He took his last breath, November 2nd, 2012 without a forever home, but not without love and knowing the kinder side of humans. Teddy is one example of the many four-legged friends Southern Ontario Animal Rescue (SOAR) has saved since 2005. He came to them frightened, abrupt, angry and ill. You see, Teddy had lymphoma and behavioural issues; he was unloved, and unwanted, and with problems that seemed insurmountable. Many rescues would never take on the challenge of a dog like Teddy, but S.O.A.R neither would, nor could, turn him away.
S.O.A.R is on a forward-moving mission to rescue any breed that is struggling with medical and behaviour issues. As a non-profit incorporated and registered charity organization with extremely limited resources, S.O.A.R rescues every single dog that it can; they only succeed due to the public’s generosity. They receive no funding from any agency, corporation or government. All monies are raised through the time and efforts of volunteers at events throughout the year, such as dog shows, pet shows and SOAR-run events like their annual Christmas Party.
Among the many hurdles this charity faces daily, foster homes for their rescue animals are difficult to find. S.O.A.R’s rescued animals require rehabilitation and often treatment for their illnesses; they are limited in the number of animals they can help by the number of foster homes available. Even with that, they stretch their financial limits, and currently have two dogs in boarding who were in a high rescue need. Dedicated, reliable, experienced foster parents are in high demand. Foster parents, as well as adoptive parents, are matched up with a dog that will fit their family and lifestyle through a rigorous screening process that includes an application and home visits. S.O.A.R covers all costs of food and medical expenses for those animals in foster care, and constant contact is maintained with the foster homes, as they work closely in the best interest of the dog over long periods of time to make the rescue adoptable.
S.O.A.R is also active with breed-specific legislation (BSL). They are often contacted by shelters to assist in transporting at-risk Pit bulls out of the Province in order to save their lives. Many of the SOAR volunteers have also been large contributors to Bill 16 (a bill which would have repealed the pit bull ban); the bill, with the resignation of Premier McGuinty, and his step to prorogue of the Provincial Legislature, was one of the unsettled bills which was dissolved.
An active four-legged S.O.A.R volunteer, my Facebook friend, and the voice (or bark, shall we say) for Bill 16 is Zelda Nista. Zelda was one of the last legally born American Staffordshire Terriers (aka Pit bull) puppies born in Ontario before legislation was passed banning the breed in Ontario. She can often be seen in The Beach area barking out about BSL, and helping to bring awareness of her breed at public events. Zelda has participated in numerous BSL walks in Toronto and area for the past 5 years and will continue to entertain with her fashions and distinctive personality that those who know her have come to expect of her.
How to help if you can’t adopt or foster:
75.00: a week of shelter
300.00: month of shelter
45.00 per month: feeds a foster dog
45.00: immunization of a foster dog
50.00: wellness exam (blood test and vet exam)
100.00: heartworm test and preventive medication
200.00: spay & neuter
ANY amount is always gratefully received, however, S.O.A.R can only give tax receipts for donations of $10.00 or more
Southern Ontario Animal Rescue, or SOAR, was born in February of 2005. In December 2005, SOAR became a non-profit incorporated organization and on December 1, 2007, SOAR received its registered charity status.