure, that would have been a permanent identification if he was brought to any veterinarian or animal control facility.

The story has a happy ending, 24 hours after he ran off, I received the call I was praying  for—Frankie had been found!!! He was at an apartment complex not far away, pretty much a straight line from his home, but in the opposite direction that we originally saw him head. Thanks to those phone numbers on his tag, he was immediately returned to us and then back home where he belonged.

Lessons that we took home from this event:
·  Always keep identification tags with phone numbers on your dog. Cell phones are best as you may be out looking for the dog while a helpful call comes in on your home phone.
·       Have back up identification on your dog in the form of a microchip should the dog collar fall off during their excursion.
·      Get posters out to everyone in the immediate area. Start close and then widen your search as time goes on. I wish we had put posters at this apartment complex. In the future, I will look at a Google map if I ever find myself in this situation, and plan out a concentrated poster distribution  in the  local area in multiple directions.


Frankie is a very friendly and social dog, but they still needed to work to catch him. If a poster had been posted, familiar people would have been able to help capture him. I worry that loose dogs are scared and can get spooked if not handled correctly.  Thankfully that was not the case, and Frankie was one happy puppy once he was back at his home and realized that his misadventure was over!!!


His owners learned a valuable lesson the hard way, and while he was gone they installed multiple  tie outs throughout their yard. Frankie will never have a chance at running loose ever again, and instead will enjoy sunning himself on their deck, and long walks on their property while safely on a leash!

Monday, September 29, 2014

look who's getting ready for Halloween!

     Halloween is drawing near.... and our kitties at the                Sanctuary are getting into the spirit of the season.

Shall we take a look and see what they're up to?



Our pick for most creative costume goes to:
                                  
                                     Xavier!

           Trying to look a little like Eddie Munster- or his doll.  hmmm, nice try Xavier.                                        








Don't worry our sweet Xavier is actually just recovering from a very successful eyelid surgery.
After years as a stray and probably too many fights, his eyelids were scarred and badly damaged. This is what our poor guy looked like before his surgery: 





After  surgery, (and hopefully only a short time looking like Eddie Munster) Xavier is on his way to healthier eyes and a much more handsome look.

Our favorite orange girl Samantha has a few ideas about what she wants to be for Halloween too.




she's got the attitude down -but is still working on the costume part.



 Dressing as a black cat was definitely a popular theme for the kittens this year- 
although some added a little white for variety.
dominos working on the evil witch eye



Jasper even brought along his own witch  as a costume prop.


Hey! wait a minute ... this witch looks an awful lot like a mouse.




Frankie has decided to be a ghost this year..... again.

And, finally how about our sweet little Buttercup, she's all dressed up in orange? What's her costume?


Well, lucky Buttercup is just relaxing in the sun taking things easy - cause she'll be in her own new home in time for Halloween!
She's ready, and has waited a long time, and now her time has come.  we'll miss you Buttercup.



Friday, September 5, 2014

Henry Finds His Way

Henry Finds His Way


How does a blind dog find his way home?  With lots of assistance humans to guide his way, of course.  Henry sure had a long and winding road to travel, though.  His beginnings are a mystery, but there are no shortage of guesses: life outdoors, competing for resources with other dogs, failing as a hunting dog.  Wherever he started his journey, he ended up in a shelter in Connecticut and eventually made it to our door.


His time with us had more than it's share of challenges: health issues, unreliable house training, problems socializing with other dogs.  Henry was quite the project, but throughout it all, our volunteers showered him with the affection and security he needed to make progress and become a great little dog.  







Now, after a long search, Henry has finally found a place to call home.  He has someone who adores him and, just as important, understands what he needs to get by without his sight.  Henry is a special guy and a great example of the kind of special needs pets that Our Companions helps every day.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Intake room updates

A little while back we introduced you to three kitties who came together in our intake room at the same time:  


casey
noah
     Noah, Buttercup & Casey                 
buttercup
In the last post, we gave the wonderful news that Casey had found a loving home with one of the vet techs that helped care for him shortly after he arrived at the Sanctuary in very poor health. 

As for Noah and Buttercup - they still call the Sanctuary their home for now.
Both are out of the intake room and spending time with some of the other very energetic kittens occupying the downstairs living area.                                    

        

As you can see, learning to share becomes an important quality to have when one moves out of the intake and into the general living area. Here, there's a moment of harmony while everyone enjoys a quick cat-nap.
 
                                                            
And, here's another moment- (even though "grandpa" Noah loves his little charges and has endless patience for them)  there are times when a man just needs a little peace and quiet in his own bed!

Happily Noah is doing well now, just recently he had an acute bout with pancreatitis which is a very painful condition.
Additional fluids, proper diet and pain meds. helped him get through this tough time and he is returning back to his normal, lovable self.

Buttercup and Noah share their room with kittens Regan, Sidney and Domino.  A lively combination that has helped Buttercup continue to adjust to her surroundings. Hopefully soon she'll find a home of her own too.




So,  who's new in the intake room?

 That would be our beautiful girl Tabby!  She's about 8 years old- very affectionate and loves attention.
OH YES SHE CAN STILL FIT INTO THAT KITTY BED!!
A couple of things Tabby doesn't like:  being told she needs to lose weight...... and living with other cats.  (At least we haven't found one she's willing to live with yet).  So if you're looking to adopt just one.........

Lastly, a few photos sent in of Abby and Chelsea, our girls that were recently adopted to a couple of our volunteers. (after some initial hurdles to clear).   Word is the girls are adjusting wonderfully to their new home and have already become cherished and loved family additions!
Abby & Chelsea enjoying their new home together

Saturday, August 16, 2014

We fought the law and the law.....no wait.....we won!


