New England Lab Rescue
A 501 c3 Non-Profit Organization Serving all New England States

Meet the Team

Heather Labbe'
Heather Smith Labbe’ of Chatham, Cape Cod and Maine, founded New England Lab Resuce, Inc. in May 2010. With a lot of hard work, learning the ropes and dedication from Heather and the entire NELR team, Nelr has become a successful Non Profit Charitable Rescue Organization dedicated to the Labrador Retriever Breed. NELR has to date, place over 1,500 labs in loving forever homes all over New England. Every one of these labs would have been euthanized for the lack of space in over crowed shelters. Now, with the dedication of the NELR Team, all these labs are thriving in loving forever homes, running on beaches, hiking mountains, running free on farms, trekking though snowy woods and best of all, they live with loving families who adore them.

Heather was the owner of the Nationally Acclaimed Clipper Merchant Tea House in Limerick Maine. She has been featured in such publications as Down East Magazine, Yankee Magazine, Cape Cod Life Magazine, Tea Time Magazine, and Victorian Homes Magazine as owning one of the top ten tea houses in the US. She lives with her husband Gary, a therapist, and their daughter Lisette. They also have two labs, Schooner and the “famous NELR mascot Lab”, Governor.

Cheryl Greenfield and Usher
Cheryl Greenfield is a member of our Board of Directors. She is the Lead Adoption Coordinator. She has been volunteering with Dog Rescues for over 20 years, working across roles including Adoption Coordinator, Transport Volunteer, Short Term Foster, Donor, and Home-checker for multiple rescue organizations. As her favorite breeds are Lab and Golden Retrievers, New England Lab Rescue holds a special place in her heart. Cheryl, her very supportive husband and Usher (their 11 year male Golden) live only 15 minutes from the Kittery Transport, making their ability to help out with transports very accessible and easy. A retired Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor, when she is not rescuing and saving lives, you will find Cheryl at the gym or in a Dance Studio. In her spare time, Cheryl heads up HR at a technology company.
Jeff Hack & Butters on Dock
Jeff Hack serves as our Medical Documentation Director and is a member of our Board of Directors. Jeff makes sure all our northern and southern fosters have any medical supplies they need such as flea and tick and heartworm prevention. Jeff also keeps track of NELR’s medical files. Jeff works as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in Boston, MA and has enjoyed broadening his medical knowledge to encompass NELR’s 4 legged family members.
Jeff enjoys spending time at his lake house in Maine. An avid skier, Jeff loves winter and can be found on the slopes of Maine’s Sunday River and the many other great resorts in the Northeast.

Carol Leary cropped
Carol Leary is a NELR board member and long time very vital foster co-ordinator who can make “the magic happen” when we are desperate for fosters in New England. This important aspect of Rescue extends to all the Southern States where we campaign for fosters who will hold our labs in a loving homes until transport.

She is very organized and detail orientated so she is able to walk fosters through the process of taking a new dog into their homes with ease…. and with a lot of support. She heads up our foster home studies, does interviews and she and her husband Ron, also foster for NELR and have 4 dogs of their own. Carol loves getting foster applications in from all New England States, but Southern Maine is where we try to place most of our foster labs. Carol volunteers up to 60 hours a week to NELR and works from her home as a transcriptionist. We are grateful to have her on our team!

