Top 10 Dog Rescues in Ontario

Dogs are man’s best companions, and if you have never owned a dog, you cannot comprehend what love is. Adoption and rescue organizations are the greatest ways to acquire a pet. Adopting a dog from a dog rescue will not only provide a home for homeless animals, but it will also provide you with a lifelong friend.

Rescue dogs are the most loyal and affectionate animal companions around. Suppose you are a dog lover looking for a four-legged companion and want to offer these homeless and unloved canines a second opportunity. In that case, you should visit one of the following 10 dog rescues in Ontario.

Best Dog Rescues in Ontario

Dog rescues in Ontario
Photo by Pranidchakan Boonrom on Pexels

1. Adopt A Dog Save a Life

A non-profit, charitable rescue organization registered in Toronto, Ontario, and dedicated to saving dogs. Since the organization’s founding in 1980, founder Grace Hall and a team of volunteers have assisted thousands of stray dogs. All rescued dogs are cared for in volunteer foster homes because the organization does not have a physical shelter.

The shelter is committed to giving the rescued dogs the love and care they need by finding them their forever homes and has a no-kill policy. The shelter offers precedence to dogs from high-kill shelters and puppy mills to ensure no dog is killed. Additionally, they assist pet owners who cannot care for their animals by fostering and rehoming the pets.

Before being made available for adoption, all the dogs at this shelter were spayed or neutered. For additional details on the adoption and donation processes, see their website.

2. Thunder Bay and District Humane Society

This non-profit animal rescue and shelter, based in the Thunder Bay area and founded in 1994, is dedicated to providing care and shelter to all needy animals. This shelter receives no government funding and relies solely on donations, fundraisers, and adoption fees. The shelter and its community partners work to create a future in which every animal has a loving home and access to medical care.

Aside from adoption, the shelter offers foster homes and low-cost spay and neuter services. If you want to help these animals, consider volunteering or making monetary and non-monetary donations such as blankets, toys, dog and cat food, flat sheets, and so on.

3. Niagara Dog Rescue

Niagara Dog Rescue

It is a registered non-profit charity organization based in the greater Toronto area of Ontario founded in 2015. The rescue is dedicated to rescuing dogs from high-kill shelters who are on the verge of being euthanized. The organization provides rescue services in Canada and Nepal, Antigua, Iran, Kuwait, the United States, Korea, and Mexico.

It is a foster-based rescue, which means that the dogs are cared for by volunteer foster parents until they are adopted. More than 6000 dogs have been rescued and placed with loving forever families since 2015.

The organization helps dogs in desperate need by providing services such as medical care, transportation, spaying/neutering, and foster homes. This organization currently has 150 volunteers working tirelessly to provide the rescued dogs with the love and care they deserve.

4. Mattie’s Place

Founded in 2019 by Denise Angus in loving memory of his adopted rescue dog ‘Mattie.’ The rescue is not a shelter or daycare for rescued dogs; instead, it focuses on placing homeless pets with permanent compatible families. This rescue focuses on strengthening the human-animal bond through a range of programmes to educate and advocate for homeless dogs.

The rescue assists over 200 dogs each year, with the majority of the dogs in need of immediate medical attention or at risk of being euthanized. Most dogs in the shelter are owner surrenders and shelter overflow.

The rescue has also collaborated with other rescues and shelters in Quebec, Texas, California, and western Canada to maximize the area of rescue efforts provided to dogs in need of immediate assistance and rescue. Visit their website’s contact us page to get in touch with them.

5. Finding Them Homes

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels

This dog rescue, founded in 2013 by a group of friends trying to help their neighbourhood dogs, is dedicated to helping homeless and unwanted dogs by matching them with their perfect forever homes. The rescue primarily works to control dog overpopulation on Ontario’s James Bay coast and in other remote locations.

Please visit their website if you want to adopt or foster a dog in these areas. The rescue also offers low-cost spay and neuter clinics in and around the James Bay coast and donated dog food and supplies.

Aside from adoption and foster care, the rescue also organizes fundraising events. You can visit their website to know more about their fundraising events. To date, the rescue has assisted over 3000 abandoned, surrendered, lost, and stray dogs in finding loving homes.

6. Salty Animal Rescue

Karly and Katelyn, two sisters from Dundas, Ontario, who share a passion for helping animals in need, founded this rescue. The rescue is a non-profit registered charity dedicated to animal welfare, which means it relies entirely on donations and receives no government funding.

The rescue helps unwanted animals, mostly cats and dogs, through adoption and foster services, educating first-time pet owners about the commitment and requirements, and assisting low-income families across Canada in spaying and neutering their pets.

You can help them by making monetary or non-monetary donations or by volunteering or becoming a foster parent. You can learn more about adoption, fostering, volunteering, and donating by visiting the website.

7. Ottawa Dog Rescue

Ottawa Dog Rescue is a foster-based organization based in Ottawa, Ontario. It is a non-profit organization that is transparent and professionally run, with the mission of assisting and rescuing dogs in the Ottawa area. A group of experienced rescuers and dog lovers founded the rescue in August 2013.

