While Finding Them Homes-James Bay Pawsitive Rescue recently celebrated the 2,000th adoption in its short history, it had an almost accidental beginning. In September 2012, Sara Feero, a resident of Moosonee, Ontario learned that the deadline for two puppies (Patches and Willow) to find a home was near, and as is so often the case in communities with no veterinary care and few options for stray dogs, would be euthanized. Sara contacted a friend, Brenda Mueller, and together they decided to foster these 2 puppies. To find forever homes for them, Brenda contacted Julia (Jules) Dezoete in Barrie who got word out via social media about a couple of dogs available for adoption. In the meantime, Nadia Peters in Moose Factory was also looking for homes for a litter of puppies.
On Sept. 28, 2012, with the assistance of Pilots ‘n Paws, the dogs were brought south to Barrie and subsequently adopted out to friends and family. Although we didn’t know it at the time, that date has since been recognized as the official start of Finding Them Homes.
Soon, Karen Metatawabin-Wesley from Fort Albany, another James Bay area community, contacted the group of friends to find solutions to the large population of stray dogs. The only available option till that time to manage the over-population of dogs was to conduct culls. Before long, Karen led volunteers into the woods and along river banks to rescue stray dogs and litters of puppies, and with the ongoing help of Pilots ‘n Paws, Ontario Northland Railway, and dedicated volunteer drivers, many rescued dogs found their way to Barrie.
As the number of dogs increased, the nucleus of an organization began to take shape. Lisa, Julia’s twin sister, became heavily involved, especially after they nursed a sickly pup, Oakley, from the brink of death back to life. He subsequently became the mascot for Finding Them Homes (and is featured on the logo). As word spread of the plight of dogs and puppies in remote northern communities without access to veterinary care, donations to rescue and provide care for them started to come in. Toward the end of 2013 it was decided to add some structure to the ad hoc group and a board of directors was created to help manage the growing volume of work. In January 2014 it was decided to apply to the CRA for charitable status and this was granted in July 2014.
Finding Them Homes has now completed over 5 years of operation but it could not have reached this point without the tireless efforts of its many volunteers. Board positions are also all volunteer. The only remuneration anyone receives is the satisfaction of seeing so many dogs rescued and placed in loving forever homes. Through the donations of countless supporters, funds have been raised to conduct veterinary clinics in a number of communities where dogs could be neutered/spayed and receive vaccinations. Communities in the James Bay areas that Finding Them Homes has been able to help have now become much safer with the reduction of roaming dogs. The success of these programs in the James Bay area has allowed Finding Them Homes to offer help to communities on Manitoulin Island as well as those north of Thunder Bay.
Finding Them Homes is thankful to all these communities for extending a hand of friendship and helping to break down cultural barriers. Those of us who have been able to work closely with community members have appreciated the relationships that have been built as we work together for the good of the communities.
A success in Moosonee is that there are less children who are afraid of dogs in the community. When Brenda first moved to Moosonee in 2009 the majority of her class were afraid of dogs because of their memory of the packs. Now, most of her students do not have this fear since they never had to grow up with these pack problems thanks to Moosonee PUPs and Finding Them Homes. … read more
I, myself have 3 dogs who were given shots and my two females are fixed. I am forever grateful for that because what if my dogs had baby puppies and I gave them away? Most of them would be out there free roaming.
I feel like ever since finding them homes has come together, the dogs up north have a better chance at living their lives. They would be properly trained in time, fed daily, bathed and over all LOVED. … read more
I am so proud of the huge strides my community of Fort Albany has made in our dog management program. Our dog population is under control, we have been able to manage this for almost two years. All of our females have been spayed, most males have been neutered. Almost all of the dog population is up to date on vaccines. … read more
Imagine loving your dog as you do, and they get sick or are hurt, What do you do? There are no vets, nobody to give vaccinations or spay or neuter?
If you are lucky you live in a community where there is a volunteer, a doggie angel who will do everything they can to help. They distribute food from the feeding program, they distribute dog supplies sent up as donations, they administer to the sick and injured, but most of all they help rescue. … read more
I was amazed to hear from another First Nation’s person who did so much and wanted to learn from her and get some advise/support. She introduced me to the best Rescue Group ever, Finding Them Homes. The support, understanding, graciousness and empathy expressed by the De Zoete girls and all the fosters/helpers has been nothing but positive. It was so difficult to try ask for help from other rescue’s that blamed our culture, shamed our people and disrespected our efforts. FTH’s is helping, supporting and cheering us on towards dealing with our problem. … read more