HEART Rescue is dedicated to removing dogs from neglectful situations in remote communities in Western Canada and finding loving homes in the Kootenays.
Our dogs come from areas where pet culture differs from what we are used to in more urban centers, and where vetting is difficult to come by. The situations our dogs come from can be upsetting, and many of them come with issues associated with neglect such as temerity or lack of training.
HEART does NOT bring in aggressive animals.
These dogs, most of which do not have what could be considered an insulating coat, have to endure months of extreme cold with nothing more than an open-sided house built from scrap plywood. In the summer, access to water is intermittent while horsefly bites swell their ears and mosquito clouds swarm their eyes and noses.
Roving males impregnate chained females at will and predators such as ravens, coyotes, or even feral dogs snatch newborn puppies. These dogs are never brought indoors, never receive human compassion and kindness, are never exercised, and are generally suffering from malnutrition, dehydration, parasites and matted coats. Countless communities hold spring and summer culls to eliminate dogs at large.
HEART is working with frontline rescues to raise awareness and provide vet care in these communities, but it is a decades-long process. We hope to help save as many dogs as we can while we advocate for change.
To transport dogs in need from Northern and remote Canadian communities to the Kootenays, BC, where they have a real chance at the sort of life that every dog deserves.
Using a network of stop-overs and foster homes, we work with several animal welfare organizations to move dogs from the Northwest Territories (NWT), through Alberta to the East and West Kootenays. The NWT has shelters in only three communities which work hard to re-home unwanted or neglected animals from outlying areas.
The Kootenays, aside from being a magnificent place to raise a pet, is one of the few regions where shelters sit empty and willing fosters remain dogless. The next logical step was to create a group that could ease the overwhelming burden on northern shelters, while providing amazing, devoted dogs to families in British Columbia.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Hi! My name's Ida (pronounced eeda), currently loving life in Rossland, B.C. I am a teacher, recently turned dog-groomer to fill those quiet summers! I lived and taught in Fort Resolution, NWT for 2.5 years and was horrified by the rampant disregard for animals there. My rescue "career" began with my leaving the community on school breaks with a Toyota Rav 4 brimming with dogs. Both of my dogs are rescues; Oliver (pic) is a souvenir of my time in the north. During my free time I enjoy photography, hiking and biking with the dogs, and world travel (those rare times I can afford it!)
Hello, Andraya Hughes here. I was born and raised in Castlegar, B.C. and grew up loving, caring, and bringing home any and all neighborhood strays…even if they weren’t strays!! I have been watching Ida save dog after dog after dog on her own, so when she mentioned that a dog rescue organization had been formed, I absolutely could not say no! As I am also a full time high school teacher, I do what I can and I’m honored to be a part of HEART. To date, we have saved many, many dogs and puppies (to see the look on the new owner’s face when their new ‘addition’ races to greet them….it’s amazing)!! I am currently living in Trail, BC with my beautiful little black lab, Quinn. She also loves helping out with new puppies and foster dogs! We are having a blast!
Hi, I'm Erica and I am very excited to now be a part of HEART! When my husband and I moved to Rossland a couple of years ago, getting a dog was one of our top priorities. We hadn't really given much thought as to where we would get a dog from but kept hearing great things about this 'local rescue' in town and thought we would check them out. We found Jet's picture on the website and it was love at first sight! We brought him home to try him out and there was no giving him back. Because of Jet I stayed in touch with HEART and one thing lead to another and now I'm proud to say that I'm part of this wonderful organization.
Hello! I'm Jen. I grew up with pets and currently have a dog and two cats, all of which are rescues. I am a teacher as well and spent 6 years teaching in remote communities in B.C. I loved teaching and living in the different communities but I struggled with how the animals were treated. I fed many dogs and “adopted” some strays as my own….. however due to tragic circumstances I was not able to bring them with me home to Rossland. I was disheartened by what had happened to my dogs and what was happening to all animals in the communities but felt that I couldn’t do anything to help the situation. When I first heard about HEART from Ida, I was excited because I would once again have the opportunity to help neglected animals and decided to foster...now I am honored to be a member of the board!