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Animals In Distress


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Adoptable Pets in Connecticut
Danbury Road (Route 7)
Animals In Distress, Inc.
P.O. Box 312
Wilton, CT 06897
203.762.2006
In the 1960's Animals In Distress was founded as a humane organization to care for all animals in need - dogs were housed by Basil Burt, Wilton's dog warden at the time. Cats and other animals were fostered by organization members. By 1975, nature groups were providing for the care of wild animals and the Town of Wilton had created a dog shelter and so Animals In Distress became an organiztion dedicated exclusively to cats. Animals In Distress settled in the 6'x9' dog shelter's furnace room (to which, thankfully, a window was added). Occupancy was limited to only eight cats, so any overflow, including kittens were placed in foster care.

By 1986, Wilton constructed a new animal shelter behind the Wilton Town Hall where the present day shelter is now located. Now at any given time, Animals In Distress cares for between 20 to 30 cats in the large sunny corner room and kitchen that is The Basil Burt Animal Shelter. With the exception of kittens who are still placed in foster homes, few, if any of our felines live off-site of the shelter.
Animals In Distress is a non-profit organization staffed solely by volunteers who are at the shelter no less than twice a day, every day of the week. Our volunteers participate in the feeding, cleaning and general duties of care associated with providing an environment of love and well being to our residents. =^..^=
Feral Cat TNR Program
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High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter
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Rescue Groups
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Foster Care
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Comprehensive Adoption Programs
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Pet Retention
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Medical and Behavior Programs
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Public Relations/Community Involvement
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Volunteers
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Proactive Redemptions
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A Compassionate Director
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1. Feral Cat TNR Program

Many communities are embracing Trap, Neuter, Release programs (TNR) to improve animal welfare, reduce death rates, and meet obligations to public welfare.


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2. High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter

Low cost, high volume spay/neuter will quickly lead to fewer animals entering the shelter system, allowing more resources to be allocated toward saving lives.


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3. Rescue Groups

An adoption or transfer to a rescue group frees up scarce cage and kennel space, reduces expenses for feeding, cleaning, killing, and improves a community's rate of lifesaving. In an environment of millions of dogs and cats killed in shelters annually, rare is the circumstance in which a rescue group should be denied an animal.


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4. Foster Care

Volunteer foster care is crucial to No Kill. Without it, saving lives is compromised. It is a low cost, and often no cost, way of increasing a shelter's capacity, improving public relations, increasing a shelter's public image, rehabilitating sick and injured or behaviorally challenged animals, and saving lives.


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5. Comprehensive Adoption Programs

Adoptions are vital to an agency's lifesaving mission. The quantity and quality of shelter adoptions is in shelter management's hands, making lifesaving a direct function of shelter policies and practice. In fact, studies show people get their animals from shelters only 20% of the time. If shelters better promoted their animals and had adoption programs responsive to the needs of the community, including public access hours for working people, offsite adoptions, adoption incentives, and effective marketing, they could increase the number of homes available and replace killing with adoptions. Contrary to conventional wisdom, shelters can adopt their way out of killing.


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6. Pet Retention

While some of the reasons animals are surrendered to shelters are unavoidable, others can be prevented-but only if shelters are willing to work with people to help them solve their problems. Saving animals requires communities to develop innovative strategies for keeping people and their companion animals together. And the more a community sees its shelters as a place to turn for advice and assistance, the easier this job will be.


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7. Medical and Behavior Programs

In order to meet its commitment to a lifesaving guarantee for all savable animals, shelters need to keep animals happy and healthy and keep animals moving through the system. To do this, shelters must put in place comprehensive vaccination, handling, cleaning, socialization, and care policies before animals get sick and rehabilitative efforts for those who come in sick, injured, unweaned, or traumatized.


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8. Public Relations/Community Involvement

Increasing adoptions, maximizing donations, recruiting volunteers and partnering with community agencies comes down to one thing: increasing the shelter's exposure. And that means consistent marketing and public relations. Public relations and marketing are the foundation of all a shelter's activities and their success. To do all these things well, the shelter must be in the public eye.


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9. Volunteers

Volunteers are a dedicated "army of compassion" and the backbone of a successful No Kill effort. There is never enough staff, never enough dollars to hire more staff, and always more needs than paid human resources. That is where volunteers come in and make the difference between success and failure and, for the animals, life and death.


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10. Proactive Redemptions

One of the most overlooked areas for reducing killing in animal control shelters are lost animal reclaims. Sadly, besides having pet owners fill out a lost pet report, very little effort is made in this area of shelter operations. This is unfortunate because doing so-primarily shifting from passive to a more proactive approach-has proven to have a significant impact on lifesaving and allow shelters to return a large percentage of lost animals to their families.


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11. A Compassionate Director

The final element of the No Kill equation is the most important of all, without which all other elements are thwarted-a hard working, compassionate animal control or shelter director not content to regurgitate tired cliches or hide behind the myth of "too many animals, not enough homes." Unfortunately, this one is also oftentimes the hardest one to demand and find.


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