2017-09-14 / Editorial

At Dyer, pet food exchanged for fines

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By Leslie Rounds

Imagine a facility that dishes up about 3,080 meals a month to those who are in the most dire need of good nutrition. Imagine that same facility providing safe, warm overnight accommodations for all those hungry beings. Now (not to stretch this tooooo far) imagine that that same place manages to find new, forever homes for more than 4,000 in need every year. By this time, I know that you’ve said, “Aha! She’s talking about the Animal Welfare Society in West Kennebunk,” a no-kill shelter that has handled so many dogs and cats and puppies and kittens, but also a pig, a goat and an opossum (!) in the past few years. And how does that worthy nonprofit relate to Dyer Library?

Every now and then, in an effort to get returned some of the most overdue books, we have some kind of library fines holiday. Although we hate to part with the revenue the fines might have generated, we know that the value of the missing books far exceeds the help the fines provide to our bottom line. Through Saturday, Sept. 23, we will forgive your fines if you will bring us supplies for Animal Welfare Society.

What should you bring? AWS needs all kinds of pet supplies from puppy pads to warm towels, from Nylabones and rawhide chews and kitty toys to peanut butter and paper towels. But what they need MOST is dog and cat food. Because many of the pets have trouble with constantly changing diets (leading to the need for paper towels) the preferred brand for dogs is Purina One. But they will happily take canned cat and dog food and any other good quality brand of dry food. Please be as generous as you can.

The last time we did this, our library visitors (many of whom were not donating to pay off fines), contributed 208 pounds of food and supplies. The dog food alone was enough to feed an average of 42 dogs (the usual population of dogs in the shelter) twice a day for just over four days, which meant that for those four days, the shelter funds could be spent elsewhere.

Right now, AWS is likely to be completely full for the coming future as shelters across the country move their animals to the north, freeing up space in southern shelters for the myriad pets that Hurricane Harvey has left homeless. AWS – just like the Dyer Library – is totally dependent on the kindness of donors. Please remember that even small donations add up and truly make a difference. Thank you for all of your support, for us at the Dyer Library and Saco Museum, for the animals awaiting adoption at AWS and at all the nonprofits here in Maine that deeply appreciate your help. Come in, return your overdue books (that we so deeply miss), clear your fines and clear your conscience.

Leslie Rounds is executive director of Dyer Library/Saco Museum.

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