The rescue has a fantastic team of volunteers, fosters, and veterinarians to help needy dogs. Since their inception, they have assisted over 1400 dogs by matching and placing them in suitable forever homes. Before being placed for adoption, all dogs at the shelter are spayed, neutered, and vaccinated according to their age.

If you want to help by volunteering or adopting a fur baby, visit their website for more information.

The Icy Canada team talked to Garrett Yamasaki, Founder and CEO of WeLoveDoodles, about some innovative and practical ways that both locals and tourists can contribute to the well-being of lost or abandoned dogs they encounter while traveling in Ottawa. Here is what he said:

Garrett Yamasaki - Featured
Garrett Yamasaki

“As someone passionate about the welfare of dogs, especially doodles, I’ve always advocated for responsible actions that support animal welfare locally and during travels.

There are practical and innovative ways to make a meaningful impact in a place like Ottawa, where one might encounter lost or abandoned dogs.

Firstly, if you encounter a lost or abandoned dog while traveling, the immediate step should be to ensure the animal’s safety without putting yourself at risk.

Contact local animal shelters or rescues, such as the Ottawa Humane Society, which can provide immediate assistance and care. They are equipped to handle such situations and can check if the dog is microchipped to contact its owner.

For a more sustainable approach, tourists and locals can support or volunteer at these local animal shelters. Volunteering helps the shelters directly and raises awareness about the importance of animal welfare and responsible pet ownership.

Additionally, supporting local animal welfare legislation and community programs that focus on spaying and neutering pets can reduce the number of abandoned animals in the long term.

Another innovative way to help is by promoting and participating in community events that raise funds for animal shelters or foster programs.

Using social media to raise awareness and share information about lost pets can also be an effective strategy to help reunite them with their owners or find new homes.

By engaging in these activities, both locals and tourists can play a crucial role in enhancing the well-being of animals and fostering a community that values and protects its four-legged members.”

We interviewed Matt Gehring, Chief Marketing Officer at Dutch, on this. Here is what he had to say:

Matt Gehring - Featured
Matt Gehring

“To help lost or abandoned dogs in Ottawa, locals and tourists can act swiftly by reporting sightings to authorities and providing temporary shelter and care. Social media is invaluable for spreading awareness and facilitating reunification efforts. 

Educating others about responsible pet ownership is crucial, emphasizing spaying/neutering, identification, and lifelong commitment. Supporting local shelters through volunteering, donations, and promoting adoption makes a real difference. 

By taking immediate action, leveraging social media, educating, and supporting local initiatives, individuals contribute to the well-being of these dogs while promoting broader goals of animal welfare and responsible pet ownership.”

8.  Thunder Dog Rescue

Thunder dog rescue, founded by Rebecca and based in Thunder Bay, Ontario, is an all-breed rescue with a mission and primary focus on rescuing, relocating, and rehabilitating pregnant females and their litters of innocent puppies. This non-profit rescue does not discriminate based on breed.

Rebecca, the rescue’s founder, saw a desperate need for more dog rescues in Northwestern Ontario. Its mission is to rescue and rehabilitate dogs in remote areas by keeping them safe from the harsh and cruel winters of Northwestern Ontario.

If you want to help the rescue, consider volunteering or fostering for them or donating money to cover vet, food, and medical expenses. If you are interested in adopting a canine companion, visit their website to learn more about their adoption process and view the dogs available for adoption.

9. Pomeranian and Small Breed Rescue

Photo by DEVIL’S GURU on Pexels

It is a registered Canadian charity organization with its headquarters in northern Ontario. The rescue takes dogs from local shelters who cannot receive medical and other care due to financial constraints, dogs with behavioural issues deemed unadoptable, dogs from owner surrenders, and breeding dogs from puppy mills and rescues.

Volunteers entirely run this organization. Join their dedicated network of volunteers as foster parents who provide love and care for the dogs in their home; groomers; home visit reviewers; drivers who help transport dogs from various shelters to waiting for foster homes and vet appointments; application processors; knitters and sewers who create beautiful sweaters and merchandise both for foster dogs and for sale at fundraisers; publicity specialists; and those who donate their time to administration. As a dog lover, you can make a difference in the life of a rescued dog without adopting one.

10. Animal Alliance of Canada/Project Jessie

The Animal Alliance of Canada (AAC) is a federally registered non-profit organization founded in August 1990. The rescue has supporters all over Canada and is entirely funded by private donations.

The organization is dedicated to the protection and welfare of all animals, primarily focusing on rescuing abandoned, lost, and stray animals vulnerable to pound seizures. Pound seizure is purchasing and selling these helpless animals for research purposes.

The organization also works to rescue and rehabilitate animals that have previously been used in laboratories, such as cows, sheep, rabbits, chickens, and ducks. They have also collaborated with compassionate shelter workers to identify animals that cannot cope with the shelter environment and place those animals in foster homes until they are adopted by their forever home.

Now you know who to connect with if you see a dog needing help.

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Guest Author: Saket Kumar

Last Updated on by Saket Kumar


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