top of page

About Us

Why the Canadian Focus?

Although the members of our board have been involved with rescues for several years we had no idea just how dire the overpopulation problem is in Canada's Northern and Indigenous communities was. When we decided to start a dog rescue we began to look into different organizations to find out if there were groups out there that we could join forces with to make a real impact. We wanted to ensure that our efforts would be put to their best use.

As we began learning about the magnitude of the problem our Northern Neighbors were facing we were embarrassed. How could we devote our time day in and day out for years to saving dogs and yet be completely in the dark to such extreme conditions right in our own backyard.

The reason we didn’t know isn’t because no one is speaking out about it. The reason that we didn’t know, and you likely don’t know, is because no one is LISTENING to those that are speaking out. Volunteer organizations such as Sash-Mar Helping Northern Dogs, Flights for Hope, K9 Advocates, Iqaluit Humane Society, Save a Dog Network and countless of other groups have been working tirelessly for years to help our Northern Communities by raising awareness of the severity of the situation and have saved an incredible amount of lives already thanks to those efforts!

After we became aware of the problem in Canada, we knew that we needed to focus our attention here at home taking in dogs from Northern Communities, local shelters and owner surrenders. In December once we opened our doors we jumped in with both feet and hit the ground running. Within 24 hours of our launch, we had our first arrivals to The Village; 5 Puppies from two separate situations; who arrived with the help of Flights for Hope and Save a Dog Network. We named them after five very special dogs who captured the hearts of each of our board members as well as our first foster volunteer. They were dogs that changed our lives forever and since the arrival of our first Villagers was monumental, we thought the tribute was important. We continue to honour Remi, Taz, Tyson, Jessy and Misty every day and will never forget their stories.

We have big hopes and big goals for It Takes A Village Dog Rescue and we will continue to focus our efforts where we feel they are needed the most! 

A documentary of northern dogs. 

Click the button below to watch an eye opening video about the

lives of dogs in northern Canada.

Fostering Hope

Meet Our Board of Directors



Director of Finances

I was born and raised in the Brockville area and now reside in Athens. My love for animals started young and I have always surrounded myself with dogs. I am passionate about rescue work and spend much of my free time doing the behind the scenes and hands on work that comes with rescue. I have 4 dogs of my own - all adopted and all spoiled rotten. I am fortunate to have the support of my husband who rarely says no and my family and friends who go along with and support all of my endeavors.


When I am not working towards improving the lives of dogs in in our community I am working as an Elementary Special Education teacher for the public school board. My days are full and busy but I wouldn't have it any other way!


Director of Human Resources

I've always been a lover of animals, but dogs hold a special place in my heart. The love of a dog is something we should all strive to deserve. Dogs are pure and loyal, and few things are as awesome as the greating they give when you get home at the end of the day. Working with rescue and helping deserving dogs get a second chance at a happily ever after "fills my cup" with the good stuff again. My goal is to one day be the person my dogs see me as!


Director of Administration

I grew up an animal lover in a house where animals were not allowed. What? Can you imagine? I suppose now you can say I am making up for lost time.  My home consists of my 2 favourite humans, Gracie (daughter) and Ethan (son) and our 4 pupperoos ranging from small to giant, young to old. Each one from a different background and each a perfect fit into our crazy family.

We joined the world of rescue a few years back. Gracie’s favourite part is helping at fundraising events and training the fosters. Ethan loves to walk the dogs and play with them in the backyard. I love watching the dogs in care progress from intake to adoption…. The transformations are truly amazing. 

I am very blessed to be apart of this special village - where strangers with common passions unite, friendships bloom and we help as many doggies as we can find their forever homes. 



Adoptions Director

​I was born and raised in the small town of Arnprior, a country girl at heart, I have had a passion for animals instilled in me. We had family dogs growing up, and dogs continued to be an active part of my life. The first part of my life was very career focused, and as time passes I realized it was time for a change, to not only be career focused but to make a difference and give back to my community. My husband always tells my kids, "if you want to help, help someone that cannot help themselves, help an animal."

Given our love for dogs, we decided as a family to start fostering with ITAV Dog Rescue to try and make a difference in one dog's life. We foster as a family, my husband, son, daughter and I, for which I'm very grateful. After a wonderful experience with our first foster in the summer of 2022, we decided this was something our family wanted to continue. I decided my spare time would be given to helping as many fur friends as possible and joined the rescue as an Adoption Coordinator.


Away from rescue, I love the being outdoors with friends and family, camping and fishing, watching my kids curl, and being a mom to two wonderful young people. Rescue doesn't pay the bills, but it fills my cup with love and experiences a career can't provide.

Meet Our Team


Social Media Team Lead

I grew up in Carleton Place and have loved animals of all types ever since I can remember. I have always had a menagerie of pets, whether they be furry, feathered, scaled. 

My love for dogs truly started in 2012 when my family got our very first dog. From there the pack grew and my love for dogs grew even stronger! Fast forward to the spring of 2022 and I ended up joining the ITAV team first as part of the foster check-in team, and then graduated to the social media coordinator. Working for ITAV brought me and my amazing little northern super mutt Hoover together.


