Looking for a home: With animals needing adoption, town seeks help for four-legged friends

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At the celebration of the town’s Animal Shelter, two-legged residents had a chance to meet up with some four-legged ones that needed to be adopted into good homes. Above, Luna Kodde makes the acquaintance of Bob the dog. -John Ferris Robben photo

At the celebration of the town’s Animal Shelter, two-legged residents had a chance to meet up with some four-legged ones that needed to be adopted into good homes. Above, Luna Kodde makes the acquaintance of Bob the dog. -John Ferris Robben photo

Close to 200 people showed up to support the town’s Animal Control & Adoption Division on Sunday as the organization celebrated its two-year milestone in its new facility on North Street and showcased pets available for adoption.

Animal Control, a division of the town’s Police Department, enforces animal-related state laws, handles wildlife issues and collects stray pets. However, according to Linda Bruno, a volunteer with the organization, much of the public is not aware that the North Street facility also serves as an animal shelter. And while Sunday’s event was a celebration of Animal Control’s newer location, it was also an “investment in exposure” to show the community that the division cares for many adoptable pets in need of a home, Ms. Bruno said.

Fortunately, she said, the new facility provides a much bigger space and includes a large animal visitation and adoption room that allows families to get to know an animal before potentially adopting it.

Animal Control’s adoption process is both simple and thorough, Ms. Bruno said. It consists of a one-page application that alerts the applicant to the responsibilities and costs of having a pet and requires a reference to verify the applicant’s commitment. Additionally, with the best interest of both the animal and the adopter in mind, Animal Control does not allow same-day adoptions, Ms. Bruno said, because it’s important that families meet a pet a few times to ensure there is a personality match.

“It helps everyone make the best decision,” she said. “It’s not good to adopt on the spur of the moment.”

The animal control shelter is currently home to a variety of cats and dogs of various ages, including a number of short-haired domestic cats and mixed-breed dogs, many of which are part pit bull, Ms. Bruno said. And although pit bulls often get a bad rap as a result of improper upbringing, they are truly great animals, she said. Fortunately, “the tides are turning” and more and more people realize that the breed is often “friendly and sweet,” she said.

As of right now, the Animal Control & Adoption Division does not have a formal volunteer program and has few volunteers on hand because of limited resources and time to train. In addition, a volunteer may not show a pet for adoption without supervision, Ms. Bruno said, adding that she hopes the situation will change in the future because working with the pets at the facility has been a “wonderful” experience that others would enjoy.

Sunday’s open house did not allow for animals to be taken out of their crates due to large numbers of people and a limited staff, but the event was still a success because Animal Control’s goal of alerting the public to its services was achieved, Ms. Bruno said. It showed residents that “this should be the first call” made when someone considers adopting a pet.

Animal Control Officer Suzanne Carlin said the animal control facility is the town’s shelter and houses the town’s own animals  because they are the ones found roaming around Greenwich. As Ms. Bruno said, “They’re ours.”

For more information, contact Animal Control at 203-622-8299. To view pets available for adoption, visit petfinder.com/pet-search?shelterid=CT289.

All photos courtesy of John Ferris Robben.

kshea@greenwich-post.com

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