By Susan Spisak
The 501(c) 3 Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, aka ARLGP, was founded over one hundred years ago. In 2016, they moved to their current 25,000 state-of-the art facility at 217 Landing Road in Westbrook. ARLGP’s mission is to serve the community in a multitude of ways as well as to nurture the connection between people and pets, thus advancing animal welfare.
Their efforts have proven to be successful – for the second year in a row, ARLGP has been named Downeast Dog News Number One Best of the Best Shelter/Rescue as voted by readers. Jeana Roth, Director of Community Engagement for the shelter, said she is excited by this recognition as it not only aligns with their mission, but they’re incredibly grateful to be part of this community who appreciates their efforts and wide range of services.
“We want to support pets and their families through adoption, behavior and training, access to veterinary care, education for kids, pet food pantry, and more. I think through these programs, we are able to connect with our community at a deeper level.”
Many classes, including Puppy Start Right Drop-In Training and Puppy All-Right are back on. “Lots of fall training options are available and planned,” said Roth. (Visit arlgp.org/training, you can also see future training options.) There are various other offerings for the younger set including School Vacation Camps, Birthday Parties, Scout Opportunities, and Summer Camp 2022. (Visit arlgp.org/humane-education/about/.)
While their focus is local, when there’s a need, ARLGP’s welcomes animals through partnerships with rescues/shelters across Maine, the US, and Puerto Rico. To augment that effort, the IDEXX Safety Net partnership was formed in 2021, allowing them to save more lives.
“IDEXX has been a long-time supporter of our mission and our organization. As Westbrook neighbors, their team is equally invested in supporting the health and happiness of animals in our community,” Roth explained.
In September, they welcomed 25 dogs and 81 cats through this IDEXX Safety Net with partners Wings of Rescue, SPCA Florida, Animal Rescue Front, Inc., and Maine’s Greater Androscoggin Humane Society. These pets came from shelters impacted by Hurricane Ida in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. “The majority of these animals have been adopted, which makes us incredibly happy. We are proud to provide these animals with new opportunities in Maine,” said Roth.
One dog who is still awaiting his forever home is handsome Cletus. He came to ARLGP in March from their Georgia-based partner, Road Trip Home. The 18-month-old was discovered with rubber bands wrapped tightly around his snout! While his physical scars are still visible, Cletus was the ultimate trooper. Roth said that the rough start hasn’t impacted his joy. “He can’t wait to find a Maine family to start his new beginning with.” Cletus would love being the only pet – he likes attention, the outdoors, and exploring nature with his master.
The ARLGP is open for in-person adoptions. Monetary donations, canned cat food, and dog toys are needed. If you’re interested in fostering, volunteering, adopting, and for their hours, visit arlgp.org.