Downeast Dog News

Rescue of the Month: Almost Home Rescue

Helping Southern and Local Dogs find their forever homes
By Susan Spisak | Jul 01, 2017

Their first mission was in April of 2005, when Chris Hanson, founder and then director of Almost Home Rescue (AHR), and her friend and dedicated volunteer, Amy Harmon, traveled to Arkansas in a minivan to save pups and dogs – including a sweet pregnant momma. This began their venture into the world of rescue.

Chris wrote her impression of the challenges these dogs face:

“In many of our rescue cases, their journey began months or years ago. Many had been abandoned by their owners at a kill shelter because no one wanted to put the time into housetraining or buy toys so they wouldn’t chew or obedience train to teach manners. It wasn’t their fault they were puppies, but they were left to die anyway.

Many others just lost their way home and lived as strays; owners long ago gave up trying to find them, or they didn’t want to pay the fee to get them back.

So many others have just never been wanted or loved.

They are all hoping to be one of the lucky ones that get to come to Maine to find their forever homes.”

That was a dozen years ago. They now use a professional transport service and mostly pull dogs from Arkansas and Mississippi - or local rescue situations as needed. And while there are many new volunteers and faces on their board, AHR’s sentiment is the same – to rescue as many dogs as they can and get them to the safety of foster homes, then offer them serenity in adoptive, loving New England homes.

When I had the opportunity to catch up with AHR’s Vice President, Karen C. Lombardi, she said that she and President Adele Jones are very proud to lead AHR’s day to day operations. She added that she’s fostered over 80 dogs for the group since adopting her first dog from them in 2008, and they can always use more foster homes.

Why? Dedicated fosters are key to AHR. The more fosters, the more dogs they can transport to New England, moving them out of harm’s way. Consider fostering because it can be a life changing experience for you and that dog. Most of AHR’s rescues were close to euthanization, and by opening your home and heart to them, you’re helping them to trust and love again, and you’re affording them the opportunity of finding a forever home. Highly satisfying volunteer work!

AHR checks vet references, requires a landlord reference and approval if applicable, and performs home visits. They want adopters to understand what owning a rescue dog means and what their various needs are. Karen added, “We also adopt for life, meaning if for any reason you can't keep your pet, it must be returned to AHR.”

AHR is an all-volunteer 501(c) (3) non-profit rescue and is a Maine and New Hampshire Permitted Dog Importer. For information on fostering and volunteering and to see all their adoptables, visit Send monetary donations to their mailing address at Almost Home Rescue, P.O. Box 9421 #377, South Portland, ME, 04116-9421.