To the editor:
I am writing to let the community know of the hard animal welfare work that is being done to help cats in the greater Houlton area. In December of 2014 Catherine “CJ” Virgie was the animal control officer for Houlton. She called me and was desperate to do something about all the stray and feral cats in Houlton. Our organization, Marian’s Dream/Spay Maine had just received a generous grant from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation to spay and neuter cats in Aroostook County. The timing for her call was perfect.
In just under two years, Marian’s Dream/Spay Maine and The Cleo Fund have worked with Ms. Virgie, and we are happy to report we have spayed and neutered over 500 local cats (owned and feral). This is good not only to help reduce Houlton’s cat overpopulation problem and the accompanying suffering that comes from it, but it is also a boon to public health because each cat is vaccinated against rabies.
Marian’s Dream/Spay Maine and The Cleo Fund could not have “fixed” this many cats if it were not for the dedication and hard work of CJ Virgie. Our organizations provide the funding for this project but CJ is the one who makes it all happen. She schedules all these cats, reminds all the cat owners of their appointments, humanely traps feral cats and transports owned and feral cats to and from their surgeries.
Her work and these three organizations have reduced feline suffering a great deal in the Houlton area. Many thanks, to CJ Virgie, The Sewall Foundation, Marian’s Dream and The Cleo Fund.