June 20, 2018
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Midcoast animal shelter changes name, plans building addition and dog park

ROCKPORT, Maine — PAWS Animal Adoption Center, formerly known as the Camden-Rockport Animal Rescue League, is embarking on a capital campaign to raise money to build an addition to the existing shelter on Camden Street and a dog park adjacent to the shelter facility.

“Originally the organization, established in 1974, contracted with the towns of Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville and Islesboro. In the last couple of years we have added towns to our service roster and we now serve eight communities — Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville, Islesboro, Searsmont, Northport, Liberty and Belfast. The name change to PAWS Animal Adoption Center better reflects our mission. We believe Pets Are Worth Saving hence PAWS in our new name,” said Jean Freedman-White, board president.

The organization has adopted a new logo designed by PAWS board member Joe Ryan of Adventure Advertising.

“In addition to being too small to accept all the stray and relinquished dogs and cats we are now receiving, our current building does not have all the necessary up-to-date facilities to adequately provide for the animals we have for adoption, nor a welcoming space for those people coming in to adopt,” Freedman-White said. “So, we are embarking on a $1 million capital campaign to raise money to build an addition to the shelter, to renovate our current building and develop a dog park. We recently purchased two acres of land adjacent to our facility to accommodate the dog park and new building.”

Camden architect Joseph Russillo, working with one of the shelter’s vice presidents, architect John Scholz, created the design for the new building and renovation of the existing facility. The 4,000-square-foot addition will encompass a wing containing 16 dog kennels; a meet, greet and dog socialization room; isolation area; laundry; and a laboratory. A connecting wing will contain the lobby, administrative offices and a public restroom. Below this area will be a staff multipurpose room, kitchenette and bathroom.

The current 3,000-square-foot building will be converted into individual spaces for 76 cats, contain a meet-and-greet and socialization cat room, an isolation area, laboratory, laundry and kitchenette facilities.

A new air-handling system will be installed throughout the building that will eliminate, along with the new isolation rooms, the spread of infections which have caused the shelter to close twice in the last two years.

PAWS Animal Adoption Center is open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For information visit PAWSAdoption.org or call the shelter at 236-8702.

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