Category Archives: Community Support

Our South Korean Dogs: 1 Year Anniversary

Today marks our one year anniversary of helping five dogs from South Korea.

In honor of this special day, we’d like to take a look back at their year in our care and extend our heartfelt gratitude to YOU our volunteers, foster families, and adoptive families who all stepped up to help animals in need. We’d also like to thank our community who supported us and participated in this amazing journey – you helped five dogs find a new beginning.

On Thursday, May 26, 2016, five of the 250 dogs rescued from a dog meat farm in South Korea by Humane Society International (HSI) arrived at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland (ARLGP). Our team waited excitedly to welcome them to our shelter and to help them gain comfort and confidence in their new surroundings.

Upon arrival, they were unable to walk off the transport vehicle. Quite frankly, they didn’t know how. They had only lived in small wire crates, with no ability to walk around, move about freely or receive human touch or assistance. They were in rough shape. We adapted and faced these challenges head on, and used our training and skills to meet them where they were at and work from there.

As an emergency placement partner of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the ARLGP serves as a safety net for animals rescued from inhumane conditions. For those who questioned our commitment to local dogs, our top priority is always to homeless and displaced pets in Greater Portland, as well as our state. When an opportunity to help animals in need is presented to us and we have the space available, we are always happy to lend a helping hand.

Over the past year, we’ve celebrated their individual journeys to where they are today…

Ron (now Myles) was the first to be placed in a foster home, then his adoptive home. He quickly adapted to his new life and he immediately thrived with training and socialization.

Huey, one of our husky mixes, was the second to enter a foster home. He is now in his permanent home, with many canine siblings, living the life of a companion pooch, even if on his own terms.


Stuart, our most recently adopted, received more questions and inquiries while on our adoption floor than any other pooch available. Every visitor wanted to know his story, and once we told it, they were quick to share with friends and family to help us find Stuart the home he was looking for. He’s now living the life on his farm, with lots of two and four-legged family members to share it with.

And, today marks a new chapter for our fourth dog, Victor. One year from the day he arrived, he will be moved to our adoption floor. Victor is a beautiful jindo mix, looking for a home with a canine companion that will continue to show him all the wonderful perks of being a dog in a loving home with humans who care deeply for him.

And last, but certainly not least, is Forrest. Forrest is still receiving training, socialization and enrichment in our care, to get him to a point where he is ready for his new home and family, even if that looks a little different than the average adopter. Each and every one of these dogs took a different amount of time and a different approach of training, and we are committed to reaching the finish line with each.


Today, we are reminded that the way an animal arrives at our door doesn’t matter. Whether it’s abandoned on the side of the road, left in our parking lot, a stray wandering the neighborhood, or through our life-saving collaborations with shelters and rescues in Maine and beyond— it’s where they end up that really counts. These five boys taught us about unconditional love, patience and compassion. No words were required, only simple acts of kindness.

To all of those reading this, we thank you for believing in our mission and supporting our vision and values with your volunteerism, your in-kind gifts of food and linens, and with your generous financial support. Our success at saving the lives of Ron, Huey, Stuart, Victor, Forrest, and 4,000 animals every year is because of YOU.  

Down East Magazine: See Stuart Run
Portland Press Herald: Dogs rescued from South Korean meat farm treated in Maine


Puppy Adoption Event Today @ The Fish & Bone

We are excited to partner once again with our good friends at The Fish & Bone for a puppy adoption event! Join us today, Friday, May 19th, from 3-5pm at Fish & Bone on Commercial Street in downtown Portland.

This afternoon, we will have 4 adoptable and adorable puppies. The “princess puppies” named Cinderella, Elsa, Ariel and Belle are approximately 6-months-old and are All American Mixes. If you have been looking to introduce a new, young pup to your family, this is a wonderful opportunity to meet some great dogs.

It’s important to note that adopting a puppy requires patience, dedication and flexibility. Puppies need potty training, obedience training, socialization and lots of outlets for physical and mental enrichment. We will have adoption counselors on-hand to discuss on the joys of puppyhood and what their needs will be as they grow into adult canine companions.

As always, 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 The Fish & Bone this afternoon. The Fish & Bone will be offering extra-special puppy packs to adopters. If you spend $100 on your new furry friend this afternoon, you’ll go home with a new crate!

