AUGUSTA — Being in the doghouse doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.

While it may lack creature comforts such as air conditioning or a king-sized bed, one thing not missing from Robert Haley’s house for the next few days is companionship.

Haley, the former local radio personality Roadhouse Lou, is sharing a kennel for about 76 hours until Thursday morning with Max and Scooby at the Kennebec Valley Humane Society to raise money and awareness for the organization’s second-chances program.

“It’s more like a 3-room suite,” Haley joked while laying on a makeshift bed with sleeping bags and pillows next to one of his two friendly Rottweiler mix kennel mates. “And it’s all for a good cause.”

Haley, a retired Army veteran who has been involved with the shelter for about 30 years and once served as its executive director, said the shelter does such important work that deserves to be recognized. Its funding comes from private donations, so he’s hoping to raise as much money as possible to help provide medical care to animals from the community who desperately need it.

His love of animals started at a young age when he used to ride his family German shepherd as a toddler. He is at home with the dogs and the shelter staff, and the cause is important enough to him to sacrifice being in his own home for a couple of nights.

“It’s a different type of insight when you’ve been in here for three or four days,” he said while talking to a couple interested in adopting an animal.

He said the shelter has changed dramatically since he started three decades ago.

“The biggest change that I’ve seen is the wonderful success of community outreach and education,” he said.

Haley said the spay-and-neuter program has decreased the number of unwanted animals in this community, and the numbers of animals coming into the shelter is considerably fewer.

“We ensure that all the animals leave here spayed or neutered,” he said. “It decreases the unwanted pet population and allows (the staff) to focus more of their resources on getting dogs like Max in fine shape so it can find its forever home.”

The advent of social media and the use of technology has been a big change too, Haley said.

Because people all over the country follow what happens at this shelter, they’re able to reach a lot more people than they could with word of mouth and handmade fliers.

Jason Pafundi can be contacted at 621-5663 or at:

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