In the town of New Fairfield, a heartwarming and bittersweet story unfolded under the compassionate care of Kimberly Kraska, the local animal control officer. Two stray dogs, each with their own fate, crossed paths and left a lasting impact.❤️❤️❤️🙏
On June 9, a Portuguese Podengo was discovered on Jewel Lane, followed by a white poodle found the next day on Carleon Road. Lacking any identification through microchips, Kraska took them in at New Fairfield Animal Control, giving them temporary names – Ginger for the orange hound and Cotton for the fluffy white canine.
Kraska’s primary objective when encountering a stray animal is to reunite them with their owner. If no reunion occurs during the seven-day waiting period, she hopes that someone will step forward to provide a loving home by adopting the animal.
“Strays who remain unclaimed often attract a substantial following on social media,” Kraska explained. “But what truly captures people’s attention is the belief that the dog has been abandoned and left on the side of the road. People want to offer a home, supplies, financial assistance, and affection to ensure the dog will never feel unloved or unwanted again.”
Ginger, the orange hound, experienced a happy outcome. After her picture was shared over 400 times on the Animal Control’s Facebook page, she was adopted on June 30 and given the name Penny by her new owner. However, Cotton’s story took a tragic turn. Despite receiving dozens of caring posts and being shared over 1,000 times on Facebook, Cotton passed away on June 20.
“Cotton’s passing was not entirely unexpected,” Kraska shared. “When I found her, I knew her condition was far from ideal. I tried to remain hopeful and provide her with love to strengthen her fight, but her fragile body couldn’t withstand the challenges.”
Following Cotton’s death, many Facebook followers expressed gratitude to the animal control officer for providing care during her final days and expressed sadness over the dog’s loss. One post conveyed, “So sorry for your loss. Thank you for being there with her and showing her the love she deserved while you had her. Run free over the rainbow bridge, Cotton.”
Kraska finds it important to update the public when she discovers an abandoned dog, sharing their stories with the community. “Many people genuinely care about the animal’s well-being and outcome,” she emphasized. Interestingly, it is likely that Cotton had owners nearby and was not a stray, as she was found wearing a $60 Seresto flea and tick collar.
Kraska noted that dogs like Cotton and Ginger are frequently found roaming in New Fairfield. Approximately two years ago, she encountered another stray Portuguese Podengo who was never claimed but eventually adopted by a new family. However, Kraska stressed that not all roaming dogs are strays; most are reunited with their respective families. Accidents happen, such as gates blowing open, doors left ajar by workers, broken leashes, or dogs jumping fences.
To facilitate swift reunions, Kraska encourages dog owners to license their pets, enabling Animal Control to identify them easily through tag numbers.
Since Cotton’s passing, Animal Control has been quiet. As of July 5, no animals were present in their facility. “Thankfully, our Animal Control building is currently empty,” Kraska said. “However, the neighboring shelter, the New Fairfield-Sherman Animal Welfare, is home to several wonderful dogs and cats eagerly awaiting their own loving families.”