Hector, a tan beagle, was the only puppy still up for adoption at the Bangor Humane Society on Tuesday afternoon when Ada Webb finally got her turn to choose.
And she couldn’t be more delighted with Hector, though she suspects he will be getting a new name to go along with his new family. Webb said she planned to surprise her 9-year-old son, Trapper, later that afternoon.
“I’m hoping he’s going to flip right out,” said Webb, who lives in Norridgewock, “He has no idea that I’m even thinking about getting a dog.”
Hector was busily licking Webb’s smiling face. “He’s just adorable with his little floppy ears,” Webb said. “I grew up with a beagle, I had a beagle for 15 years, and I think they make an awesome family dog.”
Webb said her family lost their old bulldog, Jedi, to cancer last year. She predicts her son will rename Hector after another Star Wars character.
Hector and the 15 other dogs adopted Tuesday recently evaded euthanization at an overcrowded shelter in Mississippi. They are the first canine beneficiaries of a collaboration between the Bangor Humane Society and the Southern Pines Animal Shelter in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. A 17th Southern dog is still recovering from being neutered. He is expected to be ready for adoption within the next couple of days, said the Human Society’s Stacey Coventry.
Over the course of an hour and a half, more than 50 people received a number, marking their place in line to pick out a dog. Most would be dog owners left empty-handed, but the Mississippi shelter plans to send Bangor 60 to 80 dogs a month, so their wait might not be very long, Coventry said.
Unlike Mississippi, Maine does not kill healthy dogs simply because shelters are overcrowded.
The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston has also received dogs from the southern shelter over the last couple of years — picking the dogs up directly and transporting them back to Maine. Through the collaboration the nonprofit American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals will transport the dogs to Rochester, N.Y. where they are then picked up by the Maine shelters.
Hector wasn’t the only beagle-mix puppy that joined a Maine family on Tuesday. Eleven-month-old Hayden went home with Lauren Boss, a 12-year-old from Hampden, who fell in love with him when she saw his picture in the Bangor Daily News.
“He’s very excited, and he’s full of energy,” Boss said, who had already bought toys for him. “I’m pretty excited right now!”
Debbie Millette of Hudson also seemed excited as she held her new beagle-mix puppy Peanut, and signed his adoption papers.
“I had my dog put down right before Christmas, and I live alone. I’ve been kind of lonely without a pet,” said Millette, who was first in line for a new dog Tuesday morning. “When I got down on the floor with her, she came up and licked my face. They say a dog can pick you out.”