Written by Crystal Ward Kent
Kelly Arsenault of Sandown, New Hampshire makes “going to the dogs” a good thing. In her Keller Williams real estate business, her slogan is “Specializing in People with Pets,” and in her nonprofit career, she heads PRONE—Papillion Rescue of the Northeast, an organization that rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes Papillions and Pomeranians.
“I’ve always loved dogs and had a bond with animals,” says Arsenault. “I got my first Papillion 12 years ago, even though it was against my better judgment to get a puppy. He was so smart and sweet that he convinced me that everyone should have a Papillion. At that time, you didn’t see as many of the breed up here, so I started looking on rescue sites. I saw that there were a great many in the South that needed homes. I got involved with PAP911 South and before long, had helped rescue so many dogs that we joked that I would some day become PAP911 North! Later, I left that group and joined another southern organization that was rescuing Pomeranians. I love both breeds and there was so much to be done. But, after a time, I needed a break, so I stepped down.”
The break didn’t last long. Arsenault’s name was still well known in the rescue world and when the economic downturn of 2012 hit, pet owners who had fallen on hard times began reaching out. “The phone just kept ringing,” she recalls. “People were calling who could no longer keep their dogs, or someone’s mother had died and her dog needed a home. There were so many sad stories and so many dogs in need. My husband finally said, ‘You know you want to help.’ And he was right. This time, I decided to create my own nonprofit, and PRONE was formed. I am a certified 501c3 and approved for rescuing. The state doesn’t approve of foster care, unless there are medical or training needs; then, they can stay longer as we work on meeting those needs. We take in Papillions, Pomeranians and occasionally small dogs under 15 pounds.”
When Arsenault has a rescue that is ready for adoption, she puts the word out on her own Facebook page. She personally approves adopters and says, “I don’t care if it takes two weeks or two years, I will keep a dog until we find the home that is right for them. That’s what matters.”
Going forward, Arsenault is hoping to work more with breeders who are retiring dogs from the show ring. “These dogs deserve to find real homes—not just continue living at the kennel,” she explains. “These dogs may be three, five or eight years old and have never had a real home experience, yet would still make wonderful pets. I’d like to partner with these breeders to transition these dogs into the homes they deserve.”
To learn more about PRONE, adopt, donate or get involved, please visit www.pronepups.org.