March 20, 2018
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Maine woman converts garage into rescue for sick, abused and abandoned cats

By Liz Gotthelf, Journal Tribune

Marilyn Harley gave a tour of the newly remodeled Another Chance Rescue facility at an open house Saturday in Sanford, enthusiastic about the upgraded cat rescue center that was once a garage.

“If you could have seen this place before, you’d be amazed,” she said. “This is where I used to park my car.”

Another Chance Rescue takes in surrendered cats as well as those from kill shelters in other states. The cats receive veterinary care and then are put up for adoption. Some cats go quickly, others stay awhile. It’s a no-kill facility.

The organization started many years ago when Harley began fostering cats in her garage, and Harley recalled the early days, when volunteers had to cart water from her house and the building had uneven heat.

Thanks to the help of donations, the facility recently had a major upgrade. The first floor of the facility has an office, intake room and adoption room.

In the adoption room, cats had ample space to play and interact with visitors, take a nap in a cat bed, or sit and gaze out the window.

The facility has a sufficient number of sinks, and is insulated with air conditioning and heat in every room.

An isolation room, sort of an intensive care unit for cats, is now located on the second floor, so sick cats can be separated.

“We’re pretty proud of this,” said Harley. “We’re just a small rescue.”

The cat rescue at 251 Country Club Road is open from noon to 5 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. There are also satellite adoption centers at Pet Life stores in Saco and Sanford and PetSmart in Scarborough.

Another Chance Rescue is a non-profit organization, staffed entirely by volunteers. Those who would like to help out can do so by calling 490-2855. Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks including cleaning, running errands, fostering cats, filling out paperwork and working at adoption events.

Volunteer Jo-Ann Bertand said when she first visited the rescue, she was impressed that someone would give up their garage to help out cats. She said she is impressed with Harley’s dedication.

“It comes from the love of cats, the pure and honest love of cats. It’s not a paycheck,” said Bertrand.

Bertrand said some cats come in sick or with a history of abuse and said there is no greater joy than to see a cat find a loving family.

“Your heart breaks for them, they have no voice,” she said.

Harley said she also loves the moment when cats that came into the facility very sick have recovered enough to be able to play.

“When they start to play, you know they’re going to make it,” said Harley.

More information on Another Chance Animal Rescue can be found at


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