Downeast Dog News

Rescue of the Month: Pulled from the Pits

Creating a Better World for Homeless Bully Breeds
By Susan Spisak | Nov 01, 2020

“So, I save Pit Bulls,” laughed Kelly Ouellette, Founder and President of Pulled from the Pits when asked about her rescue’s efforts. She’d been working in shelters since she was 16 years old and her first dog was a Pit. That was that, “I fell in love with the breed.” This passion led her to become a Veterinary Technician – she’s currently working at Tender Touch Veterinary Hospital in Scarborough. But the experience at past vet clinics and shelters, where many of her beloved breed were feared or turned away, opened her eyes to the misconceptions of Pits.

“Pit bulls are the dogs that get overlooked…who everyone’s afraid of, they’re the dogs that nobody wanted.”

Kelly, a single mom to two teens and a few dogs as well, wanted to change this injustice and began her own rescue efforts last year with the help of Georgia shelter friends. “Before I knew it, it just exploded.” Her rescue-savvy good friend, Morgan Miles, came on board as vice president while their “big fan,” Amanda Williams, rounded out the board and serves as adoption coordinator.

In their short time as a foster-based rescue, 350+ dogs have found new homes. While many of their dogs are from Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana high-kill shelters, they accept local owner surrenders and non-bully breeds such as German Shepherds. “We have a hard time saying no.”

They also get their share of “problem children” with behavioral or trust issues – these dogs may have had a rough life and are tweaked in their costly “board and train program.” Funding for this and all vetting costs comes from donations and adoption fees. They also rely on smart fosters who can train on commands and home manners.

Normally they use professional transports, but recently Kelly and her crew flew to Oklahoma to pull 16 dogs on death row – they rented a vehicle to drive them back to Maine. She wanted to have a hands-on experience, and through that “Oklahoma Rescue Mission” she has an even greater respect for transporters and is more committed to her mission.

A recent addition to their efforts is kittens and cats. While she feels cats are a little “more challenging” than their dogs, Kelly’s excited that the kittens they have currently are all ready for adoption. Regardless if you’re interested in a dog or cat, you’ll need to fill out and pass a home, vet, and personal reference application.

She had one last thought on why Pitties have a negative reputation: “It’s because of people, it’s not the dog. They always had a bad rap. It’s people and how they portray these dogs.” She’s determined Pulled from the Pits can change that. “We’re just out here [trying to prove] that they’re the true nanny dog and they’re fabulous. We’ll keep doing that until we don’t have to do it anymore.”

They serve central Maine and surrounding areas and desperately need additional foster homes, volunteers, and donations. For their Amazon wish list of needed items, visit For all applications, You can donate via PayPal to, or checks can be sent to 17 Lower Road, Minot, Maine 04258.