Category Archives: Cat Adoption

12 Saves of Christmas: Two Very Special Long-Termers (save #1)

Today we wrap up our annual 12 Saves of Christmas series with two animals that were very near and dear to our hearts.

In 2016, the weekend of June 4th will most certainly be remembered as one of our most special this year at the ARLGP. Two long-term guests, Minou and Oscar, both found their new beginning.

On Saturday the 4th we all sent a very warm and heartfelt goodbye to Oscar, an American Pit Bull Terrier mix who had been with us 10 months.


Our entire team celebrated Oscar’s adoption!

On Sunday the 5th, with happy tears in our eyes, we said bon voyage to Minou. An insulin-dependent diabetic kitty, Minou had been with us 10 months as well.


We shed some happy tears saying goodbye to Minou

Each and every adoption at the ARLGP is meaningful and special, and we take a moment to celebrate and cherish every single one. But on that one weekend in June, we all took an extra special pause to reflect on the 10 months of companionship we had with each of these special pets. Both unique in their own ways, we had worked tirelessly to find them a new beginning. And in just two short days, we saw both of them walk out of our doors excited to finally be making the big trip home.

Now, after 6 months of living their new lives in their new homes, their families reflect on how special they are.


“Oscar is the goofiest, clumsiest dog and all he wants to do is make me happy. His goofy personality connected us instantly. I fell in love with him the day I met him. He is now my best friend. I don’t know how I came home to an empty apartment before him. He has changed my whole life. I now depend on him for support and love, just like he depends on me for the same.

I already bought Oscar gifts and Christmas dog pajamas, haha! I can’t wait to have him with me on Christmas morning. I am the only single one in my family. So, Oscar is my date.  He makes every day better.

Oscar has changed my life and taught me to be much more patient, to speak quieter, to just relax on the couch with him at the end of the day and enjoy every moment I spend with him. He’s such a great dog. He is the perfect companion for me, I can’t get enough of his goofball personality.”—Ashleigh, Oscar’s mom


“When we first arrived at the shelter, we immediately gravitated towards the cats with special needs, because we knew that these pets tend to wait the longest before finding their forever homes. We have always been most attracted to those pets that are the most down on their luck, the ones that no one else wants. When we met Minou, we knew she was the one. Minou has diabetes and to keep it under control needs two injections of insulin a day, morning and night.

Minou has made our home a much more cheerful place since losing our Buni; we would be very sad without her. As French artist, writer, and film maker, Jean Cocteau once said, “I love cats because I love my home and after a while they become its visible soul.” Minou with her sweet, gentle presence has truly become or home’s “visible soul”.

From the very first moment Minou has seemed so grateful for her new home and our love. She loves to play and cuddle. Matt feeds the birds and the squirrels that visit our yard; and Minou loves to sit in our many large windows watching and chirping at the herd. Recently Minou seems to have realized that her new forever home is for real and not just a dream; and lest we forget to mention, Minou has the loudest purr of any cat we have ever known.


Having Minou share our home has made this Yuletide season a happy one, despite our missing little Buni Bastet. Our holiday season has been filled with music, playing, kitty cuddles, and kitty conversations. Minou is very vocal; she has a large and varied repertoire of meows. We are looking forward to hanging Minou’s stocking by the tree.

After Buni died Matt and I were devastated; I really did not want any more heartache. We were leaning towards never having another pet; but it was the words of two cat rescue friends of ours that made us decide adopting another feline was something we needed, wanted, and should do. Our friends reminded us that though it is perfectly normal after the loss of a beloved pet to feel that one does not wish to love again, there are multitudes of pets without homes who live every day simply needing their own safe, warm place to lie down, wanting to be loved and to love in return. Having a safe, warm place and plenty of love to give, Matt and I said yes to Ms. Minou; and she has repaid our love with hers.”- Dani, Minou’s mom

Happy holidays to our ARLGP friends and family, we hope you are enjoying quality time with those you love (both two and four-legged!).




