Caring for & Providing Hope for Homeless Pets
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 square foot 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 successful; last year they adopted out 982 dogs and thousands of other pets.
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 animals’ lives. “It really gives them that second chance,” said Kyra Hunsicker, their Marketing & Communications Specialist, explaining that in many states with overcrowded shelter situations, the animals’ outlook is often grim.
Kyra indicated that they’re busy and much appreciated fosters are needed. “We love our fosters. They’re amazing.” Fosters care for puppies, seniors, and those with medical needs or who would do better in a home environment. (And cat and kitten fosters are encouraged to apply.)
ARLGP has a unique way for companies to become involved in their efforts. Corporate Day of Service Program allows them to give back by engaging in impactful projects at their facility. The day includes a shelter tour, a volunteer project, socializing with pets, and more. “They book up really fast…It’s really awesome.” Kyra said. There are some November and December dates available.
I asked Kyra if they had a special dog who needed an extra shout out, and she was quick to respond with Spencer. This owner relinquished gorgeous boy has been with them for a few months. He is sweet as pie and looking for a comfortable, loving home to spend his golden years. In his time with ARLGP, he’s come out of his shell and showing his adorable personality. His tail wags like crazy when it's time to go outside, and he loves a nice walk. He would feel most at home with a calmer, older canine or as the only dog in the home, given his chill temperament. Teens would be fine for him, but toddlers and busy young ones may overwhelm him, and cats are a no. To schedule a meet and greet with this good boy today, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers are welcome for a wide variety of services and programs while shelter helpers are needed for an array of duties such as doing laundry and cage cleaning. Monetary donations, canned cat food, and dog toys are needed. ARLGP offers a host of training classes from Puppy 101 to Tricks and Fun, as well as many behavior classes including Pulling to Polite. Visit https://arlgp.org/ for all info, including all adoptables and applications.
Marshmallow, 4 years old, Mixed Breed
Four-year-old Marshmallow is soft as velvet. Marshmallow's personality is as ooey-gooey and sweet as her name suggests. This lovely girl just wants to be near her people all the time, snuggling and cuddling as much as possible. Marshmallow gets total body wiggles when she sees her people and she even tries to smile. Marshmallow would love to meet any potential canine siblings here at the shelter before going home to make sure it is the right match. Here, she's done well with other dogs, and we've seen her be loose and wiggly and playful with them. This girl does have a prey drive, so a home without cats and critters is what she is looking for. Marshmallow needs an adult-only home with no kiddos so that she can be the baby of the home just as she knows it was meant to be!
Josie, 2 years old, Mixed Breed
Josie is a truly special girl who is being so patient waiting for someone to take a chance on her. After a very rough start in Georgia, Josie has traveled all the way to Maine to find her new home and family. Unfortunately, Josie's past experiences have made her very nervous, so she doesn't immediately trust people. Josie has made friends with most of our canine staff and looks forward to seeing them every day, greeting them with tail wags and bum wiggles. Josie's greatest love of all is other dogs! Josie loves to play and run around with other pups and is our go-to social girl for other dogs who are still learning how to feel about others. Josie gains confidence around other dogs, so she’ll need another dog in the home. Children are going to make Josie very nervous, so older kids only. If you are the patient and kind soul this sweetheart has been waiting for, come to the ARLGP and watch Josie run laps around the yard to avoid you today! (We promise, it's going to be so worth it in the end.)