Contact : email@example.com
Many of our volunteers are located in Southern Ontario, Canada. Though we do not have a central facility or shelter where our dogs are kept, we are a foster home-based rescue, which means that each dog is fostered within the private home of one of our volunteers.
Save Me Dog Rescue is run by a Board of Directors, and very dedicated volunteers who commit countless hours of personal time and resources to saving dogs in need. Our volunteers are a fantastic group of people who make everything that we do possible. We prefer to interact with the public and our partners personally so that we are fully involved in all aspects of the organization.
To learn more about our Board of Directors, Honourary Members, and volunteers, please visit our Meet the Team page.
While the circumstances surrounding how a dog becomes a “rescue dog” can vary, as do the opinions of the actual definition, what is most often agreed upon is that a rescue dog is such that would be otherwise homeless, abandoned or in dire condition and is in need of outside help to take them into foster care and find them a new home and family. The term “rescue dog” can also refer to owner-surrendered dogs who are living with families that are no longer able to care for them.
Shelters use the term “no-kill” to indicate they will not euthanize animals for space or duration of stay, but they may still euthanize dogs due to age, medical conditions or certain behaviors such as extreme aggression, often as a last resort. This is why it is important to know the ethics and policies of any shelter or rescue you choose to work with, in order to support those organizations that share your beliefs. Save Me Rescue chooses to spend our funds on veterinary bills procedures for example, in an effort to limit the use of euthanasia. It is our belief that all dogs deserve a happy home.
A high-kill shelter is one where stray dogs usual face what is called a “stray hold” in order to give it’s owner time to claim it, but this is typically a very short period of time. When the allotted time period is exceeded, if the dog is deemed by the shelter staff to be unadoptable (for reasons such as it is too young/too old, facing costly medical or behavioral issues, breed specific prejudices, too many of the same breed in the shelter, or he/she is not handling the shelter environment well and is scared or depressed) the dog then faces the risk of euthanization.
If the dog is deemed suitable to enter general adoption, he/she still has very little time, if the shelter is one in which euthanasia is prevalent. If the dog is stressed in the shelter and is sad, cowering or shut down, he/she may only have a few days for a rescue like Save Me to step up and help. Often times, there are wonderful rescue volunteers an shelter workers who publish lists of these dogs on a weekly basis and distribute them to reputable/quality rescues like ours. This is one of the ways we are able to rescue dogs that are in immediate danger. Save Me Rescue’s philosophy is to always save dogs that need our aid the most urgently.
Unfortunately, not all methods of euthanasia are humane. Some shelters/pounds, due to costs, use gas chambers or the heart-stick method (a large syringe to the heart which delivers a fatal dose of medication.) These procedures are not only stressful but can be extremely painful to the animals. Even the intravenous injections used most often can be traumatic if the animal is not sedated first. Many U.S states are in the process of eliminating these methods, however they do exist and as ancient as these practices may be, they are popular choices for rural shelters without proper funding.
Save Me Rescue dogs often come from pounds/shelters in high-kill states, as well as rescue operations such as puppy mill releases, Northern Canadian communities who perform dog culls as a way to reduce the ever increasing dog population due to a lack of spay/neuter clinics, etc. As mentioned above, we also take dogs from rural U.S shelters that are often very overloaded and in need of our assistance.
Please note: Whenever we are able to take an owner-surrender into foster care, we strictly adhere to the Canadian Privacy Act, meaning that all previous owner’s information is kept confidential. All medial information is shared with the adopters’ own vet, however, with the original owner’s name redacted.
The sad reality is that there are dogs all over not only North America but the World, who are homeless and in need of new forever families. While a majority of our dogs do come from Canadian shelters and mills, we do on occasion take in dogs from U.S shelters or another American rescue. Some states have extremely high rates of euthanasia (over 90%) in their shelters due to the sheer volume of dogs; the United States alone euthanizes over 4 million animals each year. When a dog’s status in a shelter becomes urgent, we will step in if we have an available foster location. Many of these dogs are wonderful, sweet dogs yet would not have a chance at adoption unless they were brought to Canada.
A dedicated network of volunteers across the United States and Canada drive these dogs across the border to freedom, and deliver them to their receiving rescues every weekend of the year, rain or shine. It is a long journey for some, but we feel that every dog, no matter where they were born, should be given a chance at finding a loving forever family. Furthermore, there is such a great number of Canadian rescues that often we find that numerous rescues will step up for the same dog, thus limited our chances to save a life.
