Windham 4 Paws works to bring dogs new life

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Windham - posted Tue., Aug. 6, 2013
Kelsey Walker, soon to be a sophomore at E.O. Smith High School, volunteers her time on Aug. 3. Here she has Jack Russell terrier Bella in the tub. Photo by Melanie Savage.
Kelsey Walker, soon to be a sophomore at E.O. Smith High School, volunteers her time on Aug. 3. Here she has Jack Russell terrier Bella in the tub. Photo by Melanie Savage.

Willimantic resident Julia Brueckner started volunteering at The Pampered Pet in South Windham at the age of 12. “I’m 20 now, so I’ve been here almost half my life,” said Brueckner on a recent Saturday morning, as she manned the front desk at the local pet hotel and spa. Brueckner is now an employee at Pampered Pet, working toward a degree in resource economics with a minor in animal science. In the future, she'd like to open her own dog facility.

As a kid, Brueckner was drawn to Pampered Pet because she loves animals. She spent her time helping out as a groomer’s assistant. “When I wasn’t bathing dogs, I’d just hang out with the rescue dogs,” said Brueckner. Pampered Pet owner Heidi Bardelli developed the idea for Windham 4 Paws shortly after starting her business in 2005. The organization obtained 501(c)3 status in 2010. Strictly non-profit, the organization raises money via adoption fees and fund-raising activities. A recent development is a partnership with the Waterford Humane Society.

“Basically we’re taking dogs that haven’t been doing well in the facility, socializing them with other dogs, and providing them with contact with other dogs and humans,” said Brueckner. The official mission statement of Windham 4 Paws is “to provide the basic necessities to abused and abandoned dogs and cats in order to help rehabilitate adoptable pets back into the community.” The organization provides food, shelter and medical care to dogs and cats, as well as re-training for dogs.

Board members of Windham 4 Paws are George Hurry, Brueckner and Bardelli. Pampered Pet manager Ed Algorin helps with training. “He puts in time helping with pets that have gone into new homes,” said Brueckner.

Volunteer Natalka Tuczkewycz has been putting in time developing a presence on Facebook, posting listings for Petfinder, and helping out at rescue events. “We try to get dogs out into the community,” said Brueckner. Sites of previous adoption events have included the local Petco and Mackey’s locations.

With so many animals in need, there is always need for more volunteers. “There is a need for cleaning, walking the dogs, bathing the dogs, and just hanging out with the dogs,” said Brueckner. For adoption events, volunteers are needed to supervise animals up for adoption and answer questions from the public. There is the potential for placing animals into foster homes, if volunteers are interested. And there is always a need for donations of money and supplies.

Check out animals available for adoption on Petfinder under Windham 4 Paws. The organization’s website can be found at http://windham4paws.webs.com/, or check them out on Facebook. For more information or to volunteer, go to Pampered Pet at 709 Windham Road, e-mail pamperedpet1064@yahoo.com or call 860-423-3327.


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