Downeast Dog News

Rescue of the Month: Greater Androscoggin Humane Society

“Providing the Best Care for Stray, Abandoned & Abused Animals”
By Susan Spisak | Mar 01, 2017

“Our dogs come primarily from local sources, people who can’t care for them anymore, strays or abandoned animals, and those transferred from other shelters. We also help the state with their seizure program,” said Zachary Black, Manager of Operations for the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society (GAHS), formerly the Lewiston-Auburn SPCA, which was founded in 1885. They recently celebrated a decade at their new Lewiston facility; they’re proud of what they’ve accomplished, what they offer local communities, and that their efforts make a difference.

Their adoption program is their largest program, and last year alone over 4,000 pets - dogs, cats, small pets, and birds - found a new spot to call home. GAHS provides adoption counseling and screens responsible applicants to make the best match. The shelter is a “no-kill” facility, meaning they save the life of all pets, unless they’re extremely sick or pose a threat to the community. And there’s no time limit on their stay; their goal is to find that perfect adopter for each animal.

Because of their all-important foster program – with over a 100 generous foster homes that care for 800 to1,000 animals per year – they can reach out and help overcrowded shelters across the state and country, taking in more dogs in need. They also open their doors - and hearts - to animals in dire situations after disasters. “We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without [the fosters].”

He cited the “Ohio Twenty” that came to them last summer; they were part of a large group of abused and neglected dogs that the Humane Society of the United States seized from an Ohio property. Zachary said many of the dogs and pups weren’t socialized to the point of almost being feral, but with lots of attention, love, and basic training in their foster homes, all have been adopted. “That was a big thing to take on,” he said adding, “It was fun to see the dogs turn around.”

They’re expanding their community outreach efforts with their “Keeping Pets & People Together” program. By helping pet owners in need, they’re keeping animals out of shelters and with their families. They had outreach test trials in the community and handed out countless spay/neuter vouchers and distributed pet food and supplies to needy families. They also provided educational resources on behavior and medical issues. Their efforts in this arena are only beginning.

For info on all of their programs, to download an adoption or volunteer application (they particularly need a.m. kennel cleaners), and to see all their adoptable animals, visit

GAHS is located at 55 Strawberry Ave in Lewiston. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Call them at 207-783-2311.