Frequently Asked Questions: Niagara Dog Rescue

We have provided a thorough list of the most commonly asked questions asked to us about our organization as well as the dog adoption process. Please look through the below list to find the information you're looking for. If you cannot find your answer, please contact us directly.


Upon adopting a dog you are responsible for helping them navigate the world. Engaging them in training helps you to teach them new skills to build a stronger bond, enrich your dog's life, and turn you into a more confident pet parent, setting both you and your dog up for success.

The following training resources can greatly assist you;

"The Rescue Plan" webinar was created by certified dog trainers focusing on building trust with your dog through proper decompression. It is highly beneficial to take this before bringing your dog home.

The cost is discounted from $225 to $30 using the discount code NDRADOPTER at check out;

EduCanine has many other helpful webinars for specific issues such as a fear of strangers, reactivity, excessive barking, resource guarding and separation anxiety.

When you adopt or foster you will be automatically signed up with Petcademy to receive 30 days of free virtual training and behavioural support from certified positive reinforcement based professional trainers. If you did not receive your 30 days of training when you adopted and wish to be signed up please email

Good Pup provides one FREE week of private, one on one virtual training with an expert dog trainer to learn essential skills and resolve problem behaviors. Adopters can create an account to receive the FREE week of support through the link;

A discount is provided using this link if further weeks of training are purchased. The cost is $30.60 US for a full week of training including a one hour virtual session. The training can be paused or cancelled any time.

Where can I find a trainer in my area?
Here is a list of recommended trainers: CLICK HERE

NDR Organization Questions:

Why do you rescue from the States? Don’t we have dogs here to save?
Yes, there are dogs everywhere to be saved, however the US has a higher number of kill shelters, more dogs in shelters, and the shelters provide a shorter time frame (if any) to find a new home for the dog. Owner surrenders can be put down immediately in some shelters. We also rescue from overseas as well as Ontario and Manitoba.

Where are you located?
We are a foster based rescue. We do not have a shelter, so we do not have a single location. We have over 300 volunteers who work together from all over the Niagara region as well as the GTA.

Why do you fund raise?
We need to fund raise because the adoption fees do not cover all of our expenses. Along with our regular expenses, many dogs that we take in are in need of very expensive surgeries in order to survive.

Can I call you?
We do not have a facility as we are volunteer run, meaning all volunteers use their personal phones. Please fill in an application and someone will be in touch with you.

Adoption Related Questions:

Where do I apply to adopt with you?
Please visit our adoption page and complete an application form.

What does the approval process consist of?
There is an initial telephone or Zoom interview with as many of the family members as possible (all adults in the household as a minimum). Then a home check is completed (virtually at the moment due to Covid) and then references are checked. After all is complete a decision is made if you are a suitable home for the dog you applied for.

What does the adoption fee go towards?
The adoption fee helps to cover the costs associated with rescue including but not limited to vetting, boarding and transportation, spay/neuter, Heartworm testing, vaccines and in some cases microchipping, fostering expenses (ie: food/supplies), grooming, and training. Click here to see how much each dog costs.

If I applied for a dog, but it was adopted before I am approved, or if i see another dog I am interested in, do I need to fill out additional applications?
You will not need to fill out additional applications, you can email to request other dogs to be considered with your application that you are interested in.

Can I meet a dog?
We do not have a facility. Most of our dogs are adopted before they are transported to Ontario. There are, however, some dogs in foster homes here so there is a chance to meet and greet some dogs once your application has been approved.

Do I have to have a fenced in yard to be able to adopt?
Not necessarily. We treat each dog individually and evaluate the home required based on the size, temperament and exercise the dog requires.

Why haven’t I heard from anyone?
Please remember that we are a 100% volunteer run organization and we are working as efficiently as possible. We receive many applications and try to process them as quickly as we can. Depending on our volumes, it could take up to 8 weeks to hear from someone and we ask for your patience. If you would be interested in helping out we are always looking for more volunteers.

Why do some of your dogs’ bios say “unknown’ with cats/dogs/children?
Although we would love to know everything about the dogs before they arrive, a lot of the time it is just not possible. Some dogs are in foster homes in the US and some are in kennels. If a dog is in foster here, we are able to know them a bit more and have more information available to you. Please note that if a bio states “unknown” with cats/dogs/children we will not put the dog into a home with any of them.

Have the dogs been treated for flea/ticks?
All dogs are treated with a flea/tick preventative but unfortunately some still arrive with some depending on their individual situations. It will be your responsibility to consult with your vet and continue with your chosen method of treatment.

Can I bring my dog to a meet and greet?
We definitely encourage this and proper introduction is a must.

Can I speed up the process if I have already completed the application process in advance of finding the dog I want?Where do I apply to adopt with you?
Yes, you are more than welcome to be pre-approved so that all is complete ahead of time. You will just put “would like to be matched” in the section asking for which dog you are interested in.

