Maine is a good state when it comes to animals. Most people here know how to take care of pets and other animals in their care, and most understand how important it is to provide homes for the many lovable dogs and cats living in shelters across the state. Outside Maine, many animals are not so lucky. Overcrowded shelters resort to euthanizing animals that, in other circumstances could have gone on to profoundly enrich the lives of loving families.

With adoptions going well here at P.A.W.S., we realized we could help some of these pets by reaching out to overburdened shelters and offering to take in some of their animals. As a result, two weeks ago, we welcomed from Texas our first canine "imports."

Among them is a 1-year-old Lab (possibly Lab-boxer) mix, Tommy. He has the face of a black Lab with beautiful brindle markings on the rest of his body. Tommy has a lot of energy. He likes to run, hike, and chase balls. He rides well in a car but seems a bit confused as to how to get into one. Once you scoop him up (which he doesn't mind at all) and place him inside a car, he rides along happily. Tommy needs basic obedience training to improve his manners, and, like most Labs, he can be a little "mouthy." He needs to learn that there's a time for fun and games and a time to settle down. Essentially, though, he's just a big, lovable baby from down south who richly deserves to find a forever home here in Maine.

Sweet, friendly Bentley, also from the Lone Star State, is another Lab mix, but his big, pointy ears give him a unique look. He is the perfect size: not too big, not too little. But don't underestimate this mid-size cowboy — he's strong enough to pull a child. He loves to play, and if you get tired or need a break, he may try to grab you by the arms to get you going again. Like Tommy, Bentley will do best with an active person who's willing to give him a little training. A home without small children would be ideal.

Would you care to give one of these Texas boys a good home? Please stop by the shelter at 123 John St. in Camden. We're open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call us at 236-8702, or check out pawsadoption.org, where you'll find information about all of our adoptable pets, as well as upcoming events and items on our donations "wish list." (Hint: this week, we especially need canned cat food, laundry and dish soap, and bleach.) We thank you, as always, for your interest and support.