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High 5: Ellsworth girl helps rehome dogs, races them for sport

7 year old Emma Rea competes in sled dog races, dreams of big ones someday
High 5: 7 year old from Ellsworth helps rehome dogs, races with them
High 5: 7 year old from Ellsworth helps rehome dogs, races with them
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 8:49 PM EST
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BRADFORD, Maine (WABI) - In this NAPA Coastal Auto Parts High 5 we feature a young girl from Ellsworth who is making a difference for her community helping rehome dogs. The dogs have given her a home away from home in Bradford.

It all started with a girl who wanted a dog.

“I adopted my dog Bandy, german shepherd husky mix, from Bangor Humane Society,” says Emma’s mom Sasha Rea.

It developed into a love for the breed and home became a rescue.

“These dogs need homes,” says Emma’s grandmother Rema Mitchell, “So, we needed to provide them a place, a home.”

“If they need help rehoming their dogs, that’s what we do,” says 7-year old musher Emma Rea.

Just months after Emma Rea was born, those dogs got jobs.

“My wife met up with some ex mushers and Emma was shortly behind it,” says Emma’s grandfather Lewis Mitchell.

“She was 5, almost 6 months old,” says Rema, “I put her on my sled and she just loved it.”

The racing fire started within a young Ellsworth girl.

“I love all about it,” says Emma, “I like my dogs and they go pretty fast.”

Her family drives from Ellsworth to Bradford to train a few days each week at the Highlanders Dog Sledding Club.

“I wouldn’t let her do this if I didn’t trust the dogs,” says Sasha, “The dogs listen to her so well and they are so bonded.”

Emma is 7 years old and runs a solo 2 dog sled.

“I get scared, I’m a panicker but she has no fear,” says Rema.

Racing adults and holding her own.

“I feel pretty proud,” says Emma.

She recently finished 2nd at a race against 4 dog sleds.

“When I start my dogs start going pretty fast,” says Emma, “I have to help them up hills. They see the box and they zoom.”

“Not much out there that can beat that you know,” says Lewis, “Just to see her, she goes out there, she loves it. Anything she wants to do we back her 100 percent. "

It’s truly her love.

“Cause I’m with my dogs,” says Emma.

She hopes one day to grow to compete in one of New England’s biggest races.

“The CAN-AM 250, " says Emma.

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