Holiday Fundraiser at The Animal House Saves Pets

Jess Townsend, Executive Director of Midcoast Humane, holding Ollie, a three month old puppy from Mississippi who is going to be adopted in Brunswick this week. (Photo by Emily Hayes)

In its annual tradition of partnering with Midcoast Humane, The Animal House pet supply store in Damariscotta collects animal rescue donations and sets up a Christmas tree with photos of dogs and cats for adoption.

The store has raised some $ 19,000 since 2014 for Midcoast Humane, according to manager Will Paul. The money goes towards food and supplies for the animals the association takes care of, as well as operating costs to run the shelter and save the pets.

People can also donate food their pets won’t eat or supplies they won’t use to The Animal House, which collects them for the Midcoast Humane campuses in Edgecomb and Brunswick.

Families who are considering adopting another pet often stop by the store and stare at the little Christmas tree on the counter with pictures of animals looking for a home.

Darlene Brumick, a 17-year Midcoast Humane staff member, holds Bandit, a rabbit for adoption.  (Photo by Emily Hayes)

Darlene Brumick, a 17-year Midcoast Humane staff member, holds Bandit, a rabbit for adoption. (Photo by Emily Hayes)

“The eyes really catch them,” Paul joked.

The photos also allow those who make a donation to see the animals they are helping.

There are 35 businesses in the Midcoast area that are partnering with the animal shelter to raise donations, and most of them are largely in Lincoln County, as the Louis Doe Home Center said. Midcoast Humane Executive Director Jess Townsend.

But the staff at The Animal House came up with the idea for the Christmas tree with ornamental photos of animals in the shelter. Born on the Tobique First Nation reserve in Canada, Paul said he believes everyone, including pets, has souls and emotions and deserves the county’s support during the holiday season.

“They are members of our families; our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, ”said Paul.

Animal House staff member Kim Inman, left, and manager Will Paul in front of their store's Christmas tree with ornaments depicting different animals for adoption across Midcoast Maine.  (Photo by Emily Hayes)

Animal House staff member Kim Inman, left, and manager Will Paul in front of their store’s Christmas tree with ornaments depicting different animals for adoption across Midcoast Maine. (Photo by Emily Hayes)

Throughout the year, customers can choose to sponsor a cat through The Animal House. Cats available for adoption are also on display in both the pet supply store and the Pet Center at Louis Doe Home Center, giving visibility to Midcoast Humane and the organization’s work for find new homes for rehabilitated animals in Maine.

“A lot of people in Lincoln County have lifelong ties to the shelter,” Townsend said. They remember adopting their family dog ​​in Brunswick when they were children, or returning to the Edgecomb shelter to adopt another cat.

Thanks to staff fundraising donations, the Edgecomb campus will soon open by appointment for Lincoln County residents interested in adopting a cat for the first time in three years. The organization will continue to bring dogs to meet interested families in outdoor locations.

In addition to providing a temporary home for animals in need, Midcoast Humane also sterilizes and sterilizes pets and provides housing for animals collected by Lincoln County Animal Control Officers. If a family has a pregnant cat and cannot care for the kittens, the shelter will take the kittens to help adopt them and sterilize the mother for free.

The organization is renovating an old industrial building in Brunswick for a new shelter location which Townsend says will be open by the spring. In the New Year, the organization will be accepting donations online for renovations, which will give animals more individual space and provide veterinary and behavioral care.

Little Boy, a 12 year old cat available for adoption through Midcoast Humane on the Brunswick campus.  (Photo by Emily Hayes)

Little Boy, a 12 year old cat available for adoption through Midcoast Humane on the Brunswick campus. (Photo by Emily Hayes)

“We are the safety net that animals need and we are building new homes,” Townsend said. “It should be bright and happy when the families come in. “

For people who can’t donate money but want to volunteer their time, Midcoast Humane is revitalizing its volunteer program to bring back past volunteers and encourage new volunteers to participate in training sessions.

“We absolutely cannot do what we do without volunteers,” Townsend said.

And volunteers have a choice of many animals to work with, from dogs and cats to chickens and guinea pigs.

The shelter receives a small amount of funding from municipalities for its animal control housing, but it relies on individual donations to care for all the animals it serves, Townsend said.

Simon, a three year old cat cared for at Midcoast Humane in Brunswick.  (Photo by Emily Hayes)

Simon, a three year old cat cared for at Midcoast Humane in Brunswick. (Photo by Emily Hayes)

Between the foster homes and the two shelters, Midcoast Humane takes care of 170 animals.

“It’s relatively low for us, but we’re struggling to hire people to take care of the animals,” Townsend said. The shelter has open positions for people to look after the animals, as well as working with families to match them with the right pet.

It costs the shelter about $ 500 per animal to get them from admission to adoption, Townsend estimates.

“But people are normally super generous and kind,” Townsend said, and “donations go directly to supporting animal care.”

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