Pet Talk (week of Aug. 9, 2017)

Cathy Davis, Special to The County
6 years ago

Shelters and rescues are full, with over 100 cats in residence at Houlton Humane, Ark Animal Sanctuary and out in foster. The hope for these precious animals is you. We are looking for good homes for these animals, that’s the short and simple discussion for the day.

There are 25,000 households in the southern Aroostook area, certainly there are 50 who could use a good mouser, a loving companion, a warm cuddly friend on a cold night. These cats are all spayed and neutered, up to date on all shots, clean, beautiful and very friendly.

If the adoption fee seems a little on the high side, it’s because we already had all the Veterinary work done for you, and no, Shelters can’t eat that cost, most weeks most shelters struggle just to pay the heat, lights, trash bills, buy food, litter, cleaning supplies, pay staff, insurance and taxes.

On occasion we have sponsors who will pay the adoption fee so a kitty can go to a good home, perhaps you would like to sponsor a cat.

At Houlton Humane, we are extremely fortunate to have a small staff of extremely hard workers who are there seven days a week making sure the animals are safe, clean, fed, vetted, and cared for.

Recently, we have made some adjustments to staffing by naming co-managers to oversee operations. Catherine Johnson Virgie has been named shelter manager, giving her oversight of staff, customer relations, facility maintenance and other duties. Courtney Nelson, with close to 20 years experience at animal sheltering, has been named Medical Manager, giving her oversight of animal care and welfare.

The Board of Directors is extremely excited about this change and we encourage you to stop by and visit. This is a new Board, extremely hard working group, who have come together for one reason and one reason only, to be the voice of the animals. We are not there to play politics or discuss history, we are there to make sure that today is the best day the Shelter has ever had and tomorrow will be even better.

Our board includes: Bart Virgie, president; Linda Sewell, vice president; Lea Rollins, treasurer; Catherine Davis, secretary. Board members are Maryanne Hare, Kendra Kneeland, Donald Dee, Tana McNutt, Barbara Jones Thorne, Chuck Moody, Wayne Brown and Robbie McIntosh.

This is a diversified group willing to put in the time to oversee policy and procedure, and to do what it takes to keep the Shelter going, including volunteering their personal time for fundraiser after fundraiser.

In no other business does the managing board sit in a dunking booth or serve hot dogs to make sure their staff is paid and their business is able to pay the bills.

This is a passion for all of us, and we invite you to join us. We are hosting a yard sale on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 76 North St. If you would like to donate gently used items please drop them by at the Varney office (76 North) prior to August 25 th , and then join us on the 26 th from 8 am till noon for some great bargains.

Don’t just talk about it, don’t just watch it, don’t sit back and wonder what you can do to help, just get up, get dressed, come help, it’s fun, it’s easy, and we need you. Thank you for always being there when times get tough, because it’s the animals who ultimately benefit and they need you now more than ever.

The Houlton Humane Society is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located on 263 Callaghan Road, Houlton, ME. Officials can be reached at 532-2862 or via email at