The Our Companions Animal Rescue Sanctuary is a special place where vulnerable dogs and cats can get the specialized attention they need to recover from what they may have experienced in their past, live a comfortable and safe life while they are here, and make progress toward finding the perfect forever home. Our animal residents come to us from a variety of sources and are all at various different places along the process that takes them homeless to home for good.
Click on their pictures below to learn each of their stories and to get a peek at the miraculous work being accomplished for animals at the Sanctuary. Profiles are updated monthly, so be sure to check back and see how things are going!
Pet name: Aggie
Arrived at Sanctuary: August 2014
Her Story: Aggie came to us first as a puppy from a local Animal Control who seized all the dogs at her home including her mother, father and littermates. She came to us with her 3 sisters and we have many adorable puppy pictures of her! She was adopted to what we hoped would be her forever home in April 2013. Due to health challenges facing both the humans and another dog in the home, Aggie returned to us just over a year later. It turned out that Aggie wasn’t well socialized in her new home. She regularly went to the same places, did the same things, and saw the same people. When she came to us, she found the fact that we did things differently than she was used to very unsettling, and we found ourselves with a very anxious and unhappy dog. It’s been a long process with her since she returned working out a routine that works for her and us. Simple things such as the noise of tires on our gravel driveway or a horse walking down the road can cause her to be aggressive. Shiny objects such as iPads or changing her food bowl cause her a lot of stress (we always make sure we have duplicates of the one food bowl type she will eat from). She walks with a muzzle on because of the unpredictability of what may stress her out. Aggie biggest joys happen daily—she loves her morning hikes on the trails at the sanctuary and enjoys just lying in the sun for her afternoon outing in our large exercise yards. She even has a part of the trail named for her because she loves to just sit there and gaze out over the pond.
Current Status: We are always seeking out ways of accommodating and managing Aggie’s fears, at the same time providing her ways to learn to cope with a world that can be unpredictable.
Pet Name: Amber
Date arrived: April 1, 2018
Her Story: Originally from Louisiana when she was a puppy, Amber came to the Sanctuary with Estie. They are 2 year old hound/lab mixes who had a history of behaving badly in their prior homes. Amber is the more sensitive of the pair, and we need to introduce her more slowly to strangers. She’s learning that she can face life without having her sister at her side all the time. Once she bonds with her people Amber is the more affectionate of the pair. Amber also has had more physical challenges than Estie, first having to be treated for Heartworm, and then just recently having a bought with Lyme disease. As a result, she’s less physically fit than Estie, so we are doing physical therapy exercises with her to overcome the stiffness she feels from the Lyme disease.
Current Status: Amber is attending classes now at our Program Center and is a model student. She will continue to work on her physical fitness. She is ready to start meeting adopters who are looking for an affectionate companion.
Pet Name: Arthur
Arrived at Sanctuary: February 2018
His Story: Arthur was found wandering outside as a thin, dirty stray in a neighborhood in Berlin. Taken in by the Berlin ACO, and brought in for a brief medical exam – it was discovered that he was FIV+ , hyperthyroid and about 10 years old. Unable to meet his medical needs the ACO reached out to several rescues for help –we replied offering our assistance and Arthur arrived at the Sanctuary Feb 21. He was given a more extensive physical and started treatment for his hyperthyroidism the next day. He remains painfully thin and his health remains a main concern right now. Through it all Arthur remains incredibly sweet and affectionate to every visitor that comes his way.
Current Status: Arthur’s health is a primary concern, at this time we are working to stabilize his thyroid condition and get him to a healthier weight.
