Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Message from the ADR Dogs of 2011

From the bottom of our "substantially similar" little hearts - THANK YOU!!!!

Thank you for your support, your donations, your time, your comments, your compassion - thank you!

Our lives could not have been spared without you!

Happy Holidays!





















Our "just one more" girl Ursula sadly spent Christmas at the shelter. Though we are sure the shelter staff gave all the dogs special attention, we still feel awful for her.  But, the holidays aren't over yet. Can you help us pull Ursula before the end of the year?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Santa Paws Recap!

This holiday season, Pet Valu stores across Ontario have been inviting rescue groups of their choosing to participate in Santa Paws Photo fundraisers. Our lovely friend (Tanya) from Pet Valu, Commissioners and Wellington in London, chose ADR and we hosted our event this past weekend.

Thank you to everyone who came out and went above and beyond with their donations. Together we raised an outstanding $560 for our rescued pooches.

Below are some photo's from the day.


Winnie & Ursula

Welcome to the ADR family, girls!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fostering Part Two: Choosing A Rescue

Besides choosing whether or not it is the right time in your life to open your heart and home to a dog in need of a safe place to stay on their way to happy beginnings, choosing which rescue to foster for is probably the most important choice you will make in this journey.

The rescue group you choose to work with will be the one that supports you through the difficult times and having a solid working relationship is key. You should never feel alone during your fostering experience.

How does the rescue group select which dogs are accepted into their program? How do they network and promote the dogs they have available for adoption?

All dogs that are accepted into the program should be assessed for issues with temperament and behavior. The rescue group’s top priority should be selecting dogs that are safe to place in your home and into the public. If they wouldn’t welcome a certain dog into their home, why should they expect you to? The group should have a 100% honesty policy with you and should be upfront about any and all concerns.

Looks for a rescue group who networks actively. Social media sites are a great way of getting the word out about available dogs. Avoid rescues that use dramatic tactics that guilt people into fostering and adopting. There will always be cases that are more urgent than other and sometimes require pleas for help, however, if that is there only method - steer clear.

Ideally, the rescue you choose to work with will have a solid history of placing the right dog in the right home (foster and adoptive). Be prepared to answer a flurry or questions about your background and knowledge of dogs, and your lifestyle.

Does the rescue have a back up plan if fostering doesn't work out?

Be upfront initially with the rescue about what you are able to offer – can you only foster short term, do you have a resident dog with special needs – in terms of matching with the right foster dog. Let the group know if you have vacation time planned. It’s only right that you give them enough notice to make other arrangements for your foster dog while you are away.

What is provided by the rescue, and what are you expected to cover? Crate? Food? Vet care? Training?

Decide before hand what you are willing to contribute. Let the rescue know what you will require them to cover. Most rescues do provide these things, but its a good idea to ask anyways.

The rescue group should have representatives that are well versed in dog training and behavior (or at the very least, have access to a qualified professional). You should be comfortable that they have the knowledge to assist to work through quirks with your foster pooch.

Not all rescue groups are created equal. Making the right choice, makes all the difference.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fostering Part One: Am I Ready?

Fostering a dog in need of shelter, love, and guidance is a time-consuming effort, but it’s also one of the most rewarding ways to help homeless pets. Providing a “stepping stone” for animals in search of permanent homes saves lives, helps set the stage for successful adoptions, and teaches you the skills that will enable you to help other animals in need.

If you’re considering taking a foster pet into your home, ask yourself these important questions.

What If It Doesn't Work Out?

If you have decided that fostering is right for you and feel prepared for the experience, you may still encounter obstacles to a positive outcome for your foster pet. These may include unknown behavior problems that are difficult to modify; illness; injury or unexpected death; the foster pet’s non-acceptance of pets already in the household (even after a reasonable acclimation period); or existing pets’ non-acceptance of the foster pet.

