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Stacey Coventry

Bangor Humane Society Goes Social

Stacey Coventry, public relations manager for The Bangor Humane Society, poses with Anna, a resident pitbull.

Cue Sarah McLachlan and add in some big-eyed, adorable furry friends. Yes, most of you know which advertisement I am referring to and we all know how hard it can be to either; a. change the channel even though you desperately want to; or b. to change the channel fast enough because it makes us sad just to think about those fuzzy little fluff balls.

This week’s Monday Maine Maven, Stacey Coventry, can relate as the public relations manager for the Bangor Humane Society (BHS). She has always had an affinity for animals and two years ago she found her very own big-eyed, furry calling in an advertisement for an event and volunteer coordinator. She applied, and with her experience in journalism, sociology and nonprofit management, she was hired.

Coventry credits her previous experience and skills, coupled with her drive to meet the needs of the Bangor Humane Society, for her current role as the public relations manager. Her responsibilities include managing a Facebook page and website, writing and distributing press releases and newsletters, and educating the public on pet adoption.

When it comes to social media, Coventry says you should post daily about anything that might interest your audience adding, “We found people want to be in the ‘BHS adoption loop’ and we find the more we involve and communicate with them, both online and through our newsletter, about our success stories and how we are utilizing resources, the more support we receive.” She goes on to tell stories of how they have been in desperate need for supplies and after a post on Facebook the supplies were on their doorstep by the end of the day.

Stacey and two of her very own rescues, Nala (L) and Koda (R).

Another program that Coventry says contributed to the growing resources of the Bangor Humane Society was their partnership with the ASPCA Rachel Ray $100K Challenge. The contest was between 50 shelters across the country competing to break their own records in rescuing more dogs, cats, puppies and kittens between August and October than the previous year. Although they didn’t win the competition Coventry says, “Our adoptions continue to be up by 25% post-challenge and I receive 20 volunteer applications a week versus the 20 to 30 I used to receive in a month.”

The $100K challenge has inspired Stacey to start similar programs on a local level to increase awareness and adoptions for the Bangor Humane Society. They have a special ongoing adoption program for seniors 65+ and veterans, in which all adult dogs and cats are 50% off with a valid ID. Also, throughout the month of February, they will be running a Valentine’s promotion. All adult cats are $25 and adult dogs are between 10% and 50% off, depending on what Valentine card is on their kennel. Check out the video below to see some of the available dogs:

For those of you that are debating whether to adopt or buy from a breeder, Stacey says to consider that there are six to eight million abandoned and homeless pets brought into shelters each year and that they aren’t bad pets; they are victims of unfortunate circumstances. Coventry says, “I have two dogs and a cat that I rescued and I swear they know they’ve been rescued! They are the most loyal companions.”  Coventry adds that the benefits go beyond connection. Shelter pets are all vaccinated, behavior evaluated and spayed/neutered—not to mention that all money spent to adopt your new best friend goes toward rescuing another homeless pet. Coventry says, “Visit your local shelter and see which furry face adopts YOU—you won’t regret it.”

If you aren’t ready to adopt, but would still like to get involved you may mail your donation to:

693 Mt. Hope Avenue
Bangor, Maine 04401

Or you may donate by going online to www.bangorhumane.org , where you can also enroll in their kennel sponsor program or review the shelter wish list. To contact Stacey, you can email her at Stacey@bangorhumane.org or call her at 207-947-8902, ext. 103.