Pet Name: Atlas
Arrived at the Sanctuary: September 2017
His Story: Atlas was brought to New England from a shelter in Florida by another rescue. He’s a loveable large, senior dog, over 90 pounds, and is possibly a Malamute and Lab or Rottweiler mix. When he wasn’t adopted from that rescue we happily took him to the sanctuary. While he was settling in at the Sanctuary we noticed that an elbow wound that had been initially treated at the Florida shelter had not healed completely. Since his arrival the elbow issue has been a recurring problem requiring multiple rounds of antibiotics and warm compresses. Complicating the healing of the elbow was his contracting Anaplasmosis, a tick borne disease. He became very sick from it, and needed steroids and antibiotics to overcome the infection and resulting immune-mediated blood changes. We are still monitoring his progress on recovering from the Anaplasmosis, and are waiting to do dental surgery once we are in the clear on his other issues. Outside of his health issues, Atlas is easygoing, and always has a big smile on his face. He loves people and the treats he gets! Geese and horses surprisingly scare this big boy, but that doesn’t stop him from having a good time, he’s even graduated from Family Companion 1 class while residing with us and also participates in our animal assisted intervention program, the Buddy Project, working with youth at risk for school failure.
Current Status: He is waiting to finally overcome all of his health issues so that he can go home and be someone’s best friend.
Pet Name: Barnaby
Arrived at Sanctuary: January 2018
His Story: This sweet boy was found as a stray in East Hartford and was taken in for rehoming. Despite having a room to himself in the house, Barnaby was still very reactive to the other animals in the house and seemed to nip, swat, and bite those who crossed his path. We took him in to the sanctuary to give him some peace and address his behavior issues. While he was here, the vet discovered he has a painful condition called stomatitis. He needed to have several teeth removed and he's been recovering well. He's very playful and loves expending energy on feather toys. Getting exercise has helped reduce his anxiety a lot. He loves to curl up on laps with humans too.
Current Status: Barnaby is recovering from his dental surgery and will hopefully be ready for adoption soon!
Guest's Name: Bella
Date Arrived: May 31, 2018
Her Story: Bella was the beloved companion of a man who recently passed away. She found herself in the care of Animal Control after no relative could take her in. She is a young adult, possibly a Beagle and Min Pin mix. She is adjusting to Sanctuary life, and is now crate trained. She loves being with people and is very sweet.
Current Status: Bella has lost 5 lbs toward her weight loss goal of at least 10 lbs! She’ll be starting formal obedience classes at our Program Center soon before finding her forever home.
Pet Name: Brooke
Arrived at Sanctuary: April 17, 2018
Her Story: Brooke was born in Afghanistan and was brought to a rescue in the region with her mother and baby sister when she was just one month of age. Her mom and sister didn’t make it, but survivor Brooke has grown into a beautiful girl thanks to the TLC from that rescue. Brooke is now 1 ½ years old, and has been in the US for a few months now. She started in foster care in Virginia, and then made her way to a wonderful family in CT. They loved her, but their border collie did not, so Brooke just recently joined us.
Brooke can run like the wind, leap small buildings and is super smart and loves her people. She can be selective with other dogs, but she has lived with dogs in the past. She loves to jump up on people and to give them her now famous Brooke hug. We’ll be working on convincing her that people are much happier to greet her when she has all 4 paws on the floor, but Brooke may prove to be a slow learner with this one well practiced behavior.
Current Status: Brooke has been attending classes, and sometimes finds the exercises a bit silly and her attention can be quick to wander. Nonetheless she is doing well in her schooling and will soon be looking for accommodations that include humans who will spoil her and a fenced in yard so that she can run flat out when the mood strikes her.
Pet Name: Buster
Arrived at Sanctuary: March 2018
His Story: Buster was living with three other cats when his person could no longer care for them due to medical reasons. All four went there separate ways as they got adopted or lived at the sanctuary. Unfortunately, Buster's second owner was no longer able to care for him. Buster is now at the sanctuary and is about as sweet as can be. His gentle, shy disposition endear him to all who meet him. He would do well in a home with other more zen cats. Since he is newer to the sanctuary, we are still getting to know his personality and preferences.
Current Status: We are getting to know Buster to figure what would be the best forever home for him, but he should be ready for adoption soon.
Pet Name: Clementine
Arrived at Sanctuary: May 2018
His Story: Our darling Clementine was brought to an animal control after his owner passed away. We don't know too much about his life in the home, but he's estimated to be between 12 - 14 years old. He had to get shaved before coming to the sanctuary, due to a lot of matting. Clementine has been having to work hard on improving his mobility - because of arthritis and weak muscles in his hind area, he has difficulty getting around. With a combination of supplements, medications, physical therapy, and good old fashioned exercise, he's getting more and more comfortable. But he won't let that stop him from being the cuddliest dude around - he's an expert headbutt distributor, and loves to gently lay his paws on your lap while sitting next to you on the couch. He's got a mean mug, but a sweet heart.
