Are We There Yet? – February Sanctuary Update

Hi Everyone!

February…yuck!! If you’ve bumped into me any time over the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard my less than positive opinion of February. The cold, the ice, the mud. And just a few glimpses of nice weather to remind you of what’s yet to come. Everything to look forward to seems so far away. Well, this year at the sanctuary, there’s even more of that anticipation to go around. As you may all know by now, spring will bring new construction here. Three new buildings: one for the cats focusing on under-socialized cats, one for dogs that will have a physical rehabilitation area in it, and one for us to branch out into the care of small mammals. After years of planning, it’s so close that it has us all on the edge of seats waiting for spring. It reminds me of that call from children the world over…Are We There Yet?!!

Ripley’s catchphrase: “Is it meal time yet?”

Waiting is hard. We all know that. But we know it’s even harder for our furry friends. In their eyes, this is such a big, exciting world, with so many special little joys that, to them, are so big. And yet many of them are masters of patience (not all, but many). Here at the sanctuary, one of the most special treats the dogs get to enjoy are field trips to local hiking spots. After seeing the same trails and play yards twice a day, every day, getting out into the world is something awesome! We’re always working with the dogs here to make sure they are the best travelers they can be.

Scout on one of his first field trips at the Dorwart Preserve in Mansfield!
Ricky can be very patient when waiting for his picture to be taken!
Brooke enjoys her car ride with volunteer Paul while waiting to get to Natchaug!

The cats know all about the waiting game as well. Our cat staff works every day with many of the cats to perform certain skills in anticipation of a special reward. Sometimes it’s going in their carrier for a meal. Sometimes it’s stepping to a certain spot for a special treat. Whatever the task, these clever kids always catch on to what’s at work.

Niles’ wait for treats pays off after going to the mat!
Ripley is an expert waiter for treats! (Or he at least thinks he is!)
Ralph gets interactive toys for when he is not so patient!

Ripley’s Corner Office

Hi Everyone!
This talk of waiting and anticipation makes me think of one of the most common questions I hear around this place: “How is it that a cat as dashing and charming as Ripley hasn’t been adopted yet?” I’ve even heard that there are some other dogs and cats around nearly as adorable as me that have been waiting and waiting for that special someone to sweep them away. The names Brooke, Missy, Clawdia, and Ralph are mentioned frequently. It can be quite the mystery for those of you enchanted by our special brand of magic. However, while you see me as guy with discerning tastes for how I like attention and from whom, many in the world might see me as aloof and temperamental. Crazy, I know! So it can often take a little longer to find that person who sees through our quirks and challenges to the gems we are. So until that day comes, and it WILL come, we wait here, enjoying every moment spent in this special place with our loving staff and volunteers.

Thanks so much!

And of Course…Adoptions!!

A short month left little time adoption action at the sanctuary. There were no new arrivals or departures on the dog side. With the cats, we were ecstatic to see former shy girl Parsnip go home. And no one was surprised to see love bug Gotti swept up and taken home.


We did have a sad turn of events this month, however. We made the acquaintance of a very special kitty who we called Stromboli. She originally became part of Our Companions’ world during a low cost vet clinic at a senior center. Unfortunately, Stromboli was much more sick than we had the capability to address at the clinic. But that didn’t stop us. We supported the owner through months of care for this girl. Eventually it was agreed that her best chance for survival and a healthy life was at the sanctuary. But it wasn’t meant to be. After just a few days here, Stromboli again went into a critical medical state and was rushed back to the vet. In spite of some heroic care, she was not able to pull through, and she was helped to pass on. We knew this was a possibility before we brought her, and it’s certainly something that the cat team is familiar with, but it was still very sad and disappointing, and not at all they way we hoped her story with us would end. But as always, we hold to notion that we gave her the best shot possible, and maybe even some small amount of comfort during her time with us.


Thank you all so much for whatever way you support us and our mission. We couldn’t do it without you.

Jon Phillips

Sanctuary Director

[email protected]


1 Comment

  1. Cat Tailer (my real name)☺️ on March 4, 2022 at 9:19 am

    ❤️🐾 Love them all💖