Dream Team – May Sanctuary Update

Hi Everyone!

There’s lots of people involved in Our Companions that are important to express our gratitude for. This work wouldn’t be possible without our volunteers, donors, board members, and community partners. But this month, I’d like to take the opportunity to express our thanks to the amazing staff at Our Companions. There are currently about 47 employees for Our Companions, between the staff at the Sanctuary and the staff at the Program Center. All of them provide vital services every day to serve the animal-loving community and ensure the best outcomes possible for the furry friends that come our way. To go through each of them would go way beyond this email, but I can certainly highlight some of our teams and their accomplishments.

As I often mention, the heart of Our Companions is working with people to solve problems. Nowhere is that exemplified more than with our Helpline. Every interaction we have with the world outside of Our Companions flows through the Helpline. That includes every call about a dog or cat behavior problem, every request for help with veterinary care, every adoption inquiry, every pet in need of a new home, and so much more. And of course, in this modern world, nothing great happens without the support of an inspired Social Media team. Keeping that whole operation running smoothly, assisting the public, guiding the helpline volunteers, and spreading OC news to the world, are a small, but highly talented, staff making magic behind the scenes. Even way out here at the Sanctuary in the woods of Ashford, everything we do is touched and enabled by the crew on the Helpline and Social Media teams. They really are the central pillar holding up everything the organization does.

Adoption and helpline program assistant Caitlin visits with our sanctuary animals to get to know them better for their adoption postings

If there’s one Our Companions program that gets almost as much spotlight as the Sanctuary, it’s our Canine Behavior team. Whether it’s running the best dog training classes around, counseling people individually to save homes, or partnering with various Animal Control departments to help dogs from all over to find homes, the reach and scope of this team is immense. Like everything at Our Companions, these are volunteer-based efforts, but they could not accomplish the amazing things they do without the small and dedicated staff driving things upwards and onwards. I know we at the Sanctuary think the world of that team and appreciate everything they do to help our doggie guests.

Canine College hosted axe-throwing team-building event

As with any organization attempting to do anything in the world, there’s one thing that’s universal: paperwork! Following the money, maintaining records, complying with regulations. It’s the same here as anywhere else. Lucky for us, we have a team of highly organized and efficient staff who, while they may not have their hands directly in a dog’s or cat’s life everyday, know that every spreadsheet they make and every receipt they file is as vitally important to the saving of lives as anything else done at Our Companions. I personally, as with many others, rely on our administrative team everyday to be able to do my job the best I can.

Caitlin, Edie, Janice, office volunteer Nancy, Paul, and Stephanie celebrating moving all of our paperwork to digital at the program center
Janice and volunteer Beth Vincent at an Aid A Pet Event

And then, there’s our growing Community Outreach team. Whether running low cost veterinary care events at senior housing facilities, assisting with community cats, or distributing pet supplies to underserved communities, their efforts are bringing the Our Companions commitment to people and their pets out into the world in very meaningful ways.

Which of course brings me to my crew, the Sanctuary staff. We all know how hard-working and dedicated this bunch is to the dogs and cats living at the sanctuary. We see it every day as the dogs and cats progress and thrive on their way to their next home. We also see how dedicated this group is to each other as they help and support each other in this often physically, mentally, and emotionally difficult work. But the one thing that I’m impressed by every day is how fun the staff here are to be around. I’ve never worked anywhere with so much laughter and goofiness. So many of us go on vacations only to come back and say how much we missed being here. I appreciate them more than I could ever put into writing here.

Canine caregiver Kiana helps Gidget loosen up her stiff neck
Feline caregiver Tammy with former guest Krinkle, now Mabel!
Canine caregiver and Canine College head trainer Alayna with former resident Bella (RIP)
Feline caregiver Angela with former resident Mojito (RIP)
Canine caregivers Matt & Jen with their favorite gal Brooke at an out & about class

I know I’ve barely scratched the surface talking about all of the incredible things our amazing staff does. But I hope I’ve given you all a little glimpse of the breadth and scope of the magic of Our Companions, at the Sanctuary and beyond. And I hope that all of the staff feel how valued and appreciated they are each and everyday. Thank you so much for all you do!

Rosie’s Roundup

Hi Everyone!

I can’t tell you how much I love this weather! Being out on my catio, watching the bugs and birds, soaking up all the warmth. It’s kitty heaven! But, especially for you two leggers, it also means having to be careful. If you’re spending time outside, please make sure that you’re staying hydrated and taking breaks in the shade. And for my doggie friends down the hill, make sure you’re being cautious of the heat on the pavement here and out in the world. And lastly, even though the temperatures are rising, please stay mindful of your attire and make sure it is safe for interacting with the dogs and cats here. The more covered up you are with loose fitting clothing and sturdy, solid shoes, the safer you are if any incidents should occur. Of course, I would never nip or scratch anyone…well almost never. But here in mine and Jon’s office, I’ve heard lots of stories. Be safe and have a great start to your summer!

See you soon!


And of Course…Adoptions!!

May saw a continuation of the fast paced action we’ve been seeing on our cat team. The Scooby Doo kittens arrived, wreaked havoc, and were gone in the blink of an eye. Also arriving this month were Stewart, Smokey, Thelma & Louise, and Fred & Wilma. In addition to the Scooby Doo kittens, our other youngsters the princess kittens, and Comet & Nova went home in May as well. What an exciting time!!

Welcome, and then with an unsurprisingly quick turnaround, good luck in your new homes, Scooby, Shaggy, Scrappy, Daphne, & Velma!
Welcome, Stewart!
Welcome, Smokey!
Welcome, Thelma!
Welcome, Louise!
Welcome, Fred & Wilma!
Good luck, Jasmine, Tiana, & Ariel (now Jazz, Tia, & Ari!)!
Good luck, Comet & Nova!

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. Sandy and Barbara on June 14, 2024 at 2:06 pm

    We loved looking at this recent send out. It was so well done. We are down to one dog now, as of Saturday, so our one year old Winnie is a loner, except for the cat, Spangles, whom she chases. We love everything which you email us. You are doing so much good for so many.

  2. Joanna Till on June 17, 2024 at 8:28 am

    You are a group of amazing people who make the difference in this World, thank you for all you do .

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