Dear Friends and Supporters:

That time of the year is coming up again – time to celebrate our animal friends of the family with a pet festival as the Branford Compassion Club Feline Rescue & Adoption Center looks forward to once again hosting Animal Awareness Day noon – 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021 on the Branford Town Green. This year we will join the Friends of James Blackstone Memorial Library on the green for their annual HUGE book sale – so there will be a lot going on with many people enjoying both events!

You may be aware that Animal Awareness Day had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The celebration was modified to virtual and online events during the month of October (Animal Awareness Month!) which included a drive-through blessing at a local church parking lot, and other online fundraisers such as a Silent Auction and candle sales. We all deeply missed our day on the Town Green celebrating with local animal lovers across the state.

Though the pandemic is still present, things are getting better and we are hopeful that by October more normalcy will be returned to our lives so we are moving forward with our plans for Animal Awareness Day! It’s a fun day for everyone, including live music, children’s activities, food trucks, live animals (mini horses!), live animal educational demonstrations, huge bake sale, booths featuring a variety of area animal care and rescue groups, as well as business vendors whom we all patronize to give our pets the best life possible, and you never know what other surprises may happen! The highlight of the day, as always, will be the Blessing of the Animals at 1:30 p.m., the annual nod to the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, large and small. An interesting array of pets always makes their way to the Green to be blessed by local clergy from several denominations. In past years, that parade has ranged from dogs, cats and gerbils to horses, rabbits and birds.

We are looking for many vendors to join us as well as our fellow rescue/non-profit groups. There is still a fee for vendors but this year we are waiving the fee for rescue/non-profit groups because we understand that the past year-plus has been a difficult time for all of us financially. One request – if you sign up and find that you can’t make it, please let us know in advance. Since we are sharing green space this year, there is a possibility that we may need the space for someone else.

• Download the Vendor/Rescue Application is attached.

You can pay by mail, making your check (sorry, no credit cards) payable to Branford Compassion Club, along with your completed form, and mailing them to Chris Gagne, c/o Branford Compassion Club, 2037 Foxon Road, North Branford, CT 06471. The deadline is Aug. 31.

The Branford Compassion Club, celebrating its 24th anniversary this year, is a privately funded nonprofit organization founded in 1997 to raise awareness about the importance of spay-neutering felines, to aid in the adoption of homeless cats and care for those deemed unadoptable in area feral colonies. These feral cats are trapped, neutered and released into the perpetual daily care of BCC volunteers. The shelter, which opened in 2011, has found forever homes for more than 2,400 cats, while BCC has adopted out several thousand more before opening the Feline Rescue & Adoption Center. The shelter still remains closed to the public due to COVID-19 but the need to rescue and find homes for thousands of homeless cats in our community remains a high priority.

For more information about BCC, please call 203-483-6309.

Your support is deeply appreciated!

Chris Gagne, Board of Directors and Fundraising Chairperson