Stacey Coventry, the director of development and public relations at the Bangor Humane Society (BHS), has a hard time narrowing down the staff’s favorite adoption stories from 2017. In her opinion, it’s a good problem to have.
Thanks to a grant from the ASPCA and a partnership with Quirk Subaru of Bangor, BHS held a special event in October where all adoption fees were waived. It was a huge success, said Coventry.
“Not only did every available pet on the Subaru Loves Pets event day get adopted, which cleared the shelter,” she said, “but the event drew such a large crowd that we saw a huge increase in paid-for adoptions on the days leading up to the event. We adopted out over 70 pets in three days. Over 100 for the week.”
She also said that when BHS was emptied of adoptable pets on that Saturday, adopters went to the animal orphanage in Old Town and emptied their shelter of adoptable pets as well.
Here are some of BHS’s favorite success stories from 2017.
Poppy the Rabbit
Poppy was one of the lucky pets to find her forever home during the Subaru Loves Pets event. She was an 11-month-old rabbit found abandoned at Blue Seal Feeds with wounded trauma and a missing ear. After treatment for her wounds and about a month of TLC from the BHS staff, Poppy hopped into the heart of a local woman who had to take her home. Today Poppy is fully healed, and now lives with other rabbits she loves to play with and has a spunky personality her owners adore—a perfect match.
“We always try to make sure that the fit is right between the owner and pet,” said Coventry. “We don’t want to place an animal in a home where it will be unhappy or risk it being brought back. We make it a priority to go the extra mile in finding the best fit for everyone.”
Macy the Dog
When Macy was surrendered to BHS, the staff was told there was something a little extra special about the seven-year-old black golden doodle. She was underweight, had fleas, and had been a bit neglected, but Macy also knew American Sign Language (ASL). Knowing this, the staff felt Macy’s best match would be a hearing impaired owner who could benefit from Macy’s skill and also give her the attention and love she needed as a loving and playful companion.
The Ouellette family came in looking for a dog for their 19-year-old daughter. She was going to be living on her own for the first time and she also happened to be hearing impaired. She had been approved to have a service dog in her new apartment and the BHS staff thought that Macy and she would hit it off. Upon meeting, the Oullettes knew that Macy was going to be a wonderful companion. They clicked right away, and today Macy knows seven different ASL commands and has been inseparable from her new owner ever since she brought her home.
Wilma the Cat
While some pets are anxiously wagging their tails to be taken home, others need a bit more coaxing before they are placed in their forever home. Wilma, a two-year-old tiger cat, came to BHS in June. According to Coventry, she was “fearful, timid, and shy. Employees couldn’t even get near her. She was clearly very stressed from being in the regular enclosure with the other cats so she was placed in a crate inside one of the employee’s offices for a calmer atmosphere.” One employee took the time to slowly get to know Wilma on her terms, and found her to be a real sweetheart once she trusted you. Unfortunately, that is sometimes hard to translate to potentiate adopters.
After a couple months, Wilma was featured as “pet of the week” on the BHS Facebook page and her story was put up for all to see.
“That’s how Wilma’s owner found her,” said Coventry. “She saw her story, understood that she needed to give Wilma space and time to transition, and today it is our understanding she is treated like a total princess in her new home and very happy. Social media was key to that adoption.”
Kebo the Dog
Kebo was a 12-year-old lab mix who had been abandoned. When he got to BHS he was covered in tumors and clearly depressed. They treated him by removing his tumors in hopes that they were just benign like some older dogs develop. Unfortunately, Kebo had cancer. He was sweet and silly, and after just a few days he perked up and the staff could tell he still had a lot of love to give. Though experts estimated he had maybe six months to live, they didn’t want to give up on him after all he had been through.
“Sometimes dogs come to us with medical conditions that are not treatable. It’s hard to ask an adopter to take on a terminal animal,” said Coventry. “But we also want to make sure that they have a quality end-of-life [experience]. There is a dog hospice in southern Maine we work with called ‘Old Dogs New Digs’ that finds foster homes for dogs that don’t have a lot of time but still have a lot of love to give.”
Kebo was placed with a foster family who fell in love with him, and it was clear he loved them too. The once-depressed pup spent his final months stealing snacks, catching sticks, and getting all the attention he could ask for. The family would often send photos to BHS to update them on how Kebo was doing. They got to spend four months together before Kebo had to say goodbye to his new family, who will never forget the quirky lab that stole more than just their popcorn.
If you are interested in adopting, fostering, or donating to the Bangor Humane Society, visit bangorhumane.org. Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, too—you never know, you may just find your new best friend there.
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