On May 18, the Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County announced the launch of a capital campaign to generate funding for a new 10,075-square-foot animal care facility.

The need and opportunity for this new, expanded shelter emerged as the organization developed its strategy for addressing the future requirements of the Midcoast communities it serves.

The new shelter facility will include 28 roomier kennels for dogs, three free roaming cat rooms (one with outdoor porch access), 12 cat condos, a kitten room, plus accommodation for an additional 72 cats. There will be a community room for educational programs and special events, isolation and exam areas for incoming animals, get acquainted/adoption rooms, ample storage, and an outdoor covered pavilion area for dogs. There will also be a room/adoption area for other small mammals, such as guinea pigs and rabbits. The facility will be equipped with a special air exchange/filtration system and acoustical features to enhance the health and comfort of resident animals and staff.

“Every year we’re seeing growing demand for our shelter, adoption, spay/neuter, and community outreach services. Last year, we admitted 1,487 animals, which is more than double than just 10 years ago. We expect this growth to Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County to continue in the foreseeable future. Our plan, which includes building a larger, state of the art facility, is geared to help us meet these expanding needs,"  said PMHSKC outgoing President Warner Vaughan in a news release.

PMHSKC Executive Director Tracy Sala added: “In 2012, our amazing volunteers logged over 11,500 hours to assist with animal care and community events, and the generosity of local donors helped us complete a new building for special care of incoming and recovering cats. We are very grateful for the steadfast local support of the work we do. Our ultimate goal is to work toward a future in which people embrace the many positive benefits of the human animal bond, and pets are no longer stray or unwanted.”

The fundraising goal for this new shelter is $2.2 million, and 40 percent of this amount has already been raised. Lyman Pope Jr. a benefactor of animal care facilities throughout New England has provided planning expertise and seed money to kick-off this capital campaign.

The Humane Society of Knox County recently added ‘Pope Memorial’ to its name in honor of Pope’s generous, unwavering support of animal welfare services.

Richard Procopio, incoming PMHSKC President, noted: “We are very appreciative of Mr. Pope’s backing and encouragement as we embark on this fundraising campaign. He is a great philanthropist who is helping us create a brighter future for people and companion animals in the Midcoast.”

The PMHSKC was founded in 1989 to provide care, protection, and loving homes for abandoned and homeless companion animals in the Midcoast Maine area. The society operates an animal shelter located between the Dexter Street Extension and Buttermilk Lane in Thomaston that is open between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays).

The Humane Society of Knox County provides animal support services to the towns of Rockland, Thomaston, Warren, Owls Head, St. George, Port Clyde, Martinsville, Tenants Harbor, South Thomaston (including Spruce Head), Hope, Union, Appleton, Montville, Cushing, Matinicus, North Haven, Vinalhaven, Stockton Springs, and Morrill.