Bankwell will kick off the 2018 season of the Bankwell Pet Adoption Project with a reception at the bank’s Wilton branch, 47 Old Ridgefield Road, on April 17 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

This is the second year for the program, which lives year-round on the bank’s website, with the mission to create awareness about the many dogs and cats in need of homes at animal shelters throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties. The event is free and open to the community.

Portraits of animals available for adoption will be on display at all Bankwell branches through June. The photos were taken by Michael Bagley, who is passionate in his efforts to benefit rescue animals and has photographed thousands of them over the years.

Bankwell branches will serve as collection points for a wish list of supplies and donations to benefit local shelters. A list of those items will also appear on the bank’s website at

Since the launch of the pet adoption project last year, more than 80% of featured animals have been adopted. Participating rescues have also reported increased traffic to their facilities.

Bankwell has partnered with ROAR, STARelief and Pet Assistance, Stamford Animal Shelter, Red Leash Rescue, Strays & Others, WASA, PAWS in Norwalk, One More Dog Rescue, Lexi’s Angels/Shaggy Dog Rescue, The Animal Haven and CT Humane Society for this project.

Pet Pantry has offered to provide a free gift for the home of any pet adopted during the program and also serves as a collection point for the wish list of donations. Additionally, Canine Training & Behavioral Services in Wilton will offer a free 30-minute consultation for adopted dogs and The Pawprint Market in Darien will provide a $50 gift card to the new owner of any featured pet during the adoption period.