AWS is an Open-Admission Shelter
Each year, The Animal Welfare Society receives and cares for almost 4,000 homeless animals. Each of these animals is provided with loving and humane care. Proper housing, a healthy diet, veterinary care, grooming, obedience, socialization and kindness are all part of the care each animal receives.
Animals come to the shelter in a variety of ways:
Shelter Contracts and Stray Animals:
The shelter contracts with 21 different towns and cities to accept their stray or abandoned animals. Animal Control Officers have 24 hour access to the shelter. Strays are held for a state mandated holding period of 6 days and every effort is made to reunite the animal with it's owner. Reports of lost and found animals are kept on file. If a stray animal's owner is not found or the animal is not claimed by its owner, every effort is made to place the animal in a new home.
Stray cats are held for a state mandated period of 24 hours. Stray dogs are held for 6 days, as ordered by state law and on the 7th day, they become propery of the AWS. This holding period allows us to gauge health and temperament, and also gives the animals a chance to relax and get used to the unfamiliar surroundings. Owners who have lost their pet should always contact their local shelter first to see if their animal is there.
The Animal Welfare Society DOES NOT accept wild birds or other wildlife. Please contact the Center for Wildlife in York, ME for assistance. Contact information: http://www.yorkcenterforwildlife.org/ or by phone at (207) 361-1400
We contract with the following towns to provide shelter services to stray and owner-surrendered animals from those towns. If your town is not on this list, call your town hall to see who your town is contracted with.
Acton, Alfred, Arundel, Biddeford, Dayton, Hollis, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Lebanon, Limerick, Limington, Lyman, Newfield, North Berwick, Ogunquit, Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Sanford-Springvale, Shapleigh, Waterboro and Wells.
The shelter accepts any domestic and some exotic animals that an owner can no longer care for, as long as the owner resides in one of our 20 contract towns. We are unable to accept large livestock animals.
The shelter works closely with state humane officials from the Animal Welfare Program and local animal control officers to provide housing and veterinary care for animals confiscated due to neglect or abuse. The staff actively assists these officers by providing care for the animals and sworn testimony on the animal's condition in court if necessary.
If you need to give up your animal or have an animal that you have found, please contact us at (207) 985-3244 for specific details.