Dig It! – March Sanctuary Update

Hi Everyone!

It’s Spring!!! The birds are singing, the bees are buzzing, and the dogs are having a blast tromping through the muddy trails! It’s an exciting and joyful time! But for me, it’s also a little bit of an overwhelming time. As you all know, there are almost 50 acres of lovely green space here at the Our Companions Sanctuary, and keeping all that verdant life in check, healthy, useable, and beautiful is a constant challenge. So that’s where I need your help. I’d like to take this month’s update to fill you in on all of the outside groundskeeping volunteer opportunities that we have available and try to recruit some assistance in making this place the oasis that it is.

Lawn work is much more fun with a furry friend!
Brooke is all smiles thinking about sunny days ahead!

First, there’s our core team of regular maintenance volunteers, our mowers and gardeners. Between all of our open field areas and our five play yards, there is lots of mowing to do here, and that job gets even bigger when you include the detail work on some of our paths and around the cottages and other structures. And it may not seem like an obvious challenge, but with all of the trees, light posts, benches, and other objects around, the weed trimming here is a huge job. Last year, we made it through with just two steady volunteers, Jeff and Gary, and our staff Facilities Caretaker. We’d love to have a bigger team than that this year. We have lots of great equipment here, we just need you!

Angel is very serious about the upkeep of her yard
A volunteer group keeps the entrance to the sanctuary looking trim and neat
Captain Crunch performs quality control of his beloved Serenity play yard
We are very thankful for our consistent mowers!
Our guests also do their part to keep the grass in check here at their sanctuary home

Then there’s our gardeners! One thing about me is that I know very little about plants, and most of what I do know, I learned here doing this job. Luckily, we’ve had some great volunteers over the years taking care of over 8 garden areas around the dog and cat cottages – weeding, mulching, trimming, and planting. Last year, we ran a bit understaffed, and the gardens suffered a bit for it. This year, I’d love to get a couple more people in and get our lovely greenery back on track.

Long-time volunteer Michele keeps our gardens in tip-top shape throughout the spring and summer
Gidget also takes time out of her busy schedule to assist with the gardening

Then, we have our volunteer work groups. Every year, groups ranging from UCONN clubs, to high school classes, to corporate community service teams arrange work days here to do special projects or routine maintenance. Have you enjoyed the shrubs behind Minnie’s Mews? You can thank the team from Eversource for that. Or do you enjoy exploring the well-groomed dam on the pond? That’s thanks to Raggi State Farm in Mansfield and the UCONN Alpha Phi Omega team. So maybe you have connections to an organization that might enjoy a day working in the sun at the sanctuary and meeting a few of the pups and kittens as well. If so, feel free to email me and we can see about working out the details. We would really appreciate it!

The State Farm crew completed some much-needed clearing work on our dam last summer
Our friends at Eversource beautified the gardens at Minnie’s Mews

Rosie’s Roundup

Hi Everyone!

Thank you all so much for your support during our “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb” Chewy Wish List Event! Thanks to your generosity and your enthusiasm in spreading the word to others, we received $1,825 in food and treats for the dogs and cats at the sanctuary.  As you all know, with all of the medical and behavioral challenges us furry ones have here, the sanctuary is quite a pricey place to operate. So saving this money on our yummy food and treats makes a big difference in being able to help out pets in need. And it’s all because of this wonderful Our Companions community that we are able to do what we do. Thank you so much!

See you soon!


And of Course…Adoptions!!

March has kept up February’s brisk pace of adoption and intake. Going to their forever homes this month were perfect pair Dylan and Jett, lovely Nikki, and senior sweetie Bella. Joining the sanctuary fun this month were a plethora of kitties including Cannoli and Zoey, Sierra, Count Maxwell, Comet and Nova, and Jaxon. On the dog side, we welcomed dynamic duo Spot and Skipper.

Welcome, Cannoli!
Welcome, Zoey!
Welcome, Sierra!
Welcome, Count Maxwell!
Welcome, Comet & Nova!
Welcome, Jaxon!
Welcome, Spot & Skipper!
Good luck, Dylan & Jett, now Silver and Opal!
Good luck, Nikki!
Good luck, Bella!

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]