By A.M. Sheehan
PARIS — “It frequently rains cats and dogs at Responsible Pet care Shelter,” states the RPC’s newest poster, “But we don’t want it to rain on them!”
The shelter is facing a major repair needed to keep its tenants and new insulation dry – a new roof.
Shirley Boyce, a driving force behind RPC’s success, said without a new roof, the shelter’s new insulation – which has saved it considerable money in heating costs – could be ruined, not to mention the animals themselves could eventually get wet. The current roof is more than 40 years old and is leaking onto the new insulation.
In fact, she says, it is critical that the shelter have a new roof installed by the end of fall.
The roof will cost $33,000.
RPC has been awarded a Rural Development Community Facilities grant in the amount of $11,500 and has received $3,680 in private donations for the roof, to date, leaving a balance of $17, 820 that it needs to raise.
RPC is no stranger to raising a large amount of money.
In 2012, it managed to raise approximately $295,000 to purchase its new home for sheltered animals on Lower Swallow Road in Paris. RPC moved to its new quarters in February 2013.
Then came the renovations. Countless volunteer hours and money went into renovating the structure. RPC received a Rural Development Community Facilities grant for $50,000 and a grant for $15,000 from Narraganset Number One Foundation. Renovations were finally completed this year, says Boyce.
In addition to funding for the facility and its maintenance, RPC also gets donations in-kind and of time. A lot of time.
Area veterinarians gives the shelter special rates, private citizens and groups donate supplies and food on a continuous basis and between 25 and 30 volunteers walk dogs, clean crates, help in the office and fundraise on a regularly scheduled basis.
On average, the shelter cares for approximately 450 cats and 250 dogs each year, which is more than 700 local animals being helped. This does not include area people who get help and advice from RPC in order to keep their beloved pet at home.
Cats and dogs come from area Animal Control Officers and strays that people call in.
“Our spay/neuter program has started to show results,” notes Boyce, who says the cat population has been lower this year. The shelter adopts out 25 to 30 cats and about 10-12 dogs, every month to “forever homes.”
The new roof will have a 30-year warranty. Donors to the roof fund can be included on a special plaque on the RPC recognition wall. Donor levels are $1,000-plus, Level 1; $500, Level 2, $250, Level 3 and $150, Level 4.
However, any donation is thankfully welcomed, says Boyce, and all are tax deductible.
Donations payable to Responsible Pet Care with “roof” in the memo may be sent to Responsible Pet Care, P.O. Box 82, Norway, ME 04268.