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.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring Inspiration

Flowers are in bloom, leaves are starting to sprout and the grass is getting green  -  Springtime is finally here!

We can feel our spirits lifting with the warming temperatures. And , what better time to share stories of hope and inspiration from our furry friends.

Even though every rescue has their own special story, some just pull on our heart strings and touch us just a little more than others.

The story of Mason is just one of those touching tales.........

Life is pretty good about throwing us all curves, and looking at Mason you can probably guess the curves that were tossed his way.

But...                                                                                                                                                                      like Mason ,we're not going to dwell on on his past. Other than to say he was born with no hind legs and  had survived alone outside until his rescue this January.  No -  Now, Mason is all about the future and moving forward.
This incredibly special guy is about 3 years old, has a heart of gold and without a doubt  has stolen the hearts of everyone who has met him.
 Watching him play, get around and just enjoy life as a cat has all his visitors leaving his room with a smile and a positive feeling inside. (And we're pretty sure he's loving all that extra spoiling too.)

We've had to make a few adjustments to his room to allow him as much freedom and comfort as possible. video

As you can see, he's making himself right at home here! 

Although he's not complaining, we are continuing to work on ways to make life just a little better for Mason.  After all- he makes our lives a little better every day. 
 It might be a small thing for him, but, he lets us feel like at the end of the day we've made a difference- and that's a big thing 
for us!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Bunnies for hire!

We've had a few auditions for the role of "Easter Bunny" at the OC Sanctuary!

Which Easter Bunny do you think will be hiding your eggs tonight?

Happy Easter everyone!!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Fixing Up Kaylee

 What Are Those Patches On Your Rump, Kaylee?

Well, that's quite a story.  Like many dogs in Connecticut pounds and rescues, Kaylee's is a winding tale that starts down south.  Brought up north, untrained, and under-socialized, Kaylee wound up as a young, high energy pup in a local town pound.  She was adopted out quickly, only to test positive for heartworm and end up being returned.

So what is a good hearted town Animal Control Officer to do with a hyper, heartworm positive pup.  That's where Our Companions comes in.  As we often do, we stepped in to assist with Kaylee's heartworm treatments, which is where those shaved spots on her back end came from, and to provide her a home where she could get the exercise and training she needs to be a happy and highly adoptable dog.  She has since been cleared of her heartworm problems and been spayed while in our care. Now it's just time for her story to wind it's way into a perfect forever home.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

9 Tips To Stop A Biting Cat

Have a kitten or cat that won’t stop biting?  Sometimes we have that here at the Ashford Sanctuary too!  Here are some tips to putting an end to feline fury.

#1 – Find out the “Why”

The first way to address your cat’s biting depends on why she is doing it.  It could be that she gets overzealous during play, she is bored or frustrated, or she is asking you to stop doing something but you don’t hear her. Once you know this, you can plan how to make her stop.
Image source: @TnarikInnael via Flickr

#2 – Your Hand is Not a Toy

Sometimes cats get so into their play that they forget themselves. Don’t use your hand as a toy with your cat; instead use a toy that keeps your hands a safe distance from his mouth.  (For example, Da Bird Feather Toy).
Image source: @EvanBench via Flickr

#3 – Stop the Play

If you think your cat actually goes after you during play and it is more than just incidental contact, call a time out.  You can do this by turning your back to him as soon as he bites and cutting off the play immediately.  Don’t speak to him or resume play for one minute.  After a few cycles of this he will get the message.
Image source: Jeffreyw via Flickr

#4 – Time Out

If that doesn’t work, you can try sending a stronger message by changing scenery.  When he bites you, stop the play, pick him up, bring him to another room, and walk away.  This will help him make a clear connection between biting and the fun times ending.
Image source: @Hotash via Flickr

#5 – Drain the Energy

If your cat is attacking you outside of play, he probably needs to drain some of his energy.  Spend time playing with him until you can see he is tired.  
Image source: @ejdj968 via Flickr

#6 – Relieve the Anxiety

Sometimes cats transfer the aggression they feel toward something else to whomever may be next to them, and this can result in what seem to be vicious and unprovoked attacks.  It may help your cat’s anxiety to keep some Feliway diffusers plugged in around the house.  The synthetic feline pheromone helps cats feel more secure.
Image source: @ChristieD.Mallon via Flickr

#7 – Speak to Your Vet

Your cat may be trying to tell you she's uncomfortable.  A thorough exam will help ease both your minds.  Your vet may be able to prescribe some food or medication to help calm your cat’s nerves.  
Image source: angelan. via Flickr

#8 – Proper Handling

Don’t reach over your cat to pet him.  While this may be acceptable to some cats, it is definitely not acceptable to others.  See if this overhead approach correlates with what seems like “out of nowhere” biting.  If so, approach the side of your cat’s face with the back of your hand to pet him, rather than going for the top of his head or his body.