Save Me Rescue is not against responsible breeders. Responsible breeders do not breed mixes, do not inbreed or over-breed families blood lines and adhere to and promote healthy breed standards, including good temperaments. Responsible breeders have little need to advertise, typically screen potential families as much as we do and usually have waiting lists of approved homes for every puppy in every litter because they only breed their dogs every couple of years. No responsible breeder ever makes their living from breeding dogs; it is a highly involved and expensive passion for them.
That being said, rescues are sometimes deluged with dogs and puppies from irresponsible breeders. These “breeders” can include cruel and greedy puppy millers who sell puppies online and ship them to homes they know little to nothing about. Often these dogs are not spayed/neutered thus increasing the chances of future litters and as such, dogs who will eventually end up in shelters. They also supply pet stores who sell these inherently unhealthy inbred puppies to the uneducated public at a huge profit.
Save Me Rescue also takes issue with backyard Breeders. These are people who have breeding dogs in their homes, which are not well cared for and bred strictly for primary or supplementary income, rather than promotion of that particular breed.
Many of us have our own specific breed preferences, which dictate the type of dog we prefer. The good news is that rescue is full of purebred dogs! Save Me Rescue alone has rescued many purebreds, including some breeds that are extremely rare. We are also happy to say that there is a rescue out there for almost every breed of dog. These are called “breed specific” rescues, and they can be found on PetFinder or through your local Humane Society. Most times finding a specific breed in rescue is a waiting game, but Save Me Rescue takes in dogs of all breeds, ages and sizes, and we encourage potential adopters to get to know each dog through their biographies rather than their appearances.
This is one of the biggest advantages to adopting a dog through a rescue. By fostering the dogs in our homes, they are observed in many situations and environments. Each foster parent is experienced with dogs of all types, and assesses each dog for behavior traits, training, socialization and quirks in general.
While there are never “guarantees” in life, we do not adopt out a dog without thoroughly assessing him/her and disclosing as much information as we have. Each home has qualities that makes them unique to other homes and situations such s children, cats, other dogs, time spent at and away from home, etc.
Save Me does rescue owner-surrendered dogs when we are able, though we typically concentrate on dogs that are in shelters or have been seized from hoarding situations or puppy mills. We promote responsible animal ownership and can suggest training and veterinary resources if you are having behavioral problems with your dog that may be resolved If these issues cannot be solved and surrender is the only option, please contact us here for more information. [Link to firstname.lastname@example.org]
If you are looking to rehome your dog, please never offer it as “Free to a Good Home” as this is the most common way for animal abusers, dog flippers (those who take free dogs by pretending to be a good home, and then sell them) and others with very bad intentions to obtain free animals. Your dog/puppy (or cat/kitten) could end up as bait for intentions for illegal dog fighting rings, in a puppy mill or with a backyard breeder (if you haven’t had him/her spayed/neutered), in a medical lab for vivisection/research, or harmed by sick individuals.
Your animal has his/her best chance with you, a family member or friend. If you must surrender the animal, make sure it is to a no-kill shelter or a reputable rescue group, and be honest about the health and behavioral issues of the dog.
As a not-for-profit organization, Save Me Rescue relies solely on the kindness and generosity of the public, neighboring businesses and other organizations for help in saving these lives. Our largest fund raiser is our Holiday Cards which feature alumni Save Me dogs, and donations that we receive from adoptions go directly to our vetting fund. Our financial records are made available to ever member of the rescue to ensure trust and openness, two qualities we believe to be very important in order to run a successful rescue.
Some of our supporters choose to make regular monthly pledges. Donating $5 or even $10 a month is a wonderful way to help our dogs. Any donation goes directly to medical care for our dogs, and is much appreciated. Without this support, we are not able to take on the more serious medical cases that we truly desire to. Please visit our donation page if you wish to make a contribution and keep in mind that tax receipts are provided for donations of $20 or more.
All SAVE ME dogs are vaccinated and spayed/neutered prior to adoption.
Dogs are vaccinated with DA2LP + PV (Canine Distemper – Adenovirus 2 – Para influenza – Parvo Virus Vaccine) and the Rabies vaccination (if old enough upon adoption). Puppies will not be adopted out before the age of 8 weeks, and will have their first vaccines.
We do not vaccinate for Bordatella (kennel cough), or any other vaccinations not listed above. However, there may be certain situations where a foster dog needs to be boarded temporarily in order to remove them from a harmful situation, and in that case the dog may be vaccinated for Bordatella (kennel cough). These situations, however, are not common.