A special thanks to the ASPCA and Subaru Rescue Ride Program who generously provided the ARLGP with a grant to support our collaborations with other shelters and rescues across our state, region and country. The princess puppies arrived to the ARLGP last week, through our partnership with a California-based rescue. Because of this generous support of shelter collaboration, we are able to save more lives together.

We’ll see you today at The Fish & Bone!

PETCO Adoption Event, Saturday 3/4


The ARLGP is proud to partner with the PETCO Foundation and the Maine Mall PETCO for the Love Changes Everything national adoption event.

We’ll be bringing a puppy palooza to the Maine Mall PETCO on Saturday, March 4th, at 10am. If you’ve been looking to add a new four-legged companion to your family, this may be your purr-fect opportunity.

We’ll have 6 puppies available for adoption at PETCO beginning at 10am. Sheba, Stevie, Saga, Sax, Shelly and Petey all range from 2-3 months old. They are All American mixes, and incredibly adorable.

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.

While were talking all about puppies, we think it’s important to note that adopting a young pet (and all pets in general) requires patience, dedication and flexibility. Puppies 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.

Third Annual Puppy Love Adoption Event!

Get ready for a collective “AWWW” as we premiere the adorable line-up of our third annual PUPPY LOVE Adoption Event, taking place this Saturday, February 11th when we open at 10am.

Meet 14 of the cutest pups we ever-did see: Henry, Nigel, Heather, Tilly, Poppy, Heath, Harry, Libby, Hamilton, Imogen, Elliott, Millie, Rupert and Blake.


They are a wide variety of breed and size; including lab mixes and maltese mixes. Each dog has been spayed/neutered and has received age-appropriate core vaccinations. They are healthy and happy, and ready to go off with their new human best friend this Saturday!

As always, adoptions are on a first-come, first-served basis. We are unable to put animals on hold. The ARLGP opens at 10am, however, adopters generally line up early for events like Puppy Love.

Potential adopters can come prepared by completing and bringing with them a Dog Adoption Survey. All adoptions will follow our standard adoption routine which includes an adoption survey, adoption counseling with an ARLGP canine staff member, and a meet-and-greet.

We hope to see you Saturday at the ARLGP for some Puppy Love!

View adoption fees and requirements here.


12 Saves of Christmas: Duke (save #5)

Duke the hound arrived at the ARLGP in June. We quickly learned that Duke was incredibly smart and active. At just 2-years-old, Duke was still very puppy-like with his play and energy. He was your typical hound, nose to the ground on every walk and adventure. And boy, did he love to adventure! This guy would stay outside as long as he could; playing, romping, fetching- he thrived on getting his paws dirty.

He was also very treat-motivated, and our canine team members knew Duke was a terrific candidate for some advanced obedience training. Using a clicker and lots of positive rewards, Duke learned many commands during his stay at the ARLGP (and was very proud of it!). He picked up on new things almost immediately; the yummier the treat the more quickly he would learn. He mastered sit, stay, down and “look at me” with a breeze. We knew finding a home that could continue to work with Duke on his training and provide him with lots of space to run and play would be key to ensuring this guy had a happy and healthy life.

When Peggy, an ARLGP volunteer, told her daughter Karen about Duke she immediately went on our website to see him. Karen owns a large farm, and as soon as she read Duke’s story she knew she could provide him with everything he needed! Karen recently told us all about Duke’s fun life on the farm and how she knew it was meant to be:

“We had heard about Duke and his story from my mom who volunteers there so we looked him up on the ARLGP page. When we saw his picture, we knew.  We fell in love as soon as we saw him.  He gently took food out of our hand while he was in his kennel with his tail wagging the whole time. We got to play with him in the yard and knew he needed to come home with us.  He was such a big goofball.  He was just what we were looking for.


He has such a great personality, very loving and happy.  It is so nice to be greeted when you come in the door with a big wet sloppy kiss.  He greets everyone with the same tail wagging.  He loves to play tug of war.  For the past few years, we have only had 2 little dogs. We forgot how much fun a big dog can be.  He likes to be a lap dog like the other two, although he is about 60 lbs. heavier.  Although, the 6 lb. Chihuahua keeps him in line.  He has added so much joy and love to our home.  Vacuuming has become quite entertaining.  The machine doesn’t even have to be on for him to try to chase it and play with it.

