Downeast Dog News

Rescue of the Month: Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County

Celebrating 30 Years of Giving Homeless & Abandoned Animals a Second Chance
By Susan Spisak | Aug 01, 2019

The 501 (c) 3 Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County (PMHSKC) was highlighted in the Downeast Dog News in 2016 when they opened their new 10,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility at 25 Buttermilk Lane in Thomaston. I wanted to check back to learn how they have aided their mission of caring for and placing unwanted and abandoned animals in loving homes and see how they’re celebrating 30 years as an independent non-profit, so I called their Executive Director Tracy Sala and was quickly reminded how friendly and hands-on she is – she chuckled and said she was fixing one of their vacuum cleaners, but she was happy to put that aside.

“We love the new building,” said Tracy of their lighter and brighter facility. “What’s more important is that the animals seem to love the new building.” And the public likes it, so more people stop in, which facilitates adoptions. “We’re so incredibly fortunate, we feel that every day,” she said of their home.

Their facility with interesting features such as extra-large dog kennels and garage door “walls” that allow fresh air and sunshine in, along with two older buildings, provides plenty of space for their animals – dogs, cats, kittens, pocket pets, and rabbits. All these aspects make for less stressed animals – they’re more relaxed and showcase better.

They’re often overwhelmed during “kitten season,” but they’re able to free up shelter space by relying on fosters (and can use more). Another plus is the fostered felines aren’t susceptible to upper respiratory infections and they’re socialized in home environments. These kittens are more robust, well-rounded, and appeal to adopters. (They also have a “Senior to Senior” cat program – fees are waived for felines 8 years and up, humans 60 years and up.)

Tracy said they kicked off their 30th Anniversary year-long celebration on January 1 with an open house complete with light fare and a nostalgia corner filled with historical shelter pieces. In May, they hosted the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce at their “Business After Hours” to share their mission. On Aug. 14th, they’re hosting an exciting 30th event, “Bark + Brew in the Barn,” which will be held at Harmony Hill Farm, 1140 North Pond Road in Warren.

There will be a 30th spin on their 12th Annual “Eat for Pete’s Sake” on September 19. PMHSKC supporters and restaurant patrons dine out at participating local restaurants – those restaurants graciously donate back a portion of the day’s sales. And in lieu of their “Whisker Walk,” they’re hoping to have a special “Canine Carnival” at the end of September – details will be posted on their website.

PMHSKC has much to celebrate including their countless innovative programs such as the Spay Neuter Assistance Voucher Program, Humane Education and the Slumber Party, a foster-to-adopt scenario. “It is a wonderful program all around, for making the right match for everybody,” Tracy said of the adoption program. Everyone involved with PMHSKC should be proud of the accomplishments across three decades and the value they add to the animals and the many communities they support.

For information on their programs, events, shelter hours, adoption, donation, and volunteer info, visit