SAVE ME does not license adopted dogs for their new homes however we do urge our adopters to do so as this is the adopter’s legal responsibility. A municipal license can save your dog’s life if he/she is ever lost. This license number links your dog to you if ever there is an emergency. It’s also a municipal requirement of all dog owners to properly license their dog(s). Please contact your local animal control centre or city shelter to speak to them about having your pet licensed.
Microchipping is the best and most effective way to safeguard your pet in the event he/she becomes lost. Microchipping is a one-time cost of approximately $50 (costs vary according to the provider) and your information can be easily updated should you move. While Save Me Rescue does not microchip our adopted dogs due to cost restrictions, we do recommend that all pet owners have their pets chipped as soon as possible. Each dog is adopted with a Save Me Rescue collar tag which includes two phone numbers to be reached in the event that the dog should go missing. We encourage our adopters to keep these tags on the dog’s collar as well as their own personal identification tag outlining their address and phone number.
SAVE ME is working diligently in the community to raise awareness regarding the spaying and neutering of companion animals. Every dog that we take in is spayed or neutered before he/she is placed in a foster home. We also educate the public and our followers about spaying and neutering.
Additionally, we work very closely with our partner, a rescue ally in Northern Quebec who regularly conducts spay and neuter clinics in rural reserves across Canada. All of our pregnant dogs and subsequent litters have been rescued through this source and have since been spayed/neutered.
Our dogs’ profiles are listed online on our website, on Petfinder.com, as well as on our Facebook page. We do not have a central shelter facility, as we are 100% foster-based – all of our foster dogs are in private homes with our dedicated volunteers.
In order to be considered as an adopter you must:
*Please note that we will not process applications for potential adopters until the age of 25. If you are under 25, please have a parent or guardian submit the application with you as a co-applicant. If you do not have a parent or guardian who can co-sign, please send us an e-mail for more information.
Each potential adopter must undergo three stages of screening:
|Step||Duration of Time|
|Adoption application||This will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and includes providing a vet reference (if applicable), as well as 3 personal references.|
|Phone interview||The phone interview with one of our screening volunteers will take approximately 30-40 minutes depending on how many questions you have. Depending on your availability, this typically takes place within 3-4 days of receiving your application.|
|Home visit||The home visit, conducted by one of our screening volunteers, will take approximately 20-30 minutes. Depending on your availability* and location**, this typically takes place within a week of the phone screen being completed.|
* Please note that all family members and those living in the household must be present at the time of the home visit.
** Please note that there may be certain locations in Ontario where we do not have volunteer coverage. In these situations it could take longer to conduct your home visit.
After all 3 phases are complete, our Director of Screening and Adoptions will review your complete file, along with the dog’s information and adoption requirements, and will make a decision on whether or not to approve the adoption.
If you are approved for adoption, you will receive a congratulatory e-mail from the Board of Directors connecting you with the dog’s foster home. At this point, you and the foster parent(s) can arrange the “meet & greet” with the foster dog. At that meeting, you can make the decision to formally adopt him/her, if desired*.
*Even once approved, you are under no obligation to adopt. SAVE ME also reserves the right to decline the adoption at the time of the meet-and-greet if we feel that your family is not the right match for the dog
We are all volunteers, many of whom have full-time jobs outside of rescue, and we appreciate your patience. We do respect the time that you have taken to apply for one of our foster dogs, and we try to process things as quickly as possible. Sometimes we receive several applications on the same dog and numerous applications/inquiries come in when we post information on new dogs. On average, we try to maintain a 2-5 day window during which you’ll hear from us at any of the phases of screening. If you have not heard from us for a few days or would like an update, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Please understand that:
Screening is the only way we have to ensure that our rescued dogs are placed in the loving, dedicated homes that they deserve. We are looking for people who will not abandon their dog because of a move, a new baby or just because they “no longer have time”. After all, these are some of the most common reasons dogs end up in shelters and pounds in the first place. All reputable rescues strive to place each dog into its forever home as opposed to giving him/her to the first person who expresses interest.
Please note that there are sometimes several people/families interested in the same dog, though we typically process only one application for each dog at a time. It is never a case of “the first application is the best application”; we try very hard to match the right home with it’s most suitable dog, and vice versa. Again, please understand that our number one responsibility is the best possible placement for each dog. Your patience while we work through this very important process is definitely appreciated!
Certainly it is easier to walk into a store and buy a puppy, but it is exactly this “instant gratification” mentality that has contributed to the hundreds of thousands of homeless (and subsequently euthanized) pets in Canada today. Adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment and not something to be done on a whim.
