Friday, 8 March 2013

A Guide to Dog ‘Shelters’ and Dog Rescue Groups In Ottawa, the Ottawa Area, Ottawa Valley, Gatineau , Ontario and Canada

I am providing this guide/listing for the following reasons...

One - So people in the region have access to a comprehensive, categorized list of services.

Not all ‘shelters’ are the same – in the absence of knowledge you may end-up dropping YOUR dog off at a kill or high-kill shelter.

Two - To ensure that people that TRULY have no choice but to surrender their dog have access to a simple list providing them with multiple contact options.  

Three - to Educate People 
  • Just because you call a rescue does not mean that they can take your dog…
    • Most rescues are run by volunteers who foster dogs out of their personal residence.
      • If  all the fosters are currently looking after a dog, that rescue cannot take your dog until a foster becomes available;
    • Second most rescues will not take a dog that has bitten a human, but there are  a few rescues who will;
    • Third, if you take a dog who has bitten (full out bite - breaking of the skin as opposed to nip) a human and drop it off at most municipally/provincially funded shelters (Humane Society, SPCA, etc) your dog will not be put up for adoption – it will instead be killed – unless you have managed to make your way to one of the very few no-kill HS or SPCA shelters (see list below).
    • If you surrender a dog to a municipally/provincially funded shelter in Ontario or Quebec YOUR dog can end up being used as a research animal (‘scientific’ invasive, lethal testing) in which case the dog will die after being USED as a researchanimal
      • This practice of using shelter dogs is called Pound Seizure – it is not only legal in Ontario it is also the law. Pound seizure is also legal and practiced in Quebec.  
      • Your dog can also end-up in a kill shelter that uses Gas Chambers and/or;
      •  Heart Sticking to 'euthanize ' your dog .Intracardial injections, commonly referred to as "heartsticks," are considered inhumane and cruel when performed on animals that aren't anesthetized or comatose. I personally consider the practice cruel and inhumane regardless of whether the animal is anesthetized, comtose or not! Using the "heartstick" method is painful as the needle containing sodium phenobarbital (a schedule II controlled substance used to euthanize animals) passes through the chest wall and several layers of muscle before puncturing the heart. If the euthanasia substance isn't carefully and accurately administered, an animal's lungs could be punctured, causing them to fill with fluid. Which is an even more cruel and painful way to die.Often the sticking does not enter in the right place, so the technician will just keep sticking the dog, creating one wound after another until they get the 'right' location...while the dog continues to suffer. Often the dogs are not anesthetised at all, or not sufficiently

Four - For those dear people who love their dog selflessly – just as a dog loves…
  • People who find themselves in a circumstance beyond their control – although they truly (and I mean truly) love their dogs but have themselves, become ill, have cancer, are dying and as such cannot keep their beloved dog, and do not have a family member of friend who will take the dog – regardless of the temperament of the dog;
    • And in finding themselves in this terrible position will not just list their dog on Kijjij, Used Ottawa, Craig’s List etc. either for profit (money) or for free.
      • While some of the dogs listed on these type of sites (i.e. Kijjij do make it to very loving homes...
      • Many of the dogs listed on these sites end up absued; used in (illegal) dog fighting rings – either as fight dogs or bait dogs. Yes there are illegal dog fighting rings in Ontario and the Ottawa Region as well as elsewhere in Canada.  The dogs who are used in fighting rings suffer much pain , abuse and then death.
Five - for those people who say they love their dog BUT…want to 'surrender', 'give' or dump their dog on me!  

‘Shelters’ and Rescue Groups - a Comprehensive List

First, it is of the utmost importance to understand that if your dog has a history of biting people – it does not mean your dog is bad, but it does mean your dog is misunderstood and has lacked the opportunity to have proper leadership in its life. Dogs are not by nature indiscriminately aggressive – people inadvertently create aggression in dogs. And yes, some people intentionally create aggression.
Most SPCA, ‘Humane’ Society ‘shelters’ in this area ARE KILL shelters – they will not put your dog-up for adoption, YOUR dog WILL be killed; Most Rescue Organizations in this area will not take a dog that has a history of biting people, a history of killing other dogs, cats etc. However there ARE a few rescue organizations in this area which WILL take such dogs, as noted further below…

Rescue Groups Who Will Take Dogs

That Have NOT Bitten People, or killed other dogs, cats etc.


