Animal Recovery Mission Bio: Maia Chrupcala

We learned earlier this week that Maia Chrupcala is a cousin of A.R.M. figurehead, Richard Couto. Although this obituary has her listed as a sister, this seems to be misinformation on the part of the writer. In this website, she is listed as the daughter of Peggy Couto, making her Richard’s cousin: click here for website where this information was found. On that cyber-guestbook, Maia wrote, “I can only hope that John and my mother, Peggy Couto, one of his very best friends, are smiling down on us this moment. His memory will never fade. I’ll miss you JP.” Those are Maia’s words. No matter whether she is a sister or a cousin, she is blood-family.

Bizapedia has Maia Chrupcala listed as the Vice President of A.R.M. in Miami, Florida. She does, however, have other business interests of which we need to be aware. The Bizapedia website lists her as the director of Northbound Pound Puppies (a Rhode Island Domestic Non-Profit Corporation). Northbound’s registration lists its location at 40 Callender Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island (zip code 02840). Please note that Rhode Island is the former state of residence for Richard Couto and the rest of the A.R.M. family. If we click on that address in the listing, 40 Callender Avenue, we find another business listing for that address: The Wiggle Room, LLC (Rhode Island Limited-Liability Domestic Company) This is another of Maia’s businesses. There are websites available for both businesses: click here for Northbound Pound Puppies and click here for The Wiggle Room.

On Wiggle Room’s webpage, they have the following information: “The Wiggle Room was established by Maia Chrupcala in the summer of 2010. Maia is a Newport, RI native who has always loved animals. After working in the hospitality industry, and then in the social services field, she felt she needed a serious career change. Maia began working for the Newport Animal Hospital as a veterinary technician in 2005. Always interested in opening her own business, the thoughts of owning a doggie daycare began to take shape, and in May 2010 she left the Newport Animal Hospital to pursue The Wiggle Room. Having an animal experience background is what makes The Wiggle Room such a success.” It’s interesting to note that she began her LLC the same year she helped Couto begin his Not-for-Profit, A.R.M.

For those who are interested, the actual address of Wiggle Room is: 741 West Main Rd, Middletown, RI 02842 (it differs from the Bizapedia listing). Their email address is: And their telephone number is: 401.849.0044. All of this is public information given on their website.

Nicole Barnes again takes us back to Florida. She is listed as the Vice President of Barfield Fence and Fabrication, a Florida Domestic Profit Corporation. They filed paperwork on September 8, 1998. Their website is here:

Northbound Pound Puppies

This is where our threads and loose links begin to show interesting associations. On Wiggle Room’s website we find the following information: “ In the winter of 2013 Maia teamed up with her friend Nikki, who lives in Alabama, to establish Northbound Pound Puppies, a rescue organization committed to helping forgotten southern animals find loving forever homes primarily in the north. In the first year alone Northbound was able to rescue 165 homeless dogs and cats! Now, just over 2 years, that number has soared to nearly 500! A few of these lucky dogs even attend The Wiggle Room. From a cold kill shelter to a room full of happy friends to play with, Maia, Nikki and the rest of the Northbound team are so happy to be able to give these animals the chance that they all deserve. If you would like to become involved in Northbound Pound Puppies please visit their website for more information! You can also visit them on Facebook!”

Northbound Pound Puppies writes on its webpage: “Northbound Pound Puppies is a small 501(c)3 non-profit organization started in the winter of 2013 by two girls who really love dogs! From Alabama to Rhode Island, we have teamed up to help find homes up north for those forgotten southern puppies. As a rescue, our primary goal is to facilitate adoptions of homeless dogs into perfect and loving forever homes. We are not breed specific and have quite a variety that comes through our rescue!” They list the following as their mailing address: PO Box 4676, Middletown, RI 02842. Their email address: No phone number is given. Here, however, the current webpage lists Maia Chrupcala as the Northern Director and Nicole Barnes as the Southern Director.

Turning to the Bizapedia listing, however, we find the following information about Northbound’s founders: Kahlia Shmerer, 17 Sherman Street, Newport, RI 02840 is both director and incorporator; Maia Chrupcala is also a director; and Nicole Barnes of 3477 Deer Track Drive, Semmes, AL 36575 is also a director.

Of these three names, Nicole Barnes appears to be the most significant at this time. She is the director of the Mobile County Humane Society, an Alabama Domestic Non-Profit. It’s website is here:  They have a FaceBook page here: They filed their papers on July 26, 2013, listing their address as 7400 Portside Circle South, Mobile, AL 36695; however, they are a fostering service and own no physical location for their business.

The business and financial reach of Maia Chrupcala travels far and networks with many people, individuals who may or may not have bearing and influence with A.R.M. and other animal welfare (I say terrorist) groups. These are names that we will need to look for in the news and other media in the future.