Pet Rescue is making a difference

12 years ago

To the editor:

Halfway Home Pet Rescue has changed the distribution process of the Joyce Marie Allen Free Pet Food Pantry. At this time, there is a very limited amount of free pet food available. The HHPR Board of Directors has set up the new system of distribution. As volunteers, the entire board of directors agreed that the distribution needed to be tightened or the decision to totally close the pantry will have to be made. The pantry on Herschel is closed permanently. The new distribution system is being clarified. HHPR will reopen a pantry in the near future with a limited supply of food.

Please call for a pet food application at 492-1722, leaving your name and mailing address on the answering machine (speaking slowly and giving the information twice). A volunteer will send the application out to you as soon as possible.

The distribution system will prioritize food needs in the following order, keeping in mind that we are dependent on the amount of donated foods through the Caribou Paradis Shop & Save food cart and the Hannaford food network; (1) the HHPR in-house and foster care stray cats and kittens; (2) the HHPR feral foster cat care network; (3) the house-bound elderly/disabled families and families with current medical and financial crises; (4) the PAWS stray and feral cat shelter; and (5) remaining food will be distributed to the public according to the applicant’s proof of need.

HHPR specializes in caring for cats that have not been given safety and shelter in any other situation. We have people sign a paper that they have checked with their local community’s contracted shelter and the community’s police department. We accept the overflow of these two options. We have accepted cats from Houlton to Fort Kent and most places in-between when no other help is available for the cat. We have no boundaries. When we accept a litter of kittens, we do it with the agreement of the owner that we will have the mother spayed for them. They are always very grateful. Sometimes our help comes in the form of the Joyce Marie Allen Free Pet Food Pantry. And when we have the funds, we help with low-income spay/neuter vouchers.

HHPR intends to remain a rescue specializing as “A Feline Rescue & Rehabilitation Center.” Caribou citizens deserve a cat rescue that is passionately driven by competent volunteers and public support.

HHPR brings business into the Caribou through the purchase of pet supplies and food. Customers at Paradis Shop & Save keep the donation cart full for the free pet food pantry. Gandhi said. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” How true.

HHPR is a happy place and the animal work we do is spiritually rewarding. HHPR demonstrates daily that Caribou is a place where empathy and compassion is practiced by pet education in the schools and student volunteerism. Like very young children, animals are unpredictable. Their needs must be interpreted by actions and sounds. One must be a daily presence in their life in order to read meaning into their behavior. The precious unwanted cats that come to HHPR would have no voice at all if it wasn’t for the volunteers at HHPR. There have been so many times when I have felt a cat express sincere appreciation for our care. It is in the purr or a touch of his head against mine. Our reward is the joy in our heart as the animal recovers from abuse or neglect and then leaves us, his halfway home, as a happy, healthy pet into a permanent home of his own.

We have worked very hard for a year and a half now to build our future permanent cat rescue building fund to $13,000. We will have a fundraiser at the PI Forum Trash & Treasure Sale to raise money for both the cat medical costs and the future building. We are still collecting new and nicely used items for that event and we need volunteers to help. We will hold another Cat Photo Contest starting May 1, so get your favorite photos ready and it can be you and your cat in the photo.

Halfway Home Pet Rescue is a 501c3 non-profit, state licensed animal shelter in Caribou utilizing a foster care system. The mailing address is PO Box 488, Caribou, ME, 04736 and our website is The e-mail address is and our telephone is 492-1722. Check us out on Facebook.

Norma Milton, president