January Newsletter

Adoption Stats & Volunteer Hours


Adoptions in 2021


Volunteer Hours in 2021


Clinic Surgeries Performed in 2021

Volunteer Shout Outs

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Aileen Mazzeo Lawton

Thank you for all you are doing to help Howie become a more well balanced, behaved and happy dog! We really appreciate your efforts.

Nominated by Anya Merli

Ellen Maurer

Ellen is a Wethersfield POA star! Ellen has been a Vol for many years and one of the original POA vols at the Pound. I would need many pages to talk about all the ways Ellen contributes to the Pound. Ellen is everything you want in a Vol. There isn’t anything Ellen won’t do and hasn’t done. Ellen is so humble and never wants the spotlight but she deserves this long overdue shout out. We love you and appreciate you Ellen!

Nominated by Anonymous

Lauren Schwartz

Lauren is thoughtful, helpful and has a consistently positive vibe. Lauren came to visit with my super shy POA foster cat , bringing him his favorite food, treats and honestly simple reassurance that I was doing fine with him and that he would be ok! Lauren sees that you can use a hand and she is there to offer assistance...without you having to ask. But, if you do ask, and she can help..she jumps right in. She is a great representative for POA at events with her welcoming personality and knowledge about fostering, clean and feed and the organization in general. I think Lauren is the kind of person that would never seek any kind of recognition for her role as a POA volunteer...so I am beyond happy to seek it for her!

Nominated by Christine Penney

Christine Penney

For her infectious enthusiasm, creative talent and deep love of animals.

Nominated by Anonymous

Manny Silvia

Thank you to Manny for his many years of service. 15 going on 16 years. His dedication to our cats and he goes above and beyond every day. He makes sure both rooms adult and kitten rooms are balances and the cats are happy. He will also stay overnight if he thinks that the cats need his presence.

Nominated by Martha Murrray

Mary Hodgkins

Thank you, Mary, for your consistent dedication and hard work on behalf of our animals. You are the voice of POA to so many people.

Nominated by Anonymous

Pat Rolfe

Great job Pat. Always the one who is first to offer help.

Nominated by Anonymous

Adoption Success Stories

One Sunday a volunteer walking Martin on Broad Street passed a couple who was walking in the opposite direction:

The woman (her name was Kathie): "What a cute dog!"
Volunteer: "His name is Martin and he’s up for adoption through POA"
Kathie: "POA?! I love POA! I’ve decided it’s the only animal organization I will donate to. Last year my brother’s dog died and I donated $100 in her memory and got the nicest acknowledgement from POA"
Volunteer: "That’s so nice to hear. Does your brother have another dog now?"
Kathie: "No! In fact we saw Kevin and his wife Kristan over Christmas and they said they were now ready to adopt another dog"
Volunteer: "Tell me about them"
Kathie: "They love dogs! In fact right now they are “dog sitting” for our daughter’s dog. Kevin is retired and he has all the time in the world to walk a dog and the dog will rarely be alone. And Kristan is just as devoted as he is. Their last dog was a Wheaten terrier who died at almost 16 and they did palliative care for the last months of her life and spared no expense to keep her comfortable and happy." (At this point, the husband had squatted down and Martin was being super adorable with him while he took a ton of photos.)
Volunteer: "They sound like wonderful people. Please let them know that Martin is available and to go to the POA website and complete an application if they’re interested. They’ll hear back from Martin’s placement person and I’ll let her know that we chatted"
Kathie: "Somehow I believe this encounter was “meant to be.”

End of Story:  Martin was stray and a matted mess when he was found on December 8.  He came to POA shortly thereafter and once he was groomed Martin looked like the adorable little Schnauzer he is.  And even before, while he must have been suffering from all that matting, he never complained. He showed his upbeat, energetic and affectionate personality from the very beginning.

Kathie’s brother Kevin and his wife Kristan DID follow through with an application immediately. When they met Martin, it was a perfect match . Thanks to a chance encounter and conversation, he went home on January 12 where he will be cared for and loved!

Toby came to POA on 9/25/21, found as a 9 year-old friendly stray in Hartford.  Toby was street-worn and entered the shelter with an eye infection.  Once his eye infection was cleared up, he had some dental work done.  While recovering from his dental he developed an ear infection.  In addition to his battle scars, Toby also tested positive for FIV.  Despite all of these challenges, he was a sweet affectionate guy who deserved a good home.  He was not a popular guy on the website, but was a favorite with the volunteers.

A young family came to POA with the intention of adopting a kitten.  They made several trips and met a few kittens.  Their young son was not interested in any kitten, but seemed comfortable with the gentle giant male cats.  After much discussion with POA and their vet, they came to meet Toby again.  Toby sold himself!

He went home with this family of three and has settled right in.  We think the email from his new mom tells the story best...

I started to write an email to you Sat afternoon after we had been home for a few minutes as I was so excited to tell you how resilient and happy this 13.8 pounds of love is!

