PARIS — The Humane Society of the United States has featured the Responsible Pet Care of Oxford Hills in its latest edition of Animal Sheltering magazine.

The bimonthly, full-color publication ran an article in its January/February 2014 edition titled “They’ll Always Have Paris.”

The article describes the plight of the shelter in Norway, the community’s effort to raise funds to buy a new facility in neighboring Paris and to retrofit the building as a shelter for dogs and cats.

“We were pretty happy to be included,” said RPC President Shirley Boyce, who was interviewed for the story.

In the article, Boyce talks about the group’s need for a new shelter when the building they occupied for 15 years on Waterford Road in Norway began to deteriorate beyond practical repair.

In May, the group relocated to a 5,600-square-foot former school on Swallow Road in Paris. The $295,000 purchase price was raised by community members. In August, the group received a $50,000 grant from USDA Rural Development to retrofit the building.

The building is bright with high ceilings and is more than double the size of Norway shelter. It allowed the group to expand its feline and canine services while alleviating overcrowding. The new facility will also offer a larger, more professional space for care.

Boyce said Friday that the shelter had a visit from the National Humane Society’s shelter services coordinator, Suzanne D’alonzo, and the state representative, Katie Hansberry, in April just before the move. They asked to see both buildings and although acknowledging the old building was “bad” they applauded the group’s efforts to provide a clean and safe environment for the animals awaiting adoption.

Boyce said the Humane Society representatives told her that with the little the RPC had (in the Norway building) they were “doing a great job.” They shared some ideas they felt were good  from other shelters and said they would use some of the good ideas RPC had with other shelter officials.

She believes their visit prompted the RPC’s recognition in the magazine.

RPC was established in 1997 by a small group of people who recognized the plight of unwanted cats in the Oxford Hills region. The founding group pooled their money to purchase what they described as a very neglected piece of property on Route 118 in Norway that had two buildings. The better of the two was cleaned, painted and fitted with cages and equipment to house cats and kittens.

The group is working on the dog kennel area in the new shelter. Contributions are always needed and welcomed, Boyce said. Donations may be mailed to Responsible Pet Care of Oxford Hills, P.O. Box 82, Norway, ME 04268.

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