We want to begin the new year with a huge “thank you!” to everyone who has supported the shelter this year in thought, word or deed, including lemonade stands, food drives, special events, donations and more. According to our good friend Bob Josselyn at Hannaford Supermarket, more than 50 of you donated the shelter supply bags he so kindly offered on our behalf over the holiday season. Despite ending 2009 with a ringworm issue, we have had one of our best years ever, and we couldn’t have done it without help from every one of you. Every member of the staff and board thanks you, as do all our creatures; all of us know that you are the secret of our success.

The massive cleaning continues. The shelter hasn’t been turned out like this since it was built. Our animals are holding up well, but we do need more volunteers to take our darling dogs out for walks, as staff members are mostly occupied elsewhere. The dogs are not in quarantine and a staff member will bring them out to you. Our dogs would love to make the best of weather like this (the sun is shining right now), and you can help. Thank you!

As always, we are in great need of supplies. In case you don’t yet know the list by heart (as we do), it includes paper towels, paper plates, Purina Kitten Chow, dry and canned dog food, AA batteries for a digital camera, large kitchen garbage bags, cat litter, laundry detergent, bleach, ODO-Ban cleaner, Windex and especially dry cat food, plastic bags, and towels and sheets. Please leave donations in the foyer — the door will stay open. And, as always, contributions of money to help pay shelter bills are both desirable and necessary.

In case you’re thinking about walking a dog — or, even better, giving a dog a wonderful home — here are some of the fine canines who are in temporary housing here.

Jackson, about a year old, is part beagle and part Jack Russell — and the best parts of both. He loves walks, which give him plenty of time to keep his nose to the ground, and there’s nothing he likes more than a good scent, unless it is running around and playing.

Bandit, a 4-year-old Dalmatian mix, adores people, children, toys and walks. He should be the only pet, as he’s not really happy around other dogs or small, furry animals.

Lola is a 2-1/2-year-old hound mix who loves walks and anyone she can kiss. She likes to be the dominant dog.