Downeast Dog News

Rescue of the Month: Passion for Pets Rescue

A Small Group of Like-Minded Folks with Big Hearts
By Susan Spisak | Jul 01, 2018

The popular and heartfelt quote, “Saving one dog won't change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will be changed forever,” is the mission statement of the non-profit Passion for Pets Rescue (PPR).

I had the pleasure of speaking with Lisa Bouchard, the president of this 501(c) 3 non-profit that serves Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and parts of Canada. Our conversation started with Rosie’s progress, a little brown and white Boston Terrier who was “overbred” by a backyard breeder and then dumped at a vet’s for euthanization in Mississippi. The vet didn’t follow through on the breeder’s request; instead he called PPR’s rescue partner, Alice Gill of Southern Pup in Macon, Mississippi (many of their dogs do come from the south and Southern Pup).

Gill contacted Bouchard, and they committed to taking the sweet gal. Gill had Rosie spayed in the south, and once she was healthy enough, she was transported to Maine. Unfortunately, by the time she arrived, something was amiss (transports can be rough for some dogs). “She was pretty much horizontal…I think she was on the way out,” said Bouchard.

Fast forward several days. She was treated at Androscoggin Animal Hospital in Topsham, and once she was stabilized using broad spectrum antibiotics, she underwent surgery to clean up her “oozing, nasty [spay] incision.” A drain was also input as those interior stitches had torn. “[Dr.] Jon Spelke is my god,” laughed Bouchard. She became serious and added her gratitude towards Dr. Spelke, Dr. Freedman and the staff at Androscoggin Animal Hospital. “They saved her life, absolutely.” And the good news is, she responded well to her wonderful care and was cleared to go into foster a home.

PPR’s been around for five years, and they rescue and rehome an average of 30 puppies and adults a month. That adds up to a lot of dogs who’ve gotten a second chance at a good life in New England and parts north. While PPR has a four member board, the modest Bouchard said while each has a specific role, titles are just titles. “We’re all the boss. We work as a team. We’re all equal and make decisions together, and I think it should be this way.”

They have 20 to 30 fosters who also serve as volunteers in other areas, but they can always use more. As a foster, you supply a loving home environment, and they take care of the veterinary bills and medicine. If you’re planning a vacation, which many folks do in the summer, they can find a respite foster if they’re given enough notice. Know that the foster application process is similar to the adoption process, which will include providing vet and personal references and a home visit.

PPR may have a small board and don’t have hundreds of volunteers (nor an unlimited bank account), but they have spunk and a will to rescue. Bouchard said it best, “You do the best you can…you do your fundraisers, and you move forward and try to save the most you can.”

For more info on PPR, visit