Recently, a volunteer gave me a slick mailer from a national pet nonprofit. It had a U.S. map, and PMHS was identified on it with a little circle. The legend said we were part of a “shelter engagement” program to further their animal welfare goals. Curious what this meant, I went to the website, but made no headway toward understanding.

National animal welfare organizations are important. Some of what they do are influence laws, while some create useful trainings. As a donor, it is important to understand where your gifts go, and it isn’t always easy.

When I started at PMHS, one of the things that made a huge impression on me is when the Executive Director explained that we are tasked with caring for our community’s animals. Why was this so memorable? It made me realize what a service the shelter provides. What if there wasn’t a place for a lost cat or dog to go until a family could come get them, or no one to take in abuse cases? What if there wasn’t a place where families could come to give a cat or dog a second chance at a loving family? I know I want to live in a place where local pets are cared for when they become homeless. They are companions brought into this world by humans, and we should care for them.

Lupine.

When you give to your local shelter, know your gift helps the cat who became homeless when someone’s aunt went into nursing care, or the stray dog who was hit by a car and unclaimed. It even helped the group of pugs seized by the state and distributed to Maine shelters. PMHS does not receive funds from national organizations and must raise 80% of yearly operating expenses to continue saving local animals’ lives. We depend on you — our community — to care for OUR animals together.

One of these animals is Donut. He is a young guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was found after being hit by a car and no owner could be located. PMHS intervened and got him to Dr. Yovino at Harbor Road Veterinary Hospital in South Thomaston. Dr. Yovino set Donut’s broken pelvis, his broken femur and bandaged his injured tail. If you want to help, donations to the Sherman Medical Fund will cover his future vet visits and can be made via the website www.PopeHumane.org, or by sending a check with “Donut” on the memo line to: PMHS, PO Box 1294, Rockland, ME 04841. Thank you for your compassion and help taking care of all “our” pets together.

Out shopping? Top needs: six-inch paper plates, trash bags in 33- and 13-gallon sizes, angle brooms, and pate poultry canned cat food. Thank you.

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