Category Archives: Volunteer

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


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.

ARLGP Clinic Team Volunteers at South Dakota Reservation

Last month we were proud to send our ARLGP clinic team to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. ARLGP veterinarian Dr. Beth Sperry, veterinary technicians Kim Jackson and Liz Lord, and volunteer veterinary technician Susan Gayle traveled to the South Dakota reservation for a three day spay/ neuter mission.


The full project included a deployed team of two veterinarians, four veterinary technicians and many veterinary assistants. In partnership with the Lakota Animal Care Project, the goal was to address the problem of animal overpopulation on the reservation of 2.2 million. Currently, there are no veterinary services on the reservation. This project was a large undertaking, with tremendous benefit to both the people and pets of the reservation.


Our ARLGP clinic team, under the direction of Dr. Sperry, spayed/neutered and vaccinated 111 animals in just three days. They also provided medical care and treatment for a variety of conditions including mange, wounds, and embedded porcupine quills.


The ARLGP is always proud to deploy our team members to assist in animal welfare situations on the local, regional and national level. Not only was our clinic team able to make a significant impact on the lives of animals, it was also a tremendous learning experience for all involved. They look forward to a return trip next September to continue our relationship with Lakota Animal Care and the reservation.

Please join us in giving a big PAWS UP to our clinic team for volunteering their time, expertise and compassion to help animals in need.

Puppy Adoption Event Sunday @ Fish & Bone

We are excited to partner once again with our good friends at Fish & Bone for a puppy adoption event! Join us Sunday, November 13th, from 10am-noon at Fish & Bone on Commercial Street in downtown Portland.

We will have 5  adoptable and adorable puppies. These little balls of furry fun are approximately 3-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 Fish & Bone on Sunday.

If you are interested in adopting one of our puppies Sunday, please stop by the event. All dogs will be in foster care until the event, and are not available to be seen prior to Sunday. Unfortunately, we cannot place animals on hold for adoption. We will also be featuring two of the fish & Bone puppies on WCSH6 Fetch ME a Home Sunday morning at 7am.

A big thanks to Fish & Bone for inviting us back to the store for our second puppy adoption event.  We hope to see you Sunday!

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.



Puppy Adoption Event Sunday with 12 Very Special Pups

We had two very special deliveries just nine weeks ago…

At the end of July two female Jack Russell mixes, Jada and Jaylene, arrived at the ARLGP. We quickly learned that these 1 ½ year old sisters were both very pregnant. Aside from their growing bellies, they were happy, healthy and spunky gals.

One of our paw-some dog volunteers generously welcomed both Jada and Jaylene into his home. He and his wife set each mom up with her own space and patiently waited for the new additions to arrive.

On August 18th, Jada gave birth to seven beautiful pups. The five boys and two girls are mostly white with brown spots like their mom. From the start, with a little guidance from her foster mom, she did fantastically well with her little ones. Jada’s puppies are bubbly and silly, and seem to posses the natural high-energy and strong will of the Jack Russell breed.


Four short days later, Jaylene gave birth to five equally beautiful pups. Jaylene’s pups, four boys and one girl, are a bit bigger than Jada’s and are mostly black and brown. The foster parents say Jaylene’s pups are a bit less energetic than Jada’s, but are your typical bouncy and rambunctious puppies.


Now, at 9-weeks-old, all 12 pups are ready to leave their foster nest to their permanent homes. This Sunday, October 23rd, we will hold a Puppy Palooza adoption event for these special babes when we open at 10am. You can also see four of them make a special appearance on WCSH6’s Fetch ME a Home segment Sunday morning at 7am.


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 the ARLGP on Sunday. 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 we’re 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 also encourage adopters to consider the type of dog; age, breed, size and activity level when considering adoption. Jack Russell’s are often high-energy, smart and driven dogs who would thrive in an active home. 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.

We want to send an enormous thank you and PAWS UP to the Price family, who has spent the last 10 weeks caring for Jada, Jaylene and their pups. It was a huge undertaking and commitment, and we are incredibly appreciative of their kindness, compassion and support. They helped Jada and Jaylene raise beautiful, happy and healthy babies. Please join us in giving them a virtual high five; they deserve it.




Fall Plant Sale: This Sunday!

plant_pic_stripThis Sunday, September 20th, the ARLGP will be holding our Fall Plant Sale from 10am-2pm!

We will have a wide variety of plants and goodies available. Bold and beautifully colored mums, lots of discounted perennials (many divided from our very own ARLGP gardens!), delicious baked goods and more.

A sample of plants available:

  • mums (lots of colors!)
  • classic orange daylily
  • bright red astilbe
  • coreopsis
  • chives
  • yellow daylily
  • yellow bearded iris
  • false dragon head
  • hosta (many varieties)
  • purple cone flower
  • deep blue iris
  • lamb’s ear
  • sedum
  • perennial sunflower
  • pachysandra
  • cacti
  • vinca
  • And more!

The Fall Plant Sale will be held at the ARLGP administrative office space (in the barn, located at 446 Stroudwater Street). However, event attendees are asked to park at the ARLGP shelter (449 Stroudwater Street). There will be a parking attendant at the shelter to direct you.

Each plant will be priced to sell, with many great deals! All funds raised form our Fall Plant Sale will directly support the 4,000 homeless and displaced animals we care for every year. We hope you have a chance to stop by, shop some beautiful plants, and help us support animals in need.

We are sending a huge thank you to our Fall Plant Sale volunteer team, who contributed their time (and sweat!) by helping us dig, divide, pot, bake and plan this event. PAWS UP to this fabulous group of volunteers!