Current status: Clementine is working hard on getting stronger, getting that tush in motion to increase his comfort and mobility.
Pet Name: Estie
Arrived at Sanctuary: April 1, 2018
Her Story: Originally from Louisiana when she was a puppy, Estie came to the Sanctuary with Amber. They are 2 year old hound/lab mixes who had a history of behaving badly in their prior homes, and as a result were passed around from home to home. Finally, a friend took them in and contacted us. Once they arrived at the Sanctuary we immediately realized that they desperately needed to learn how to experience life independent of one another.
Estie loves to go for walks, is extremely athletic and LOVES the digging pit we have in our exercise yards. She will take a tennis ball, bury it and then dig it up again over and over! She’s a quick learner, and is progressing quickly through our Canine College lessons. She is going to Manchester to take a class there while she continues to experience life on her own 4 paws.
Current Status: Estie is currently up for adoption ready to start life as an only dog in her new home.
Pet Name: Gidget
Arrived at the Sanctuary: March 6, 2014
Her Story: Gidget was less than a year old when she was abandoned at a vet hospital with a broken leg. The staff came to work one morning to find that she had been left there overnight. For treatment they put a heavy bandage on her leg and healed her leg using cage rest only. Once the leg had healed sufficiently to start physical therapy they contacted us to take her into the Sanctuary. Once she settled in with us we realized how her rough start in life had impacted her—she stopped wanting to make new friends. Gidget was most likely born and raised with very little early socialization, which was now making it hard for her to cope with all of the new people she was now meeting. So, we moved her to a quieter cottage that had less visitors, and developed a consistent way of introducing her to new people. Gidget has thrived on the routine, and as long as she is managed properly and introduced to people with our now widely used “Gidget intro”, she’s made so many new friends that she has her own excel spreadsheet to keep track of them. Gidget thrives on the consistency of her daily activities at the Sanctuary which even include daily PT and massage for her now healed, but still problematic broken leg. Gidget has attended every type of class that we give at our Valerie Friedman Program Center and also has a spreadsheet for all of the tricks she knows. If you sneeze near her, she can bring you a Kleenex!
Current Status: She is enjoying the safety and security of her management and routine at the Sanctuary.
Pet Name: Glinda
Arrived at Sanctuary: October 2017
Her Story: Way back when she was just a little kitten, Glinda and her sister Locasta were taken in by foster parents. These two orphaned girls grew up together in a home for eight years, until their family had to bring them to the sanctuary due to severe allergies. They stayed with us for less than two weeks, before being adopted together again. But in their second home, both girls developed litter box issues - peeing outside of the box. Nothing seemed to work, and their adopter worked closely with our behavior manager to try to rememdy the situation. After years of failed solutions, they were returned to the sanctuary. We decided a "trial seperation" of what we thought were a bonded pair - and now both are doing well with no litter box issues! Glinda loves to snuggle with humans, play, drool, and be super affectionate.
Current Status: Glinda is ready to head home with someone who has no other cats and wants the sweetest kitty in the world.
Pet Name: Josie
Arrived at Sanctuary: March 2017
Her Story: Josie was a feral trapped as part of a TNR project March 2, 2017 in New Britain. The vet discovered she had a circumferential wound at the base of her tail and the tail was paralyzed and needed to be amputated. She also was missing most of her teeth-with only 2 remaining. After the surgery it was discovered that she had deficits in both her hind legs and walked with dropped hocks along with possible hearing issues. She is estimated to be about eight years old. She could not be released back outside due to her deficits- her only options were euthanasia or come to the sanctuary. She arrived on 03/21/17. She is still painfully shy around people and will run away when someone enters her room. She has made some progress with being comfortable enough to sleep in her open bed and chair and eat in the open if people remain outside her door. She remains a slow work in progress learning to trust people.
Current Status: Available for adoption to a home with the right environment, one that can provide her with protected outside access.
