Sherry DeGenova – A Kind and Gentle Hand

What do you suggest people do if they come across an aggressive animal?

NEVER attempt to capture the animal.. NEVER run.. NEVER turn your back to an aggressive animal. Immediately search out a escape route or a place to get safe. A fenced yard, on top of a car, enter a building. I always tell people who walk around to always walk with something or someone.


Sherry's girl

What is the most important thing that people should do when they get a pet from the shelter?

Most important thing when adopting a pet from a shelter:

THINK IT THROUGH:  Be aware that these animals have no known history and there can be unforeseen health and behavior issues. Are you ready and able to deal with that?

Once you adopt, the first stop should be to your local vet for a health checkup.

It is a lifelong commitment…are you willing to give this animal at least 10-12yrs?

Are you able to provide the proper food and basic care? Vet care is expensive.


Your phone never stops ringing. What is the most asked question?

A tired bunch heads home from the beach

My phone number is posted everywhere for animal-related complaints and issues.  I think most of my calls are from people who want to adopt or see the dogs. Other calls are from people who may need some food for their pets and some are animal-related complaints.


The animals placed in the Hartford Shelter have just ten days to find a home. Do most of them end up being put to sleep?

I am very happy to say most of the dogs get out. If they are not adopted into forever homes, they go into rescues. I would say about 75% get re-homed. The other percent are put to sleep due to aggression related issues.


You stated that you are present when every single animal is euthanized. Why is that?

Every animal I have to put to sleep I stay with because I want the last hand that touches them to be one that is kind and gentle. One that truly cares. When I have to put an aggressive animal to sleep, I know it’s aggressive because a human made it that way.  A human mistreated it.  I just believe every animal should be touched by a loving hand even if it’s only on its last breath.  They deserve to know what that feels like.

It breaks my heart every time I have to put an animal to sleep regardless of the reason.  But, I have  also learned over the years that death is not the worse thing an animal can endure.


How can people help this whole situation and the shelter? Do you need volunteers, donations? And, where can they get more information if they would like to be involved?


Educate people about proper pet ownership.

REPORT “any” animal cruelty or neglect. Even if you think its not that bad, let an ACO decide that. Its better to be sure. Be the voice for those who can’t speak.

I cannot have volunteers due to the liability issues but I do have online volunteers who help spread the word about the homeless dogs in need.

People can also join local rescue groups that help me and become a”foster home” .

If you can’t have a pet, you can always donate cookies, raw hides and toys to the shelter.

To find out more info or want to join the online fight, check us out online.

Look us up on Facebook: cityofhartford animal shelter.

Go to the next page to see video interviews with Sherry and videos of the dogs at the pound.


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