AWW - Rescue Paws Canada


An interview with Trine from Rescue Paws.

Rescue Paws are Hua Hin based and focus on rehoming dogs within their network in Canada. We have recently transported quite a few of their dogs to their furr-ever home and their dedication and organisational skills are inspirational! Below, Trine goes into great depths regarding animal welfare and rescue, so grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable and enjoy the stories!

If you could be one of your dogs for a month, which dog would you be?

I would want to be Fern! Fern got adopted earlier this year by a lovely couple in BC, Canada, and they go hiking, camping, exploring and adventuring in the most incredible and breathtaking places! It would be a dream come true to experience some of the places they visit. They are also the most caring and passionate dog owners and have gone above and beyond with training Fern, understanding her needs and doing absolutely everything they can to make sure she is the happiest pup on the planet!

What rescue memory is a highlight that cheers you up on the hard days?

The first adoption I ever did was a dog from Mexico, her name was Frida and she had no known behavioural issues while living in Mexico. She got adopted by a lovely couple in Vancouver, however, shortly after she arrived in Canada, she was showing a lot of problem behaviours. She was leash reactive as well as being so strong she was hard to control, and she had a very high prey drive and almost bit the landlord's cat, which cause the landlord to second guess allowing them to have a dog in the apartment.

The couple was extremely committed to training her and tried very hard to make it work, they spent a lot of money, time, and effort on behaviouralists and vet visits, but to no avail. Frida just wasn't suited to live in an apartment in a busy city. I, therefore, started searching for a more suitable home for Frida. I spent hours upon hours trying to find her the right family, but it was difficult finding people interested in knowing her behavioural issues, and the few meet and greets we organised were unfortunately unsuccessful. I was getting very anxious as Frida's behaviours were getting too much for the couple to handle.

Then finally one couple showed interest and wanted a meet and greet. They fell in love and decided to adopt her! Frida (now Maggie) is now living a very happy life in a rural town where they go on lots of adventures, hiking, camping, kayaking, and road-tripping all the time, and Maggie has even learned to live with a cat! I'm so grateful for everyone involved being so helpful, cooperative and understanding in a situation that was so strenuous and challenging, especially being my very first adoption experience.

Receiving photos of Maggie and seeing how well she is doing in her home makes all the hard work worth it.

What's your biggest challenge right now?

My biggest challenge right now is definitely to find flight volunteers and raising much needed funds! Some of our dogs were adopted as long as 6 months ago, but due to Covid and the decline in travel, even after spending hours upon hours searching, posting, sharing and reaching out to people, I have really struggled to find suitable flight volunteers.

On the other hand, I've seen an increase in the amount of people interested in adopting dogs, which is absolutely amazing, but at the same time a shame as we haven't been able to adopt out as many dogs as we could have if we had more flight volunteers.

We have also received less donations that usual as times have been tough for many. We would therefore be grateful for any contribution, big or small!

What should people know if they are considering before adopting from abroad?

At the moment they should be aware of the fact that it might take some time before their pup can fly, as we have struggled to find flight volunteers lately and now have a few dogs waiting in line for the next flights. They should also know that international adoptions are not always smooth sailing. Flights can get cancelled or delayed, dogs can get sick or injured just before a flight, flight volunteers plans can change etc. etc.

The best thing you can do when you adopt a dog from abroad is therefore to be understanding and patient during the adoption and transportation process, as we always do our best in making things work as good as possible.

What is a common misconception people have about what you do?

That we are importing lots of stray dogs and contributing to the amount of dogs in shelters in Canada...

Trust me, my biggest wish is that there were no homeless dogs anywhere!! We want ALL dogs around the world to live in a comfortable and safe home with humans that loves them. We are not trying to compete with Canadian shelters and rescues. We are trying to help as many dog as possible.

Dogs are still being bred all the time all over the world, we are just trying to spread awareness about the importance of adopting rather than buying.

A lot of the people contacting us about adopting have even claimed that there are no suitable dogs available for adoption in their area. All our dogs have been adopted before they fly to Canada and we list them for adoption on the same platforms as Canadian dogs are listed as well.

Dogs are individuals and some just suit some people better than others, and we work very hard with matching our dogs with a suitable family. 

What would you most want others to know about the plight of stray pets and pet rescue/adoption that they may not already know?

People should be warned that rescuing a stray dog is awfully... ADDICTIVE!

If you don't already, you most definitely will want to adopt a whole bunch of dogs in need. You probably won't feel this way in the first few weeks after your dog arrives, as the settling in period can often be challenging and frustrating. Dogs always take time to get used to their new humans and environment, but trust me, it will be worth it once you see your rescue dog settling in and thriving in their new safe and loving home. 

The bond between a rescue dog and their rescuer is like no other. Knowing that you have literally saved a life is not just rewarding, it is life-changing. And it will make you want to adopt a million more. 

How can readers help you with your mission?

Adopt, donate, share our social media posts and most importantly EDUCATE friends and family on the importance of adopting rather than buying a dog, as well as spaying and neutering.

Education is so incredibly important as many people are oblivious to the fact that millions of dogs around the world die each year because humans keep intentionally breeding dogs or fail to desex them and end up with unwanted litters.