The nature of rescue is that we have a duty to ensure our dogs are homed with a family best suited for them, with applicants who believe in the ideals of rescue and have the patience to work through the screening process. The application provides the exact details we need to make the right decision for each dog, and each potential forever home. Therefore, all incomplete applications (unless otherwise specified) will not be considered as the information requested is absolutely critical to the adoption process.
The reason for the adoption fee is two-fold:
First, it helps to defer some of our costs associated with the vetting costs of that particular dog. Second, it is an important financial investment in the dog by you, the adopter. Often we take in dogs that require thousands of dollars in veterinary care, and only receive a small portion of that back at the time of adoption. There is no profit through adoption fees.
What does the adoption fee include? Why are your fees more than a pound?
Save Me Rescue is committed to, and pride ourselves in providing extensive veterinary care above and beyond what many rescues do, and certainly far more than pounds and shelters. The sad reality is that we often get the most unwanted, un-vetted and uncared for dogs. Of course, this is a conscious effort on our part as we see potential in all dogs, regardless of age, breed, gender or size.
Many adult dogs come to us in need of extensive medical and/or dental care. Veterinary costs for the special cases can run into thousands of dollars. Younger, healthier dogs may not have quite the same needs as the older dogs do but they too must be examined, vaccinated, dewormed, temperament checked and spayed/neutered prior to adoption. While our supporters and partner veterinarians are amazingly generous, donations only begin to defray our expenses. We offset the difference through our ongoing fundraising efforts. [Link to event page]
You may pay by cash, money order, personal or certified cheque. E-transfers can be sent to email@example.com for both adoption fees and additional donations.
Can I donate more than my adoption fee?
Yes! Absolutely. As a not-for-profit organization, every donation makes a huge impact.
No. All fees must be paid in full on the day of adoption. Because any dog can require unexpected veterinary care, it is important that adopters are able to pay for these expenses as they happen. We do encourage our adopters to consider pet insurance, as the monthly premium can be eased into a budget more easily than a sudden expense. Sadly, and without prejudice, if a family/individual can’t afford the adoption fee, they very likely cannot afford the ongoing care of the dog.
Unfortunately no; the number of available foster homes influences the number of dogs we can save. If SAVE ME keeps a dog for an extended period of time it could prevent the rescue from helping another dog in need. We always have new dogs coming in, so if you are unable to adopt at this time please keep an eye on our website and Facebook page and apply when the time is right.
Absolutely not. While you may think this is the “right” thing for both the dog and the person, it is not a decision that can be made for someone else without their knowledge and input. Every family member must be present during the screening process (phone screen and home visit), and fully aware of the decision to add a new member to the family.
Occasionally our dogs are taken to special Adoption Events where you can meet them prior to submitting an application. However, as multiple families/individuals may be interested in the same dog, we require all interested adopters to complete our adoption process first. Having every interested person coming to the home of our volunteers to meet a dog is just not feasible.
We will not consider a home with an unaltered dog or cat unless it is due to a medical condition, which condition must be confirmed by your vet reference.
If you have previously owned a dog or cat, it’s important for us to know that it was well looked after, and had regular medical care. It’s also important for you to have a health care provider arranged before you bring your dog home. We will provide all medical records for your adopted dog to you for your vet’s files.
The number one priority is to ensure the safety of every dog in our care. The second priority is to ensure all adoptions are permanent. There are many preventable reasons that dogs are surrendered, re-homed or lost. New eyes can often see potential dangers for the dog or inconvenience for the family. Home visits are not a judgement of decorating or housekeeping – they are for safety of the dog and of the family’s belongings, in order to ensure that a happy, forever match is made.
Absolutely not. There are families who adopt from us who live on country properties, in suburban areas, and in condominiums / apartments who do not have fenced yards. Of course there are always certain dogs that must have a fenced yard, but we will specify this in the dog’s bio. Please read carefully before applying!
We consider invisible fencing as “no fence present”. Please be aware that there are a number of risks to dogs with this type of fencing. For example, dogs who get outside of the fence can be fearful of coming back over the fence line, and of course, it does not protect your dog from animals/people coming into your yard. We also do not promote the use of any collar that uses shock as a training method.
No, there is no guarantee that you will be able to adopt a specific dog. We typically process only one application at a time for each dog, however not every application is approved. Once an application is closed, we move on to the next most appropriate application for that dog.
Adopting a dog should be a well-thought-out decision by all members of the household. Is it the right time? Do you understand the years of emotional and financial commitment? SAVE ME’s best suggestion is to really think hard about what qualities in a dog are important to you, which may help you figure out what breed, age, size, activity level and temperament will work for your family.