If I am approved, how long will the process take?
That depends on whether you have applied for and are approved for a specific dog. If that is the case, it is just a matter of waiting for the dog to be transported. If you are approved and need to still be matched with a dog it can be a short time or a longer time depending on when you find the dog you are interested in. Once you are approved, your lead will work with your family on finding your perfect match!

How many dogs can I have in my home?
Each city has different bylaws so please check with your particular area to see what they are.

Can I adopt 2 rescue dogs at once?
Yes, if those dogs are already a bonded pair. We will not adopt to a home that already has a rescue dog that they have had for less than six months. All dogs need to have proper decompression time in order to succeed.

I have never owned my own pet, so I do not have a vet. Is that an issue?
No, but we expect you to do your due diligence with regards to their vetting requirements (heartworm testing, vaccines etc.).

If I live in an apartment, can I still apply?
Absolutely, but bear in mind that we will have to match you with a dog that will be suited for that environment.

I am a renter/condo owner. Why do you need my landlord/condo management company information?
We need to know what the specific rules are around owning pets in your building.

What information are you looking for when contacting my references?
We will be asking about your level or responsibility, reliability, home situation, and verifying the information provided on your application.

What does the term “lead” mean?
The lead is a volunteer who will be managing your interview process and then matching you will your dog if you are approved.

What is the "adjustment period"? And why is it only provided in some adoptions?
We go to great lengths to match you with a dog that is the best fit for your home. We are aware that in rare instances an adoption may not work out. In order to make sure that we find the best homes for our dogs, we provide most of our adoptions with a 30-day adjustment period. This is still an adoption, but with the option to return the dog during the 30-day adjustment period if the adoption does not work out. We have high expectations from you as an adopter to do all that you can to make things work with your family and your dog. Still, we understand that there are situations when it is not the right home for the dog. In these instances, we do ask that you continue to provide a home for the dog until a suitable family is found. When that is not possible, we will do our best to find a suitable foster/kennel for the dog as soon as we can, but it may take a few days or longer - please remember that we are all volunteers with families/jobs of our own. Should you choose to have the dog moved before they get readopted, a $500 fee will be deducted from your refund. These funds are necessary to cover foster/kennel costs or other expenses related to moving the dog. You will be provided with the return form and further instructions when your adoption paperwork is sent to you. Please review everything and ensure that you understand what is expected of you in the rare case where you may need to return the dog.

Please note, the 30-day adjustment period is only provided in the case of dogs older than 4 months old. This policy exists because when a dog is less than 4 months old, 30 days is a very large portion of the dog's life so far, and dogs of that age are easily trainable and adaptable to most circumstances - you are all they have, they will learn what you teach them. You need to invest the time and energy into their training. The adjustment period also does not apply in the instance where the dog is adopted by their foster family. These foster parents will have had the dog in their home for some time and decided during that time that the dog is a good fit for them and that they wish to proceed with the adoption.

What if I cannot pick up my dog on the determined transport day?
It is your responsibility to be available to pick up your dog on transport day. If you are unable to do so, you need to make arrangements for a family member/friend to do so. You need to notify us if you are not the one picking up the dog and we need information for who is picking up the dog in your place. If this is not something that you are able to arrange, you would need to speak to your lead to see what other arrangements could be made. These could include the dog staying at a nearby kennel. The Adopter would be responsible for any costs involved.

If I was interested in fostering, what would I be responsible for?
Some fosters provide a leash, crate, food, bedding, toys etc. however, we can and will provide these things if you do not have them. NDR will cover any medicines and medical vet expenses as long as they have been approved by NDR prior to purchase/appointment being arranged. If you think that you would like to foster, please fill out our application to foster and one of our volunteers will be in touch with you!

Can I adopt if I have young kids, no fenced yard?
You can adopt a dog if your home matches the dogs’ specific requirements.

Does NDR have all dogs spayed/neutered?
ALL of our dogs are spayed/neutered. The only exception is puppies that are too young for this to be done. In that case, the Adopter must arrange for the spay/neuter with their vet at their own expense. NDR offers a $100 reimbursement if proof of the procedure is sent to our vetting coordinator.

Are all dogs vaccinated?
Our dogs come vaccinated with their age-appropriate vaccines, which would include Rabies and DHPP. They are also dewormed and on flea/tick and heartworm prevention.

Are all dogs house trained?
We try to have fosters house train but this is not guaranteed. It will be posted in the dogs profile on our website if they are house trained.

Are all dogs crate trained?
We try to have fosters crate train but this is not guaranteed. It will be posted in the dogs profile on our website if they are crate trained.

Why are some puppies marked as for US Adopter only?
Due to border regulations, we are not allowed to bring puppies under 8 months old into Canada from the US. Only the actual adopter can do so. Due to current border restrictions, we are only adopting puppies under 8 months to US adopters. This restriction does not apply to puppies born in Canada and will not be listed in their profiles.

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