Frequently asked questions


Why become a foster for CHR?

Fostering is one of the most important and impactful jobs in rescue. As we do not have a physical shelter, without our amazing network of volunteer fosters, we would not be able to save as many dogs as we do.

Fostering is also one of the most rewarding jobs in rescue. By providing a safe & loving home for a dog in need, not only are you freeing up a spot for another dog to be rescued, you’re helping to prepare the dog for adoption into his or her forever home. Foster homes also provide a more loving environment than most shelter facilities can. Many dogs are often overlooked in a noisy, scary shelter environment as they become too stressed. In a home setting, the dog’s true colors can shine.

What happens after I fill in the foster application?

Once your application is received we will acknowledge back via email. Your references will receive an email with questions, or one of our volunteers will contact via telephone. Upon receipt of your references responses, if favourable; you wll be contacted to provide pictures, video or schedule a Facetime session or physical home check. We have a short scenario form that you will need to answer to the best of your ability. This provides us with information on where you are in terms of animal behaviour so we can match you with the appropriate dog. Upon the directors' review of your application and content, you will will receive an update as to approved or not approved (with reason). A waiver with manual and other beneficial content will be emailed to you for signature and acceptance as well as perusal. An invitation to our Facebook group and a list of available dogs that fit your level of animal understanding and home.

What is the process for Foster to Adopt?

The same process as explained in the foster application with the following rules. The foster to adopt "FTA" will receive a waiver to sign and accept along with a $100 deposit. The FTA will have 2-weeks to decide on adoption. If the adoption goes through, the deposit will be deducted from the total adoption fee. If the adoption does not go through, but the FTA consents to foster until adoption, the deposit will be refunded once the dog is adopted If the adoption does not go through, and the FTA does not foster, the deposit is considered a donation to the rescue.


What is the adoption process?

To adopt one of our dogs, please fill out an adoption application. Although we do our best to reply to all inquiries within 48 hours, please remember we are a 100% volunteer based organization, and many of us have full time jobs outside of rescue. We appreciate your patience.

Our priority is to ensure the fit is right for both you and the dog, we will reach out to your personal and veterinarian references (if applicable), and your landlord (if applicable). A virtual video or pictures of your place are required at the time of application.

You will then be granted a couple private meets with the dog. If after the meet and greet, you would like to proceed with adoption, we will review your application with the foster and make our final decision.

What are your adoption fees?

Due to COVID and associated expenses, we need to temporarily raise our adoption fees. The rates listed below, are pre-pandemic and due to changing times, many humanitarian airline programs are on hold (as are the flights themselves). Post pandemic, we hope to go back to our regular low rates. Thank you for understanding


A kitten 12 months of age and younger is $500

A cat 13 months and up is $350

A senior (9+ years) is $220


A puppy 12 months of age and younger is $900

A dog 13 months and up is $830

A senior (9+ years) is $500

Why can’t I meet the dog before submitting an application?

To minimize the disruption to the lives of both our dogs and our foster families, only applicants that have completed the phone screen portion of the adoption process will be granted a private meet and greet with the dog.

Occasionally, we will host adoption events in which anybody is welcome to come by and meet the dogs. Please note though that you may not take a dog home from one of these events.

All adopters must submit an application online and go through our screening process.

What are the adoption fees used for?

We are a not-for-profit organization and the funds we collect from the adoption fee covers the intake cost of bringing dogs into our care and their vetting costs. Some of our dogs have more vetting needs then others, for example teeth extractions, spay and neuter surgery, knee surgery and medication for particular skin conditions.

What should I consider before adopting a dog?

Adopting a dog should be a well-thought-out decision by all members of the household. Is it the right time? Do you understand the years of emotional and financial commitment? CHRs best suggestion is to really think hard about what qualities in a dog are important to you, which may help you figure out what breed, age, size, activity level and temperament will work for your family. Here are some other things to consider:

  • How will the dog fit into my family/lifestyle? Please take time to thoroughly read the dog’s bio/profile and feel free to e-mail the foster home questions about what to expect.
  • I have children; what should I take into consideration? If you are looking for a dog that will be good with children, it will be noted in the dog’s bio and his/her foster home can provide you with relevant information. Please remember that young children need to be taught how to interact positively with dogs of all types and sizes BEFORE you bring one into your home. We can provide you with some links and tips on this crucial topic.
  • Am I willing to commit to obedience classes with my dog? Please do – we advise even experienced dog parents to take their new dog to class. It helps both of you establish a solid relationship in a positive, public environment.

