A Dog Named Misty Mae

Julie Loparo — president of Westport Animal Shelter Advocates — loves dogs. 

She loves dog stories too. Here’s one she shares with “06880” readers:

Winslow Park may not be the place where everybody knows your name.

But they do know your dog’s name.

Regulars at the downtown park are quick to share stories about their own dogs, and answer questions about yours.

When a dog gets distracted by a squirrel or another canine buddy, the group watches closely until it’s reunited with its owner.

Just another day at Winslow Park.

Several weeks ago however, the crowd discovered a little one that’s a poster dog for the ever-growing number of abandoned dogs (and cats) in Connecticut.

A senior, blind long-haired chihuahua was found in a beat-up dog carrier on a park bench. How she got there, and how long she’d been there, were mysteries.

But clearly, she’d been left there.

Westport Animal Control quickly responded. She was transported to Schulhof Animal Hospital for evaluation and care.

Once stabilized and treated for a possible flea situation, she was brought back to Animal Control.

It became clear she was not keen on the food being served (though it’s very high quality dog food). A Westport Animal Shelter Advocates volunteer prepared healthy meals of organic meats and vegetables. The little one liked that.

Misty Mae

On Wednesday, WASA officially adopted “Misty Mae” into their foster family.

With the help of Schulhof’s staff, WASA will bring her up-to-date on vet care, with vaccinations, and detailed blood and dental work. They’ll consult with eye specialists, to see if she’s a candidate for cataract surgeries.

They’ll also search for a new, loving home for Misty Mae.

She’s sweet, quiet, and 10 to 12 years old. She has not been reactive to other dogs, though additional testing will be done. She loves to be brushed and cuddled. She’s a lap dog in every sense of the word.

For additional information about Misty Mae, call 203-557-0361, or email wasa1@optonline.net.

To donate for her vet care, click here (and note that you are contributing for Misty Mae).

Winslow Park is definitely the place where everyone knows your dog’s name.

And Westport is where Animal Control, WASA and Schulhof all come together to help a dog named Misty Mae.

22 responses to “A Dog Named Misty Mae

  1. Sue Herrmann

    Thank goodness for Julie and all the wonderful people of WASA. The care and compassion they give these poor abandoned animals is just incredible. Five years ago we adopted our dog Edgar from WASA and I cannot imagine what life would be like without him. It was the best decision we ever made!

  2. Daniel Katz

    Great story, Julie, and wonderful rescue.
    Truly, you are our dogs’ secret weapon!

  3. Susie Valentine Collins

    Misty Mae is a treasure! Thank you WASA and WASA supporters who remember to share kindness with those who cannot speak for themselves.

  4. Jacques Voris

    I cannot for the life of me imagine who abandons a pet like that. Yes, she is old, yes she may have health issues, but I am willing to wager she stuck by you. If you couldn’t take care of her, couldn’t find her a home, then bring her to the shelter. Even if they must euthanize her, it would be better than the cruel death of dehydration and starvation.

    • The good thing in this situation is that Westport Animal Control is a no-kill shelter (unlike the humane society on post road), so Misty Mae will live happily with the foster.

  5. Morley Boyd

    This breaks my heart. However, it could have ended much differently.
    WASA is one of Westport’s truly great resources. Nice work, Julie.

  6. Stephanie Bass


    Besides money, what kind of donations do they need: bedding, towels, food?


  7. In response to your inquiry stephaniebass, while we, WASA, are certainly in need of $$ donations in regard to the care we fund for guests at Westport Animal Control and for the fosters that come to us as owner surrenders from CT residents and other Fairfield County animal control facilities, clean dog beds and towels are appreciated and pet food (cat and dog). A lot of what WASA does in regard to assisting local pet owners with pet food and vet costs does not make it onto our FB and media sites in regard to their privacy. If you would like to donate such items, you can contact WASA at 203 557 0361 or send an email to wasa1@optonline.net. With our primary focus being on what might be needed at Westport Animal Control (and keep in mind that the Town of Westport provides a very specific and high-quality food to the “guests”), we look at what’s left over and get the donations to where they are most needed.

  8. Win Felderman

    Both Julie Loparo(founder of WASA) and Susie Collins are amazing dedicated people who care the world about the well being of ALL
    dogs and work so hard to find them good homes. Thank you, thank you Dan Woog for caring enough to write a post about “Misty Mae”. We volunteers at WASA are so grateful and humbled to know that YOU care as much as we do!!! Hopefully many more Westport residents and in the surrounding area will learn about WASA who strive to help our 4 legged friends.

