Volunteer shortage suspends adoptions at local pet shelter

Halfway Home Pet Rescue is temporarily halting its local adoption process due to a lack of volunteer help.

CARIBOU, Maine — Halfway Home Pet Rescue is temporarily halting its local adoption process due to a lack of volunteer help.

Norma Milton, executive director of HHPR, said on June 20 that the center had to close for local adoptions so that volunteers, many of whom have served the rescue for more than 10 years, can care for the resident felines and have respite. of their functions.

“The need for new volunteers to have vacations during the months of July, August and September makes it impossible to have enough volunteers available to feed, clean and love the pets at the adoption center,” Milton said. . “Because these tasks are a priority, Pet Rescue will focus on sending more cats to shelters and shelters in southern Maine, and will not be doing local adoptions during the summer months. .”

Halfway Home Pet Rescue volunteer Gail Langley enjoys a visit with Spunky, one of the shelter’s residents. (Norma Milton)

Milton explained that the adoption process takes time. The applicant completes the online application and submits it to the HRSH website. The Adoption Committee reviews the application, checks references and interviews the applicant. If the candidate is accepted, a visit appointment is fixed. Sometimes it may take a potential adopter two, three, or even four visits to choose a pet to bring home. It takes volunteer time away from the centre’s direct day-to-day cat care work.

Woodland volunteer Joel Violette, left, and Halfway Home Pet Rescue executive director Norma Milton use netting to gently guide wild cats into cages. As it has done in the past, the rescue will send cats to southern Maine for adoption, as a shortage of volunteers has limited their ability to adopt locally during the summer months.
(Courtesy of Norma Milton)

“Changing our standard of daily care for our cats is not an option,” Milton said. “We decided to create more transportation options for cats to travel to Southern Maine adoption centers because Southern Maine centers have larger audiences, have paid staff to oversee the requirements of adoption and they often have few kittens or young adults because of their great success in free or low-cost community spaying clinics. »

HHPR prefers to operate with volunteer staff. Funds donated or raised go directly to cat medical expenses and other operational rescue needs.

“If we had a payroll, we couldn’t do everything we do for our cats. The HHPR mission is dedicated to homeless cats and helps low-income families with their pets (dogs and cats) as much as possible,” Milton said.

The surge in cat transports to southern Maine shelters and animal rescues will begin June 23, with a second transport scheduled for July 8.

Milton strongly emphasized the need for several more direct care volunteers during these summer months.

“Our current volunteers are intensely dedicated and some have been with HHPR for 10 years or more, but they need time with family and some rest and relaxation,” Milton said.

Those interested in helping out on two- and three-hour shifts once a week should call Milton at 999-1075 or visit the rescue website at [email protected] for an online volunteer application.

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