Pig Out for Pets

Joy Hollowell

Updated 11 months ago

For more than two decades, the Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County has taken in homeless animals.

While the need has grown during those years, the Thomaston shelter has not.

Joy Hollowell tells us what is being done to change that.

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Three small buildings make up the Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County.

“We’re filled to capacity,” says Richard Procopio, Board President. “I mean over 100 cats all the time, 20 to 30 dogs. It has grown to the point where we are really bursting at the seams.”

Staff at the Thomaston animal shelter have certainly gotten creative over the years. They closed in a porch to create more room for cats, and sectioning off rooms to make isolated sick wards.

“It’s like the movie- build it and they will come,” says Executive Director Tracy Sala. “We’ve built the buildings and they have certainly come.”

And in all forms too.

“We’ve had a variety of different animals,” says Sala. “Rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, that type of thing to goats, ducks and even a couple of donkeys. We’ve had a ball python and a snapping turtle.”

And then…there’s Valentine.

“Valentine is actually a 300 pound plus pig,” says Sala with a smile. “She came to us just a little over a year ago as a baby pig and we found a home at a wonderful little rescue.”

But when the rescue couldn’t care for Valentine anymore, the shelter took her back, now full grown.

“We converted an old rabbit hutch,” says Sala. “She’s definitely a pet pig. She’s so sweet and very socialized and we’ll find the right home for her.”

In 2015, the shelter hopes to break ground on a new home.

“It will hold up to 28 dogs, over 100 cats, facilities for small animals,” explains Procopio. “We’re going to have a pavilion that’s heated and covered so animals can go out, dogs can to out during the winter.”

The facility will be built on the same grounds, which are already owned by the humane society. The price tag is $2.2 million dollars. So far, about $1 million has been raised.

“There’s so many demands on us from the community as far as what is needed,” says Sala. “There’s so many animals out there that we still need to help.”

For more information, log onto humanesocietyofknoxcounty.org

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Wednesday night, January 8th, Cappy’s Chowder house and Harbor View is holding a fundraiser for the Thomaston shelter.

From 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. the Camden restaurant will donate up to half of whatever customers spend on dinner.

It’s all part of their Community Connections Program.

Each Wednesday night through March 19th, the Main Street restaurant will raise funds for non-profits in the area.

January 8th: Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County
January 15th: Peopleplace Cooperative Preschool
January 22nd: New Hope for Women
January 29th: Kiwanis Club of Rockland
February 5th: Midcoast Hospitality House
February 12th: Aldermere Farms
February 19th: Coastal Opportunities
February 26th: Trekkers
March 5th: MCH Meals on Wheels
March 12th: Penobscot Bay YMCA
March 19th: Make-A-Wish

For more information on Community Connections, call 236-2254 or log onto www.cappyschowder.com


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