July 29th

As of this afternoon, the Humane Society Waterville Area is currently under quarantine. We are working with the Animal Welfare Program of the Maine Dept of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the Maine Federation of Humane Societies, and our staff at this time. We appreciate your patience as we work through this quarantine period to adequately address care for our animals.

We are suspending our transport program to allow us to focus on the pets currently in our care. If you are an active foster home with an HSWA animal, a member of our team will be in contact with you.

Please direct all inquiries to the Board of Directors at bod@hswa.org.

July 31st

In an effort to keep our community informed, we’d like to share further information about our quarantine status that has now been made available to us. With the help of our shelter partners, we were able to medically triage the animals at our facility. We are currently experiencing an outbreak of ringworm and upper respiratory infection in our cat population, and kennel cough in our dog population. While these illnesses are commonly seen in shelter settings, we are seeing higher case counts due to the current size of our animal population.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely. We are working diligently with our shelter partners to address these health concerns by lowering the animal population in our facility. We are incredibly grateful to the Maine Federation of Humane Societies for their help in facilitating the safe transfer of animals to other facilities around the state. Over the course of the past two days, we have successfully lowered our in-house cat and dog population from approximately 200 to 156, and will continue to work toward lowering this number.

We appreciate our community’s patience throughout this process, and will continue to provide updates as we have them.

For any recently adopted animals or fosters who might be experiencing symptoms of any of the diagnoses listed above, we are currently working on a solution, and ask that you please reach out to us via email at bod@hswa.org with contact information, details about your foster, and any specific symptoms you are noticing. We are receiving many inquiries at this time and will be in touch as soon as possible with further instruction. We appreciate your patience.

If your recently adopted animal is not exhibiting any symptoms, we don’t believe there is reason for concern. However, as per our typical protocol, we advise all new pet parents to establish a health record with their veterinarian of choice.

For any foster volunteers who need to bring their foster animal to the shelter or have an appointment for a booster, follow up, etc., please reach out to the contact on your foster contract for further instruction.

As a reminder, HSWA will remain closed to the public throughout our quarantine period. We will also be postponing all HSWA events until further notice. Our main focus right now is addressing the care of our animals.

Once again, we appreciate your patience and continued support as we work through this. We will provide our community with further updates as they become available.

August 2nd

Over the course of the weekend, our staff has worked diligently in a joint effort with our shelter partners to bring the in-house animal population at HSWA down from approx. 200 to 145. Our goal is to get that number down to 90. This effort is largely due to the hard work and dedication of our staff, and their ability to adapt and facilitate such a fluid collaboration with our partners.

Some numbers we’d like to share with our community in the spirit of transparency:

Of all the animals currently in-house, 20% of them are undergoing medical treatment for outbreak-related illness.

  • 21 cats are undergoing treatment for ringworm
  • 5 cats are undergoing treatment for upper respiratory infection
  • 4 dogs are undergoing treatment for kennel cough

As we continue to focus on lowering our in-house population and bringing the animals in our care back into good health, we are also now beginning to focus on correcting any operational deficiencies brought to our attention by the Animal Welfare Program. We look to the task ahead of bringing the shelter into tip-top shape with enthusiasm! We will continue to share updates as we have them.

As a reminder, we are currently working toward a solution for any foster families with scheduled spay/neuter operations, booster shots, etc., as well as any foster families/recent adoptions exhibiting symptoms potentially associated with our outbreaks. We will provide further instruction as soon as we have it.

We have immense appreciation for the support we’ve received from our community, and we graciously ask for your continued patience as we navigate this continually-evolving situation.

The Board of Directors is in the process of transitioning the senior management at HSWA and reviewing all policies and procedures to improve our operational standards and minimize the risk of any future outbreaks.