Arbed Rescue - Quebec

BARK - Bytown Association For Rescued Kanines – Ottawa Ontario

Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services – Oxford Station Ontario

Blue Moon Catahoula and Big Dog Rescue – Finch Ontario

Catahoula Rescue (Ontario) – various fosters on location in Ontario

Friendly Giants Dog Rescue – Ottawa, Ontario

Friends of Abandoned Pets (FOAP) – Ottawa

Genesis Dog Rescue – Ottawa, Ontario

Good Dog Rescue – Manotick, Ontario

Hopeful Hearts - Dog Rescue  - Ottawa, Ontario

K-911 Rescue – Manotick, Ontario

Lanark Animal Welfare Society (LAWS) - Smith Falls, Ontario

Loyal  Rescue Inc. – Ottawa, Ontario (email:

NARC - Navan Animal Rescue Corp – Navan, Ontario

The Canine Rescue Team of Ottawa – Ottawa, Ontario

Trinity of Hope Dog Rescue - Manotick, Ontario

Additional Rescues in Ottawa, Ontario and Across Canada

No-Kill Rescue Groups and Humane Society Shelters  


That MAY or WILL Take Dogs That HAVE Bitten People,
and may or will also take dogs who have killed other dogs, cats etc.

Loyal  Rescue Inc. – Ottawa, Ontario (email:

Good Dog Rescue – Manotick, Ontario

NARC - Navan Animal Rescue Corp – Navan, Ontario

Arnprior and District Humane Society – Arnprior, Ontario

Gananoque & District Humane Society - Gananoque, ON

SPCA de l'ouest Quebec (SPCA of Western Quebec) - 659 Auguste-Mondoux Gatineau (alymer-Sector, Quebec

High-Kill Humane Society and SPCA Shelters

Understand that if you bring your aggressive-reactive dog to these facilities Your dog will not be put up for adoption - your dog is at a very high risk of being KILLED If your dog has a history of biting People YOUR dog WILL be killed! YOUR dog will be killed at the 'shelter' via gas chamber, lethal injection or heartsticking as detailed below.

Ottawa Humane Society – Ottawa, Ontario
If you surrender your dog who bites or is aggro-reactive in any way to people and in many cases to other animals, your dog has a 99.9% chance of being sentenced to death and subsequently killed (‘euthanized’) in this ‘shelter’. Death is by lethal injection given 'humanely' - usually via an injection on one of the dog's front legs..

If your dog strays and ends up at this SPCA or if you surrender your dog to this SPCA and it is not adopted in 72 hours regardless of the dog’s behavioural tendencies (beautifully behaved, well trained dogs included!) your dog will be killed either by lethal injection, gas chamber (takes 20 to 60 minutes to die, sometimes requires second gassing – another 20 to 60 minutes, cruel, traumatic, painful, frightening, slow torturous way to die) or may use heart sticking (painful, traumatic, cruel).

SPCA Outaouais – Gatineau, 132 rue De Varennes, Gatineau Quebec
If your dog ends up here, or you surrender your dog here you should understand that this shelter get a very, very high volume of dogs in, and while they do their best to have dogs adopted out the rate of adoption at the facility currently sits at about 30% of intake, the rate of euthanasia is very, very high. The facility also includes a  gas chamber which is used to euthanize about 30% of the dogs that are put-to-death, while the other 60% are euthanized by lethal injection. Death by gas chamber is a terrible way to die.

If Your Are Not Familiar With The Use Of Gas Chambers to Kill Dogs (and cats)

You can and SHOULD take a quick read here….

