KENNEBUNK — In accordance with its lifesaving mission, the Animal Welfare Society has partnered with the Animal Rescue Front to rescue pets from animal shelters impacted by Hurricane Ida. The animals – totaling 17 dogs and 22 cats – arrived at AWS after traveling overnight from Hancock County, Mississippi.

“We are pleased to extend our sheltering services to animal welfare groups impacted by Hurricane Ida,” explains Adam Ricci, who oversees AWS’ animal services as director of operations and programs. Ricci explains that in many disaster zones, pets cannot accompany their families to emergency shelters or temporary housing. By transporting pets already up for adoption, impacted animal shelters are freed up to temporarily care for local residents’ pets. “The most important thing to note is that the pets that just arrived at AWS were already in animal shelters prior to Ida and were evacuated as soon as possible so we aren’t taking away someone’s beloved pet. In fact, we are doing the opposite – helping keep pets and their people together, in a time when they need it most.”

Like all animals cared for at AWS, these rescued cats and dogs will receive wellness exams at the Community Veterinary Clinic, and be provided spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations and microchips as needed, before going up for adoption next week. AWS’ Adoption Center, located at 46 Holland Road, continues to be open by appointment only. Anyone looking to adopt a Hurricane Ida pet should visit AWS’ website for more information, including how to make an adoption appointment.

To make an immediate impact, AWS encourages supporters to consider a financial gift. Donations will directly support the care these pets – and all animals at AWS – receive on a daily basis. Gifts can be made online at or by mailing a check to Animal Welfare Society PO Box 43, West Kennebunk, ME 04094.

The Animal Welfare Society, a non-profit organization, exists to provide humane shelter and care to companion animals temporarily in need of housing, to assist in disaster response and to further the cause of responsible animal adoption and ownership through education and public awareness. The society actively promotes kindness, the elimination of cruelty and neglect to all animals, and the lifelong commitment of people to their pets.