Animal Shelter Update (September 2019)

Animal Shelter Timeline:

  • Hamden has been renting space at the North Haven Animal Shelter since 2005.
  • Those costs at $10/day for 7 allocated cages cost taxpayers approximately $70/day.
  • Gimme Shelter was formed in 2017 and has donated approximately $15,000, mostly from Hamden Animal Shelter enthusiasts through 20% kickbacks at restaurant nights.
  • Former Police Chief Wydra’s 2018 proposal to join a new Regional Shelter was rejected by the Mayor’s office.
  • Hamden’s arrangement with the North Haven Shelter was terminated on May 1, 2019.
  • Costs to taxpayers to rent cages in the back rooms of area animal hospitals now average $30/day, per dog.
  • Mayor Leng posted to our online petition on July 22, 2019 that, “I strongly support this project” and added that, “Since becoming Mayor, a large piece of the funding has been in place (since 2015).”
  • During the Mayoral Primary Debate on September 4, 2019, the Mayor seemed to reverse his position stating that monetarily, two firehouses needed to come first. 

When you pit one project against another, there will always be a loser. We say, why can’t both projects move forward? Let the Mayor continue to work towards firehouse funding and let Gimme Shelter explore funding for a Hamden Animal Shelter from outside of Hamden’s tax base. While the current roadblock in the Mayor’s office makes this political, it does not have to be partisan. The best case scenario for Hamden taxpayers would be for both Mayoral candidates to name a location as a site for the future home of a Hamden Animal Shelter. 

Once this project has a location, blueprint and a price tag, grant writing can start. No one is going to award Hamden money to idly sit in the Animal Shelter Gift Fund. Competition is fierce and it may take 2 or 3 attempts. Brick & mortar stores like Petco are feeling the pinch from online companies like Chewy & Amazon. Community involvement however keeps them relevant. Hamden has 62,000 residents and Petco is the only pet store in town. The Petco Foundation exists for projects such as this. They have awarded $250 million in the last 10 years solely for projects in the Untied States that enhance animal welfare.

We’ve heard answers pivot from what politicians have done in the past to what future tax dollars must be spent on first. We’re heard answers deflected to include what great animal supporters a candidate is; but this is not a personal attack, it’s about leadership and solutions. Ironically no one has answered these questions… 

  1. Why are taxpayers paying interest on a $400,000 loan since 2015, for a project that is not moving forward? 
  2. What harm is there in trying to solicit grants from outside the Hamden tax base?

Current Status: Hamden Animal Control is currently in possession of  3 cats & 8 dogs at 5 different rental locations. 

Online Petition: Gimme Shelter’s online petition has surpassed the 2,000-name mark. You may view, sign and/or hopefully share our petition at:

This petition will be submitted for the upcoming Mayoral debates so please give this ample time to circulate within your contacts. Again, the site will automatically ask you for a donation. While not necessarily a bad thing, those donations are not linked to Gimme Shelter. All we are collecting are signatures. 

Fall Fundraising: Gimme Shelter has brokered these events for Saturday, October 5th:

  • Le Petit Gourmet: Gimme Shelter’s morning starts here with breakfast, and then lunch, from 9-3pm. Check out this comfortable neighborhood cafe on October 5th and 10% of your pre-taxed bill will be donated to Hamden’s Animal Shelter Gift Fund. (No flier needed.)
  • Joy Bush Photography will be taking pet photos between 9-1pm for $20. That includes same-day printing & framing by Moto Photo & Framed. The entire $20 will be donated to Hamden’s Animal Shelter Gift Fund.
  • Salon Meta will be offering people and pet massages for $10 each. 100% of those proceeds will be donated to Hamden’s Animal Shelter Gift Fund as well.
  • Hamden Animal Control will be in attendance thanking merchants & patrons alike for their support.
  • Spring Glen Veterinary Clinic will also be participating and donating two, $100 gift certificates to be raffled.
  • Whitneyville Food Center will be preparing a $100 Food Basket for the raffle.
  • The Playwright Irish Pub & Restaurant: The tempo picks up with the Rob Glassman Acoustic Duo  from 1 – 4pm. (no cover) The Playwright will be making a donation to Hamden’s Animal Shelter Gift Fund based on sales during this period. Our raffle will be held here at approximately 3:45pm. (Winner need not be present.)

These events will be going on against the backdrop of the Whitneyville Wine Walk. This all takes place in a 1 block radius from Putnam & Whitney Aves. While the Whitneyville Wine Walk is not a Gimme Shelter initiative, these merchants are friends of ours and several of them will also be supporting Hamden’s Animal Shelter Gift Fund on October 5th. Gimme Shelter encourages everyone reading this to check out their Facebook page to see how each merchant is participating at: Whitneyville Wine Walk.

Remember; one reason a Hamden Animal Shelter has been “back-burnered” since 2005, is that abused and abandoned animals have no voice of their own. By supporting these events on October 5th, you help move this project forward.