The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society (formerly known as the Lewiston-Auburn SPCA) was incorporated as a nonprofit volunteer organization on February 25th 1885. Our first President was the Honorable Nelson M. Dingley, Jr., a former Governor of Maine, U.S. Congressman and founder of our local paper, the Lewiston Daily Journal (now known as the Sun Journal).
The Society’s original mission was to protect work horses and children from abuse. Volunteers carried on this mission until 1912 when they first decided to create a “home” for stray animals. Sadly, there was not enough money to buy the land needed for the Shelter so they continued to function primarily as an advocate for animal rights and welfare, housing animals in need at volunteers’ homes and boarding facilities.
A lot has changed since then, but what hasn’t changed is our commitment to the humane care of animals.
In the early 1970’s, the Humane Society received a generous donation from a caring individual, which encouraged the Board of Directors to organize a fundraising committee, purchase land and in 1972 our first shelter was built in Auburn, ME. This building was then considered “state of the art,” intended to accommodate just over 1,000 animals per year, and was operated by volunteers and part-time employees.
The GAHS enriches lives; supporting and engaging the community by providing effective, accessible and innovative services and advocacy for animals.
Through the years, the numbers of animals in need continued to grow and the shelter itself also grew through a number of renovations until 1998. That summer, it was announced that the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society had begun to search for land to build a new facility that could accommodate the more than 3,500 animals in need each year and one that could grow with the needs of the community. In 2000, the land on Strawberry Avenue was purchased and following 6 long years of fundraising efforts, construction began on the new facility in April 2006. Then, on January 25th 2007, 26 cats, 10 dogs, 4 rabbits, 6 guinea pigs, 3 gerbils and 2 rats made the trip from the old shelter in Auburn to the new, current facility in Lewiston. Today, we still assist over 3,500 animals a year and continue to grow and change to best address the needs of the animals and our community.
Our Core Values
Respect, Positivity, Innovation, Teamwork, and Adaptability
Today, over 130 years later, with the help of many extremely dedicated individuals, we continue to work toward a more humane community. We invite you to join us!
The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(C)(3) charitable organization. We are supported primarily by the donations received from our kind friends and concerned citizens.