Ready for my Close-Up: Beneficiaries

“Ready for my Close-Up:” Friday, July 12, 6-9 p.m., Sea Dog Brewing Company Banquet Center, 26 Front Street, Bangor.
Just a reminder, this is a people-only event. Please leave your pets at home.

Giving back is important to my business and to being a productive member of society. And when I was planning my Open House, I knew that that needed to be part of the event. Just in case you didn’t get the info before, it’s Friday, July 12, 6-9 p.m., Sea Dog Brewing Company Banquet Center, 26 Front Street, Bangor.

Both of these non-profits make a huge difference to people and pets in the community. Here’s a little bit about each. If you can’t make it to the event, I highly recommend that you visit their websites or facilities.

Bangor Humane Society
Location: 693 Mt Hope Avenue, Bangor, ME 04401
Phone: (207) 942-8902
Website: www.bangorhumane.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BangorHumane

Donation needs: Soft dog toys, Squeaky dog toys, Small animal supplies, Blankets & towels (new or used), Soft dog treats, Hard dog treats, Squeeze cheese, Peanut butter, Office supplies, Dog collars (ie. Lupine collars), Kong toys, Kong fillers, Pressed rawhide chews, Nylabones, Plastic cat toys, Clay cat litter, Kitten milk replacement, Tube socks, 13 gallon & 55 gallon trash bags, Paper towels, Clorox ultra unscented bleach, Brooms/dust pans, Windex, Rubber Gloves, Spices for use in aromatherapy in the kennel (Rosemary, thyme, catnip,sage, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg).

Bangor Humane Society has been matching people and pets since 1869 making it the oldest Humane Society in Maine.

“We operate Maine’s largest animal care and adoption facility, both in terms of the total number of animals handled and geographical area we serve,” Stacey Coventry, marketing manager at Bangor Humane Society said. “The Bangor Humane Society cares for approximately 5,000 owner released and stray animals each year. We serve over 200 communities in Maine, including eastern, coastal, Down East, and parts of northern Maine.

The Bangor Humane Society champions the humane treatment and adoption of companion animals, provides quality care for homeless pets, and promotes animal welfare through education and advocacy.”

They also know the importance of the people/pet bond. If you follow them on Facebook or have visited their website, you’ll notice that they take LOTS of pictures of the animals in their care and the first “family portrait” of adopters from BHS.

Stacey noted that one of the organization’s favorite parts of being a pet-oriented business is “Helping to give animals the second chance they deserve and playing matchmaker to unite human and fur friend companionship.”

On July 12, BHS will have a booth at “Ready for my Close-Up” that will have information on current pets up for adoption, upcoming events (including Paws on Parade in October), and summer pet care tips.

Why did you agree to participate in this event?
To celebrate pet companionship in our lives, network with those in the community who support similar local causes, and to leverage the opportunity to talk with individuals about adoption while providing education on our mission and philosophies.

What is a tip you can offer to help prepare for photographs?
Exercise them before the shoot to help expend extra energy. And, bring lots of treats and squeaky toys to grab their attention and reward the behavior you seek!

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Furry Friends Food Bank (a program of Eastern Area Agency on Aging)

Location: 450 Essex Street, Bangor, Maine 04401
Phone: (207) 941-2865 and toll free: (800) 432-7812
Website: Furry Friends Food Bank
Crucial donation needs: Cash and gift cards, cat litter;
Secondary donation needs: Canned and dry cat food, canned and dry dog food.

I first became acquainted with Furry Friends Food Bank when I worked at the Bangor Daily News and worked on EAAA’s annual report. And quickly, I fell in love with its mission. In 2009, I held my first Holiday Pet Portrait event where part of the session fees went to the FFFB.

Their mission is to help seniors and adults with disabilities feed their pets and keep them at home. FFFB receives donated food from several businesses and from individual donations from the community. These donations are then passed along to seniors and people with disabilities on EAAA’s roster.

“Furry Friends Food Bank is dedicated to preserving the special bond between people and their pets by providing pet food and basic pet care supplies to those in need,” EAAA’s website notes. “FFFB recognizes that the love, support, and companionship pets give is invaluable to mental and physical health. This is especially true for someone who is ill or isolated. By providing this service, EAAA believes that people will be better equipped to continue caring for their pets by easing the physical and financial worry of their companion’s care while ensuring their own good health.”

I have learned from EAAA over the years that people will share their own food with their animals rather than go through the trauma of giving them away for adoption, especially if they can’t afford pet food or are not physically able get out and purchase it.  Furry Friends Food Bank’s mission is to stop this occurrence.

And pets provide these people (and the rest of us too) with social contact, companionship, support, and purpose. Animals have been found to relieve stress, promote health, and provide a coping mechanism for their owners.

The work done by this non-profit is instrumental in keeping pets at home and loved in the Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock, and Washington counties.