Downeast Dog News

Rescue of the Month: Lucky Pup Rescue

Finding Safe & Happy Forever Homes
By Susan Spisak | Nov 30, 2020

Sue Richardson, President of the southern-Maine based Lucky Pup Rescue, shared that the 501(c) (3) nonprofit was founded in 2007 by her friend and colleague, Janet Wendle. Sue came on board almost immediately as a volunteer and then became the President of the Board of Directors eight years ago. Janet’s not as involved today but serves as a consultant, “And we love that,” Sue said.

To date, this all-breed foster-based nonprofit has rehomed 1900 dogs, with about 50% being local owner surrenders. Often the dog’s relinquished as there is a change in the owner’s life - be it a new baby or a move to a “no pets allowed” building. Lucky, a Lhasa Apso mix, is a recent intake and an example of a home situation change. His dad passed away,, and his mom entered an assisted living facility.

The rest of their intakes are from two southern partner shelters. The pandemic hampered the transports, but they’ve started rolling again. And adoptions are taking place with safe practices in place. (Home inspections are done via Zoom or with pics. Meet and greets are distanced and outdoors.)

Sue, who works as an occupational therapist at RSU21 in Kennebunk, said one of their biggest needs is for foster families. They have 10 active homes and may escalate to 45, but that number is fluid for a variety of reasons. Teachers may foster in the summertime only, parents may foster around children’s activities, or a foster may fall in love with the dog and adopt him. “That’s wonderful, that’s exactly what the dog needed at the time,” she said, meaning the lucky dog found his compatible family.

The fosters are crucial to the adoption process. These individuals and families work on house manners, guidance, confidence building, and initial training. Dogs are showered with TLC and can decompress if necessary. The foster family provides personality and behavior assessments on the dog in their care, so the best forever match is made.

If a dog is having difficulty, Lucky Pup Rescue utilizes to a certified trainer for additional assistance. (They call on Kristen Potter in Montville.) Sue said cattle dog Maggie had been adopted and returned twice. Maggie saw Kristen regularly for an extended period, and she was able to “get a handle on her.” Lucky Pup placed her in a new home – they were willing to spend additional time on her – and the third time’s proven to be the charm.

Fundraising has been tough with the pandemic. “It’s been a challenge,” There was a virtual raffle for a handcrafted fire pit donated by volunteer. There’s the 5th Annual Adopt-A-Tree Festival from December 1st through the 5th, with tree pick up December 6th. To see their beautiful trees and wreaths for raffle, visit

For all forms for adopting, fostering, or volunteering, To make a general donation and see their “Wish List,” visit Or mail a donation to Lucky Pup Rescue, PO Box 461, Kennebunkport ME 04046.