SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – Western Mass News is pleased to announce its new partnership with the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Shelter. Our employees voted to make TJO our charity station for 2023.

Our very own Meteorologist Janna Brown volunteers there weekly and digs deep into what TJO does.

The Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Adoption and Control Shelter is a municipal organization serving the cities of Springfield, Holyoke and Chicopee. The biggest difference between TJO and other humane society organizations is the animal control aspect.

“Our animal control officers are investigating reports of cruelty and helping animals who are injured or facing challenges in the community,” said TJO Executive Director Lori Swanson.

She told Western Mass News that there is never a dull moment.

“A typical day never sits still,” Swanson said. “He is responding to the medical department with a trauma case. It’s helping with an animal at the door that has a close family that is hurt, sick or dying. It is helping the people who come to us for assistance at our doorstep. He is trying to test and test the animals on an ongoing basis.”

However, responding to those cases is only part of what TJO does. The organization also works to find forever homes for many four-legged friends.

“Doing everything we can to make sure every animal has a chance to go from being a stray or a dog someone can no longer care for, to making sure they have that second chance to end up in a family that will give them a full home. of love. Swanson said. “There are no barriers when it comes to language.”

Emanuel Santiago is a TJO animal welfare specialist. He said that part of his job is to make sure there are no language barriers.

“Most of the people in our community don’t realize that we can help them,” Santiago told us. “We receive many calls in Spanish, both common and uncommon, and we try to answer their questions about adoptions, returning animals to their owners or bringing in stray animals.”

TJO is also proud to provide support to people and animals in the community who are struggling.

“We are here to help before it becomes a crisis, or at least identify places for people to get resources,” Swanson said.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Western Mass News will have much more on TJO in the coming weeks and months.

Beginning Wednesday, January 18, and every Wednesday thereafter, we’ll also look to help the organization unite its adoptable pets with their forever homes. Be sure to sign up with Western Mass News on the air and online for the latest news.