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It Takes an Army

Updated: May 5

If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes an army to rescue a dog. 

Where the Love Is has a brigade of almost 100 volunteers who communicate throughout the day via a group-chat app. 

There are groups for discussing fundraising events, surrenders requests, taking dogs on field trips, feeding, cleaning, and medicating, opportunities for marketing and publicity, and which videos and photos should be posted to social media.  

The group that chats most prodigiously is “Caregivers.” These are the folks who show up at our Hamden shelter twice a day, seven days a week, rain or shine, to take care of the dozens of shelter dogs. Scheduling enough troops to cover 14 shifts – and more when out-of-state dog transports arrive – reflects the precision of a military campaign.

Scrolling through just one day’s worth of these texts is a real eye-opener: the detailed observations of the dogs’ poop schedules, personalities, emotional states, illnesses, digestion, play schedules, and training needs shows the extent to which our caregivers go above and beyond to prepare puppies and dogs for adoption. 

On a typical day, there can be dozens of dogs in our kennels, ranging from newborn to senior. Each has to be fed and exercised, while some need daily grooming and medication. All cages must be cleared of soiled newspapers then hosed for cleanliness. (One volunteer recently shared a photo of the aftermath of a puppy pooping on her head!) 

The chats serve as a humbling reminder that no one at Where the Love Is receives monetary compensation for the hours they put in. Our volunteers do what they do because they love dogs. They are literally in the trenches every day fighting for a dog’s right to life, liberty and the paw-suit of happiness. 

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