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August 2022 Newsletter

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Educating CT How to Live with Bears

The CT Coalition to Protect Bears has a new website with up-to-date information on  ways we can all learn to live with the bears in our communities. Established in 2021, the organization is dedicated to educational outreach and legislative advocacy to promote proven non-lethal strategies that allow people and Connecticut’s native black bears to co-exist peacefully. the Coalition, of which CVA is a founding member, opposes hunting of our state’s small bear population and supports humane policies for orphaned bear cubs. Representatives are available for in-person and virtual presentations. Contact the Coalition via email or through the website

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New Board Member Applies Forensic Science Methods to Investigations of Animal Cruelty
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A lifelong lover of animals, Dr. Virginia Maxwell brings nearly 30 years of forensic science experience to combatting the maltreatment of animals. As a professor of Forensic Science at the University of New Haven, her research focus involves applying those methods and techniques to animal cruelty investigation. Current projects include environmental degradation of physical evidence, analyzing crime data to predict animal fighting locations, dog fighting, and cruelty in animal “sports”.  


Virginia and former CVA Board Member and Attorney Jessica Rubin teamed up to establish a formal collaboration between the UCONN School of Law and UNH for the investigation of animal cruelty. The partnership is designed to provide support to animal control officers, first responders, attorneys and others involved in investigations, as well as humane education and additional research initiatives. Having grown up around farms in the U.K., Virginia is interested in the lives of farmed animals and has helped nine cows retire to sanctuaries in the region. She lives in Hebron with her family, a rescue dog, and two cats.

Protesting 'Puppy Mill' Pet Shops in CT

Once each month, you’ll see a group of concerned citizens holding signs and handing out information sheets outside the four All Pets Club pet shop locations in CT. They are united by a common cause: ensuring that the public knows the truth about where the stores’ animals come from: “puppy mills” located mainly in the south and midwest that overbreed dogs.


Acting out of frustration over the lack of laws and the misinformation regarding the origin of these puppies, animal activists Julia Slaughter and Monique Hetzler Dallaire use social media to motivate individuals from three states to participate in the demonstrations. You can join the next one on Aug. 20, 12 – 2 p.m. at All Pets Club in North Windsor. Learn more on the facebook group.  


Lend a hand or just stop by and visit at any of the upcoming events we're attending.

Calling all animal advocates! CVA volunteers are happy to be back out at animal-themed events throughout the state, spreading word of our work on behalf of animals in CT and enlisting more supporters. We are looking for volunteers to help out at all our events -- for just a couple of hours or the entire day. You'll be paired with a CVA member or staff person to talk with like-minded people who love animals and encourage them to "Speak Up for Animals". See all upcoming events and sign up to volunteer here.

CVA Advisory Council member Ruth Cutrone (left) and Board Member 

Ilene Lefland at CompassionFest in Hamden last month.

Veggie Lettuce Wraps & Gazpacho

Hot summers call for cool meals. These two recipes from CVA Advisory Council member Adria Henderson take advantage of the season’s bounty and require little to no cooking. Pair the wraps with the quick and easy gazpacho recipe and you have a complete meal!


Remember to share your favorite vegan recipe. Email us at

Joining Forces for Animals Across the U.S.

State animal advocacy organizations throughout the country like CVA are beginning to tap into each others' toolkits to see what works and what doesn't in enacting stronger laws to protect animals. What started out as a small regional collaboration in 2018 when CVA gathered organizations in New England has grown into a nationwide network of animal advocacy groups. Members of the Coalition of State Animal Advocacy Organizations (CSAAO) are banding together to improve animal welfare through state-based initiatives. The Coalition will enable state organizations to share ideas and provide opportunities for training, networking, and collaborating on animal welfare issues. 


CVA has also been invited as a founding member of the Animal Policy Alliance (APA). This nationwide initiative was started by the Humane League whose mission is to end the abuse of animals raised for food. With a focus on farm and domestic animals, Alliance members work to end animal cruelty through policy changes, and provide resources, expertise, policy research, and networking opportunities.


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