Finding Them Homes rescues dogs from James Bay Coast

July 8, 2015   ·   0 Comments

FindingThemHomes2While it’s commonly stated that dogs are man’s best friend, it can also be said that man is dog’s best friend. These loving, caring animals thrive when they are in homes where they are loved and become more than just a pet, they become part of a family.

Unfortunately, many dogs are mistreated and abandoned every day around the world, dogs who are in need of a loving new home, where they can begin to thrive once again. Sometimes, an owner also discovers for a myriad of reasons that they are no longer able to care for their dog, and surrender them to a rescue or the Humane Society in hopes of finding them a newer, more suitable home.

Finding Them Homes, a connected group of volunteers from James Bay, Barrie, and many other communities in Ontario (such as remote, northern First Nations communities), work to rescue stray and injured dogs and puppies in need of new homes.

“[They are] dogs that otherwise may not survive, and are sent south to be ‘rehomed’,” wrote Aileen Jenkins, a member of the organization. “Finding Them Homes is dedicated to finding forever homes for rescued dogs and puppies from the Ontario James Bay coast, providing assistance when necessary for the dogs, puppies and communities.”

The goal of the organization is to ‘help reduce the over-population of dogs by re-homing them, running spay/neuter clinics for these communities, and providing donated food and supplies.”

FindingThemHomes3This Saturday, Finding Them Homes will be in Orangeville, providing a Meet & Greet with several of their dogs in need of homes. The event, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Global Pet Foods,  will also provide those interested with information on the adoption process, as well as their fostering program. All dogs within the program are placed in foster homes, where they become a part of a family while waiting to find a forever home.

“We are currently planning a trip to Thunder Bay to bring more dogs into our rescue, the current count is 17 dogs,” explained Ms. Jenkins. “Myself and another volunteer will drive up, pick up the dogs that are in temporary foster homes in Thunder Bay, and then drive back the next day.  Foster homes are already in place for the dogs coming back into rescue as we do not use a kennel or boarding services.”

The organization is run entirely through donations and volunteer efforts, which means that oftentimes needed items can be hard to obtain. During the event, they will also be collecting dog food and other dog-related items like puppy formula, feeding bottles, medications, bowls, collars, leashes and crates.

“These items will be left in Thunder Bay, and then shipped to the remote communities that are in need,” said Ms. Jenkins. “This helps to care for the dogs until there is an open spot in a rescue for them.”

Along with seeking adoptions for the rescued dogs, Finding Them Homes has also successfully provided two spay and neuter clinics, one in Kashechewan on the James Bay coast, and the second in Constance Lake First Nation near Hearst.

“A team of volunteers, including our vet and a vet tech, who all volunteered their time, travelled and over five days [for the first clinic], were able to perform 52 spay/neuters and many more vaccinations,” said Ms. Jenkins. “[We] came home with 18 dogs in our vehicles, all of which were owner surrenders who wanted a better life for their dogs, and entrusted us to find it.  All of these dogs are now in loving forever homes.”

At the second clinic, which spanned over 2 1/3 days, they were able to conduct 42 spays/neuters, and brought back nine adult dogs and eight puppies into the rescue, to help find them loving homes.

“We are currently in the works of planning a third spay and neuter clinic at the end of August for another First Nations community,” explained Ms. Jenkins. “None of this would be possible without Dr. Pauline VanVeen of Barrie Veterinary Hospital, as she freely gives of her time to help these dogs. If her time wasn’t donated, the costs of our spay/neuter clinics would be much higher than what they currently are.”

The spay and neuter clinics are offered free of charge to the residents in these First Nation communities where they provide their services, and everything is made possible solely because of supporters, donations and fundraising efforts, added Ms. Jenkins.

By offering these services, “the communities are made safer for the residents as there are not as many dogs in the streets, [or] having more puppies,” she said. “As the majority of these communities are fly in only, there are no vet services offered, and it is extremely costly to fly a dog out to have it spayed or neutered.”

The journey to bring the dogs from James Bay to Barrie is often long and eventful, with multiple volunteers who each contribute to one portion of the journey. The program also has the support of many pilots from Thunder Airlines, who help bring the dogs and puppies south, as well as the necessary supplies north.

“When the many rivers are not frozen the only way to get in and out of Fort Albany is by airplane,” explained Ms. Jenkins. “These great people provide their services whenever they have room on their flights.”

She added that when the rivers and lakes freeze over, the ‘rescuees’ can be transported over land.

“Quite often the seven- or eight-hour trip involves multiple switch-overs and needs to be coordinated with many volunteers,” she said.

The adoption clinic on Saturday will allow local residents the opportunity to meet and spend some time with the rescued dogs and puppies, letting them get to know the dogs before choosing to make an adoption. There will also be plenty of information available on the process, on fostering the animals, as well as the many services that Finding Them Homes provides.

For more information or to find more details about the organization, visit


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