PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Central Aroostook Humane Society in Presque Isle is asking for people’s votes in a contest held by the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation that will give more than $100,000 in funding to 45 nonprofits across Maine and New Hampshire.
Betsy Hallett, manager of the humane society, said that she and the staff decided to campaign for votes in an effort to receive extra funding for shelter animals’ medical expenses.
“Some animals come to us with medical issues such as skin infections or thyroid issues and the expenses can become very costly. If the vet bills are $100 and we adopt out an animal for $75, that price still isn’t enough to cover all expenses,” Hallett said. “None of our dogs are up for adoption right now because they’re still receiving medical care.”
Spaying and neutering is one of the most essential services the shelter strives to provide. Although six of their seven current cats are spayed or neutered, the need can arise quickly if they receive more animals.
“All it takes is someone bringing in a household of cats for us to be full again,” Hallett said. “It usually costs $100 to spay female cats and a little less to neuter male cats. For dogs, the cost can be $150 or more depending on their weight.”
As part of the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation’s Community Matters More contest, people can visit http://www.bangor.com/Community-Support/Community-Matters-More.aspx, scroll down to the Aroostook/Northern Penobscot/Piscataquis category, and enter “Central Aroostook Humane Society” in one of the three write-in options.
Each write-in ballot is a vote for the shelter; individuals can only vote once. Voting closes Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m. In April the humane society will find out if they are one of 45 nonprofits who will receive funding.
The shelter takes in both stray animals and those that have been surrendered by their owners for various reasons.
“We don’t put animals up for adoption until they’re entirely free of medical issues,” Hallett said, as she played fetch with Misty, a 7-year-old German shepherd under veterinarian care for a skin infection. “When she came here she literally had open, bleeding sores on her skin, but I’ve seen a drastic improvement with her already because of the antibiotics she’s taken.”
In 2012, the nonprofit won a new Toyota Sienna minivan as part of Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good contest after receiving votes from across the country. Community Matters More only accepts votes from individuals in Maine and New Hampshire, but Hallett is grateful for any votes submitted from folks in Aroostook County and beyond.
“The community support is what keeps us functioning, between donations, adoption and people who come in and spend time with the animals. Even just walking a dog or playing with the cats makes them so much more sociable and more likely to be adopted,” Hallett said.