Caribou pet rescue service celebrating 10th anniversary
To the editor:
The month of January begins the tenth anniversary year of the Halfway Home Pet Rescue serving Caribou and the surrounding communities with volunteer service to their stray, abandoned, abused, neglected and injured pets.
Mainly because of space limitations the HHPR volunteers work with the community felines that are in need of the most help. However, there are many times that we help find a solution for a dog, rabbit, duck, bird, or chicken that needs help. Sometimes it is with food and sometimes it is for emergency medical treatment. This January, we are celebrating 10 years and having helped 2,700 animals on site. We also have helped hundreds more in low-income private homes and through Meals on Wheels or with food pantry families. We also deal with cats living in feral colonies.
We started in January 2009 with absolutely no funding, but lots of love and commitment to help out where we felt the animals fell through the cracks of the Maine animal welfare system. Volunteers worked and used their own money to get a start-up plan for operating. We started with a few cages and a garage and now we have a basic cageless adoption center, feral shed, storage warehouse, thrift store (fundraising) and have also been gifted a transport van by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation. We’ve also received much help through donations and grants from the Maine Community Foundation and Bangor Savings Bank.
HHPR became the voice of the helpless and hopeless. We now have over 50 dedicated volunteers helping in many different areas including fostering, transport, direct care, public relations and fundraising (store, returnable bottles and collection jars). Our reward is our satisfaction of seeing multiple “rags to riches” stories that come out of our service.
We see frightened, starving cats become plump, healthy, happy owned pets. We see feral kittens turned into tamed and loving lap cats. We see sad children who expected to have to give up their beloved pet due to a temporary family financial crisis and we turn those tearful little faces into happy, excited smiles. We cry for the emaciated, dying strays that we can only help by ending their suffering.
Whatever the need — HHPR can help.
When you see an HHPR pet rescue volunteer this month, please recognize them for their part in keeping this pet rescue operation going and growing. Every volunteer is an important link in the chain of making the pet rescue experience a strong foundation. HHPR volunteers are important members of your community and your thanks is their only paycheck.
Just say “thanks.”