Midcoast Humane’s Edgecomb campus has reopened on-site adoptions by appointment after three years of being a surrender and animal care-only facility. However, while interested families may enter the shelter for cat adoptions, the organization will continue to bring dogs to outdoor meetups. This decision comes after community interest and updated COVID-19 procedures.
“There's folks who would like to go to their local shelter and I really want us to be able to do that for them,” said Midcoast Humane Interim Executive Director Jess Townsend. “When you have folks come in one at a time, they have somebody dedicated to them and you're using all the precautions that you can, it's really reasonable to have people come in and meet the animals that they're interested in.”
Community Resource Manager Tammy Walsh said since reopening on-site adoptions in November the shelter has received great feedback from adopters.
In late 2018, the Edgecomb campus stopped on-site adoption in favor of mobile events, to make adoption more accessible for the 40 towns Midcoast Humane serves. Trendy Stanchfield, the previous executive director, explained to Lincoln County News that due to financial issues the shelter had to choose between increasing operation hours or bringing animals closer to potential adopters.
During this time, the Edgecomb campus also welcomed pets from the Brunswick facility who needed a quieter environment or one-on-one time with staff. However, the Brunswick headquarters plans to move to a new 24,000-square-foot facility at Industrial Parkway next spring. This will up the housing quality and have room for community services such as a public clinic and training facility. Townsend hopes similar improvements can someday be made to the Edgecomb campus.
This extra space also means Midcoast Humane can reevaluate the animals it sends between locations.
“Will those dogs (who need more quiet) perhaps do better (in Brunswick)? Will they go home more quickly? Can we send a different type of dog up to Edgecomb because we think they'll be able to get him to go home quickly? It's really looking at the assets to both locations and then working with your animal population with those assets in mind,” said Townsend.
She added, Midcoast Humane is trying to cut down on unnecessary travel between facilities as it can be stressful on the animals. Midcoast Humane is also sending veterinarians to Edgecomb instead of having pets come to the Brunswick medical center to further this goal.
Besides adoption, Townsend and Walsh emphasized the other programs to help people keep their pets, including helping with medical issues, holding rabies clinics in rural areas and maintaining a pet pantry at both sites.
“I personally believe the goal should be when we can help keep families together, we should. I love making new families, we do it every day with adoption. But if we can also keep a family together that's equally important,” said Townsend.
The shelter at 27 Atlantic Highway, Edgecomb and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m to 3: 30 p.m. Make an appointment at (207) 449-1366.