Downeast Dog News

Rescue of the Month: Midcoast Humane

A New Facility to Better Care for Animals
By Susan Spisak | Apr 01, 2022

I called Jess Townsend, the Executive Director of Midcoast Humane at our agreed upon time, and it went to voicemail. I left a message and Jess called me back with apologies. Apparently one of two just-relinquished 125 lb. Great Pyrenees mixes wasn’t cooperating with staffers. The 9-month-old wanted to be with his sibling – he laid down and wasn’t budging. “It was an interesting experience,” she laughed and added, “That’s the way Saturday goes around here.” Once they were able to safely usher him into the kennel area, she reached out to a rescue hoping to place the duo with them – she knew they’d thrive in a foster home.

She was excited to share that the board voted her as Executive Director in January. Having served as the Interim Director since last October, she was thrilled with the appointment. She explained that she’d been in animal sheltering for 14 years and then took time off for graduate school and to reflect on her career, a proverbial “gut check.” Turns out, Jess discovered she’s in the right field. “It’s the only thing I want to do.”

The big news at Midcoast Humane is that they have a new building almost completed on Industrial Parkway in Brunswick. Once a call center, they gutted and retrofitted it to be wonderfully comfortable for their animals, the public, and user friendly for the staff. “It’s such a dream,” she said of having new digs for their pets. It’s close to their current facility on Range Rd. which will be sold once they move later this year. “Bless her, she’s done her services and deserves to be retired,” Jess chuckled about the ‘50’s building that’s been their home. Their Edgecomb facility will continue to be utilized, as Midcoast Humane serves 40 towns.

“Sheltering is so different now. We have very different ideas and programs,” Jess said. This building will facilitate their goals and mission of caring for stray and surrendered animals along the Midcoast. (They also take pets as space allows from partners in GA, MS, and FL.) The shelter will have a large community room for training classes and children’ s animal welfare education. There’s a vet clinic that will not only serve their animals but those in the community for spay/neuter and vaccines. Once they’re up and running, Jess said “dog browsing” aka meet and greets will open. (Currently, dog browsing is appointment only.)

Their biggest need is for adult dog fosters. A kennel environment can stress older canines, especially if they’re owner surrenders and used to a home. For info and to download the application, Donations to their capital campaign are appreciated – they’re in the last phase of purchasing necessities. Volunteers are welcomed, including groups and those with mandated community service requirements. Support them by purchasing items at Shop their Creature Comforts Thrift Shop at 153 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor. For all info on adoptable dogs, campus addresses, hours, and phone, visit