About Us

Our Mission Statement

The mission of The Little Guild of St.Francis is to save unwanted, abused and neglected cats and dogs, provide medical care and enrichment to make them more adoptable and, through our pet adoption center, match them with homes where they can thrive.

The Little Guild’s History







The Little Guild of Saint Francis for the Welfare of Animals, Inc., the only no-kill shelter in Northwest Connecticut, was founded in 1960 by Muriel Alvord Ward and Eleanora Kleinschmidt. The current 3,000-square-foot facility accommodates 20 dogs and 40 cats comfortably at any time.

The last two years have been a time of growth and transformation for the Guild. We have renovated the lobby area and community cat rooms, enhanced technology to better track animals in shelter and expanded our staff to ensure that animals are enriched and become more adoptable with each day in our care.

To help keep animals and families together, we have launched a number of programs during 2015-2016, including:

  • expanding our foster and volunteer programs;
  • creating a pet food pantry to provide dog and cat food and supplies to dozens of families, as well as share donated pet food with local food pantries for distribution;
  • launching a trap-neuter-return program to help reduce the feral cat population;
  • forming a partnership with the Susan B. Anthony Project to temporarily house or re-home pets of victims of domestic violence;
  • extending the free vaccination program that we launched in Torrington to Winsted; and
  • establishing a “Prevent Another Litter” program, where the Little Guild takes in litters of kittens and puppies, has them spayed/neutered and examined by a veterinarian, spayed/neared and adopted out into good homes, and spays/neuters other adult pets in the household.

Our Exceptional Staff


Wendy Guerrera, Animal Care Assistant

Wendy joined the Little Guild in 2015 as an animal care assistant, continuing a lifetime of pet and wildlife rescue and advocacy that was inspired by a Kenyan safari at age 13.

Raised on Long Island, Wendy’s first job was at North Shore Animal League, which is today one of the world’s largest animal rescue and adoption organizations. She subsequently studied wildlife behavior in East Africa, and has been involved in horse and pig rescue. She has served as a board member of the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund, which distributes funds to animal rescue groups.

Wendy thrives on being part of the day-to-day care, feeding and socialization of the Little Guild’s dogs and cats, and is committed to providing them a clean and comfortable environment.

Wendy’s pets include two cats, a Chihuahua, a Pit Bull and a lovebird.



Ashley Innella, Animal Care Assistant

Ashley joined the Little Guild as a volunteer, walking and spending as much time as she could with dogs. In late 2015, she became a full-time animal care assistant.

Born and raised in Torrington, Ashley adopted her dog, Wyatt, from the Little Guild in 2006. She was inspired to become actively involved with the Little Guild after his passing in 2015.

Her family has a dog named Cinnamon and she is currently fostered a Little Guild dog named Kip, whom she hopes to adopt.


Andrea Molowa, Animal Care Assistant

Andrea joined the Little Guild in 2015 as an animal care assistant, building on her past experience volunteering at a shelter in New Jersey and pet sitting.

Andrea currently has two Little Guild cats, one of whom is a foster.




Board of Directors

John Guenther – Cornwall, CT, President
Sandra Thibault – Goshen, CT, Treasurer
Jill Hetson – Kent, CT, Secretary
Marjorie Hewett – New York, NY
Jeff Jacobson – West Cornwall, CT
Gerri Kenniston – West Cornwall, CT
Jill Sheffield – West Cornwall, CT


Advisory Council 

David Bain
Deborah Bain
John Bartlett
Kate Beatty
Blair Brown
Mark DeCruccio
Louise Dunn
Gail Jacobson
Jerome K. Roth, M.D.
Richard Schlesinger
James R. Sheffield
Bunny Williams

Our board can be reached by email at Board@LittleGuild.org or postal mail at The Little Guild, 285 Sharon-Goshen Turnpike, West Cornwall, CT 06796.