Calling All Animal Lovers, We Need You


Husky at Waterford Humane Society

Katherine Hawkins

At the Waterford Connecticut Humane Society, animals stay for an average of 40 days before being adopted. Showing support and commitment to these animals are vital for their health and success. At the Waterford location, care of the animals is the priority of the staff and volunteers. 

Currently, there are over 100 volunteers that adapt to each pet’s needs, whether it be a specific animal diet, accommodations, or behavior training. Ashley Marshall, a full time employee and Community Outreach Manager, explains that enclosures get disinfected and cleaned at least twice a day to provide the cleanest environment for every animal. Veterinarians also come in twice weekly to ensure that each animal is in its best possible condition. Marshall stresses the importance of enrichment for animals in their daily routine. Primarily, enrichment is statistically vital for a happy and healthy pet. Staff are able to spray a selection of non-irritant smells, such as lavender, on their clothes or skin to bring enrichment to the animals lives and give them new things to explore. Every animal receives time out of their assigned spaces every day and can interact with the staff in quiet rooms or outside their enclosures. Keying in on cats, she explains how “cat cuddlers,” aka volunteers, “come in daily…let them play with a laser pointer, a feather toy…or provide exercise to help overweight cats.” This is in addition to providing wet food, dry food, and a variety of litter to hone in on each cat’s specific needs.  

For dog lovers, “the staff provide walks twice a day, ranging from 30-45 minutes,” says Marshall. Each kennel provides the happy canines with an inside area where they can view the staff through a clear kennel door and an outside area where they can soak up the sun or get fresh air. Specific to diet, the shelter provides an assortment of dog food ranging from puppy to senior dogs, as well as dietary supplements, all of which are provided by the same supplier. Marshall explains that this ensures the safety of the animals since food is not consistently changed, which may affect their digestive system. 

The humane society is always looking for volunteers.  As long as you are 18, you can volunteer. Their hours are flexible and are based on a ranking system. Each level holds greater responsibilities as you go up, such as feeding to walking dogs. If you are not of age to volunteer, donating is an option for anyone of any age willing to take a few hours out of their week to collect or buy pet essentials like food, toys, or beds.

Beyond the animals in their shelters, the Humane Society is able to use donated bags of food to provide for people in need of assistance. A program was set up during Covid to aid in supporting pet owners who were not able to financially support themselves and their animals. As long as you provide evidence that you are in need of financial assistance to support your animal, you can receive bags of food for up to six months before reapplying. Therefore, when you donate food, you are in turn helping your community.

Even if you are not able to adopt a pet for the duration of their lives, you have the opportunity to foster an animal in need. Again, these times are flexible and specific to each shelter. The Connecticut Humane Society website specifies on each location in which fostering might just consist of taking the animal on “short outings, ranging from 4-6 hours.” This may be taking them on hiking trails or even a car drive. 

There are endless ways to support these animals by adopting, volunteering, fostering, and donating food or toys. 

Below is contact information where you can discover how to show your support for these animals in need.


Phone: 800-452-0114

Email: [email protected]

Waterford Location: 169 Old Colchester Road Quaker Hill, CT 06375