Pet name: Kiki
Arrived at Sanctuary: January 2018
Her Story: Kiki came from a home with 4 other cats including Dime, Carl, and Coco. When their owner passed away she was temporarily placed with another family member until finally coming to the Sanctuary on January 27, 2018. She is the shyest of her other housemates –preferring to hold off on meeting others until she feels comfortable and can often be found hanging out on her shelves surveying the action below. At around 10 years old, she is FIV+ but is healthy and sweet and playful.
Current Status: Kiki is available for adoption and would prefer a quieter home where she can feel safe, and her affectionate personality can blossom.
Pet Name: Leela
Arrival at Sanctuary: March 2018
Her Story: Leela came to us with three other cats through animal control. They were found abandoned at a property without access to resources. Since being at the sanctuary, Leela has become a very friendly and chipper little girl. She's estimated to be around 1 1/2 years old, so she still has that lively kitten energy. She loves to play with feather toys, cuddle up next to us on the couch, and impress volunteers with her meticulously maintained long fur. This silky soft kitty even likes to hitch rides on our shoulders and backs!
Current Status: Leela is up for adoption and ready to meet her forever family.
Pet Name: Lucas
Arrived at Sanctuary: December 2017
His Story: Lucas was born to a feral/stray mom and adopted by his first family at the age of 6 weeks. He was raised with two adult cats that he maintained a tenuous relationship with –having no littermates to play with and learn from, his social skills suffered. He grew into a very stressed cat that slowly began to learn to get his way by nipping, swatting and acting aggressive. He was placed on Prozac and a special diet to deal with the urinary issues he developed. When his owners had a child they decided he could no longer be trusted in the home and was passed along to another family member. That family member was allergic and unable to keep Lucas long term. They joined our re-homing program and Lucas at the age of 8 arrived at the Sanctuary in December of 2017. Given space and respect Lucas has been re- learning how to properly interact with people. The kindness he has be shown is now being returned with happy purrs and affection- and only the occasional swat. He is emerging as a playful, affectionate , more confident cat and he no longer needs a special diet or Prozac.
Current Status: Available for adoption, Lucas would best be suited for a home with no other pets or young children and with someone willing to respect his needs so that he will continue to gain confidence and progress socially.
Pet Name: Luna
Arrived at Sanctuary: January 19, 2018
Her Story: Luna came to us from a local Animal Control. Luna is an extremely fearful and under socialized dog who needs a lot of time to get to know and trust new people. Fortunately we can give her all the time she needs to settle in and learn to trust. Luna enjoys sniffing the trails here at the sanctuary and is more comfortable being around new people when she is out and about, as long as they respect her space. She is starting to relax with our routine here at the sanctuary and we have just started slowly introducing her to new people while in the cottage. She recently had a victory when a volunteer harnessed her without help and walked her out to the pavilion unescorted. Go Luna!
Current Status: Luna has started making friends with a few volunteers. Our current project with her is to get her comfortable with getting in a volunteer’s car so that she can go to Manchester and attend classes there without the security of her favorite staff member being present.
Pet Name: Marty
Arrived at Sanctuary: January 2018
His Story: A very kind soul brought Marty to Bolton Vet after discovering him struck by a car on the side of the rode. He had extensive injuries, including a shattered pelvis. It was unclear at the time if he'd be able to walk again, or if he'd have any other lasting problems. Marty owes a lot to the vet techs and staff at Bolton Vet for giving him a chance. He needed several weeks to recover at the vet before he was able to come to the sanctuary. A combination of physical therapy, supplements, and healing exercises have put him back on four paws. He's able to walk and climb with the best of 'em! While he does have some limitations as to the style of play he can do safely, he's very rambunctious and loves to bat at toys. But he's just as happy snuggled up on a lap.
Current Status: Marty is a feisty, frisky, happy boy who needs a forever home who understands his journey and can give him a much deserved second chance!
