An Act of Dog - Watch the full episode

In his Louisville studio, artist Mark Barone sets out to paint 5,500 portraits of the dogs he has discovered are euthanized every day in America.  Watch it here

OPIN is proud to have been chosen as one he 100 rescue organziation that will share in proceeds from purchases from An Act of Dog.  Every product saves a shelter animal!  Take a moment to learn more about this incredible project and very moving artwork.


After a 3 ½ Year Battle, False Charges Are Dismissed

We at OPIN, along with many Stamford residents, volunteers and friends of Laurie Hollywood feel fortunate to have had such a skilled, inspiring, dynamic and amazing public servant leading Stamford Animal Control over the course of nine years.  In May 2014, Laurie’s career came to an end.  As the result of a politically motivated effort to oust her, The City of Stamford, CT fired and arrested Laurie on false allegations of reckless endangerment.

After a long 3 ½ year battle, Laurie has finally had her day in court.  For lack of creditable evidence, charges against Laurie were dismissed on Feb. 1, 2018, but not before a City had closed their eyes to their municipal shelter for decades then suddenly used their power to create a dark cloud over homeless pets, volunteers and a woman that tirelessly helped pets and people as she pioneered changes and brought the Magee Avenue facility out of the dark ages. 

In 2005, Laurie found an inefficient shelter in disarray and unbearable conditions for the animals.  Having continually failed State inspections, Laurie worked to improve shelter conditions   She considered adoption, embraced volunteers, provided medical care and removed the time limit policy imposed on the animals in an effort to reduce euthanasia.  As she transformed the shelter, in 2007, Stamford’s then Mayor Malloy approved renaming Animal Control.  It would become known as Animal “Care” & Control to bring more meaning to the facility.  She left the shelter operating efficiently, having gained the trust and respect of the public and left numerous policies and a legacy of a modern shelter philosophy behind.  Today we find City Officials and Staff maintaining the same policies and operating practices Laurie had developed.  Although now referred to as Animal Control & “Care”, for the sake of the animals, we are grateful some of her policies & practices are still being adhered to.

Please read Laurie’s outcome below

Lucy - by An Act of Dog

If you are not familiar with "An Act of Dog" I am not sure this summary will come close to adequate - but here goes:   An Act of Dog is a project by artist Mark Barone and partner Marina Dervan, Mark has created a stirring-  to say the least - collection of over 5,500 shelter dogs representing approximately the number of dogs destroyed every day.  Please take a moment to check out this incredible organization and purchase artwork if you can.  

Recently 'An Act of Dog' selected OPIN's own 2013 rescue Lucy for a portrait.  Below is a thumbnail of the Lucy portrait and you can read more about Lucy throughout this website - but please visit this page about Lucy on an for a summary and please consider supporting their great work.

Lucy portrait by AnActofDog.

Lucy portrait by AnActofDog.

A Simple Distemper/Parvo Vaccine Can Save Your Dog's Life

Sweet William was taken in by OPIN (Outreach to Pets In Need) on 8/31/16, our 8th survivor of Parvo. Thanks to the expert care he received from Dr. Monica and Rippowam Animal Hospital staff, as well of lots of prayers and good thoughts, Sweet William brought us from tears to cheers. Please donate and share this story. A simple distemper/parvo vaccine can save your dog's life.

OPIN Celebrates New Office in Stamford!

On November 19th, 2015, Outreach to Pets in Need (OPIN) celebrated the opening of it's first official office space.  The celebratory cake cutting took place at the new location at 1747 Summer Street in Stamford, Connecticut.  Many past and present volunteers, adopters, and well wishers stopped by see the new digs.  The office is pet friendly and is a convenient, neutral place for potential adopters to meet available pets.  

Ali, Jenny, & Alex celebrate OPIN's new office location.

Learn About "An Act of Dog"

"In order to rouse the conscience of our nation for animals, Artist Mark Barone, has created a stunning collection of 5500 portraits of shelter dogs, illustrating the approximate number destroyed in shelters, everyday."  - from the "About Us" page on

OPIN is proud to have been chosen as one he 100 rescue organziation that will share in proceeds from purchases from An Act of Dog.  Every product saves a shelter animal!  Take a moment to learn more about this incredible project and very moving artwork.

Sal, Rest in Peace

Adopt a Senior Dog Stamford Connecticut SalIn Loving Memory

We lost Sal on Wed. 8/6.   Sal was a senior shelter dog dumped on the streets of Stamford. OPIN took him into our care so he would not have to spend time at the shelter.  Sal had a multitude of ailments and he fought a six-month battle trying to kick those illnesses. We are most grateful to Sal's foster dad and for the opportunity to allow Sal to enjoy his last six months of life being loved by a human.  

