Our Companions Animal Rescue

Our Companions Animal Rescue is a Connecticut based organization that promises to always do the right thing for animals, regardless of the challenge or cost.

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June Sanctuary Update

We're hitting peak summer here at the sanctuary. The long, hot days and warm nights make for an exciting time of year. As you know, we do our best here to give the cats and dogs in our care the most normal and enjoyable life we can as they wait for their forever home. During this season, that means getting them the kind of the adventures and experiences they would get in the most loving homes. Here's a little snapshot of the dogs and cats enjoying the best of what summer has to offer.

June Update

The world is full of exciting adventures in summer for the dogs at the sanctuary. It's a cornerstone of our mission to give the dogs as much enrichment as possible during their stays. We of course have our two and a half miles of hiking trails here at the sanctuary that, at this time of year, are filled with active wildlife, from bunnies and deer to snakes and turtles. And then there's our two play yards for lots of fun with fetch and with training exercises.

But beyond what's at the sanctuary, our volunteers will often take the dogs out to local state parks or other trips for a day's excitement. This summer even included a boat ride for Atlas. These adventures are more than just simple fun. They're an opportunity for the dogs to burn off the stress of daily life, and to experience new stimulus and learn new skills. All of this helps us to get to know the dogs as well as we can, in order to match them to just the right home, as well as work with their training needs to make sure they are the best dogs they can be for their new families.


Left: Roxi takes a cool drink out of one of the doggie pools around the dog cottages.
Center: Aggie enjoys nothing better than to take a field trip to one of the local wildlife areas and enjoy the peace and serenity they offer.
Right: Meeka isn't one for summer laziness. She's out to learn some new tricks and show off what she can do.


Left: Tripp enjoys taking trips to local state parks for an adventure with our volunteers.
Center: Estie knows all the best ways to cool off in the summer. Nothing beats digging in the sandbox for chilling out (and getting good and dirty!)
Right: Amber pulls off her best "Wish You Were Here" postcard pose by our very own sanctuary pond.


Of course, the dogs don't get all of the summer fun to themselves. Our cats all have access to outdoor "catios" that provide them endless entertainment. The cats get so much enjoyment watching the birds, bugs, and butterflies. And what cat can resist bathing in the sunlight on a warm day? But it's not all just about napping. Some of the cats, like Barnaby, are afforded the opportunity to put on a leash and harness and go for a stroll themselves.

JosieHermes, LeelaCarl

Left:Josie loves spend her days in a cat tree on her catio. It's a great, low stress way to watch the world.
Center: Hermes and Leela are enjoying some rays of sunshine on the front porch of Jane's Place.
Right: Carl has found a warm snuggly spot and just wants us to put down the camera and come enjoy it with him.

So now on to the comings and goings for the month of June.

The dog team at the sanctuary had no arrivals or departures during the month of June. This was not unexpected, given the wave of dogs adopted in April and the steady pace of new arrivals in May. But many of the canine crew have made great progress and are up for adoption and ready to go home. We'll just be looking forward to that late summer bump in adoption activity we get most years.

DaisyAmaretto, PralineFinch, Chickadee, etc.

Left: Daisy, Center: Amaretto and Praline, Right: Finch, Chickadee, Hawk, and Robin

In the world of Our Companions cats, Daisy went home for good this month, as did Amaretto and Praline. And our new arrivals, as everyone has been so excited about, are the litter of kittens: Finch, Chickadee, Hawk, and Robin. As so often happens, this foursome arrived and were right back out the door to their forever home this month.

So once again, thank you all for all that you do for these dogs and cats in need. We couldn't do it without you!



The Sanctuary is Growing!

Phase 3

On Saturday, October 7, 2017, donors from across the state gathered to celebrate Our Companions Animal Rescue’s 15th anniversary and the near completion of “Phase-Three” of construction at the animal Sanctuary in Ashford, CT. This expansion will allow Our Companions to build three new cottages, thus doubling the number of animals that can be rescued and rehabilitated at the Sanctuary.

Joining the three current cottages, we now have Jane’s Place, named in honor of the Jane A. and John T. Weiderhold Foundation. This cottage contains nearly 2,000 square feet of housing to ensure the comfort, enrichment and rehabilitation of cats.

We also have Canine Cottage, Chris’s Place is named in honor of longtime board member Chris Shivery, and to honor the generous contributions of Christine Knuth, the fourth canine cottage has been named the Love Shack.
To honor Lida Orzeck for her generous contributions to all three phase of construction at the Sanctuary, the entire dog campus has been named the Pepsee Canine Campus.

Our Companions would like to thank all the donors who gave to the capital campaign that raised over one million dollars for this phase of construction. The new buildings will be completed and operational in January, 2018.

Click here to see photos from the event.

To learn more about how you can help secure a $150,000 gift to support the operations of these new cottages, click here.



Super Cool Drone Footage of Sanctuary Construction

Cottage and Lucy
Lucy supervises dog cottage construction

Last year Our Companions Animal Rescue successfully completed a one million dollar capital campaign allowing us to begin Phase 3 of construction that will double the housing for animals at our Sanctuary.

The Sanctuary helps our community’s most vulnerable animals by providing them a home-like setting that is conducive to a longer-term stay: a low-stress, enriching atmosphere that encourages healing and rehabilitation.

Recently OC volunteer and photographer Ian Green took his drone up for a fly to capture some pretty cool aerial images of the new construction progress, Video courtesy of Ian Green Photography.


Also, don’t forget you can see the progress in person! Each week the Sanctuary is open to visitors for tours on Saturdays from 1-3PM. Here’s more information on visiting. We will keep you updated on our opening this fall.

Hope to see you soon!

Cat exteriorCat interior

The new cat cottage, outside and in



Phase 3

Click the image above for an enlarged view

Our Companions was founded in 2002 after receiving a gift of 43 acres of land in Ashford, Connecticut. Ironically, this property, formerly a factory farm for laying hens, has been transformed into a Sanctuary that offers a unique and much-needed resource for homeless cats and dogs.

The animals at our Sanctuary, most of whom are older, traumatized, abused, or neglected, are the types of animals that would likely be euthanized in a traditional shelter. Our Sanctuary helps these animals by providing them a home-like setting that is conducive to a longer-term stay: a low-stress, enriching atmosphere that encourages healing and rehabilitation. The Sanctuary also serves as an adoption center, providing an inviting place for people to meet our animals and find the perfect addition to their family.

The complete, multi-phase Sanctuary construction plan entails 17 cottages for cats and dogs, an education center, a dog park, walking trails and nature preserve. Thanks to generous support within the community, we successfully demolished the defunct factory farm and completed Phase 1 of construction. Subsequently, we completed Phase 2 in 2013.

The chart below illustrates our progress thus far, as well as future construction phases. Thank you so very much for your past and continued support.




Fundraising Status

Project Status

Demolition Demolish defunct factory farm $300,000 Completed Fall 2008 Completed Winter 2009
1 First rescue cottage, welcome center, garage, site work & vehicle purchase $1,000,000 Completed Spring 2011 Completed Fall 2012
2 2 more rescue cottages, Remembrance Wall and Reflection Gardens $630,000 Completed Spring 2013 Completed Fall 2013
3 4 more cottages
(two feline and two canine)
$1,000,000 Raised $1,000,000 Begin construction 2017
4 10 more cottages and education center $3,5000,000 TBD TBD


Phase 3 Cottage

Click the image above for an enlarged view

Updated 6/15/18