Downeast Dog News

Rescue of the Month: Kennebec Valley Humane Society

Protecting & Placing Animals in Forever Homes
By Susan Spisak | Mar 01, 2018
Rock - available at KVHS

The Kennebec Valley Humane Society (KVHS) has roots dating back to 1927 when a group of animal lovers established the Augusta Humane Society, the predecessor to KVHS. In 1961, they built a facility on Pet Haven Lane in Augusta--an apt road name for the shelter--and two wings were added in later years, necessary because they also serve as an animal control facility for stray, abandoned, and owner-surrendered animals for over 20 communities.

Jamie MacDonnell, the Development Director for KVHS, said they are committed to the pets in their area. KVHS provides shelter, food, and medical services to local animals in need, and their goal is find them their forever homes. In 2017, they found adopters for over 1500 animals, and 341 of those were dogs. They also reunited 207 stray animals with their owners.

For animals requiring extensive medical care, expensive surgeries, or behavioral therapy, compassionate Society Board Director Christopher D. Walters donated monies to KVHS to establish The Christopher D. Walters Second Chances Fund. MacDonnell said the Second Chances Fund is lifesaving and life-changing for those animals in need and shared that Parker the cat was hit by a car, needed emergency treatment, and thanks to this fund, is alive and well.

KVHS is dedicated to community outreach as well. Their staff makes regular visits to nursing homes, usually with a dog, to cheer residents. They also make school, civic and church group presentations, again with dogs, to educate on the importance of animal respect and welfare, and they encourage educational facility tours.

A few of MacDonnell’s favorite success stories include Dasey-Mae, a Pomeranian who he fostered and adopted. She’s now a healthy 14-year-old, but when she came to KVHS, she was in bad shape. An owner surrender, she was neglected and depressed, had overgrown nails, was hairless from the neck down, and had scabs covering her body. A month on antibiotics and she was on the mend. Now this friendly, playful, and beautiful gal hits most fundraising events with her dad.

Digger, a black Lab/Shepard mix, is also now living the good life. His new dad reported to MacDonnell that “[Digger’s] just a big goofball.” But that took months of work because Digger was surrendered from an abusive household and was scared of humans. With a lot of patience and trust on the part of shelter staff and volunteers, Digger’s a happy boy today.

If you’re interested in adopting a dog, know that all their dogs are spayed/neutered, have shots, are dewormed, and receive a free health exam with a participating veterinarian of your choice. Visit for their adoption policies, as well as general info on KVHS.

As their Development Director, MacDonnell invites the public to participate in their 25th Annual Mutt Strut and 5K on May 26th at the Kennebec River Rail Trail. Along with the 5K walk and run, they’ll have vendors, food, and activities--and it’s a dog friendly event, too. Please contact him at with questions.