Rescue of the Month: Pope Memorial Humane Society

Rescue of the Month: Pope Memorial Humane Society

Dedicated to Animals & the Community


By Susan Spisak

Since 1989, Pope Memorial Humane Society (PMHS) has been devoted to caring for and placing unwanted and abandoned animals in loving homes. They promote responsible pet ownership, the human-animal bond, and the humane treatment of all animals.
The initiators of this non-profit had the foresight to purchase seven acres on Buttermilk Lane in Thomaston for their original shelter’s site. When they outgrew that facility, they held a capital campaign and thanks to community support and large donations, they were able to build and open a debt-free 10,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility on that acreage in 2016. They included an outdoor covered pavilion for the pets and indoor meet-and-greet and community rooms.
They’re always striving to better themselves for their animals and the community. It’s widely recognized that they’re exceptional as they were named the 1st place Charitable Organization in the Knox County Best of the Best awards winner. "We are deeply honored to be recognized as the Knox County Best of the Best Non-Profit Organization for a second consecutive year. In a community filled with so many wonderful organizations making a difference, this accolade is a testament to the dedication and compassion of our supporters, volunteers, and staff at Pope Memorial Humane Society,” said Kasey Bielecki, Marketing and Public Relations Manager for the shelter.
In addition to the Knox County Best of the Best win, they have also received first place in the Downeast Dog News Best of the Best contest in the category of Best Rescue/Shelter in 2022 and 2023.
To further their excellence, they announced the launch of its In-House Veterinary Clinic Capital Campaign at an event in November of 2023. Their goal is to raise $800,000 to renovate an existing structure and establish a state-of-the-art in-house medical clinic with a dedicated veterinarian to provide top-tier medical care to the approximately 1,200+ homeless pets taken in by PMHS each year.
A few significant factors of having an in-house vet are that PMHS animals will benefit from more timely treatments and surgeries, leading to quicker diagnoses, faster treatment, and improved overall health. The in-house clinic will also reduce the need for transport runs to external veterinary facilities, sparing animals the stress of travel and freeing up staff time to focus on enrichment, behavioral modification, and adoption efforts.
The shelter runs unique programs, including a K-9 Corrections program where they place shelter dogs within the Maine State Prison facility to be trained by inmate handlers. The dogs acquire basic obedience, socialization skills, and trust in people, and the inmates learn compassion, responsibility, and patience.
They also offer a “Slumber Party” option. It’s a foster-to-adopt scenario where an interested adopter, after signing necessary paperwork, leaves a deposit and takes the dog home to see if they click.
PMHS always needs loving foster homes. Being a foster parent is a wonderful way to instill love and confidence back in an animal’s life. Dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens are all in need of foster homes. Senior dogs who are unsettled in a shelter environment will “show” better in a foster home when meeting a potential adopter—they may be calmer.
All dogs in their care are examined, vetted, spayed or neutered, receive preventatives, and are treated to a mini-groom. For adoption, volunteer applications, and to see their dogs available for adoption, check the website at  




2 years old, Pit Bull

This lovable pup is a true family gem, adored by everyone. Scarlett is fantastic with kids, dogs of all ages, and even strangers. She's a social butterfly who thrives on affection. Scarlett's love for car rides will no doubt add joy to your adventures together. Don't miss the chance to welcome this incredible canine companion into your heart - you'll undoubtedly fall head over heels for her charming personality!


10 years old, Mastiff mix

When it comes to charm, Gilligan is a professional. This lovable pup is a social butterfly with a heart as big as his wagging tail. Gilligan's ideal day involves endless games of fetch and long walks in the woods. If you're looking for a happy-go-lucky senior pup, Gilligan might be perfect for you!

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