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Freedom Dog Rescue is an all-breed, all-size foster based dog rescue which operates in Ottawa and surrounding areas 🐕💖. They are dedicated to rescuing homeless and abandoned dogs, dogs from shelters and taking in desperate owner surrenders when they can no longer care for them.
“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”
Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Prize Winning Author
Q: Tell us about your Freedom Dog Rescue?
Freedom Dog Rescue is a local dog rescue in Ottawa, Ontario. We are 100% non-profit, and every member of our team is a volunteer – this means we do not have a central office or shelter. We open our own homes and welcome these dogs into our families. We fall in love and then we set them free into new families where they can live their best life. It is hard to say goodbye. We know that if we do not say goodbye, we might not have space to rescue another. So, we make space in our hearts and in our homes for another dog. The truth is, we do not just rescue these dogs. They rescue us. They teach us about resilience and overcoming the impossible. Each of these dogs has their mountain to climb. Some take a day to potty train, others take months. When they finally climb that mountain, we are there to share in the joy of their success. We are so proud of them and honoured to do what we do. We are thankful for every moment in rescue. The truth is rescue is a lifestyle and we would not want to live any other life. Our mission is to rescue dogs of all breeds and place them into “furever” homes when possible. To operate, we partner with organizations and businesses around us to fundraise to supply these dogs with all the tools they need to succeed. We have screening processes for volunteers and applicants who wish to adopt. Our adoption fees range up to $600 depending on the age of the dog. These fees help us to cover expenses such as vetting costs. Freedom ensures the dogs are spayed or neutered and ensures the dogs have the necessary vaccines when they go to their new families.
Q: How long have you been around and how did you get started?
Freedom Dog Rescue was established in February 2015 by a handful of people in the Ottawa area with a passion for saving dogs. This small group of people had rescued with other organizations and realized the importance of continuing this mission. Since then, Freedom has grown to approximately 100 people and rescued over 1,500 dogs.
Q: How would you describe Freedom Dog rescue to someone who’s never heard of it?
Freedom Dog Rescue does important humanitarian work in Ottawa and the surrounding regions. Though we are local to Ottawa, Freedom Dog Rescue has fostered dogs from all over the world. To name a few of the missions we have participated in most recently, Freedom and a few other rescues participated in the Ruffugee Project which oversaw the importation of over 200 dogs from Barbados. In addition to that, Freedom recently made a road trip to Northern Manitoba and rescued 25 dogs who needed a home. In the past we have taken in Korean meat market dogs. We have taken in potcakes from Greece, Mexico, Texas, and the Dominican Republic.
Our efforts have not gone unnoticed, and we have been recognized by the public. Freedom won the “Best Non-Profit” award with Faces Magazine two years in a row and was nominated in the same category in the third year. Irene Harding and Brigitte Larsen (two very wonderful ladies on our board of directors) also won awards in the humanitarian category. Freedom also made the cover and was featured in the Animal Wellness Magazine and has been broadcasted on radio stations throughout the years. We are so thankful for the support in our community.
People who wish to contribute to our organization are eligible for a charitable tax receipt on donations of $25 or more in the tax year. One-time donations can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org with the password “freedom” and the memo “donation”. Our palliative program also has monthly sponsorship opportunities where you receive monthly newsletters, the opportunity to have playdates and more. Monthly donations can be set to whatever amount you are most comfortable with. For more information on our palliative program, you can email email@example.com.
If you are interested in learning more about Freedom Dog Rescue, please visit our website at www.freedomdogrescue.ca or visit us on social media. We always have super fun fundraising and community outreach events. Or, at very least, you can find some pretty cute dog pics!
Q: What sets Freedom Dog Rescue apart from other dog rescues?
There are lots of incredible dog rescues in our community, and we all put in the hard work for this important cause. There are several things that set Freedom apart from other recues, though.
First, we have a palliative care program. This program takes in dogs from owners, veterinarians, trainers, other rescues, and humane societies/pounds. In this program, dogs with critical and terminal illnesses who would otherwise be euthanized are given a home in their final days. In care, we provide top notch veterinary support, we provide food, toys, and other supplies, we cross items off their bucket list, and they live comfortably in a foster home with a family until such time as they are ready to cross the rainbow bridge. Sometimes, these dogs are simply too old to be adopted out. Other times, they are in the beginning stages of an illness they will eventually succumb to. We believe this program gives dogs who are not yet ready to say goodbye one last chance to live their best life.
Freedom Dog Rescue also has a medical hold program. In this program, we intake dogs who are generally already in the emergency room and are fighting for their life. Perhaps the owner cannot afford the veterinary costs and so, they surrender the dog to Freedom, and we nurse them back to health. In this program, we also work to rehabilitate dogs with behavioural needs. This program is definitely dependent on donations because many of these vet bills are thousands of dollars.
The Just Fore Dogs Annual Golf Tournament was founded by Freedom Dog Rescue. This big fundraising event has benefitted several other rescues in past years. Even people without prior golf experience come out for the day and participate in all the incredible activities. We generally have a big silent auction, a dinner banquet, raffles, games and more! This year, our Tournament is on Saturday, August 14, 2021, at Cedarhill Golf and Country Club. More information can be found at www.justforedogs.ca. This year, things will be a little different to account for COVID safety but, it will still be a blast!
Q: Besides cash donation, what are some of the other ways I can contribute to Freedom Dog Rescue ?
Absolutely. Freedom always appreciates monetary donations or monthly sponsorships but when someone would like to give in other ways, we are always open to that. We often have people donate dog food, toys, crates, beds, and other supplies. Leashes, Kongs, slip leads, pee pads, and Easy Walks/Martingale collars are like gold! Beyond dog-related items, we are always on the hunt for items we can use as prizes in fundraisers and auctions. We are so excited to partner with Books & Nooks for an upcoming fundraiser. The lucky winner of our Palliative Buy A Square event will have a chance to win a book bundle. We have other small local business participating in this event too, and we are thrilled to be able to support small, local business by advertising them on our social media. We are always in need of those items. We also appreciate when people donate their time and their support. Since we are a team made up completely of volunteers, we are always looking to expand our Freedom Family. We often need people who can transport dogs or supplies to and from vet appointments or adoptions. In non-covid times, we host lots of events and need extra hands running a booth, taking pictures, or handling a foster dog. Most of all, the greatest contribution any of our supporters can make is to spread the word about us. The more support we have, the more dogs we can save. You can find us on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and more.