Our pet pick of the week is Salem. Salem is an adult neutered male, medium-haired cat who was found in the garden section of the Wal-Mart parking lot. The poor thing was covered in burdock, which was so matted in his fur that he couldn’t move his head. He must have been grateful for his rescue because he let the staff carefully remove the prickly plant from his fur and shave the mats around his neck without a struggle. In fact, he showed his gratitude with an appreciative purr throughout the grooming process.

Salem has now joined the cat community and happily greets visitors as they enter the shelter. He’s a gregarious little guy who is sure to add a lot of love and smiles to a home. We hope that Salem doesn’t fall victim to the unfortunate reality that plagues black cats and dogs in shelters all over this country: that of being overlooked. We have dozens of black and black-and-white cats that have resided at the shelter for months and, in a couple of cases, well over a year waiting to be chosen as “the one.” Because they are so common and it’s harder to see expression in their dark faces, they are often passed over for more colorful pets for adoptions. If you take the time to meet our wonderful black cats you’ll discover what we have discovered — they each have endearing, distinctive personalities of their own. Come on in and meet Salem. He’ll follow you around until you pick him up. Or meet Jibbet. She sits on the office shelf quietly taking in the shelter activity waiting for a lull in the day when she can pop down to sit in a lap. Or meet Pretty Boy and Arabesque and Sprite and Bertie and …

We are very excited about presenting our Tropical Get Away Fundraiser on Saturday, March 6 at the Lincoln Street Center from 5 to 9 p.m. Don your tropical attire (optional), turn up the heat, and catch the beat with steel drum band Steelin’ Thunder. We will have plenty of food and drink (beer and wine available), dancing, a limbo contest, a silent auction of great items, a 50/50 raffle and a contest for the best tropical-themed outfit. Tickets are only $10 at the door. What better way to have some fun and help the animals. Sponsoring the event are Kennebec Pharmacy and Home Care, Warren True Value, Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, Horch Roofing, Rockland Wholesale and Domino’s Pizza.

March 2 is the last day to help us win $5,000 from the Bangor Savings Foundation. You can vote for us by following the link at hskcme.org, or stopping by the shelter to fill out a ballot. You need to write in Humane Society of Knox County under Midcoast region. It’s one vote per person so tell your friends, family and co-workers to help the animals. Thank you for your support.

Our wish list this week: Ziploc bags (quart and gallon size), Dawn dishwashing liquid (for degreasing), toilet paper, laundry detergent, stamps/post card stamps, bleach, large black garbage bags, large rawhide chews, Lexmark Ink No. 32 and 33, HP Ink No. 92 and 93, non-clumping kitty litter, and gift certificates to local businesses.

We are located at 65 Dexter St. Extension off Route 1 in Thomaston. Mail: P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, ME 04841; phone: 594-2200. Open every day except Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.