Gloria Baggs and Tanya Gadoury started in the rescue community by fostering dogs. Today, they are both part of the Ontario division of Catahoula Rescue Inc., which was established over a decade ago in Texas. Ontario’s branch has been up and running since its Petfinder page was built in 2006. Catahoulas are an uncommon breed, but the demand for the active dogs is growing.
Tanya tells us that the breed tends to consist of dogs that fit various family types, including the odd couch potato and some with moderate energy levels. “Each dog is different so you also can’t use one training technique for all of them.” She also discusses the solid community of friends and contacts who support each other when there are any issues or people seeking advice.
Catahoula Rescue in Ontario
Catahoula Rescue Ontario now has 25 foster homes and adopted out 72 dogs last year alone. While still specializing in Catahoulas, the group has gradually come to rescue all breeds and primarily works with its local pound. In total, Gloria says that 70% of their dogs come from the US and 30% from Canada.
The “unique looking” rescue group namesakes are versatile, active, athletic, enthusiastic, independent, intelligent and problem solvers. As interest surrounding them has grown, so has their popularity ─ which means more are being saved from euthanization in very poor areas of the US. Catahoula Rescue had 12 adoptions in just ten days earlier this year.
Unfortunately, Gloria tells us, there are no bi-laws on spaying and neutering pets, leashes, etc. in places like Kentucky where they come from and the dogs are often treated indispensably. If owners do not invest the time and energy to train them, as with any dog, the novelty of puppyhood wears off and they end up at the local pound or shelter as “teenagers”. Tanya is currently fostering one of these guys, named Benny, who was rescued along with his brother Marshall from an unknown situation and would have otherwise been euthanized.
Catahoula Rescue has actually helped the municipality save a lot of money, getting the dogs properly vetted and screening adopters to find wonderful furever homes for the dogs. Gloria adds, “Until there is more education and people become more aware of how important spaying and neutering is and responsible dog ownership, we will always have a problem of dogs in need. It will never go away.”