NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- For Bankwell customers across Fairfield county, a trip to the bank just got cuter. Bankwell has teamed up with community partners, including area dog and cat shelters, to help rescue pets find new homes in Fairfield and New Haven counties, thanks to the Bankwell Pet Adoption Project.
In several Bankwell branches, lobbies often feature revolving photo and art exhibits from local artists. Looking at this space, Lynne Gomez, Bankwell's executive assistant to the CEO, had an idea. "I thought, 'Why don’t we use our space to support the community in a different and creative way,?'" said Gomez. "There are so many animals that need homes and are waiting to be loved. Let's create that opportunity and make it as easy as possible."
Working with local photographer Mike Bagley, who has photographed thousands of rescue animals over the last ten years, the Bankwell team set out to spread the word about how simple the adoption process can be. Gomez, along with Lucy French, marketing assistant and Ann Mitrione, Bankwell's Wilton branch manager, contacted shelters throughout the area and amassed a list of dogs and cats available for adoption. "We reached out to a lot of pet rescue places, knowing how important it is for them to get awareness," said Mitrione. "We wanted to display their dogs and cats in our branches and help bring awareness to their organizations."
Starting this month, Bankwell will feature framed photos of shelter dogs and cats at each branch, and will provide the pet shelter's contact information for potential owners. Adoption information can also be found on the bank's website. For each adoption through the project before May 1, Pet Pantry will donate a gift basket to the new owner, and Canine Behavioral Training Services in Wilton will provide a free 30 minute consultation. "The goal is to help dogs and cats find homes, and if we can help by putting these photos in our branches, it’s just another way we can support the effort to stem the surging tide of animals waiting to be rescued by local shelters," said French.
Additionally, Bankwell will be collecting "wish list" items for the CT Humane Society during the months of March and April. All Pet Pantry locations will also serve as a collection point. Requested items can be found on Bankwell's website.
For Bankwell and the adoption centers, success isn't determined by a lofty goal. "If we get even one dog or cat adopted, it’s a huge success," said French. "If we bring awareness to a family that did not know there was an easy adoption process, or shelters in our area, it has been a dream come true."
An opening reception will be held March 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the 208 Elm St. branch in New Canaan.
To learn more about Bankwell's Pet Adoption Project, click here or visit one of their nine branches today.