Duke is doing well with the farm life.  His first experience with the goats was a head butting session.  He makes the rounds daily to check on the goats, pigs, turkey and chickens.  He has adapted to a home with lots of other pets as well.  He watches the hamsters play and is fascinated by the fish in their tanks. He sleeps on the floor by our bed every night.

Last Christmas, we had our two small grandchildren with us and it was such a joy.  We knew this year would be tough without them.  Then came Duke.  He is like having a small child at Christmas.  His eyes lit right up when he saw the lights on the tree.  He seemed a bit confused with the first snowfall.  He stepped gingerly outside, looking at the ground before barking at it. Now, he really loves to play out in the snow, sniffing and rolling all about.   It is hard to walk by pet items in the store without thinking, I’ll bet Dukie would like that for Christmas.

We’re so happy Duke has the life (and yard!) he’s always wanted.

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: Two Strong-Willed Buns! (save #10)

Today’s 12 Saves of Christmas blog post is all about the buns! We had many memorable bunny adoptions this year, and below we shine a spotlight on two very special buns.


Franco was one of our longest-term bunny residents, available for adoption for almost 5 months. At the ARLGP, Franco wasn’t the friendliest, snuggliest rabbit. But our team was determined and invested lots of time and energy into socializing him. We knew he would require a new family with some bunny knowledge, and an equal amount of energy to devote to him. We knew there was a flower in there ready to blossom; it would just take dedication to help him come out of his shell.

A local couple, Melissa and Roger, saw Franco’s picture on the website after losing their Flemish rabbit. They were devastated at the loss of their bunny, and were ready to welcome another rabbit companion into their family and home. Possessing the determination we thought necessary, we were confident sending Franco home with Melissa and Roger.

After two months in his new home, Melissa reports things are going very well with our dear friend Franco:

2016-franco1“Franco has taught us patience! Prior to adopting him, Roger was told that Franco would need special attention. He had prior owners, but was brought back to the shelter due to his disposition because he was a territorial and stubborn bunny. After spending a lot of quiet time with Franco (I can be very persistent) we have found that he is a very loveable creature.

All Franco needed was someone not to give up on him, by being persistent and patient and doing research. We now have a whole new bunny; he makes us giggle and is such a love bug. He’s a gift to us. He has taught us a lot! One thing for sure, rabbits are very intelligent.  We are thankful for adopting our little (big) boy.”


Bentley was another long-term rabbit at the ARLGP. He had come to us after some trauma in a previous home. He spent the majority of his time with us in a foster home, getting lots of socialization and enrichment. He was a rambunctious and lively boy! We worked hard to find Bentley an appropriate home that would have the time and energy to devote to this special boy.

Bentley’s soon-to-be future adopters, Ophelia and Corey, had a similar story to Melissa and Roger. They had lost their beloved bunny and were looking to add a new bun to the family. They read the biography that Bentley’s foster mom had written, and thought it reminded them of their previous bunny. They came in for a meet-and-greet, and left with a new best friend.

“His biography on the Animal Refuge League website reminded us of our beloved departed bun-bun, Pepper, whose rambunctious nature and rebellious spirit was not unlike Bentley’s description, though he certainly is his own bun-bun. We are now greeted daily with an enthusiastic powerslide into either one of us or the adjacent wall. His penchant for cranberries has gotten the whole household hooked and we shall never have a need for a paper shredder, though Bentley does not limit himself to only the papers we want to get rid of. He has proven himself to be quite an effective though adorable little bandit.

Bentley is spoiled rotten, loves to explore, and adores to cuddle and get his cheeks scratched. He is excellent at playing flip-cup and not afraid to let loose a little grumpy grunt if he finds something unsatisfactory. Though he has many a time spurned the affections of our cat Lion he is beginning to warm up to him.

Bentley has bunny-burrowed his way into our heart and home and this Christmas will be extra special because it is his first Christmas with us.”

We are happy that both of these strong-willed, independent and personality-filled bunny boys are happy in their new homes this holiday season!