Being involved with local rescues is great, but I also very often get asked questions about where to find a rescue dog in Ottawa, so I finally decided to make this one-stop local guide to help people find their new best friend! If I missed a rescue, please let me know in the comments and I will add it to the list. They are all listed in alphabetical order (please scroll down for the breed specific category).
They are based in Merrickville and take in dogs of all ages and breeds.
Their veterinary technician program is partnered up with the SPCA de l’Outaouais and they occasionally have animals that are up for adoption.
Shelter located in Arnprior, about 45 minutes west of Ottawa. They seem to have more cats than dogs.
They are mostly known for their cats and I have never seen a dog for adoption there, but they do take in dogs as well. They are a foster based rescue.
Based in Ottawa, they are also a foster based organization.
They not only rescue dogs, but also all kinds of farm animals such as cows and goats. Although they are currently closed due to covid, the community used to be able to visit the farm.
Foster based rescue in Ottawa.
Freedom is also an all breed, foster based rescue in Ottawa. They often hold fun fundraisers so you can give them a follow on social media to stay updated and support them.
Foster based rescue in Ottawa that mostly takes dogs. They do sometimes have cats up for adoption as well. They don’t seem to have a website but their Facebook page is pretty active.
From a user on Reddit: “We adopted a fantastic dog from there, the woman who runs it, Janet, is amazing, she rescues and rehabilitates dogs who otherwise may get put down in other shelters. Our dog was kept as an outside dog and not socialized until Janet got him and turned him into a wonderful, affectionate family dog”.
They are also foster based and always have dogs up for adoption. I have been photographing their dogs for years whenever they need it and I can say they have an amazing group of volunteers. I fostered my own dog Jiminy Cricket with them and decided he was staying with me forever!
They are located in Carlsbad Springs, 20 minutes east of Ottawa. They offer boarding and daycare for dogs but also have an adoption program. Although they are an all breed rescue, they do focus on large breed owner surrenders.
They are based in Smiths Falls and have both cats and dogs up for adoption, although they seem to focus more on cats.
Foster based and all breed rescue based in Ottawa. I have been following them for years and you really do see all kinds of breeds and sizes.
Foster based, all breed rescue in Ottawa. Although they try to save as many dogs as they can from different conditions, they try to focus on shelter dogs whose time is up. I strongly suggest you follow them on social media (especially Facebook) as it is more up to date than the Website.
They are based in Pembroke but have fosters in Ottawa as well. Their website states that they focus on “abused, neglected, abandoned, and injured dogs of Turkey” but they try to help any dog in need.
A little less active with no website, so I initially thought they were not operational anymore, but someone asked me to add it. It’s still going!
The link will bring you to their Facebook page. They do seem to be on PetFinder so you can also click on this LINK and go to “view our pets” on the right sidebar to see their adoptables.
Foster based rescue in Ottawa. They usually always have dogs that are up for adoption. Again, I suggest following them on Facebook as they often post about dogs that recently came into care and are not yet on their Website.
Shelter in Ottawa that rehomes dogs, cats and other small animals such as bunnies and guinea pigs.
Paws with a Cause is a smaller, foster based rescue in Ottawa with a team of 5 volunteers. They help “animals in need and pet owners who are struggling”.
All-breed, foster based organization in the Ottawa area.
Foster based rescue that focuses on dogs in shelters and who are close to being euthanized.
All-breed, foster based rescue in Ottawa. They also have lots of cool fundraising events on Facebook, so make sure you give them a follow!
If you are looking for a specific breed, you might be able to find the right one here! I did not include breed-specific rescues that are too far from the Ottawa area, but you can find others on Google closer to the Toronto area.
They have no adoptables at the moment but you can keep an eye on their website for any updates. They seem to be spread out all over the country so you can choose your province on the map.
You can complete their adoption application to be placed on the waiting list. If you are the right family for a dog up for adoption, they will contact you first.
As someone who has always wanted a Great Dane, my dream came true when I won one of their auctions and got to spend a whole day with one of their foster Danes, Abbie. BHRR is run by great people!
They are a foster based, nation-wide organization. Here, you will find Boston Terriers and Boston Terrier mixes.
I initially thought they were in Toronto, but someone confirmed that they not only have fosters in Ottawa, they also have a transport team that can get the dogs to you! They work with abandoned, injured or lost boxers to find loving homes for them.
Because of the breed specific legislation, you might not be able to adopt certain dogs available for adoption. Please check each dog’s profile for more details.
Foster based Dachshund rescue.
Although they are based in Toronto, once you fill out an application form, your application will be directed to a coordinator in your area.
Foster based rescue in Ottawa. They work with islands such as Barbados and the Dominican Republic to rescue these feral dogs from the Caribbean, known as “potcakes”.
They rescue retired racing greyhounds and seem to be most active on Facebook.
They are based in Ottawa and rescue Mini Pins as well as other small dogs if needed. I found it great that they also help women with dogs escape domestic abuse by providing long-term or short-term fostering.
They are based in Perth and focus on rehoming deaf and blind Australian Shepherds and Border Collies.
They are based in Toronto but also have fosters in Ottawa. Although they do seem to focus on standard poodles, they also have toy poodles, mini poodles and poodle mixes.
Foster based pug rescue in Ottawa.
They are based in Duclos, Quebec, near Wakefield.
Their Westies can only be adopted in Ontario and Quebec. They also have a “Senior for Seniors” adoption program, where a senior person is matched with a senior Westie.