RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- Finding a new home for a rescue dog or cat is no easy task. Housing, feeding and caring for pets before they're adopted by new owners is both time and labor intensive. But for Allyson Dotson, she wouldn't have it any other way.
"After the death of my first dog, Spirit, in 2007 at the age of 17, I was missing his companionship," said Dotson, director of Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue - or ROAR. "I wanted to help animals in need and I decided to try volunteering at ROAR." The rest is history. After volunteering at the center for several years, Dotson was hired as ROAR’s adoption coordinator in 2009 before being promoted to shelter director the following year.
Since its founding in 2005, ROAR has worked to provide animals in Fairfield County with a safe, welcoming space as they await adoption. "Rescue animals come from all different life situations," said Dotson. "Some are lost, some surrendered, others are abandoned and abused. When we look to find a new home for these animals, we're asking for a commitment and loving long-term placement."
One such placement was with Lynne Gomez, executive assistant to the CEO at New Canaan-based Bankwell Financial Group. "Lynne contacted me regarding a new pet adoption program that Bankwell was starting, and proceeded to tell me how her ROAR dog changed her life," said Dotson. Gomez had recently adopted Bowie, one of 20 dogs rescued on a trip to Florida. "Right then, I knew we had to help Bankwell make this program a success."
The Bankwell Pet Adoption Project was formed as a partnership between both organizations, designed to encourage adoption across Fairfield and New Haven counties. Partnering with local photographer Michael Bagley, the bank featured several ROAR dogs as the stars of the program's branding campaign.
The response, Dotson said, has been incredible. "To date, five of the nine dogs featured in Bankwell's ads have been adopted," she said. "We're so thankful for the opportunity to work on this amazing project with the entire Bankwell team. We always say it takes a village at ROAR, and nothing could be more true when it comes to the work done on the Bankwell Pet Adoption Project."
For more information on ROAR, click here.