An Interview with Courtney Bellew, Executive Director

Photographs from 2021 Puttin’ on the Dog by ChiChi Ubiña

Greenwich is always excited to host Adopt-A-Dog’s annual animal festival, Puttin’ on the Dog.  It is a fundraiser and adoption event for dogs and cats with participation by multiple shelters in the area.  It is held at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park on Sunday, September 18th from 10am to 4:30pm.

It’s an event for all ages with music, vendors, demonstrations, competitions and activities for dogs and pet lovers.  Bring your whole family!

Courtney, how long have you been with Adopt A Dog?

I have been the Executive Director for about a year and a half now and I’m so happy to be in the position. 

Tell us about Adopt a Dog.

Adopt A Dog is has a long-standing reputation of being an excellent and responsible organization. We strive to continue our mission to save socialize and secure loving homes for unwanted and abandoned dogs. We take pride in the standards of how we run our shelter and take care our dogs while they wait  in our shelter for their forever families.


What’s your favorite part about your job?

Since I’ve been involved with rescue over 11 years, the favorite part of my job has always been watching transport vans arrive into the shelter. It’s the epitome of rescue and is a culmination of all good things coming together and dogs arriving for their second chances.   I get emotional every single time. Of course I also love meeting all the new dogs and puppies and watching them find their “forevers.”  it’s always extra satisfying when we have a dog has been at the shelter a while or might be a little bit more difficult to adopt and we finally get to see them leave to go to their new family.

Do you have any pets?  What are their names?

Of course I do! You can’t run an animal shelter without having dogs 🙂 We currently have four dogs after recently losing two of our older pups. Our dogs are all big, a hound, an Italian pointer, a pyranese mix and a pittie. Our Pittie named Betsy is an Adopt a Dog alumni! We love raising our kids around dogs and they know no different than always having lots of dogs around our house. I call it “growing up Rescue.” My other dogs’ names are Tika, Bernie and Dutton.


Tell us about what we are to expect for this year’s Puttin’ on the Dog?

As usual, it will be an awesome fun filled day for thousands of people with lots of activities to keep you and your kids busy! We have more rescue groups and vendors this year and our cat adoption pavilion will have tons of adorable “adoptables,” in addition to dogs and puppies. 


Who is your honoree?  

Vivian Nives Van Buren is our honoree. She is a dedicated animal lover and the niece of our late founder, Donna Nives. Vivian has been tirelessly offering her time to AAD for over 20 years and flies in from out West annually to help us coordinate this huge event ! 














Do we need to sign up for the contests?  Or can we just show up with our pup?

We always encourage signing up prior because the spots do fill up, but we will always accommodate people when we can at the event. 

Can we adopt a dog right there on site?

That is specific to each rescue group and their rules. We have several shelters/ rescues  attending the event and it really depends on the dog and the adopters. We want to ensure that all homes and love matches are as successful as possible. Certain groups definitely allow on the spot adoptions. 

Who are some of your vendors?

We have too many great ones to list! There is such an awesome assortment of vendors attending this year and there is certainly something for everyone. Make sure to bring a bag for the giveaways! 


Will there be dog treats and people treats?

Yes! There are lots of vendors with treats and fun things for the dogs as well as delicious food trucks and snacks for the 2 legged attendees. 


What other fun activities will there be for kids?

We have bounce houses, face painting and a great craft table but it seems the kids are always most enamored with the dogs! 



23 Cox Ave, Armonk, NY 10504

(914) 273-1674