LEWISTON — The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society provides the usual necessary care for animals it takes in, but when it comes to providing names, its pursues the unconventional.

A litter of kittens arrives Sunday at the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston. The cats’ names were inspired by a foster parent’s Caribbean travels: Kitts, Bahamas, Dominican, Aruba and Cayman. Greater Androscoggin Humane Society photo

While much time and effort go into keeping animals healthy and comfortable lifestyle before they reach their forever homes, members of the GAHS staff go the extra mile to give animals an identity.

All of the staff members put their heads together to arrive at cute, funny or sometimes serious names for animals that come their way, according to Shannon Martin, community engagement supervisor at GAHS.

Angela Poulin, the foster coordinator at GAHS, said staff members enjoy coming up with unconventional names, such as Expedition Everest or Casey Jones.

“This helps the animals stand out on our website, and makes them more memorable to members of the public,” Poulin said. “We’ve also had people come in to adopt because they loved the animal’s name and felt that it was meant to be.”

Sometimes, the numbers make it easy to decide on names. Other times, the volume forces creativity.


A recent litter of seven kittens, for example, was named after the days of the week. Poulin said her favorite recent theme was “textiles” — names that included Mohair, Chiffon, Cashmere and Angora.

Atom is a 1-year-old pit bull terrier now available for adoption at the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston. Greater Androscoggin Humane Society photo

GAHS also had a litter of kittens named after different Caribbean islands to which a foster parent had traveled: Kitts, Bahamas, Dominican, Aruba and Cayman.

“We all love a good theme,” Martin said. “TV shows, movies and musical groups often make easy ways to name groups of pets — maybe a litter or strays that all came in the same week.”

GAHS recently had a large number of cats come into its care, and one staff member, a serious bird-watcher, had a few good suggestions. Skylark, a 2-year-old female available at Meow Lounge in Westbrook, is still looking for a home, according to their website.

The latest naming odyssey sent GAHS on a pirate-themed kick, so anyone watching for a new first mate should look no further than Captain Hook, Scallywag, Seadog or Shiver Me Timbers.

Other feline characters up for adoption are 3-year-old bonded female cats Binx and Butter; 5-year-old female cat Joline bonded to 2-year-old male cat Toe-Bean; and a whole lot of fruit and vegetable-inspired felines: Fig, Kumquat, Papaya, Watermelon and Kimchi.

Poulin said staff members do not have as much opportunity to name dogs because most surrendered or transported to them have names. The canine team’s most recent naming is Atom, a 1-year old pit bull terrier still available for adoption.

“We do get updates from adopters with mentions of new names,” Martin said, “and do offer to make the change of the time of adoption. Of course, our staff gets a little sense of pride when the name we chose is kept.”

To see more GAHS adoption opportunities, go to www.gahumane.org/adopt.

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