Community Papers

Dog rescue adoptions a popular alternative

Adopting from a dog rescue is becoming a popular alternative to adopting from a breeder or local shelter.

Many people are not aware that although shelters will take in a returned dog that responsible breeders should too and rescues are no exception.

With more than 50 dogs being adopted every year through Vancouver Island Dogs Rescue Society (VIDRS), they expect the odd few needing to be returned for varying circumstances including everything from the death of an adopter to the cute puppy who grew up to be a rambunctious high energy dog that the family was not prepared for.

Although VIDRS has a rigorous screening process to ensure the dogs go to good homes, nothing can be perfect.

Adopters are required to fill out a lengthy application, followed by a home visit for further discussion and finally a meet and greet with the potential dog to ensure that an appropriate match is being made for the lifetime of the dog. If the adopter must rehome the dog, they are required to return the dog to the rescue.

“We have very few returns due to our thorough screening process but recently, Maple, a one-year-old Labrador retriever/Siberian husky cross came back to our care,"  said Shannon Briggs, President of VIDRS. "She is a sweet girl but unfortunately was not socialized properly and is a bit of a handful. She is still young so she is definitely trainable but we are in need of an experienced home without kids, cats and dogs.

"Currently, we don’t have any placements that fit her needs and it is detrimental to her rehabilitation being in a home with other dogs. Because our foster people are dog lovers, finding a foster home without other dogs can be really tough,” added Briggs.

The requirements of a foster home vary as much as the dogs in care vary; however, all foster homes are expected to commit to keep the dog they take on until it is adopted and to work to positively correct unwanted behaviours with the help of the rescue and partnered trainers.

“We are in need of people with training experience. Most people have the passion and want to help, they have good intentions, but without proper experience good intentions are not enough for the dogs needing retraining,” said Cecily Shaw, foster placement co-ordinator.

The Vancouver Island Dogs Rescue Society has been in operation from Campbell River to Victoria for nearly two years and has placed over 100 dogs. They are a registered not-for-profit committed to rescuing Canadian dogs and bringing awareness to dog overpopulation issues in Canada. The organization is completely donation-based, volunteer-run and includes a board of directors.

Applications for fostering and more information about Maple can be found at www.islanddogsrescue.com.

— Vancouver Island Dogs Rescue Society

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