Updated September 11/ 2012

Is there a rescue centre where I can visit the dogs?
The vast majority of our dogs are in foster homes in & around the Ottawa area, not living in one rescue centre. This makes for a happier living arrangement for them! It also allows us to assess how they behave in a regular home setting, and allows them to get one-on-one training & attention from their foster families. If there are multiple dogs that could be a good fit for you, you can either coordinate with their foster homes to meet them individually, or sometimes we can coordinate for you to meet multiple dogs in one place.

I’m interested in a dog on your website - what now?
There are a number of steps in the adoption process, starting with filling out the online adoption application form. For a description of the adoption process, have a look here.

I live outside of the Ottawa area, can I adopt a dog from you?
We do our absolute best to get dogs into homes that are best suited to them, regardless of location. Please feel free to apply if you are not in the Ottawa area. However, all of the steps of our adoption process still apply. Therefore, it is essential that we are able to do a home visit, regardless of your location. If you are outside of a reasonable driving distance from Ottawa, we will ask a member of another trusted rescue or one of our fosters in your area to do the home visit for us. If this is not possible (eg. if there are no rescue organizations or fosters within reasonable proximity of your home), then we may unfortunately not be able to adopt a dog out to you. Send us an e-mail and we’ll do our best!

If we can do the home visit, then most out-of-town adopters travel to Ottawa and spend a few days here.  We recommend that you meet a number of dogs that are a good fit for you, and then take some time to think about it, as it's a big decision (hence spending a few days in town). Out-of-town adopters often pick up their new family member at a later date (either driving back to Ottawa, or we can try to meet them halfway, or sometimes transport can be arranged). This is coordinated on a case-by-case basis.

I have a feline friend at home, will this be an issue?
Before adopting a dog out to a home with cats, we try to first “cat test” the dog. If this goes well, then we introduce the dog to your cat and allow them to spend enough time together that we have a reasonable idea of how they’ll cohabitate before you make any decisions about adopting the dog.

This is NO guarantee it will go well, unfortunately, as the cat may become more interesting to the dog as the dog settles in. We insist that adopters with cats take the appropriate precautions to properly integrate a dog into a home with cats. We can provide more information on this as needed. Also, please keep in mind that prey drive develops in dogs as they hit maturity (about two years old for most breeds), so behaviour can change. You must stay on top of things to ensure that everyone is getting along.

You are always welcome to e-mail us and ask which dogs are currently being fostered with cats, as these dogs will be the best bet for you.

I live outside of the Ottawa area AND I have cats. Is this an issue?  
This one is more challenging for us. For the majority of dogs, we do want them to meet their new feline friend before anyone commits to the adoption. If this isn’t possible, then adoption from us may not be an option. In cases where the dog is being fostered with cats and is doing fabulously, and if the cats in your home are dog-savvy, only then will we consider an application. It is on a case-by-case basis. so please feel free to contact us.

Are the dogs up-to-date on medical needs (spay/neuter, etc)?
All dogs have been spayed or neutered, received rabies, dhpp, and bordetella vaccines, have undergone a  heartworm test, are on heartworm prevention medication, have been dewormed, and have received any other special medical care that has been required for a particular dog. All medical records are transferred to adopters.

Puppies also receive puppy booster shots. In the case of puppies too young to be fixed, they are adopted with a “Spay/Neuter Contract”, which requires the adopter to have the surgery done, with the cost covered by Catahoula Rescue-Ontario. In these cases, we give you a list of vets with whom we have a special arrangement, and you can choose the one that is most convenient for you.

What is the adoption fee?
The adoption fee for adult dogs is $400. Puppies that require three rounds of puppy booster vaccines (which we provide) are $500.  The adoption fee covers the cost of spay or neuter surgery, post-surgery care, vaccines, a heartworm test, heartworm prevention medication, deworming, and any other medical issues that have arisen with a particular dog. Dogs also come with their leash, collar, and some of the food they are currently eating.

Can I adopt on a trial basis or foster-to-adopt to be sure it's the right dog for me?
No, we do not adopt dogs out on a trial basis. However, we are quite happy to have you meet a dog several times including in your home (if you're local), in other locations such as a dog park (if dog parks are your "thing"), and to have the dog meet family or friends that may interact with your new dog. In other words, we'll do everything we can to make sure the dog is the right fit for you, but will not adopt a dog out if all adults in the household are not 100% sure they've made the right decision. This is because it would be stressful and unfair to the dogs to bounce them around between homes. They've been through enough, after all, and they need your total commitment.

That said, we do have a clause in our contract which stipulates that if an adopter does not feel the dog is right for them within the first 30 days, they may return the dog to rescue and receive a partial or full refund. Even though we want you to be 100% sure when you decide to adopt, we realize that dogs behave very differently in different environments, and we will not leave anyone hanging with an incompatible dog. We will always bring any of our dogs back into rescue should they ever need to be re-homed for any reason. In fact, the contract stipulates that the dog MUST come back to rescue if an adopter is not able to keep him or her.

We do check in a few days and a few weeks after the adoption to make sure everything is going well, and we are always happy to provide advice and recommendation if adopters are ever having issues at any time, not exclusively in the 30 day period. We want adopters and their new dogs to live happily ever after together!

Why have I never heard of a Catahoula Leopard Dog before?
Well… they’re not that common! The Catahoula is the state dog of Louisiana (they originate from the US), and there is no shortage of Catahoulas that need great homes in both Canada and the US. Most Catahoulas are high energy, and they are a working breed, so please do your reading on whether this is the breed for you. That said, most of our dogs are mixes, and some aren’t Catahoula at all, so please do chat with us about the needs and nature of a particular dog that you’re interested in. For more information on the breed, please see our About the breed page.

What’s the deal with the Catahoula Rescue having non-Catahoula breeds?
We are a breed-specific rescue, which means the majority of our efforts go towards rescuing Catahoula and Catahoula mixes. That said, our doors are always open to other breeds, and we do occasionally work with community partners in need of our support to place dogs of other breeds.

What is your policy on Heartworm?
Having heartworm is a terrible experience for dogs (and their owners). Fortunately, it’s easily preventable. All of our dogs have been heartworm tested, treated if they were so unfortunate as to have it, and are on heartworm prevention. We do require that all dogs remain on heartworm prevention after they are adopted.  Dogs originating from the southern US, where heartworm is extremely pervasive, must remain on heartworm prevention for 12 consecutive months following their arrival in Canada.

I can no longer keep my Catahoula (or other breed). Can you help?
We are happy to offer advice, recommend trainers, and generally help resolve any issues you may be having.  We don’t want you to have to part with your dog unless absolutely necessary. If for any reason you cannot keep your dog that you adopted from us, the Adoption Contract does stipulate that you must return the dog to Catahoula Rescue-Ontario.

If you did not adopt the dog from us, we are still very pleased to offer advice that may help you keep your dog. We have a lot of experience with the Catahoula breed, and we prefer to see dogs stay with their families. If it's absolutely necessary that you part with your dog that you did not adopt from us, you may e-mail us a description of the dog, its behaviour, and a photo.  If we have space in the rescue, an appropriate foster home and depending on the specific issues you are having, we may be able to help you re-home your dog.