'Meow Madness': Cumberland animal shelter launches online auction

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CUMBERLAND — The Homeless Animal Rescue Team of Maine, also known as HART, is looking to raise $40,000 this month through its first online auction.

The no-kill, cage-free adoption center kicks off its “Meow Madness” fundraiser Friday, March 17. The auction, which can be accessed via hartofme.com, concludes two weeks later.

People can bid on multiple items, and will be notified when someone bids on those items, similar to eBay, HART volunteer Marcia Carr said in an interview March 9.

Gift certificates to restaurants, stores, spas and hair salons, as well as jewelry, home and garden items, and tickets to concerts, plays and theme parks, are among the auction’s offerings.

“Almost anything you can imagine,” Carr said.

Proceeds from the event, which replaces HART’s annual Litterbox Auction, will go toward sheltering, feeding and providing medical care to more than 120 cats and kittens.

“We’ve done (the Litterbox Auction) for so many years and thought it was time for a change, just to switch it up,” Carr explained, noting that the online auction is more cost-effective than having to rent a location for the event, as HART has done in years past.

The nonprofit corporation, based at 302 Range Road, also seeks quality foster homes in which to place the felines. Run by a volunteer staff, HART in 2016 took in 719 and found homes for 693, according to a recent press release.

Auction winners can pick up their items at HART’s “Spring Fling” gathering, which will be held at The Woodfords Club, 179 Woodfords St. in Portland, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 8. Items can also be shipped to those who live out of town.

The Fling will feature educational sessions on acupuncture and first aid for animals, maintaining pet health, and a method called TTouch that addresses pets with undesirable behaviors. The free event also offers refreshments, raffles, items for sale, pet-related vendors, and beer and wine tasting – for which donations are asked – at 3:30 p.m.

Contact Carr at carrmac@twc.com or log onto hartofme.com 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.