Christmas Delivery Adoption Program

xmas_delivery_flier-web2All this week the ARLGP will be offering Christmas Eve or Christmas morning delivery for eligible pets. We know many families choose to adopt during the holiday season, and this year we’re making it a bit more fun with delivery of your adopted family member by our ARLGP elves.

Per our standard adoption policy, all of our furry friends are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Adoptions will follow our standard process of application and counseling. We think it’s also important to note that we know the holidays can be a busy time of year in many households. Our adoption counselors will chat all about the joys of welcoming a new four-legged friend into your family, and the transition period that can be expected.

We encourage interested adopters to visit us this week and chat with a team member about our delivery program! Or, give us a call at (207) 854-9771 to learn more about this holiday fun.

12 Saves of Christmas: Lady Bug (save #7)

Today we look back on a very special kitty, Lady Bug.

Through no fault of her own, Lady Bug had been to the ARLGP a handful of times since 2013. She arrived as part of a confiscation in 2013. Later adopted, she was returned several months later very thin and dehydrated. We provided her with immediate medical attention and soon discovered that Lady Bug was hyperthyroid. After a month of observation and treatment in our isolation unit, followed by some TLC in a foster home, Lady Bug was ready to move back to our adoptable cat area. Other than daily medication, Lady Bug was a healthy kitty ready to paw off with her new family.

As a special needs kitty, we knew finding a family that was equipped and ready to provide her with her daily medications and a regular routine and schedule would be a bit harder than the average cat. Many of our team members bonded closely with Lady Bug. We took any opportunity we could to talk about her with potential adopters, knowing sooner or later we’d find the one. We also featured her on this very blog over the summer, with a post called “Meet Our Resident Supermodel.” You see, Lady Bug was always posing. Whether she was lounging in her cat condo, or relaxing in an outdoor enclosure- she knew how to strut her stuff and was always showing off. She’d beam her gorgeous green eyes at all of her visitors, while lending a paw to say hello. This girl was the total package, and she knew it.

In August, a lovely woman named Karen came in looking for a feline companion for her family. One look at Lady Bug’s big green eyes, and they were hooked. The rest is one happy story for this sweet gal:

“She had been a joy since the day we took her home; we connected with her big green eyes and sweet face.  She has been a wonderful addition to our home.

She has a thyroid condition that requires daily medication however as a family we have a developed a routine! She is so happy here; she enjoys going outside in warm weather and will sit in any sunbeam in the house even if it is the middle of our path. She loves everyone’s lap, she even likes to be held like a baby!


She loves the Christmas tree lights and sitting on the tree skirt.  She has assisted in wrapping a few presents; the crinkle of the paper and curling of ribbons! Santa paws will come soon for her and our other cat Bandit.”

We’re thrilled for Lady Bug and her new family! She’s exactly where she needs to be, with lots of sunshine to bathe in.

Related links:
Help support animals like Lady Bug who arrive at the ARLGP in need of medical treatment and care. Making a gift to our Carson Medical Fund supports our life-saving programs and helps us provide urgent care to animals like Lady Bug.

12 Saves of Christmas: Two Special Boys! (save #12)

Today we start our annual 12 Saves of Christmas blog series, where we count down 12 memorable adoption stories from of the year. While every adoption is a celebration at the ARLGP, our 12 Saves of Christmas provides our team with an opportunity to reflect on the hard work and dedication it takes to help more than 4,000 animals every year. We poll our team to find the special 12 (or in this year’s case, special 17) and celebrate all we have accomplished for so many animals in need.

At spot #12, we celebrate the kitty duo Raphael & PJ (now Blaze and Panther).

At the ARLGP we work tirelessly to help animals in our community and across the state of Maine. When we are able and have the space available, we also work with rescue groups and shelters all across the country who are overwhelmed with animals and in need of a helping paw.