#9 – Respect His Wishes

Learn to recognize when your cat does not want to be handled and respect his wishes.  A whipping tail and huge pupils are a good start.    If he knows he can trust you to get the message, he will be less likely to bite you in general.
Image source: @Dale via Flickr

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Ceiling Fan and Gidget

Have you ever had a dog that is startled by new things? Exposure to all  parts of life is essential to having a well-rounded, confident pup and that is one of the things that Our Companions is able to provide our pets! We have recently been exposing the dogs at the sanctuary to a common item in most homes but one that surprisingly makes a lot of dogs uncomfortable, the ceiling fan. Our ceiling fan is great at moving heat or A/C throughout the house and, with some recent renovations to the dog houses, is proving to be a great function to utilize. We are happy that the majority of our dogs are taking the spinning fan well but there's always the exception that requires extra attention and training and in this case the exception is named, Gidget.
Gidget came to us with a broken leg at approximately 6 months old. She was left at a local vet during the middle of the night and we knew that she was a dog that we needed to help! We suspect that she did not have much socialization during her young life and have been working diligently to expose her to the everyday aspects of living in a home. Gidget was initially very scared of the ceiling fan, she would display obvious signs of discomfort and would crouch when walking throughout the house. It was the work of constant positive reinforcement that is what is helping her to overcome her fears and feel comfortable when chewing one of her favorite bones in the living room. She is a great dog that is relishing all that we have to show her and is quickly learning that this world is less scary and increasingly fun!

Gidget is unsure about the ceiling fan. She is displaying this
through her pulled back ears, wide eyes and stiff body.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Snow Day 2

As long as it's never going to stop snowing: why should dogs have all the fun!

Cats can have some fun in the snow too:

Frankie and Ashley step carefully out on the cattio trying to catch a few looks at the bird feeder.

Dillon enjoying some time out on his porch in the snow.

Maurice heads out to try to catch a little bit of that winter sun -And after a quick exchange of the secret greeting with Frankie-

It's off to the man cave- 

Members only of course!

And cats being cats - after all that fun outside, curling up for a nice relaxing winters nap is next up on their to do list.

Okay - not everybody's loving winter, some of us do have a touch of cabin fever. Poor  Dusty can't nap-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          he's thinking hard about how he's going to shed this years winter layer!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Eagle Scout Project to Benefit Homeless Dogs


During the Autumn of 2014, Boy Scout Ryan Rancourt of Chaplin Troop 440 completed his Eagle Scout project and what he did was very empathetic and thoughtful.

The goal of an Eagle Scout Award is to better the community through a well devised project that shows off leadership skills and promotes teamwork. Ryan’s focus was to create raised Kuranda- style dog beds to donate to local CT animal shelters. These elevated beds will provide comfort, keep animals from sleeping on cold, hard floors and are easy to keep clean. Staff from Our Companions met with Ryan and had a chance to see the prototype that he had created and knew that these beds would be a hit!
Ryan’s project started by hosting a Halloween dance at his local school where guests brought pet supplies or monetary donations as their entrance fee. These supplies were given to Our Companions Animal Sanctuary to use for the animals in their care and helped raise funds needed to build the dog beds. Once the party was over and the money was raised Ryan and his troop purchased materials from Home Depot and scheduled their building event.

Ryan 3

Here is the rundown of supplies that were donated. How impressive!

156 Cat Food Cans
14 Dog Food Cans
10 Paper Towel Rolls
3 Boxes of Dryer Sheets
5 Laundry Bottles
2 Bleach Bottles
4 Boxes Garbage Bags
2 Dishwasher Liquid
1 Cat Bed
1 Cat Tower
$90 Stop and Shop Gift Cards

Eagle Scout 5

This Eagle Scout had a well thought-out plan and decided to host a “how to build a dog bed” clinic one week prior to the building event. During this clinic he discussed the plans he had in place to create the dog beds, safety topics to prevent injury and discussed what each participant would work on during construction. This would prove successful as his fellow troop-mates would know what was to be expected and would allow them to work in a timely, effective and organized manner when the big event took place.

Eagle Scout 4

The building project was triumphant due to Ryan’s diligence and leadership skills. The beds were constructed as planned and there was even time to grab some pizza to celebrate! These beds are sturdy and well-built and they are even autographed by the troop. Our Companions helped spread the word to various shelters in CT and found that the response was beyond welcoming! After reaching out to shelters that could use these beds it was finalized, three beds were donated to the Glastonbury Shelter, three were donated to the Portland/Middletown Shelter, three were donated to the Berlin/Cromwell Shelter and one was donated to the Manchester Shelter.
These young men are wonderful, full of compassion and love. They have created bedding for dogs that otherwise might not have a bed and by doing so have bettered the lives of these wonderful animals as they await their forever home. Undoubtedly the animals are grateful to Ryan and Troop 440 for their kindness, a kindness that will surely have a positively ripple effect for both canine and humans alike.

Our Companions and homeless pets everywhere are proud of you, Ryan!

Eagle Scout 6
 A local shelter dog enjoying her new bed!