By Susan Spisak | Jun 01, 2022
The Bangor Humane Society, BHS, has been around since 1869. This no-kill, board governed nonprofit reaches far and wide; they serve over two hundred communities in northern and eastern Maine. They advocate for the humane treatment and adoption of companion animals, provide quality care for homeless pets, and promote animal welfare through education and advocacy.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Kathryn Ravenscraft, their Director of Development. She shared that most of their dogs and puppies are professionally transported in from partners in the south, particularly Georgia. All are evaluated for behavior issues – they want readily adoptable dogs. BHS does a fantastic job of rehoming these pets –hundreds of southern canines come through their doors annually and are placed with loving adopters.
Why do they import? They have room in their shelter for out-of-state pets needing refuge. This is because Mainers keep a close watch on their beloved pets, resulting in far less strays. Combined with that positive fact, Kathryn indicated the philosophy has shifted in communities to spay and neuter. Widespread altering programs are incredibly effective, and to aid with that, BHS and most shelters have vouchers and low-cost discounts available.
Occasionally they will get local relinquished dogs, often seniors. Such was the case with Troy, a sick guy who had to have his spleen removed. In March, a family opened their hearts and home to him. The parents told their children there was no guarantee on how long Troy would live. The kids were adamant that Troy was meant for them. “They were excited to give the sweet old man a home,” Kathryn said.
BHS has a big need for volunteers, especially afternoon dog walkers. There’s a three-part training process before you can venture on your own. From time to time, fosters are needed for dogs (and always for cats). Contact Chelsea Brown, the Volunteer & Community Outreach Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BHS relies on the community for support. Their Wish List, with many items that can be purchased from Amazon, is on their site. The usual suspects such as dog food, cleaning supplies, rawhides, and more are appreciated. Kennel Sponsorships and Golden Paw Society are special annual donations. BHS welcomes one-time donations as well.
To give back to the communities they serve, in addition to educational outreach, BHS has Operation: Pet Adoption and PALS: Pet Adoption for Loving Seniors. Veterans and Seniors over sixty-five can adopt a dog, one year old and up at a fifty percent discounted rate. They understand the therapeutic benefits of having a canine companion.
Put the Paws on Parade on your calendar for October 29th at Husson University. It’s their largest fundraiser. “It’s a giant community dog walk,” Kathryn said. Expect lots of fun. Watch their Facebook page and website for full details.
BHS is located at 693 Mt. Hope Avenue in Bangor. They’re open Monday through Saturday, 12:00pm to 6pm. For all info on donations and adopting, go to bangorhumane.org/.