Diane Madruga-2
Diane Madruga is the Secretary of our Board of Directors. She also fosters many of our NELR labs and lab puppies. Diane and her whole family volunteer with many aspects of rescue such as transports, helping with training our labs and working with labs who have issues. Diane also documents our financial and medical information and rounds us all up for board meetings. She has been with NELR since the summer of 2012 and is a valuable volunteer who spends many hours working with NELR while running her own private Day Care Center full time in North Waterboro, Maine. We are thrilled about having Diane on our team and value all she does to make it run smoothly.
Debi Newton
Debi Newton has been a member of the Board of Directors since the beginning of NELR in 2010. She is a valuable and supportive team member and financial sponsor for many of our NELR labs. She has also pulled from shelters for us. She has an extensive networking ability and system that allows NELR to find transporters, fosters, homes, adopted and health care for our labs. She is a very gifted lady, and we are so proud to have as part of the NELR team.
Jess Rodecker
Jessica Rodecker is a member of our Board of Directors. She is our NELR Dog Behaviorist, works with the Foster Team to find temporary homes for all our Labs who have not been adopted yet, and is a great source of information to our Team regarding legal questions as she is also an attorney. We are very happy to have Jessica on our NELR team for over a year now and we appreciate all her knowledge and her compassionate dog training.
Amanda Angi
Amanda Angi keeps facebook up to date for NELR and responds to your inquiries on facebook. She is a mom of 2 daughters, ages 2 and 5, and also the mom to two fury babies, a Schnoodle – 10 years and a Beagle 4 years. She spends most of her time with her girls or hery pups. Her 1st dog of herown was a lab and they will always hold a special place in her heart. She lives with her family in RI.
Annie Cantin is honored to be part of the NELR team and contribute to our life saving operation. She worked for many years in customer service as a team leader at LL Bean but realized she got more reward spending time with her family and caring for children and animals. A supporter of rescue and adoption, she and her husband have volunteered at a therapeutic riding program and donate to various animal advocacy groups She has worked as a substitute teacher, assistant director of a teen center and currently provides respite for children with special needs. She and her husband are raising three sometimes naughty but comical kitties and a sweet but skittery house bunny. Having lost “the best dog in the world” they are now waiting for the next rescue pup to pick them as parents. Annie is hoping to match many deserving dogs with their forever families doing her share of what she refers to as “lab work”.
Courtney Cole
Courtney Cole is the volunteer who helps with our Facebook postings of all new dogs available for adoption and is a tremendous help to NELR in many other ways. She and her husband have also done a trip to the South in our NELR van to pick up dogs and puppies and deliver them safely back to New England.
Sara Custance
Sara Custance came to NELR in June of 2013 in hopes of finding he perfect dog for her family. Instead, she found herself inspired by the amazing group of volunteers and knew this was something she wanted to be a part of. Sara and her family became fosters for NERL and eventually found the puppy they were waiting for; a rescue lab named Marley (formerly known as “Baby Ruth”) who was rescued from a high kill shelter in Florida. Sara continues to be involved with emails and adoption correspondence while adapting to life with a new puppy in New Hampshire. We are thrilled to have Sara on our team of volunteers.
Stacy Eberhardt is from Port Neches, Texas. She’s married with 3 amazing kids that keep her insanely busy. She’s a retired pediatric registered nurse. Now her days are filled with her kids’ extracurricular activities, coordinating events and fundraisers at her kids’ schools as a board member of PTA, and fostering/volunteering for a local rescue group Pups in Peril and for New England Lab Rescue. She is loving the opportunity to be home with her kids and soaking up every moment, every memory made with them. And she couldn’t do it without the support and encouragement of her awesome husband, Jason. They have two fury kiddos, Millie (Red Dudley Lab) and Mollie (Australian Shepherd mix). Stacy is enjoying her time with NELR and is proud of the progress we’re making as a team!!!
Mary Hare
Mary Hare helps with getting materials ready for our fosters.
Beth Henson
Beth Henson is one of our Adoption Coordinators. She has a 11 yr old yellow lab “Tessie” and a 1 yr old rescue black lab “Seeger” who came up from MS. For the past 15 years, Beth and her husband have been running their own business. She recently retired and now that Seeger has taught her about rescues, she wanted to help NELR get more southern dogs rescued and into great homes. She lives in Southborough, MA and has been therefor 40 years, having moved up from FL after college. She has 2 kids, 3 grandchildren, 2 dogs and 2 cats.
Martha Jaquith
Martha Jaquith helps our Adoption Coordinators with correspondence. She lives in Kingston NH with her husband Dana and Chocolate Lab Pilot (age 4). She loves kayaking and hiking and cross country skiing with Pilot! She works as a sales engineering manager at High Tech Company in MA.
Heather Kitchin is from Rock Hill, South Carolina and currently resides in Limerick, ME. She is a US Coast Guard veteran and married to a currently active duty US Coast Guard member (Andrew). She has lived in 7 states in 28 years (Missouri, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Texas, Alaska, and now Maine). She has an associate’s degree from the University of Alaska in writing and is going back to school for Cardiovascular Technology (Invasive) with hopes to graduate May 2019!
They have a wonderful dog, Oak, that was adopted from NELR, Jan 2016! They like to call him “Eeyore” as he likes to mope around sometimes; he puts himself to bed around 7pm, and he is NOT a big fan of water. He is the biggest cuddle-bug ever, but does play with the fosters they take in. Andrew, Heather and Oak love to go camping, whether it’s in tents or in a cabin, as long as there is no technology to distract them from nature and ourselves. They love the outdoors, fishing, boating, or just hanging around outside; but they also like to chill out and put on a good movie. Heather has found that she really enjoys this work with NELR and wants to continue doing this no matter where her husbands job takes them (but hopefully we will stay here for a good while)!!
Kate McLaughlin
Kate McLaughlin is one of our Adoption Coordinators. Kate is from northern Maine, from the County, to be specific. Been in Portland almost 25 years and work at Unum. She has a black lab mix named Greta, a Georgia rescue through The Pixel Fund. Last winter was Greta’s first up in Maine and she was not amused. She’s curious how it will go this year. Kate spends a great deal of time doing yard work and gardening. Also loves working out, running and reading. If she doesn’t get regular running in and quality couch time with Greta and a book, she must admit, she can get sort of cranky. She Loves the idea of helping dogs find forever families with NELR. She’s VERY excited to be helping out NELR!
Sandy Meyerowitz
Sandy Meyerowitz is our weekend transport co-ordinator and she will be the NELR rep to contact you when the transport of your new lab is about to happen. Transports usually arrive in Kittery Maine and Sandy will be the one to keep you updated on the arrival times. She is very skilled at being very organized, so this complicated event has the best chance of running smoothly when Sandy is heading it up. She also fosters our NELR labs and nurtures the very weak or sick labs in her home with her family. Sandy has 4 boys, ages 10- 23 and she works in a pre school full time. Her weekends are filled with sports with her sons, so many times a foster picking up from transport will get a call from Sandy from a Soccer Field!