If I adopt a dog from you, and can no longer care for do you take the dog back?

I understand that I must notify CHR, without delay, if I can no
longer care for or keep my dog and agree to give CHR time to rehome my dog or
place my dog in an approved foster home, if available.
a.The adopter will receive 50% of the adoption fee paid should the dog be
returned within the first seven (7) days of the adoption date
b. No refund after seven (7) days
c. The adopter agrees to pay the surrender fee of $500.00 or greater
(depending on increase) should the dog be returned after 3 months of the
adoption date
d. The adopter agrees to contact CHR should the dog exhibit behaviour
concerns and pay for behavioural services prior to undertaking any
i. If the adopter previously paid for training, proof of such is required
when the dog is surrendered, else item 1 d. is applicable e. The adopter agrees to pay for a professional trainers’ evaluation in the
case of biting or aggression. f.The adopter understands that CHR has the right to refuse the return of
their dog if it is deemed unadoptable

I’m leery of adopting an adult dog, as I don’t know the dog’s history. What do you do to determine if the dog is temperamentally sound?

This is one of the biggest advantages to adopting a dog through a rescue. By fostering the dogs in our homes, they are observed in many situations and environments. Each foster parent is experienced with dogs of all types, and assesses each dog for behavior traits, training, socialization and quirks in general. While there are never “guarantees” in life, we do not adopt out a dog without thoroughly assessing him/her and disclosing as much information as we have. Each home has qualities that makes them unique to other homes and situations such s children, cats, other dogs, time spent at and away from home, etc.

Can I meet a dog before submitting an application?

Occasionally our dogs are taken to special Adoption Events where you can meet them prior to submitting an application. However, as multiple families/individuals may be interested in the same dog, we require all interested adopters to complete our adoption process first. Having every interested person coming to the home of our volunteers to meet a dog is just not feasible.

I don’t have a fenced yard – am I going to be automatically denied?

Absolutely not. There are families who adopt from us who live on country properties, in suburban areas, and in condominiums / apartments who do not have fenced yards. Of course there are always certain dogs that must have a fenced yard, but we will specify this in the dog’s bio. Please read carefully before applying!

If I fill out an application to adopt a dog, am I guaranteed to get it?

No, there is no guarantee that you will be able to adopt a specific dog. We typically process only one application at a time for each dog, however not every application is approved. Once an application is closed, we move on to the next most appropriate application for that dog.

Why do I have to go meet the foster to see the dog?

We are not a shelter; all of our dogs are cared for in private homes, with dedicated volunteer foster parents. There are many reasons that this is one of the best possible ways to rescue/adopt a dog: You get to see the dog at his/her most familiar and normal environment. By visiting the foster home, you will see how the dog interacts with the foster family, greets strangers, and interacts with other dogs (including your existing dog, if you already have one) on its ‘home turf’. The dog is more comfortable in a home environment than a scary shelter (many lovely dogs are euthanized simply because they shut down in the shelter and are not deemed ‘adoptable’). The dog has been exposed to new people and animals, has been loved and shown that life can be wonderful, and has been taught at least basic manners. The foster family gets to know the dog in many situations and is therefore able to give you a realistic description of the dog’s personality, quirks and needs. In rare exceptions, we will arrange a viewing away from the foster home, but because of the above reasons, it really is in the dog’s and your best interest to see him/her when they are feeling ‘at home’.

I’m not in Southern Ontario; will you fly/drive my adopted dog to my home?

No, we will not fly or transport a dog to his/her new home. As a volunteer not-for-profit organization, this is logistically and financially impossible. If your application is approved to adopt, you must make the drive to both meet and to pick up your new dog in person. However, depending on the circumstances we may make some exceptions on a case per case basis



Where are you located?

Canine Haven Rescue was founded in Toronto, ON, however we are a foster-based rescue which means we do not have a physical shelter. Our dogs stay in private homes.

Why so much screening before fostering or adopting ?

Our number one priority is to ensure the best possible fit for both you and the dog. Our adoption success rate is due in large part to the rigor we take in screening each family. Some of the top reasons dogs end up in shelters are lack of training, lifestyle changes (i.e. new baby, marriage), relocation, cost of dog ownership, not enough time for pet etc. Our goal is to ensure our adoptive families are well versed in the realities of dog ownership and ready to make a lifetime commitment. Your patience during our screening process is greatly appreciated.

How can I help?

