Pet Talk – Week of April 1, 2020

HOULTON, Maine — In the past, the Houlton Humane Society has received calls from people ranging from asking for medical advice, wanting emergency medical care for their pet, reporting a stray domestic animal wandering around their neighborhood, and reporting cases of animal abuse. 

Although the shelter is in the business of caring for and helping animals in distress, our range of service and level of authority is limited. For medical issues, you need to contact your vet. If you don’t have a vet, you should find one taking new clients. For stray animals, call your town’s Animal Control Officer. If you know about animal abuse, you need to contact your ACO or Animal Welfare. Cruelty to animals is a crime. (see Title 17, §1031)

By law, every town needs to contract with a licensed animal shelter. The contract ensures that a town’s ACO (animal control officer) or law enforcement officer has a safe place to take stray or lost companion pets. Our shelter is licensed to provide a safe and warm place for lost, stray, or abandoned animals. We currently contract with 16 towns and several unorganized towns. To see if your town contracts with us, call your town office or check our Facebook page. You can also find out who your ACO is.

When an animal comes to us, they are examined for apparent injuries, ailments, or fleas and treated. The staff observes and assesses their behavior and demeanor to determine whether they are stray or just lost. They are placed in quarantine, photographed, and given food and water. 

Staff posts their picture on our Facebook page in hopes their owner will see it and know they are safe. Unclaimed animals become the property of the shelter after six days for dogs and 48 hrs for cats. Those animals that don’t have a family to go back to are provided primary medical care, spay/neuter, and adopted to a good home.

If you are missing a pet, contact your ACO and your contracted animal shelter to see if they were picked up or dropped off. Check with your neighbors to see if they have seen your pet. Whether you contract with us or not, the Houlton Humane Society will post your pet on our Lost and Found page.

The Houlton Humane Society is located on 263 Callaghan Road, Houlton, ME. Officials can be reached at 532-2862 or via email at

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