Because dogs passed from home to home or repeatedly returned tend to suffer from bonding and behavioral problems, you must be willing to allow a significant amount of time and training in areas of housetraining, crate training, leash training, and basic obedience.

If your foster pet has been given ample time to adjust to your home (usually two to six weeks) and still seems anxious, becomes aggressive, or suffers from any significant behavior or health issues, notify the rescue group you are fostering for immediately. Never be embarrassed to ask for help. They want to know EVERYTHING!

Does fostering fit your household and your life?

The health and welfare of all individuals in your home—human and animal—must be considered before bringing another creature into the mix. Fostering a homeless pet should never be considered unless your home environment is happy, safe, healthy, and spacious enough to nurture the foster pet adequately and retain sanity among the existing members of your home. If any of your family members are contending with allergies, excessive stress, other physical or mental health issues, career instability, financial difficulties, or housing or space restrictions, fostering is not a good option for you at this time.

But if you believe you have the ability to foster, and the entire household agrees that fostering would be a positive experience, your next question should be “Do I have the time?

Fostering a pet is a 24/7 job. Although you may not be physically interacting with the animal every second of the day, you will be responsible round the clock for the pet’s safety, comfort, and general well-being, and this responsibility alone can be exhausting.

If your work or family schedule is already so hectic that adding another time-consuming responsibility will only create more stress, do not consider fostering at this time. If that new foster dog will spend long periods of time in his crate—periods that frequently approach or exceed the eight-hour threshold—or if you’ve killed your umpteenth houseplant because you just haven’t had time to water it, you’ll want to put those foster dreams on hold for now.

The amount of personal attention needed will vary greatly from animal to animal, but you can expect to spend anywhere from three to seven hours a day interacting with a foster pet, and even more if you’re planning to foster puppies. Teaching dogs the lessons they will need to become happy, thriving, lifelong members of another family is the essence of fostering, and this takes time and patience.

If you and your family feel you have the time and ability to provide a dog with the socialization, exercise, positive stimulation, and training she needs to become a happy, healthy addition to someone’s home, you next need to ask yourself, “Who do I want to foster and why?”

Any animal considered for fostering should be healthy, fully vaccinated, behaviorally sound, and disease-free (unless you are specifically fostering heartworm-positive dogs, or other “special needs” animals). But those are not the only considerations.

The Skinny on Behavior Assessments

ADR performs a simple, humane behavior assessment. Every dog who comes through the organization’s doors is evaluated for temperament and aggression.

While in foster care dogs and puppies should be observed and evaluated for aggression, resource guarding, and obedience. Any questionable or seemingly abnormal behavior should be reported to the rescue immediately. Conversely, don’t hesitate to also report positive behavior. As a foster guardian, you have the added benefit of learning more about the animal’s behavior than possibly anyone else, and therefore, you are also the pet’s best advocate in helping him find the perfect home.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Christmas Wish

A letter to Santa Paws from an ADR dog in foster care.

Dear Santa Paws,

Since some very nice people already got me sprung from the cold and loud place, and I’ve got just what I need for the holidays (a warm dog bed to rest my mug and quality food in my tummy), I’d like to ask for something a little different of you this year. Here goes (ahem, ahem) my wish list...

I wish that politicians would wake up, smell the kibble, and realize that BSL doesn't work. Good dogs and responsible owners are being punished everyday. Admit your mistakes and work with experts to enact dog laws deal with the real issues. A dog, is a dog, is a dog and we need regulations that work to provide dogs owners with affordable spay/neuter and training programs, communities with bite prevention training and laws that give responsible dog owners a break!

If you believe breed specific legislation should be repealed in Ontario, please support Bill-16. Second reading of the private member's bill is in February.

I wish for people to stop buying dogs from pet stores and websites that are supplied by and support backyard breeders and puppy mills. In fact, I wish that people stop buying dogs at all. The pet overpopulation problem is a huge one. There are so many rescued dogs like me without a home and family to call their own. Consider the adoption option and visit a shelter or connect with a rescue group, today!