Two of the feline groups we work with are based in North Carolina and New York. Each group visited us with felines in need this summer. Raphael came to the ARLGP in June from New York. PJ arrived from NC in August. Both boys are FIV+, an immunodeficiency virus found in felines that is non life-threatening and is generally non-symptomatic. FIV+ kitties lead normal, healthy lives. However, FIV+ cats in shelters in NY and NC may not have the chance of a new home like they do in our community. There are so many cats in need of homes in those shelters that special needs kitties are often overlooked. Knowing both were FIV+, we happily welcomed them to the ARLGP and knew we would find wonderful homes for them in our community.

Now, these boys had obviously never met before. But, as soon as we put them in the same room at the ARLGP they instantly bonded. We send bonded pairs home regularly here, and are generally animals that have lived together the majority of their life. But for Raphael and PJ, we saw the instant connection and were committed to rehoming them together. They were clearly best friends for life now!

Kaleigh and Josh, a local couple, had been stopping into the ARLGP for quite some time looking for a new feline companion. They had a commitment to welcoming a special needs kitty into their home and family, but hadn’t quite found the right one. After many visits spanning months, one of our adoption counselors, Molly, recommended they visit with Raphael and PJ for a bit. Molly explained their story, how they had come from different shelters out-of-state, and had an instant connection.

Like PJ and Raphael’s connection, Kaleigh and Josh also had an instant love. And as Kaleigh says, the rest was history…

“PJ (now Blaze, the monster machine) and Raphael (now Panther) are quite the characters. It took Panther more time to warm up to us and he still is a bit timid around our kiddos but he enjoys hanging out on top of the fridge or sitting on top of the toilet seat. Blaze has made himself right at home and his favorite spot is whatever bed is free. They are very vocal boys when it comes to feeding time! We are looking forward to them spending Christmas with us. They might have the most gifts under the tree! We thank you guys; they have been a great addition to complete our family.”

We wish Kaleigh, Josh, Blaze and Panther the happiest of holidays together. We thank them for opening their heart and home to these special boys, and we can’t wait to hear more updates as they continue to settle in and soak up the love in their new home.

ARLGP Receives PETCO Foundation Grant, New Shelter to Open This Fall


From all of us at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland (ARLGP), we wish to extend a very heartfelt thank you to the Petco Foundation for their recent gift of $75,000 to our new Arthur P. Girard Adoption Center.

We are thrilled to be recognized by the Petco Foundation for our lifesaving efforts in the Greater Portland community, the state of Maine, and beyond. Our new adoption and community center, slated to open later this fall, will be a destination location for people and their pets. Centered around adoption, spay/neuter and education, our new facility will allow us to expand our services and programming to community members of all ages. Our new space is also a new chapter for the ARLGP, and we are incredibly excited about the opportunities it presents in caring for animals in need and serving our community. This $75,000 Petco Foundation grant is instrumental in helping us achieve our goals as a lifesaving organization. We are honored to be a Petco Foundation partner!

Please join us in thanking the Petco Foundation for supporting the ARLGP and our new facility. Together, we are saving lives.


We are in the final countdown to the opening of our new adoption and community center! The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of progress, with flooring down, paint on the walls and turf in the many play yards. The final touches are being installed over the next 2-3 weeks including kennels, countertops, signs, appliances and more. Our team of staff and volunteers are bursting with excitement for the big move.

We hope you’ll join us for our grand opening celebration! The exact date and time is to be determined, but keep an eye on our Facebook and website for updates over the next couple weeks.



PETCO All for Savings Lives Weekend Adoption Event


The ARLGP is proud to partner with the PETCO Foundation and the Maine Mall PETCO for the All for Saving Lives national adoption weekend.

We’ll be bringing the furry fun to the Maine Mall PETCO on Saturday, September 10th and Sunday, September 11th. If you’ve been looking to add a new four-legged companion to your family, this may be your purr-fect opportunity.

