Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the mission of Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS)? 
  2. What is the vision of DAWS?
  3. Is DAWS a 501 (3) (c) nonprofit?
  4. Is there a Board of Directors?
  5. Where is DAWS located?
  6. When is DAWS open?
  7. How do I contact DAWS?
  8. Does DAWS have a list of supplies it needs donated?
  9. When can I drop off donations?
  10. Does DAWS provide low cost spay/neuter?
  11. What is the TNR program? 
  12. How many animals does DAWS help each year?
  13. How do I volunteer at DAWS?
  14. What do I do if I need to give up my pet?

  1. What the Danbury Animal Welfare Society Mission?

Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of animals in our community and beyond. Founded in 1974, DAWS provides shelter and care to animals (dogs and cats) in need, offers adoption counseling to place our loving animals in forever homes, promotes responsible pet guardianship and humane treatment of animals, and works toward ending animal overpopulation through education, spay/neuter and trap, neuter and return programs. Return to the list of questions

  1. What is DAWS’ Vision?

DAWS’ vision is to be the regional leader in placing dogs and cats in qualified adoptive homes. We strive to build a modern facility that enables us to expand our rescue and adoption, community outreach and education services. By defining leading animal welfare and operational practices DAWS will grow as a trusted community resource. Return to the list of questions

  1. Is DAWS a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization?

Yes, and all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  When you donate to DAWS, you will receive a receipt to use for tax purposes. Return to the list of questions

  1. Is there a Board of Directors?

Yes, DAWS is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Visit the Board page to see list of our current Board of Directors. Return to the list of questions

  1. Where is DAWS located?

DAWS is located at 147 Grassy Plain St, Bethel, CT (which is RT 53). Visit the Contact Us page for directions and our open house hours. Return to the list of questions

  1. When is DAWS open?

DAWS is open from 6-8 from Monday – Friday and 2-4 on the weekends for adoptions.  Visit the Contact us page for directions. Return to the list of questions

  1. How do I contact DAWS?

Please use email addresses depending on your needs:

  • For questions about dogs, including dogs available for adoption or lost/found dogs, please email dogs@daws.org.
  • For questions about cats, including cats available for adoption or lost/found cats, please email cats@daws.org.
  • For general DAWS inquiries, please email daws@daws.org.
  • For questions about donations or bequests or memorial donations, please email daws@daws.org.
  • If you are interested in fostering a DAWS animal, please email foster@daws.org.
  • If you are interested in volunteering, please email volunteer@daws.org.

Return to the list of questions

  1. Does DAWS have a list of supplies it needs donated?

Yes. We are always grateful for donations of supplies to help us care for the animals and keep our costs down. Please visit the Wish List page for our up-to-date wish list. Return to the list of questions

  1. When can I drop off donations?  

Donations can be dropped off:

  • 9am-2pm Monday – Friday,
  • 6pm-8pm Monday-Friday, and
  • 2pm-4pm on the weekends.

If the donations are part of a collection drive or a birthday party OR if you’ll need assistance from DAWS volunteers to unload the donated items from your vehicle, please contact daws@daws.org to arrange a special drop off opportunity. Return to the list of questions

  1. Does DAWS provide low-cost spay and neuter to the community?

Danbury Animal Welfare Society is proud to offer the community low cost spay and neuter.

  • Cats: $100
  • Dogs: Range from $150 – $275 depending upon the animal’s weight
  • Spay/Neuter for Pit Bulls is $100-$150 depending on the dog’s weight.  See the ASAP Program page for more information about spay/neuter for Pit Bulls.

An appointment is necessary. Animals must arrive at DAWS between 8 AM and 9 AM and can be picked up between 4:00 – 6:00pm. Proof of vaccines DHPP and Rabies are required. Return to the list of questions

  1. What is Trap, Neuter, and Release?

Trap Neuter and Release (TNR) is a spay and neuter program to help control the feral cat population. For more information please visit the TNR program page. Return to the list of questions

  1. How many animals does DAWS help each year?

Since DAWS was founded in 1974, we have saved the lives of thousands of animals and have had the joy and privilege of facilitating their adoptions. With the continued support of the community, the volunteers and the staff at DAWS look forward to the next paw print in our history with passion, anticipation and hope.

We facilitate 700+ adoptions each year and hundreds of low-cost spay/neuter surgeries through our various programs. Additionally, we trap, spay, neuter and return over a hundred cats each year to their colonies and outdoor homes. Return to the list of questions

  1. How do I volunteer at DAWS?

Please visit the Volunteer page to learn about volunteer opportunities and how to become a volunteer at DAWS. Return to the list of questions

  1. What do I do if I need to give up my pet?

We know that it is hard to make the decision to surrender a pet.  Please see the information below regarding cat and dog surrender.

Dog Surrenders

IMPORTANT:  Please do not bring your dog to the shelter prior to completing the following steps.  The State of Connecticut considers dogs as personal property; thus, they may not be left at our shelter without proper transfer of the legal rights to the animal.

Please DO:

  • Come to DAWS and fill out a surrender form
  • Bring copies of all vet records. Surrender requests without vet records will not be considered.

Once we have your application, if space allows, we will contact you to schedule an appointment for a temperament evaluation for your dog.  Please note:  If dog does not pass our temperament test, and we cannot intake him/her, we will try to offer you other options.

We do not intake: Huskies, Dalmatians, Rottweilers, Dobermans, German Shepherds, and Wolf Hybrids

Surrender fee is $200. This fee is to help defray the cost of housing and re-homing the dog.

Cat Surrenders

IMPORTANT:  Please do not bring your cat to the shelter prior to completing the following steps.  We receive over 25 per week to intake surrendered cats and we often do not have space available immediately.

Please DO:

  • Provide copies of all vet records. Surrender requests without vet records will not be considered.  Please note:  You may be asked to provide proof that the cat has recently been tested for FIV and ringworm.

Please note: Completing the Surrender Application does not guarantee that DAWS will take the cat you wish to surrender; it only assures that we will consider your application if we have space.  You will not receive a phone call or email unless we can consider your cat for intake.

Surrender fee is $100. This fee is to help defray the cost of housing and re-homing the cat.

We recommend you also check with other rescue organizations who may be able to help.  Download this list of local organizations.

Experiencing Cat Behavioral Problems?

If you are experiencing a behavioral problem with your cat, please contact your veterinarian immediately to rule out any medical issues as the cause. If your veterinarian determines the problem is not health related, contact Cats International at 262-375-8852 (Milwaukee,Wisconsin) or www.catsinternational.org. They provide free feline behavior advice and have an incredible success rate!