Houlton Humane Society receives $10,000 grant

7 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — The Houlton Humane Society has been awarded a $10,000 grant that will allow it to continue its efforts to reduce feral and domestic cat populations in the Greater Houlton area. 

The grant was awarded last month by the Elmina B. Sewell Foundation based in Freeport, a philanthropic organization founded in 1982 that makes grants throughout the state to support the wellbeing of people, animals and the environment, according to its website.

“This is something I never dreamed would happen,’’ said an excited Catherine Virgie, manager of the HHS animal shelter, who helped write the grant application. “I’m over the moon.”

Virgie explained that the grant will be used to help low income individuals pay to have their cats spayed and neutered, as well as provide the shelter with funds to have shelter cats sterilized.

In August 2016, the HHS board of directors voted to have animals at the shelter spayed or neutered prior to being made available for adoption. While the action was intended to help reduce the population of unwanted animals in the area, it also posed a financial hardship for the shelter, which had to cover the initial cost of the surgeries until a home was found for a cat or dog.

The shelter takes in about 250 cats a year, the majority of which have not been spayed or neutered.