Plus, the PETCO Foundation will make a donation to the ARLGP for every adoption over the weekend event. Not only will you be adopting a new best friend, you’ll be helping us receive much-needed funds to support the 4,000 homeless and displaced animals we care for every year.


Saturday, September 10th: PUPPY ADOPTION DAY!
We’ll have 10 puppies and adolescent dogs (ranging from 3 months-9 months) available for adoption at PETCO beginning at 9am. View our available PETCO event puppies! 


Sunday, September 11th: KITTEN ADOPTION DAY!
We’ll have more than 20 kittens available for adoption at PETCO beginning at 9am.


As always, ARLGP adoptions are first-come, first-served, and require our normal adoption application process. You may download and print an adoption application to bring with you, or you may fill one out at PETCO the day of the event. Adoption events are often busy, so please be prepared to wait a small amount of time to meet an animal and talk to one of our adoption counselors. Unfortunately, we cannot place animals on hold for adoption.

While were talking all about puppies and kittens, we think it’s important to note that adopting a young pet (and all pets in general) requires patience, dedication and flexibility. Puppies and kittens need potty training, obedience training, socialization and lots of outlets for physical and mental enrichment. We will have adoption counselors on-hand to discuss the joys of adoption and what their needs will be as they grow into adult companions.

A huge thanks to our PETCO partner, the Maine Mall PETCO, for inviting us to participate in such a wonderful event. An equally big PAWS UP to the PETCO Foundation for supporting shelter pets and adoption.


Cat Found in Locked Trunk Now Safe at ARLGP

UPDATE ON SKY THE CAT (9/2/16): Yesterday, a Buxton family contacted us after hearing media reports on Sky the kitty who was found Monday morning locked in a truck. Their cat, Ollie, had gone missing the weekend before and they immediately recognized her after seeing her on the news and in the local paper.  

After research, examination and investigation we have concluded that Sky is indeed their Ollie and she will be reunited with her family.  It’s important to note that  Animal Control Officers local to the incident will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Sky/Ollie’s situation. We are thankful for the citizens who found her and brought her to safety.

We take this opportunity to remind our community that your shelter is a resource. If your cat is missing – call your local shelter immediately. If you find a stray cat in your neighborhood, please call your local ACO and shelter. Pet owners are encouraged to use proper identification for their pets (collar with ID tag in addition to a microchip) so that when stray animals are brought to shelters, they can be reunited with their owners as quickly as possible. The ARLGP provides low-cost microchipping during our daily open hours at just $35 per pet, no appointment necessary.


On Monday, August 29th, 2016, the ARLGP received a feline from a concerned citizen who found it in a locked, sealed trunk at a local baseball field.


Trunk the cat, Sky, was found in

The cat, named Sky by our staff, is approximately 1-year-old. Upon arrival at our facility, Sky received a full medical evaluation from ARLGP staff and veterinary team. She was observed to have a significant amount of fleas and flea dirt, but otherwise in fair condition. She is affectionate and well-socialized; she very much appears to be a family pet.

Two Buxton residents were taking a walk at the Hollis Sports Complex fields at 6am Monday morning. At the end of their walk, they noticed a large trunk in the parking lot. When they attempted to open the trunk, they heard the crying of a cat inside. Unable to open it on their own, they brought it to a friend’s house who opened it with a screwdriver. Sky was in the trunk, without food or water.



Sky’s story is a strong reminder to our community to use your local shelter as a resource. If you are unable to provide care to your pet, for whatever reason, please work with your local shelter and animal control officials. Had these concerned citizens not intervened, Sky’s story could have had a very different outcome.

We are asking anyone who may recognize Sky or have information about her abandonment to contact us directly at (207) 854-9771. Hollis officials are working with the Sheriff’s office on an investigation into the situation as well, and can be contacted with information.

Pending her continued good health, Sky will be available for adoption on Saturday, September 3rd.