Help Halfway Home Pet Rescue win a grant

Posted Oct. 28, 2010, at 6:39 p.m.

Talk about a lucky stumble.

Halfway Home Pet Rescue supporter Robyn Smith may have really hit upon a solution to launching a major financial quest for Halfway Home Pet Rescue of Caribou.

The organization’s webmaster recently “was looking for something on the Web and stumbled on a contest through The Animal Rescue Site, a Petfinder affiliate,” Robyn e-mailed Halfway Home friends and supporters.

That fortuitous stumble is an online voting contest in which Halfway Home could win up to $10,000, or at least $1,000, which it would use as seed funding to obtain its own building: a permanent home for Halfway Home.

You can help Halfway Home Pet Rescue begin the task of raising funds for its own facility by voting for the organization online once a day in The Animal Rescue Site $100,000 Holiday Shelter+Challenge, which is being conducted in cooperation with Petfinder.com.

To vote, go to www.halfwayhomepetrescue.org/index.html.

Scroll down to “Vote for HHPR,” then go “To Vote, Click Here” and follow the directions.

I’ve voted and will point out that you are asked a specific question to verify your vote, so be sure you know your animals and how to spell them correctly!

Remember, you can vote once a day, and this contest ends Dec. 19.

When I spoke earlier this week with Halfway Home president Norma Milton, she reported the site had been getting a lot of votes, and she is guardedly optimistic that the organization could win at least $1,000 if it gets the most votes in Maine.

According to the contest information posted on its website, a grand prize of $10,000 is awarded for the organization with the most votes; $5,000 for second prize; $2,000 for third prize and eight prizes of $1,000 for the Dark Horse categories for organizations which have “never won another prize in this or any other Shel-ter+Challenge.”

There are other grants for photography, a prize for the organization receiving the most weekly votes, and 56 regional prizes, including state prizes of $1,000 each.

So you see, if people who support the work of this Maine nonprofit do vote daily, anything is possible.

Since the 1980s, Norma Milton has had a dream of having a permanent facility for homeless cats in Aroostook County.

Halfway Home does have a home, in a sense, but that home is Norma’s home, and she candidly admits her home not only is filled with 30 cats, but also filled daily with the many wonderful volunteers who keep it all going, “which means I have no quiet home,” she said.

What she dreams of is having what she calls “‘a cattery,’ a cat home for all the cats who don’t have homes,” she said.

“All animals in Maine and throughout the U.S. have terrible problems, and we don’t get enough done in animal welfare.”

Norma believes that “cats are the most underserved because they don’t have to be licensed in Maine, so the state doesn’t pay anything for their welfare,” and that is why she concentrates on caring for cats.

Norma also believes “there is always hope” and that something good could come from this contest.

It would be a dream come true if Halfway Home were fortunate enough — with your help — to win one of these grants.

“It would be a miracle,” Norma said. “We want to have our own building.”

So for the benefit of the homeless cats of The County, do vote daily now through Dec. 19.

This could be a miracle beginning for Halfway Home Pet Rescue of Caribou.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; javerill@bangordailynews.com; 990-8288.

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