Bristol animal shelter gets help from Patriots


Work is underway on Bristol's new animal shelter, with the installation of concrete forms that will soon give way to the building's foundation. Behind the scenes, volunteers continue to strengthen the building's foundation in another way, raising money to supplement the $2 million bond taxpayers earmarked for the project.

"There's a lot going on behind the scenes," said Betty Brito, the fund development chairwoman.

To date, fundraisers have accounted more than $83,000 to offset the cost of amenities such as the building's humane education center and furnishings planned for the state-of-the-art facility. The overall project cost is expected to be $2.3 million.

Among the benefactors who recognize the shelter's value to the community is the New England Patriots organization. In June, Friends of the Bristol Animal Shelter volunteer, Lori Sendroff, was invited to a ceremony at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. There, New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, along with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett, presented Ms. Sendroff with a $5,000 check as part of the Myra Kraft Community MVP Award.

Ms. Sendroff was excited and grateful to accept the award on behalf of the animal shelter.

“Some people never find their niche in life, but I am one of those lucky ones who has,” Ms. Sendroff said. “I am proud to represent and help this precious part of the community in any way I can. To be honored by the Myra Kraft Community Foundation is truly humbling.”

During the luncheon that Ms. Sendroff attended, the Kraft family awarded $200,000 in grants to 26 New England nonprofits.

The Friends group will continue to seek financial supporters to ensure that the new shelter will live up to the current designation of "Best of Rhode Island Animal Shelter." Ms. Brito said that volunteers are needed to help make the major donor solicitations a success.

"We have a lot of people to contact," Ms. Brito said of the volunteers' objectives. "We can use some help."

Besides the monetary support received through the New England Patriots organization, the club owner credited Ms. Sendroff and others for their involvement with the community.

“Volunteers are the unsung heroes of our communities,” Mr. Kraft said during the luncheon. “Unfortunately, they often go unrecognized for their contributions. These awards give us a chance to thank and recognize them. What I love most about this event is the touching stories and the opportunity to show a small token of our appreciation to these outstanding individuals.”

Anyone wishing to become involved the the Bristol Animal Shelter's fundraising efforts for the major donor campaign or any other aspect are asked to contact Betty Brito at 253-3106 or e-mail:


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.