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Border officers help homeless Valley cats with day of volunteer service

FORT KENT, Maine — Madawaska port of entry U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers went above and beyond their duties when they donated a day of service to help protect homeless St. John Valley cats at the PAWS Valley Cat Haven shelter on Monday, June 17. 

Officers who participated leveled off the driveway and spread crushed rock. They also fixed decking on the porch, installed patio pavers on the entrance to make it more easily accessible for people with disabilities, and cleaned up flower beds.

This marks the second year the officers have participated in an outreach program to perform community service for local non-profit organizations. Last year the officers built a playground for a Hope and Justice Shelter serving victims of domestic violence. 

The Valley Cat Haven in Fort Kent after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers volunteered their time to improve the grounds on Monday, June 17.
(Courtesy of Gary Bouchard)

“We’re not only I guess border patrol agents or officers; we’re human beings,” said CBP Supervisor Louis Desjardins, who spent the day volunteering at PAWS. “We’re here to help.”

The officers brought their own equipment to the volunteer project, including two tractors, hand tools, gardening tools and a compactor. 

PAWS treasurer Jean Cobb said about 10 officers worked for six hours to transform the shelter on that sunny Saturday. 

“It was quite a crew,” Cobb said. “We paid for the materials, but if we had to pay for labor with all that equipment and time it would have been much, much, much more costly so it was very beneficial to us.”

“We’re just extremely grateful we were the lucky recipients of their volunteer project this year,” Cobb added. “The officers really totally transformed the appearance of our building and now we have some very attractive grounds.”  

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