Downeast Dog News

Rescue of the Month: Emma’s Angels Rescue

A Foster-Based, Multi-Mission Organization
By Susan Spisak | May 01, 2019

Cheryl Monkiewicz has been rescuing animals for two decades but officially began her own foster-based non-profit out of North Berwick in July of 2016. She named it Emma’s Angels Rescue in memory of a sweet heartworm positive dog that they rescued from North Carolina.


Cheryl took on the role of president while Molly Anzalone accepted the duties of vice-president. Shortly thereafter, an Emma’s Angels foster and adopter, Laura Kohler, came on board as the secretary. Their mission is to rescue dogs from high-kill southern shelters, and they also take in sick, senior, and owner surrendered animals.


Most of their dogs come from Louisiana now. They partner with groups in the south who pull dogs in danger, vet, foster, and quarantine them--then they’re professionally transported to Maine. She estimates in their almost three years, they’ve saved 150 dogs. “It’s what I do, and I love it.”


Cheryl admits they’re lacking in fosters--they only have a handful--so she refuses to overload the group. She wants the rescues they do take in to understand the positive attention. “We want [the dogs] to decompress, get in a home environment, and feel loved. We spoil them rotten and send them away to their forever homes.”


Their adoption process is unique. “I don’t do applications,” she explains. “We do meet and greets.” Their available dogs are posted on Petfinder and Emma’s Facebook page. Interested parties can contact her and schedule a time to visit her 13-acre homestead and meet the dog in a fenced-in area. “We can always tell,” she laughs. Body language is key--those who crouch down and play with the dog will be a good match. In addition to the meeting, they require personal references, a vet check, and a home visit.


She likes to stay in touch with adopters. And she tells them all that if they’re going on vacation and she has room, she’ll care for their dog. “I hate to see [one-time] shelter dogs boarded.” The pet may have the misconception that they are returning to that awful place. “I do what I can do to help families out.”


In addition to helping animals and families, Emma’s Angels’ volunteers strive to be good citizens for the older folks in their area. This rescue group supplies them with pet food and vet care as needed. They also join others on the second Monday of the month at the North Berwick Community Center to cook and serve lunch for seniors. Cheryl said it’s a lot of fun, and the guests are just asked to also bring a pot luck dish to share or pay $5 for the meal.


Watch their Facebook page for info on June’s Motorcycle Run to benefit the rescue. Fosters are needed and donations are always welcome--especially for dog food. Message Cheryl on their Facebook page for brand details and where it can be dropped (