Want to Do Something to Stop The Use of Gas Chambers on Dogs and Cats in Canada?

In case you are wondering... 

YES, I am an active and dedicated dog and animal advocate (you can go to my Twitter, Facebook Account, and/or read more on this blog site to understand how dedicated I am). I donate a lot of my time to making up for humans that treat dogs (and other animals) as disposable items. I live it, work it, breath it. Perhaps you see your dog as just a ‘dog’ but I know that a dog is so much more. Dogs have much to teach people about being better beings.
Working with, helping and protecting dogs is not just my job, it is my passion. Why? Because 'I don't have a life' No. Becasue...
  • I do all that I can to be a truly responsible being;
  • I have a strong sense of ethics and morals and the conviction to keep those senses;
  • I can can see all of the expressions on a dogs face that you can see on a humans face. Dogs do smile.  
  • I know that dogs have all of the emotions that humans have – with the exception of cruelty…an emotion that belongs to humans and some primates. 
  • For the same reason that my methods when working with dogs are more effective than those people that use only treats or force-dominance to work with a dog...
  • My attitude IS NOT - me human, you dog and therefore you must listen to me.
    I acknowledge that humans are NOT the most intelligent species on earth.
    I acknowledge that humans are the most destructive and arrogant species on earth. 
  • I understand the a human cannot own another being or it's life, a human can however be that other beings guardian;
  • I know that I do not know everything;I understand that non-human animals such as a dog have so much that they can and always do try to teach humans about being better is just that most humans do not know how to listen...I do listen, and that is why I am a Dog Whisperer and not a 'trainer'.
  • The relationship between man and dog should be mutually beneficial, not singularly beneficial (to the human only);
  • Dogs are not disposable items to be used however the human sees fit and then discarded in the manner most convenient to the human.



Why do I think this?

Because I have seen, felt, sensed, experienced that dogs are capable of and do deployimmense intelligence - intelligence that can match and better the capability of many a human.

Because I see the facial expressions of dogs...smiling, happy, depressed, fearful.
Because I have seen and experienced my dogs when they are dreaming and when they are having nightmares…just a gentle word from me - their human mom - and the nightmare stops.

Because I have seen and experienced that they could, can and do teach me things about myself and about others that no human ever took the time to teach me.

Because I have seen and experienced that they do grieve, they do care, they do each have their own unique personalities. They do know right from wrong, they are not cruel, they are always ready to do better, they do not hold grudges.

Because I have seen and experienced that they help others without the motivation of monetary reward or any other reward other than wanting to please and just be themselves.

BECAUSE I ASSIGN AS MUCH WORTH TO A DOG AS I DO TO A HUMAN...and sometimes more...depends on the human!
Because when a human takes a dog’s life away through neglect, abuse - cruelty, it is no different to me than taking a human’s life away.

All dogs have so much that they are willing to share with humanity. 

If we are willing to open our minds to see, we can learn so much from them about ourselves. They can help us be more aware of our own behaviour and give us a second chance to grow into better, wiser and happier individuals. When you help a dog it is not just the dog that gets a second lease on life and a new is also the human.

For all these reasons it is wrong to gas dogs to death. Why do some people think there is nothing wrong with this practice? They could not be more wrong. It is illegal to do this to humans and so it should be for dogs as well. Dogs feel as much pain, confusion, stress and terror as we do. Anyone who thinks differently is just deluding themselves so they do not have to take responsibility for the great injustice that they do.

When a dog ends up in a shelter it is because humanity has let the dog down.

Dogs don't get to choose who they live with and what is done to them. Their welfare and their lives are at the mercy of human beings - will they end up with someone who truly respects and loves them or with someone who uses and abuses them - then discards their life as if it is trash. This means that we need be very serious about protecting them.

A shelter should not kill dogs, they should give provide a temporary place of safety, until a dog can be adopted. Dogs are mans best friend - to treat them as you are doing is a terrible betrayal of trust and abuse of a precious gift to mankind.