Being a part of the ITAV has been such an amazing experience, meeting and working with so many passionate people, all in the name of savings as many dogs as we can. 


Social Media Coordinator

My love of animals has always been a core part of who I am. Despite being allergic, you can always find me where the animals are. I am the girl sitting on the floor with the house pets at any gathering. When it came time to buy our first home, my husband and I knew that property was our priority- it is my dream to run a sanctuary full of rescued animals of all kinds. When we moved here, I became acquainted with as many local rescues as I have been able to find, and made it my personal mission to support as many of them as much as I am able to. I learned a lot about the importance of fostering and though I (like most others) was afraid of having to say goodbye at the end, I knew my personal feelings were not worth more than the lives I had the ability to save.


My initial plan was to foster cats, as cats are my greatest love. My vet advised against it because one of my cats is immunocompromised, so we inquired about dogs and small animals- I knew I wanted to do my part in whatever way I could. Fast forward to now, my house usually has around 7 animals between my personal pets and my fosters, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Becoming a part of this village has added so much value to my life. Fostering and rescuing are so rewarding, I really cannot recommend it enough!


Social Media & Newsletter Coordinator

I have always been an animal lover and had a soft spot for rescue dogs. I started volunteering on the newsletter and social media teams with ITAV in 2022 while I was on mat leave with my son. I was looking for a way to give back to my community and get involved with a great cause. I had heard about ITAV from a few coworkers so I took the leap!


I work full time as a registered nurse and I find volunteering with the rescue something that brings me a lot of joy. I am excited to see how the village grows!


Reference Coodinator

When I retired, I wanted to commit to volunteering in a role where I felt like I was making a difference in the community. My love of animals lead me to ITAV where I am able to help dogs in need find their forever homes. Thankfully, my husband is also an animal lover and we have two dogs and two cats that we rescued. When I’m not speaking with the references of prospective fosters and adopters, I love spending time at the barn with my horse, going for long walks, and hanging out at the dog park.


Virtual Home Visit Coordinator

I grew up in Brockville. I still live here with my Husband Don and our kids Jacob and Quinn. I have never lived in a home without a dog. I believe that a house isn’t a home without one. I grew up loving animals of all kinds. We currently have our 2 pups Socks and Pickles, an African Grey Parrot Clover, a bunny Flash and Fredrick the fish.


I am an educational assistant working with elementary school kids. I love my job and helping kids realize that are capable of anything they put their mind too. When I am not at work or running my kids around to hockey and gymnastics I just enjoy spending my time at home snuggled up on the couch with a good book or TV show and my dogs.I grew up in Brockville. I still live here with my Husband Don and our kids Jacob and Quinn. I have never lived in a home without a dog. I believe that a house isn’t a home without one. I grew up loving animals of all kinds.


We currently have our 2 pups Socks and Pickles, an African Grey Parrot Clover, a bunny Flash and Fredrick the fish. I am an educational assistant working with elementary school kids. I love my job and helping kids realize that are capable of anything they put their mind too. When I am not at work or running my kids around to hockey and gymnastics I just enjoy spending my time at home snuggled up on the couch with a good book or TV show and my dogs.


Virtual Home Visit Coordinator

I have a passion about animals. In our household, we have a total of 4; 2 cats and 2 dogs. I can't imagine my life without animals! We grew up in the suburbs of the city and always had cats and dogs (even a racoon at one point). We also raised a cow and some ducks. Hoping to retire in the country to expand and open our house to more animals in need.


When I heard about this wonderful rescue, I knew I had to get involved somehow. I was asked if I'd be interested in doing virtual home visits and here I am. I love to see what environment our rescues will live in. It is heartwarming to see so many loving people wanting to give our rescues a second life, a second chance, a better life!


Adoption Coordinator

I grew up on a little hobby farm in Arnprior. We always had dogs, and often we would also have cats, chickens, rabbits, turkeys, and ducks. I moved to Ottawa when I was 18 to become and Early Childhood Educator and now I am the Director of a nonprofit childcare centre.


My husband and I decided in the fall of 2022 that it was the right time for us to get a dog. We went to the It Takes a Village Dog Rescue website, and we fell in love with a little brown and white puppy. We went to meet her and knew she was the dog for us. The rescue was very open and told us that she may have some health issues and they did not want to adopt her out without knowing what was wrong. They took her to many vet appointments and ran multiple tests until they found out what was wrong. Turns out she has only has one kidney but that didn’t stop us from adopting her since she had already stolen our hearts. I was so impressed with everything they did to find out what was wrong, that I wanted to give back by volunteering with the rescue on the adoption team.



Foster Program Coordinator

As long as I can remember, I was always the kid who was saving the frogs and worms from being run over, feeding the stray cats in the neighbourhood or rescuing dogs from being euthanized at the local shelter. I joined the parades walking show Shepard’s and spent all of my spare time with our family dogs. When visiting family and friends you would always find me wherever the animals were, wether in a barn with farm animals or curled up in a crate with the dogs.


