BRANFORD COMPASSION CLUB HOSTS ANIMAL AWARENESS DAY and the Annual Blessing of the Animals OCTOBER 3, 2021 ON THE BRANFORD TOWN GREEN
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, October 3, 2021 on the Branford Town Green.
Unfortunately, as you remember, this event 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 sweeping our country, we are hopeful that by October some sense of 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.
To make all this possible, we are in great need of your financial assistance. There are varying levels of sponsorship, as noted on the attached form, ranging from $5,000 for presenting sponsor to $100 for bronze sponsor. All sponsorship levels include a booth space if you choose to use it. We are also offering vendor booth space (form attached) and those fees are $50 for businesses and $25 for rescue organizations and nonprofits through Aug. 31 (fees will be $65 and $30 after that date).
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 BCC’s Feline Rescue & Adoption Center, 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.
Thanks to the unexpected snow fall last Saturday, you have a second opportunity to shop at our Holiday Basket Sale!
Saturday, December 12th 11:00am – 12noon!
SHOP EARLY! FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED!
“We will have a wonderful selection of beautiful baskets with themes such as wine, Italian foods, tea, candles, spa items, cats, hot chocolate, Christmas decorative items, family entertainment, cookie baking, margaritas, and more! We also have a Jim Shore cat statue, and a hand-crocheted afghan!”
Despite the major impact of Covid-19, we are continuing to live our mission!
We continue to provide for the feeding, shelter and care of homeless, abandoned and feral cats; to educate the public about the importance of spay/neuter population control, responsible pet ownership and kindness to animals; and to establish an ongoing community network to achieve these goals.
2020 has been a busy year for us! Covid-19 has had a major impact on the shelter, not only affecting the way we have had to do our fundraising but, affecting how we manage our daily care and processing of adoptions, while implementing all PPE precautions to keep our volunteers safe!
We have accepted more than 248 cats/kittens and adopted out over 183 since January 1st, bringing the total adoptions since we opened our shelter in 2011, to more than 2,290! We currently have over 134 cats and kittens in our care, spread out between foster homes and our shelter! Our shelter manager receives requests daily for rescue assistance from people facing eviction, because of related Covid-19 job loss and local animal control agencies.
This increase in intakes has brought financial challenges and our adoption fees do not even begin to cover the cost of the care we provide. We receive no municipal funding from any town and many state programs have been eliminated. Our operating costs in all areas— shelter maintenance, supplies, and veterinary care – continue to increase. With the exception of one paid shelter manager, our shelter is run entirely by dedicated volunteers! We are a non-profit, no-kill, volunteer-driven program.
However, there are many cats that rely on the shelter for a higher level of veterinary care, making it harder to find forever homes, and these cats need your continued support!
We need your help to continue accomplishing our mission!
Thank you in advance for your support, generosity, and compassion!
If you have given to us recently, please accept our heartfelt appreciation!
Branford Community Foundation
The Dogfather Mobile Grooming
Guilford Savings Bank
Nick’s Wicks Candles
Aquatic Pool & Spa Services
Companions & Homemakers
In Memory of Jupiter Johnson
Physical Fitness LLC
Shoreline Pet Lodge
Van Wilgen’s Garden Center
Though we were not able to have our annual event on the Branford Green, we are very grateful to everyone who contributed to and supported these various events, raising $8783.00:
Sponsorship Donations: $5550.00
Silent Auction: $1205.00
Pet Memorial Leaves: $1840.00
Nick’s Wicks Candles: $188.00
In addition, many people donated much-needed pet food and supplies all month.
Deep appreciation to Pastors Vance Taylor of North Branford Congregational Church and Lucy LaRocca of Zion Episcopal Church who kindly donated their time and services to bless the animals coming to the Blessing of the Animals Drive-through on October 4th.
Also thank you to the following volunteers who helped with these events: Donna Doherty, Susan Barnes, Judy Thompson, and Dick Hasbany.
BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS
October 4 at 1:30 p.m. A Drive-Through Event at North Branford Congregational Church
1680 Foxon Rd. (RT 80), North Branford
Vehicles may begin to line up at the church parking lot entrance at Rt. 80 & North St. Volunteers will be there to direct you. You will remain in your vehicle with your pet and the blessing will be administered by a Minister.
Exit will be out Church St. at the traffic light.
Personalized framed blessings will be available to order & purchase from our website for $10.00. You can mail a check for $10.00 made payable to Branford Compassion Club, and send it to BCC, 2037 Foxon Rd., North Branford, CT 06471 . You MUST include the following information: Your pet’s name, and your full name. We must receive this no later than Oct. 20. Framed blessings will be available to be picked up at the shelter on Oct. 24, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
With deep appreciation to Pastor Vance Taylor at NBCC, and the Reverend Lucy LaRocca, Vicar at Zion Episcopal Church, for donating their time to bless our beloved pets!
PET MEMORIAL LEAVES
Selling October 1 – 31 To Decorate the Shelter’s Giving Tree of Life Mural
Nick Vigliotti is a 9-year old local boy in Guilford who loves animals and started his own candle-making business during the COVID lockdown to help raise funds for local shelters and rescue groups! Each month he selects a different animal rescue group to benefit from candle sales. During the month of October, a portion of proceeds from his candle sales will be donated to BCC.
Candles may be purchased at 2 locations in Guilford:
The Marketplace, 77 Whitfield St.
Ella’s, 90 Broad St.
Happy Fall! While many of our traditional fall activities such as fairs, football games, and festivals (including Animal Awareness Day on Branford Green) will not take place this year, we can still enjoy some of the simpler pleasures of fall, like admiring the beautiful colors of autumn leaves, sipping hot cider on a chilly day, carving pumpkins for Halloween,and cuddling up with our beloved furry friends.
And if you’re looking for a special buddy to snuggle with, Branford Compassion Club has many adorable cats and kittens of all sizes, colors and personalities looking for homes. To the animal rescuer, fall means the end of kitten season, although many will still be born in the coming months. It also forebodes the coming of winter along with a great number of assistance calls concerning homeless felines, feral and friendly, living outside. Needless to say, our urgency for funding never ends,and our finances dictate how many cats and kittens we can take in and provideveterinary care for.
Last month, we asked our supporters to renew their yearly sustaining sponsorships and new supporters to join them. The sustaining sponsorship program is so important because it ensures a steady stream of much-needed funding. I believe the program is vital to BCC’s survival and operation of our shelter. To renew your sponsorship or sign up as a new sponsor, please visit the sponsor page on our website. For those of you who have renewed your sponsorship or have signed up new this year, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Our fate and the fate of our felines depend not only on our dedicated volunteers, but also on you, our generous and compassionate supporters.
Our biggest fundraiser of the year, Animal Awareness Day on Branford Town Green has been cancelled. Instead, we will be holding virtual and online activities throughout the month of October, renamed Animal Awareness Month. Activities for Animal Awareness Month include a drive-through Blessing of the Animals (Oct 4 at North Branford Congregational Church on Rte.80), Pet Memorial Leaves (purchase for a donation Oct 1-31), food drive,and Silent Auction (online Oct 16-18). We are so very grateful for our caring and generous sponsors in the business community (for the full list of sponsors see page 4). We hope that you will patronize them! Thank you sponsors! Please click here for all the details on Animal Awareness Month.