Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter steps up for pets, owners in Branford, No. Branford

Branford Animal Control Officer Wendy Joyce of the Daniel Cosgrove Animal Shelter, left, with Tuna, a mixed-breed puppy, left, and Max, 14, a labradoodle, and his owners Mardyann and Stephen Goglia of Branford. The family went to the Branford shelter Thursday to possibly adopt Tuna, and see whether the dogs could get along.

BRANFORD — If you live in Branford or North Branford and are elderly, disabled or sick, have no family or other help nearby and can’t or don’t want to go out to buy food or supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic, no worries.

The Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter has your back.

The shelter, at 749 E. Main St., will bring you pet food or supplies such as cat litter or a litter box if you need them during the crisis, Director Laura Selvaggio Burban said .

They’ll even bring you some basic groceries while they’re at it, if you’re really stuck, Burban said.

Just call the shelter at 203-315-4125.

“We are here for the animals and we are here for you,” the shelter said in a Facebook post this week. “We are all in this together!”

Burban said she and her staff “started to get concerns because in our area we have a lot of senior citizens and we have a lot of disabled residents, whether they are physically disabled or mentally disabled. We became concerned because some services are stopping” and people who need the help of a ride service or some other help might not have their normal access.

“I didn’t want them to be without” necessities such as pet food, she said.

In addition, “We wanted to make sure that if people were feeling scared or anxious, that they would have someone to help them with the process” of getting what they need, Burban said.

“Whatever people do need — if they need litter boxes or litter ... if need be, if they are sick or elderly, we will go get it for them,” she said.

The shelter already had a Pet Food Pantry for pet owners in need, but the shelter, after a discussion with the staff, now will deliver if need be — and not just for Fido, Twinkle or Spot.

“As far as human food, my staff and I, after we talked about what is happening,” agreed to add other necessities to the pet necessities, Burban said.

“If they don’t have anybody,” animal shelter staff will even go to the grocery store and get regular people food for them, she said.

“We get a lot of support from the community” and “we like to reciprocate,” Burban said.

Surprisingly, the shelter — which handled 661 animals last year, including dogs, cats, bunnies and guinea pigs, with a 99.2 percent live release rate — also still is doing a fair number of adoptions.

“We’re doing a lot of online adoptions now,” Burban said. “Basically, people can fill out applications. Go through the same reference checks and stuff.

“We do allow them to come in and do a meet and greet,” and they even can bring in other pets to make sure the pets are compatible, she said.

While the conditions are not optimal, “it’s working,” Burban said. “We’re still getting animals into homes.”

She worries, however, that in a month or so, especially after some people get sick, “they’ll abandon their animals and we might have an influx,” Burban said. “We’re having conversations about that, as well.”

Right now, the shelter is not trying to find its animals foster homes, “and the only reason why we’re not is, we are still adopting animals out at a fairly reasonable rate,” Burban said. “Before this all started, we had 70 applications that were approved. ... So we’re still going through those people and getting them into the shelter one-by-one.”

Connecticut Media Group