AUGUSTA — The speed-dating tent had a few signs over prospective suitors:

Balsamic was “Goofy, happy, busy.”

Ileana was “Energetic, busy, bouncy, playful.”

“Chimes in with barking” should have been there too, particularly when Buster initiated a loud round after spotting Shark, a black Newfoundland, and tugged repeatedly on his leash, demanding a closer look as Kathy Shaw kept hold.

All the dogs were on brightly colored leashes and most were being walked and petted by volunteers.

There were even discounts offered for adoptions of cats and kittens.

“We want to get as many out into good homes as we can,” said Ali Balcer, senior animal care technician.

The aim was to make room for the animals that are scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks. The shelter on Pet Haven Lane had 15 dogs and more than 100 cats and kittens at the beginning of the day.

There was some success.

By the end of the day, three dogs and 11 cats and kittens were adopted.

Balsamic, a year-old hound/pointer mix, held a strong appeal for Ralph Rollins, of Augusta, who had been without a dog since his black Labrador died about three years ago.

However, a few other people seemed to take to Balsamic, who “loves to follow his nose and have snuggle time” and “needs a home without cats.”

Ileana, a deaf dog needing an owner to take special care, went home Saturday with a Hallowell woman. The match was made on a previous visit when the dog almost immediately lay down on the woman’s feet.

Andrea Orne, an animal care technician and adoption counselor, said the adopters go through a screening process to make sure they and the animals — especially the canines — are a good fit.

Cats are easier to place, she said. “A lot more rents are cat-friendly.

Mary Kosloski, of Waterville, carefully cradled a cardboard carrier holding her new companion cat, Skeeter.

“I came and met her last week,” Kosloski said. “She was just precious and now I’m taking her home.”

Skeeter, a black, short-haired tabby, might even get a new moniker — Marsha.

She was the last feline to be adopted from a batch of five adult female cats and 16 kittens abandoned outside the shelter after hours on May 17. Contained in five diaper boxes, the animals were accompanied by a note saying they had been living under a family’s porch.

“Our job is to take care of the animals that come through our door,” Balcer said, adding that the better method is to call the shelter and arrange to have the animals go through the regular intake process.

The shelter also takes in strays and animals brought in by animal control officers from 21 surrounding communities.

Matthew Curtis, of Readfield, was handing over cash to ransom Kohl, a long-haired black dog that would have been more appropriately named Houdini.

“He’ll find any way to sneak out,” Curtis said. “He can jump. He goes through screens. Usually I can catch him.

Kohl still had a carabiner latched to his collar from the latest attempt to keep him home.

“He’s a kind animal, but he’s not kind to my wallet,” Curtis said, as shelter workers petted their frequent guest on his way home.

More information about the shelter, which handles 3,000 animals a year, is available its website at

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