Downeast Dog News

Rescue of the Month: Animal Rescue of Kennebec

Rescuing & Rehoming Animals into Nurturing Homes
By Susan Spisak | Oct 27, 2017

Amber Creswell, President of the Animal Rescue of Kennebec (ARK), a non-profit founded in 2013 with the mission of rescuing, rehabilitating, and placing orphaned animals in a loving home environment, has two favorite success stories, but she admits she’s biased.

The first is that of Pacino. (Not for actor Al Pacino, even though his nickname is spelled the same. He is from of a litter of pups all given coffee monikers--he’s Cappuccino.) He was found in South Carolina--hiding and fearful of rescuers. He was lured from his spot by another dog and brought to safety. He, like ARK’s other southern dogs, was vetted and fostered there before being professionally transported to Maine. Amber first met the dog at the vet clinic where she was working at the time. (She is a licensed vet tech now employed at The Maine Veterinary Medical Center in Scarborough.)

Told to be careful with the skittish dog, she picked him up and he licked her face. She wanted to adopt him, but her boyfriend, Ben Black, reminded her that they had their own dogs and also quarantined and fostered ARK rescues. Pacino was adopted, but he was returned to the rescue--as it was meant to be. The ARK president at the time, Natalie Patterson, messaged Amber writing, “He’s Back.” As serendipity would have it, Natalie took him to the clinic for vetting and ran into Amber. Pacino, usually reserved, went right to her. Natalie exclaimed, “You are his person.” Natalie and Ben adopted him in 2015.

Her second favorite success story is that of Jake, a Pit Bull also rescued from South Carolina. ARK found him a home, but his adopter decided he was too high energy, so Amber fostered the returned boy. This is where the story gets inspiring and goose-bump worthy. Apparently Jake was the dog used to lure Pacino from his hiding spot in South Carolina. They came to Maine on separate transports, and when they met up at Amber’s, she believes that they remembered each other.

But Jake was very frightened, too. Pacino got busy and showed him the ropes of life in Maine, including how to jump into his foster mom’s SUV. Amber and Ben couldn’t part with Jake, and they adopted him in late 2016. The dogs are best buds, but it’s more than that for Amber. “I like to think that Jake rescued Pacino in the beginning, and Pacino came back and rescued him.”

So it goes in the world of rescue--heartwarming stories to offset the sad ones which is why there are so many great people out there like Amber, the ARK board, and their volunteers. ARK not only rescues dogs from southern states (especially those in high-kill shelters), but they accept Maine relinquishments and rescue local stray cats.

ARK relies on Facebook to cultivate relationships with reliable and trustworthy southern contacts (Amber’s involved, but she credits Natalie with building many connections). Thanks to tagging, sharing, and cross-posting, the need for fosters and southern volunteers “travels very fast and far with Facebook.”

For more info on ARK and to volunteer, donate, or to see all their adoptables, visit