When we got home I put his carrier by his new potty. He literally walked out of the carrier, zero hesitation and little if any apprehension. He walked around the basement, then with a casual spring in his step followed us upstairs. He wandered the 1st floor and within 20-30 minutes you’d have thought he already knew the place and had been here before.

That night, for Jordan’s bath time, Toby welcomed himself to bath time by coming in and hanging out on the bathroom mat like it was where he was meant to be (he is also very curious about the tub and liked to be in the room when you shower. I can’t tell yet if it’s that he wants to come in or wants whoever is in to get out.. ). After bath, Jordan and I went into Jordan’s room to do our nite nite prayer and story time. And so did Toby! Followed us right in, laid at the foot of the bed and it was story time for Toby too. That night when Tommy and I went to bed, so did Toby. Jumped right up and slept at the foot of the bed. The next morning he was still there and woke with the rest of us! It was downstairs for breakfast and playtime. It has been 2.5 days and he is already part of our family. What a wonderful perfect cat he is

I’ve attached some pics for you!

Lots of love,

Rebecca, Tommy, Jordan, Toby

Upcoming Events

Check out the calendar below to see upcoming events.

Upcoming Events

Interested in joining the Events Committee?  Email Jess!

Event Successes

Labyrinth Brewing Company Cookie Sales

Did you know that Labyrinth Brewing Company sells dog cookies made from their spent brewing grains?

In 2021, Labyrinth Brewing Company sold 400+ dog cookies in support of POA.  They donated the proceeds of $200 from these cookie sales to us - thank you!


Community Night at Urban Lodge Brewing

December 1, 2021

Thank you to Urban Lodge for donating a percentage of sales to us, and to everyone who came out and enjoyed a pint or purchased raffle tickets for POA! We raised $585 to help our cats and dogs - cheers!

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📸: Christine Penney (POA Volunteer)


2022 Calendar: Honoring the Helpers

Wow! Thank you to everyone who purchased a calendar and/or donated through our 2nd annual calendar fundraiser!

We were proud to feature 12 months of Connecticut animal advocates in our 2022 calendar.  We are fortunate to have an amazing group of helpers right here in our animal rescue community!

After taking into account expenses, you all helped us raise a fabulous $7,573.60 for POA!


Betty White Challenge

January 18, 2022

$17,239+ raised and still counting mailed in donations!  Thank you to everyone who took the #bettywhitechallenge to honor the incredible Betty White.





Shelter Practice & CEU

Protectors of Animals has started to incorporate methods from the Fear Free Shelter Courses into our operations! Over the years, shelters, veterinarians and trainers have worked together to create as healthy of an environment as possible for the animals in their care. Our cat socialization team has specifically benefited from the course and have been able to implement small changes to our current processes that make a huge difference!

Should you decide to take the course, expect to commit 4-5 hours over whatever timeline you would like. At the end, you will receive a certificate of completion to be saved!

Fear Free Shelter Program | Learn How to Reduce Stress in Shelter Pets (fearfreeshelters.com)

Meet The Board

Jim Byrne


 I am a 52 year old Attorney practicing in Hartford with Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C.   I am married with three adult children and five rescue cats, four of which are POA alumni.  (We have seven litter boxes and seven cat trees.  No window is complete without a cat tree.)  I am an avid tennis player and guitar player and have run at least 30 half marathons.


I joined the Board in 2014.  I got involved because my mother was a long time member of the Cat Socialization Team, and I wanted to make a difference.


I serve on the Board’s Investment Committee that oversees POA’s investments and engages in strategic planning.


POA was my first experience serving on a charitable board of directors.  It has been illuminating to learn how POA’s finances work.  Our success depends on a constant effort to secure funding through donations, fundraisers, bequests, grants, and the like while at the same time being diligent in managing expenses.  I have also learned that POA’s volunteers are the lifeblood of the organization.  Their hard work and dedication are what make POA run and what make POA the success it is.


I’ll divide that in two.  My most rewarding experience with POA was the process of adopting four of my cats.  The adoption volunteers knew the cats’ personalities, temperaments, and needs and helped us pick the perfect cats for our family.

My most rewarding experience with the Board was being part of the group that planned for and successfully opened our Spay/Neuter clinic, POA SPAY!, which has now performed over 15,000 surgeries!    Spaying and neutering cats and dogs is a core part of the POA mission.


I am most proud of the work our volunteers do pairing cats and dogs with forever homes, including the miraculous socialization work our volunteers do to make abused, abandoned, and stray cats and dogs adoptable.


I am hopeful that POA will be able to have its large annual fundraiser, which has been on hold due to the pandemic.  The annual fundraiser is not only a celebration of POA and its volunteers, it is also a crucial source of donations.  I am also hopeful that we will be able to hold a volunteer appreciation event.


I want the volunteers to know how much the Board appreciates all that they do.  POA succeeds and animals are protected year after year because of them.  

View the latest Board Minutes here*.

*board minutes will be on a delay due to need for board approval before releasing.

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