Author Archive

Rare Influenza in NYC Shelter Cats

The animals at the Little Guild are happy and healthy here at the height of flu season and we hope to keep it that way! We are open to visitors as always but, in light of the current outbreak of a rare influenza in New York City shelter cats (see link below), we would like to ask anyone who has visited another shelter to please not visit the Little Guild on the same day.

Of course, if you have any questions, please call or email us at 860-672-6346 or We look forward to seeing you soon!

Why We Adopted from the Little Guild

rich-gusWhy We Adopted from the Little Guild

By Richard Schlesinger

Anyone who adopts an animal in need learns a beautiful lesson. It’s about how much a person can receive when he or she gives a dog or a cat a real and loving and forever home. We learned that with each of the three dogs we’ve rescued.

When we took in (and took on) our latest… Gus, from the Little Guild, we knew we were getting a dog who had a tragic past. He was found in Waterbury…he was bald and underweight.

He stayed at the Little Guild for six months before getting adopted by a wonderful and well-meaning person who soon discovered he had severe separation anxiety. He couldn’t be left alone. He destroyed things in the house. As heart-breaking as it was for his new family…he came back to the Guild.

We took him because, once we got to know him, we really had no choice. It wasn’t an easy decision. We already had a dog, Cyrus, who is a handful (but we love him, too!) It would be a lot of work.

But the theory was Cyrus would keep Gus company, so Gus would never be alone. We weren’t quite sure what we were getting into… but we became a two-dog family.

I’ll admit, I was worried about the added responsibility. I think I started to really embrace the idea when a colleague of mine said, ‘Why don’t you focus on the fact that you are giving this dog a great new life.’ That argument made all the sense in the world.

I thought I was being altruistic. I never expected to get so much back from this dog. We found out quickly that, despite everything he’s been through, Gus is a loving, mischievous and gregarious little boy. He is thriving with us. His hair has grown back and he has gained (a little too much) weight.

Animal lovers know well the deal we strike with the pets we bring into our lives. We worry about them and dote on them and try to meet their every need. They give us back some notion that they are okay and content…happy.

Gus is holding up his end of the bargain honorably. He pays back, with interest, the love we show him. He runs and jumps. He snuggles and smooches. It is a perfect arrangement…mutually beneficial and endlessly rewarding… a win-win for mammals.

Everybody should know the rewards of this kind of relationship. So, if you haven’t adopted a dog or cat yet….what are you waiting for!?  The Little Guild is an outstanding source of adoptable dogs.

Richard Schlesinger is an award-winning CBS News correspondent and a member of the Little Guild’s Advisory Council.

Morganza’s Story

Morganza’s Story

Morganza is one of the sweetest cats you will ever meet. She loves to play, climb tall cat trees, and hangout with her cat friends. Just before Thanksgiving of 2015 she was attacked and shaken by a dog. As a result her pelvis broke and one of her vertebrates was fractured. Two different vets saw her and agreed that this girl was strong willed and although it would be some work, deserved a chance to live. Her wonderful foster mom, named Felicia, took care of Morganza while she healed and helped her through her daily physical therapy. Her recent X-rays showed good news and she was finally cleared to go ahead and be her normal, playful, self!

Morganza is only one year-old and she would love to find a family. Ideally this family would not have dogs but if it is the perfect match she may be open to giving dogs a second chance!

Click Here to Fill Out an Application for Morganza!

Get Involved! Volunteer at the Little Guild!

Get Involved! Volunteer at the Little Guild!

We rely on volunteers to help us reach our potential.

Their contributions:

  • help keep our operation moving;
  • free up our staff to focus on training, working with and adopting out our animals;
  • help us stimulate, socialize and mentally and physically exhaust our dogs and cats, which is the secret to keeping them happy and preventing the deterioration that can happen in a shelter environment
  • enable us to save more animals, confident we have a team able to care for them when we are operating at capacity.

January 2016 marked the reinvigoration of our volunteer program. We want to engage more members of the community in advancing our mission – and we are.

So far this year, approximately 25 new dog walkers have gone through our dog walker training and are regularly spending time with our dogs. With all the new dogs we have welcomed this year, the additional help has been invaluable to their adjustment.

Several students from area schools have been come in to help with various shelter-wide chores as well as walking dogs and playing with cats.

How You Can Get Involved.
We have a wide range of opportunities, including:

  • walking dogs
  • socializing cats
  • doing laundry (you would be amazed how many sheets, towels and blankets we go through in a day!)
  • working the front desk work
  • other assorted cleaning and organizing tasks.
If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out an application [can we link to it?]. We will contact you to set up a time to come in.
Volunteers have the option of arranging a regular schedule for volunteering, or just stopping in as time permits.


Addressing the Issues of Feral Cats

Addressing the Issues of Feral Cats
Providing Shelter
Feral cats need help to survive New England winters.
In the fall of 2015, the Little Guild had our first ever feral/outdoor cat shelter-building event.
With enormous help from community volunteers, we were able to build and distribute more than 100 cat shelters to help keep feral and stray cats warm and safe over the harsh winter months.
Addressing Overpopulation
One cat can have up to 100 kittens in her lifetime. Feral cat populations can explode overnight, making it difficult for them to survive.
The Little Guild recently launched our first-ever trap-neuter-return (TNR) program. We have trapped, neutered and returned feral cats in two Cornwall barns.
The process involves:
  • humanely trapping the entire colony of cats;
  • bringing them for veterinary care including altering, ear tipping (a painless surgical procedure where a small part of the ear tip is removed to denote that the cat has been altered) and the first round of vaccinations; and
  • returning them to their colonies with a designated caretaker to feed and look after the cats.  This allows the cats to live out the rest of their lives without further procreation.

A Happy Ending for Indy and Mallory

A Happy Ending for Indy and Mallory
Indy and Mallory entered our rescue in September of 2015. Indy (black) is the mother of Mallory and both girls are seniors (9 and 8 years old respectively). They were previously from a shelter down south and were taken in after they were found roaming on multiple occasions. They waited for over 6 months at that shelter with no luck of finding a home together before coming to the Little Guild. Even here at the Little Guild these girls waited months for someone to see the beauty in them that was so evidently clear to all of us who know them so well.
Then it happened, on Saturday January 30th, a couple came in and within minutes knew that Indy and Mallory were the dogs they had been looking for. With wagging tails, teary eyes, and warm hearts, these girls walked out of the building with their newly found family. We all knew that where Indy and Mallory were heading to next was exactly where they were always meant to be. The moral of the story is to take a chance on a rescue dog. You may walk into a shelter looking for a specific breed or a specific age but you will just end up limiting your options and potentially missing out on the dog that was meant for you all along.