"Shelter dogs aren't broken.
They've simply experienced more life than other dogs.
If they were human, we would call them wise.
They would be the ones with tales to tell and stories to write.
The ones dealt a bad hand who responded with courage.
Don't pity a shelter dog.
Adopt one.
And be proud to have their greatness by your side."
- unknown

And finally, Santa Paws, I wish people would think twice about how they train their dogs. We (dogs) are simple and just do what works. Yelling, poking and rolling (as seen on TV) hurts and does nothing to build or strengthen a deep bond between us that we so desperately crave. Dogs are surrendered and returned to shelters everyday, simply because families haven't sought help from a qualified trainer for behaviour issues (or have chosen to work with the wrong trainer). The number 2 trigger for aggression in dogs, is discipline. Positive reinforcement training keeps families safe, dogs in their adoptive homes, and very simply saves lives by reducing the number of companions euthanized due to unwanted behaviours.

Thank you in advance, Santa Paws.

One of the Lucky Ones

p.s. I wouldn’t say no to club size jar of peanut butter if you’ve got room!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Smork We Love: Holiday Edition

As the holiday season quickly approaches (where does the time go?) we thought we'd help you out with some gift ideas for dogs, and the people that love them too!



The Tug-A-Jug provides a multi-sensory appeal to keep your dog interested and motivated to play by stimulating your pet's sense of sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste. Fill the Tug-A-Jug with their favorite treats or put a twist on meal time and fill with their favorite food. This is a smart dog toy that will feed your dog's stomach and mind.

The KONG Wobbler

The Wobbler is a KONG-shaped food dispensing toy and feeder that sits upright until pushed witha dog's paw or nose, then dispenses treats as it wobbles, spins and rolls. The unpredictable movement keeps the toy challenging, even for seasoned Wobbler users. Use the Wobbler as an alternative to a dog bowl, and help to extend meal time and exercise your dog.


Merricks: Venson Holiday Stew

And why should us humans get all the delicious goodies?
The Merricks are going to the dogs. Venison Holiday Stew is prepared with Venison, Red Jacket New Potatoes, Carrots, Zucchini, Sugar Peas, & Red Apples.


Culture Clash: Jean Donaldson

The Culture Clash depicts dogs as they really are - stripped of their Hollywood fluff, with their lovable 'can I eat it, chew it, urinate on it, what's in it for me' philosophy. Jean's tremendous affection for dogs shines through at all times, as does her keen insight into the dog's mind. Relentlessly, she champions the dog's point of view, always showing concern for their education and well being.
(The BEST dog book you will ever read, bar none.)

Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Suzanne Clothier

If you started life as a child who loved dogs more than anything else in the world and grew to an adult with the same love, then this new book by Suzanne Clothier belongs at the top of your list! Suzanne talks about her childhood with dogs and her relationship with them, and the differences between training and having a real relationship with your dog. She talks about specific dogs and situations, what she learned from them, and how they have changed her attitude towards dogs and towards training. The dogs you'll meet and the lessons they teach may make you want to start over with your dogs and develop a better relationship. At the very least you will come away from this special book with a different attitude towards your canine companions and a new understanding of training and relationships.

Meeting Milo: Yvette Van Veen

This beautifully written and illustrated book is geared towards children ages 3-6 to help keep them safe around canines....which also keeps canines safe around kids.

To purchase or for more info and excellent training resources, click HERE!


Scruffy Dog Photography Session

scruffy dog photography is not about your average pet portraits ... these are fun, intimate sessions, capturing your dog’s spirit and character using mostly natural light ... shot environmentally and in your home. no studios, no bright lights, no coercion, no stress.

Book your session HERE!


Smork & Beans by PirateEmm
"An intriguingly eclectic collection of curiosities..."

Garden markers, dog tags, memorial stones - you'll fine everything you what you want and more.

Shop HERE!

Leave a comment below and let us know what's on your wish/shopping list!