Tennis balls are fun and fund emergency pet healthcare

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Action for Animals Maine now has $1,960 more to help provide one-time financial assistance for pet emergency healthcare. The organization received a check from Two Salty Dogs owner Donald Kingsbury on Friday, June 21 at the Boothbay Harbor store.

A devoted pet parent of Labrador retrievers, Kingsbury provides a jar for contributions at the checkout counter and sells recycled tennis balls collected from local tennis clubs, yacht clubs and the YMCA. The tennis balls are sold for $1 each in his store and are offered at the Two Salty Dogs website as “Deb’s Used Tennis Balls.”

Giselle Armstrong, president of Action for Animals Maine, thanked Kingsbury, extending her organization’s “heartfelt gratitude … for his generous donation to our cause. Don’s donation will help us keep pets and their owners together longer, and we thank you!”

Kingsbury’s Two Salty Dogs has donated to the nonprofit for several years and presented a check for just over $1,900 to it in November 2022. “This is our 13th year doing this,” he said, and donations from tennis ball sales were also given to Lincoln County and Midcoast Humane animal shelters. The business also hosted an annual “Mutt Scrub” fundraiser for several years and regularly donates pet food to shelters.

Action for Animals Maine was founded by Armstrong in 2017 after she brought her pet to the veterinary hospital in Portland and saw other pet owners being turned away from medical care because they couldn’t afford the medical bill.

As she explains on the website, “The choices they had were to pay their bill or euthanize their animal. Some started crying. Some walked out. How can anyone choose between money or their animal? One couple told me they had to take a loan out on their house for a $2,000 vet bill.”

Action for Animals Maine has helped 60 Lincoln County pets receive emergency medical treatment that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. The organization has more than 20 local business sponsors and donation boxes are at venues around the area.  

“We rely on the support of our local business sponsors and donors to help us fund emergency veterinarian care for pets whose owners are not able to afford to cover the cost,” Armstrong explained.

Kingsbury and his wife, Liana moved to Pownal from the West Coast in 2008. He was a geotechnical engineer working on hydroelectric dams and was traveling all over the U.S. and Liana was an accountant. The couple couldn’t have dogs before their move because of their workloads. As Don explained, the two visited Boothbay Harbor in 2011 looking for a treat for their dogs and noticed so many people walking dogs that they thought there was a market for a pet store.

Two Salty Dogs opened in 2012 and won Downeast Dog News Best Pet Store in Maine for eight years in a row. Readers of Down East Magazine agreed, making it a finalist for several years and giving it the nod for Best Pet Store in Maine in 2021.

Action for Animals Maine is currently the only organization providing assistance for pet health emergencies in Lincoln County, according to board member Faye McNall. Fundraising events are scheduled throughout the year and donations are always welcome. For more information or to donate, visit

 

 

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