There are several ways to become involved with a rescue organization like CHR! Fostering: We are always looking for new approved foster homes. You set your own schedule and can request preferences based on what works best for your home. Please fill out an application to foster. Screening: We can always use volunteers to do phone screening (45 mins), reference checks (30 mins) or Home Visits (30 mins). Donate: Please see here for more information on donating. Thank you!

Where do your dogs come from?

CHR dogs primarily come from reputable rescue organizations in Mexico and Dominican Republic. While many rescue organizations abroad perform spay/neuter clinics, free vetting for family pets in need, and manage many donations – many dogs still find their way into shelters.

What about Canadian dogs?

First of all – Canadians are amazing! Local shelters also get dogs from US and Mexican shelters, as Canadians have been early adopters to rescue programs. We also have high standards regarding spaying and neutering. The sad reality is that there are dogs all over not only North America but the World, who are homeless and in need of new forever families. There are many organizations in existence that focus on dogs from northern Canada, U.S and rescues worldwide. Our focus has been on dogs that need help in Dominican Republic and Mexican shelters. Without organizations helping these dogs get adopted, they can spend their entire lives in shelters, never having a home of their own. Many of these dogs are wonderful, sweet dogs yet would not have a chance at adoption unless they were brought to Canada.

How do I rehome my dog or cat?

If you are looking to rehome your dog, please never offer it as “Free to a Good Home” as this is the most common way for animal abusers, dog flippers (those who take free dogs by pretending to be a good home, and then sell them) and others with very bad intentions to obtain free animals. Your dog/puppy (or cat/kitten) could end up as bait for intentions for illegal dog fighting rings, in a puppy mill or with a backyard breeder (if you haven’t had him/her spayed/neutered), in a medical lab for vivisection/research, or harmed by sick individuals. Your animal has his/her best chance with you, a family member or friend. If you must surrender the animal, make sure it is to a no-kill shelter or a reputable rescue group, and be honest about the health and behavioral issues of the dog. CHR is foster home based and our foster group has existing dogs/cats/kids (combinations vary). We are not able to take dogs with behavioural issues into CHR as we don't have facilities to deal with issues that the surrendering family can't deal with. We always recommend a good trainer. If the dog is "rehome-able" we are willing to cross post and help with screening, so that the surrendering family find the right fit for their pup. Please note: Whenever we are able to take an owner-surrender into foster care, we strictly adhere to the Canadian Privacy Act, meaning that all previous owner’s information is kept confidential. All medial information is shared with the adopters’ own vet, however, with the original owner’s name redacted.

What is included in the vetting information?

All CHR dogs are vaccinated and spayed/neutered/microchipped prior to adoption. Dogs are vaccinated with DA2LP + PV (Canine Distemper – Adenovirus 2 – Para influenza – Parvo Virus Vaccine) and the Rabies vaccination (if old enough upon adoption). Puppies will not be adopted out before the age of 8 weeks, and will have their first vaccines. We also examine dogs for any signs of TVT, dental, 4DX Snap (Heartworm, Lyme, Erhlichia, Anasplasma) and Babesis (depending on the country of origin) All CHR cats are vaccinated and spayed/neutered/microchipped prior to adoption. Cats are vaccinated with Rabies, FIV & FELV. We also examine cats for any signs of cancer, diabetes, feline immunodefiency virus, feline leukemia virus, heartworm and high-rise syndrome.

Pet Licenses / Microchipping?

All CHR dogs are microchipped. Licensing is the responsibility of a pet owner. Licences are mandated by your city. You will need to register with them.

Tracking devices?

Only flight risk dogs will have Tractive trackers. For further details please visit their website at

Who runs Canine Haven Rescue "CHR"?

Canine Haven Rescue is run by a Board of Directors, and very dedicated volunteers who commit countless hours of personal time and resources to saving dogs in need. Our volunteers are a fantastic group of people who make everything that we do possible. We prefer to interact with the public and our partners personally so that we are fully involved in all aspects of the organization.

Where does CHR get its funding?

As a not-for-profit organization, SCHR relies solely on the kindness and generosity of the public, neighboring businesses and other organizations for help in saving these lives. We have wonderful online fundraising auctions via our Facebook page, and the donations that we receive from adoptions go directly to our vetting fund. Some of our supporters choose to make regular monthly pledges. Donating $5 or even $10 a month is a wonderful way to help our dogs. Any donation goes directly to medical care for our dogs, and is much appreciated. Without this support, we are not able to take on the more serious medical cases that we truly desire to.