Pet name: Meeka
Arrived at Sanctuary: May 3, 2018
Her Story: Meeka is a very sweet girl who came to us from a local animal control facility. She was surrendered to the pound because she was sick. It seems that her current caregiver had found her originally tied to a dumpster, and now he couldn’t handle her medical issues. Once she was in the care of Animal Control she was found to have Pyometra (an infection in her uterus) and the tick-borne illnesses Lyme and Anaplasmosis. She has recovered from those illnesses. Soon after her recovery it was discovered that she has mammary tumors that will need to be removed. The pound was grateful for us to take her and provide her continuing care after all the TLC they have given her.
Current Status: Meeka had a successful surgery and her incision is still healing. Once she is fully healed she will start attending classes, and will be looking for her new home.
Pet Name: Merlin
Arrived at Sanctuary: May 31, 2018
His Story: Living life as a stray, he showed up at the house of his previous owner one day and ended up staying there for the next seven years. At the age of ten his owner was no longer physically able to care for him, he was transitioning to a skilled nursing facility and heartbroken that he needed to surrender his beloved pet. A mellow, independent yet affectionate cat, Merlin is the perfect partner for when you want to binge watch your favorite TV show , spend a quiet evening reading, or just hang out at home. He is happy to greet and socialize with guests, but will go the extra step and give a little more to the people he bonds with. He has no current health issues other than some tartar on his back teeth (he is on dental diet to help with this) – not bad for a guy his age.
Current Status: Looking for his next home. Merlin doesn’t have a lot of needs: A quieter home with windows and plenty of comfy places to nap, and, a spot next to his human that is always vacant…so he can fill it.
Arrived at the Sanctuary: January 11, 2018
Her Story: Miel is approximately 4 years old and was surrendered to a local veterinary practice after a traumatic accident at home that left her with permanent nerve damage in her rear legs. She doesn’t have feeling in her feet to let her know whether she is walking on the top or bottom of her feet. We are hopeful that we see some recent improvement, possibly some feeling is coming back since the accident. Coincidentally and prior to the accident Miel’s owners were actually thinking of finding a new home for her as she wasn’t handling the in-home daycare that her owners ran out of their home. After she was stabilized, the Veterinarian contacted us to see if we could take on Miel’s physical and behavioral issues, and we were happy to take on a new challenge! Miel is still a relatively new guest, and staff are still sorting out how best to handle her physical limitations and the behavioral problems that she had prior to the accident (and may very well have caused the accident). Miel has a long journey ahead of her with us as she continues to heal, perform her daily physical therapy exercises, and we learn what braces, boots and other support equipment work for her.
Current Status: She is working hard at healing her feet, doing her PT on her balance balls, and learning to relax when people come and go.
Pet Name: Nimbus
Arrived at Sanctuary: May 2018
Her Story: Nimbus has been all over the place the past few years - first living with a gentleman, who then gave her to his aunt, who then had to go to a convalescent home. During her three month stay, Nimbus didn't have a lot of interaction, leaving her lonely and under-socialized. When the stay at the home became permanent, Nimbus came to the sanctuary. She was "look but don't touch" cat for a while - she would jump right in our laps but then swat if we tried to pet her. Once her fluffy coat got shaved due to severe matting, she was less reactive to touch. It must have been very uncomfortable! Now, with time, her manners have improved and her feistiness is more subdued. She still loves her lap snuggles and actually enjoys petting now! (But she'll let you know when she's had enough). This six year old is also very playful, loving to leap after ribbon toys.
Current status: Nimbus is ready to find a forever home where she can be the queen bee.
Guest's Name: Pearl
Date Arrived: June 5, 2018
Her Story: Living on the street, Pearl’s life took a wrong turn one day and she ended up colliding with a car in the roadway. As fate would have it- it turned out to be her lucky day. A good Samaritan witnessed her misfortune and brought Pearl in to the vet. No serious injuries were found but Pearl was a mess of fleas, ticks and abrasions. After some rest, recovering and pampering Pearl cleaned up well and is looking to move on from her previous street life. At about a year old and very petite she can be quite active and playful, but also is one of the sweetest and most gentle cats you will ever meet.
Current Status: looking to settle down in a home of her own. Street living is hard and Pearl is a little skittish at times and not always so brave and confident. A quieter home with lots of love to give will let this little girl blossom.
