Maggie Maxwell and her two dogs. Contributed / City of South Portland

Maggie Maxwell, the new animal control officer for South Portland and Cape Elizabeth, says education and the prevention of animal cruelty is a big part of her role.

“The only way we will ever change the ways that animals are treated is through education – that’s what I want to be to this community,” Maxwell said, “someone that can help community members with their pets and explain the local ordinances so that they and their pets have the best lives possible, together.”

She originally went to school for international business and marketing, but after graduating she went to work for a veterinarian as a technician then moved into veterinary surgical and dental practices and eventually veterinary emergencies.

“I started my master’s in veterinary forensics in hopes of getting to become a cruelty investigator someday,” she said. “A first step to that includes animal control.”

Maxwell, originally from upstate New York, most recently lived in Vermont with her husband, two dogs and four cats. The Forecaster interviewed Maxell via email this week:

Q: How will you divide your time between South Portland and Cape Elizabeth?


A: I will always try to handle any animal calls that come in from Cape Elizabeth. I spend around an hour and a half every day patrolling in Fort Williams and other Cape spots. The remainder of my time is spent in South Portland.

Q: Will you be involved in enforcing South Portland’s leash ordinance at Willard Beach?

A: Yes, I will be enforcing the rules that are in place on Willard Beach and throughout South Portland and Cape Elizabeth.

Q: What are you most looking forward to in your job?

A: I’m looking forward to working with animals again. I truly want to make a difference. With animals, even the smallest actions can make a difference.

Q: What’s your favorite animal and why?

A: Cats. They all just are so different from each other and really don’t care about anyone else’s agenda. If reincarnation is a thing, I want to come back as a huge, fat, orange indoor cat.

Q: What’s the most memorable encounter you’ve had with an animal?

A: I don’t think I have a most memorable. Recently, I started fostering momma cats and their babies. My most recent foster gave birth to her three kittens while in my care. It was a surreal experience, and then to get to see them from little fur balls that don’t do much turn into full-grown cats was amazing.

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