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Connecticut Humane Society

Largest ever grant fosters healthy, happy futures for the region’s pets 

Connecticut Humane Society animal care technicians work with a canine patient during a pet wellness clinic, the Humane Society’s first in Norwich that provided free medical services to 46 pets. (Photo by Jack Schmidt.) 

Our pets make us better humans, reminding us of our responsibility to all living things. This year, a multifaceted initiative by the Connecticut Humane Society already is having a positive impact on thousands of companion animals in New London County.

It all began with the largest bequest ever received by the Community Foundation: $10 million to establish the Peter Grayson Letz Fund for Animals and the Environment. From this fund came a $35,000 grant, the largest single grant the Humane Society had received in its 135-year history and the largest animal welfare grant ever awarded by the Foundation.

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Community Foundation in delivering programs and services that improve animal health and welfare in our state,” Humane Society executive director Gordon Willard says. “By increasing access to pet care and resources, animal welfare professionals and pet owners alike are able to help pets find — and keep — homes.”

“This grant empowers us to bring animal welfare in New London County to another level,” Willard says. “It also gives our organization the leverage to develop and test a model that can be utilized in communities around our state, as well as recruit other funders to this worthy cause.”

In the form of its Animal Welfare University, the Humane Society is providing much-needed professional training to animal welfare officers from 21 towns. Some of the daylong workshops have included presentations by nationally renowned companion animal experts; one workshop, “Offensive and Defensive Animal Handling,” attracted 90 participants.

Thanks to the veterinary services the grant provides to pets in the care of municipal animal control and other private animal shelters and rescues, dozens of pets have received the vaccinations, spaying and neutering, dental and other urgently needed services. Owners in need have obtained flea control products and pet food from shelters as well as food pantries that serve low-income neighborhoods. And most important, abandoned and neglected pets have found loving, “fur-ever” homes.


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