A Valentine of heartfelt thanks to the businesses in town who lend a helping hand by donating to Strays & Others, Inc., each year -- we would like to acknowledge their community spirit and kindness.

Special purrs of gratitude to Stewart's Market for donating to Strays & Others through their T-Bill Donation Days (the same gratitude to those customers who donate); to Lang's Pharmacy who has lovingly helped with prescriptions and medication for our "special needs" dogs and cats throughout the year; to the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, Aetheria Spa and Village Critter Outfitters for their donation from the Dog Days of Summer Event; to Village Critter (and all the kind pet owners who gathered) for photos with Santa which raised funds to help our community's homeless pets, and, in addition, for their support and guidance on nutrition and animal related topics; to the Filling Station for a special donation on behalf of their staff; to New Canaan Wine Merchants for hosting several wine tasting fundraisers; and finally to New Canaan Kitchens for all the previous years of sponsoring adoption events and holiday food drives.

Bow wows and meows to all of the wonderful New Canaan shopkeepers who keep a Strays & Others donation can in their store, including: Chicken Joe's; Club Sandwich; Connecticut Muffin; Debonair Cleaners; Edwardian Dog Grooming; Fish Tales Seafood Co.; Village Wine & Spirits; Food Emporium; Gulf Station; Lang's Pharmacy; Mackenzie's; Mobil Station; New Canaan Car Wash; Rosie's; Tony's Deli; Veggie Barn; and Village Critter Outfitter. We, (the two-legged volunteers of Strays & Others), simply wish to tell you that your support means the world to us. And to all of you who fill those cans with your spare change, we are enormously grateful.

Special thanks to Gramophone Video for their years of collecting coins for Strays & Others. In fact, one of their employees designed our very first donation can. We will miss you.

A Valentine bin of thanks to the Food Emporium for most graciously allowing Strays & Others to maintain a food donation bin in their store. Equal thanks to all of the secret Valentines who generously fill that basket each week.

And last but not least, our sincerest thanks to Creative Insights for designing our well-recognized logo, to Sinclair Siebert Design Inc., for creating our equally recognizable adoption posters and other graphic work.

So next time you caringly donate your spare change in one of our cans, or place a donation in our food bin or mail in a check, please know all of your two-legged and four-legged friends at Strays & Others say thank you to our secret Valentines from the bottom of our hearts!

To become more than just a secret admirer, call Strays & Others at 203-966-6556 or visit us at www.straysandothers.petfinder.com