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Animal Awareness Day: Were You There?

Prove it by adding your pet’s photo as proof.

Branford's  brought hundreds of two-legged and four-legged friends down to the  to celebrate pet adoption and the community's love for our furry pets.

The event organized by the , which also serves North Branford, and the , which is based in North Branford, raised more than $15,000–with the proceeds being split evenly.

Animal Shelter Director Laura Selvaggio Burban echoed the words of Branford First Selectman Anthony "Unk" DaRos when she stated, "You can tell a lot from a community by how they care for their animals and I am very proud of our town and for getting to be apart of it. There are many passionate people who made today happen and because of their hard work and dedication to animals, lives will be saved."

The Animal Shelter reported earlier this year that more than $30,000 a year is spent to save rescued animals in dire situations. The more than $7,000 raised yesterday will go towards serving those cases in the future.

State Representative Lonnie Reed-D was joined on stage during the event by State Senator Edward Meyer-D, Representative Pat Widlitz-D and Branford Second Selectman Francis Walsh. Reed called the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter, which serves both Branford and North Branford, "the model for the state."

The Branford Green featured many pet-friendly booths offering a variety of dog and cat treats but the real highlight of the event were the many rescues and shelters from all over the area who came with adoptable animals in tow. The rescues included: East Coast Asian Dog Rescue of Branford, Help Willy's Friends of DurhamFriends of the New Haven Animal Shelter of New HavenCottontail Rabbit Rescue of NorthfordDaschund Rescue of KillingworthPups Without Partners of West Haven, The Chi Society of Branford, The Animal Haven of North HavenDog Days of Essex, and The Grey Muzzle of Hamden.

In addition to having area organizations onsite adopting out animals, there were two contests where entrants won prizes.

The crowd pleaser of course was of North Branford's . The judges of the contest were Gretchen Dale, CEO of Loftex USA of New York (event sponsor) and Branford-North Branford . The crown went to Rocky, a black shar pei of Derby. Rocky took home $500 in pooch friendly prizes from Agway.

There was also the  art contest where students grades 1 to 6 submitted drawings of how they felt about animals. The grand prizewinner received a $250 prize; the runner-up was Amelia Rozear.

The event culminated with a blessing of the animals and an animal parade of shelter dogs available for adoption.

Did you attend the Animal Awareness Day on the Green? Please click “add” to contribute your photos to the gallery or e-mail them to nicole.ball@patch.com.

Missed the change to adopt? Check out the  or the .

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