Here are some other things to consider:
SAVE ME’s Director of Screening and Adoptions reviews all reports associated with each phase of the application process and will match those with the needs of the dog for whom you’ve applied. The approval or denial of any application is not the responsibility of the foster home or the person conducting the home visit, but will be reviewed and finalized by the Board of Directors
We are not a shelter; all of our dogs are cared for in private homes, with dedicated volunteer foster parents. There are many reasons that this is one of the best possible ways to rescue/adopt a dog:
No. Under exceptionally rare circumstances a foster-with-intent-to-adopt situation will be considered. However, this will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Yes, of course. Once you’ve been approved, you should bring your current dog with you for the “meet & greet” with the adoptive dog. Taking home a new dog that is not a good match with your current dog is not something we would ever want to have happen for you or the dogs.
No, we will not fly or transport a dog to his/her new home. As a volunteer not-for-profit organization, this is logistically and financially impossible. If your application is approved to adopt, you must make the drive to both meet and to pick up your new dog in person. Typically, we do not proceed with out-of-province adoptions, simply for this reason. We can direct you to rescues in your province, if you are interested.
Yes – it is a legal requirement of our adoption contract. If, after extensive training, education and communication with us, an adopted dog does not work out in your home or you are suddenly unable to care for the dog, he/she must be returned to us. At the time of adoption, you will be asked to sign a clause stating that you will return the dog to us should you be unable to keep or care for the dog.
We have many great resources, so don’t be afraid to ask! We would be happy to provide you with handouts and fact sheets or direct you to a trainer who can help. Please contact us with any issues or concerns.
Every week, we see lists of dogs who have no time left in high-kill shelters, but we MUST have a foster spot for each dog before committing to him/her. Foster care is the backbone of every R/Q rescue. Without foster homes, we are unable to rescue dogs. This often means death for shelter dogs unless other individuals or rescues come forward to help.
Our foster families provide the love, food, care and shelter for our rescues by opening their hearts and homes to care for these dogs until approved permanent homes are be found. We’re limited to how many dogs we can rescue without available foster homes.
Being a foster family for Save Me Rescue is certainly a commitment. We know it’s not for everyone but it IS important to consider all the facts if this is something you truly want to do. Being a foster parent may not always be easy, but it is a very rewarding experience – even life changing! Just ask any of our current foster families.
As a foster family, you play an important role in saving one dog – you are the one who will give that deserving dog a second chance. Without our foster families, these dogs have little to no possibility of finding their forever homes.
Save Me Rescue covers all veterinary expenses for the dogs in our rescue. We ask all our foster families to please provide plenty of love, patience, care, a warm bed, treats and basic training to help socialize the dog, if required, to increase their chances of being adopted. Dog food is sometimes provided, especially if a dog requires a restricted or prescribed diet. Some retailers and individuals kindly donate food to us, which we pass on to our foster homes, of course.
Rescue dogs in our foster care program can vary. For example, typically the younger dogs and puppies are adopted faster while older dogs can take longer. Foster care can be as short as two weeks or possibly for several months. Some dogs also have issues such as limited house breaking, no formal training, chronic medication conditions or behaviours that require a special foster and forever home. Clearly, that dog may take longer to adopt out, but it will be the most rewarding and happy experience you may ever have in fostering.
You’ll receive in-depth information and training on fostering, dog behaviour and training basics, and administrative procedures (which are minimal but important). We mentor our foster homes, and are always available for questions and emergencies. Save Me is privileged to have a great community of volunteers to support you with advice and concerns.
Often we do not know the background of our dogs. We try our best to obtain as much information from the shelters as possible to share with our foster families. Many may not be housebroken or have been mistreated, while other foster dogs are perfectly fine without any issues to work through. Your commitment, patience and compassion to these dogs will increase their chances of finding new forever homes.
We are also sensitive to the fact that being a foster can also be a tearful time for our foster families when the dog in their care has found a permanent home through our adoption program. You’ll feel a close attachment to your foster dog, that’s natural. Yes, there will be tears but remember this – it was YOU who gave your fostered dog a second chance for a new life!
This is a gift that not everyone can give. As a foster family, providing care and your love to help our rescues on to their next phase of life is a special gift you give to yourself, the rescued dog and his/her new adoptive family.
We ask our foster families to help with information about the personality, likes/dislikes, habits and training level to help our volunteer write detailed profiles for each one in our care.