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CT Votes for Animals is a state-wide, grass roots animal advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of CT’s animals by championing legislative changes in the CT General Assembly.   CVA effects policy change by mobilizing animal supporters in legislative districts throughout CT.

Image by Eric Han


Connecticut Votes for Animals:

  • Advocates pro-animal policies;

  • Educates the public regarding  animal protection issues;

  • Rallies an engaged public to support passage of animal-friendly laws and the defeat of proposals harmful to animals;

  • Safeguards the interests of animals by making their well-being a priority for our elected leaders.


​Connecticut Votes for Animals is a not-for-profit 501(c)(4) organization.


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Colette Griffin

CVA’s Board of Directors is welcoming another new member: Colette Griffin of Newtown is filling the ninth seat on the board of directors. A partner with Strunk Dodge Aiken Zovas, Colette is a board certified Workers' Compensation Specialist. However, animal welfare and advocacy are at the heart of all she does.

While attending law school, Colette founded New Leash On Life, an organization committed to the welfare and advocacy of companion animals. The group worked with the City of Bridgeport to institute improvements to the municipal shelter and fostered and placed countless dogs and cats. It also took on a hoarding case involving more than 200 cats and dogs. For that work she received an award from the Dept of Agriculture.

A founding member and past chair of the Animal Law section of the CT Bar Assoc., Colette is currently a Court Advocate in animal cruelty cases under Desmond’s Law, representing animals involved in instances of neglect and abuse. She also conducts seminars on issues regarding animal abuse and the link to violence.

Colette’s four dogs, which she calls “the pack” keep her on her toes!


Colette Griffin, President/Trearurer

Susan Linker

Susan Biella-Linker founded Our Companions Animal Rescue, a nonprofit organization in 2002. Susan also serves as Connecticut’s representative on the Humane Society of the United States’ Companion Animal Advisory Council and is a Trustee of the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation.

Susan is the past Vice President of Connecticut Votes for Animals and the former President of the Animal Welfare Federation of Connecticut, a partnership of no-kill animal welfare organizations. Prior to establishing Our Companions, she worked in various capacities in the field of animal welfare including an eight year career with the Connecticut Humane Society and its subsidiary, Fox Memorial Clinic.  ​Susan also spent some time outside the animal welfare field where she pursued financial development experience with the American Red Cross fundraising team. 

Susan lives with her husband Mitchell who serves as Our Companions’ Development Committee Chair, her rescued dog Darla and too many cats to mention and not sound crazy.


Susan Linker, Director

Anne Foley

Anne is a retired social worker with more than thirty years of experience as a Connecticut state government policymaker including developing administrative and legislative policy and overseeing state agency implementation of policies, programs, and initiatives in the areas of health and human services.  Anne has been an adjunct lecturer at the University of Connecticut School of Social work for over thirty years teaching social welfare policy analysis, political advocacy, program evaluation, macro practice, research, and human behavior in the social environment.  She is currently a member of the board of directors of Chrysalis Center, a gubernatorial appointee to the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund board, and co-chair of the Homemakers and Companions Task Force.  Anne lives in West Hartford with her spouse Tom, dog Maurice, and cat Johnny.

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Anne Foley, Secretary

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Growing up on a small family dairy farm in western MA, Jim’s love for animals was instilled early in life and his compassion for creatures large and small endures. Through high school he was a dog groomer and later opened a pet supply store and dog grooming facility, partnering with local shelters and rescue organizations for adoption days and providing education on animal nutrition, grooming, and training. After a 14-year career as president of multiple CT State Colleges, public service and giving back to the community has become part of who Jim is.  As the president of CVA, he is able to continue giving back by working to improve the lives of animals through legislation, advocacy, and community education. Jim’s family reflects his long-time work with rescues; it includes three rescue cats and a rescue puppy, Khali, who stole his heart as a foster and found her forever home.                                                                                                                                                                                      


Jim Lombella

Dr. James Lombella, Director

Karen Laski

Legislative Board member, Karen Laski, has been an advocate for animals for 58 years, stirred by her parent’s activism in social causes. She and a friend joined the CT Animal Welfare League in 1966 and helped re-home dogs and cats.  During that time Karen and her friend opened a dog grooming business called “Lemon and Lime” after they were trained for that skill in NYC.   They also went to London and met the Beatles at Abbey Road.

 She became active in many causes for people and animals while working at Manchester High School helping students who had problems with truancy.
At various times Karen went to the Hartford, Boston and DC to rally for animal bills such as testing on primates,  banning the decompression chamber for euthanasia and several tries to ban circuses that used animals.
She was happy to attend the first meeting for the then unnamed “CT Votes for Animals” in 2008. 


Karen Laski, Director

Advisory Council

Image by Ingmar

  • Mark Bailey

  • Kenneth Bernhard

  • John Capasso

  • Ruth Cutrone

  • Joe Grabarz

  • Joe LaMotta

  • Kathleen Sullivan

  • Marlene Wilhelm

Legislative Advisor to the Board

  • Former State Representative Diana Urban

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