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An owner seeking to admit their pet to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland (ARLGP) is required to schedule an appointment for an intake session with a trained ARLGP team member. This intake session is designed to help the owner make an informed decision that best meets the needs of the family and the pet. It allows the ARLGP to gather information about the pet that will be used to best set the pet up for success while in the shelter and to inform our adoption counselors on how to best advocate for the pet when speaking to prospective adopters.

We accept pets for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, destructive or aggressive behavior, an inability to be housetrained, health issues, or because the animal does not get along with children or other pets.

PLEASE NOTE: Admissions must be scheduled.

To make an intake appointment, please call our ARLGP intake coordinators at (207) 517-3946. We will discuss the needs of your pet and collect information that will assist with easing the transition of your pet into our care. Please be prepared to provide veterinary records.


Q: I can no longer keep my pet. Will the ARLGP accept him/her?
A: Yes, provided you are from one of the ARLGP’s contracted towns (see below). Animals are accepted by appointment only. To make an intake appointment, please call our ARLGP intake coordinators (207) 517-3946.

Q: What are the towns the ARLGP contracts with?
A: We contract with Buxton, Cape Elizabeth, Casco, Chebeague Island, Gorham, Gray, Hollis, Long Island, Portland, Raymond, Scarborough, South Portland, Standish, Westbrook, and Windham. If you live outside of our contracting towns, you may find your town’s contracted shelter by visiting the State of Maine Animal Welfare website.

Q: Is there a fee to admit an animal?
A: Yes. Fees will be discussed during your initial conversation with the ARLGP. Fees vary based on species and behavioral/medical condition. If admission fees are a barrier in bringing your pet to us, we will work to reduce/waive fees in the best interest of the animal’s wellbeing.

Q: Why do I have to schedule an admission before bringing in my animal?
A: Scheduled admissions give our team time to better prepare for your animal’s arrival. Unscheduled admissions take additional time and resources, which impacts the timeline of animals in our care, as well as the schedule of our team members who care for them. To schedule an admissions appointment, please call us at (207) 517-3946. There is an additional fee for unscheduled admissions.

Q: Why does the ARLGP charge an admissions fee?
A: Admission fees help us to cover the cost of veterinary services (vaccines, surgeries, preventatives), as well as food and shelter for animals in our care. While at our shelter your pet’s health and behavior are continually monitored by our trained and dedicated staff. While your admission fee helps offset the cost of care for your pet, it does not cover the pet’s total cost of care while in our shelter.

Q: Doesn’t the ARLGP get my tax dollars to accept unwanted animals?
A: No. The ARLGP is a private nonprofit organization that receives NO tax dollars or funding from the government, the United Way or “national” animal protection organizations like the ASPCA, Best Friends or HSUS. Your local animal control agency is the mandated authority funded by your tax dollars that enforce animal control laws.

Q: Can you guarantee that my pet will be adopted?
A: No. We are a high-adoption, open-admission facility with a goal of placing as many animals as possible into loving homes. There is no time limit on an animal’s stay in our care and we do not discriminate based on breed, age, color, or for space. We do everything we can to ensure each animal has the opportunity for a new beginning, and provide them with the care, treatment, and time they require before they find their new family. Euthanasia is performed when it is the only alternative to end an animal’s suffering due to terminal illness, severe injury, mental deterioration, or when the animal poses a safety concern for other animals or humans.

Q: Will I be charged a fee if I choose to take my pet home?
A: No. If during your intake session you choose to take your pet home, you will not be charged an admission fee.

Q: What if I change my mind and want my pet back?
A: The adoptability and disposition of your pet will be discussed in detail at your intake session. If you leave your pet with us you will sign a contract relinquishing ownership and all rights to that animal. There is no remorse period and we will not contact you regarding final disposition.

Q: Will the ARLGP accept my stray animal?
A: Yes, provided the animal was found in one of the contracted towns we are responsible for. There is no admission fee for stray animals. Scheduled appointments are not required for strays, but they are preferred. You may call us at (207) 517-3946.

Q: What if the animal has been in my possession for more than 14 days?
A: If you have been confining and caring for an animal for 14 days or more on your property, we consider that animal to be your property and not a stray. Please admit him/her as an “owned” animal through our admissions program so that he/she can be evaluated and, if found to be healthy, immediately placed into our adoptions program if possible.

Q: How do I find my local animal control officer?
A: You may look up your ACO and contracting shelter here, or give your local police department or town hall a call.

Q: Is my admissions fee tax-deductible?
A: No, because you are receiving a service in exchange for your fee. However, a donation over and above the standard admissions fee IS tax-deductible and deeply appreciated and will help us continue to provide the highest level of care to pets dependent on our organization.


  • Buxton: (207) 929-5151
  • Cape Elizabeth: (207) 767-3323
  • Casco: (207) 893-2810
  • Chebeague Island: (203) 675-3984
  • Gray: (207) 893-2810
  • Gorham: (207) 839-5581
  • Hollis: (207) 838-8731
  • Long Island: (207) 766-5820
  • Portland: (207) 233-1151
  • South Portland: (207) 799-5511
  • Raymond: (800) 501-1111
  • Scarborough: (207) 883-6361
  • Standish: (207) 893-2810
  • Westbrook: (207) 854-0644
  • Windham: (207) 892-2525

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