  9. Valerie Smith-Malin

    WASA is a local, little all-volunteer group that is an absolute treasure. They work so hard to care for and rehome the increasing number of dogs that are abandoned in Westport. From the vet care to the training and socialization they receive, WASA ensures the “guests” of Westport Animal Control (thankfully a no-kill shelter), are ready to be matched with a loving forever family. We enjoy following their social media accounts with news of adoptable dogs. WASA also enabled the crowdfunding effort that purchased the orange Heat Safety signs now posted in Westport (the signs reminding motorists not to leave their pets or children in hot cars).

    Thank you Dan for shining a light on the great work WASA does and on Misty Mae!

  10. WASA does finaminal things for animals. I am thrilled to be associated with them.

  11. Linda Mezzullo

    Though most towns have an “animal control”, I have to believe very few are lucky enough to have a group like WASA who go above and beyond what most animal control facilities can offer. Julie and her dedicated group of volunteers never give up on a dog. I have seen them provide veterinary care and training to dogs who would not have been adoptable otherwise. As well they provide much needed exercise and socialization to dogs housed at animal control. Thank you Julie, and the WASA volunteers, for all you do for animals…and Misty Mae!

  12. Tammy Pincavage


    Sent from my iPhone


  13. Jenni Gasbarro

    Thank you, WASA, for being a voice for the animals in our community. The dedication and efforts of WASA volunteers is immeasurable – it’s no easy task, but certainly appreciated!

  14. Marissa Santangelo

    So grateful our community has an organization like WASA to help dogs like Misty, these creatures give us so much and it is so sad that they do not always get back even the basics, so appreciative that WASA can do that. Dogs need loving responsible advocats..they deserve that much. Thank you for sharing this story.

  15. Rosalie Masseria

    WASA is an amazing organization that provides for many, otherwise, homeless dogs. They always do so without a lot of fanfare, and oftentimes without all the resources needed, but thru their unyielding devotion to these poor helpless animals and community support they get it done!! Many, Many thanks to the WASA team!! You guys are the best!

  16. Elisa Cantarella

    Thank you Dan for bringing this issue to light. It is so sad that such an affluent town has these issues. What are they teaching their children? Thank you Julie, Susie Collins and the WASA volunteers as well as Schulhof Animal Hospital for bringing these neglected dogs back to good health, feeling better and knowing that there are compassionate loving people who truly care. Dan, thank you again.

  17. Marci Caporizzo

    WAY TO GO…WASA….What an incredible organization with such a dedicated group of volunteers. WASA really steps up to the plate for all lost or abandoned pets. I agree with Jacques and the others that should one find themselves in a position to need to rehome a pet that they find a group (and they are not all ‘no kill shelters’ so be advised), then surrender their pet but leaving them abandoned and helpless is not kind or respectful. One can surrender an unwanted baby at a hospital no questions asked…so surrendering your unwanted pet to WASA is a kind gesture. I would believe that if someone were blind they would not want to be abandoned by their families…. We got one of our two rescues from WASA/Westport Animal Control and he is the love of our lives and so grateful for a second chance. WASA (thanks Julie) goes the extra mile to retrain (thanks Susie), foster (thanks foster parents) and find new homes (thanks to all of you adopters) and thanks to Dan Woog for helping to get the message about WASA to the public. Thanks to all those that donate to WASA for your kindness and ALL RESCUES of WASA rescues thank you all too! Woof…woof!

  18. Danny Basford

    It’s very heartbreaking to see animals so lonely that want to have a loving home!
    They NEVER let you down!
    Though they don’t talk, they really do!
    It’s all in their eyes!❤️
    Thank you WASA👍😊

  19. Andrea Gores

    What a crazy story about little Misty on the park bench. I’m very thankful for WASA and all they do. They go above and beyond to provide help to local dogs in need. I recently moved to the area and was in the market for adopting a rescue dog. It didn’t take long to meet the folks at WASA at their annual adopt event in Westport. There, I met and fell in love with the bully breed Billy. He’s now a wonderful part of the family, thanks to the folks at WASA and Animal Control who held Billy while he waited for us. I’m happy that dogs like Misty and Billy have a chance at a happy ending because of all the great work WASA does advocating for animals in need.

  20. Lisa Newman

    Hi Everyone – MIsty Mae’s initial medical costs are expected to range from $1,200 to $1,500. I’ve set up a GoFundMe for Misty Mae.If JUST 60 OF US CAN DONATE $20 EACH, WE CAN FUND HER MEDICAL COSTS!! Wouldn’t that be amazing? You can donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/medical-care-for-misty

    Also! Marcy Sansolo’s latest social media experiment (#9!) via What Up Westport will provide a chance to MEET MISTY MAE. Julie of WASA and I will be in the parking lot of Assumption Church on Saturday from 11-12:30 with Misty Mae. Come give this old gal a snuggle!

  21. Kevin Koche

    thank you lisa for organizing the fundraiser and all the amazing people at WASA.