Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match.
There’s a new face at the helm of Ridgefield Operation Animal Rescue (ROAR)’s adoption program.
Sarah Roberts was hired as the shelter’s new adoption coordinator earlier this summer.
A former kennel worker at the shelter, she is taking on the sometimes difficult task of matching up ROAR’s four-legged friends with new families to find the animals their “forever home.”
She takes in applications from prospective families looking for a new pet. “I approve them or deny them — I pick the best fit for the animal,” Roberts said.
A job as a family-and-animal matchmaker seems to be a natural fit for her — Roberts is currently studying psychology, sociology, and public health at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.
She previously worked for a nonprofit that helped to train service dogs in her native state of Wisconsin.
Roberts said she enjoys the quiet, rural nature of Ridgefield, which reminds her of back home in Wisconsin.
“I’m very passionate about helping people — that’s why I started going to school for that — but I also just want to work with animals for the rest of my life,” she told The Press.
Right now, the 24-year-old is trying something ROAR has never done before — pairing a family with two “inseparable” dogs
Roberts said Katie, a seven-year-old boxer mix, came to the shelter with severe separation anxiety, but was able to bond with Ranger, a two-year-old spaniel mix who came to ROAR from a shelter down South.
“He was very shy, very nervous,” she said. “They have become just inseparable.”
Katie’s separation anxiety has “basically gone away” around Ranger, Roberts said, while Katie draws him “out of his shell” around people.
The hardest part of her job is sending an animal to their new home, only to see the dogs and cats the shelter is still trying find a permanent home for, Roberts said.
“The people I work with are really great,” she said. Even the families for whom she has to suggest a different dog than the one they want — “Everyone seems to be really understanding,”
“I try to spend every day with the animals. Even if I have to make some phone calls, I’ll take my papers and I’ll go in the cat room or go hang out with one of the dogs,” she said. “To be the person that finds these animals their forever home is just so rewarding — it’s just, it’s great, I love it.”