JULY 2021


Following years of planning, saving, and dreaming, we’re excited to announce that Phase I of the DAWS renovation, “A Place for DAWS,” will officially begin October 1st.

The DAWS Shelter represents a loving and welcoming sanctuary where our furry friends meet their prospective families and ultimately find their forever homes. That’s why we’re writing to you today. Our dogs and cats are on the cusp of moving into a newly renovated shelter—one that will serve as a way station of sorts as they await their new family and the love that comes with that.  We will begin with the demolition of our current kennel, with new construction to follow during the winter. We plan to welcome the return of dogs to our brand-new, state-of-the-art kennels by June 2022.

We’re excited for DAWS, but mostly for the animals who intersect with our lives and touch our hearts.

With Phase I nearly underway, the upcoming renovation joins a list of historic milestones. Indeed, this is the most significant building project that DAWS has undertaken in our 47 years. It will have a profound and positive impact on the thousands of animals that we help each year, as well as the families to whom we support in our great community.

Thankfully, Phase I is already fully funded! We are indebted to each of you who contributed early on and helped make this a reality. We have reached such a pivotal point in our campaign. It goes without saying that there’s still so much more for us to accomplish. And here’s how you can help.

Open your Heart, and your Home

Beginning now through September 1st, we need to ensure that every dog currently living in the shelter is either adopted or placed in an appropriate foster home. If you’re thinking of adopting a dog from DAWS, this is the time to pursue that rescue. Of course, if adoption isn’t possible, but you still want to share your love and affection with a dog in need, perhaps a temporary foster arrangement in your home could work. If interested, please contact Gina Amenta, Director of Operations.

Beyond the Kennel

The kennel is just the first phase. We are hard at work planning and fundraising for Phase II of the renovation, which includes the cattery, clinic, reception area, offices, and of course the building exterior—the immediate first impression people see when visiting DAWS. We anticipate that Phase II will also require a $1 million investment to bring it to fruition and establish our future through a facility that can help usher in the next 47 years of our history. To contribute to the success of the next phase, please contact Alice Meenan, Director of Development and Marketing.

So far this year, DAWS has found loving homes for nearly 300 adopted cats and 250 adopted dogs—thanks to your generosity and shared passion. With the start of Phase I approaching, you can help fulfill our vision to be the regional leader in placing dogs and cats in qualified adoptive homes by:

As a special friend of DAWS, you know that we do things differently than other animal shelters. Our no-kill philosophy means that we’ll never euthanize an animal due to lack of shelter space. We provide love and industry-leading care to all of our animals until they’re adopted—no exceptions.

We look forward to sharing the exciting Phase II details and timeline in the near term, and in celebrating the joys of these momentous next steps with you.  Until then, please know that you have our deepest gratitude for all of the love, support, and care you bring to the animals of DAWS.

Cheryl A. Rykowski

Director Emerita

Jenni Gasbarro


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