FARMINGTON — The Franklin County Animal Shelter has received $9,720 from the Maine Community Foundation’s animal welfare fund to support spay, neuter and vaccination services in Franklin County.

The support from Maine Community Foundation reflects a real need for this service in Franklin County, said Heidi Jordan, shelter executive director.

The foundation’s Belvedere Animal Welfare Fund was established in 2007 by an anonymous donor to support organizations and programs that address population control for cats and dogs.

Jordan believes the foundation has seen what the shelter is trying to do and is rewarding its efforts, because she didn’t even apply for the grant. She recently opened a letter from the fund and discovered the check.

“We have worked very hard over the last year to get more Franklin County animals spayed and neutered,” she said. “As well as sterilizing every shelter animal prior to adoption, we have coordinated transports to the Freeport Community Spay-Neuter clinic for local residents to have their pets fixed at a reduced rate.”

The shelter has spayed or neutered more than 850 cats and dogs so far this year. Dr. Stephanie Heikkinen of the Maine Woods Mobile Vet in North Jay spends two days a week at the shelter tending to the care of the shelter animals.

The grant may provide for future programs to help the community.

“At this juncture, the grant will allow us to offer reduced rates on spaying female cats,” Jordan said. “As our in-house population decreases this late fall and winter, we will be opening up more programs for community members.”

The Maine Community Foundation is a statewide nonprofit created by and for the people of Maine.

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