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Canadian Dogs First

Pit Bulls for Life Foundation of Alberta is partnering with numerous animal related organizations, foundations and businesses to promote our Canadian Dogs First Campaign. We hope to remind the public that we have our own pet overpopulation problem, and to please consider adopting locally before importing. We can no longer sustain the number of animals coming into our country on a daily basis and our homeless animals are paying the price.

We believe that ALL animals deserve a fair chance and admire those that respectably rescue and re-home animals in an appropriate manner from anywhere in the world. However, Pit Bulls for Life Foundation of Alberta is based in the Edmonton area and receives all of its funding from local supporters and government. As such, we believe that we should be putting those resources back into our community.

We are starting to see full circle what is happening with animals when they are “adopted” from other countries. Too often, they are being seen in local shelters as surrenders or strays because adoptive owners didn’t get what they thought they were getting. We want the public to be aware of where they are adopting from, and to do due diligence researching a rescue organization as much as they would a breeder.


Is the organization a registered charity, society or non-profit organization?

The majority of reputable rescue groups will be registered with Service Alberta in one way or another. This is to ensure that money is going to appropriate places within the group and towards the animals and the support needed to care for them. This does not mean there are no paid staff. These people work long and hard to save lives and deserve to be compensated for what they do. Many puppy mills and backyard breeders may say they are a “rescue” but if they are not registered, buyer beware.

Visit Service Alberta for a list of registered charities and societies (http://www.servicealberta.ca/Charitable_Organizations.cfm)

Ask Questions

You, as a potential owner of a rescue dog, have as much right to ask questions regarding the rescue as they would to ask you questions or visit your home.

Is there an adoption protocol to follow? Most reputable rescues care where their animals go. And yes, they can get a little invasive. This is to ensure that the rescue has as much information about you as possible, so that they can match you with a pet that suits your lifestyle. Trial adoptions are important as this gives you and the animal time to settle in and adjust to a new environment and so gives you a chance to see their true personality before finalizing an adoption (think of it as a vacation for the foster parent – you’re the sitter).

You should also be following this protocol when dealing with a reputable breeder.  Always ask for paperwork to ensure the dogs are registered with a kennel club and that you are not purchasing from a backyard breeder. The new fad of these cross breeder “pugoodles” and “spangles” etc. are not real breeds! Stop promoting puppy mills and backyard breeders by purchasing these mutts as pure-bred dogs. There are many mixed breed cuties out there to choose from in your local rescue.

What kind of support are you offered?

This comes back to a rescue caring about where their animals go. Has there been an assessment done on your potential new pet?  What is its energy level? Is additional training required?  Support can come in all different varieties. Recommendations for local support is important, ie: veterinary care, trainers, doggy daycares/walkers and/or kennels that will properly care for your animal and guide you through a life with your pet if needed.

Are medical necessities being met? Spay/neuter, vaccines and identification?

What is included medically in your adoption fee? Pets should be fully vaccinated, and spayed or neutered to prevent adding to the pet overpopulation problem. Identification (preferably a microchip, or a tattoo) will help your pet find its way back home if it happens to go missing for any reason. Microchips can be scanned throughout the world, so be sure to update your information if you move.

Are ALL medical needs being disclosed to you prior to adoption?

These are potential issues that you and your new pet may encounter. Many rescues will “save them all”, which we too believe in.  Animals with health issues still deserve a loving adoptive home, and taking in a special needs or palliative pet is good for your heart!  Minor issues could include food allergies or a history of the parvovirus or mange. These are issues that may not affect the life of the animal but should be mentioned. Other conditions such as broken bones, back or hip problems, or severe allergies are less minor and could affect the lifespan of an animal. Being aware that you are adopting a pet that may require extra medical attention prepares you for that in the future.

Is there obedience/training support?


Support Canadian Dogs First

If you are interested in becoming a fellow supporter as a rescue organization or animal related business please contact us at info@pitbullsforlife.com. If you are interested in donating to Pit Bulls for Life Foundation of Alberta, please visit our donate page.