July 20th Rally: More Honking, More Signatures, More Informed

Stamford Animal Care and Control

Stamford, CT - Supporters for the humane treatment of homeless animals, a modern, no-kill shelter in Stamford, and  Laurie Hollywood, the woman who brought Stamford Animal Control out of “the dark ages,” were out in force for a second Sunday in front of the Ferguson Library in downtown Stamford.  The sunny afternoon brought no shortage of passers by intrigued as to what all the hubbub was about.  While many ralliers carried signs calling for Stamford politicians to end the bureaucracy that has kept adoptable pets in a state of uncertainty and caged in cells from a bygone era, for many on the street it was a surprise to think a town with a citizenry as well-off and educated as Stamford might return to a format where unwanted pets are treated in the same manner as refuse. 

No Kill Animal Shelter in Stamford CT

As of this writing it can be noted that the city says adoptions are allowed, however when pressed, the policy seems unclear and seems to change daily. Inquiries indicate it’s a case-by-case scenario, where dogs available for adoption are unknown, many dogs are still in limbo, and Stamford Animal Control is still refusing to allow rescue groups to include dogs from the shelter in their list of available pets.

While collecting hundreds of signatures in support of a modern shelter some comments made included, “You mean they will kill dogs there?”, “Dogs aren’t walked?” , “Wow, what do you do when the shelter is full?”  to “Why can’t I adopt a dog now?” and “How can this be going on since May?”.   All excellent questions stop by next Sunday to sign the petition or sign online here - better yet contact the Mayor’s office and tell them it’s been too long and that you are tired of the gears of bureaucracy keeping your city in the dark ages.

A Lucy Inspired Song from Christina Capatides!

Writer/composer Christina Capatides is working on a piece called "Shelter," which she hopes to ultimately tour around as a fundraising event for animal shelters and other sorts of organizations that help dogs in need.  In it, she spotlights real life stories of particularly inspirational shelter dogs that she hopes might move people to action.

A friend sent Capatides the story on Lucy which led to the artist following Lucy updates on the web.  When Lucy was adopted, she wrote a song about her story. All we can say is WOW!! and I am sure Lucy is smitten.  Have a listen and pass this on…


Pull Yourself Together
Music & Lyrics by Christina Capatides

Kept us in the backyard
In a makeshift sort of doghouse,
My two babies and me.
And in the winters
With the kinda cold that splinters,
He’d throw us a tarp and leave.

And I'd say
To my kids,
I know you're scared;
But you pull yourselves together,
Pull yourselves together.
I know it's cold.
I'm shiv’ring too.
But you pull yourselves together,
Like I do.

Then in December,
Came the heater
He left under the tarp.
The flames were vibrant,
The burning silent,
And the smoke it billowed dark.

So I laid
Across my kids
And I said,
We will pull through this together,
Pull through this together.
I know it’s thick, I know it burns.
I'm hurting too.
But we’ll pull through this together,
Me and you.

They didn't make it
And I still can’t face it,
But the people here are nice.
The flames have spoken,
Left me blistered and broken,
But I made it out with my life.

I lay awake
Every night
And I think,
Can I pull myself together?
Pull myself together?
I'm bandaged up, but memories
Still rattle loose.
Can I pull myself together,
Like I do?

Then she found me,
Wrapped her arms around me
With soothing sorta eyes.
Spring comes after winter,
New skin from a blister,
And beginnings from goodbyes
I laid my head
On her hand
And she said,
We will pull through this together,
Pull through this together.
I've got a home, with a bed
Meant for you
Where we’ll pull through this together,
Like we do.
Me and you.
Me and you.

Great Afternoon at Bar Q

A big thank you to everyone who joined us last Saturday at Bar Q Stamford for "Paw Prints and Drinks”.  The weather cooperated beautifully, providing a sunny patio to meet some of our adoptables and explain the plight of homeless pets and their needs, within our community and the Stamford shelter. The event raised $2,020 and we could not have done it without the generosity and donations from PetSmart, Conair, Chelsea Piers and Bar Q.

Audrey & Riley were the winners of a big gift basket from PetSmart.  The basket was filled with dog toys, blankets , and other treats - many of which Riley donated back to the dogs at the shelter. Two OPIN adoptables joined us for the day. Volunteers Jim and Phyllis handled Cookie (a small social butterfly) and Lucy (a laid back girl).  Both dogs are currently available for adoption.