Downeast Dog News

Rescue of the Month: Lucky Pup Rescue

Finding Safe & Happy Forever Homes
By Susan Spisak | Jun 01, 2017

She’s been called a cool old soul, maternal and loving to boot.

Her name is Poppy, and this pretty Boxer mix is living the good life in Maine with her new family, but there had been a blip in her fortune. Poppy, originally known as Abby, was found on the side of a road last fall, and it appeared as if she’d been hit by a car.

Poppy was emaciated, covered in fleas and ticks, and her hips were fractured. The vet who evaluated her reached out to Lucky Pup Rescue’s southern partner in Arkansas for help--otherwise Abby would have no doubt met a tragic demise at a pound. She was nursed back to health by a southern foster (who cried buckets when the sweet dog left) before making her journey to the Pine Tree State.

Sue Richardson, President of Lucky Pup Rescue, said Poppy’s success story is one of her favorites. Volunteers from both Lucky Pup and their partner, PAWS Of Marion, Arkansas, rallied together and raised enough money to cover all her medical needs and surgery. One Lucky Pup volunteer, Cassandra Grant, even gathered donations by making and selling bracelets made with her mom’s very special beads.

Founded in 2007 by Sue’s friend and colleague at Kennebunkport Consolidated School, Janet Wendle, this 501(c) (3) group has rescued about 1,700 dogs. The majority of their dogs are local owner relinquishments or come from two non-profit partners in Arkansas and Tennessee who pull them from high-kill shelters. The southern freedom dogs are fostered and vetted there, then transported (in crates) via a 15 passenger van in what they call a “rescue relay.”

Sue has been president for five years; she was a foster first and then their vice-president. When I contacted her, she was sick and couldn’t talk. She emailed me back, writing that Lucky Pup provides everything for dogs in foster homes--crates, meds, food, and vet care. She also emphasized the need for more Maine and New England fosters.

“Our volunteers and foster families are the backbone of our rescue, and we are always in need of more foster families because sometimes life gets in the way or a foster family adopts from us once or twice (or five times!), and they have to take a break from fostering.”

When her voice returned, we talked over the phone. This vivacious and dedicated gal feels their commitment to each dog for life sets them apart from other organizations. Adopters must sign a contract promising to consult with them when any problems arise. They’ll connect them with professionals who can provide training and guidance. Clearly, Lucky Pup’s goal is successful, permanent adoptions.

If you’re interested in adopting, fostering, or volunteering, please visit their site at To see a wish list of needed items or to donate to their general fund, visit

They also have the “Butterfly Fund” for dogs with complicated medical needs, so named in honor of a special rescue who crossed the Rainbow Bridge. To read her story and donate to the fund, visit