Carolyn O’Connell checks Vet References. She grew up in Burlington, VT and has been living in Madison, CT for the past 19 years. She grew up with her grandmother who was always taking in the dogs who needing homes, a Doberman, Beagle, Cocker Spaniel, any dog that a friend no longer could care for, needless to say She loved all of them. Carolyn adopted a Chocolate Lab from an abusive home in 1989 and has had labs ever since. Carolyn’s husband Peter, Son Flynn and she currently have a 3 year old Yellow Lab named Poppie. She is her faithful companion in kid carpools and daily walks. Carolyn looks forward to helping NELR!

Priya Palmer
Priya Palmer checks vet and personal references for the Adoption Coordinators. She retired from the corporate world in CT in 2012, moved to NC in 2014, and is an avid volunteer. Her most beloved dog was a chocolate lab named Buster, whom she lost to cancer. Her interest in volunteering for NELR is in honor of Buster.
Jane Ronayne
Jane Ronayne helps the team with documentation and spreadsheets. She is married and has lived in Limerick, ME for the last 10 years. She loves animals and has given a home to several rescue animals. She has been employed in the bookkeeping field for many years and is happy to help with the spreadsheets.
Brenda Smith
Brenda Smith lives in Dover, NH. She and her family have 3 rescued dogs and they love labs! She is helping with posts to the NELR facebook page and also helping meet transports.


Join us on facebook to see the activity that takes place all day long. We now have about 26,000 fans nationally.

Our Wish List

Please consider donating to us through our Amazon Wish List - click here. Just click and help support the needs of our Labs in foster care. Thank you!

Logo Photo