According to Humane Canada, approximately 700,000 animals are waiting to be adopted at Animal Shelters. When one goes out the door, another comes back in. For many people, they worry about adopting a dog from a rescue because they feel like it’s a gamble. There may be behavioural issues as well as health issues. Because of this, two locals saw the opportunity to make a new rescue.   

Founded in 2021, Courageous Canines is a local nonprofit organization working around the Airdrie area, that focuses on quality over quantity when it comes to the lives of their dogs. 

“We don’t take a lot of dogs in, so we can give each and every dog the behavioural and medical help  they need in order to be rescued,” said co-founder Katelyn Winter

Dogs get surrendered for a lot of different reasons, according to Winter. However, one of the leading causes is unwanted behaviours the dog exhibits. This can lead to many owners getting frustrated with their dogs. But can this be fixed? Courageous Canines hopes to help with what they call “Socialization walks” which are free to adopters for life.  

The rescue held a 'Socialization Walk' this past weekend at Nose Creek Regional Park. The walk was a chance to help train the dogs on all things socialization. the walks are meant to teach dogs how to engage with other dogs as well as how to work with reactivity, fear, and excitement. Winter says it's like a mini-training class with trainers that work on reactivity, recall, and leash pulling. According to Winter, these walks help owners see they aren’t the only ones struggling.   

Another leading factor to pet owners surrendering their dogs is the financial problems they run into throughout the life of the dog. This can be heartbreaking for many owners. Courageous Canines takes 30 per cent of their donations and supports owners that are struggling with the financial aspect of having a dog in an effort to support the owner so they don’t have to surrender their dog.   

“If someone's struggling and they’re thinking of surrendering their dog, we will help them. Times are tough, money is tough, we will help pay a portion of their vet bill," she said. 

Having a nutritious diet for all dogs is important in helping with behavioural issues as well as preventing health issues down the line. The non-profit organization helps out by handing out 5 bags of food every week, thanks to the donations of community members and local pet stores. 

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