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







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 16 dogs and 25 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 programs 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 2015-2017, 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;
  • forming a partnership with the Susan B. Anthony Project to temporarily house or re-home pets of victims of domestic violence; and
  • extending the free vaccination program that we launched in Torrington.

Our Exceptional Staff


Ashley Innella, Shelter Manager

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, and in the summer of 2017 Ashley became our Shelter Manager.

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.


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.



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 DirectorsJohn Guenther – Cornwall, CT, President
Jill Hetson – Kent, CT, Secretary
Richard Lanier – Falls Village
Chuck Short – Cornwall, CT
Martha Baer – Salisbury, CT
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
Katie Vagliano, DVM
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.