Very Good Boys

It was a love of animals that inspired Susan Joseph to found the New England Humane Society in 2013. Since then, Joseph has gathered a group of dedicated workers who share her mission: to rescue animals from euthanasia at overcrowded facilities and to care for abandoned and homeless animals in need until they find their forever homes. The organization has already created a network of foster homes throughout Northern RI, and in September 2020, they will be opening their new shelter in Cumberland. Visitors who arrive here will feel instantly welcomed – Joseph has made certain of that with a large-scale mural that reflects the warmth and spirit of those who work here.

“I was looking for something to add to the facility that would make it our own … I also wanted something that would make people smile and just feel good. That is the theme for our new space,” said Joseph. She had seen The Avenue Concept’s works throughout Providence and loved what they did. When she reached out, her enthusiasm was catching: for their first mural project of the summer, The Avenue Concept asked artist Joanna Vespia to create a mural for the N.E. Humane Society shelter.

How did the COVID-19 restrictions affect operations for Joseph and her crew? “Throughout the pandemic, we have held very steady,” she said. The facility has made modifications to their pickup procedures as well as their meet and greet policies. Joseph was encouraged by the public’s response: “The pandemic has actually boosted the number of people wanting to adopt and foster. Many shelters throughout the country have been emptied for the first time in their history. It’s a silver lining in these otherwise unfortunate times.”

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