Chat with...Sue Cronin, who is trying to protect abused, neglected dogs
FAIRFIELD — Local resident Sue Cronin is finding that her life is going to the dogs.
Cronin, a 20-year resident of the town, is the driving force behind the Fairfield Canine Cooperative and is working with town officials to establish a sustainable, community-based “rescue barn” by 2019.
The barn would house dogs coming from neglectful or abusive conditions in the South, as well as from local shelters.
But that’s not all. Cronin also wants to see a dog park built next to the rescue barn to create what she calls a “canine campus” for residents to enjoy.
“The main goal of the FCC is to enlist the participation of Fairfielders to save innocent lives every day by providing adoption services, educational programs, and a community-based destination for all to enjoy,” Cronin said. The cooperative is in the process of securing nonprofit status with the IRS.
The Boston College graduate isn’t just all talk. Cronin herself has rescued two border collies and two cats, who made their way to Fairfield from Arkansas, Kentucky, and South Carolina.
Her first rescue was a border collie from a high-kill shelter in Arkansas nine years ago. That, she said, put her on a “path to recognize the dire need to save so many more.”
After talking to other residents, Cronin decided to launch the FCC. She said many of the town’s residents love dogs and actively adopt and recognized that a rescue barn can serve as a local destination where people can meet and adopt their next family members.
Cronin began her career in corporate sales, before turning to the nonprofit world as executive director of the National Parks Promotion Council. There, she said, she leveraged private and public relationships to promote travel and tourism in the country’s national parks.
As founder of the cooperative, Cronin intends to combine her corporate sales and nonprofit experiences to bring the rescue barn to fruition.
“I am thrilled to say that the FCC has been introducing our ‘build the barn’ campaign to our beautiful community by hosting adoption tents at the Dogwood Festival and the Pequot Library Book Sale,” Cronin said. “The local response has been overwhelming, and we are thrilled to hear so often that ‘It’s about time.’”
Cronin said immediate goals for the FCC include working with First Selectman Mike Tetreau, Parks and Recreation Director Anthony Calabrese and state Rep. Brenda Kupchick, R-132, to gain approval and build the barn and dog park, and enlisting the financial support of local retailers, corporations, foundations, and residents.
She said they will follow the best practice of rescue partners like Ridgefield’s ROAR, and Adopt Me Bluegrass Pet Rescue out of Louisville, Ky.
Cronin said they will also work closely with local organizations to promote the FCC at special events, such as the upcoming Fairfield Museum Halloween on the Green.
Donations can be made by visiting fairfieldcaninecoop.org or mailing a donation to The Fairfield Canine Cooperative, 620 Old Field Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824. Cronin can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. The FCC is also looking for foster families until the sanctuary can be built.