What a dog wants most is to have the opportunity to live the life it deserves to live - to be loved and to give love like only a dog can. Not only are you not doing everything you can to see that the dog is not let down again by humanity, you are also killing them. You worst of all, the final betrayal - you are killing them in a truly cruel manner.

Shame on you. In doing this you exemplify the worst of the human species - lack of empathy and cruelty.

Please learn from past errors and stop this practice. No more gassing dog to death.

And if you don't like my 'attitude' or views - well too bad.

My interpretation of the following letter is... Can You Face the Truth of What You Do Human?

Shelter Managers Letter - Kill Shelters

As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all - a view from the inside, if you will.

Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would change your mind about breeding and selling to people you don't even know - that puppy you just sold will most likely end up in my shelter when it's not a cute little puppy anymore.

How would you feel if you knew that there's about a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it is going to be dumped at - purebred or not! About 50% of all of the dogs that are "owner surrenders" or "strays" that come into my shelter are purebred dogs.

No shortage of excuses

The most common excuses I hear are:

  • We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat).
  • Really? Where are you moving to that doesn't allow pets?
  • The dog got bigger than we thought it would.
  • How big did you think a German Shepherd would get?
  • We don't have time for her.
  • Really? I work a 10-12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs!
  • She's tearing up our yard.
  • How about bringing her inside, making her a part of your family?
  • They always tell me:
  • We just don't want to have to stress about finding a place for her. We know she'll get adopted - she's a good dog. Odds are your pet won't get adopted, and how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? 

Well, let me tell you. Dead pet walking!

Your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment you drop it off, sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn't full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy.

If it sniffles, it dies.

Your pet will be confined to a small run / kennel in a room with about 25 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it.

If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers that day to take him / her for a walk. If I don't, your pet won't get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose.

If your dog is big, black or any of the "bully" breeds (pit bull, rottweiler, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door. Those dogs just don't get adopted.

If your dog doesn't get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed.

If the shelter isn't full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed, it may get a stay of execution, though not for long. Most pets get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment.

If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles, chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because shelters just don't have the funds to pay for even a $100 treatment.

The grim reaper

Here's a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being "put-down".

First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk - happy, wagging their tails. That is, until they get to "The Room".

Every one of them freaks out and puts on the breaks when we get to the door. It must smell like death, or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there. It's strange, but it happens with every one of them. Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 vet techs (depending on their size and how freaked out they are). A euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process. They find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the "pink stuff". Hopefully your pet doesn't panic from being restrained and jerk it's leg. I've seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood, and been deafened by the yelps and screams.

They all don't just "go to sleep" - sometimes they spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves.

When it all ends, your pet's corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back, with all of the other animals that were killed, waiting to be picked up like garbage.

What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? You'll never know, and it probably won't even cross your mind. It was just an animal, and you can always buy another one, right?

Liberty, freedom and justice for all

I hope that those of you that have read this are bawling your eyes out and can't get the pictures out of your head. I do everyday on the way home from work. I hate my job, I hate that it exists and I hate that it will always be there unless people make some changes and realize that the lives you are affecting go much farther than the pets you dump at a shelter.

Between 9 and 11 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. I do my best to save every life I can but rescues are always full, and there are more animals coming in everyday than there are homes.

My point to all of this is DON'T BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE!

Hate me if you want to - the truth hurts and reality is what it is.

I just hope I maybe changed one person's mind about breeding their dog, taking their loving pet to a shelter, or buying a dog. I hope that someone will walk into my shelter and say "I saw this thing on a Blog Site and it made me want to adopt".

That would make it all worth it."

Author unknown

And I (being Karen the Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer) would just add  that in many places in North America - those 'euthanized' dogs - well their dead bodies are sold by the so called 'shelter' to pet and farm animal food/feed manufactures for rendering down to fat, etc. which is then used to make pet/farm animal food. 

Additional Assistance

Holistic Wellness Services and Holistic Behaviorist Services 

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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld