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!
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
Those that know me know that I have always been an animal lover and have the softest spot for a big set of puppy dog eyes! As a kid, after walking our family dog, I would canvas the neighbourhood, offering to walk dogs for others, just for a chance to spend time with the dogs. To this day I know most of the neighbours by the dog’s name and not the human’s name.
I have had many fosters come into my home since beginning to volunteer for dog rescues and I absolutely could not have managed it without the never-wavering support and assistance of my daughter Alexis. She will never fully understand how incredibly blessed I feel to have her take this journey with me. We are both looking forward to emBARKING on this next chapter and excited to change the lives of as many dogs as we can!
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.
I have always loved animals and have a house full of them, but there's just something special about dogs....so much so that I went into a career working with them. I'm a certified pet stylist and operate Jen's Dog Grooming in beautiful Westport. A busy home based studio with 1 employee plus myself.
When I'm not clipping pups, you can find me tending to my chickens and rabbits or perhaps playing with my own pack of canines or felines.. heck there's even a horse!
All this is possible with the support of my husband, Greg, who helps where he can, whether it's transporting, collecting donations...or playing Santa at fundraisers.
We would love to see all creatures, big or small in warm homes or barns... with full bellies, clean beds and a human that loves them dearly...wouldn't that be amazing ?
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.
I grew up loving dogs from afar, as my siblings were allergic so we couldn’t have one. As an adult, my partner Dave and I have always adopted rescue dogs and parrots.
Somehow we stumbled into fostering for ITAV, and haven’t turned back. If you know me, you will be shocked that I’m able to foster……. as it’s surprising that I haven’t kept them all. It’s actually been easier than I thought- and it has also been very rewarding.
Dave and I both work in healthcare. We both provide intervention to those struggling with both mental health and chaotic substance use. Volunteering with, and for this village has become the therapeutic part of our lives. There is nothing better after an emotional day at work then returning home for snuggles and devoted companionship. This “village” is very special to us.
Meet Our Team
I grew up in the Ottawa valley, where my love for dogs started when I was very young. Specifically my love for Huskies! After graduating from Social Services I realized I wanted to dedicate some of my time to helping others, naturally for me that meant animals. Once joining rescue I knew that it would always be a big part of my life. (Between the dogs and the team, its the best community to be a part of!) That is when I fell FURTHER in love with Huskies, specifically sled dogs. Their unique personalities and immense appreciation for life is something I had never experienced before. I choose to volunteer in rescue because every dog we help, knows they are being loved and cared for.
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.
Social Media Coordinator
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 Team