IDEXX partners with the Animal Refuge League

An ongoing relationship with lasting results

Two dogs holding a stick in their mouths and playing

In 1911, Maine Governor Percival Baxter funded a small animal shelter in downtown Portland, Maine. Baxter, believing that humanity had an obligation to creatures of the animal kingdom, envisioned a place where homeless, neglected, and abandoned animals could be given a second chance.

Baxter’s commitment to the humane treatment of animals lives on today in the work of the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland (ARLGP). The current facility operates in Westbrook, Maine, and its mission is guided by Baxter’s legacy. Every animal that comes through the doors receives care, shelter, medical treatment, and above all else, dignity and respect. Each year, nearly 4,000 animals find their way to the Animal Refuge League, and each is given the time it needs to find a home, regardless of age or medical condition. The ARLGP team:

  • Places as many animals as possible into responsible, caring homes.
  • Creates awareness and support for the humane treatment of all animals.
  • Strives to end overpopulation through education.
  • Makes any end-of-life decisions after carefully considering the safety and welfare of each individual animal.
  • Prides itself as an open admission facility with a 95% live release rate.

As a community partner and neighbor to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, IDEXX has proudly supported their life-saving work throughout the years. No matter what the ARLGP is doing, from humane education and adoption to community outreach, IDEXX is there to help.

IDEXX employees lend a hand at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland

IDEXX employees lend a hand at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland

Community partnership

IDEXX frequently engages with the ARLGP on animal welfare issues in Maine and across the nation, from assisting with disease tracking and monitoring with an outbreak of canine influenza to returning a lost kitten. In December, IDEXX CEO Jon Ayers played a pivotal role in helping the ARLGP with the return of  Spice, the lost kitten, who arrived in Westbrook, Maine, from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Patsy Murphy, Executive Director of ARLGP, recounts, “With Jon’s help we were able to reunite her with her companion. If he had not stepped in, that story may not have had such a wonderfully happy ending. It was a true sign that the people of IDEXX are what make it such a special place.

Employee volunteering

Since the Global IDEXX Volunteer Efforts (GiVE) program was established in late 2010, nearly 200 employees have spent time volunteering with the ARLGP. IDEXX employees from various departments across the IDEXX World Campus have done work projects at the shelter, including painting, replacing ceiling tiles and doors, and completing exterior repairs and grounds work. In addition, many employees volunteer their time helping the ARLGP do laundry, facility upkeep, and trail work; walk dogs; and socialize with guest felines. Murphy reflects, “Without so many dedicated individuals, we could not save as many lives as we do. Because of IDEXX’s unwavering support, we have a 95% live-release rate.” (Read Andrea Brackett’s story: From Foster to Forever.)

Charitable support

In 2011, in honor of the ARLGP’s 100th Anniversary, IDEXX made a commitment to the organization by entering a multiyear contribution package, which included support for spay/neuter services and advanced veterinary care, testing, diagnostic equipment, and educational outreach programs.

Additionally, since 2010, over 100 animals in the ARLGP care have found new families with Maine IDEXX employees.

Looking ahead

With the support of individuals, foundations and corporations like IDEXX, the ARLGP has positioned itself as a national leader in sheltering. A new state-of-the-art facility is scheduled to break ground this summer. The partnership between IDEXX and the ARLGP will change the face of sheltering in Maine. IDEXX-supported community and education programs will celebrate the bond between people and their pets, honoring the legacy of Governor Baxter and his belief that humanity has an obligation to provide kindness and compassion to all animals.

Each year, nearly 4,000 animals find their way to the Animal Refuge League. Each of them is given the time it needs to find a home, regardless of age or medical condition.