Downeast Dog Scouts recognized for volunteer service

Downeast Dog Scouts Troop 159 members (from left) Robyn Douglas, Pam Bourque and Pier Carros and their dogs (from left) Jillian, Cirra and Gracie volunteer at the Swan’s Island Library recently.
Courtesy of Denise Houseknecht
Downeast Dog Scouts Troop 159 members (from left) Robyn Douglas, Pam Bourque and Pier Carros and their dogs (from left) Jillian, Cirra and Gracie volunteer at the Swan’s Island Library recently.
Posted April 17, 2012, at 12:03 p.m.

The Downeast Dog Scouts earned the Silver President’s Volunteer Service Award for the year 2011. Downeast Dog Scouts Troop 159 is a nonprofit subgroup of the Dog Scouts of America established in September 2007 as a volunteer affiliate of Dog Scouts of America and is the only troop in Maine, serving Hancock County. As a group, troop members gave 646 hours of service to their communities. Troop members Pamela Bourque and Pier Carros earned individual Bronze President’s Volunteer Service Awards for completion of more than 100 hours of volunteer service. Troop leader Robyn Douglas also was awarded the Silver President’s Volunteer Service Award for completion of 314 hours of volunteer service.

Troop 159 members and their dogs provided 646 hours of service in activities that included therapy dog visits, programs in which children read to dogs, school visits, community educational activities, walkathons and clean up days. Troop members visited as representatives of their respective therapy organizations at Mount Desert Island Hospital, Birch Bay Retirement Village, Tremont School, Northeast Harbor Library, Blue Hill Library, Brooksville Public Library and Swans Island Library.

Last year the Dog Scouts raised funds with a community supported yard sale. They donated full sets of Take a Bow Wow Dog Training DVDs to libraries in Bar Harbor, Blue Hill, Ellsworth, Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor and Swan’s Island to promote positive reinforcement training methods in their communities. The Downeast Dog Scouts and the Dog Scouts of America advocate positive reinforcement training and encourage people to help their dogs be all they can be. The more a dog learns the more welcome that dog becomes in more places.

Downeast Dog Scout Jillian and her owner Pamela Bourque were the top individual fundraisers for the American Cancer Society’s Bark For Life event held at Hadley Point Campground in Bar Harbor. This was the first and only Bark For Life event held in Maine in last year. The event provided education about dogs and raised awareness regarding Canine Caregivers. The Downeast Dog Scouts participated in the event and raised $460 as a troop.

During the 2011 holidays, the Downeast Dog Scouts assembled bags of treats for distribution at local banks as a festive thank-you to local dog owners who include their dogs in their daily lives. The Dog Scouts also participated in the Friends of Acadia Earth Day Clean Up and Take Pride in Acadia Day clean up. Troop members also clean up after less responsible dog owners at Little Long Pond in Seal Harbor.

For the fourth year, the Downeast Dog Scouts Troop 159 was recognized as a Top Dog Troop for 2011 by the Dog Scouts of America. The Dog Scouts of America Troop Recognition Program rewards troops for being active and helping in their community. The Dog Scouts of America is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to educating people about responsible dog ownership, the important role of the human-canine bond and to challenge people and dogs to learn how to better serve each other. All troops work toward the goals and missions of the Dog Scouts of America while focusing on the needs and interests of the local community. Information about the Dog Scouts of America is available at dogscouts.org.

The Downeast Dog Scouts Troop 159 offers a local membership program for those who advocate responsible dog ownership and enjoy participating in dog centered activities. Troop members and their dogs learn new skills working toward the Dog Scouts of America merit badges. The Downeast Dog Scouts Troop promotes the positive treatment of animals, advocating only the most modern behavioral approaches to training. Promotion of responsible dog ownership and involvement in the community lies at the heart of this group. For information about joining the Downeast Dog Scouts call Robyn Douglas at 266-5807 or email downeastdogscouts@yahoo.com.

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