Arrived at the Sanctuary: November 2016
His Story: Quincy started off his life living outdoors, as part of a feral colony. Feral cats are cats that, usually, will never make house pets. Growing up outdoors makes them very wary of humans. However, sometimes colony caregivers make a bond with their outdoor felines and can socialize them if they are young enough. Quincy blossomed into a very vocal, friendly boy – bonding strongly with his person. Unfortunately, when his person entered assisted living, Quincy had nowhere else to turn. This shy guy needed time to adjust. All alone in the world, he reverted back to his feral nature. We knew he had sweetness in him - as evidenced by his life with his first owner. Luckily at the sanctuary, he had lots of dedicated volunteers giving him just what he needed: space, patience, and understanding. After several months going at his own pace, he regained the confidence he once had. He loves to sit on laps, knead his paws, and take sun-drenched naps.
Current Status: Quincy is ready for a forever home. He might take a while to warm up, but we know the right people are out there for him.
Guest's Name: Roxi
Date Arrived: May 10, 2018
Her Story: Roxi was found abandoned as a small pup in a family’s backyard. When no one claimed her from animal control, they decided to adopt her. She had a bad case of mange, and was nearly hairless. Now at nearly a year old she’s healed considerably from her early health woes, but still needs treatment for her skin. Her original rescuers needed to find a new home for Roxi because their young son became allergic to her. It seems her skin issues were contributing to his asthma. They were heartbroken to have to part with her, but relieved to have the opportunity for her come and stay with us at the Sanctuary. Roxi is very sweet, but still has puppy energy. She is smart and knows her basic commands.
Current Status: Roxi continues to go to class, and we see improvement in exercises such as her recall. She will soon be ready to look for her forever home.
Pet Name: Sheba
Arrived at the Sanctuary: February 2018
Her Story: Sheba was found in an apartment in Hartford after her owner passed away. Removed by Hartford Animal Control (they do not rescue cats), she was placed in the temporary custody of Kenway’s Cause. After a brief medical exam she arrived at the Sanctuary. Although quite a petite girl she was abnormally thin and it quickly became apparent that she had more serious medical issues going on. After an emergency vet visit it was discovered that she had not been spayed and had developed an infection in her uterus that was likely present for some time. She was immediately spayed and after a few days in the hospital she returned to the Sanctuary to recover. She also has a significant heart murmur that is under evaluation at this time. She is about 8 years old very affectionate and loves to be close and snuggling with her people.
Current status: Sheba is ready for adoption to a quieter home with no other cats and an open lap for snuggling.
Guest's Name: Tabby
Date Arrived: July 2017
Her Story: Tabby lived for the first eight years of her life in a home with other pets. Unfortunately, she spent most of her time petrified in their presence, cowering on shelves and on bureaus to avoid them. She became fearful and would lash out with teeth and claws when she felt threatened - and due to her sensitive nature, she felt threatened a lot! When her person went away to college, her family decided the best thing for her was to find a better home. Tabby arrived at the sanctuary as a behavior case. Her years in a mismatched environment made it difficult to adjust to change. Finally having a room of her own, with space to be herself, made a huge difference, but she still needed help. Staff and volunteers worked together to come up with the behavioral therapies necessary to improve her quality of life. She thrives on routine and has come a long way. She loves to keep people company and get brushed!
Current Status: Tabby is hoping the right people come along who respect her need for a stable, secure household so she can thrive.
Pet Name: Tripp
Arrived at Sanctuary: April 26, 2018
His Story: Tripp was originally adopted by one of our volunteers from a local pound. That volunteer sadly passed away 6 years ago, leaving Tripp behind. We were recently contacted by the surviving family members letting us know that they could no longer care for Tripp, so now Tripp is in our care. He’s a 9 year old Chihuahua/Schipperke mix who has hair loss that looks to be from chemical burns from an incident that happened early in his life. Tripp doesn’t let that experience slow him down, he’s a spunky and opinionated little guy who loves to snuggle. As he’s settled in though we have found a few situations that make him insecure, so we are currently working on making him feel more at ease during those times.
Current Status: Tripp is currently looking for a quiet dog savvy home that includes long walks, warm blankets to snuggle in, and furniture that he will share with his new best friends.