October 1, 2023

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Waterville animal shelter’s director departs after facility closes briefly because of to unwell animals

Chris Mitchell walks Beatrice from an outside kennel to an indoor kennel Monday at the Humane Society Waterville Spot at 100 Webb Road in Waterville. Mitchell is on the animal shelter’s board of directors. Other folks connected to the facility walked canines on a grassy place around the kennels. Abundant Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — The Humane Culture Waterville Area animal shelter has closed temporarily thanks to animal sicknesses, in accordance to officials.

Meantime, some animals have been parsed out to other services, and the govt director is no longer employed by the shelter.

Officials would not say Monday no matter whether Lisa Oakes was fired as government director or remaining of her possess choosing, expressing only she was no lengthier an personnel as of very last Thursday.


The shelter’s board of administrators requested the point out Wednesday to inspect the shelter because of to concerns it was overpopulated with animals and there may be procedural deficiencies, according to Malena Gatti, a member of the board.

Condition Animal Welfare Application officers inspected the facility and confirmed an overpopulation of 200 animals, and those officials have been anxious about sicknesses in some animals, Gatti claimed Monday.

A staff of veterinarians confirmed ringworm and upper respiratory issues in cats and kennel cough in pet dogs, Gatti said, incorporating this kind of sicknesses are “very popular in shelter configurations.”

Animals are staying quarantined and the shelter has been functioning with the Maine Federation of Humane Societies and the Rescue League of Increased Portland to go animals to other web sites, she said.

As of Monday, the variety of animals at the Waterville shelter experienced been decreased to 156, and the purpose was to lower that to fewer than 100 around the following couple of times, in accordance to Gatti.

She explained she did not have data on how lots of of the 200 animals were being ill but said most have been healthful.

“We have been operating diligently about the weekend and about the training course of the 7 days to lover with shelters by way of the Maine Federation to test to get as many animals out of our shelter, so employees can focus on the treatment of animals,” Gatti explained.

Lisa Oakes, the former govt director of the Humane Society Waterville Space, with Bobby, a cat, in February 2019. Michael G. Seamans/Early morning Sentinel file

Gatti verified Oakes is no longer utilized at the shelter, but would not say irrespective of whether she was fired or left on her own accord. She also would not say if Oakes’ exit was connected to the current circumstance at the shelter.

“I’m not at liberty to talk about that, sad to say,” Gatti claimed.

Contacted by telephone Monday afternoon, Oakes claimed she could not remark on the make a difference for confidentiality motives.

“All I can say is I’m heartbroken for the shelter and all the folks who loved the animals,” she stated.

Oakes took more than as govt director of the nonprofit shelter at 100 Webb Highway on Nov. 1, 2018, following serving as interim director. In late August of that yr, Oakes documented the shelter would have to shut inside three months if it did not acquire important contributions.

Money was necessary for operating expenses and repairs to the making, which was about 10 decades outdated at the time. By early December 2018, additional than $100,000 had been elevated towards a goal of $250,000, which was ultimately fulfilled. The contributions enabled the shelter to continue to be open.

The entry to the Humane Society Waterville Place at 100 Webb Highway in Waterville. Loaded Abrahamson/Early morning Sentinel

For the duration of 2018, shelter officials changed procedures and procedures when it went as a result of a transition soon after previous Government Director Lisa Smith resigned in Oct of that year. Her resignation followed an outbreak of feline distemper and the disappearance of two pit bull terriers from the shelter shortly after a court had purchased them euthanized mainly because they had killed a dog and maimed its owner in Winslow.

Afterward, Oakes grew to become the president of the shelter’s board of directors, crammed in as shelter director and then agreed to grow to be government director.

Gatti reported Monday as before long as the shelter’s board turned aware the facility was quite possibly dealing with an overpopulation of animals, it contacted the state. The shelter employees, she claimed, has been doing the job challenging to treatment for the animals.

Gatti explained she was not sure when the shelter will reopen to the public. The quarantine time period is about 90 days, but it is doable it will be significantly less than that, she reported.

The Humane Culture Waterville Location at 100 Webb Street in Waterville. Abundant Abrahamson/Early morning Sentinel

Gatti claimed updates on the shelter’s condition are remaining posted on its Facebook web page.

Shelter officials reported they hope to reopen the facility to the general public as soon as probable. They are operating with shelter companions to assure animals that are in foster treatment get to their appointments to be spayed and neutered, and that as lots of as achievable are sent to long-lasting households.

The condition Animal Welfare Plan, in the Maine Office of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, has designed suggestions to the shelter for enhancing infrastructure and animal care techniques, in accordance to Gatti.

A connect with placed Monday afternoon to Jim Britt, director of communications for the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, went unreturned.

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