I currently have a house full of rescue dogs,

and assorted critters that my family and I enjoy immensely. My kids are growing up and moving off to school, so I figured now I have the time to volunteer and join ITAV with a crew that shares the same passion that I have. As a new member, I’m impressed daily how big the hearts are of this team and I’m excited to be a part it!


Marie Claude
Foster Program Coordinator

I wanted to help dogs in any way that I could, when I saw the call for fosters to help rescue dogs from the Manitoba wild fires, that was my chance to start, by fostering one of the incoming dogs. Turns out not only am I helping save dogs, and I am now part of a wonderful village composed of amazing individuals who I like to call my second family.

Other than loving anything dog related, I am crafty! I like to build/sew/make stuff and also love to dance!

michelle w.jpg

Online Fundraising Coordinator

I am originally from Scarborough and moved to the Brockville/Athens area 30 years ago I have loved dogs my entire life! It’s an unconditional love like no other. Most recently , a yellow lab named Polar chose me as his mommy me over 10 years ago. I have loved (almost) every single minute of it! I watched ITAV from afar for awhile and then realized they need a hand. So many dogs to care for and fundraisers to help with the costs which is where I decided I can step up and help! I am blessed to have joined a team that is so caring and passionate about the overall care of all dogs


Volunteer Coordinator

Hey there, I am a semi-retired professional who loves long walks, travel, and of course animals. (Hmmm....sounds like the wrong profile ) A life long animal lover, I have had dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits and even a chicken. I've been fortunate to join ITAV as a volunteer coordinator where I can contribute in some way.


Foster Dog Support Coordinator

I love northern dogs. They are my life long passion and companions. Their mystique makes them the "rock stars" of dogs, as one friend said once. Movies are made about their exploits, they bring gravitas to television series, and we are in haw of their wildness. I have lived with them for almost two decades and they have been my precious sidekicks. I love talking about them and sharing stories of their adventures - as nauseum! - and I have been told many times: oh, I didn't know this about them! I have also build a home according to their needs.


I am so grateful to be part of ITAV and to support their important work of caring for northern dogs, sharing a bit of my knowledge and adventures, partnering with the North and honouring these beautiful beasts that have walked along humans for such a long time.


Foster Dog Support Coordinator

I have always said that dogs are better than people, and those who take offense to that statement are exactly the people I am talking about. A lot of rescue dogs come with baggage, but all of them come with unconditional love. Our house has dogs as young as 4 months old and as old as 16 years old.


My volunteering with ITAV started only as providing respite for foster families because I work full-time for the government. That quickly turned into becoming a foster family and then joining the foster check-in team. While some of us have specific titles, it is more of a "all hands on deck" approach with everyone jumping in to support wherever needed. My own 18 year old daughter accompanies me on transports or taking the dogs to vet appointments. My recently retired husband, who was supportive about fostering, but essentially indifferent, has been "all in" and he's the reason I can do this. He's also the reason our second foster was a foster fail. But that didn't stop us from continuing to open our home to more.


I have a soft spot for the palliative dogs who come into ITAV's care. They feed my soul, as does working with this amazing group of volunteers who are all a testament to the rescue's name - it really does take a village - and I am so grateful to be part of it.


Foster Dog Support Coordinator

I came to ITAV to foster shortly after I lost my 16 year old cocker spaniel mix, Dallas. I have always had dogs in my life and I felt so empty, but wasn't ready to commit to adoption just yet. I began fostering and fell in love with it. We foster failed with a puppy in January, but have still continued to foster. I love everyone involved with ITAV, it is such a wonderful community, so supportive and kind.


I love fostering and helping out wherever I can because it is the most rewarding experience to help a dog heal from whatever traumas they are dealing with, to see them grow into their personalities and thrive. Of course my heart breaks a little bit every time a foster leaves us, but it warms my heart when I see the loving forever families they are going into. It truly does take a village.


Foster Dog Support Coordinator

I have a long history of loving animals. My two passions are horses and dogs and I am so blessed to have spent my professional career working with both in a variety of roles. After adopting our latest rescue pup from ITAV it was clear I had to be a part of the team! I love being able to support our local community (yes I still consider Northern dogs as supporting our community) and see how many lives get impacted by choosing to save even just 1. Dogs are incredible beings! There is a whole line of team members rallying together to help these dogs all find their loving forever homes and not a single person who encounters them along the way isn’t touched by their journey. My role as a foster check in person is to help our foster families navigate how to best care for each of their foster pups and help them trouble shoot along the way. For the most part, I cheer them on, dote on all the photos and share in celebration every time we are finally told “your pup is officially adopted”!


I scarcely remember a time in my life without dogs. As a child my parents brought home 2 “free” puppies from the farm down the road and as soon as I could as an adult I adopted my first rescue, he was a husky mutt. The bigger and fluffier they are, the more they fill my heart! My family consists of my incredibly supportive husband (who also grew up with rescued dogs), my 2 amazing little kids who love taking care of animals and taking part in dog training, our cat Griffin, a pony, several chickens and of course our 3 goofy and loving dogs; Christmas (a golden retriever), Roo (a now senior Australian shepherd) and of course our ITAV pup Liberty who is a “northern super mutt”.

bottom of page