Downeast Dog News

Rescue of the Month: Fetching Hope Rescue

Saving Neglected, Abused, And Stray Dogs
By Susan Spisak | Dec 30, 2016


In 2012, April Scott and Amber Olesen co-founded the 501(c)(3) Fetching Hope Rescue (FHR) in Westbrook, Maine. They’d been involved with another rescue and decided to initiate their own, partnering with “sister shelter,” Wynne Friends of Animals in Wynne, Arkansas. “We knew Wynne as we had worked with them when we were with a previous rescue group,” April explains.

Wynne Friends of Animals is very clean, with a dedicated staff, including an onsite vet. “We knew the dogs would be cared for, socialized as much as possible, and healthy before coming to New England.” On one of their initial visits to Wynne under the FHR umbrella, they passed two big box stores and noticed people giving away puppy litters. “We actually took both litters back to the shelter to get vetted. When they were old enough to travel, we brought them to Maine…they were some of the first dogs adopted out through FHR in 2012,” says April.

FHR’s Rescue Program Director & Transport Coordinator, Alissa Laitres, says they pull dogs from Wynne when they have a good foster home match. “We take almost as much time pairing up the dogs with our fosters as we do with adopters. Our goal, when we place the dog with a foster, is that they get adopted fast so that the foster can take in another dog, which opens up a kennel at [Wynne] for a new homeless pup.” This approach is effective—to date they’ve rescued and rehomed 519 dogs.

Alissa outlines the transport process:  “We use P.E.T.S., LLC. They are a stellar transport company founded by Kyle and Pam Peterson from Cookeville, TN. The dogs are picked up on a Thursday morning at a stop in Forrest City, AR, a town close to our sister shelter in Wynne, AR and transported north over a three day span.” The dogs ride safely in the climate controlled trailer, each in their own USDA-approved plastic crate, and they have access to water. The transport team also stops every few hours to check on the dogs and walk them for “potty” breaks.

One of Alissa’s favorite success stories is that of a one-time Wynne Pit bull mix named Pippa. She fostered the very shy, timid dog that needed much attention in the comfort of her home. Pippa began to love and trust humans, and she found her forever home.  “It is possible that she would still be in the shelter if she didn't receive that second chance.  Instead, she is living the happy life that all dogs deserve.”

She adds one more sentiment on shelter dogs. “There are millions of dogs in overpopulated shelters across the country relying on humans to save them. Be a part of the solution to end dog homelessness. I encourage everyone to adopt a shelter dog, [and to] foster and donate to your local rescue. We need the support now more than ever.”

FHR, a Maine Permitted Importer, is a small rescue that operates with approximately 10 active foster homes. They’re very dedicated and welcome additional volunteers and fosters. Check them out at; to see their available dogs visit