A Model Animal Shelter

A Model Animal Shelter

by Elisa Black-Taylor

Zoey is up for adoption - gorgeous long haired calico.

Zoey is up for adoption - gorgeous long haired calico.

Good morning readers. Today I'd like to tell you about a model animal shelter that believes pets are an important and vital part of their community.

The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society was founded in 1886 in Lewiston, Maine. Although their adoption success rate wasn't always top notch, they're to be commended on the excellent adoption record they set last year. In all they saved 3500 animals, 2039 of those being cats.

In days past, Greater Androscoggin Humane Society would have as many as 100 cats available for adoption at any given time. These days they may have as few as 3-4.

They did it by using a combination of social media such as Facebook and Twitter as well as adopt-a-thons to get the pets out there and promote them to the community. They also try extra hard to match lost pets back up with the owner.

Greater Androscoggin also makes good use of YouTube by posting videos of cats up for adoption. The cats are adopted at such a success rate that they have very few up for adoption at any given time. People literally stand outside the building for hours in hopes of adopting the animal they want.

Their YouTube channel is here http://www.youtube.com/user/GAHShelter/featured. Now for one of their videos.

Another way this Humane Society promoted adoption last year was to wave the adoption fee on cats over the age of 6 for the Give Thanks Adoption Event. Adoption applications were taken as usual and references checked. The adopter gets a cat that has been spayed, tested for FIV/FeLV, vaccinated and microchipped at no cost to the adopter.

Sometimes other shelters in the area are invited in for adoption events.

Volunteers worked over 200,000 hours in 2011, where they tirelessly networked the animals up for adoption at their shelter.

This dedication led to them receiving a $20,000 grant from the ASPCA 100K Challenge where they took third place in the nation and first place in the northeast.

I believe this was a model animal shelter even before they took the ASPCA 100K Challenge. Their belief that pets are to be cherished and loved has led to one of the most successful shelters I've ever written about. They're doing the animals as well as the community a great service.

I hope everyone has enjoyed reading about how a successful shelter operates. My next article will also be about a shelter. This one isn't so nice. I should have it online by the weekend. My guess is it will get quite a few comments.

Until then,


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