Cumberland animal shelter to hold fundraising cruise

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CUMBERLAND — The Homeless Animal Rescue Team, an adoption center and no-kill shelter for kittens and cats, will hold a fundraising harbor cruise on Saturday, Sept. 10.

The Casco Bay Lines cruise will run from 7-10 p.m. and embark from the ferry terminal on Commercial Street in Portland. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased on the shelter’s website, hartofme.com, or by e-mailing HART shelter volunteer Jackie Broaddus at: catlova73@aol.com.

“The Harbor Cruise for HART will be a fun event with great music, door prizes, and a cash bar,” said Marcia Carr, another volunteer. “HART is looking for fun, new ways to raise money for the all-volunteer, no-kill cat shelter. What could be better than spending a fun evening out on beautiful Casco Bay with friends, while at the same time helping the cats and kittens that HART takes such good care of?”

The cruise comes at a time when the nonprofit shelter is at peak capacity. This spring it had to turn cats away. It tries to keep its feline population at 125, and the number had grown to 130.

Sarah McNamara, HART president, said that the economy has dissuaded people from adopting, while surrenders have increased.

“The economy continues to have an impact on the ability of people to care for their pets,” McNamara said. “So many people need to surrender their pets because they are losing their homes or apartments, and also many that cannot afford to spay or neuter their cats, resulting in an overabundance of kittens and strays.

“Also, the aging population transitioning into assisted living or passing away is creating more of a community need for shelter assistance,” she said. “A fundraising event like this is very important as it helps pay for increasingly large veterinary costs and ongoing expenses like food and litter.”

As an incentive to boost adoption rates, HART is discounting the adoption fee for adult cats to $50 through September.

The shelter, a cage-free, open environment, is at the corner of Route 100 and Range Road in Cumberland. All of its cats are tested, vaccinated, and neutered or spayed. Log onto hartofme.com or call 829-4116 for more information.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.