Inspired by a very special East Haven Animal Shelter rescue Husky named Simba (a.k.a. Dirty Dog). His tragic background led him to a safe haven in the form of an animal shelter where he found food, his first real bed, lots of attention, great care, and then his forever home! Thanks to the incredible patience, follow through, and love of animals by the animal control officers, Simba was rescued from a very dreary existence which gave him a chance at a life that he thrived in, and it started at age 13! Learning about Simba’s experiences, and also those that animal control officers face every day, inspired this organization to form and take action. 

Since the first collection drive in 2008, over 10,000 lbs of pet food and supplies have been donated to help shelter animals! The annual drive begins after Thanksgiving and ends just prior to Christmas Day with drop off locations all over Connecticut.  After all the donations have been collected and sorted, they are distributed to the shelters by volunteers.  The process doesn’t end there.  These shelters pay it forward by sharing their supplies with other area shelters that have even less man power to contact us, so our donations reach many more locations and comfort many more homeless animals than we will ever know.   

Over the years, Presents for Paws has been fortunate enough to expand its efforts thanks to the incredible growing support of our community.  Aesthetic improvements to the shelters including the replacement of the Old Lyme Animal Shelter's aging sign and picnic tables for the East Haven Animal Shelter's Meet-n-Green pavilion are important improvements that increase the shelter's visibility and encourages the public to continue to adopt. Such projects are not always in the budgets of these facilities, so Presents for Paws steps in to help out both financially and physically so animal control officers can focus on finding forever homes for their shelter residents.  

Presents for Paws focus and mission has always been to support Connecticut shelters first, however, the community generosity is so great that when excess supplies come in Presents for Paws is able to help out other state shelters and organizations as well.  Supplies have been been shipped out to Santa Barbara (fire and mudslide rescues), Texas (Hurricane Harvey rescues), Springfield (tornado rescues), and even to Long Island when the supply need is extreme due to overcrowding in the shelters.