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Our Story

K9 Safe Space was a project that started in 2021, when a little white dog was found wandering the country roads of Perth County in Ontario. No owner could be located, so she was dropped at a nearby horse farm that often took in rescue horses. The dog was extremely matted and underweight, and her teeth were rotten. She had masses, ear/eye infections, and had clearly had many litters of puppies. She was rushed to the vet to be assessed and it was determined that she would sadly be palliative, as her bloodwork showed signs of early kidney failure. She was named June and we were able to find her a wonderful home with a caring individual whose passion was providing homes to senior dogs, where she got to live several months in a loving home before passing away. June inspired us to open our doors to dogs in similar situations but little did we know, how enormous the need really was in our area.

Dogs from commercial/large scale or farming community breeding operations (that are legal under the current Ontario laws) are typically seen much like livestock and are often destroyed when they are no longer productive. Many of these dogs live their lives in barns or kennels with no hydro, facing harsh cold winters and blistering summer heat. They have little mental and physical stimulation, lack human contact and often arrive shutdown or terrified. By opening our doors and establishing a 'minimal questions asked' policy, we were able to gain access to dogs who otherwise would be quietly disposed of and never get the chance to experience life as a loved companion. 

Word spread quickly throughout these breeding communities that previously believed that no one wanted these older dogs and there was another option for them. We started to get weekly calls which turned into almost daily calls to take in breeding dogs that could no longer produce litters, unsold older puppies and/or puppies born with disabilities. 

We were not equipped at the time to deal with the landslide of dogs in need, so we reached out to other rescue groups who were willing to accept dogs from these backgrounds. We started some wonderful partnerships with dedicated groups to ensure these dogs were fully vetted, fixed, and adopted into approved homes. We have continued and expanded our partnerships with other rescue groups, while building our own program and network of fosters. 

On April 4th 2023, we officially registered as a Not-For-Profit rescue group. We have an incredible team of committed Board members, volunteers, foster families, and supporters. This was a big and exciting step as it allowed us to really start to outline our goals, process, and structure as a rescue. 

In 2023, the booming puppy market crashed and we were faced with a new issue; kennel shutdowns. Many dog breeding operations are now closing, leaving hundreds of breeding dogs and puppies at risk of being destroyed . In September 2023 alone we were able to network to get 67 dogs and puppies from these facilities into foster home or rescue groups. 

Although we are not an operating kennel we have a few 'safe spaces' with temporary housing for the dogs on rural properties. These are used as drop-off locations while we quickly network to get dogs into fosters or other rescues. K9 Safe Space is a foster-based rescue (we could not operate without our wonderful fosters!) and all our dogs go into loving environments where they can decompress and learn about living in a home, while getting the vet care that they need before being adopted out to approved homes. 

As a newer entity in the dog rescue world, K9 Safe Space is committed to continuing to learn, grow, and improve our practices to provide the best service we can to the dogs and the people we work with. We have met some absolutely incredible people and dogs throughout our journey so far. 

We hope to be able to provide a 'safe space' for many dogs in the years ahead. Join us in our mission to save the lives of these dogs that are so deserving of our help. 

With gratitude, 

The K9 Safe Space Team

June the maltese the day she was rescued

(Pictured above: June, our first ever rescue dog, on arrival.)

June the maltese rescue dog

(Pictured above: June, after her groom and vetting.)

a stall full of shitzu dogs we rescued

(Pictured above: A group of Shih Tzu's from a kennel shutdown of 65+ dogs)

a rescue dog the day we picked her up

(Pictured above: Daisy, a cocker spaniel breeding dog who was surrendered in very rough shape. She sadly had major hip issues and laundry list of other physical aliments that just couldn't be fixed. She was given a few days of love before being kindly laid to rest.)

Photo Gallery

A picture is truly worth a thousand words.

Here are just a few of the wonderful dogs that we have been able to save thanks to the generosity of fosters, donors and adopters. These dogs have all found their forever homes.

We hope that this gallery shows that you can truly get any breed of dog through a rescue!

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