Rescue of the Month: Humane Society Waterville Area

Rescue of the Month: Humane Society Waterville Area

Providing a Safe Haven for Animals in Need

By Susan Spisak
Since 1970, Humane Society Waterville Area, aka HSWA, has had the mission of sheltering animals until they find permanent homes, to educate the community about responsible pet ownership, and to advocate for the humane treatment of all animals. They serve over twenty communities and care for upwards of 2,000 strays and owners’ surrenders brought in by the general public or animal control officers annually.
They are a high-adoption, open-admission facility, and they won’t euthanize animals due to lack of space. The same holds true for sick animals--they care for them and bring in specialists to heal them as they can. They’re proud that they go the extra distance for every animal in their care, and as such they have a high placement rate.
In 2019, HSWA reached its shelter capital campaign of $250,000 to keep their doors open. They were thrilled with the results and ramped up their out-of-state rescue efforts due to a demand for pups and dogs. Tiffany Lowe, Community Engagement Coordinator, said they hope to facilitate another transport soon.
HSWA has unique programs, “They’re all wonderful,” Tiffany shared. There’s the Doggy Day Trips which launched in 2019 after two staffers attended professional curriculum training. It allows approved short-term fosters to “check out” dogs for an afternoon or evening. Imagine the joy shelter dogs feel when treated to outings such as hikes, beach walks, and/or nights with loving fosters. Time away from the shelter relaxes, helps build socialization skills, and introduces them to new things. All these factors help staffers see their personalities grow and can make better matches with adopters.
A similar program is Slumber Pups which allows approved folks to take dogs on sleepovers, but its goal is to learn more about how fostering programs affect dogs. It gives dogs a break from the shelter and allows them to enjoy home environments. (Both programs require the Doggy Day Trips/Slumber Pups orientation, and filling out the application, waiver, and activities summary.)
HSWA has “Little Rescue Readers” for children four through twelve. By reading to adoptables, kids sharpen their skills while snuggling with cozy pets, which in turn is beneficial to the animals. Once kids get four “punches” on their reading cards, they can choose a free book. Tiffany said the reading hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 am until noon. (Visit for info on this heartwarming program.)
They do need assistance in caring for their pets: “I feel like we, like all agencies, will always need more fosters and volunteers,” she said. As far as events, Tiffany said to save July 20th for their 3rd Annual Woofstock Music Festival at 100 Webb Rd in Waterville. They’ll have live music and a beer tent at the family- and dog-friendly event. For all info on fostering, volunteering, adopting, and making cash or tangible donations, see Please be sure to see their adoptable dogs there but also check out three of their special dogs below.


5 years old, Mastiff Mix

I'm Mack, your future best friend! I'm ready for a fresh start after being here for a year. I'm a one-dog show, no room for other pets or kids, I'm afraid. I love a comfy bed and peanut putter filled Kongs. I'm playful, loyal, and independent. I am slower to trust, but as I've shown with the staff, I do get attached and give all my heart. I'm good on a leash and would adore plenty of exercise. I promise to fill your life with laughter and endless love.


1 year old, Hound Mix

An independent soul, bursting with tons of playful energy. This Hound mix has a strong will that is evident in every tail wag and playful jump, but don't let that fool you. Kai is a quick learner, already showing great progress in his daily training with Maximillion Dog Training. He's not just looking for a home, he's looking for a partner in life, someone to share his boundless energy and love with.



5 years old, Amer. Pit Bill Mix

I'm full of energy--a real spitfire--and love activities, but I also cherish snuggle time. I need to be the only pet in the home, I need all the attention! Kids under the age of ten aren't a good fit for me. I've been here at the shelter for a while and am just waiting for that special someone to come and see what I have to offer.
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