LEWISTON — The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society (formerly known as the Lewiston-Auburn SPCA) was incorporated as a nonprofit volunteer organization in 1885. Their mission says, “We are committed to strengthening our community by supporting humane care of animals and fostering the human-animal bond.”

The shelter accepts lost, stray and privately-owned animals. Being a full service shelter means taking many types of animals although our major intake is limited to cats/kittens and dogs/puppies.

The shelter offers a variety of programs to meet the needs of the animals and community it services.

Pet adoption — Androscoggin Humane provides adoption counseling to those individuals interested in adopting an animal. The applicants are screened in order to place companion animals into new and permanent homes with responsible pet owners who will fulfill the terms of the adoption contract. It is very important to match the animal to the needs of the household.

Incentive certificates — The shelter provides discount spay certificates to individuals who bring litters of puppies or kittens to the shelter if they still have the mother.

Foster Care Program — There are over 150 families who take nearly 1,000 animals into their homes each year. These volunteer foster families provide pets a place to grow and be socialized until they are ready for the adoption program. To learn more about this program, apply to become a volunteer and fill out a foster care application.

Lost and Found — Through the shelter’s computer database and investigative procedures, they connect lost pets with their owners. This can be done without having the animal in the facility. In 1998, over 300 stray animals were reunited with their owners.

Breed rescue club referrals — Information is provided to interested parties to help in the adoption and rescue of a particular breed of dog.

Humane education — Through classroom programs they hope to educate the next generation of responsible pet owners. The shelter’s senior technicians can visit schools or civic groups with important information about animal care.

Adult volunteers — Many adults volunteer for a variety of duties, ranging from working with animals to fundraising and working with the board of directors. They are especially interested in sharing the skills of “seniors” with volunteers and staff.

Assist with pet neglect/abuse — The society works with the Maine Animal Welfare Program and local animal control officers in referring cases of neglect to the appropriated investigators.

Working with the developmentally disabled/disadvantaged — Through this program, clients are brought to the shelter for socialization and interaction with animals to improve their social skills. Clients come to help with dog walks, animal socialization and other activities, and in turn gain confidence, develop social skills and achieve a satisfaction by being part of the shelter experience.

Community Spay/Neuter Program — Greater Androscoggin offers discount certificates worth $25 per cat or dog to help low-income families in the community offset the cost of the spay/neuter procedure.

Spaying certificates for expecting mothers — The society issues certificates ($75 for mother cats and $125 for mother dogs) to help with the spaying to those owners who bring in their litters.

Youth & Volunteer Program — Nearly 125 volunteers support the staff in a variety of functions, ranging from animal socialization and fundraising to caring for foster litters in their homes.

Temporary shelter partnerships — The shelter has partnerships with the Abused Women’s Advocacy Project and the two local hospitals to provide temporary, short-term care for the victims of domestic violence and hospital patients.

Special pets for seniors — Senior pets (pets over 5 years old) who arrive at the shelter already spayed/neutered are available for adoption to senior citizens, over age 55, at no cost.

Planned Giving Program — This comprehensive program is available to donors who would like to contribute to and strengthen the future of the society through their estate planning.

Temperament Evaluation Program — In an effort to ensure that each dog and cat is placed in an appropriate home environment, a comprehensive behavioral evaluation is preformed shortly after their arrival.

Animal Enrichment Program — This program includes a variety of components such as aromatherapy, videos for visual stimulation and music to help keep the animals comfortable and happy as they wait for their new home.

The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society is at 55 Strawberry Ave., and the hours of operation are: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 3 p.m. Sundays; and closed Wednesdays.

For more information, call the shelter at 207-783-2311 or email [email protected]

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