Gift to give GAHS opportunity to provide enrichment to shelter pets

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LEWISTON — The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society will begin a comprehensive enrichment program, thanks to a generous $5,000 gift from Priscilla Gendron.

This new and vital program is aimed at modifying the development and expression of abnormal and/or problematic behaviors and contributing to the overall wellbeing of the animals as they await adoption.

The Shelter can be a stressful environment for pets. Staff and volunteers can ease this stress with activities to keep their brains engaged and stimulate the senses (sight, sound taste and smell) through enrichment.

Enrichment, a process for improving the environment and behavioral care of confined animals within the context of their behavioral needs, comes in many forms. Beyond, offering a variety of toys such as scratching posts, food dispensing puzzles and chew toys, there will be play groups, hide-and-seek and fetch-and-tug games and soothing music/audio books for auditory stimulation and perpetual motion toys for visual stimulation.

The enrichments have a common goal of reducing stress, reducing illness, increasing behavioral health, and reducing the length of stay a pet has to remain at the shelter.

The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society provides a safe haven for more than 4,500 sick, homeless and abused animals in the greater Androscoggin area per year. The primary support for the shelter comes from fundraising events and donations of concerned citizens.

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The Humane Society is located at 55 Strawberry Ave. Those interested in learning more about volunteering at the shelter or adopting an animal call 207-783-2311 or visit www.gahumane.org or facebook/GAHumane.

Joining Priscilla Gendron, standing at left, and Greater Androscoggin Humane Society development director Donna Kincer, standing second from left, are Gendron’s great-grandchildren, from left, standing, Isabella Gendron and Jessie Gendron; and, front row, Gavin Bisson, Johnny Gendron, Paislee Turner and Gianna Colapietro.

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