For 84 years, CHS was the only statewide organization offering protective services to children until the State of Connecticut developed the Dept. of Children and Families in 1965. At this point, our primary focus shifted to animals – specifically companion animals (pets). Over the years CHS has built a staff of caring professionals, recruited a corps of dedicated volunteers, developed humane education initiatives and entered into the public affairs arena in support of humane animal treatment legislation.
CHS' first office was in the basement of a building at the corner of Prospect and Grove Streets in Hartford. As the need for our unique services quickly grew, it became apparent that expansion was necessary. Within a short period of time we moved our headquarters to 300 Washington Street, Hartford where it remained for over 30 years. In 1900 CHS first branch office was opened in New Haven and shortly thereafter branches were established in Bridgeport, New London and Stamford. Today we have full-service shelters located in Newington, Waterford and Westport.
CHS' shelters have grown throughout the years, to better serve the people and pets of Connecticut. In 1958 we moved our headquarters and Hartford shelter to 701 Russell Road, Newington, CT. In 1998, the new 30,000 square foot, state of the art shelter and Fox Memorial Clinic was completed on the Society grounds in Newington. This facility more than tripled our capacity to care for abandoned and abused pets, and to offer improved and expanded services to pets and their owners. The Fox Memorial Clinic, opened in April of 1999, offering reduced cost veterinary services for pet owners in financial need. In 2004 and 2011 respectively, the Westport and Waterford shelters were expanded and renovated using state of the art technology to better care for pets in a safe and healthy environment.
CHS' programs have also grown in response to the needs of our community. In 2003, the Connecticut Humane Society purchased its Mobile Adoption Center (MAC), and immediately put the vehicle into service. The MAC bus has appeared at events throughout the state to conduct vaccine clinics and promote our programs and pet adoptions. During the 2005 hurricane season, MAC served in a disaster response capacity in Gonzales, LA. In response to an increasing number of Connecticut residents surrendering their pets due to financial constraints, the Connecticut Humane Society developed its Pet Food Pantry in 2011 to help keep more pets in their loving homes. In addition, dog training classes are now offered in Newington for CHS adopters and the general public.
Throughout our history, the Connecticut Humane Society has remained at the forefront of the animal welfare world, enriching the lives of the citizens and animals of our great state. With the powerful human-animal bond at the heart of our work, our organization, envisioned by Ms. Lewis, continues to evolve and expand to serve the needs of the community and to plan for the future.