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There is good and bad news about Newf Rescue in Canada. Bad news is that in Quebec and Southern Ontario the need for rescuing Newfoundland dogs is rapidly and steadily increasing. A decade ago, Canadian Newf Rescue, based in Southern Ontario, had 10 or fewer Newfs in residence at any one time; now that number exceeds 30. Recognizing that the need for rescue is not going away any time soon, founder Lloyd Nelson has incorporated his organization, made long term financial provisions and is training a protege to ensure that Newfoundlands will be cared for as long as there is a need.

Fortunately there is more good news than bad. When I recently updated my list of rescue contacts from across Canada, most reported that there is still minimal activity outside of Quebec and Southern Ontario. Then earlier this year three Newfie lovers in Quebec filled the only gap in rescue coverage across the country. Kim Bouret, France Landry and Andrée Auclair, after years of informally helping with the rescue of Newfs, formally set up a new organization to save and protect the breed, S.O.S. Terre-Neuve Quebec. Now I have rescue contacts from coast to coast in Canada. This information can be found on the Newf Rescue Canada website.

There is even more good news. The internet members of Newf Net and Newf-L are regularly supporting the Newf Rescue organizations and even operating on their own when necessary to save our Newfs. One of their main achievements is to organize Rescue Railways for a Newf that has to be transported over long distances to either a foster home or to his forever home. This past February witnessed the most dramatic of rescues as a rare breed livestock guardian dog was mistaken by a pound in Southern Ontario as Landseer Newfoundland. The folks on Newf Net sprung into action. When they found out that Barry was not a Newf, but a purebred Ternjak from Croatia, they not only did not abandon him but found a special home for him in Missouri where they rescue and re-home livestock guardian dogs. Newf Netters from Canada, Croatia and the US worked together to make an international rescue/re-homing happen complete with an amazing rescue railway reported in real time over two days on the internet complete with photos at all stages. Most of us were in tears as we followed the saga of Barry. If you missed this special story of how big the hearts of Newfie people are, you can check the archives of Newf Net and read the many threads about Barry.

Peter Maniate has been writing columns for the Newf News, the magazine of the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada, since 1979.  In 1996 he started writing a Newfoundland dog column in the Breedlines section of Dogs in Canada magazine on behalf of the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada.  When Dogs in Canada ceased publication at the end of 2011 he continued the Breedlines column in the Newf Newfs.

Permission is granted for re-publication of the preceding article or excerpts from it as long as the author is credited and the name of the original publication and date of first publication is included.

Dogs in Canada

May 2007