Well. . . . truth be told it wasn't actually a fight.....and....not exactly with the law.  


 BUT... 

it's an adoption story that's encouraging and inspiring just the same.

It all began with the sad ending of a beautiful life.  In late December, two of our volunteers, Tom and Dave, lost their beloved companion Portia, after 12 joyful and eventful years. 
 
portia
A rescued kitty, she was a cherished princess that added a special joy and meaning to their lives.


As animal lovers and owners we've all been there - that unimaginable loss, the pain that follows, and the huge hole that it leaves in our hearts.

As time goes by we manage to move forward:  never getting over the loss but getting through it somehow.  The sad memories are eventually replaced by the happy ones and we find ourselves ready to give our love again to another animal in need of rescue.

Tom and Dave faced this slow, challenging journey while continuing to volunteer their time to the Sanctuary.

FAST FORWARD TO APRIL AT THE SANCTUARY.

Two sisters Abby & Chelsea joined our Sanctuary family.




chelsea

abby


 Their story typical of many:  the family received them as kittens and they lived together for the next three years. 
 In an ironic twist which will become apparent later -the family then came to us for help as they were only allowed to have one animal with them in their apartment.  Wanting to keep them together they gave up both and we welcomed them into the Sanctuary.

Meanwhile,  Tom and Dave's visits continued and one day they found themselves turning that corner.  Craving that special bond one can only share with an animal, missing that furry greeting at the end of a long day - 
 Yes,  they decided that they were ready to adopt again.

They were drawn to Abby and Chelsea and soon decided that they were the ones  - one for each of them!

With the decision made the anticipation grew.  Like expectant parents they were excited and started making plans for their new "kids" to come home.

They had just one last hurdle to clear.   They lived in a condominium complex where the rules were clear,  tenants are allowed two animals:  one dog and one cat - period.

But they weren't overly worried.  They were prepared to petition the association and ask for permission to own two cats - confident the request would be granted.

When the answer came back no- with no further explanation, their hopes were dashed instantly.  They were crushed at the news but accepted it with heavy hearts  understanding those were the rules and not looking to be troublesome.  They drew back and tried to rethink how they would now move forward once again.

But our story isn't sad and doesn't end there.

Knowing we had found the perfect owners that would treat them right and keep the girls together we were not ready to give up the fight.  And, with Tom and Dave's permission we drafted and sent letters stating our case to the association- even preparing to make a plea for Tom and Dave  for an exception in person at their meeting if necessary.

Amazingly,  in less than a week, the association had reversed its original decision and said yes to our request.

Tom and Dave were free to adopt both Abby and Chelsea!

Congratulations to Tom and Dave, we wish them well and hope this journey they have begun will bring them lots of laughter, joy and plenty of furry kisses.  (hopefully we'll pass along a photo of the happy family soon).



Kudos to Tom and Dave for respecting the rules and trying to go about the adoption process in the correct manner.  
 And to the condominium association  for listening to us with an open mind and realizing that rules can be changed for the benefit of all.


Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.

His Holiness The Dalai Lama


A quick update on one our our other furry friends:  Casey

Casey has been adopted! One of the vet techs who helped take care of Casey when he first came to us (and picked off all those awful ticks)  fell in love with him.  A couple of visits to the vet later she decided she wanted to add him to her family forever.

We'll miss you Casey :)

Also - although reliable numbers are hard to find below are some statistics that are a little disheartening to read.  It's good to know that today more and more resources are available to help people who want to keep their pets and to help them successfully re-home pets without having to surrender them to shelters first. Winning even small battles can result in changes that have positive lasting results.

ASPCA


FACTS ABOUT ANIMAL SHELTERING
Across the United States, volunteers and staff in animal shelters and animal control facilities see the results of irresponsible pet ownership and dog and cat overpopulation every day. However, there is very little reliable data available to illustrate this issue on a national level. The following figures were gleaned from independent random studies and the best estimates by experts in the animal welfare and related fields. These should be considered ballpark figures only. Most of the studies were national and there is tremendous variation by region.
There are about 5000 community animal shelters nationwide that are independent; there is no national organization monitoring these shelters. The phrases “humane society” and “SPCA” are generic terms; shelters using those names are not part of the Humane Society of the United States or the ASPCA. Currently, no government institution or animal organization is responsible for tabulating national statistics for the animal protection movement.
2002 Figures
Animal Shelters
  • Approximately 8-12 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year and approximately 5-9 million are euthanized (60% of dogs and 70% of cats). Shelter intakes are about evenly divided between those relinquished by owners and those picked up by animal control. These are national estimates; the percentage of euthanasia may vary from state to state.
  • Less than 2 percent of cats and only 15-20% of dogs are returned to their owners.* Most of these were identified with tags, tattoos or microchips.
  • 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.*
  • Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. 75% of owned pets are neutered

Friday, August 15, 2014

Shelby's Coronation


Shelby's Coronation
 
One word jumps from everybody's lips when they see Shelby...princess!  Especially when she is perched on a lap that she has made her throne.  She surveys her subjects and lets them know that their adoration is well deserved.


Shelby has not always been so regal, however.  She came to us from animal control after she was found running loose and lost.  When she arrived, she was very scared and suspicious...and loud!  She did not want to be left alone in her crate and not only would she let you know about it, she'd let anyone within a 500 foot radius know about it.  We moved her in with a roommate, Allie, and showered her with lots of exercise and attention, and the noise level lowered considerably.


Today, Shelby has assumed her reign in a lovely home that adores her as much as we do.  She has a new roommate and friend and rules with a benevolent heart.