Opinion

In support of local shelter

To the editor:

In what can feel like an endless cycle of bad headlines these days, Houlton has some good news.  As a veterinarian and a licensed veterinary technician with decades of experience, we are elated to see that under the leadership of CJ Virgie and a new Board of Directors, the Houlton Humane Society (HHS) has been transformed into a shelter that the community can take pride in. 

Under CJ and Courtney, the medical manager, prior to adoption all cats and dogs are now spayed or neutered and vaccinated. No more animals will leave the shelter to breed and contribute to the problem of homelessness.

Animal sheltering is a very challenging endeavor from both a financial as well as emotional standpoint.  The staff sees cruelty as well as kindness on a regular basis. Knowing that the major way to get shelter intakes under control is to spay and neuter, CJ has been working diligently on spay/neuter since 2014 — well before she became the shelter manager.  Working with Spay Maine/Marian’s Dream and The Sewall Foundation she has helped spay and neuter over 1,400 Houlton area cats. The shelter is still full and much remains to be done, but the intakes are starting to decline from all this hard work.

We believe in your financially struggling shelter so much that this fall we made three overnight trips from southern Maine to volunteer our services to help the shelter save money.  We hope that Houlton and the surrounding communities will agree with us and support this deserving shelter. 

The staff works for minimum wage seven days a week, 365 days a year for endless hours. The finances of the shelter are such that they often do not know where the next tank of oil is going to come from.  We all should be very grateful for the volunteers and the charity of caring individuals. The shelter relies for its very existence on it’s generous volunteers and on donations.

Again, we hope you will support your shelter and reward them for the incredible progress they’ve made. The need is strong and sometimes feels endless. Christmastime might be the perfect occasion to help out the shelter by either adopting from or donating to this much needed community service. 

Peter Hall, DVM, OD
Susan Hall, LVT
Falmouth

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