The team at CHS kicked off the year with an info session tour around Fairfield County – spreading the word about the new facility and offering opportunities for community members to get their questions answered. The purpose of these info sessions was not to solicit or ask for funding, but rather, to allow community members to learn about how they can get involved with CHS once the new facility opens, resources that will be accessible to the public, and get their questions answered by CHS Executive Director, James Bias.

More than 55 people attended one of the six info sessions over the month. While some attendees were long-time friends of CHS and the Capital Campaign, many of these folks were new faces. Interestingly, each info session struck up different kinds of conversation – thanks to questions from the crowd. For instance, the first session, held at the Wilton Library on the last Thursday of January, had lots of conversation revolving around the realities of the nationwide veterinary shortage and how that impacts CHS. In Norwalk, the group had many questions about CHS’ foster/crisis foster program and how to get involved. All in all, each session was lively with conversation and excitement for the new facility.

Here are some common questions from the info sessions:

When will the new facility open?

As of now, the new facility is on track to open somewhere between late 2024 and early 2025. Recent delays have tested the schedule, pushing the timeline out a bit more than expected. However, once the foundation is poured, you can anticipate visible progress week by week on the property as construction continues.

What will happen to the Westport shelter once the new facility opens in Wilton?

Once the Animal Resource Center opens, the animals, staff, and volunteers will move from the Westport location to Wilton. The Westport facility will then be closed and sold.

Why Wilton?

The facility will be located on Route 7 on the north end of Wilton, which is within quick reach of Route 84, Route 95, and the Merritt Parkway, broadening mission-related services to include: adoption, a low-fee veterinary clinic, pet food pantry, and humane education programs. Not to mention, the 18-acre campus at 863 Danbury Road is ideal. The 14,581 square-foot center will complement the natural habitat as it nestles between hundred-year-old trees and fully restored wetlands.

What volunteer opportunities will be available at the new facility?

Volunteering at the Animal Resource Center will be the same as the other CHS facilities. From dog walkers and cat cuddlers to germ busters and everything in between, volunteers play a vital role in everything CHS does. For more information about volunteering, visit

Will the low-fee veterinary clinic be open 24 hours or provide urgent care?

No, the clinic will not be a 24-hour/urgent care veterinary clinic. Our goal is to provide the best care for pets at a cost that families can afford. There are other urgent care facilities throughout Fairfield County that will be able to address emergency medical concerns.

If you weren’t able to attend one of the info sessions, don’t fret! You can expect more info sessions coming later this spring and throughout 2024 as construction and preparations continue for the new facility. Additionally, here are some other ways you can access information or continue the conversation:

If you have questions or would like to chat more about this exciting, yet critical project, reach out to Kayleigh via email or at 860-594-4502 ext. 6307