"We don't need it anymore": Animal shelter removes incinerator

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The Bangor Humane Society has started work on a year-long renovation project.

The facility will have a new entrance and lobby, separated areas for cats and dogs, and a variety of other improvements.

The first phase of the project is the removal of the shelter's incinerator.

Executive Director, Suzan Prendergast says its removal is a symbol of hope, and they'll be glad to have it gone.

"20 to 30 years ago, animal welfare was dramatically different. Facilities really housed animals, adopted what you could, and the rest were euthanized. And so that incinerator used to run every day. And over the years we've really worked on increasing our adoptions, decreasing our euthanasia rate, we're now less than five percent. Which ten years ago, twenty years ago, it was more like 50 percent. We don't need it."

Staff say the space will be re-purposed as a place of new beginnings - an intake area for rescued dogs from overcrowded shelters elsewhere in the country.